Company History
A History of Rotation Engineering

Rotation Engineering was founded by James A. Lorence in 1973 as a tool and die company in Eden Prairie, Minnesota. Lorence built the business from scratch. A Minnesota native, he became interested in machining at Hopkins High School where one of the best shops existed. He began building gasoline engines in high school and continued to invent and build throughout his youth.  It was a hobby that turned into a career. In response to demand for single-source responsibility, metal stamping  operations were added in 1975 with a 30-ton punch press, and the company moved to Plymouth, Minn. One of Rotation’s early customers was a man named Dr. Robert Kaster. Dr. Kaster was initially interested in renting space from Rotation, but once learning about Rotation’s abilities, became interested in manufacturing an invention he had. Rotation responded by making a prototype of his idea.  Kaster’s invention became known as the “Hall-Kaster valve” which  was one of the first heart valves. The Hall-Kaster valve was widely used throughout the world. In 1987, after minimal engineering modification, the valve manufacture and distribution was assumed by Medtronic, hence the name change. More than 300,000 Hall-Kaster and Medtronic-Hall valves have been implanted worldwide with no reports of structural failure. Business expanded rapidly and soon the Rotation Engineering began acquiring more equipment including a 200-ton press.  Other manufacturing capabilities were added, including Electrical Discharge Machining (EDM) and laser equipment, press brakes and shears, welding, machining centers and more. The company manufactured a wide range of parts, from filet knives to blood pumps and even some parts used in the country's defensive operations. By the early 1990s, the company’s facility had grown from its initial 2,500 square feet to 20,000 square feet.

In 1995, Rotation Engineering made two major steps to enhance production: they added a 400-ton press and moved into a new, custom-designed 38,000 square-foot building in Brooklyn Park, its current location.  Responding to increased business, Rotation Engineering also expanded the services offered to customers. This further differentiated the company, and provided customers with lower costs and faster response times. These services, in conjunction with extensive manufacturing capabilities, have become the foundation of Rotation’s customer appeal.

In 2010, Lorence retired as CEO of Rotation Engineering, and the business was purchased by Craig Komschlies.  Komschlies has 20 years of experience in the metal stamping business. A St. Olaf College graduate who majored in chemistry, Komschlies came to Rotation after 16 years as Controller at Chaska Machine & Tool. Today, located in Brooklyn Park, Minnesota, Rotation Engineering is a progressive engineering, metal stamping and manufacturing company that has earned the respect and loyalty of its customers.


Rotation founder Jim Lorence at
groundbreaking of new building in 1995

Expanded facility