The history of Sager Metal Strip Company
Sager Metal Strip Company, LLC, began in the 1880s as Sager Metal Weatherstrip, a division of Sager Lock Company of North Chicago, Illinois. The company operated as a division of Sager Lock for over 40 years, until 1922, when George Wolff purchased the division from Sager Lock and incorporated it as Sager Weatherstrip Company. The company was located in Chicago and continued to manufacture weather-stripping, as well as equipment for doors and windows.
In the 1930s, the Sager Weatherstrip Company was purchased by Willard Congreve, an employee of the company at the time. From 1930 to 1999, the company remained in the Congreve family, namely Willard Congreve, Don Congreve, George Congreve, and George J. Congreve.
The company continued manufacturing weather-stripping until 1950, when the nature of the business expanded to include custom metal fabrication and roll forming. At that time, the name of the company was changed to Sager Metal Strip Company. Sager then began to fabricate various parts and products used by conveyor manufacturers.
In 1976, Sager started to fabricate and assemble food and beverage can conveyors for Continental Can Company, who had previous fabricated and assembled their own conveyor systems. After a few years, Sager was making the majority of the conveyors for them. As a result, Continental closed their internal conveyor manufacturing facilities. The Continental account represented a majority of Sager’s business until 1991. In 1991, Continental Can Company was sold to Crown Cork & Seal, and Sager began to diversify its customer base to include all types of container manufacturers, fillers, and packing companies.
In March of 1987, Sager relocated from Chicago to Michigan City, Indiana and moved into the facility that it continues to occupy today.
In 1999, the business was sold by George J. Congreve to a group of local investors led by Michael Brennan and Peter Pairitz and the company’s name was changed to Sager Metal Strip Company, LLC. Today, Sager employs 40 employees and credits its success to the efforts of those employees, especially those who have shared many years with the company. Danny Munoz over 30 years, Mark Stefanko, Mike Stefanko, and Brian Thorp have all been with Sager for over 20 years and continue to be a key reason that Sager is so successful. The General Manager, Jerry Eapmon, has been with Sager for 41 years.
In the past five years, more than half of Sager product sales have been exported to customers outside of the United States. Sager’s conveyor systems are installed around the world in places like Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, Denmark, Germany, Mexico, Poland, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Slovakia, South Africa, Spain, Tunisia, and Venezuela. There is a very good chance, in fact, that a can in your refrigerator or pantry has been moved by one of Sager’s beverage can conveyors, either during the manufacturing or filling processes.