After years of developing electronic products for others, Toby Klusmeyer, a University of Wisconsin-Madison electrical engineering graduate, decided to venture out on his own. Toby enjoyed creating products from ideation and saw many of his creations go to market. With a big dream and a small budget, he created Pro-Active Engineering, Inc. in May of 1996.
The dream: to help customers design, develop and bring their products to market fast. The name, Pro-Active Engineering (based on the words Proactive, Professional, Active and Engineering) was the foundation for the can-do attitude, technical expertise, and professional service that customers needed in this quick-time-to-market industry.
Pro-Active had humble beginnings in a 400-sq-ft basement office on Main Street in Sun Prairie.
Pro-Active Engineering recognized the opportunity of offering electronic manufacturing as well as engineering services and made a significant investment in manufacturing equipment.
Pro-Active had outgrown its Main Street office and moved to a new 5,000 square foot facility with loading docks at 350 Business Park Drive. This gave Pro-Active flexibility to set up a manufacturing facility with all the disciplines necessary to create an efficient organization. Pro-Active Engineering occupies over 45,000 square feet of the same building today.
Paul Schwanbeck, a small business owner, came to Pro-Active looking for a solution related to reconditioning batteries. The collaboration was effortless, and when Schwanbeck expressed interest in working with Pro-Active, Klusmeyer hired him to help develop Pro-Active’s manufacturing capabilities. Schwanbeck eventually advanced to his current role as Vice-President.
With the implementation of Pro-Active Engineering’s ISO 9001 quality management system, the company continued to improve quality and services to customers. This ensured Pro-Active a place among competitors in the electronic manufacturing services industry.
In 2017, Pro-Active Engineering became ITAR and JCP certified to serve the government and military sectors.
As Pro-Active Engineering continued to grow, the need to expand the engineering department became evident. To meet increasing customer needs, Pro-Active Engineering acquired Apex Embedded Systems, an engineering firm in Monona, Wisconsin. With Apex staff on board, Pro-Active’s design engineering and software development capabilities increased and years of expertise were added to the team.