Company History

Metal Flow started as a father and son venture and has had a long history of growth. Here are some of the milestones that helped shape our company into what it is today.


Curt and Marc Brown founded Metal Flow. Curt & Marc open Metal Flow Corporation at 19th and Columbia Ave. in Holland, Michigan, with the plan to slowly and carefully build the foundation for an organization that would be viable for years to come.


Metal Flow is awarded its first business: a centering washer used in hydraulic cylinders. They received the order on February 5, 1979, which gave rise to the “259” prefix for Metal Flow part numbers.


Metal Flow receives its first high volume work in a spoke nut used in wire spoke hubcaps, which were popular at the time. The job put Metal Flow into full-time production and sparked the company’s growth, allowing Curt and Marc to expand their team. Over the duration of the job, Metal Flow produced over a billion parts with zero customer returns.


Metal Flow outgrows its first facility and leases a 10,000-square-foot facility on 22nd street in Holland, Michigan.


Metal Flow breaks ground on its first company-owned facility. The 26,000-square-foot facility on Hedcor St. in Holland was finished in October.


Curt’s oldest son Mike Brown joins his father and younger brother Marc at Metal Flow. Mike had been an R&D engineer for Ford. He knew little about the business when he joined, but his intelligence and methodical approach eventually made him an invaluable addition to the organization.


Curt Brown retires from Metal Flow, leaving Mike and Marc in charge of the business.


Curt Brown passes away, leaving a wife, family and company that loved him. After his death, Marc adds “Curtis H. Brown Industries” as Metal Flow’s subtitle to aptly commemorate the man who risked and gave everything he had to the organization.


After 10 years at the Hedcor facility, Metal Flow finds itself crowded in its current space. Meticulously planned by Marc, Mike, and Curt before his death, Metal Flow opens its James Street facility in Holland, where the company currently resides. The building provided the bright, organized and air-conditioned space that Marc and Curt had dreamt of providing to their employees from the beginning.


Metal Flow becomes the first in its industry to receive QS-9000 and ISO-9002 Quality certifications. The company is one of the first 100 in North America to receive the distinction.


Metal Flow’s James Street facility receives its first expansion, nearly doubling in size.


On January 11, Company President, Mike Brown passes away.  Mike’s calming presence and strong, endearing character are deeply missed. In his memory, Metal Flow establishes a memorial garden on the James St. grounds to honor Mike’s strong reverence of nature.


On, August 14, Marc unexpectedly succumbs to heart failure.  In memory of his contagious spirit, his undying loyalty, and lasting presence at the company, Metal Flow builds an eternal flame memorial next to his brother’s garden.


Bob Knittel continued his role as President, and assumed leadership of operations, while Marc’s wife, Leslie, assumed the role of Chairman. Bob, having spent his entire career in the automotive supply chain and the previous 8 years at Metal Flow, and Leslie, having been an integral part of the company’s founding and behind the scenes for its 25-year history, made sure Metal Flow didn’t miss a beat. 


Metal Flow once again expands their James St. facility by 43,000 square feet, completing the 150,000 square feet the building currently holds. This expansion saw Metal Flow jump into the world of Progressive Die stamping, which serves as an ideal complement to Deep Drawn stamping.


Metal Flow adds an AIDA 600 ton servo press bringing its press capabilities to new levels. 


Metal Flow launches its first international operation in Wuxi, China – beginning production in May 2015. This strategic investment strengthens key partnerships with global customers and advances Metal Flow’s founding vision of being a customer focused, quality driven, worldwide leader in deep drawn and progressive die stamping.

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