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Right at home: Mount Joy Wire has global reach, but strength is in U.S.

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Tom Duff is CEO of Lancaster County manufacturer Mount Joy Wire.
Tom Duff is CEO of Lancaster County manufacturer Mount Joy Wire. - (Photo / )

After announcing in 2011 that it was expanding services to Europe and Asia, Mount Joy Wire quickly realized it didn't need to venture abroad.

Overseas markets didn’t take off as expected, while demand for wire remained high in North America.

That is where the company’s main focus remains today, according to Tom Duff, CEO of the Mount Joy Borough-based manufacturer of steel wire.

“The U.S. market was one we didn’t need to fight for,” Duff said.

The company, which employs about 140 people, makes wire for use in many industries including agriculture, aerospace, automotive, construction, manufacturing, and oil and gas.

Duff and Ty Krieger, Mount Joy Wire president, cited many reasons for bringing the company’s attention back onshore after announcing an overseas focus.


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Tom Duff, CEO of Mount Joy Wire
Tom Duff, CEO of Mount Joy Wire - ()

The effort it took to beat competition overseas wasn’t worth it, they said.

Mount Joy Wire makes wire for niche markets that typically order small quantities at any one time, so the company was shipping smaller volumes overseas at lower exchange rates, Duff said.

The company’s biggest customers are in automotive and in oil and gas, two sectors that have enjoyed a resurgence since the recession of 2008. While automotive demand has risen steadily over the last six years, demand in oil and gas has dipped lately due to the decline in energy prices.

But other industries are catching up, particularly telecommunications and electronics. Mount Joy Wire is seeing an uptick in demand for fiber optic cables, Krieger said.

Overall, the company has grown steadily over the last quarter century since being taken over by the Kreiger family. It produces about 2.5 million pounds of wire each month, up from about 800,000 in 1991, said Duff, who has been with the company since 1993. Duff and Krieger are brothers in law.

Mount Joy Wire is considering whether to expand production space, but leaders are holding off on a final decision.

The effort it took to beat competition overseas wasn’t worth it, they said.

Mount Joy Wire makes wire for niche markets that typically order small quantities at any one time, so the company was shipping smaller volumes overseas at lower exchange rates, Duff said.

Ty Krieger, president of Mount Joy Wire
Ty Krieger, president of Mount Joy Wire - ()

They’re looking to see what happens with the economy and the upcoming presidential election before making any moves.

In the meantime, they have made adjustments to the leadership team by hiring three new people to fill management positions that recently opened, as well as promoting two people from within the company.  

Mount Joy Wire also hired five people for the shop floor this year, despite the challenges in finding mechanically inclined employees who have the work ethic to handle a career in steel and heavy manufacturing.

There is a shortage nationally of mechanically inclined people who want a career in the steel industry, Duff said.

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Lenay Ruhl

Lenay Ruhl

Lenay Ruhl covers Lancaster County, health care and agribusiness. Have a tip or question for her? Email her at lenayr@cpbj.com. Follow her on Twitter, @lenay_ruhl.

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