American Engineered Products tooling away in De Smet

Wednesday, February 06, 2013

Flagpoles are at the heart of new De Smet company American Engineered Products (AEP). President Mike Wiese and his grandfather Harold were the inventors of the first telescoping flagpole. Dakota State University-Madison graduate Wiese has been improving on the design ever since.

 

“Some engineers like to build a better mousetrap,” said AEP Vice President Audrey Saylor. “Mike likes to build a better flagpole.”

 

Wiese has two flagpole patents and in 2004 found himself in business manufacturing them in Elko, Minn. He added the manufacture of lottery machine bases to his repertoire around 2007 and business was booming.

 

“We had doubled in size and outgrown our facility,” he said. They were ready to expand. When they found the old CMI building for sale here in De Smet, they jumped on it.

 

AEP made the move in mid-October, 2012 and began manufacturing product by early November. But he isn’t making his grandfather’s flagpoles anymore.

 

The original design has been licensed to a company called Uncommon USA. Wiese has since moved on, obtaining patents on unique designs for both the “swivel” and “interlocking system.”

 

David Tritle

Assistant Editor

De Smet News

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