Rochester: Domaille Engineering

Rochester is home to one of the fastest growing companies in Minnesota, bringing with it the growth of technology

By Dan Emerson

Editor's note: This article is part of the Local Focus: Rochester feature that appeared in the May 2013 issue

The growth of Domaille Engineering has paralleled the expansion of the fiber-optic industry. Founded in 1990 by Nancy and Mike Domaille, the company developed a niche in ultra-precision machining and metrology (the science of measurement), which eventually led to the design and development of high-precision, optical fiber polishing equipment.

The company originally developed its technology in the late 1990s at the request of Corning, the largest manufacturer of fiber optic cable, according to company president Jim Frazer.

Domaille serves customers in a number of industries, including defense, aerospace, telecommunications, and medical and fluid technology. Its client list includes 10 Fortune 500 firms.

After the telecom industry "crash" of 2001, Frazer and other members of the company's new management team diversified into other industries, designing and manufacturing polishing equipment. Those strategic moves doubled the company's annual revenue, from $6 million to about $13 million. In late 2011, Domaille was acquired by private equity group St. Louis­–based Capital for Business.

The company is a three-time winner of the prestigious Deloitte & Touche's Fast 50 award, given annually to the top 50 fastest-growing technology companies in Minnesota.

Vice president Don Hickerson says one of the keys to the company's growth has been "an abundance of highly skilled, local companies that have helped out Domaille. We recently worked on a manufacturing solution for a major East Coast company where we were able to draw on engineering resources from 3M and Mayo."