The Genesis For Schweiss Doors Began On A Dance Floor Four Decades Ago!

Schweiss Doors founder, Mike Schweiss, stands in front of a large bifold liftstrap door. These doors have come a long way since the company was established in 1980. Thousands of bifold and hydraulic doors are now shipped worldwide from their factory in Minnesota.

by Pat Schmidt
Published in Midwest Flyer Magazine June/July 2022 Digital Issue

Everybody seems to ask me how Schweiss Doors got started. It was 1980 at a wedding dance,” said company founder, Mike Schweiss. “I still remember that night at the Gibbon Ballroom where a gentleman asked me, ‘Mike, you build lots of different things. Are you willing to look at manufacturing bifold doors?’ I said sure! He told me to stop in and see him the following week. I never got the chance; the man died of a heart attack that evening on the dance floor. But his idea didn’t!”

Since the inception of Schweiss Doors over 40 years ago, the factory has grown exponentially from a family farm operation, to what it is today. A few years ago, a new 80 x 250 ft. state-of-the-art factory electrical facility and loading dock was added.

Never one to sit on his laurels or be labeled a “laid back” kind of a guy, Mike grew up on his family dairy farm, where the huge Schweiss Doors factory is now located, between Hector and Fairfax, Minnesota, about a two-hour drive southwest of Minneapolis.

Schweiss started off manufacturing and selling farm equipment, such as the “Schweiss Chicken Plucker!” It was the Schweiss Chicken Plucker that gave Schweiss name recognition. At that time, it was just Mike and three employees working at the plant.

As a licensed pilot and farmer, Mike knows what many of his customers are looking for in a door, but the market has grown beyond airports and agriculture.

“One of our first challenges was understanding the marketplace and where these doors could be used,” said Mike. “We found out the uses were endless, with opportunities for all sizes of doors – big, small, and heavy duty.”

The first Schweiss door manufactured was a 12 x 12 ft. bifold installed on a county highway department shed. The door is still in operation, and today, Schweiss Doors are the most recognized brand name in the hydraulic and bifold door industry.

“We now cover the entire gamut of the door building business including preparing bifold and hydraulic designer doors to accept many decorative finishes, including glass. These doors are appealing to look at and customers, builders and architects are loving them,” said Mike.

Quality Control Tells It All

Schweiss manufactures its doors in one location, and doors are the company’s only product and they do it well. They know if a company builds only a few doors on the side of another business, they just never get good at it. Other manufacturers brag about the number of doors they sell and how many employees they have. “We like to brag about the quality of our doors,” said Mike.

A lot of the design ideas customers provide, Schweiss can execute under its controlled environment without handing the job over to different weld shops in hopes they follow the plans correctly. “Before you know it, these shops are no longer in business,” said Mike, “so the customer is left hanging with no one to service the door following its installation.” Quality control is high on our list and our service is impeccable, resulting in the best quality. Our entire Schweiss team is building more doors better and stronger every day!”

Marketing Is Where It Is At

Mike will tell you that marketing is where it is at. The company website explains this and has helped to expand sales worldwide. Some of these locations are in Europe, Asia, South America, Saudi Arabia, Costa Rico, Australia, Canada, and Mexico.

Today, Schweiss manufactures three styles of doors – the one-piece hydraulic door, the bifold liftstrap door, and designer doors which cater to businesses, municipalities, sporting venues, museums, and high-end residences.

You’ll see Schweiss doors at many prominent locations throughout the country including professional and National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) sports facilities, restaurants, museums, and churches.

Production at Schweiss expanded when requests started coming in for elaborate, custom-made specialty doors, which is now the Schweiss Designer Door Division. Schweiss Designer Doors can be seen on multi-million-dollar homes, numerous museums, the Guthrie Theatre in Minneapolis, Cape Canaveral, the Red Bull Headquarters, New York Yankees stadium, the new Columbus, Ohio crew soccer stadium, AT&T “Giants” baseball stadium, Stanford University, Napa Valley vineyards in California, Cycle City in Hawaii, the Ritz Carlton Hotel in Shanghai, Old Navy and Under Armour, to name a few well-known sites.

The Designer line of commercial and residential doors has taken Schweiss Doors to another level of engineering expertise. The very notable Sacramento Kings Golden 1 Center has five bifold, strap latch main entrance doors made with a combination of steel and aluminum frames. Three of the doors measure 29 x 41.5 ft., and the other two are 29.4 x 41.5 ft.

The biggest square foot bifold door to date is a massive 90 ft. wide x 61 ft. tall door delivered to Cape Canaveral in Florida for its space rocket assembly plant. Hydraulic and bifold hangar doors have exceeded 115 ft. in width. The largest single bifold door project was delivered to Bult Field near Chicago, a privately-owned airfield, for an order of 145 t-hangar doors, all 12 x 40 ft.

Schweiss Doors has revolutionized the bifold door industry with the patented and famous Lift Straps and Strap Auto-Latch systems. Cable-lift bifold door owners, regardless of who manufactured their door, are asking Schweiss Doors to retrofit their higher maintenance cable doors with a lift strap conversion. Since then, many other improvements, upgrades and patents have been added to both styles of doors over the years.

Dealer & Installer Base Keeps Growing

“We have thousands of dealers positioned throughout the United States, noted Mike. “Over the years, word of mouth has sold 99 percent of our 70,000 hydraulic and bifold doors. Once a customer sees or buys our doors, they encourage and send more customers our way.

“We also have experienced in-house install teams and strategically located installers throughout the U.S. and abroad who can install, service, and take care of customers miles from the factory.”

Schweiss Doors Is A Family-Run Business

Mike Beranek stands by the new CNC plasma cutter that has made his job easier and more efficient than previous, more labor-intensive methods. When he first started working at Schweiss, many of the same type parts were manually cut with a chop saw, and then later with a band saw, before the first plasma cutter was installed.

Schweiss Doors is acutely aware that a successful company is only as good as the people who work there to ensure one-stop, one-call, fast-door delivery. Schweiss realized early on that to be the best, you must have highly skilled and committed employees, and sometimes these employees are family members or employees who become like family.

“We take pride in the fact we have a design team ready to deliver doors of any size, no matter where our customers are,” said Mike. “We have the solutions to make every door project a success.”

Skilled programmers, and inventory and quality control managers at Schweiss developed a unique computer program that details steel door components, right down to the heavy-duty hydraulic hinges, nuts, bolts, and total hardware of each door. Detailed hydraulic door and bifold door quotes and AutoCad specs can be sent out in a matter of minutes to building contractors, architects, and end users.

Here’s a quick look at the duties some of the key people at Schweiss accomplish day-in and day-out:

Mike’s brother, Dave Schweiss, has been with the company since its inception and continues to be a driving force guiding and overseeing many of its various departments. You can see Dave at many trade shows throughout the United States, especially those centering on agriculture and aircraft hangar doors. Dave is a question-and-answer man, and maintenance expert who in many cases can deliver a solution over the telephone, and if need be, a personal visit. He can guide a door installation, physically help with an installation, measure up door openings or give advice on structural headers to support doors.

Julie Schweiss knows the business inside and out and has dealt with many loyal customers over the years. Her expertise has guided the production department by providing door quotes, while educating and advising potential buyers, keeping their best door solutions in mind.

Mike’s daughter, Lark Schweiss, will soon be joining the Schweiss marketing team.

Brook Schweiss Mead is one of the highly knowledgeable salespeople who responds to inquiries. Brook has been at Schweiss Doors for nearly 20 years coordinating timely shipments and ensuring fast two-to-three-week turnaround delivery times of doors shipped across the country and overseas She also handles accounts receivables, and schedules company airline flights.

One of Schweiss Doors’ newest employees is Corey Mead, a licensed electrician with over 20 years of experience. His duties as a job supervisor at Schweiss is to oversee all aspects of the door building and daily manufacturing process. He is well versed in the operation of every piece of equipment, from the Plasma cutter table to robotics, making sure all door parts are in stock.

What’s Really Important

“As owner of the company, part of our success is because day-by-day, I’m in the trenches with my employees, always the eyes and ears to new suggestions. The culture that fuels our company has always been to have happy customers…we’re not about the money. Our product sells itself. We’ve got numerous patents to back up our product; innovation that illustrates we are totally ahead of the power curve on design and are leaders in the fast-moving door market.

“Schweiss Doors takes pride in the fact that over the past four decades we have learned that listening to our customers has been a stellar source of new and better ideas. Our company now employs over 50 skilled people who are good thinkers and hard workers,” noted Mike.

“Schweiss has an unparalleled history of successful projects ranging from modest garages and large-scale manufacturing warehouse operations to airplane hangars, boat marina storage facilities, and residences. We have architects, dealers and building suppliers calling us and ordering our doors because they know when they see a Schweiss bifold or hydraulic door, IT’S ALL ABOUT QUALITY!

“We’ll put the “WOW” factor in your doors. There’s simply no other company better equipped to handle your upcoming door project, which is why when you’re looking for quality – looking for price – you’ll WANT a Schweiss door on your building!”
For additional information, go to

This entry was posted in All Features, Features, Features, JuneJuly 2022, Products & Services and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.