Finishing What Others Start For More Than 40 Years
In 1978, Steve and Mike Bales followed their dream and started Bales Mold Service in a small residential garage. By providing high quality work at a fair price, they were able to expand their diamond polishing service into an industrial space and widen their offerings with the addition of chrome, nickel and composite coatings.
They didn’t set out to be the biggest or the fanciest. They simply wanted to solve their customer’s problems and take care of their dedicated employees. Steve and Mike set the bar with a strong work ethic, a reputation of integrity and a passion for the industry.
More than 40 years later, those same values are instilled in Stacey Bales and Sara Mortensen — Steve’s daughters who are carrying forward their family’s legacy — and the highly-experienced Bales team, many of whom have been with the company for 10 or more years.
We serve customers coast-to-coast and across the globe. Proud to support the U.S. manufacturing sector, we’re active in industry associations such as the Technology & Manufacturing Association (TMA), the American Mold Builders Association (AMBA), the Society of Plastics Industry (SPI), the Society of Plastics Engineers (SPE), and the National Association of Surface Finishers (NASF).
Take a look at some of our milestone moments and achievements, and let us know how we can help.
Finishing What Others Start Since 1978
Bales Mold Service Founded1978
Steve and Mike Bales founded Bales Mold Service in a 1,000 sq-ft space in Lombard, IL. The company offered diamond polishing services.
Bales Moves to Downers Grove Facility1985
Bales moved to Downers Grove, IL, after building a 15,000 sq-ft facility there, adding electroless nickel and chrome plating services.
NICKLON™ Coating Debuts1992
Recognizing the need for new coatings to improve mold release and lubricity, Bales introduced NICKLON™, a nickel Teflon coating.
Adding Micro TIG Welding1996
Bales became a one-stop shop by adding micro TIG welding to the services we offer.
Becoming ISO Certified1998
Bales obtained ISO 9001 certification.
Pocket Mold Finish Guide Introduced2000
Bales developed its popular pocket mold finish guide that includes references for all SPE-SPI standard finishes.
Diamond Chrome Debuts2001
Bales introduced its proprietary Diamond Chrome coating for applications requiring extreme hardness.
NIBORE™ Coating Developed2003
Bales developed NIBORE™, which combines electroless nickel and boron nitride particles for superior lubricity and hardness.
Stainless Steel Passivation Service Offered2004
Bales added stainless steel passivation to our service offerings.
Expansion Allows for More Services2005
Bales purchased adjacent property and began planning a 14,000 sq-ft addition to our location in Downers Grove, IL to allow for more services.
Bales Celebrates 30 Years2008
In time for the celebration of the company's 30th anniversary, Bales completed construction of the new addition - expanding capacity for electroless nickel and hard chrome plating. A new, state-of-the-art wet chemistry lab was also added, along with a larger inspection space.
2nd Generation Leadership2009
Following the retirement of Mike Bales and the sudden passing of Steve Bales in November 2009, a new generation assumed leadership at the company. Stacey Bales became President, while Sara Mortensen became Vice President.
Steve Bales Honored with Moldmaker of the Year2010
Steve Bales was honored posthumously with the Moldmaker of the Year award, presented by the Society of Plastics Engineers (SPE).
Bales Achieves Woman Owned Certification2011
Bales achieved Woman Owned Certification through the Women's Business Enterprise National Council (WBENC).
Honored for Sustainability2013
Bales was presented with the first Green Business Award by the Village of Downers Grove.
Bales Debuts New Brand2015
Reflecting a bold vision for the future, Bales launched a rebranding effort. Our company name was simplified to simply "Bales" - plus we unveiled a more modern company logo, a new website, and a strategy for more proactive communications with our customers. The new brand received an Award of Distinction for Corporate Identity at the 2015 Communicator Awards.
Diamond E.N. Coating Developed2016
Bales launched Diamond E.N.™, an electroless nickel coating with diamond particles and Bales' toughest nickel product yet.
Bales Celebrates 40 Years2018
Bales celebrates 40 years in business, honored and humbled to continue our family’s legacy. We continue to invest in facility and process improvements to provide the best possible service to our customers.