RiverStar’s unique founding history begins in 1984 when three visionary engineers founded our sister company RiverSide Electronics and began contract manufacturing of electromechanical assemblies in a partner’s home. By 1985, RiverSide employed 60 people full-time. Its Winona, Minnesota, facilities were located near the Mississippi River – ergo, the “RiverSide” name. By 1988, having experienced substantial growth, RiverSide relocated equipment and over 200 employees to Lewiston, Minnesota, and was soon recognized by Business Week magazine as one of the 25 fastest growing high tech companies in the United States.
With the increase in customer base, requests for packaging, kitting and distribution started rolling in. As many manufacturers understand, these tasks don’t easily fit within true manufacturing. In 1995 founder, Stephen H. Craney, started RiverStar Inc. with the focus on providing assembly, packaging, kitting, testing, and distribution services for OEM companies.
Our first customer was a large agriculture equipment manufacturing company which was introducing a new GPS technology into the agricultural market. Today, GPS technology is everywhere, but back then, this system was a very innovative approach utilizing GPS technology along with different sensors and interface equipment. This not only allowed modern farmers to review their harvest data in real time, it also allowed them to capture the data and produce maps of their field indicating the performance of the land. From the maps provided by the system, farmers had a birds-eye view of their fields and were able to implement better decisions on how to improve cropland performance in low yield or high moisture areas.
RiverStar was tasked with procuring the necessary components of the system from multiple suppliers, building these components into a system, and testing its functionality. Upon successful completion of the testing process, components were packaged into necessary kit configurations and distributed across the OEM’s dealer network. These units were ready for installation on farm equipment in the field and distributed throughout the world.
The use of GPS technology today has taken off and is commonplace in the farming community. RiverStar is fortunate to have had the opportunity to support this customer throughout all aspects of this technology growth. Through the years and now on a much greater scale, RiverStar is still supporting that same customer with superior manufacturing, testing, kitting, and distribution services.
In the early 2000’s RiverStar was approached with a new type of opportunity to start a repair operation for a large medical X-Ray printer manufacture. Because of the experienced staff and the processes that were built during the previous years, this was a natural fit for RiverStar. Complete troubleshooting, tear down, repair, reassembly and test of mechanical and electromechanical assemblies became the second cornerstone of our company.
Since inception, RiverStar’s customer base and capabilities have grown in many directions but all with the same focus of supporting Original Equipment Manufacturers. From preassembling line-ready subassemblies, repair of OEM service parts, testing for parts qualification, to kitting, packaging and distribution, our focus remains in support of the Original Equipment Manufacturer.
Our headquarters and production facilities are located in Winona, Minnesota. Expansion to a third production facility opened in Rushford, Minnesota in 2006. Our facilities total nearly 190,000 square feet of secure, climate controlled space.