Innovation. Integrity. Incomparable.

Making the Impossible Possible

Our vision is to design and build the best tube end forming equipment in the world.  We are an innovator, core problem solver and a strong partner.  As our customer, we strive to understand your processes and problems.  You will receive reliable machines and superior quality parts at a competitive price.  Our work is not done until you succeed.  What sets us apart?

  • We design and build all of our own equipment from standard products to custom products with automated systems.
    • Whether we’re building a tube deburring, end-forming or cutoff machine, it will be customized, not one-size-fits-all!
  • We love a challenge
    • Complex projects bring out the best in our team of experts!
  • We help increase efficiency that results in cost-saving opportunities.
  • We show integrity in every action.
    • You can count on our team to lead you to success.
    • Proto-1 focuses on building long-term partnerships.
  • We have a dedicated in-house project management team to help ensure on-time delivery.


Founded in 1997 in a small town in Wisconsin, Proto-1 began as a machine shop specializing in creating safe and efficient equipment to deburr tube and pipe.   The result was the creation of our patented Roto-D-Bur®head.  We didn’t stop there.

Company founders John and Valerie Schwochert recognized and responded to customer demand for other types of tube finishing equipment in the tube and pipe industry. Proto-1 quickly evolved into an industry leader building on our original deburring equipment to offer rotary tube cutoff, customization, cell integration, robotics, rotary tube end forming, jigs, fixtures, sizing, notching and progressive ram end-forming equipment.

Today Proto-1 proudly manufactures tube forming solutions for a diverse customer base from family-run manufacturers to multi-national companies.  Proto-1 has a strong history of serving various markets such as automotive, heavy truck, aerospace, military, recreation, gas, agriculture, hydraulics, furniture, food, heating/cooling, and water/energy. One thing hasn’t changed: our focus on giving our customers the best service, support and solutions.  This starts with building the most versatile, safe and efficient equipment in the tube and pipe industry.

Quote from John:

“Our specialty is making the impossible possible, assisting our customers with difficult parts that no one wants to do or thinks can’t be done, and the ability to adapt and change quickly.  Our goal is to be the leader in the tube forming industry – not the follower.”  – John Schwochert, Owner and Founder