A well-told tale about how Marlin Steel came to be, written by business author Charles Fishman, appears in the upcoming July/August issue of FastCompany. The magazine, which focuses on technology and business, hits newsstands next week. “A little maker of metal baskets shows how U.S. manufacturers can thrive against all comers” is how FastCo. summarized the piece.
Fishman’s article, “The Road to Resilience: How Unscientific Innovation Saved Marlin Steel,” is long, but this passage spoke volumes, we thought:
Even in the much more unforgiving world of high-tech factories, Marlin is earning a reputation for quality that is unusual for manufactured products today. Tom Salvador is a senior manager with Power Systems Manufacturing, in Jupiter, Florida, a small division of the $20-billion-a-year global energy conglomerate Alstom. PSM reconditions gas turbines for large commercial power plants, and it needed wire baskets to hold finished parts during a demanding inspection process. The baskets had to be made of stainless steel and able to withstand high temperatures and hot water. “It’s a manufacturing environment,” says Salvador. “We don’t baby the baskets.”
Marlin’s goods held up where the competition’s didn’t. “There are a lot of welds on these baskets,” he says. “We haven’t had a single weld on a single basket cut loose. Not one. I’m actually shocked.” Salvador has placed two orders with Marlin in five years but doesn’t need any more now because, he says, “I can’t seem to break them.”