From Drew Greenblatt’s column yesterday on Inc. com about the impact of health insurance cost increases on small manufacturers and possible solutions:
Today, I am testifying to a U.S. Senate committee–describing the horrific price increase my manufacturing company faces for our health insurance premiums. After years of increases between 8 and12 percent, our provider of 15 years just increased our rates by 49 percent.
That’s an amazing increase. After all, I cannot raise my product prices 49 percent. My clients would laugh at me.
Small businesses throughout our nation have a big problem. We have to be competitive against Asian and European companies, and this is another expensive obstacle we have to overcome to try to maintain our edge. Continue reading →
Industrial parts washing baskets are often coated in plastic to better protect the objects being washed or treated, and the baskets as well. The plastic has to withstand the solvents and heat involved in the wash process.
A Marlin Steel Halar-coated stainless steel wire basket
We are often asked by prospective customers: What plastic coating is better? Teflon or Halar?
Both are brand names for different fluoropolymers, a durable plastic widely used in everything from nonstick cookware to aviation materials. Here’s what Marlin Steel engineers have to say as well as experts in the plastic coatings industry with whom we deal regularly: Continue reading →
Credit: David Bohrer / National Association of Manufacturers
Here’s a recent article by Marlin Steel President Drew Greenblatt in the Baltimore Business Journal on why manufacturing’s important for America. It was written for a supplement produced by the Regional Manufacturing Institute of Maryland (RMI) titled “Advancing the Cause for Manufacturing”:
When the Regional Manufacturing Institute of Maryland (RMI) was established in 1990, it was ahead of its time. Manufacturing was about to feel seismic changes that were only beginning to stir: the high-tech revolution, the emergence of third-world competitors and a much more interconnected, global marketplace.
Pinpoint precision required
In 1998, I bought Marlin Steel, then the largest maker of steel wire baskets for bagel shops. A few years later, new factories in China, aided by subsidized raw material, dumped wire baskets in the U.S. market cheaper than I could buy the steel. We were nearly put out of business before we eventually pivoted to a much more demanding and promising niche: designing steel wire and sheet metal solutions for material handling in automotive, defense, pharmaceuticals and many other industries. With skilled engineers and the latest automation, we now build containers whose dimensions are measured in the width of a piece of paper, or less -– more pinpoint precision than a bagel basket ever required. And our opportunities, like our competitors, are all around the world. Continue reading →
Cummins has a large “reman” operation in Tennessee to remanufacture parts for resale to its network of dealers. It needed high quality steel wire material handling containers able to withstand caustic chemical solutions to carry out the facility’s mission to clean and refurbish aftermarket parts.
Marlin Steel supplied steel mesh baskets with reinforced frames designed to Cummins engineering specifications. Cummins returned to Marlin Steel containers for their consistent quality.
Production Part Approval Process, or PPAP, is a plan to ensure consistent quality in making a part. The aim of the control plan is to respond quickly to any factor that could hamper the specs and tolerance of a part, from tool wear to temperature changes. If you’re making a suspension system for a vehicle, for example, failure could be catastrophic. Nothing can be left to chance. Continue reading →
“We went on a factory floor tour of the company’s facility in Baltimore, MD for this genuinely interesting story which you should read,” she wrote on her blog. She also wrote that “she shoots the kinds of things you’re not supposed to talk about at the dinner table like politics, religion, sex, and money.”
Fortunately, we could find a category that suits us.
Click image to download free guide to stress testing for material handling
In the wake of years of under-employment and wage stagnation, a new report from The Hitachi Foundation identifies policies and practices that are empowering businesses to boost competitiveness while also improving wages, service, employee loyalty and profits. Doing Well and Doing Good challenges assumptions that tough times inherently require cutting jobs and wages as a means to stay afloat.
Marlin Steel Wire Products of Baltimore, which garnered a Pioneer Employer Award for its workplace practices from the Precision Metalforming Association in collaboration with The Hitachi Foundation, was among the companies profiled by the Foundation at pioneeremployers.com.
“I am passionate about manufacturing because it is key to creating a strong middle class,” Marlin Steel Wire Products President Drew Greenblatt said. “We build wire baskets only in the U.S. and we value our employees.” Continue reading →