304 Stainless being cut for Marlin Steel
Manufacturing engineers looking for stainless steel products want to know what type of stainless resists corrosion at different temperatures.
Stainless steel is not technically unable to stain or rust. Under low oxygen or high salinity (saltwater), it’s susceptible to corrosion. Various grades of stainless react differently, based on their chemical composition – how much carbon, chromium or nickel they contain. The chromium in stainless steel forms a film that blocks oxygen from corroding the steel surface. The result is “passivation,” which means the material is passive, not so active, when confronted by substances like air and water.
Temperature, fluids and stress on the structure can all spur corrosion. According to the McNally Institute website, the rate of corrosion attack doubles with every 18 F (10°C) rise in temperature. That can be caused by friction between parts as well. 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.
Drew Greenblatt, president of Marlin Steel Wire Products, spoke on Value Stream Management today before an international conference on lean manufacturing held by the Association for Manufacturing Excellence (AME) in Toronto.
His presentation, titled “From Bagels to Brainpower,” described value stream and lean manufacturing methods Marlin Steel used to grow into a leading manufacturer of custom material handling containers.
By adding skilled mechanical engineers and $3.5 million invested in automation, the company pivoted from building commodity bagel baskets exclusively to a different product line — fabricating customized containers for a wide variety of industries, including automotive, aerospace and pharmaceuticals. Marlin ships steel wire baskets, sheet metal enclosures, wire forms and other products to 36 countries. The engineers’ ability to probe fit, form and function helped Marlin Steel attract and serve new clients seeking innovative precision handling solutions. The company also retrained its production staff from reliance on largely labor-heavy, low-tech methods to practices based in automation, innovation and lean principles.
Founded in 1985, AME is a non-profit group that promotes lean manufacturing practices such as kaizen and value stream mapping. It operates in the U.S., Canada, the United Kingdom and Australia with more than 5,000 members. This week’s conference at the Sheraton Centre Toronto drew “lean” thought leaders John Shook, Dan Jones, Mike Rother and Jim Womack. Continue reading
Nice article this month about the impact of automation on Marlin Steel in Area Development Online, a website that focuses on site selection, facility planning and economic development.
As Beth Mattson-Teig writes:
… Automation is taking root and changing the face of manufacturing among companies both large and small. Case in point is Baltimore-based Marlin Steel Wire. A decade ago, employees were bending wire by hand to make steel baskets. Owner Drew Greenblatt saw demand plummet as the company’s primary clientele, bagel shops, shifted their orders to cheaper Chinese manufacturers. “He made the decision to transform his business and invest in automation to build baskets for many different industries,” says Bob Doyle, a spokesperson for the Association for Advancing Automation. Today, Marlin Steel Wire makes baskets for the automotive, aerospace, and pharmaceutical industries. Those clients have significantly higher design specifications compared to the bagel shop owners, notes Doyle. “The only way [Marlin Steel Wire] could do that was to invest in automation, both in robotics and other types of manufacturing technologies,” says Doyle. …
The article points out that 2012 set a record for the North American robotics industry, and sales and orders for the first half of 2013 continued at record pace. About 230,000 robots are in use in U.S. factories, second to Japan, according to the Robotic Industries Association.
Drew Greenblatt, president of Marlin Steel Wire Products, was the keynote speaker today at the 17th annual membership meeting of the Carroll County Chamber of Commerce in Westminster, Maryland.
His speech, titled “Ten Talent Success Tips,” described methods Marlin Steel used to transition from making commodity bagel baskets, which became an unprofitable enterprise, into one that now builds custom material handling containers for some of the largest manufacturers in the world. Caterpillar, Cummins, BorgWarner, Pfizer and Toyota are among the companies that Marlin serves.
Click on image to download free eBook of business planning tips from a popular Inc.com column by Marlin Steel President Drew Greenblatt
The Carroll County Chamber has 500 members and draws members from the Greater Baltimore-Washington region and southern Pennsylvania. Its members represent companies in insurance, health care, real estate and other industries.