Drew Greenblatt, president of Marlin Steel Wire Products in Baltimore, spoke on labor needs for manufacturing at the “Reinvesting In American Manufacturing” conference in Houston today.
The two-day conference focused on ways American companies can accelerate “reshoring” of manufacturing jobs back to the U.S. from overseas.
“We’re not going to beat China because we’re cheaper than them,” Greenblatt said. “We’re going to win with better and more unique approaches to solving problems for customers. And that happens as a result of an emphasis on innovations, superior technology and worker training.” Continue reading →
Marlin Steel President Drew Greenblatt was on theGreta Van Susteren show last night to discuss the impact of health care insurance costs on small business after testifying on the topic earlier in the day before a Senate committee on behalf of the National Association of Manufacturers. Click here for the video link.
At a hearing this morning on health care before the U.S. Senate Committee on Small Business and Entrepreneurship, at which Marlin Steel President Drew Greenblatt testified, we appreciated the stream-of-consciousness comments (1:48:23 – 1:53:00) of the newest U.S. senator, Cory Booker of New Jersey, who proclaimed Mr. Greenblatt an honorary “Jersey boy.”:
“Mr. Greenblatt, first of all, I appreciate your Jersey connection (as) a guy who vacations in Jersey. You have some Jersey-boy-aura to you and I want to say there’s a geologist saying “You rock” and you rock not because of your Jersey connection, but because I feel a kinship to you. We both came down to Washington. You get to go home, I think, and I’m gonna stick it out here and battle it out. You deal with the pragmatism that I deal with. I had to cut 25 percent of my employees as a mayor and one of the reason I had to cut so much is because health costs were going up so much, my taxpayers couldn’t afford it. I had to balance a budget every year. So do you. And the challenge that you have and that I’ve seen from working with global manufacturers in my city that I wanted to expand — and you said you export products to China, right? You’re competing globally, right? I like you a lot — and when you compete globally you’re competing against companies in Europe and Asia and across the globe, right?, and many of those countries have different health care systems and most of our competitor nations have much lower health care costs, right?”
When Marlin Steel’s president also pointed out large tax inequities that make it difficult to compete globally, such as against Canada, Senator Booker responded, “I want to compete with Canada in every way, expect for Toronto. Their mayor is having challenges there ….” 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 →
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 →
… 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.