A quick glimpse into the history of Marland Mold explains why this company is so unique and successful. The company was founded sixty years ago in a garage by two former General Electric moldmakers, who, upon their retirement, sold the company to a larger corporation. In 1992, threatened to be shut down, Marland Mold’s employees formed an employee stock ownership program (ESOP) to take control of the company.
With a focus on satisfying clients, improving quality, and adapting to change, Marland Mold is an industry leader in their market. Building on its stellar reputation for quality, the company has expanded to serve customers all around the world.
Maintain Market Leadership in the Face of Growing Competition
The biggest challenge currently facing the company is the arrival of overseas competition. However, Marland Mold continues to prosper by concentrating on what they do best: producing molds that their overseas competition cannot. Robert Shook, responsible for overseeing programming for manufacturing at Marland Mold explains that, “the strength of our company is that we make a class-A mold and provide superior service and support.”
According to Shook, understanding the unique challenges and needs of their customers sets Marland apart from both overseas and domestic competition: “While building a relationship is important, learning from these relationships is where the value truly lies,” says Shook. Every customer project starts with the assignment of a team consisting of a Sales Executive, a Design Engineer, and the Manufacturing VP. The mold concept is developed with a balance of cost, performance, and longevity to produce a mold with optimum value to the customer. This hands-on approach ensures customer success and generates substantial repeat business and referrals.
To support its customers’ needs for high volume food and beverage closure production, Marland must provide quality tools that are long-lasting and have very tight tolerances and interchangeable components. Explains Shook: “The quality of the mold is vital to our customers’ success. Most of these molds run 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. With that much stress and wear, the molds sometimes have to be refurbished and serviced, and we are able to provide the quick turnaround they need to minimize production downtime.”
Utilizing the Latest Advances in Moldmaking Processes and Technologies
To meet these requirements, Marland applies the most rigorous standards to every aspect of mold design and construction, utilizing the latest advances in moldmaking processes and technologies.
When deciding to upgrade their software, Marland Mold had strict requirements for functionality, ease of use, and, powerful data transfer capabilities to facilitate communication between Marland and its customers. “Above all,” says John Nykorchuk, engineer at Marland Mold, “we needed a vendor that would provide strong customer support and partner with us the way we partner with our customers.”
According to Shook, “The people at Cimatron convey a strong understanding of our challenges and needs; they are very aware that our downtime means money -- not only in the sense of losing productivity, but also how it reflects on meeting delivery times to customers.”
“Working with customers from around the world with molds and designs that require various levels of manipulation, the ability to effectively communicate with different customers, transfer files back and forth, and integrate data from different sources is essential. Cimatron’s data transfer and integration capabilities are very impressive.”
Producing High Quality Molds in a Timely Manner
Shook and Nykorchuk point out that the functionality of the software is essential to meeting the growing demands of Marland’s customers. With a vast majority of their customers working in solids nowadays, making alterations and surface regenerations using solids is critical for Marland.
Nykorchuk elaborates: “Some software packages we have seen don’t have the tools we need to fix the geometry we get from our customers. We hardly work with normal shapes anymore. What we see today are mostly webbed surfaces, blended surfaces, mixtures of round-to-square, and just about everything in between. We are often forced to work with surfaces that have holes and glitches or are bad models altogether. Cimatron is flexible enough to recognize any model. It allows us to go in and alter these surfaces so that we can machine them to meet our customer needs.”
“Cimatron covers every aspect of moldmaking,” adds Nykorchuk. “When you send something to be machined you know it is going to cut the way it is supposed to. Other software we have used didn’t allow the manipulation of the data for the complex electrodes we make. Cimatron’s electrode functionality is very strong and can handle any type of blend.” Says Shook: “Using a single software package allows us to go back and forth between different applications without any translation, which helps us streamline the entire process.”