Special Focus


Macola’s Evolve 2018 conference addressed focused on client education, support and ongoing engagement.

By Staci Davidson, Managing Editor, Knighthouse Media

Macola had a lot to celebrate at its Evolve 2018 conference in April in Chicago, and the mood reflected that. Not only was the company launching its 10.7 version of Macola ERP, but it was celebrating clients’ successes in a revitalized manufacturing environment and the fact that ECi Software Solutions had acquired Macola in Fall 2017. Macola formerly was a part of the Exact Software group.

From the Great Depression to the Great Recession and all of the economic and technology changes in-between, Stanek Tool has survived and outlasted many of its contemporaries for one main reason. “We’ve always operated as a family business – we value our employees and value building relationships with our customers and suppliers,” owner and President Mary Wehrheim says. “I think we’re respected in the industry because we’ve done what I feel are the right things.”

For Wehrheim, doing the right thing includes treating employees, customers vendors and suppliers with respect. Wehrheim represents the third generation of family ownership at the company, which celebrates its 90th anniversary in 2014. Her grandfather, Edward Stanek Sr., a native of Czechoslovakia, founded the company in 1924 after leaving his home country and settling in Milwaukee. 

Car collectors know the impact coatings have had on automotive products. Nowadays, glass and silver aren’t needed to provide reflectivity in auto headlights – just a light aluminum coating on injection-molded plastic does the job and gives automakers increasing design flexibility. A similar story can be told about cutting tools, which are manufactured with tribological coatings that reduce wear and can double or triple their lifetimes.

Enabling manufacturers to provide these benefits is the business of Mustang Vacuum Systems Inc. The company is a global manufacturer of industrial-scale vacuum deposition equipment, including sputtering systems, evaporation systems, optical coating units and roll-to roll-systems. The equipment it manufactures is used to apply coatings to automotive, decorative, medical and industrial tools, and thin-film solar products. 

It seems that no one desires to wait for anything these days. Fortunately, they often don’t need to. Today, a product can be ordered on Saturday morning and arrive at a doorstep on Monday. As it is in the consumer world, so it is within the business world as well. Manufacturers like LMT Onsrud that are able provide their customers with what they require and almost immediately are the ones that will win. 

LMT Onsrud began in 1946 and since that time it has been committed to providing the best-quality router bits and cutting tools within the industry. Tooling lines range from wood materials to plastics and composite machining to the latest end mill lines utilized to cut aluminums and exotic metals. Its products are used in industries such as aerospace, defense and medical.

When Linear Mold & Engineering launched in 2003, the economy in its native Michigan was on shaky ground. Nevertheless, the company’s founders believed there would always be a need for manufacturers who could perform rapid tooling for the automotive industry. More than a decade later, Linear has been proven right, as it has grown to become one of the most successful providers of tooling for molds in North America. Director of New Business Development – Tooling & Manufacturing Lou Young says the company has become a leader in the industry through its dedication to upgrading its equipment and embrace of innovation as well as a solid reputation for handling customers’ requests in a timely fashion. 

CNC Engineering Inc.’s business is centered on machines, but its key element is its staff, Vice President Patrick Harrington asserts. “We’ve surrounded ourselves with very talented people,” he declares.

They include its team of gifted engineers, which are among the best in the business. “We’re always on the look-out for the right type of engineer,” Harrington asserts. 

Based in Enfield, Conn., CNC Engineering provides FANUC integration services for multiple industries, including aerospace, automotive, bearings, and oil and gas clients. “Aerospace is year in and year out probably our largest customer,” Harrington says.

Co-owner Gary Caravella started CNC Engineering more than 30 years ago. Although his father specialized in manufacturing, “Gary studied electrical engineering,” Harrington says, noting that the younger Caravella focused on updating various machine tools.

By specializing in the centerless grinders space, Allways Precision Inc. (API) has built a reputation as a company that can provide complete grinding solutions for customers’ production needs. The company buys, sells, rebuilds and remanufactures Cincinnati Centerless Grinders, and it has the largest centerless grinder inventories in metalworking industries in world.

“I started the business in August 1992 after having worked for many years on all types of metal working machinery at different companies and factories,” President Romas Juodvalkis says. “We now have more than 38 employees and are building state-of-the-art machines for many different industries. North America is our primary market.”

Centerless grinding is machining that produces high-precision cylindrical parts and bars. API provides buyers of centerless grinders with the model that best suits their needs. Various levels include API Remanufactured, API Certified-Rebuilt or API-Inspected condition.  

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