Mitsubishi helps one shop grow at 40 percent per year for three years

Mitsubishi helps one shop grow at 40 percent per year for three years

December 11, 2013 9:49:32 AM

MNdustries, a 40,000 square-foot full-service sheet-metal fabricator, is just 30 miles northeast of Atlanta. The shop's main application was originally custom powder coatings, but soon the company began investing in sheet metal fabrication equipment and started a job shop to complement the powder coating portion of the business.

This strategic repositioning of MNdustries reflects the strong vision President Mike Nance has for the continued growth of his company. Over the past eight years, MNdustries has grown from one stand-alone laser to two fully-automated Mitsubishi 3015LVP-35CFXswith MSCII towers––with a third on its way.

In the early stages of looking for the best laser system, Nance was skeptical. “We went to demonstrations that were very impressive,” he recalls. “But they were also taking place in a very controlled environment, where applications departments probably had weeks to prepare for each test cut. What I really wanted was a machine that would allow us to take costs out of the part and make the fastest deliveries. 

“When I was looking to invest in this equipment, I thought I'd have to man a third shift to run at the high speeds I wanted to. Mitsubishi was the only company to show me the real-world solution I was looking for.” The LVPs eliminated the need for non-revenue- producing operator salaries, while providing the 1,000 inch-per-minute speeds he wanted MNdustries to deliver. 

With the automated load and unload systems, MNdustries is able to run 7 days a week virtually unmanned. When asked how this has impacted his business, Nance replied, “We have one person that monitors the two lasers. He will also operate the third when it comes. Each machine averages cutting time of 22 hours per day.” 

One of the biggest benefits the Mitsubishi lasers have given the shop is versatility. MNdustries uses the lasers in combination with other processing equipment, such as punching machines, cold saws, milling machines and lathes, which enables the company to guarantee top-quality and quick turnaround to customers.

“With the LVPs, we can quote out a job in a 24-hour period with little or no labor involved in the quoting equation,” Nance explains. This kind of efficiency brings a high quantity of repeat and new business. “In fabrication, the bottom line is how fast and affordable you can produce good-quality parts and still turn a profit. This equipment is the only way we can compete with foreign competition and bigger shops.

“Mitsubishi's unique software/hardware combination has allowed us to grow at a rate of 40 percent each year for the past three years. The Mitsubishi approach to automation has helped us produce over $215,000 a year per employee,” he says.

MNdustries mainly manufactures agricultural equipment and computer assemblies from mild and stainless steels and aluminum. With thirty employees, the company operates two shifts, five days per week.

“He was an instrumental part of our success from the beginning,” Nance says of Craig Milam from Mitsubishi Dealer, Milam Machinery. “He always has our best interest in mind, not just his own. He wouldn't try to sell me something that doesn't fit into our company structure.”

About Mitsubishi's overall customer support, he says, “It's terrific. The service team can usually identify a problem over the phone and recommend the proper procedure to get us back on line. Overall, Mitsubishi has been an excellent partner to help us grow and compete in this ever-changing business climate.”


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