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Case Study: Staub Manufacturing

Staub Manufacturing Solutions Increases Capacity and
On-time Deliveries with Mitsubishi Fiber Lasers and MC Machinery Automation System

For most small to midsize manufacturers, being competitive while turning a profit is difficult to achieve, let alone maintain.

Over the past year, Staub Manufacturing Solutions has invested in two six-kilowatt Mitsubishi fiber lasers and the MC Machinery SmartFlex Rapid Tower automation system. The investment has not only bolstered productivity and profitability—it’s given employees the opportunity to upskill and increase their wages.

Founded in Dayton, Ohio in 1997 by Steve Staub and his sister Sandy Keplinger, Staub Manufacturing Solutions started as a laser-cutting shop and then evolved into a full-service fabricator, providing forming, welding, finishing and painting for customers in industries including electrical, food equipment, heavy truck, railroad, medical, automotive and military. It employs 40 people in a 51,000-square-foot facility.

Higher Throughput with Fewer Machines

Amazingly, the company actually increased capacity with fewer machines.

“This is our first purchase of Mitsubishi equipment and it’s been a huge advantage for us,” said Steve Staub, president of Staub Manufacturing Solutions. “We were using four lasers made by another company and they were broken down all the time. The two Mitsubishi lasers replaced the four we had, and we’ve actually increased our capacity by about 25 percent. The reliability has been fantastic.”

Staub said that higher-kilowatt lasers don’t necessarily translate into higher productivity. The key to productivity is the machine’s technology, which is Mitsubishi’s biggest advantage.

“We went to fewer machines with lower kilowatts, yet we now have higher throughput because the machines operate more intelligently and the automation prevents bottlenecks,” he said. “The combination has allowed us to get work through faster at a more competitive price and actually gain more work.”

Automation

While shop floor employees may look at automation as a management’s attempt to replace them, it actually can be a way to educate and upskill manufacturing workers, Staub said.

“In this industry, we actually have a shortage of workers and we have to remain competitive, which are both very good arguments for automation,” he said. “Now our employees are gaining additional skills—they’re not just pulling parts off a table. They know how to run automation and we train them so that they can do other things too. They have gained additional skills, increased their wages and really come out ahead.”

Staub said the company is consistently in the mid-90 percentile for on-time deliveries and upper-90 percentile for quality ratings.
A broken-down machine sets off a chain of events for all jobs that run on that machine, creating late deliveries and unhappy customers, which in turn decreases ROI.

“Now you’ve got guys standing around because your equipment’s not working; it’s just a complete fiasco,” Staub said. “When a link breaks in the chain, everything just falls apart.”

Because the cost of steel will be relatively the same among competitors, delivery time, labor cost and production quality are the biggest competitive advantages. Automation has allowed Staub Manufacturing Solutions to reduce labor costs that can be passed on to customers, while consistent on-time delivery of quality parts round out a trifecta of competitive differentiators.

Listen to an interview with Steve Staub in the latest episode of MC Machinery’s new Minds on Manufacturing podcast.

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