As part of its 50th anniversary celebration this year, web-automation systems provider Martin Automatic hosted its first Media Day on July 19, attended by myself and a half-dozen other converting-industry editors and trade-show professionals. I’ve known about Martin Automatic since my days with the former CONVERTING Magazine, but this was my first visit to the company’s headquarters and manufacturing operations in Rockford, IL.
Gavin Rittmeyer, vp-Sales & Marketing, (at right, above) began by offering a short PowerPoint giving a 30,000-ft overview of the company, its history, culture, markets and capabilities. Founded in 1968 by John Martin, today the business employs 165 workers (11 based in Germany and Taiwan) at its 195,000-sq-ft facility, where engineering, mechanical and controls groups design and build everything in-house. More than 7,500 splicing unwinder, rewinder and tension-control units are in place in over 50 countries worldwide.
“[The Media Day] gave us a chance to peel back the veil of Martin and show you a small bit of what drives and fuels us and what essential, extreme engineering is all about – in web transport and beyond,” says Rittmeyer.
In his product and market introduction, Rittmeyer covered a lot of ground – from 7-ft-diameter, 5-ft-wide, 8,000-lb rolls of paperboard for the paper plate and cup markets to fiberglass matte webs for asphalt shingles, to extensible LDPE-film webs for disposable hygienic products and 3-meter-wide delicate (see-thru) non-woven webs for the same, to wraparound and premium labels. The widest range of materials run on any one Martin Automatic machine is 30-micron PE film to 610-micron cartonstock.
“I always like deconstructing for visitors products, like the feminine-care napkin, and showing just how many different layers of material and technology go into making such a product,” Rittmeyer adds.
“We take very seriously our charge with our customer’s money, and that is to give them the highest ROI and reliable machines possible. We do this by providing equipment with the highest degree of pure-form designs that work with and within the laws of physics as long as possible before jumping to the world of drives, controls and electronics.
"We strive not to confuse sophistication with complexity – the most sophisticated designs will accomplish their stated task with the fewest number of components – pure, simple, essential – or put another way KIS – ‘Keep It Simple.’”
Rittmeyer estimated that there were about $17 million worth of equipment in some stage of building
or testing on the plant floor during our tour.
during splicing trials for paperboard cup
and plate materials.
to design into various splicing unwinds, rewinds and tension-control units.
the first-floor balcony.