Creativity, dependability, conscientious craftsmanship and manufacturing excellence are just a few of the results Metal Spinners’ customers have come to know. April Terreri has more.
Quality products are serious business to Metal Spinners Inc. The company well understands its intrinsic responsibility to its customers, which themselves are manufacturing companies producing quality products. Driven to provide superior craftsmanship and on-time deliveries, Metal Spinners works to develop a manufacturing service program to fit the unique needs of each customer. These are a few of the reasons the Angola, Ind.-based company enjoys its status as the leader in the metal spinning industry.
“Our business is largely driven on the relationships we establish with each of our customers,” says Olin Wiland, president and chief executive officer. “Our customers rely on us to produce parts that conform to their proprietary specifications so they can deliver quality products to their customers, and they count on us to do this in a timely and cost-effective manner. Our Quality Policy states our position very clearly.”
That policy says, “The employees and management of Metal Spinners Inc. are committed to manufacturing excellence through attentive and conscientious craftsmanship, and through dependable performance that consistently complies with our customers’ product specifications and on-time delivery requirements.”
“We consider ourselves an extension of our customers’ production process,” says Wiland. “Accordingly, we must have quality standards that are beyond reproach and that are the highest in the industry, and we must never be a bottleneck in our customers’ ability to deliver their products on-time.”
Quality as a Culture
Metal Spinners produces integral components for products manufactured by companies in a wide range of industries including aerospace, agriculture, air handling, defense, food service, machinery manufacturing, medical and recreation. Although Metal Spinners specializes in a forming process known as “metal spinning,” the company is expanding into other forms of fabrication as a strategic means of becoming a full-service contract manufacturer.
Metal Spinners’ success is founded on the bedrock philosophies of developing solid customer relationships and relentlessly pursuing continuous improvement. “Over the past several years, one of our primary efforts has been to improve quality — in short, to establish the absolute best quality benchmark in the industry. We are ISO 9002 certified in three of our four locations and soon we will be certified in our fourth,” says Wiland. “We believe consistent quality and repeatability are customer expectations and we are developing a manufacturing culture that ensures customer satisfaction.”
Another goal is to provide 100 percent on-time delivery with zero defects. Is this pie-in-the-sky optimism? Not at all, says Wiland: “With the ISO standards now a part of our production process and our manufacturing culture, we have embraced a quality system that enhances our ability to consistently deliver quality products. And we have introduced employee incentives and on-time delivery benchmarks that will enable us to achieve our 100 percent on-time delivery target in the near term.”
Choosing metal spinning as the preferred method of fabrication is driven by factors including economics and product design. “Certain product designs simply cannot be fabricated in a cost-effective manner unless they are done so by the spinning process.” explains Wiland. “In other instances, lower production-run volumes or the reduced cost of tooling may indicate that spinning is the most economical method.”
Using an average of 100,000 pounds of metal a day, Metal Spinners forms virtually every type of metal into parts ranging in diameter from a few inches to more than 12 feet. Blending an ancient art with skillful modern technology, metal spinning offers economical and versatile alternatives to the costly processes of stamping, casting and machining. Metal spinning is the perfect choice for a variety of production run volumes, and can save customers costly charges for operations like tooling for prototype parts, making minor design changes and requesting short production runs.
Because each customer has different requirements for the parts they need throughout the year, Metal Spinners develops an effective inventory management program, custom-fit for each customer’s needs. “Some of our customers can easily predict their weekly production requirements and can schedule their releases with us accordingly,” explains Wiland. “Others may not know the quantities they will need, but they still require a quick turnaround when demand for their product occurs.” Metal Spinners is able to accommodate either situation through communication with each customer and careful production and inventory planning. “It all gets down to what kind of service we can provide,” says Wiland. “We are a manufacturing service provider and our ability to help our customers meet their product demands in a cost-effective and timely manner is a valuable service opportunity we aggressively seek.”
Customer satisfaction is the company’s lifeblood, and Metal Spinners recognizes that value-added service opportunities go a long way toward differentiating them from the competition. “We look for opportunities to help our customers make their products more efficiently and we aggressively seek opportunities for cost reductions,” Wiland says. “We have successfully found significant cost reductions for many of our customers by simply accepting the responsibility for secondary operations that were previously subcontracted by our customer to another supplier.” Wiland’s aggressive manufacturing service philosophy has expanded the value of Metal Spinners to its customers, and it ensures that everyone within the company remains focused on adding value to the production process.
Metal Spinners views itself as an extension of each of its customers. “Our customers know that when it’s time for them to take a new product to market or to a show for its first presentation, we are right there with them,” says Wiland. “Our customers know they can rely on us to have that part ready for them on time. We have breadth of capacity, because we have four production facilities with approximately 200,000 square feet of manufacturing space.” In addition to its corporate headquarters, it has another facility in Angola and one each in Germantown, Wis. and Rock Falls, Ill. Although it manufactures parts for companies primarily in the United States, Mexico and Canada, the company’s components eventually are shipped all over the world in products produced by Metal Spinners’ customers.
More Space, More Services
The company will celebrate its 60th anniversary next year. From its humble beginnings as a five-man metal spinning operation, Metal Spinners now employs 225 people throughout its four production facilities located in Indiana, Illinois and Wisconsin. “We have approximately 200,000 square feet of manufacturing space and we are planning the addition of another 50,000 square feet within the next several months,” Wiland noted. The company is also gearing up to provide other
metal-forming services. “These expansions will give us additional capabilities and will not only improve our production time and speeds for existing customers, but they will also expand the level services we can offer to prospective customers,” Wiland says.
“Our biggest assets are the flexibility we provide and the long-term relationships we establish with every one of our customers. We will continue to invest annually in a skilled work force, state-of-the-art equipment and planned expansion,” concludes Wiland. “We believe we already are the benchmark in the industry and we want to continue to develop so that we can maintain that position of being THE model for the spinning industry.”