Metalmite Corporation: Manufacturing Perfection

Metalmite Corporation: Manufacturing Perfection

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Tom Gendich, President, Metalmite CorporationTom Gendich, President Starting a business involves nurturing numerous ideas, turning grandiose dreams into reality and finding clients to sustain the business. However, sometimes, even if you have a great idea, the only space available for you to expand it is in a basement. This was not a deterrent to Mike Gendich, who hunkered down and founded Metalmite Corporation in his basement to introduce a better way of manufacturing. The year was 1968 when Mike invested in the best CNC equipment the industry could offer to solve some of the daunting challenges in the manufacturing environment. With a great deal of determination, grit, and talent, Mike propelled his venture to the forefront of technological innovation. With half a century of business under its belt, Metalmite’s commitment to maintaining profitability, creating viability, delivering faster time to market and providing more significant value has led it to reach astronomical heights.

Fifty years of precision has clearly paid off in Metalmite’s ability to maintain the legacy of a small family-owned business while simultaneously simulating a larger organization by providing technology and long-term value to customers. Once Mike retired, his son Tom Gendich succeeded him, whose aviation degree has helped him understand the components being machined for aerospace and military work. “As we complete half a century in pursuing precision while manufacturing, modifying, and repairing prototype and production parts for our clientele, we envision becoming their first choice for any need,” says Tom, president of Metalmite.

Governed by a mission to satisfy customers’ needs better and faster than anyone else, Metalmite leverages 3, 4, 5, and 6 axis CNC machining, 3D printers, in-house Wire Electrical Discharge Machining (EDM) and CNC grinding in order to offer full-service completion of clients’ projects. The precise mix of quality, service, delivery, and price delivered by Metalmite serves as a winning combination for increasing market share, sales, and profits. The company also focuses on decreasing costs and product development time, thus accelerating the product to market process. Metalmite handles complicated prototype and small production runs with rapid turnaround time. The company serves customers in the military, aerospace, automotive, medical, heavy equipment, oil and gas, and tooling industries with its cutting-edge technology which turns their customers’ dreams into reality faster than other players in the market.

“For our customers, the ability to get their products to market before their competitors becomes a major advantage,” states Tom. Metalmite’s equipment has led to a dramatic increase in the tolerancing of products, while also enabling the company to make complete machine parts from raw stock without moving them between machines. Recently, the machining of bevel gears with the 5-axis mill has been heavily emphasized, both on Metalmite’s website and social media. The equipment produced by the company meets the Gleason Master Gauge check and is predominantly used in large military trucks turned into all-wheel-drive vehicles by adding e-axle components.

For our customers, the ability to get their products to market before their competitors becomes a major advantage

Metalmite’s recently acquired machines have improved the company’s control on its finished products and have allowed them to implement newer techniques like polygonal machining, making it possible to carry out spline hobbing and skiving in the CNC machining phase. With the company’s equipment, the single step of churning and milling raw material encompasses a variety of other procedures, including shaper cutting and even spline grinding. The company’s investment in wire EDM has led to the creation of wires accurate to 0.004 mm in making splines for machine parts manufactured by the company, as well as gauges for spline shops.

In an attempt to provide faster service to clients while maintaining strict quality standards, Metalmite has embraced 3D printing. This technology enables the printing of structures with internal voids and cavities in the brief span of 18 hours, which previously was considered impossible for machines. In addition, while traditionally cast or forged machine parts were subject to problems of porosity and hidden voids that remained untraceable without X-rays or other disruptive testing methods, Metalmite’s 3D printed machine parts are uniformly dense and have greater physical strengths. Metalmite leverages 3D printing to create finished prototypes on steel, aluminum, plastics, carbon fiber, and kevlar.

Since Metalmite partly designs machine parts to test their manufacturability, the company often creates equipment and tools with its extensive machinery, which cannot be replicated in mass production. Metalmite’s 5- and 6-axis machining, Wire EDM, and 3D printing allow clients to envision their dream before modifying it suitably for manufacture and mass production. The company starts its prototyping process with a solid model of the drawing or concept of the machine requested by the customers. The Metalmite team analyzes its features and specifications and provides technical reviews to make the finished product more machinable without altering its core functionality.

The team draws on its prior experience and extensive machinery while suggesting changes to the prototype with the purpose of accelerating the journey to production.

There’s a long list of customer success stories that shed light on Metalmite’s contributions to the industry. Metalmite has been using its expertise in assisting and guiding customers for the past 50 years and has faced multiple queries, which aided its team in building up a vast repository of knowledge about metallurgy and the physical properties of various materials used in building machines. This knowledge proved highly valuable to its customers who were trying to build a large 18-wheeled vehicle. Initially, the customers envisioned a light vehicle made of aluminum but switched to steel upon realizing the larger vehicle’s need for strength. Eventually, they settled upon heat-treated steel with the intention of adding strength and power to the finished truck. For close to eight weeks, Metalmite aided this customer through the course of 14 revisions and modified prototypes accordingly. The company assisted its customers in creating a suitable driveline, including suspension and steering, for the finished model of this vehicle.

Having defined its core values through the acronym, P.I.T.C.H., which entails Passion, Innovation, Teamwork, Continuous Improvement and Honesty and Integrity, Metalmite focuses on creating products that meet customer requirements and are suited for mass production. Moving ahead, the company has decided to formalize its two-fold manufacturing approach by providing concurrent engineering services. The company’s foray into concurrent engineering will aid customers in the prototype stage of design for manufacturing (DFM) to help customers in developing machines that can be produced in bulk. DFM is expected to lower the number of proofs-of-concept for machines developed and prototyped, which cannot be duplicated in production.

Over the course of a two-day strategic summit in the summer of 2018, the company’s leadership changed. Two key management roles were filled since that time—Patrick Davidson holds the Vice President position while Joe Penzien is the new Director of Operations—both have been long-time associates of the company. Under the guidance of its new management team, the company aims to increase its labor force by 25 percent within the next year. In the near future, the company also plans to grow through mergers and acquisitions and provide value to a broader clientele.