Mantua – In the polymer industry, constant changes and improvements are the essential ingredients to servicing customer needs effectively. Mantaline Corporation of Mantua, Ohio has recently added key new processes and materials to its portfolio in its efforts to offer current customers an avenue to “best available” technology as well as position itself to fulfill the expectations of the new customers it is pursuing.
Over the last several months, Mantaline has improved their manufacturing systems, expanded their customer base and added new processes to their portfolio. The corporation now works in three new market segments: off-road construction vehicle window seals, medical industry freezer seals, and automotive sunroof seals. In addition to the three new markets, Mantaline has also broadened its capabilities to offer new in-line and finishing options for automotive and non-automotive customers alike.
How does Mantaline consistently develop new processes and products? The answer comes down to having the right people on board. According to Engineering VP Kyle Jackson, “it takes gifted, talented and dedicated folks to bring a consistent flow of innovation on-line.”
It is the mix of different engineers with varying skill-sets and ideas that has allowed Mantaline to break through some of its previous barriers. By having people look at challenges from different angles, old restrictions break down and new methods of operating are created. Mantaline encourages its engineers to work directly with customer counterparts to address any constraints in process technology and then make those processes more robust and appropriately cost-effective.
The goal of Mantaline’s pursuit of process excellence is twofold: minimize off-line finishing and maximize start-up efficiency. Mantaline is working to integrate tooling design and effectiveness into manufacturing processes to achieve tighter tolerance on seals while reducing total cost. The focus on increased level of tolerance capability and product complexity is directly related to customer needs: current and future.
Mantaline is also attacking waste and other ancillary cost centers. Returnable packaging, handling and storage of process materials and qualifying alternative, lower cost materials are all areas that Mantaline’s pursuit of efficiency has touched.
These initiatives have an added customer benefit: Mantaline is much better able to handle customer “lower volume” production requirements; a level of flexibility not lost on customers striving to maintain their own commercial relationships. “How we set up ‘built in flexibility’ across our manufacturing lines makes us more efficient across a spectrum of volumes,” said Jackson. “Shorter runs and running a wide variety of different products on the same equipment makes us more attractive to our customers, no doubt about it.”
It is its flexibility and efficiency that really permits Mantaline to service customers who themselves must deal with a wide variation is production requirements. “Our ‘adaptability’ helps customers who need flexibility in their supply base and are struggling to find it,” said Jackson.
Mantaline, a material-driven and customer-driven company, is changing the polymer industry by increasing efficiency and cost effectiveness with new processes and new outlooks.