On July 19, 2018, Martin Automatic hosted its first ever Media Day, as a way to celebrate the equipment manufacturer's 50th Anniversary while "pulling back the curtain" on the technology behind its "essential, extreme engineering."
L&NW was honored to be among the select few invitees to receive an exclusive presentation and tour of Martin Automatic's Rockford, IL, USA manufacturing facility. The agenda also included a visit to Martin Automatic's Corporate Center, which, along with the company itself, has a unique history and background all its own.
Martin Automatic was founded in 1968 by John Martin, an eccentric engineer and inventor and the driving force behind the technology that fuels the company's nonstop unwinder, rewinder and tension control machinery, which are installed in more than 56 countries around the world. All of Martin Automatic's machinery production takes place in the US, and according to VP of sales and marketing Gavin Rittmeyer, there are over 7,500 installations globally.
During his Media Day presentation. Rittmeyer stressed that the label industry is just one of several markets Martin Automatic serves. Nonwovens, paperboard, flexible packaging, laminates, building materials, banknotes, newspaper and commercial printing are all key areas of focus. The company custom builds machinery for customers in these markets at its 195,000 square foot plant in Rockford.
Worldwide, Martin Automatic today has 165 employees, many who have been with the company for decades. Rittmeyer, who has been with Martin Automatic for 28 years, pointed out that the average employee tenure is around 21 years. With that said, however, the company is future-focused, having hired 17 Millennials over the last five years,
Through what Rittmeyer calls disciplined entrepreneurship and a customer-focused approach. Martin Automatic engineers web transport equipment of varying sizes and scales and holds several trademarks and patents. Its technology lineup includes the Inertia Compensated Dancer, a Rolling Sheer Splice Unit, Lift and Load In-Aisle Roll Loading, Ring-O Bearing for Spooled Unwinding, AirNertia Idler Rollers, MDR Idler Rollers and Tapeless Lap and Butt Splicers.
Rittmeyer covered a lot of ground during his presentation and guided tour--from 7' diameter, 5' wide, 8,000 lb rolls of paperboard for the paper plate and cup markets to fiberglass matte webs for asphalt shingles to the extensible LDPE film webs for disposable hygienic products and the...