PRESIDENT & OWNER OF MRS MACHINING
Catching up with Matt after IMTS 2016
MRS Machining President and owner Matt Guse’s objective at IMTS 2016 was to evaluate new machines that can help streamline existing jobs and attract new ones. “I have found plenty of equipment to follow up on,” Matt said.
Two technologies in particular caught his eye: additive manufacturing and robotics. “A lot of technologies are really becoming affordable,” Matt said. Of course, affordability is a common concern for small, family-run shops like MRS Machining.
While Matt doesn’t anticipate utilizing robotic technology at MRS Machining, he found the immense progress and increased affordability in the robotics field fascinating. Matt does foresee possibilities when it comes to incorporating additive manufacturing technologies into MRS Machining.
Striving for growth and working to integrate dynamic technologies at a company that employs less than 50 people is no small feat. Attending IMTS every two years is a significant part of Matt’s plan to constantly reinvest in his family’s company.
Making it possible for manufacturing students to attend IMTS is also a long-standing goal of Matt’s and the MRS Machining family. In 2016, Matt got the opportunity to extend the IMTS experience to the next generation of his own family. Dylan, his teenage son, joined Matt in Chicago for his first IMTS.
Matt tried to prep Dylan for the scale and scope of IMTS. “Despite my best efforts, Dylan was very overwhelmed,” Matt said. “But I don’t think there’s any way to really know how big and important IMTS is until you get here and see it for yourself.”
Matt and Dylan took in as much of the show as they could, including making the most of their time traveling to and from their hotel and McCormick Place. “Networking on the shuttle buses was great,” Matt said. “I met a number of people and had some valuable conversations.”
When asked about regrets, Matt said, “Only that I didn’t get to see the whole show. You know how it is, you always pack too much into such a short time.” Clearly, the scale and scope of Matt’s IMTS investment continues to grow, as the next generation of manufacturers gets involved.
Gearing up for IMTS 2016
MRS Machining President and Owner Matt Guse leads his team of 50 employees, who are more like family, by living and breathing the world of manufacturing. Matt fell in love with manufacturing at an early age and aims to bring enthusiasm and opportunity to the next generation.
How does a small, precision machining company in sleepy little Augusta, Wisconsin, stay competitive? Through passion and education.
In 2007, MRS Machining, a precision part manufacturer for the oil and gas, medical, agricultural, industrial automation and power generation industries, was selected as one of the nation’s “10 Best Machine Shops” by American Machinist Magazine. In reward, Matt and his team received several free passes to IMTS — The International Manufacturing Technology Show. “We got to really explore the show,” Matt explains. “And got so much out it we keep coming back.”
Identifying new solutions is a challenge that a team of five takes on at each show. Being asked to attend or being nominated by peers is a big deal at MRS “We take three days to see new technologies and processes that will stretch us and allow us to take on those difficult projects,” Matt says. “We make it into a bit of a game — a cool idea contest. We each have to come back in the evening with five new things to share. It’s about teambuilding. We also drive together so we can make our wish list on the way to IMTS and debrief on the drive home.”
MRS along with local manufacturers and Chippewa Valley Technical College machine tool department invites local school superintendents, guidance counselors, teachers and students to attend IMTS for two days and help cover their cost. “This is so important and all it costs them is their time,” he explains. “Every student we’ve taken to the show comes back really excited about his or her experience at IMTS and even more excited about manufacturing as a career option.”
This also furthers MRS Machining’s competitive edge by building their own workforce.
Qualified workers are difficult to find, especially in an area that is largely a farming community. My dad started the company in 1986, believing that manufacturing is an honest and solid way to make a living. He supported the local schools by donating mills and lathes.
Matt has taken it a step farther by recruiting students from Cardinal Manufacturing, which is an in-school manufacturing business in the Eleva-Strum School District. “I started visiting superintendents to tell them about manufacturing,” he continues, “Five area schools right now are participating in our own grassroots program. We bring the students in, show them how our shop works, and actually make them part of the team during their visit.”
Because of the highly skilled, dedicated and ready workforce, MRS takes on jobs other shops cannot. Customers expect tighter tolerances on steel, stainless steel, exotics, and plastics. Customer needs continue to change and MRS perseveres to stay on top of the technology that allows them to stay in the game. At IMTS 2016, the MRS team will take a close look at new machines that can help streamline existing jobs and attract new ones.
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