Manufacturing Today - Spring 2010 - (Page 122)

Columbia Marking Tools / HQ: Chesterfield, Mich. / Revenue: $5 million / Employees: 40 / Products: Marking machines / Michelle Krembel, president: “The biggest competition out there are already familiar with us, so I think we are going to be recognized for our new product.” columbia marking says its employees have been key in creating a new line that will revitalize the brand. 50 years of success producing marking tools that mainly specialize in identification markings such as serial numbers and date codes, as well as indenting, inscribing and lasers. It creates an entire breadth of tools from stamps and numbering heads to dot-peen and scribe systems. Innovative Product I-Mark is a new direction for the company. It is completely programmable, and is the only piece of programmable equipment that can perform both dot-peen and scribe in one process, allowing for 2-D code. Columbia patented its high-resolution 2-D marking process, which scribes a matrix of small square cells to provide superior readability. Krembel notes that Columbia has an edge in the market because it’s the only company with machines of this capability. Another unique aspect to I-Mark is the systems controller. “It’s the firstof-its-kind to be able to control anyone else’s machine,” Krembel explains. “You can hook it up to [another manufacturer’s] dot-peen or scribe and you can control it. If a customer wants, they can match an old machine with the new controller.” The I-Mark system also is completely networkable. If a manager has a computer and Internet connection, there is no need to be on the floor to control the machine. “A manager can sit in their office and control all marking on the floor,” Krembel explains. “They can download a program to see what is going on on the floor, and operate it from the office, or anywhere worldwide with network access.” A New Columbia after 50 years, columbia marking tools is reinventing itself with a new product line. by luke gillespie It is not easy for any company to shift product focus and open itself to a larger market. It takes meticulous planning to ensure success, and the confidence to know that the company will be able to handle its reinvention. Columbia Marking Tools believes it is ready. Some companies find a niche market and stay the course, while others constantly evolve, striving for new developments. Columbia is a compa122 SPRING 2010 ny that has been able to accomplish both, and says its next product line in the marking industry – I-Mark™ – will separate it from its competitors. “It will offer Columbia’s largest growth potential in the years to come,” President Michelle Krembel says. I-Mark is innovative to the marking industry because it is using the latest in software and networking technologies. The company has already developed a niche business from its Opportune Moment The idea of developing a completely programmable marking tool occurred to Columbia several years ago. Krembel says the company knew there was a programmable opportunity out there, and knew it was going to happen in the industry, but did not know when.

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Manufacturing Today - Spring 2010

Manufacturing Today - Spring 2010
Global Strategies
Cost Concerns
Growth Opportunities
Continuous Improvement
Business Value
Juanita’s Foods
Les Plats du Chef
Gardner Denver
Smeal Fire Apparatus Co.
Club Car Inc.
Parkson Corp.
MKS Instruments Inc.
Amity Technology
Co-Operative Industries
Corbi Plastics
Elyria/Hodge Foundries Co.
Inteplast Group Ltd.
Willbanks Metals
Zotos International Inc.
Akron Foundry Co.
Alo North America
Bosal International
First American Plastic Molding Enterprise
MAC Equipment
Mayville Engineering Co. Inc.
Kurtz Bros. Inc.
Aesco Electronics
Code 3 Inc.
Columbia Marking Tools
Euro-Rite Cabinets
Fampec Technology LLC
Faubion Associates Inc.
Ginsey Industries Inc.
Imagineering Finishing Technologies
Imperial Woodworks Inc.
Innovative Lighting
Liburdi Dimetrics
MTC Transformers
Plastiques GPR
S.A. Robotics
Sunrise Windows
Positran Manufacturing Inc.
Manufacturing Tomorrow

Manufacturing Today - Spring 2010