Manufacturing Today - May/June 2017 - 140
Slabe Machine Products
www.slabemachine.com / HQ: Willoughby, Ohio / Employees: 150+ / Specialty: Metal components / Brendan Slabe, vice president of sales: "[We] keep showing up and good things happen."
slabe machine anticipates
that aerospace will be a
very strong market for
decades to come.
Passion for Parts
family leadership keeps slabe machine products
going after nearly 80 years. by alan dorich
When employees at Slabe Machine Products approach Vice President of Sales Brendan Slabe with a
problem, he offers them a solution
and one of the many sayings that he
has posted on the corkboard above
his desk. Some are from movies, a
daily proverb calendar or are quotes
from hockey icon Wayne Gretzky.
These include "'You miss 100 percent of the shots you don't take,'"
Slabe says. "But they are all more or
less centered around moving forward
and not quitting. [We] keep showing
up and good things happen."
This philosophy drives the Willoughby, Ohio-based company, which
manufacturing-today.com MAY/JUNE 2017
manufactures low-cost, complex components for the aerospace, firearms,
medical, valve, commercial, power
generation and bearing industries.
Slabe's grandfather, Edward E. Slabe
Sr., started the firm in 1939 and grew
its reputation for machining stainless
nickel alloys and exotic metals.
Equipped to Serve
Today, Slabe Machine is in its third
generation of family leadership,
which distinguishes it from its competitors. "Not too many of them make
it past the second generation," Brendan Slabe says, noting that the company has never lost touch with its roots.
That includes its commitment to
strong customer service. "We service
our customers as well as they can be,"
he says, noting that it accomplishes
this by acquiring the newest technology and equipment.
Slabe Machine recently added robots to its operations, and moved
30 pieces of equipment in its facility
to make room for more, including
milling and turning machines and
When the Willoughby mayor, David E. Anderson, visited the location,
he commented that the company had
the most machines he had ever seen
in a building. "He said, 'You get the
Golden Shoehorn Award, because you
couldn't shoehorn another piece of
equipment in here,'" Slabe recalls.
The additions will enable Slabe Machine to better serve its prominent
aerospace clients, including United
Technologies, General Electric and
Rolls-Royce plc. "They're all on an incredible ramp and their machines are
at the beginning of their lifecycle,"
"Aerospace is going to be a very
strong business for decades to
come," he predicts. "We took it upon
ourselves to make sure every inch of
our floor space was filled with very
Slabe Machine also retains top talent by providing its employees with
competitive wages and benefits. "I
know a lot of other shops that don't,"
Slabe says. "They're just in it to expand
their business, merge with somebody
else and grab an EBITA number.
"We just love our business," he asserts, noting that he gets satisfaction
from making things from metal. "I
look behind me at the hundreds of machines I have to do that, and it's invigorating. That excitement translates
into why we've stayed around."