Manufacturing Today - May/June 2017 - 141
Slabe Machine Products
slabe machine also serves
the medical, value,
commercial and power
All in One Place
Slabe Machine ensures manufacturing quality not only by
purchasing state-of-the-art machines, but also through
extensive training. "The more you remove variables from
a process, the more that process repeats," Slabe says.
The company also implemented lean manufacturing
under the leadership of his father, Edward E. Slabe Jr.
"My dad was into the 5Ses before it became fashionable,"
the younger Slabe recalls.
"At a young age, it kind of got baked into me," he continues. "The more your stuff is accessible, very neat and
orderly, it pays off."
The company also benefits by keeping its operations
based in its 65,000-square-foot location in Willoughby.
"It's just one location and we've kept it that way for the
single purpose of not wanting to bite off more than we
can chew," he says.
"We've maintained as other shops of our size have
failed," he says, noting that it recently added mezzanines
for more storage. "Manufacturing isn't easy, and it has
a lot of ups and downs. But if you love what you do, it
buy most of my equipment through them," Slabe says.
"They're a good part of my success."
Another key supplier is Cleveland-based Lloyd Gage &
Tool, led by Vice President Brian Barth. "Brian's a trusted
tool distributor - not only does he provide high-end cutting tools but additionally he provides the much-needed
support towards the end that they're functioning correctly," Slabe says.
He is positive about Slabe Machine's future, even
though it experienced shifts in its markets. "After the
election, the commercial firearms business rapidly tapered off," he says.
However, "We can mostly ride the aerospace wave," he
says, noting that one aerospace engine kept the company
going for 20 years. "My father capitalized on it, and I'm
looking to do the same with all these new engine models."
Slabe Machine also will add more equipment. "We buy
things fast," he says, noting the small business structure
helps the company do this more easily than an OEM. "It
keeps you flexible and limber." mt
Slabe Machine has developed strong relationships with
its vendors. "We have three primary suppliers we like to
use, but we also have to remain cognizant to keep other
suppliers around," Slabe says.
The company has formed a strong relationship with
Methods Machine Tools Inc., based in Sudbury, Mass. "I
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