Manufacturing Today - January/February 2014 - 104

Morton Manufacturing
www.mortonmfg.com / Headquarters: Libertyville, Ill. / Mike Hendricks, VP of sales: "We pride
ourselves on being a solution provider and our goal is to make it easy and pleasant to do business with us."

Midwest

Mergers and Applications

morton prides itself on offering
slip-resistant safety grating to
help prevent slips and falls.

Major Merger
morton's acquisition provides for expanded service
offerings and future success. by janice hoppe
Morton Manufacturing has been
in business since 1903 and over the
past century it has become a leading
supplier of slip-resistant walking surfaces for the rail industry and industrial market.
The Libertyville, Ill.- based company's walking surfaces exceed all federal specifications for slip resistance.
Customers can choose from a selection of ready-made steel and aluminum safety grating channels,
sheets, steps, ladder rungs and walkway products. Morton started by manufacturing running boards for boxcars
for the railroad industry and in the
1950s it patented its Open-GripĀ® pattern. "What still sets us apart in the
railroad industry is that we provide
slip-resistant safety grating running
104

manufacturing-today.com JANUARY/FEBRUARY 2014

boards that are user-friendly, lightweight and designed to fit customers'
specifications," Vice President of
Sales Mike Hendricks says.
Open-Grip running boards are
designed with large, round debossed
holes and raised, perforated buttons,
integral wiped ends and have margins
all the way around. The design allows
ice, snow, mud and other debris to fall
through, keeping the walking surface
clear and safe. Morton also supplies
brake steps, end platforms, intermodal platforms and locomotive
steps to the rail industry. In addition,
its Deck SpanĀ® safety grating has a
diamond configuration and is an
excellent slip-resistant pattern used
for tank cars in the rail market and a
wide variety of industrial applications.

Morton Manufacturing was family
owned and passed down through four
generations before Jason Inc., a
Milwaukee- based parent company of
a number of niche manufacturing
companies, purchased Morton in
October 2011. "The owner Bill Morton
wanted to get out of the business and
retire," Hendricks says. "We are a
good fit within Jason's Components
Group and excited to be part of the
Jason family of companies."
The company also benefited from
being acquired by Jason because it
can collaborate and implement best
practices with other companies
within the Jason network.
"They have had a strong emphasis
on operational excellence and safety
in the plant, which has been our No. 1
focus," Hendricks says. "The first
hire after the acquisition was a continuous improvement manager."
The company's marketing and
sales operations have changed and
become more aggressive since
Jason's acquisition because of its
strong focus on growing organically.
"There is a strong push to figure out
how we overcome any potential
impediments so we can continue to
best serve our existing customers
and develop new opportunities,"
Hendricks says.
Jason divides its businesses into
four categories: seating, automotive
acoustics, finishing and components
companies. Morton fits in its components group, which is how its
merger with Metalex came into play.
Metalex was purchased by Jason in
the 1990s and merged with Morton
in early 2013. "Morton and Metalex
are a very similar type of business,"
Hendricks adds. "Both company
names are well established and we
now have regional sales managers
selling both Metalex and Morton
products throughout the country."
Metalex was founded in 1961 and is
one of the largest expanded metal


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Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Manufacturing Today - January/February 2014

Table of Contents
Manufacturing Today - January/February 2014 - Cover1
Manufacturing Today - January/February 2014 - Cover2
Manufacturing Today - January/February 2014 - 1
Manufacturing Today - January/February 2014 - 2
Manufacturing Today - January/February 2014 - Table of Contents
Manufacturing Today - January/February 2014 - 4
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