Ask David Bernardi, senior sales and marketing manager for UBE Machinery Inc. (UMI; Ann Arbor, MI), how business is and he smiles. âJust look at the trending of big machine vs. small machine sales in the SPI numbers. In 2003, big machines, 500 tons and up, were 20% of all the machines sold. They were 22.6% in 2004. And they're up to 25% so far in 2005. People are buying big machines,â he says.
âOur machines are U.S. products built for domestic consumption. We're building machines in less time. Overall, we've achieved about a 40% increase in productivity with our lean manufacturing initiatives. With customers like Toyota, Nissan, and Mobus Alabama, which molds for Hyundai, we're growing by leaps and bounds. We've been shipping like mad.â
UMI certainly has the equipment capacity at its 146,000-ftÂ² Ann Arbor facility where is builds its machines like its all-electric Ultima UN Series. Bernardi says that although UMI is looking to grow the business for its UZ Series U.S.-built hydraulic toggles, 70% of the machines it builds in Michigan these days are all-electrics. It builds all-electrics up to 2000 tons â¦ so far, that is.
At IPF 2005 (Chiba-City, Japan; Sept. 24-25), UBE sources told us that the company has developed a 3300-U.S. ton all-electric with a 150-mm screw in a 400-oz shooter. UMI might need something a little bigger than its 20-ton crane to build those in Ann Arbor.