Rable Machine Inc. is a precision machining company located in Mansfield, Ohio, about halfway between Cleveland and Columbus. Established in 1946 by Frank Rebel (pronounced Rable), the company was founded to provide machined components to the growing number of appliance manufacturers in the area.
The operation began in a garage-sized building, which was expanded as the business grew. Rable recently purchased an adjacent building and is now constructing a new facility to connect the two existing structures. When completed in spring 2009, the company will have 45,000 square feet of space.
In addition to the expansion and renovation of its facility, Rable Machine has invested more than $5 million in new technology and equipment upgrades throughout the past 5 years.
Today, the company produces parts from barstock and castings using a variety of materials, including steel, stainless steel, brass, copper, aluminum, cast iron and plastic.
With its single-spindle screw machining, Swiss machining and CNC turning capabilities, the company provides precision machined components to a range of industries that includes oil and gas, pump and valve, medical, aerospace, automotive, HVAC and general industrial.
"We’re now machining parts that once would have taken three individual machines and three major operations," says current Rable president Scott Carter. "Not only is it faster, but because we’re doing it all at once, we’re reducing variables, improving quality and gaining a huge amount of increased throughput."
Mr. Carter joined the employee-owned company in 2003, bringing with him almost 30 years of manufacturing experience. His goal has been to expand the business by adding new technology, improving existing equipment and implementing a lean, cellular approach to manufacturing.
Mr. Carter credits Rable’s 72 employee-owners for the company’s success. "Because of our ownership culture and their extensive business knowledge, they’re more open to change," he explains. "Our people understand that we have to keep moving forward to be competitive, and they’ve embraced this influx of new technology and advanced processes. They realize these changes will make their jobs easier by working smarter, not harder."
The company has almost doubled its sales during the past 5 years and recently received a Leading Edge Award, an honor given to small- to mid-sized companies in northern Ohio. The award is in recognition of Rable Machine’s growth, profitability and shareholder return throughout the past 3 years.
Rable recently rejoined PMPA after a brief hiatus. Mr. Carter says that he and his staff regularly use the PMPA Listserve as a source for information. "We were recently looking for a way to reduce our inspection costs," he mentions as an example. "Through the Listserve, I found out about a programmable, optical inspection system that measures the perimeter of parts. This system will measure exterior part features in seconds, saving a significant amount of inspection time. We bought one machine and are planning to buy another next year."
Mr. Carter points to benchmarking as another PMPA benefit. "We’re part of the PMPA’s financial analysis," he says. "We submit our finances to see how we stack up with other members. It’s been a very positive experience.
"PMPA also has a very good raw material cross-reference system that they just put online," he adds. "It’s been a great help to us.
In summary, Mr. Carter says, "I think PMPA is on the leading edge of what’s happening in our industry and what can affect it. The most important benefit is that PMPA is watching out for our industry and how it competes worldwide. The focus is to help us maintain our strength, to grow and to prosper.
"PMPA helps keep us strong domestically because it’s so in tune with what’s happening worldwide. I think it’s exciting what they’re doing. They’ve done an excellent job educating us on our own industry."
Rable Machine Inc. is located at 137 Touby Ct., P.O. Box 1583, Mansfield, Ohio 44901. Telephone: (419) 525-2255. Fax: (419) 525-2371. Web site: www.rablemachineinc.com..