Mansfield Screw Machine Products Company has been providing precision machined components to customers since 1945. That was when Joseph L. Witchey and two partners founded the manufacturing operation in a small garage in downtown Mans-field, Ohio. In those early days, the company produced parts for two local thermostat manufacturers.
When the business outgrew the garage, it relocated to a larger facility in town and later to a new building in Lexington, Ohio, located just south of Mansfield. Five years ago, that facility was expanded to 50,000 square feet. It now houses an array of high-tech production equipment, including single- and multi-spindle screw machines, CNC machines and secondary operations.
Today, with the direction of Richard D. Witchey III, (the fourth generation of family ownership), Mansfield Screw Machine Products specializes in production of premier-quality, close-tolerance, precision machined parts.
A PMPA member since 1969, Mansfield Screw Machine is an ISO 9001:2000-certified company that uses lean and quick-response manufacturing. The company specializes in machining stainless steel, with the bulk of its business in stainless steel components and fittings for high-purity precision valves. The manufacturer also serves industries ranging from oil and gas to semiconductors and analytical instrumentation with precision parts made of brass, steel, copper, bronze, Monel, Hastelloy and titanium.
In addition to his role as president of Mansfield Screw Machine Products, Mr. Witchey currently serves as president of the PMPA. “It’s been a great adventure and a great experience,” he says. “I’ve learned a lot. It’s been like getting an advanced degree in our industry.”
Mr. Witchey, whose term as PMPA president comes to an end in October, stresses the value of participating in the association’s activities. “Membership in PMPA has done a lot to broaden our company’s horizons in terms of education and networking. All of my managers are actively involved in PMPA committees. I made that a part of their job descriptions because I felt that it was invaluable for them to get some outside influence and ideas.
“With PMPA, you definitely get out more than you put in. I’m asked all the time about how I can commit so much time to the association. The truth is, PMPA really does pay us back more than the time I’m
Mansfield Screw Machine is an active participant in all of the PMPA surveys. “I use those for benchmarking, for areas such as wage and hour reports and financial measurements,” Mr. Witchey says. “Our people attend the tech conference, management update and the annual meeting, as well as the district level meetings. We also have at least a dozen people here on the Listserves. Those are very valuable.”
Mr. Witchey says that PMPA’s most important benefits are the networking opportunities and friendships he’s made. “If I have an issue or question I’m dealing with—something that I need some outside guidance on—I have a long list of people I can call and talk to. That’s been a really outstanding benefit to me personally.
“From an ownership standpoint,” he says, “there are issues that you can’t always discuss within your company. You can bounce ideas off other owners because many have faced the same situations. It really helps.”
Mr. Witchey feels that the PMPA is in great shape right now, in contrast to the industry itself. “The association is climbing in terms of stature and in terms of responsiveness to its members. Last year, we turned our membership numbers around, and we’re growing.
“We have some outstanding member companies that are participating, as well as new services that are being provided,” he continues. “We’re also getting more politically active. There’s a lot of optimism and a renewed sense of spirit.
“On the other hand, the industry in general is stagnant because it’s a very mature industry,” Mr. Witchey points out. “A lot of companies are competing for a piece of a pie that is not growing. That’s why belonging to PMPA is one more thing you have on your side from a competitive standpoint. If you can be more informed about what’s going on in the industry, you’ll have a better chance of survival and success.”
Mansfield Screw Machine Products Company is located at 145 Industrial Drive, Lexington, Ohio 44904. Phone: (419) 884-1511. Web site: www.mansfieldscrewmachine.com