Maumee Assembly & Stamping ‘alive, well and growing’Written by Duane Ramsey | | email@example.com
Maumee Assembly & Stamping, known as MAS, continues to grow operating out of the former Ford stamping facility in Maumee, despite a recent media report that the plant was vacant.
“We’re alive, well, growing and expect to keep growing in the future,” said Gene Swick, president and CEO of MAS.
Swick said that MAS has doubled its volume each year it has in business and plans to double it again in 2012. The company generated $20 million in sales in 2011, he said.
However, confusion over two companies both known as MAS resulted in an erroneous media report.
“We just want to put the negative stuff behind us and focus on the future,” Swick said.
After Ford closed its stamping facility in 2008, Stan and Kathryn Chlebowski bought the property, plant and all the equipment in January 2009.
Stan leased the plant to a group of former stamping plant employees led by Keith Obey, who invested their money in an attempt to reopen the 800,000-square-foot facility as Maumee Authority Stamping, Inc., also known as MAS.
That company had a small contract to produce catalytic converters for Ford. However, it was evicted from the plant in April 2009 for non-payment of rent without producing any parts, according to Paul Bachmeyer, chief financial officer for the current MAS.
Bachmeyer said Chlebowski decided to reopen the facility and produce the catalytic converters for Ford beginning in May 2009. The new company landed its first stamping customer the following month.
Because there was already a large sign with MAS on it in front of the plant, Chlebowski established Maumee Assembly & Stamping and used MAS to identify it.
“It caused a lot of confusion for our customers, suppliers and the community,” Bachmeyer said.
Despite the confusion, the current MAS is operating the large assembly and stamping facility with 64 employees. About 12-15 of those employees worked in the former Ford stamping plant, Swick said.
“If it wasn’t for Stan, this place wouldn’t be here today. He invested a lot in it at very difficult economic times,” Swick said.
Both Bachmeyer and Swick also credited Huntington Bank for helping the company finance its business and growth.
Joel Jerger, senior vice president and commercial region manager at Huntington Bank, said the company is well-positioned as a manufacturer and the bank was pleased to help it grow and expand.
Swick joined MAS as president and CEO in October 2010 because he liked the potential of “the high-growth manufacturing business.”
If that name sounds familiar, Swick played quarterback for the UT Rockets from 1973-75 and held numerous career and season passing records until Bruce Gradkowski broke them. Swick was named first-team All-America in 1975 when he set an NCAA career total offense record with 8,074 yards.
After his football career and 30 years of experience working in the manufacturing business, Swick returned to Toledo for the second time to run MAS.
Swick previously worked at Toledo Stamping, later known as Toledo Technologies, a highly automated assembly and stamping operation. He helped that company grow from $30 million to $210 million in volume over five years.
Swick worked with Phil Caron at Toledo Technologies and Ice Industries in Toledo. Caron was working in business development at MAS and introduced Swick to Chlebowski who hired him to run the company.
Swick said he learned his profession in manufacturing management while working at a Rockwell International plant in Newark, Ohio. That facility employed 2,000 employees who produced truck axles.
Swick is now running the MAS operation that produces parts for customers in the appliance, automotive and truck industries.
The plant has eight tandem lines with up to six presses per line with robotic transfer of product from one press to another. The lead-off presses range from 1,000-1,500 tons with tandem presses of 600-800 tons.
It also operates 11 tandem 450-ton presses with robotic transfer and three 1,500-ton blanking presses.
Overhead cranes with 35-50-ton capacities operate above the production area. The plant includes an underground scrap removal system that is unique in the industry, Swick said.
The company is currently installing additional presses for the anticipated increase in stamping business this year, Swick reported.
MAS expects to add as many as 30 additional jobs by the end of 2012, bringing its employment up to 100 persons, according to Bachmeyer.