Latest news: The M&R companies new Roselle, Illinois heaquarters officially opens in December 2015. Read the update here.
GLEN ELLYN, Ill.—What started out 30 years ago as a company with just three employees has grown into a global powerhouse that employs nearly 500 in the U.S. and another 130 or so at a separate facility in Poland. And soon, The M&R Companies’ North American operations is about to double its overall capacity with a move to a new building.
“We were at about 120 percent capacity and had been for multiple years,” says CEO Rich Hoffman.
M&R is consolidating two facilities located on the outskirts of Chicago into one huge new 320,000-square-foot facility in Roselle, Illinois, near the other two locations, which will be closed once the new site is 100 percent up and running.
“Everyone’s anticipating this with nervous excitement,” Hoffman says of the move, which is scheduled to be completed by the end of the year. “They absolutely are looking forward to it."
“We have a truck that runs continuously – well, actually three trucks – between the buildings, that are continuously moving components from one building to the other, and that happens on a daily basis. At least five employees travel back and forth to the facility on a daily basis, so a lot of wasted time will be captured. And the cost savings associated with getting everything under one roof … our (return on investment) on this is less than two years, on the entire move.”
M&R’s Glen Ellyn, Illinois, facility is a 123,000-square-foot building primarily used for manufacturing and making parts for the company’s assembly facility in nearby Niles, Illinois, which also houses a parts department. The Niles site also houses M&R’s graphics division, its post-press division – called Amscomatic – and its pre-press division, called NuArc, Hoffman says.
All of that will be under one very large roof once the Roselle building is finished being retrofitted, he says, adding that it was chosen as the new site because the company didn’t want to lose employees due to a longer commute.
The whole process for getting the Roselle location up and running is taking about seven months, he says. The company must first build out the interior’s infrastructure before it can start moving equipment in.
Having a blank, 320,000-square-foot building with which to work gives his designers a lot of room to maximize efficiencies, Hoffman says. “Just to give you an idea of the new facility's space, if you take Niles’ and Glen Ellyn’s welding (departments) combined, we’re at about 8,000 square feet,” he says. “In the new facility, just the welding department will be 21,000 square feet.”
M&R started with just three employees doing maintenance and repair on screen printers. A year later it started manufacturing its own small screen printers and today, it is the world’s largest manufacturer of those machines. It also makes T-shirt folding and packaging machines and graphics screen printing equipment for circuit boards, nameplates, panels, glass, and ceramics.
Once the company is settled into its new facility it expects to add about 10 percent to its U.S. workforce, including salespeople in the field, Hoffman says.
As for its site in Poland, “We manufacture exactly the same thing that we manufacture here in the United States, but all in a metric format,” he says. “Not just fasteners, as some will do, but in its entirety. […] We do not feel it’s correct to produce a metric product and ship it into a U.S.-standard country like the United States. We build our machines country-specific, so Poland services Eastern and Western Europe, the Middle East, and Asia. M&R U.S.A. services the Americas as well as some Asian-Pacific countries.”