Meyer Manufacturing has come a long way in its 70+ years of operation.
In 1944, Alvin Meyer quit farming and built a machine shop in Dorchester, Wisconsin, a small village in the heart of America’s Dairyland. At that time, the company, known as Meyer’s Machine Shop, had just two employees, including Alvin. They built a variety of equipment, including farm wagons, snowplows, trailers, forklifts and grain elevators.
“They just did a little bit of everything,” says Alvin’s son Don, Meyer Manufacturing’s current president.
Over the years, the company has grown and expanded in the manufacture of farming equipment. The shop still resides on the same property, but it has drastically grown in size: Meyer Manufacturing now employs 147 people, and its current product line includes forage wagons, manure spreaders, 40-foot semitrailers, bale haulers and farm wagons. A recent expansion also added 66,000 square feet of manufacturing space, allowing it to improve and expand its paint line.
The shop’s previous paint booth was an aging Zhongda, and “it needed work,” says Joe Repka, production engineer manager.
It also no longer fit Meyer Manufacturing’s expanded needs. The company had recently developed a line of total-mix-ration (TMR) mixers for feeding cattle, and the largest mixer did not fit in the existing paint booth. That left Meyer with the decision to try to modify its existing booth or to purchase a new, larger one.
New Booth, Oven and Mix Room
Ultimately, the shop decided to look into new equipment that not only could accommodate larger parts, but that also could improve its throughput and quality. It worked with Industrial Chemical and Finishing Equipment (ICAFE) in Waukesha, Wisconsin, to design a paint finishing system that maximized its shop space. The distributor for Global Finishing Solutions selected several pieces of GFS equipment for the Meyer project, including a side-downdraft paint booth (20 by 20 by 55 feet) with custom paint closets and man lifts; an industrial process oven (14 by 15 by 49 feet); and an industrial paint mix room.
Meyer Manufacturing even decided to go a little bit larger than what was needed for its current product line to allow for future product line changes.
“We wanted to make sure we don’t outgrow our booth and oven again if we build larger products down the road,” Don Meyer says.
Since adding this new equipment, the company says it has realized improvements in both productivity and throughput. By adding an oven to its painting process, Meyer is able to push more product through the shop. With the previous paint system, it had to wait a day for the paint to fully cure on the products before they could be moved. Now, the drive-through design of both the paint booth and oven allows products to quickly and easily move through the entire painting and curing process.
The company also says it has seen improvements in product quality since adding the new equipment. Better airflow in the new booth reduces contamination, allowing for both a better paint job and cleaner booth.
“We have been impressed by how much the overall product appearance has improved with our new booth and oven,” Repka says.
To learn about Meyer Manufacturing, visit meyermfg.com; for information about GFS Industrial Products, visit globalfinishing.com/industry/industrialmanufacturing.
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