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Mahlo America celebrates 50th anniversary

The US subsidiary of Mahlo is celebrating its 50th birthday – and looks to a promising future.

7th September 2018

Innovation in Textiles
 |  Spartanburg, SC

Interiors, Clothing/​Footwear

The US subsidiary of Mahlo, a leading German machine builder and an inventor of automatic straightening, Mahlo America is celebrating its 50th birthday – and looks to a promising future. Mahlo America opened its doors for the first time in Spartanburg in 1968. Located in South Carolina, a centre of the textiles industry, the subsidiary of the German machine manufacturer quickly made a name for itself in the field of straightening machines and became synonymous with straight-edged products.

Quality measuring systems for all web-type products in various industrial sectors had long been the focus of the machine manufacturer. The Qualiscan QMS had been introduced decades ago. There is a wide range of sensors, traversing the running web on scanners, measure and control parameters, such as thickness, moisture, or basis weight. It is just the right tool for a fast-growing plastics and coating industry, the company believes.

New avenues to success

Mary Heath remembers the exciting years of change. She has been with Mahlo America for over 30 years. She had started when the company was still concentrating on textiles and carpets. But then one factory after another closed.

“Our focus on the QMS-10, 10A and QMS-12 provided the growth potential that we needed to insure our long-term success,” said Heath. The new path also presented some challenges: Training for sales and service staff, new customers, new sales channels. “Certainly, this was a learning curve and a good piece of work to be recognised in another core competence,” she continued. “However, the effort was worthwhile. Today, Mahlo is considered as one of the experts in the field of web gauging.”

Evolution to a key player in web gauging

Eric Reber, Technical Sales Manager, is something like the father of web gauging at Mahlo America. He spent many years in Europe and the US working on the development of online measuring systems. “In this way, I have also acquired a certain understanding of the needs of customers,” said Reber. This experience has also been incorporated into the development of the Qualiscan QMS-12, the latest system. “It has enabled us to catapult ourselves out of our pursuit position in a short time and to overtake the existing technology on the market,” said Reber. “The scanners are built solidly, and the electronics absolutely reliable. After all, the best sensors are only useful if they traverse reliably and smoothly.”

With the Qualiscan QMS 12, these mechanical features, supplemented by easy-to-use software, have been used to produce a complete package that is on the advance. The spectrum of sensors with beta, X-ray, laser and unique optical measurements is designed to guarantee a wide range of applications. According to Reber, this means that almost all materials can be measured.

Mahlo America's pilot line. © Mahlo

To ensure that every customer receives the optimal system for their application and thus the desired results, the responsible persons in Spartanburg have installed a pilot line. “The interested parties send us material samples and the required parameters and then we check whether and which sensor is suitable,” explained Mike Weathers, who is mainly responsible for the tests. Should questions, technical problems or maintenance work arise, Mahlo has a well-trained service department which is available around the clock.

Positive outlook

“The many years of experience of our engineers and the constant development of the systems are reflected in our success,” said Alan Lavore, Executive Vice President of Mahlo America. There is also positive news from Mahlo's second sales market: The carpet and textile industry in the US is recovering, and many companies are investing in new technology to meet customer requirements. “The future looks bright if we keep working hard,” added Lavore.

“Being successful in business for over 70 years is a real testimony that we can be proud of. A large part of this was contributed by the employees. We not only have highly qualified personnel, but also people who identify with the company and its values – like Mary Heath, Service Manager John Flynn, Service Technician Scott Plumley and Technical Manager Mike Weathers. They have been part of the Mahlo family for well over 20 years. Coupled with motivated junior staff, they ensure that Mahlo will remain successful in the decades to come.”


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