Morbark Inc., an established manufacturer since 1957, located in Winn, Michigan, has set high standards for their wood chippers and grinders. From hand-fed brush chippers to massive whole tree chippers, Morbark does it all. Their tub and horizontal grinders lead the industry for grinding wood to create saleable products from stumps, logs, clearing debris, green waste or storm debris. No challenge is too great for Morbark, and with these challenges comes the continual need to find new ways improve their processes. To this end, Morbark purchased a Whitney 3400 XP plasma/punch machine in 2005.
Joe Faber, Director, Central Machine Shop at Morbark, states that “Our cycle time on parts that we run through the Whitney has been reduced by 50%. Before we’d run the part thru a plasma burner, then through a drill, then the tapping process. The 3400 has a tapping process on it and with the tooling, that cycle time has been reduced by 50% or more.”
Furthermore, parts that were outsourced are now being produced in-house at a substantial savings. For example, “a punch plate that was typically 8-12 weeks lead time, we can now produce here within an hour, and our costs have been reduced by more than 75%.”
Working together, Morbark and Whitney solve applications that other companies won’t even touch. According to Faber, “I’m confident that if we bounce ideas off someone at Whitney, sooner or later we’re going to come up with a process by which we can build the parts. Their overall knowledge of Whitney’s product is superior.”
What Faber says Whitney does best is “challenge the limitations of the machine and the tooling. We’ve approached you completely unaware as to what tools we need for a particular process, and your tech support team has always been successful in telling us what tooling is required to accomplish that task. Whitney tooling allows us to stretch the boundaries of the limitations of our 3400 plasma/punch machine.”
In addition to special tooling, Whitney supplies standard tooling for Morbark on a monthly basis. Along with top-of-the-line tooling, Whitney’s support staff turns tooling orders around quickly. “Your delivery times are about half, compared to other vendors” according to Faber.
Morbark and Whitney have developed a relationship that solves diverse manufacturing problems in innovative ways.