Onaway’s Moran Iron Works has obtained new equipment for its shipbuilding operations that will allow the metal fabricator to operate more efficiently. The company said in a news release Tuesday that it is obtained a new beam drill line and cutting line, which is designed specifically for the maritime market. Controlled by computers, the machines “eliminate the need to manually lay out the positions as well as produce the hole or cut by hand, saving time and manpower via process automation,” the company said in its news release. “So, everybody’s doing more with less,” explained Lee Fayssoux, Sales Manager at Moran Iron Works. “And we hate that we have less employees than we did pre-covid, but we’re able to get more done with this because of the efficiency this machine brings.” The drill spindle can drill holes up to a 1-and-9/16-inch diameter through up to 10 inches of material. Advancements in drilling technologies help ensure precision drilling and reduce the risk of errors, the company said. While specifically designed for marine operations, the new equipment can help all fabrication.
“Our new equipment begins another chapter in accuracy and productivity for Moran Iron Works,” Tom Moran, president of Moran Iron Works, said in a statement. “New pipe fabrication machines speak a very different language than the older models and our operators find it easier to translate that to high production and tight tolerances. The best part is we have lowered the level of hand work and lengthened the career span of our employees. These machines will let our team members feel more productive and end the day less tired.” The company did not disclose the cost of the new equipment, but said it received money through the federal Small Shipyard Grant Program from the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Maritime Administration. The company invited officials from the offices of U.S. Sens. Gary Peters and Debbie Stabenow and U.S. Rep. Jack Bergman to witness a demonstration of the new equipment.
“Moran Iron Works is an incredible asset to our region and employs nearly 100 northern Michiganders,” Bergman said in a statement shared with The News by Moran Iron Works. “I was proud to support the effort to acquire new equipment that will help Moran Iron Works increase its capabilities in structural steel fabrication and expand opportunity in the years to come.” Robert Tullar, capture manager for Italian-based shipbuilder Fincantieri, which has U.S. headquarters in Washington, D.C., visited Moran Iron Works for the demonstration. “It’s impressive because (Moran Iron Works) is not specifically a shipyard but they can use these machines to build boats plus broaden the breadth of what they do for customers,” Tullar said in a statement shared by Moran Iron Works. “The beam improves speed while improving quality. Any time you can do that, it makes it better for your customers and your bottom line. You get more output spending less energy.”