Applying Pressure to the Competition
With over 30 years’ experience manufacturing custom heavy-duty hydraulic presses, Macrodyne Technologies is a recognized name and a vital part of the global supply chain. Not surprising, when it’s North America’s largest hydraulic press manufacturer.
Where some press manufacturers specialize in a core faculty, Macrodyne’s repertoire embodies various forming, extrusion and molding specializations including, but definitely not limited to compression molding, forging, stretch forming, and superplastic forming. It offers custom presses, automation, and die handling equipment for any application.
Macrodyne’s presses serve countless industries including automotive, aerospace, refractory brick, pulp and paper, and other market commodities. Its expertise is diverse, yet it continues to expand, as new clients challenge its capacities with new applications.
This diversity was particularly important during COVID. The pandemic emphasized the fragility of global supply chains and their susceptibility to unforeseen interruptions, but it also posed a unique opportunity for Macrodyne to pivot to where the market was strongest.
As sectors like aerospace and automotive slowed though decreased demand and supply shortages, there was a defined uptick in sectors such as home improvement products like bathtubs and doors.
In lieu of vacations abroad, homeowners were investing in renovations, particularly among those who moved to a work-from-home lifestyle, and set out to bring a better balance of work and life to their home space. Service-based spending was low, but goods and commodities were in high demand.
Demand grew in other sectors like paper and packaging, which experienced a surge in unison with the increase in online shopping. Raw commodities like steel and aluminum production are also picking up steam in the market.
Aluminum extrusion, in particular, is growing rapidly. So to ensure that it can service this market fully, Macrodyne has established a relationship with Belco to offer stronger post-handling automation for that industry and provide turnkey solutions to customers who need the support.
“The whole supply chain is probably under the most stress it’s been under in a hundred years, but those who take on that challenge and find solutions for it will take market share. And that market share will continue indefinitely,” says President and CEO Kevin Fernandes.
“What happened in the first year or eighteen months of COVID was that everybody was shy to spend money,” he adds. “They thought the sky was falling. As the election came to a close and as COVID started to settle out and people got accustomed to it, they felt more comfortable spending money and the first thing that goes is Capex.”
This spending is apparent in the increasing demand for Macrodyne’s presses, encouraging the company to invest in new capabilities.
One such investment was the acquisition of a 60,000-square-foot facility directly across from its headquarters in Concord, Ontario to help it deliver on any and all orders that come its way, whether from new or existing customers.
As a press manufacturer, Macrodyne has established itself as the leader in the North American market, with a reputation for high performance presses and service that cannot be beaten. However, it is expanding its international presence as well, with growth that has been both intentional and strategic, especially during the pandemic.
“When COVID hit, we knew that we had to reach out much more broadly than we had in the past, otherwise we wouldn’t be successful when the economy started to pick up again,” says Fernandes.
Historically, upwards of ninety percent of Macrodyne’s orders were from the U.S., so while it generated business leads internationally, it was compelled also to maintain its relationships with its American customers as a priority. It accomplished satisfying both markets by bolstering its U.S. and international field services network to offer better remote support. This made installs significantly different from what they were in the past.
During the pandemic, the manufacturer completed many installations in the U.S. and Mexico. Much of that work could be done remotely thanks to its American and Mexican field services support who were, as Fernandes said, “able to get these customers up and running without us being able to be on site. That was something we’ve never done before.”
Having the infrastructure in place for international projects during a pandemic has been paramount for Macrodyne, especially in the context of the European market which is a challenging market to break into. According to Jeff Walsh, director of business development, “We’re finding that we’re competing more often now in Europe, not just in our backyard but theirs.”
There are countless reputable press manufacturers in Europe, and regardless of how competitive Macrodyne is in price, service, and performance, it often makes more sense for European customers to purchase European-built presses. The good news is that things are starting to change, and the company is positioning itself to be a contender in the European market via strategic partnerships.
Macrodyne has proven that it can compete with large European press manufacturers by demonstrating the same commitment to quality, and by its possession of a rich engineering tradition similar to what put these companies on the map. Its presses are designed to perform and are built to last.
As Machiavelli notes in The Prince, “For one change always leaves the toothing for another,” the delivery of one project typically leads to more advanced, or increasingly complex, press designs for new applications, which is an area in which Macrodyne thrives.
A recent example of this incremental growth in capacity was Macrodyne’s ability to deliver three ten-thousand ton forging presses for a client. Upon project completion, the team was able to turn around and quote a thirty-thousand ton forging press for another client leveraging that expertise.
“Just by taking these steps and executing on them,” Fernandes says, “allows us to take more and more market share away from our competitors.” One project validates the next and Macrodyne continues to push the limits of what’s possible.
Whether it is the sheer size of the presses, the force they deliver, the complexity of their function, or the integrated automation, each press is a mammoth accomplishment, especially in the longevity and performance they deliver.
In fact, it’s quite common for Macrodyne’s presses to outlast their original purpose and hold their value in the resale market. In an economy where product life cycles are short and most things easily disposable, this is a breath of fresh air.
Solid success in the hydraulic press industry for over three decades is a testament to the quality and service Macrodyne offers. Despite the physical growth and increased market share it has gained, the culture at Macrodyne remains one of innovation and the drive for growth and collective success is strong.
“Macrodyne prides itself on fostering a good team environment. The successes we had during the challenging times of COVID are apparent, and we couldn’t achieve all of those successes without the support of the employees,” said Nadia Bomben, Director of Human Resources.
“This time has been an important opportunity to strengthen our trust and engagement with employees – and through the successes we’ve achieved, it really has shown.”