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Benchmarking Conference Pre-Con: Makuta Plant Tour

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In 1996, Makuta Micro Molding was founded in Shelbyville, Indiana. Part of the Sansyu Group, the largest and oldest micro molder in the world, Makuta acts as their single North American location. The facility was custom constructed in 2007 to house their 24/7/365 lights-out, cleanroom, micro-molding operations. With less than 15 staff members and 16 hours a day with no one in the factory, they injection mold millions of zero-defect microparts every month. How do they do it? An emphasis on communication, initiative, learning and, of course, technology has led Makuta to their position of success.  

Makuta’s mission statement is straightforward: “Quality Parts, On Time, Profitably.”  In support of its mission, open communication and collaboration are key and can be seen daily as every employee participates in the morning meeting. The company also understands the value of investing in its employees, offering a unique Pay for Knowledge system created in-house to educate staff members on any area of the operations they want to learn more about. The system utilizes employees who are knowledgeable and certified in an area to teach others and then rewards both student and teacher with a raise for their efforts.  

Opportunities for upward mobility are invaluable to the staff, and it is this initiative that brought many of them to the company in the first place. Additionally, Makuta prides itself on involvement with the Shelbyville community they call home. President Stu Kaplan conducts plant tours, does presentations at county high schools and works with Junior Achievement, S.T.E.M and other county programs to provide students with education and work opportunities.   

From a technology perspective, Makuta is always looking for existing and emerging technologies that will support its mission. One recent example is the addition of Carbon 3D Printing equipment to expand its processing capabilities and develop a new avenue for business growth. The printing equipment uses Digital Light Synthesis™ technology and will enable Makuta to offer customers economical, short-run production of complex, high-precision parts, including an expanded size range and parts with unique or difficult-to-mold mechanical properties.

Makuta welcomes MAPP and ARPM members to tour the facility on Wednesday, October 2, at 1:00 P.M.  The event will provide the opportunity to see the new Carbon 3D technology in action, tour the highly automated cleanroom molding facility and speak with the employees who are keeping Makuta at the forefront of profitable, high-precision micro molding.


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