A Legacy in the Making

Macrodyne Technologies
Written by Jessica Ferlaino

Macrodyne Technologies is the largest hydraulic press manufacturer in North America. For 30 years, it has tested the limits of what’s possible in designing of state-of-the-art hydraulic presses that can exceed 20,000 Tons – it’s what separates the company from the pack and has allowed it to thrive.

Macrodyne has supplied some of the most notable global companies with presses for very diverse applications. The company covers all extremes, from superplastic forming presses operating at over 1800°F and cryofracture presses operating at −320 °F, to electroforming and hydroforming presses that can apply 100,000 psi, to presses with bed sizes that exceed 16’ x 16’, hydraulic presses that operate as fast as 90 strokes per minute, and presses that move as slow as 0.005” per minute.

Veteran team member Brett MacFarlane explains. “Our approach to business is to build custom hydraulic presses,” he says. “We don’t have a standard product line. We don’t have a standard catalogue. We build presses to specifically fit the customer’s process.”

He goes on to say that every press is a custom project, designed essentially from the ground up. If the customer’s process is complex or has never been done before, then Macrodyne is the right company to be looking at it.

Appetite and energy
Macrodyne is the brainchild of Andrew Kirk, Wes Blazejewski and Gary Johnson, three men with extensive experience in the industry who shared a deeply rooted passion for engineering and the know-how to deliver projects of an impressive calibre and complexity. Their leadership laid the foundation for Macrodyne’s success and their zeal has been passed on to those who have followed in their footsteps.

From the very beginning, Macrodyne has been characterized by its energy and eagerness to do whatever’s required to get a press designed, built, delivered and operational. As the success of the company grew, so too did its team and its engineering prowess. It was a rapid ascent to greatness.

Greatness at Macrodyne is true of many things. From the quality, performance, the fact that the longevity of its presses is measured in decades, and the sheer size and capacity of the equipment, to the complexity of the projects it undertakes, excellence is what everyone presses for in every aspect of the company’s operations.

Hydraulic Specialist Mike Fulchini has been with Macrodyne for nearly a decade and he finds the competitive environment a place where he and his peers can shine. “It’s competitive,” he says, “because everyone wants to be the best at what they do, but it makes for a better product at the end of the day.”

Wes Blazejewski, mechanical engineer and former owner who is still very much involved in designing presses, offers an enthusiastic take on how impressive Macrodyne’s products are. “When you step into the shop and you see our presses! No matter how long you’ve been in this industry, you can take guys who are at the end of their careers and when you step them into our plant they just look around and usually don’t say too much because it’s awe-inspiring… the size of everything!”

For instance, to get a sense of how incredible the size and capacity of some of these projects are, one of Macrodyne’s largest projects to date – a multi-press line – required 100 truckloads to be shipped, more than 25 of which were super loads that needed permits, police escorts, and bridge and power line studies to ensure that the equipment, in all its sheer bulk, made it to the client’s site.

Poised for growth
Macrodyne is headquartered in Concord, Ontario, where it operates from a purpose-built facility that has the capability to build presses that are taller than most houses. It is proximate to transportation infrastructure that connects it to markets across North America and the globe.

The company has also grown its presence to Guelph, Ontario, and the United States, which gives it the space and resources required to deliver on its promises regardless of the geography involved.

According to Kirk, the recipe for success at Macrodyne is simple, “We built good equipment. We’ve had decades of experience. We have a company that really cares about the equipment, cares about the customers, and we have an excellent reputation for doing it right.”

Though Kirk is no longer at the company’s helm, the same principles hold true today, except that under the new leadership of Kevin Fernandes and Hari Raghavan, Macrodyne is looking to take its success to the next level, and to elevate the impact it has on press design and innovation and the market as a whole.

Under the new leadership, the company has grown from one location to three and the team to over 100 people. While the sales and technical teams have tripled in size, Fernandes is most proud of putting in place dedicated service teams, located in both Canada and the U.S. – along with a service network in Europe – to better serve clients. Not only do these teams service and support Macrodyne equipment, they focus more than half their time on rebuilding and servicing all makes and models presses, no matter who the original manufacturer was.

The dealer network now spans China, India, Northern Africa, Mexico, Brazil, France, Europe, and Russia, which leaves Macrodyne well-equipped to support domestic and international markets alike.

Selling the idea
Macrodyne competes head-to-head and wins against the large European suppliers who are often complacent when it comes to client needs, and against offshore upstarts who sacrifice quality to offer a lower price. The company takes an open channel of communication with the client, and has leveraged its immense technical competence, tremendous work ethic, and consistently effective performance to achieve 30 years of success – impressive in any industry, but especially in the hydraulic press industry where reputation means everything.

“You’ve got to get references in a wide variety of industries,” says Kirk. “That is the key, and the only way to get references is you have to know what you’re doing. No one’s going to buy a multimillion-dollar press if you don’t know what you’re doing. We are an extremely flexible company with talented engineers, which allows us to do really complex and large machines. Not many companies can do what we do.”

This sentiment was echoed by Executive Vice President Jeremy Neil, who has spent more than two decades helping the company grow. “At the end of the day, you’re selling the idea that you can design, manufacture, test, ship and install equipment that does not yet exist.” Thus, “Expertise is fundamental,” Neil shares. “We’re not selling standard products; that’s the challenge with what we do. They’re not machine tools; you can’t come into our showroom hoping to walk out with a press. Customers are ultimately getting a machine, but that’s not what they’re buying: they’re buying our competence.”

The safest decision
Decisions related to purchasing new equipment or making major capital investments are not easy and invariably have a ball and chain of risk attached. With this in mind, Macrodyne minimizes the risk by supporting its customers throughout their entire buying journey.

Jeff Walsh, Director of Business Development, aptly explains it, saying, “We’re helping the customer to say, ‘This is the safest decision I can make.’ It is important to remember that these machines purchased poorly can result in huge corporate losses and good people losing their jobs. This is a big responsibly for Macrodyne and we take it seriously. It is important for our clients to know that we have a track record of doing what we say we will do. We strive to offer the best support, going above and beyond the industry norms, to make sure our clients are taken care of. Clients may talk price or technology, and these are important, but in the end, they are really just looking to avoid risk.”

To ensure that projects are held to the highest standards of quality and performance, Macrodyne invests in its people and their ability to build trusting relationships with customers and suppliers alike. Like the presses it builds, the relationships the company forms are intended to outperform, outlast, and offer value way beyond their original purpose.

For Neil, “It was interesting for us when we started seeing an aftermarket, not for parts and sales, but a secondary market for our presses. Some of our presses are even in their third or fourth homes. It’s amazing to see [what we] design and build run a whole useful manufacturing program, and then get sold to another company and start all over again.”

While its presses continue to perform long after their original purpose has been fulfilled, Macrodyne continues to innovate simple solutions into the functioning of these complex machines. Presses vary in size and function but compete on price and performance. Macrodyne’s niche is customization, regardless of the application.

Diversity: key to the future
Macrodyne can satisfy customer-specific needs in the aerospace, automotive, construction, defence, and industrial sectors, as well as in consumer product sectors characterized by high-demand, high-volume production environments.

To maintain this, the diversity of its project portfolio is one of Macrodyne’s greatest strengths.

From Fernandes’ perspective, “We are very good with the base technology of what a hydraulic press is, and we’ve maximized it across forty-five different industries including brick, metal, plastic, composite, wood, etc. What we’ve done recently is invested in new types of technologies that we really couldn’t have done with the base knowledge we had.”

Presses are available as standalone production equipment or can be integrated with automation to offer complete solutions that are backed by turnkey supply and shipping, logistical support, and the peace of mind that with Macrodyne, your equipment will be delivered and commissioned and your investment will be protected.

It is clear that over the last thirty years, Macrodyne Technologies has become so much more than just a press manufacturer: it has grown its enormous reputation as a producer of custom heavy-duty hydraulic presses, an innovator, a thought leader, a trusted manufacturing partner of choice, and a true legacy in the making.



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