MEC Engineered Products is a newly formed packager of mobile and stationary generator set systems, such as these trailerized generator sets
Newly established gen-set packager MEC Engineered Productsseeking to leverage parent company’s capabilities
In the midst of the economic turmoil of the last seven or eight months, it seems hard to imagine how anyone could justify the investment involved with establishing a new business focused on packaging generator set systems. But MEC Engineered Products, the newly formed packager of mobile and stationary generator set systems, is clearly not your usual new venture.
MEC Engineered Products was founded earlier this year as a division of Mayville Engineering Co. Inc. (MEC). MEC is a Mayville, Wisconsin, U.S.A. based contract manufacturer that provides a broad range of prototyping, manufacturing, production fabricating, coating and assembly services to a variety of markets including agricultural, construction, military, recreational, medical and industrial. Along with process engineering and development services, MEC maintains an extensive manufacturing infrastructure in five Wisconsin facilities, offering conventional and CNC stamping, shearing, sawing, laser, plasma and water-jet cutting, forming, drilling, tapping, grinding, machining and welding.
“Mayville Engineering Co., which was founded in 1945 and has been employee-owned [ESOP] since 1985, is a well-established metal fabricator with a significant amount of capacity and capabilities,” said Ed Paradowski, a 21- year veteran of the power generation industry and vice president of MEC Engineered Products. “And they have been active in the power generation industry over the years, supplying subbase tanks, trailers, enclosures and genset packaging services to companies like Kohler, Cummins and Generac.”
MEC also operates Fabricating Specialists in Neillsville, Wisconsin, which supplies bent tube products for power generation applications. With that history as a backdrop, the company decided in late spring to establish MEC Engineered Products to specifically target the power generation industry in supplying both components such as UL 142 and UL 2085 listed tanks, enclosures, ISO containers and gen-set trailers, as well as complete turnkey generator set packages that will be fully tested and verified.
While the timing would appear to defy conventional economic wisdom, Paradowski who earlier in his career had a similar experience in founding Custom Tank Technology in the mid-1990s said he sees the timing of this venture as ideal. “The commonality with a lot of companies
that are established in the power generation industry is that they’ve grown over the last 20 years as the market has grown,” Paradowski said. “They’ve built themselves up to a point to where when business is good, they’re solid. But when business levels decline, they’re exposed because they have a great deal of infrastructure built up and a drop-off in business makes it difficult to support it.
“MEC Engineered Products is basically a diversification strategy for MEC, which is a US$100 million-plus company that has continued to be successful even in this difficult economy. What that does is give us a tremendous amount of capacity right from the start, without us having to support a lot of excess fixed costs. “We’ll be starting off with the manufacturing capability dedicated to create high-volume, high-quality and highvalue products, but we don’t have to generate a ton of orders to support it. We’ll essentially be generating a profit from the first unit we build. “We’ve got eight lasers, over a dozen robotic welders, e-coat, powder coat and wet spray paint lines, and all of the fixed costs for this infrastructure are being fully absorbed before our first order goes out the door. We can limit labor content by leveraging technology and our automated capabilities, without compromising the quality of the product. “We won’t ever hang our hat on price. Our focus will be on quality and customer responsiveness. But we’re in an incredible situation that is going to allow us to be very competitive with anyone in the industry due to our buying power and variable cost control.”
MEC Engineered Products is in the final stages of the UL listing process, Paradowski said, and the company expects to be packaging systems soon. Though the packaging operations are just beginning, Paradowski said the company is already mulling the possibility of needing more space for its dedicated power generation business.