Waukesha’s Metal-Era completes expansion

Metal-Era Inc., a Waukesha-based manufacturer of commercial roof edge and roof ventilation systems, recently completed a 32,000-square-foot expansion of its offices and manufacturing facility in Waukesha. The company expects to complete its move in and set up process this week, said Tony Mallinger, chief operating officer of the company.

Metal-Era’s existing facility is 72,000 square feet. The company needed the extra room because of continuing demand for its products, as well as the addition of two robotic cells in the last 18 months.

“We’ve seen a lot of growth in the last few years – we’re up close to 80 percent over the last four years,” Mallinger said.

The company added its first robot in late 2007, which bends and stacks springs used in its roof-mounted systems. Its second robot was installed in December, 2008, and punches holes, creates notches and embosses labels onto roofing products.

“With the robotic cells, we lost a lot of space because of how large they are,” Mallinger said. “We had to push and stretch things out to get a better flow.”

Metal-Era is moving some production and packaging into the expansion space, which will allow the company to arrange its machinery and systems in a more logical layout.

“(The things we’re) moving over there were at the other end of the facility,” Mallinger said. “We will now spend less time managing and holding inventory, and that will help a lot.”

Metal-Era has about 65 full time employees now. Although the company’s orders are up from one year ago, Mallinger is hoping that the company maintains level sales for the rest of the year.

“I would be extremely happy to hold our own from a year ago. In an industry that’s down by double digits, that would be a great feat if we could do that,” he said.

For more information, visit MetalEra.com.

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