SPARTANBURG, SC — The U.S. subsidiary of German measuring technology business Mahlo is celebrating its 50th birthday this year.

Mahlo America Inc. opened its doors for the first time in Spartanburg, SC in 1968. South Carolina is a center of the textile industry, and the subsidiary of the German machine manufacturer Mahlo GmbH quickly made a name for itself in the field of straightening machines and became synonymous with straight-edged products. However, with the increasing move to cheaper Asian production areas, the U.S. textile industry found itself increasingly in a crisis. Roughly 650 textile factories had to close between 1997 and 2009. Quality measuring systems for all web-type products in various industrial sectors had long been the focus of the machine manufacturer. The Qualiscan QMS had been introduced decades ago. There is a wide range of sensors, traversing the running web on scanners, measure and control parameters, such as thickness, moisture, or basis weight. It is just the right tool for a fast growing plastics and coating industry.

New Avenues to Success

Mary Heath remembers the exciting years of change. The bright office worker has been with Mahlo America for over 30 years. She had started when the company was still concentrating on textiles and carpets. But then one factory after another closed.

“Our focus on the QMS-10, 10A and QMS-12 provided the growth potential that we needed to insure our long term success,” says Heath. Of course, the new path also presented some challenges: Training for sales and service staff, new customers, new sales channels. “Certainly this was a learning curve and a good piece of work to be recognized in another core competence,” says Heath. However, the effort was worthwhile. Today, Mahlo is considered as one of the experts in the field of web gauging.

Positive Outlook

“The many years of experience of our engineers and the constant development of the systems are reflected in our success,” says Alan Lavore, executive vice president of Mahlo America Inc. There is also positive news from Mahlo's second sales market—the carpet and textile industry in the U.S. is recovering, and many companies are investing in new technology to meet customer requirements. “The future looks bright if we keep working hard.”

After all, they want to continue the decades of success story of Mahlo GmbH, which is still family-owned. “Being successful in business for over 70 years is a real testimony that we can be proud of,” says Lavore. A large part of this was contributed by the employees. “We not only have highly qualified personnel, but also people who identify with the company and its values.” Like Mary Heath, Service Manager John Flynn, Service Technician Scott Plumley and Technical Manager Mike Weathers. They have been part of the Mahlo family for well over 20 years. Coupled with motivated junior staff, they ensure that Mahlo will remain successful in the decades to come.

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