Globe Machine Manufacturing Company recently observed its 100-year anniversary. Nearly 300 current and past employees, family members, and friends gathered to reflect on and celebrate this accomplishment. When I was introduced to Globe eight years ago, I had never heard of this company. Folks working in advanced composites don’t really hang out with folks in the building products and pulp & paper industries; mainly because we’re too full of ourselves. It quickly became apparent that Globe had achieved something in its manufacturing systems that I and others had been pursuing in advanced composites for two decades- the provision of high-volume process machinery and automation for the manufacture of lower-cost finished products. This is commonplace for Globe machines making plywood, MDF, OSB and wood I-joists, output of which is quantified by billions of pounds annually, but in the field of advanced composites, it can be like finding a unicorn.
In the past 10 years Globe has applied this way of thinking to the invention of RapidClave®, curing 45,000 CF/epoxy Corvette hoods, roofs and other parts annually, as well as demonstrating improved aerospace cure properties over autoclave; specialized tool handling equipment for the manufacture of CF commercial jet engine components; the invention of re-orientation equipment to efficiently and automatically format continuous fiber reinforced thermoplastic (CFRT) tape at 45, 90 and other angles; and unique thermoplastic composite lamination equipment targeting very high volume consolidation of laminate stock for structural applications. These are just a few of the process and manufacturing advancements realized by the Globe composites team by applying lessons learned over so many years of machine building experience.
Globe has survived, grown and stayed relevant in our markets by always maintaining a culture of innovation; not simply building the same old thing and selling it for a few percent less than the other guy. Doing things that are truly novel and being a part of a team solving complex challenges and completing successful projects gives me a sense of pride in our accomplishments. These are things I find in Globe now that I look forward to experiencing throughout our long future.