As a company, Marlin Steel is proud to serve customers across the globe with high-quality custom metal forms that meet tight production tolerances consistently as quickly as possible. To this end, Marlin Steel has enacted several Quality Management System (QMS) practices to improve its internal processes and increase efficiency.

From production lot traveler checklists, to defect reports, to comprehensive training programs and support for employees, Marlin constantly works to ensure that its processes, skills, and equipment are able to provide quality above and beyond the recommended minimum.

Production Lot Traveler (PLT) Checklists

For every custom wire form or sheet metal product Marlin makes, there’s a step-by-step document for the production team to follow called a Production Lot Traveler, or PLT. Each PLT is customized for a different type of product.

Marlin’s workers check off each step of the PLT’s checklist as they complete them so they don’t miss a step.

These PLTs are updated as needed to reflect any changes in Marlin’s quality control process.

Defect Report

Even in the best manufacturing process, there’s bound to be a defect eventually. This is why Marlin Steel’s manufacturing team has a special defect report (DR) form for noting defects in manufactured products.

On this report, workers note not only the nature of the defect, such as whether the defect arose from a material issue or a manufacturing issue, they also note:

  • Purchase order number (if supplier defect)
  • Work, lot, and customer RMA numbers (if a Marlin issue)
  • Disposition of the defective item (return to vendor, scrap, rework, etc.)
  • Date of defect, fix, and secondary inspection

This report helps clearly document issues; increasing the traceability of errors so that they can be fixed at the source.

Between Marlin’s PLT and DR documents, the production team has maintained an amazing quality control standard, with over 99.5% of parts meeting or exceeding customer standards during the last quarter.

Better Metal Forms Through Superior Knowledge

Marlin Steel dedicates fully five percent of its payroll budget to provide training for employees. This allows employees to have access to advanced skills training when they need it so they can learn how to use new equipment or work different processes.

The learning of new skills is incentivized through permanent pay increases tied to skills that are critical to the company’s operation. As employees learn more, they earn more, which helps create a team of highly knowledgeable manufacturing experts.

This ensures that Marlin has access to the skills needed to operate its automated manufacturing equipment at full capacity and quality at all times. Also, if there is a problem with a design, Marlin’s employees will have the knowledge needed to identify the issue and recommend a suitable fix to the design.

Consistent Quality Through Precise Automation

Using advanced factory automation equipment, Marlin Steel is able to produce consistently precise, high-quality metal forms with speed and ease. Unlike manual laborers, robots don’t get tired or bored, and can work from dusk till dawn with the same speed, efficiency, and accuracy on every part they make.

Examples of automation equipment used by Marlin include:

  • CNC Metal Punch
  • CNC Wire Bending Robots
  • Laser Cutting Machines for Sheet Metal
  • Medium Frequency DC Welding Robot
  • CNC 4 Axis Mill with probe

Each of these machines help Marlin’s production team meet incredibly demanding parts tolerances on a tight schedule.

By using the right machine for each operation, Marlin can help ensure top-of-the-line quality for each custom metal form to pass through the manufacturing plant.

For example, the Trumpf laser cutting machine can cut custom-shaped holes into sheet metal without stressing the surrounding material. This allows the holes to be placed in the sheet metal very closely together without compromising the structural strength of the metal.

Prioritizing Safety to Improve Productivity

Marlin’s safety practices are top-quality too. As an OSHA-certified SHARP designee, Marlin has operated for several consecutive years without a major safety incident happening on the factory floor.

Marlin Steel uses many tools to keep employees safe and production flowing smoothly, including:

  • Factory Automation. By having the robots do the most dangerous tasks and putting humans in a supervisory role, Marlin Steel keeps employees out of harm’s way.
  • Empowered Employee Safety Commissions. Marlin has an employee-led safety commission that assesses major safety risks, and is empowered to resolve them before they can cause a problem.
  • External Safety Audits. Marlin routinely invites third-party safety inspectors such as OSHA onto the factory floor to provide assessments of safety procedures and make recommendations for improvements.

Without a safe, reliable working environment, consistent quality simply cannot be delivered quickly. So, Marlin Steel remains as dedicated to employee safety as it is to top tier quality, and Marlin has gone several consecutive years without a safety incident.

This means that not only do Marlin’s best talents remain safe and healthy to continue working on your custom metal forms, but production can continue uninterrupted to meet strict production deadlines.

ISO 9001:2015 Certified

 Thanks to many of the above practices, Marlin Steel is ISO 9001:2015 certified. However, Marlin’s dedication to quality doesn’t stop at merely meeting the minimum standards of the ISO certification.

Every Marlin Steel employee is empowered to find new ways to improve processes, whether by increasing granularity of documentation, improving speed of production, reducing the occurrence of parts rejections, or by finding new ways to overcome specific production challenges.

These are just a few of the ways that Marlin Steel works to ensure top-class quality in the steel wire baskets and sheet metal containers that the company produces for clients.