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Westhoff said. “Pumps for fresh groundwater or irrigation has been one of our product lines from day one.” Today, Midland’s sales volume is

split roughly 50/50 between job- bing work and two product lines. A third new product line has been added but it is still in early stages of growth. Along with the water pumps, Midland manufactures a line of municipal products the company has labeled MIDCO. It started with water meter flanges in the 1960s and helped get Midland’s foot in the door for municipal products. In the 1980s, MIDCO added a restraint unit that connects PVC pipe to iron fittings in municipal pipes. The restraint unit is a proprietary invention from a former customer who retired. Midland took on the business, casting the main pieces, assembling, packaging and distribut- ing from its facilities in Fort Worth. Midland has adjusted its prod-

ucts according to customer demand. Originally it sold the flanges individually, but many customers wanted the whole kit, so Midland started offering them packaged with the associated accessories. It meant taking control of more inventory but enabled the line to grow. Westhoff said the water well

pump products account for 30% of the business’ overall sales, and in the last five years, the MIDCO line has approached the same level. “I still see ourselves as a jobbing

shop,” Westhoff said. “But our two main product lines are our main- stays. That gives us a kind of luxury: we are always selling something, no matter what.” Midland, which employs 40,

recently added a third product line of architectural and ornamental cast- ings. Tese include historic mark- ers, building plaques, and memorial products. Midland casts the Texas Trail of Fame stars at the famous Fort Worth Stockyards nearby as part of this architectural line it named “Marcoza.” Tis line is still in its early stages, and the nature of the work lends itself to very low volume orders. Te pieces are cast on Mid- land’s small nobake casting line.

38 | MODERN CASTING May 2017

In order to improve efficiencies and reduce bottlenecks, Midland Manufacturing redesigned and installed an upgraded cleaning and finishing area before tackling a new molding machine.

On the jobbing side of the busi-

ness, Midland casts safety tools, pumps, gears, saddle clamps and waterworks products. Although the business is rooted in Texas, only 5% is tied directly to oil, Westhoff said. If anything, the metalcaster is tied to another natural resource: water. “People always need water,”

Westhoff said. From the pipes that transport water to the pumps that tap it, Mid- land Manufacturing makes castings needed in these applications. “We cater to Texas, Oklahoma,

Arkansas and Louisiana for jobbing, but as far as our product line work, we sell the MIDCO line across the

“I’m not ready to think about retiring yet. I love what I do and I love coming in here every day.” —George Westhoff

country and we sell the water well around the world,” Westhoff said. Midland even has provided pump

castings at cost to U.S. aid relief groups that provide equipment for freshwater wells to villages in Africa and the Amazon. As the manufacturer of a complete

product, Midland Manufacturing has the capability for assembly, finishing machining and shrink wrapping that it also offers to its jobbing customers as an added value. Over the last 10 years, it has added three new CNC machines to improve that area’s work flow and quality. “We are trying to build that up to

be more efficient,” Westhoff said. “We are thinking of getting a digital mill to open up more capacity room for machining, perhaps to even take on outside machine work.” Midland moved to its current

location in 1984 and shortly after installed a matchplate molding machine, but by 2003, the company was starting to experience main- tenance and wear issues. When the company began looking for its replacement, the idea to address the end of the line first crystallized. After asking three companies

for a material handling and finish- ing area design, Midland selected

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