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INTERVIEW - Mark Pihl, CEO, Web Industries

News International-French

4 Feb 2019

Web Industries, a leading provider of precision converting services for flexible materials and a value-added outsource manufacturer for businesses in the aerospace, medical, personal care and industrial sectors, has named Mark Pihl chief executive officer. Pihl advanced from his previous position as Web’s president and COO and assumed the role of CEO January 1, 2019. He succeeds outgoing CEO Donald Romine.

Web Industries’ Chief Executive Officer Mark Pihl
JEC Composites Magazine: What are your first words after your appointment?
Mark Pihl: I wish to thank the board of directors for its confidence in me to lead the business through a period of transformative growth and expansion. 2019 marks Web Industries 50th anniversary, and it is an honor to lead our team as we enter a new phase in the company’s development. Customers depend on Web to deliver highly engineered solutions that bridge capability gaps and accelerate go-to-market success. Look for us to extend our geographic reach and increase the rate of innovation and execution in new ways that meet our global customers’ converting and outsource manufacturing needs.

JEC Composites Magazine: What is your background at Web Industries?
Mark Pihl: I joined Web Industries in 2000 and focused my experience in executive and operations leadership roles on the business’s scalable growth, talent development and financial health.
My career with Web Industries has been highlighted by having applied world-class standards for technology, systems, quality and services that deliver industry-leading solutions to our customers. Named Web Industries COO in 2010, a member of the board of directors in 2012 and president in 2015, I had been instrumental in realigning company assets and resources in ways that meet customer and market needs, support client-driven international expansion and position all aspects of the company for significant growth. Prior to joining Web, I held executive roles at Sony Chemicals, USA, and Flexcon Company.

JEC Composites Magazine: What does the composite materials sector represent in the Web Industries business?
Mark Pihl: Every day, hundreds and thousands of people travel in aircraft built from composite materials formatted at a Web facility. Our composite formatting business is now our largest market and we are seeing continued growth as new applications, materials and product formats enter the market to support the light weighting of aircraft. Our aerospace composites business is driving much of our capital investment, which positions us to bring the best available technology to the market and continue to be an industry leader in formatting services.

JEC Composites Magazine: Do you have specific ambitions in this sector?
Mark Pihl:
We are committed to be the formatter of choice for the aerospace industry. Our portfolio of capabilities, our scale, and our growing footprint make Web an excellent choice for our partners to accelerate speed to market and reduce risk in the supply chain. Since our core competency is formatting advanced materials, and not making products, we focus all of Web’s R&D investments on innovative technology solutions to bridge capability gaps and improve the end customer buy-to-fly ratio by optimizing an array fabricating processes. 

JEC Composites Magazine: Are composites an important growth factor for your business?
Mark Pihl:
Important growth segments for us are commercial aerospace, space and defense. These are high growth segments for Web Industries.  Not only are we continuing to invest in new capacity and technology, we are expanding our global footprint as well.  We are building a new facility in the Seattle area to support future opportunities in the WA state aerospace corridor and we have just announced the acquisition of Omega Systems in Europe. By adding two regional sites in Europe, the Omega acquisition will allow Web to provide our formatting services to our global customers, and ensure we continue to be where our customers need us to support their growth.  We expect our aerospace business to continue to be our fastest growing business for years to come. Our focus on regional infrastructure and capacity, as well as developing new formatting technologies, will be important elements of our long-term strategy.
 
JEC Composites Magazine: What are your main assets in this area?
Mark Pihl: Web Industries is a leader in composite formatting technologies. For the composites market, we provide slitting and winding, and have world class scale for slit tape used in automated fiber placement (AFP). We have made significant investments in regional ply cutting and kitting, and now have five regional facilities utilizing this capability, all using the next generation cutting tables and Web’s proprietary ERP software. With the addition of Omega Systemes Atlantique and Acquitaine, we have added auxiliary kits to our portfolio, as well as several new cutting technologies to support the European market. We offer a complete suite of formatting services for thermoplastics, including chopped-flake. We have the capability to create complex multi-layer laminations of different materials, and we have development centers in the US and EU to support R&D efforts and early stage product development for our customers. On top of our capabilities, Web can manage all aspects of the supply chain to eliminate most of the pre-production materials management for our customers. We are expert at creating integrated supply chain solutions including materials management and logistics, which augment our formatting services. Our supply-chain solutions optimize the end customer spend by taking out cost and improving their own efficiency and profitability.
 
JEC Composites Magazine: Can you share your vision of the composites industry?
Mark Pihl:
We all know the fantastic market opportunity ahead. Today only ~18% of the world’s population use air travel. The industry is committed to improving the economics of air travel. The projected growth in air travel, as well as new applications in space, provide a compelling market opportunity for Web to invest in new formatting technology and capacity to support new applications and programs. The global composites industry will continue to see acceleration in the number of applications and a growing number of new products. Web Industries will continue to take a long view on the market with strategic investments to enable the growth of our customers.

About Web Industries:
A 100% employee-owned company, Web Industries, Inc., is one of the largest and most diverse providers of precision converting and outsource manufacturing. They help customers in the Aerospace, Medical, Personal & Home Care, and Industrial markets bridge their capability gaps and accelerate their go-to-market success by leveraging close, trust-based relationships to develop ingenious solutions precisely tailored to their needs. From project inception through commercialization, Web offers creative problem-solving backed by deep technical and operational expertise. 

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