JEC Group have brought together the international community of composites leaders and executives in our Composites Circle as an unique networking opportunity to meet with both peers and future partners.
Richard Morrison is President and Chief Executive Officer of the Molded Fiber Glass Companies. Privately owned and managed by the Morrison family, MFG has grown to include strategically focused facilities in 10 states and Mexico. The company continuously invests in new facilities, programs, technology, and personnel to better serve the market.
(published on April 2010 - JEC Magazine #56)
From modest beginnings in 1948 in Ashtabula, Ohio, MFG has grown to an international presence in the field of composites manufacturing.
Pioneers in composites
Today the company is a thriving enterprise that includes 16 entities throughout the United States and Mexico. MFG is involved in a gamut of exciting and growing industries, contributing to products that make life more affordable, safer, and healthier for human beings and the environment.
True to the original vision of advancing both the art and science of composites manufacturing, MFG has established itself as both an innovator of proprietary products and a respected partner to leading manufacturers around the world. The depth and breadth of the company as a specialist in FRP (fiber reinforced plastic) provides an important asset to the world of manufacturing - a resource that customers large and small can turn to for composite materials expertise, dependable delivered goods and business integrity.
The 16 MFG entities are organized around two business model categories: “Custom composite manufacturing businesses” that function as dedicated manufacturing partners for specific industrial segments and “Proprietary product businesses” that produce and sell finished products directly into the market.
All of the MFG entities share a common integrated management, finance and marketing team, as well as three significant assets that are unique to the industry - MFG Research, the MFG Design Center, and extensive prototyping capability.
MFG have recently made three DVD's, one describing the new materials entity, "iCOM", another introducing the new commercial process, named "PRIME", and a third production covering the Wind Energy products and services.
As part of MFG's commitment to raising the standards of excellence in SMC/LMC formulation and manufacture, the company created a dedicated entity focused on developing, monitoring and implementing the best practices in the world. This new entity is charged with pursuing material and manufacturing improvements that put MFG at the forefront of quality SMC/LMC production worldwide. In addition to developing and implementing new practices, testing procedures, and materials data tracking, MFG designed and built a new SMC and LMC manufacturing, laboratory and office facility at the Ashtabula campus that offers customers gold standard quality and value.
JEC Composites Magazine: - In your opinion, what is driving the US composite market today?
RICHARD MORRISON: The U.S. demand is strongest in transportation while housing construction is showing a steady recovery. To a lesser extent, water distribution components and aerospace/defense are also contributing.
JCM: What are the main characteristics of the US composite market?
R. M.: The market is highly diverse in applications and opportunities with a long-term history of steady growth year after year.
JCM: In which market are you involved?
R. M.: Our primary markets include energy, transportation, general industrial & commercial, and custom products.
JCM: What are the next challenges for MFG? What development projects are in the works?
R. M.: Challenges include finding or creating new applications that are appropriate for composites, and working with federal and state governments to insure legislation/regulation impacting the composites industry is based on good science and sound economics.
Our development projects are focused on new material developments for even lighter and stronger composites, and manufacturing processes that continue to reduce waste and cost.
JCM: Have you planned investment?
R. M.: MFG is continually investing in new equipment, manufacturing and materials technologies, and people with the goal of supporting our customers, both current and future.
JCM: What is your added value compared with your competitors?
R. M.: We provide important additional services to our customers. For example, our Design Center, Research Company, and prototyping capabilities. We are 100 percent dedicated to composites.
JCM: What business opportunity does the JEC Composites Show represent for MFG?
R. M.: MFG has several important customers and suppliers with global operations. JEC affords us a unique opportunity to network with them.
New Advanced Process - PRIME
Pre-placed Reinforcements Insure Manufacturing Excellence - A new approach for high quality, high volume composites. There are two broad categories of composite materials - one where fibers are pre-placed into a mold and plastic resin flows to create the part, and another where fibers are compounded into the plastic resin ahead of time and then flowed with the resin to fill a mold. Pre-placed reinforcement composite is the best answer for structural and quality-critical parts because it provides the most efficient use of fibers and the least variation of fiber location and orientation. Pre-placed reinforcement allows product designers to use materials closer to their dimensional limits - resulting in lighter, more efficient, and sometimes more effective parts.
In 2007, MFG's Advanced Manufacturing Center (AMC) embarked on a mission to advance the state-of-the-art of pre-placed reinforcement technology. This initiative started with equipment modifications to reduce energy and material waste. It led to many new investigations including a new binder capable of supporting increased production rates, advances in the use of robots with high tech glass delivery choppers, and improved control systems.
He was elevated to the position of president and general manager in 1970.
He migrated to the Molded Fiber Glass Tray Company in Linesville PA, serving as its president and general manager in 1979.
Richard has served as president and CEO of the Molded Fiber Glass Companies, which has grown to include 16 entities in the USA and Mexico. The corporate headquarters is located in Ashtabula, OH, near Cleveland since 1987.
Mr. Morrison is an alumnus of Stanford University. Running Career: Richard completed 33 marathons including New York City and Los Angeles.