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New Maritime Equipment Demonstrated

Moran Iron Works (MIW), a leading metal fabricator in northern Michigan, revealed its newest fabrication equipment - a beam drill line and cutting line - designed specifically for the marine market. The cutting-edge technology, capable of drilling and cutting metal beams of various shapes and sizes with CNC controlled programming, will enable the company to provide high-quality, efficient fabrication services to clients. These machines eliminate the need to manually layout the positions as well as produce the hole or cut by hand, saving time and manpower.


The new equipment along with current facilities gives MIW the ability to compete on a global scale. MIW owns a deep water port located on the shore of Lake Huron in Rogers City. Centrally located in the Great Lakes, the port provides space and equipment to facilitate custom vessel construction and repair services in addition to other various shipping activities for a range of ship sizes and types. While the equipment directly impacts the marine market, it adds benefit to all fabrication abilities.


The new beam lines will significantly enhance MIW’s capacity, enabling the company to provide faster and more accurate fabrication of large beams. The drill spindle is capable of drilling holes up to 1-9/16 inch diameter and through any thickness up to 10 inches. The machine's advanced software and automation features will ensure precision drilling and reduce the risk of errors, resulting in high-quality finished products.

tom moran moran iron works beam line
Tom Moran introduces the equipment to the MIW team and community members.

"Our new equipment begins another chapter in accuracy and productivity for Moran Iron Works,” said Tom Moran, President of Moran Iron Works. “New fabricating machines speak a very different language than the older models and our operators find it easier to translate that to high production and tight tolerances.”


Moran continued, “The best part is we have lowered the level of hand work and lengthen the career span of our employees. These machines will let our team members feel more productive and end the day less tired.”


Funding to purchase the line came from a Small Shipyard Grant Program from the U.S. Department of Transportation's Maritime Administration (MARAD) which was supported by state government officials Senator Gary Peters, Senator Debbie Stabinow, and U.S. Congressman Jack Bergman. Representatives from all these offices were invited to attend the event and witness the demonstration.


“Moran Iron Works is an incredible asset to our region and employs nearly 100 Northern Michiganders. I was proud to support the effort to acquire new equipment that will help Moran Iron Works increase its capabilities and expand opportunity in the years to come,” said Representative Jack Bergman.


The reveal even drew attention from another shipbuilder, Fincantieri - an Italian based company with USA headquarters in Washington DC. Robert Tullar, capture manager for the company visited MIW for the event.


“It’s impressive because MIW is not specifically a shipyard but they can use these machines to build boats plus broaden the breadth of what they do for customers,” Tullar stated.


“The beam improves speed while improving quality. Anytime you can do that it makes it better for your customers and your bottom line. You get more output spending less energy,” he continued. “Also two functions in one line is significant, it allows you to control where your clean up area and recycled materials are.”

moran iron works cnc operating beam line
CNC operator Tom Crawford (a 22 year employee of MIW) demonstrates the cut line, accurately notching the steel beam so it can properly fit with other beams in a project. The equipment is managed by CNC controlled programming eliminating the need for torching by hand.

Guests at the demonstration watched as the beam line lifted and flipped a 150-pound steel beam before accurately notching the beam with a single torch. Beams are notched, or coped, to ensure they fit with other pieces of the project framework. The equipment also precisely drilled dozens of holes of various sizes in less than one minute.


The launch of the new beam drill line is a significant milestone for MIW and represents the company's continued investment in cutting-edge technology and innovation. The company's dedication to quality and integrity have earned it a reputation as one of the most reliable and trusted metal fabricators in the midwest. With the new beam drill line, MIW is poised to take its services to the next level and provide even better solutions to its clients.

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