C 22 U | Marten Machining | Precision engineering & Optic
When Al Marten set up his business, he started with nothing but a passion to make things and a keen eye for detail.
Like many other American entrepreneurs, Marten's experience as an employee convinced him that he could be successful as his own boss. After eight years working as a toolmaker and mould builder, 1984 was the year in which he reckoned the time was ripe to found his own business. He had nobody working for him and no customers, and the only location he owned and could turn into a workshop was a double garage in Stevens Point in Wisconsin. The recurring theme in Marten's career had always been: "OK, so how does that work?" And that has not changed to this day – Marten is still consumed by curiosity and the desire to learn and make, which is why his business has expanded and he continues to leave a lasting impression on people around him.
PUT TO THE TEST
In just three years the company had grown to the point when its capacity had to be increased through the purchase of the first CNC machine. Whatever machine he was finally going to buy, Marten was determined to put it through all the hoops. One of those suppliers who made it onto the shortlist was a German CNC machine tool manufacturer he had noticed in an advertisement – Hermle AG. Before taking a final decision, he decided to test the machine using a sample. During his meeting with the Hermle representative, the latter first had a close look at the test program for five long minutes. Then he said: "OK, and this is where WE come in." The two of them then went through every detail of the program, looking for possible problems and finding workarounds in advance. That took nearly 45 minutes, and then the time had come to mill the sample piece. Marten was duly impressed when the test piece came out of the machine, exactly as he wanted it and displaying the required precision after just a single run through. And because Marten was then able to manufacture highest-precision products, his company skyrocketed. Even after 30 years he still enjoys looking back to his first encounter with Hermle. "I COOPERATED with the representative for 45 minutes – and learned something."