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Maine MEP Selects Steel-Pro as Maine’s Manufacturer of the Year for 2019


Located on the shores of Rockland Harbor, Maine, Steel-Pro is a 52-person custom manufacturer of ASME code pressure vessels, biopharmaceutical equipment, vacuum chambers, storage tanks and other custom-designed equipment. The quality and craftsmanship required to be a player in this industry is at the pinnacle of welding and fabrication. Steel-Pro employees continually reach or exceed requirements. Steel-Pro was founded in 1978 and generously converted to an employee-owned company in 2014.

The Challenge

Steel-Pro reached out to Maine MEP, part of the MEP National Network™, for help retaining their largest customer. The customer, a large manufacturer of biopharmaceuticals, had set some very aggressive goals around cost reduction and therefore lower pricing. The customer has a long history of implementing Lean Manufacturing at their suppliers and offered to send their consultants in to do the work with Steel-Pro. Maine MEP was chosen to complete this implementation along with a simultaneous ISO 9001 implementation.
All Steel-Pro employees work very hard every day against many challenges.  It’s nice to have these efforts recognized with the 2019 Manufacturer of the Year award.  Maine MEP understood our needs to gain production efficiency while simultaneously implementing an ISO Quality Management System.  The immediate goal was to retain our largest customer.  The combined efforts of Maine MEP and Steel-Pro actually resulted in growing that account!
— Steve Ladd, President

MEP's Role

A recently facilitated Material Flow Kaizen was but one of many that Steel-Pro has completed with Maine MEP. After initial implementation, Steel-Pro Facilitators and Internal Auditors have sustained the work over the past 5 years. Maine MEP is primarily supporting their internal capability at this time with recent events such as Kaizen/VSM Refresher, Root Cause Analysis Training and Toyota Kata for Daily Improvement instruction. Maine MEP is very pleased to have been called upon for 14 training events at Steel-Pro and looks forward to working closely with them in the future.
Created June 2, 2020, Updated July 12, 2021