AKRON (WKBW) A unique ribbon cutting involving a blowtorch and metal chain officially opened up the doors to the newly expanded Schrock Metal Products in Akron, as the advanced manufacturing company showed off its recent 1.7 million dollar state-of-the-art upgrade.
"We can make parts faster, cheaper, and at a higher volume. This is the largest machine or system of its kind this side of the Mississippi," company President John Schrock said.
Four machines work together to choose sheet metal, move it across the room, and robotically cut it with a laser to exact measurements. And it is completely computerized.
"We're making components for kiosks that will go in every airport in the country, we've made components that go in heat exchangers that ship all over the world. Just anything and everything anybody needs," Schrock added.
And if you're wondering about speed, this machine can turn a solid sheet of stainless steel into just about any shape or pattern in under 2 minutes.
While the current expansion did not include any new jobs this time, Schrock is looking to double his sales through this upgrade, keeping current jobs here and reinvesting in the local economy.
"we are always waiting for the silver bullet to save our economy to come from elsewhere, when it was the people here who strengthened our economy, who grow it," Erie County Executive Mark Poloncarz said.
And the operator of this brand new multi-million dollar system is 18 year old Jordan Mitri, a recent grad from the mentoring program between Schrock and nearby Akron High School.
"If you would have asked me two years ago if I thought I would be running this kind of piece of equipment, I would have never thought I would. But it's awesome," Mitri said.
Every exact cut piece, from gears to bottle openers to pieces of art, Shrock says he is proud to call all of them American and Western New York-made.