M&H Engineering: Versatility in Technology

March 2013

On May 1, 1966, Martin A. Martens and Richard Haley, two engineers who met while working at Signet Tool & Die Corp., formed their own firm: M&H Engineering Company, Inc. Based in Danvers, M&H started life as a general manufacturer, working for such customers as North American Phillips and Sylvania. Over time, M&H developed a reputation as a high-precision, quality shop, and began attracting defense contracts through powerhouse firms like Raytheon and General Electric.

In the early 2000s Marten's sons Michael, Andrew, and Timothy joined the company, and the next generation, with guidance from the founders, began to shift the core focus of the firm. Moving into the manufacture of increasingly specialized technological components and assemblies, M&H began expanding its customer base. It still includes military manufacture, but it has extended into a range of industries requiring high-tech manufacture, including medical, aerospace, communications, and more.

"Our combined engineering skills and organizational strengths allowed us to develop products for our customers that were highly efficient to manufacture," says Michael Martens, vice president of M&H. "By adding value to our manufacturing processes, such as laser marking, assembling, and a Kanban lean manufacturing system, we've been able to move into a variety of industries and maintain consistent growth. In fact, while it may appear that we're specializing in certain industries, our skill at developing highly-efficient-to-manufacture components is applicable to all industries." It helps that the company's reputation for producing extremely difficult precision parts and assemblies from exotic materials has lead engineers from cutting-edge, global companies to M&H's door, seeking unique solutions.

Versatility in technology, Martens says, is the true hallmark of M&H. For example, M&H had a key role in creating technology for the AbioCor artificial heart, developed by AbioMed. The AbioCor is fully implantable inside a patient, due to a combination of advances in miniaturization, biosensors, plastics, and energy transfer, and runs on a rechargeable source of power. The internal battery is charged by a transcutaneous energy transmission system, which means that no wires or tubes penetrate the skin, and therefore, there is less risk of infection. "We're also very proud to have been involved in the development of scientific components and assemblies that were used on NASA's Space Shuttle and currently in use on the International Space Station," he adds.

Those technologies and the ways in which they were developed also speak to the way the company's client work meshes with its internal environment. "Those projects took great skill and team work to develop, and that fits directly into M&H's vision to provide a good living for our employees in a safe and enjoyable work environment," Martens asserts. "Having more than 50 highly skilled, dedicated, long-term employees offers our customers a stable and consistent engineering and machining team to bring their visions to fruition." That combination of expertise and culture has also helped M&H enjoy an average 10 percent yearly growth during the past decade.

To continue to grow in the current economic climate, M&H decided that it needed to partner with a forward-thinking bank. "After much consideration, the clear leader for us was Salem Five," Martens says. "In 2011, M&H Engineering moved our business to Salem Five, and we haven't looked back since. Working with Paul Passeri, senior vice president of Commercial Banking, we established a working line of credit and a second line to be used for the acquisition of new equipment. Having capital flexibility and getting great advice from Paul and his team has greatly enhanced M&H Engineering's ability to serve our customers."

In January 2013, M&H Engineering joined Salem Five's business insurance program. The program offered by Salem Five was developed specifically for the metal working industry by the National Tooling and Machining Association (NTMA) and is endorsed by the Boston Tooling and Machining Association (BTMA). "Being a member of both these associations, we saw the great value in an insurance program seemingly tailored to our company," notes Martens. "To us, this industry-specific insurance is another example of how Salem Five is continuously striving to provide better products and services to its customers, which is exactly in line with M&H Engineering's client-facing philosophy."

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