At the turn of 2023, Metal Finishing Technologies Chairman and CEO Peter Mirabello was honored to be featured in a podcast by FactoryoftheFuture®.org — THE place to share your knowledge, experience, and passion for manufacturing and find resources and solutions to ‘make things better. The podcast interview, conducted by Mitch Kennedy, tackled Peter’s (and MFT’s) unique perspective on the future of metal finishing.
A Podcast the Metal Finishing Industry Shouldn’t Miss
Rated the “Best Metal Finisher in New England,” Metal Finishing Technologies works hard to stay at the forefront of technology and progress through focused projects on reducing water, air, chemical use, and energy efficiency.
Factory of the Future took the time to highlight insights from our company because we’re, as he calls us, “an honest-to-goodness 21st-century metal finishing operation” and one of the largest manufacturing plants in Connecticut. Peter Mirabello uses this unique position to encourage bright minds to join the ranks of the factory career and promote social and environmental responsibility in the industry.
Operational and Environmental Excellence
During the interview, Mitch seeks to uncover what it is that makes MFT tick. When asked what we do, Peter responds succinctly, “So look, in a nutshell, we make metal perform better. Simple as that.” There’s more to the story, of course. The devil is always in the details. What applications or environments will the component be exposed to? Peter takes a moment to reflect on the importance of individual project needs:
“Nickel will resist heat. Now you can be in a jet engine, which is crazy high heat, and you get into these alloys and these coatings in this plasma where you resist heat. Tin will be a good conductor. Now you’re into broadband. And then when you get into the medical world, you have to have some incredibly clean metal because it’s going to get put into a person’s body, right? So you have to passivate it to remove a lot of the impurities in there. So what we do is through a variety of processes.”
The real value runs a lot deeper than the plating application, of course. The podcast runs the gamut from metal finishing processes to the talent shortage in the industry to environmental, corporate, and social responsibility goals, but a through line ties everything together: operational and environmental excellence are not mutually exclusive. In fact, they are cornerstone commitments of who we are at MFT and what we strive to be on a daily basis.
Forward Thinking Finishers Value Sustainability
Many customers in the metal finishing space lament the shortage of good shops and raw materials in the current economic climate. For the overhaul and repair industry — and particularly in aerospace — manufacturers and businesses are fighting for not only materials and new engine builds, but the people that are building the components and products themselves.
As Peter observes, “You don’t hear about it, but it’s a huge issue […] You have to be aware of these things if you’re in a business and understand how they work and understand what success looks like in doing it.” But solving these problems for customers with viable, reliable, fast, and proven service is just the beginning. This is a highly challenging part of the supply chain, but both operational and environmental success are critical to the customer/finisher relationship.
“There’s a whole environmental component,” Peter says. “We take very seriously the responsibility to handle some of these sensitive materials.” Cadmium is a great example. As one of the few NADCAP-certified Cadmium platers in the US, MFT knows that this toxic metal, which is virtually outlawed everywhere but the military, demands extreme care.
Manufacturing has historically never been thought of as environmentally friendly, but MFT works extremely hard on this side of the business. “There’s a real challenge with the environment that we wanted to get it to sustain,” Peter explains, “not just for our generation, but generations to come.” With MFT, customers find that balance of reliable service and fast turnaround times with the peace of mind that everything is also fully compliant and done in alignment with worldwide environmental goals.
Tune into the episode, “Metal Finishing in the 21st Century” here to listen to (or read the transcript of) Mitch’s frank conversation with Pete Mirabello. Follow along as they discuss what it takes to innovate and adjust to risks and market changes without sacrificing personnel, quality, or customer relations.