Case Studies

Machine Solution Providers Inc.

Building innovative solutions for the asphalt roofing manufacturing industry

Bill Novak established Machine Solution Providers Inc. (MSP) in 2002 after working in the factory automation industry for nearly a decade. “I worked for an integrator for some time on variable speed drives and controls, and I got my start in this industry in 1993,” recalls Novak.

At the time, Novak was working with a company to integrate variable speed drives and controls for asphalt roofing manufacturing systems, as well as aluminum processing, paper and coating machinery. Surrounded by diverse processes, Novak noted a lag in asphalt roofing manufacturing technology.

“The technology was so old and it was really lacking in innovation,” he explains. “I ventured out to start a company that would give manufacturers better options. As a matter of fact, the first couple of years MSP built up the business largely through projects involving the upgrading of existing systems and controls originally supplied by others. With our initial successes, our reputation in the industry grew almost exponentially.”

To this day, innovation remains the core of MSP. Novak and his team strive to design and manufacture the best manufacturing system solutions in the roofing industry, helping manufacturers speed up the processes while efficiently turning out high-quality materials. Novak shares his passion for advancing the industry with three partners in the business, Michael O’Brien, Michael Ziesmer and Bob Fassola. The team oversees a crew of between 80 and 100 professionals who perform the design, engineering and electrical assembly for ground-breaking machinery that produces shingles in plants across the United States and abroad.

Better options

Bob Fassola, vice president of MSP, is highly involved with day-to-day operations at the plant. O’Brien works to facilitate the company’s seamless design-build projects, fostering relationships with long-term clients from all over the world.

“There are only a handful of companies in the world that make shingles,” he explains. We have built a niche as the up-and-coming company in that we are more innovative. We work to help our customers speed up their processes in an effective manner and that is how we have experienced the growth we have in the last few years.”

MPS’s in-house design and engineering capabilities help to streamline the process. The team operates from one main location in Downers Grove, Ill., with the engineering department and corporate office. The business also performs control system assembly at the main facility and a strategic partner in Alabama performs the machinery build. “We design all of it here,” Fassola notes, “From the larger metal components down to the electrical controls. Once the entire line is put together in Alabama, we meet up with our client at that location for an acceptance test. The customer sees the final product prior to shipment to make sure everything is in order and the equipment will perform the way it should. Then, we ship it to the customer’s facility where it is integrated with the electrical controls and our team installs and commissions the line.”

Ziesmer leads the engineering group and is also heavily involved with the commissioning of the equipment. According to Ziesmer, spending so much time in customer facilities actually running the equipment provides a unique perspective that allows him to bring further innovation to MSP’s designs. This hands-on approach is a common theme among MSP’s owners and is one of the reasons that the company excels at understanding the needs and exceeding the expectations of its customers.

Innovation at work

Despite the challenges many industries faced, MSP saw record growth throughout the recession. “The last few years have been really good for us,” Fassola explains. “Our customers decide to expand or add new plants and those trends seem to be independent of general economic trends. Our customers were expanding at the beginning of the downturn, rolling out a lot of roofing lines and new equipment.”

The company’s steady growth in the industry has kept MSP busy. In the past four years, there have been six greenfield production facilities introduced worldwide, including two in Russia, one in Canada and the balance in the United States. Each of the manufacturers selected MSP as the supplier of the production systems and controls to ensure the latest technological developments as the cornerstone of a flagship plant.

“We are fortunate and very proud of this accomplishment,” Novak states. “It demonstrates how far the MSP team has come in such a short amount of time. MSP has also produced the lion’s share of the various other system upgrades and additional processing lines installed in our customers’ existing facilities during the same time period.”

“MSP continues to advance the limits of technology for the industry,” Fassola adds. “We are developing a lot of new approaches and ways to make things better and faster. As a manufacturer and engineering firm, our niche is innovation. The more demanding the project is, the more excited we are to take it on.”

As the company steadily grows, Novak, O’Brien, Ziesmer and Fassola maintain a vision for innovation. With new advances in technology and turnkey in-house design-build capabilities, the company is well prepared to continue to lead the way for development in the industry. Machine Solution Providers Inc. continues to offer step-change innovation, leading service, creative design and precise project execution that helps clients operate efficiently while catering to a growing market.

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Spring 2018



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