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Merryweather Foam Blog

Since 1948, we have been industry leaders in fabricating unique, foam components for customers in the medical, sound absorption, automotive, and unique packaging industries. At Merryweather Foam, we pride ourselves on our ability to combine experience, innovation, and excellent customer service. We have the knowledge, manpower & equipment to help you get the job done. Visit our website to see our fabrication portfolio as well as our capabilities.

Team, Family and Customization: Three Core Values

2015 is nearly finished. Before we say goodbye to the current year, we want to pause to say "Thank You" to our clients, suppliers, and employees! From the beginning of our company history in 1948, relationships have been the common thread that knit the fabric of our company values. For over 67 years, we have been fueled by three core values that have propelled the company for generations:

  • We are Team Driven – Staying competitive in world markets means maximizing resources. At Merryweather Foam, that includes working diligently as a team. This team focus keeps us moving ahead more efficiently. A large number of our team members, from the factory floor to sales offices have been members of our team for several decades--allowing us to provide consistent results and solutions to our customers. We not only work together as a team, but we partner with our clients to better deliver the products they need.

  • We are Family Owned  Merryweather Foam began as a family owned business and remains family owned to this day. In 1948, Merryweather Foam Latex Company was founded in a humble Akron, Ohio suburb by Lloyd, Raymond and Gerald Merryweather. At the time, the trio lived next to an engineer from Goodyear who was working on an air foam product. Gradually, the Merryweather's were able to grow their business, creating foam mattresses and foam hair curlers that were so popular from the 50's through the 70's. In the 1960s, steady growth led Merryweather Foam to expand to a 90,000 square foot facility in Barberton, Ohio. By the mid 70's, with relationships with he support of Whirlpool and other manufacturing companies, Merryweather had expanded its facilities to include the main Akron plant, three Cincinnati facilities and were now building a plant in Sylacauga, Alabama. By the mid 1980's, under competitive pressure, Merryweather Foam was purchased by Carl R. McCune, an accountant who was familiar with the company. By the 1990's, the company was again on the grow, and the company built a manufacturing plant near El Paso, Texas. Today, the family values, so prominent in the founding of the company, still play a major part of our philosophy as Mr. McCune's son, and grandchildren actively operate the company.

  • We are Customer Service Fanatics – We have what it takes to partner with you on your next flexible foam fabrication project--no matter how large or small. Through the years, we've had the pleasure of working with small businesses and large corporations to offer flexible foam solutions as well as pressure sensitive adhesive lamination. We've created custom products for Dr. Scholl's and Sears. We've partnered with Whirlpool and GE Medical. In our early days, we were even the supplier of custom designed foam rubber pads on which two monkeys rode in one of the first space capsules in the U.S. If you need a custom flexible foam fabrication, we invite you to contact Merryweather Foam. Put our experience in custom flexible foam fabrication to work for you and bring us your next challenge! 

By maintaining the values of being team driven, family owned, and by focusing on customer solutions, we continue to serve our worldwide clients with integrity and value. In this season of gratefulness, it is an excellent opportunity for us to take a look back as well as to look forward. For those who we have had the pleasure of serving through the years we are profoundly grateful. For those will be working with soon, we welcome you. Thank you, and have a prosperous new year.

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Engaged And Efficient: Why Merryweather Foam Embraces Lean Manufacturing

Successful People vs Unsuccessful People

Corporate waste isn't just a poor business move; it's a betrayal of loyal customers. Every piece of the production process that does not contribute to the final product means delays and high prices for patrons. Merryweather is committed to minimizing these costs and constantly improving our products and prices, which is why we have adopted lean manufacturing.

A Look at Lean Manufacturing

Lean manufacturing is a broad set of methods used to eliminate waste in the production process. While the specifics vary by company, lean methods usually involve:

  • Simplifying Systems - The fewer parts a system has, the less likely it is that something will go wrong, and the less energy, resources, and oversight it takes to maintain it.

  • Measuring Methodically - The more specific information a company has on production rates and times, the easier it is to set goals for improvement and meet them.

  • Correcting Continuously - Lean manufacturing companies are always on the lookout for waste, making sure that every part of the production line works as well with the others as possible. They are thus able to deliver an ever-increasing level of efficiency.

Merryweather has long embraced lean methods for all stages of production and distribution. These methods have allowed us to improve profits while delivering lower costs and better services to all our customers.

​It's a Personal Journey That Begins with Me
We believe that lean manufacturing begins on a personal level with our entire team--from the receiving dock to the factory floor to our executive offices. We believe in setting goals to continuously improve on both a personal and professional level. Our company culture encourages our team members to ask thoughtful questions throughout the daily scope of their job and to seek out ways that we can learn and grow together. The result of this mindset is a collective group of determined people that seek to serve of our customers. 

Additional Advantages

Besides lower prices, lean manufacturing has allowed us to offer:

  • Safe Jobs - Complex, wasteful systems are harder to monitor, putting employees at risk. By eliminating waste, we reduce the likelihood that our workers will be injured.

  • On-Time Deliveries - Lean manufacturing systems have few delays, and when delays do occur, it is not as difficult to diagnose and fix them. This makes it easier for us to finish and deliver all orders on time.

  • Endless Options - By minimizing delays in the production process, lean manufacturing allows us to quickly modify our methods and adapt in order to fill unique foam orders. It also lowers the chance that unique orders will disrupt ordinary production in ways we don't anticipate.

  • Fast Prototyping- Lean manufacturing allows us to speed up prototype testing, minimizing the time it takes to adopt new methods or sell new products.

Adopting lean manufacturing isn't just a profitable move. It represents our commitment to treating our customers, employees, and community as well as we can. By improving efficiency, we are able to regularly make our work both better and safer, ensuring satisfaction for everyone involved.

For more information about our company or for help on your next custom flexible foam project, contact Merryweather today.

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Our Story: How We Began

Merryweather Foam - Foam Fabricators

A Humble Neighborhood

The Merryweather Foam story began in a humble neighborhood. At the time Lloyd, Raymond and Gerald Merryweather lived next door to an engineer from the Goodyear Tire & Rubber Company who was working on the launch their new "Air Foam" product. The Merryweathers' were in the onsite furnace building industry and realized that with the onset of prefabricated furnaces, their business would soon come to an end.

In 1948 Merryweather Foam Latex Company was founded in Silver Lake, an Akron, Ohio suburb. By the 1970's, Merryweather was one of the largest in the world, servicing the health and beauty market (foam hair curlers) and the appliance and furniture industries (foam mattresses). The main facility was in Akron, Ohio with three additional facilities in Cincinnati, Ohio area.

In the 1960’s, Merryweather expanded to a 90,000 square foot facility in Barberton, OH because of steady growth that lead to expansion. The move gave Merryweather ten and a half acres of land and more floor space to fabricate foam. In the mid 1970's, Merryweather developed a strong relationship with the Whirlpool Corporation and other southern manufacturing companies. The company built an additional foam fabrication facility, located in Sylacauga, Alabama, to increase its manufacturing capabilities and serve customer increasing customer demands. 

By 1985, the Merryweather Family decided to sell the business as the company was in danger of being closed down by a competitor. An accountant ,Carl R. McCune, had worked for the accounting firm representing the company, was able to purchase it with the help of the State of Ohio and rename it Merryweather Foam Incorporated.

In the late 1990’s, Merryweather Foam grew again—this time building a facility in Anthony, New Mexico (close to El Paso, TX). This created an opportunity to service companies in the western part of the United States. Manufacturing Companies such as the Hoover Company presented a greater need to service the companies out west.

Building into the Future

Today, Merryweather is proud to be a preferred converter for many industry-leading suppliers, including Foamex, Rogers, Voltek, and Tyco. Our focus is on helping OEM companies select competitive and better performing materials through outstanding customer service. Our ability to meet the fabrication needs of our customers using industry leading equipment and custom-engineered machinery has made us a leader in the foam fabricating world, therefore achieve steady growth over the past 60 years.

Some of the innovative projects Merryweather has been a part of include Dr. Scholl's toecaps, Sears's window air conditioning filters, and GE Medical MRI head cushions to name a few. Merryweather also boast the accomplishment as being the supplier of foam rubber pads on which two monkeys rode in one of the first USA space capsules. We pride ourselves on our ability to combine experience, innovation, and excellent customer service. Please contact us today for more information or to request a quote—we look forward to hearing from you and your team!

 

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