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SDMI invests nearly $2M in tube laser for work on metal parts

By Eric Reinhardt


MARATHON — Square Deal Machining, Inc. (SDMI), a Marathon–based manufacturer of precision parts, has purchased its first tube laser for engineering, designing, and producing custom metal parts.

SDMI manufactures parts from carbon steel, stainless steel, or aluminum for original-equipment manufacturers, says Joseph (Joe) Morgan, CEO and sole owner of the company located in southern Cortland County.

“We provide fabrication, welding, machining, assembly, packaging, kitting … just-in-time delivery … direct shipping to their customers,” says Morgan. He spoke with CNYBJ on June 29.


Tube laser

A tube laser is a machine that can process round and square tubes up to 10 inches in diameter, as well as structural beams and other open profiles. 

It allows the designer to construct in “multiple dimensions and planes,” the firm says.

“We decided to invest in a large tube laser, one that’s capable of going up to 10 inches in diameter to help us be more competitive in products that use tubing,” says Morgan.

The tube laser represented “pretty close” to a $2 million investment in a cash transaction, which included the installation process and the foundation underneath it, he says.

Morgan says “there are not very many” tube lasers in SDMI’s industry that can go up to 10 inches in diameter.

“That’s why we decided it was a good investment for us … both for current products that we manufacture and for development of future business,” he adds. 

SDMI bought the tube laser last December from the German firm Trumpf, which makes fabrication equipment, according to Morgan. The company has an office in Farmington, Connecticut, according to its website.


How it helps

The technology, coupled with computer numerical control (CNC), is “expanding” the product and design possibilities for SDMI customers, the company says.

Most modern manufacturing in its industry is CNC-controlled, Morgan notes, with the “ability to work with … basically all the manufacturing software, so we can take a customer’s print and quickly turn it into a program and make the part,” says Morgan. 

In addition to the product design and customization possibilities for clients, the new process has also streamlined operations at SDMI.

For example, Morgan and his employees discovered existing cut-and-form jobs that they could complete “in just one step” on the tube laser. 

SDMI provides services for the military and defense, transportation, commercial and consumer, industrial, energy, and medical sectors.

“We cover pretty much every segment of the economy,” says Morgan.

SDMI’s services include CNC machining, CNC turning, grinding, cutting, punching, welding, and assembly, according to its website.


About SDMI

Square Deal Machining began as a one-room machine shop in Marathon, and has grown into a company that offers fabrication, machining, and welding capabilities. 

Morgan purchased the business in 1998. Citing the company’s status as a private firm, he declined to provide any revenue information.

The company once had just seven workers, but now has grown to employ more than 300 people. 

SDMI is headquartered in a 100,000-square-foot building at 98 U.S. Route 11 in Marathon.

The firm also operates an 85,000-square-foot facility at 496 U.S. Route 11 in Marathon, a 15,000-square-foot facility in Killawog, and a 20,000-square-foot location in the Hillcrest area of the town of Fenton, outside Binghamton, according to its website.          


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