MJ News

  • Ribbon Cutting

    U.S. Representative Kristi Noem Cuts Ribbon on Mereen-Johnson's Latest Plant Expansion

    (Webster, SD) - Mereen-Johnson, LLC, makers of world-class industrial woodworking machinery, held a ribbon cutting ceremony today headlined by South Dakota's U.S. Representative Kristi Noem. 

    "This expansion, which grows our manufacturing facility by 20 percent, will allow us to meet the increasing demand for our machines across the country and around the world," said Paul Wilmes, Mereen-Johnson CEO. "It also demonstrates our strong commitment to the City of Webster, Day County and the State of South Dakota."

    Mereen-Johnson is known around the world for making long lasting, high-tech, heavy duty machinery. The company has been headquartered in Minneapolis, Minnesota since 1905, and opened its "Western Division" in Webster, South Dakota in 1973. The Webster facility has grown over the years, and in 2006 Mereen-Johnson consolidated all of its manufacturing in Webster.

    In the last five years Mereen-Johnson has seen a doubling in sales. The number of employees at the Webster facility has more than doubled in that time frame as well.

    "Not only will we increase our capacity, but we will also increase our efficiencies with the additional space," said Mark Pearson, Mereen-Johnson Plant Manager. "This will allow us to better compete on the global stage."

    "As someone who's run a family farm and small businesses, I know just how tough it is to keep a place going year after year, but Mereen-Johnson has done that in Webster for more than 40 years,"said Representative Noem. "I am thrilled to see the continued investments Mereen-Johnson is making, not only in the expansion of their Webster facility, but also in their commitment to workforce development. It's exciting to see companies like this grow and create economic opportunity for South Dakotans."

     

  • U.S. Representative Kristi Noem to be Guest Ribbon Cutter at August 31st Event / Ribbon Cutting to be followed by Ice Cream & Hot Dog Social

    Expansion

    (Webster, SD) – Mereen-Johnson, LLC, makers of world-class industrial woodworking machinery, will be holding a ribbon cutting event to celebrate the completion of their recent Webster, South Dakota plant expansion. 

    “This expansion gives us the capacity to meet the growing demand for our machinery from all over the world,” said Paul Wilmes, Mereen-Johnson CEO. “This expansion also shows our strong commitment to the Webster area and growing our operations in South Dakota.”

    The ribbon cutting will be immediately followed by an ice cream and hot dog social. The social will include music and refreshments. All events are open to the general public.

    Mereen-Johnson is known around the world for making long lasting, high-tech, heavy duty machinery. The company has been headquartered in Minneapolis, Minnesota since 1905, and opened its “Western Division” in Webster, South Dakota in 1973. The Webster facility has grown over the years, and in 2006 Mereen-Johnson consolidated all of its manufacturing in Webster.

    In the last five years Mereen-Johnson has seen a doubling in sales. The number of employees at the Webster facility has more than doubled in that time frame as well.

    Special guest ribbon cutter will be South Dakota’s United States Representative Kristi Noem.

     “We are pleased to have Representative Noem join us for the ribbon cutting,” stated Wilmes. “Her commitment to growing jobs and economic opportunity in South Dakota is undisputed. This includes her strong commitment to career technical education, which is so critical to manufacturing companies like Mereen-Johnson.”

    Event Details:

         What: Mereen-Johnson Ribbon Cutting, followed by Ice Cream & Hot Dog Social

         When: 2:30 p.m., Thursday, August 31, 2017

         Where: Mereen-Johnson Facility at 10 Park Lane, Webster

         Who: All events are open to the general public

  • Model 424-DC

    We currently have TWO used Model 424-DC rip saws ready for re-building. Contact jbranch@mereen-johnson.com for more information or call (612) 529-7791.

  • At this year's AWFS Fair in Las Vegas Mereen-Johnson will be doing LIVE demos of its Model 312 DC/SR rip saw paired with our Rip Navigator Tracker Rip Optimizing System, giving you the opportunity to see the world's best optimizing system live and in person. 

    312 Tracker

    The Model 312, when paired with the Tracker, gives you big shop performance at a small shop price. Here is a video of the system in action:

    • For more information about Rip Navigator Tracker click HERE.   
    • If need complimentary tickets to the show, we have a limited number available -- Please click HERE for more information.

    Also doing LIVE demos at the Mereen-Johnson booth will be our Model 1105-G Dovetailer, and Model 99-D Box Press. These machines are perfect for any size shop, providing quality and versatility second to none. Here are some videos of the machines in action:

     

  • Mereen-Johnson has created an enhanced customized training and preventative maintenance initiative called “QAP” -- which is short for Quality Assurance Program. 

    qap 1

    Mereen-Johnson’s QAP is customized for the individual customer focusing on employee training and preventative machine maintenance. Our QAP Team will make sure your team and your machine are operating safely and at peak efficiency.

    From an economic and safety perspective there are meaningful benefits to be gained by adopting a more comprehensive approach to preventative machine maintenance and operator training.

     

    qap2

    What We Do:

    • Develop a customized training and preventative maintenance plan which includes a detailed machine inspection, operator training seminars as well as hands on machine time with operators and maintenance personnel, a written summary of findings, and a detailed action plan for follow-up.
    • QAP is scalable, meaning it can be more or less comprehensive depending upon your needs. 

    Results You Get:

    • Improved machine reliability & performance
    • Fewer potential breakdowns & less down time
    • Increased operating efficiencies & improved  operator skills
    • Tighter tolerances
    • Better safety practices
    • Fewer rejects
    • Better return on your investment

    qap3

     

  • In  recognition of National Safety Awareness Month, Mereen-Johnson is offering special values on safety items for your Mereen-Johnson Rip Saw.

    • Save 20% on Anti-kickback Assemblies & Components
    • Save 20% on Operator Safety Aprons
    • Save 10% on Door Safety Switches
    • Save 10% on Machine Manuals
    • Save 10% on Safety Label Sets

    For more information on these offers please CLICK HERE.

  • Mereen-Johnson is doing LIVE demonstrations this week of its Model 524-DC/SR rip saw with Rip Navigator Scout rip optimizing system at the LIGNA show in Hanover, Germany.

  • Mereen-Johnson is doing LIVE machine demos at their booth at LIGNA, the world's largest woodworking show, taking place this week in Hanover, Germany. Click here for details: http://www.ligna.de/exhibitor/mereen-johnson/J725537

    Ligna

  • Tim Brown Assumes Project Manager Role

    (Minneapolis, MN) - After 38 years with Mereen-Johnson, long time Product Manager Dave Joslyn has decided to retire. 

    Joslyn has seen a lot of changes over the years. "Technology has changed a lot," said Joslyn. "At first computers were not used at all, and then quickly we went from relay logic to PLCs which have developed into fully automated systems. Fortunately, Mereen-Johnson has been at the head of the pack."

    "Dave Joslyn is a living legend at Mereen-Johnson," said Paul Wilmes, Mereen-Johnson CEO. "Dave has been a steady hand on the tiller always making sure customer expectations were being met."

    While Dave's shoes are hard to fill, Mereen-Johnson is fortunate to have the perfect replacement already in-house. Tim Brown, who had been the Marketing Manager at Mereen-Johnson since 2006, will take Dave's place and become Mereen-Johnson's Project Manager, which will include the Product Manager responsibilities as well as other duties.

    Prior to being Marketing Manager Tim had served as the head of International Sales, traveling the world for Mereen-Johnson as well as serving as Chair of the International Business Development Committee for the Wood Machinery Manufacturers of America for several terms. Tim started in the chain department and has an expert understanding of how Mereen-Johnson machines and parts are made as well as how they are used in the field.

    "This is the perfect position to utilize Tim's extensive knowledge of our machines as well as his well-honed customer relations skills," said Paul Wilmes. "With the retirement of Dave Joslyn there is no person in our company better suited to fill the very large shoes Mr. Joslyn will be leaving behind."

    As for Dave, he isn't sure exactly what he will do in retirement, and he likes it that way. "My wife Kay will be retiring in October and we expect to take some long trips down south during winter. Maybe we will get a home up north, or maybe we will decide to do something else. Or, maybe we will just decide not to decide," mused Joslyn.

    Mereen-Johnson, headquartered in Minneapolis, Minnesota, with manufacturing facilities in Webster, South Dakota, has been building heavy-duty, high-tech industrial woodworking machines since 1905. 

    Brown and Joslyn

    Tim Brown (seated) and Dave Joslyn

  • The expansion of our Webster, South Dakota manufacturing facility is well underway. This will result in a 20% increase in our assembly space. Coupled with a general plant modernization effort, we will increase our capabilities and reduce lead times. 

    Building progress

  • Mereen-Johnson's Model 524-DC/SR2+4 rip saw is the ultimate in production flexibility featuring a first arbor equipped with two shifting hogging blades to virtually eliminate edge strips and a second arbor with up to four shifting blades or 24" capacity fixed gang. Check it out in action!

     

  • The LIGNA show in Hanover, Germany is the biggest woodworking show in the world, running from May 22nd-26th. Mereen-Johnson will be displaying working machines there for the first time in over 15 years. "Our strong presence at LIGNA is another indication of the growth in demand for our machines," said Paul Wilmes, Mereen-Johnson's CEO.

    Be sure to visit our booth: Hall 27, Stand H69, (2). For more information click HERE

     

    LIGNA

  • Will increase size of Assembly and Machining area by 20%

    (Webster, SD) – Mereen-Johnson, LLC, makers of world-class industrial saws and woodworking machines, today broke ground on an expansion of their manufacturing facility located in Webster, South Dakota.  

    Ground Breaking

    “Today we are pleased to enter a new phase in our growth as a company,” said Paul Wilmes, Mereen-Johnson CEO. “With this expansion we will be able to meet the growing demand for our machines now and into the future.”

    Mereen-Johnson, headquartered in Minneapolis, Minnesota since 1905, opened its “Western Division” in Webster, South Dakota in 1973. The Webster facility has grown over the years taking over more of Mereen-Johnson’s manufacturing needs. In 2006 Mereen-Johnson closed its Minneapolis factory and consolidated all of its manufacturing in Webster.

    In the last five years Mereen-Johnson has seen a doubling in sales in both new machines and in parts sales for existing machines. The number of employees at the Webster facility has more than doubled in that time frame as well. In addition to expanding the plant, Mereen-Johnson is also investing in modernization of the plant as well.

    “This plant expansion, and accompanying modernization, will allow us to shorten our lead times, making us better positioned to meet the needs of our customers,” stated Wilmes.

    Mereen-Johnson is known around the world for making long lasting, high-tech, heavy duty machines.

    Participating in the ground breaking will be Del Compaan, who in March celebrates his 40th year with Mereen-Johnson in Webster. Del is currently the head of the machining department and is a prime example of the dedication to excellence which runs through the entire Mereen-Johnson organization.

    “Thanks to people like Del, our employee’s dedication to excellence has made Mereen-Johnson the standard for leading technology and lasting performance since 1905,” stated Wilmes

    # # #

  • Banks Hardwoods recently installed a new Mereen-Johnson 524 rip saw, which when configured with their current Mereen-Johnson 424 saw will almost double their ripping capacity. For more information click HERE.

  • From simple single function to multi-station applications designed and built for the severe-duty requirements of multiple shift production, providing greater accuracy, repeatability, lower maintenance, and allowing for superior joint and finish quality, even at higher feed speeds.

     

  • There are three primary means to improve efficiencies on your gang rip saw; keep the saw(s) running at peak performance, reduce down time associated with set-up/changeovers, and getting the highest yield from your raw materials. 

    Keeping Your Saw Running At Peak Performance

    Daily maintenance should be performed to keep your equipment running at its best and avoid down time. This task can be given to non-production staff during non-production hours. Just the simple task of daily cleaning can reduce defects and down time.

    Machines covered in saw dust can recycle chips through the cutting chamber with a negative effect on saw cut quality. Saw dust can also build in areas such as the feed bed and hold downs, effecting performance and increasing the potential for defects. Make sure you have not only the proper dust collection volume capacity, but that all dust hoods are connected. Most late model Mereen-Johnson gang rip saws have dust pick-ups on the anti-kickback protection and feed system in addition to the cutting chamber.

    It seems as though machines always fail when you are busiest. Having a small inventory of critical replacement parts can drastically reduce the potential for down time. Manufacturers have a long history and knowledge of average component service life and can identify these critical components for you.

    Reducing Set-up/Changeover Time

    Fixed arbor saw owners should have at least one spare sleeve and spacer sets. Saw sleeves and spacers can get damaged with use. Having two spare sleeves and tooling sets will allow for one prepared set-up and one in process for maintenance. You should never have to hold up production waiting for tooling to be sharpened or items to be serviced. In some cases, it might be more efficient to change only the outside rip pocket(s) of saw sleeve set-up rather than fully disassembling the entire saw sleeve.

    Dual swing arm and tip-up cart accessories can facilitate quicker changeovers, reduce operator fatigue, and increase operator safety.

    Many shops have common stock rip requirements. Some shops leave a dedicated saw sleeve for these high use rips built up and ready for production. Planning production can also have a big effect on productivity, efficiency, as well as attaining the highest yield from your stock.

    An example might be to assemble a wide capacity saw sleeve with rip pockets to accommodate the next two rip work orders.

    And of course, it’s important that you have the right equipment. If you are spending more time changing arbor arrangements than ripping material, you might not have the correct saw for your application. If this is the case, you should investigate other saw options such as a machine equipped with TwistLock saw collars or a shifting saw machine.

    Consider making a dedicated tooling station near the machine for the staging and building of saw sleeves. Stack or hang like sized spacers in an orderly manner to reduce potential handling damage and make finding the right spacer quick and easy.

    High production shops with long production runs might consider upgrading to tooling mist lubrication systems or diamond tooling for extended run times. These options are typically better suited for engineered material applications.

    Moulding companies know the value of having a good tool room to execute preparation of molding heads. The same concept applies to the gang rip saw. Even though gang rip saw changeovers are typically quicker than moulders, considerable time can be saved by having the tool room prepare the next cut set-up for the gang rip saw.

    Select saw owners should consider having spare hubs for mounting saw blades for the next changeover. Hubs are not typically low cost items, but are very inexpensive accessories when compared to your cost of your production time. Having a spare set, tooled up with sharp tooling can significantly reduce down time.

    Getting the highest yield from your materials

    There is more to increasing rip operation efficiencies than productivity. Getting the most from your raw material is critical in today’s competitive market. There are several means for getting the highest yield from your material.

    You can pre-sort your material prior to ripping to maximize yield. Or train your operators to recognize when certain boards are not suitable for ripping on an arbor arrangement. Your operators should have specified and recognizable parameters for pulling a board out of production prior to ripping. Parameters such as maximum allowable crook, wane, wide clears, and wide edgings are a few examples that can have a significant effect on your yield.

    There is, however, a cost associated with this sorting, pulling of stock, and re-ripping. And that is labor and material handling which can increase the potential for damaging good stock. Today’s rip optimizing systems, coupled with the correct saw for your application, can significantly improve yield and productivity.

    When first introduced, Rip Optimizing was expensive, required a large amount of floor space, and could only be justified by large, high production shops. This has changed significantly in recent years. Now smaller shops can take advantage of today’s lower cost, smaller footprint optimizing systems.

  • Check out the latest Service Update from Mereen-Johnson: Best Practices for ripping random width lumber and creating a good glue joint & Troubleshooting common Dovetailer issues http://conta.cc/2kRlxv1

    Service Update

  • Scout

    Best Practices for Increasing Productivity at the Ripsaw

    Although it may seem obvious, the three ways to improve production and efficiency on the gang ripsaw are to: keep the machine running at peak performance, reduce setup and changeover downtime, and improve raw material yield.

    To maintain the machine’s peak performance, daily maintenance is a must. Ripsaws covered in wood dust can result in chips re-cycling through the cutting chamber, leading to poor cut quality. Sawdust also can build in areas such as the feed bed and hold downs, affecting not only performance but increasing the potential for defects. Make sure to have the proper dust collection volume capacity and that all dust hoods are connected.

    Also note that having a small inventory of critical replacement parts can reduce the potential for down time. In addition, fixed arbor saw owners should have at least one spare sleeve and spacer sets. Having two spare sleeves and tooling sets will allow for one prepared set-up and one in process for maintenance.

    Another way to reduce potential downtime is to leave a dedicated saw sleeve for high use rips built up and ready for production. For example, assemble a wide capacity saw sleeve with rip pockets to accommodate the next two rip work orders.

    Consider making a dedicated tooling station near the machine for the staging and building of saw sleeves. Stack or hang like-sized spacers to reduce potential handling damage and make finding the right spacer quick and easy.

    High production shops with long production runs also might consider upgrading to tooling mist lubrication systems or diamond tooling for extended run times. These options are typically better suited for engineered material applications.

    And even though gang rip saw changeovers are typically quicker than moulders, time also can be saved by having the tooling room prepare the next cut set-up, similar to that of the moulder operation.

    Increasing Yield

    There is more to increasing rip operation efficiencies than productivity. Getting the most from your raw material is critical in today’s competitive market.

    One method is to pre-sort material prior to ripping. Operators too, should have specified and recognizable parameters for pulling a board out of production prior to ripping. Parameters such as maximum allowable crook, wane, wide clears and wide edgings are a few examples that can have a significant effect on your yield.

    Rip optimizing systems, coupled with the correct saw for the application, can significantly improve yield and productivity, not only for large shops but small ones as well.

  • Below is an article written by Mereen-Johnson staff and published on the Woodworking Network:

    Optimizing Lumber Rip

    Ripping of random width lumber to create part blanks and stave material for wood products has for many years been accomplished using straight-line (single blade) ripsaws. The straight-line ripsaw provides great versatility in choosing what parts can be ripped from a random width board, but it is labor intensive and has limited production capabilities. 

    When production demands outgrow the capabilities of a single straight-line ripsaw, manufacturers have two options: they can add more straight-line ripsaws, with additional labor required, or upgrade to a gang ripsaw. The latter is usually recommended, and manufacturers typically start off with a 12-inch width capacity gang rip with fixed blades on the arbor. 

    A fixed blade gang ripsaw has some advantages and some disadvantages. Some of the disadvantages are that the gang ripsaw might not have the width capacity to have all the required sizes on the arbor and the set-up time required to change the arbor rip width configurations takes time away from producing parts. Also, the rip width combinations on the arbor may not provide good yield from random width lumber, but presorting the lumber by width prior to ripping to best utilize the different arbor set-ups will help in attaining better yields. 

    On the other hand, some advantages for using a gang ripsaw include the fact that the rip width accuracy and parallelism is better than a straight-line ripsaw and can allow ripping narrower moulding blanks having less moulder allowance. The primary advantage, however, is its higher production capability over a straight-line ripsaw.

    TO LEARN MORE READ THE COMPLETE ARTICLE HERE.

    Gang Rip

     

  • Our Model 524-DDC/SR 2 Plus Series for the ultimate production flexibility featuring a first arbor equipped with two shifting hogging blades to virtually eliminate edge strips and a second arbor with up to four shifting blades or 24" capacity fixed gang. Check out more here: http://www.mereen-johnson.com/sites/default/files/2017-01/524%20DDC.com…

    New 2+4

  • Banks Hardwoods recently installed a new Mereen-Johnson 524 rip saw, which when configured with their current Mereen-Johnson 424 saw will almost double their ripping capacity. For more information please click HERE.

     Banks

  • The Board Flipper option can reduce operator fatigue and increase production. 


    Contact your Mereen-Johnson Sales Representative for additional information at 1-888-4MJSAWS (465-7297).

  • Check out Mereen-Johnson's Double-End Tenoners! The best on the planet! Click HERE for more info. 


    Double End

  • Mereen-Johnson's TwistLock Blade Setting System is the industry's fastest fixed blade positioning system. Blades are individually positioned allowing for single pocket changes without disturbing the balance of your arbor set-up. See it in action HERE.

  • Your Mereen-Johnson Gang Rip Saw is equipped with a mist oil lubrication system. A properly functioning lubrication system can greatly extend the service life expectancy of the saw's feed system, which has a direct impact on machine performance, quality of cut and maintenance costs.

    When properly functioning, your mist lubrication system will apply approximately five ounces of lubricant per 8 hour shift of operational production.

    A calibrated label which can be affixed to your mist lubrication system that can be used as reference for visually checking that the system is applying the correct and recommended amount of lubrication. If your machine does not have this label, contact your Mereen-Johnson Customer Service Representative for a replacement.

    Each graduation on the label represents an approximate volume of lubricant which should be applied in an eight hour production shift.

    In winter months when ambient temperatures will fall below 40 degrees Fahrenheit, a special winter viscosity blend is recommended.

    In applications where ambient temperature will fall below 0 degrees Fahrenheit, a special heated lubrication unit may be required.

    Due to the volume of inquiries regarding lubrication specifications and difficulties sourcing proper mist lubrications locally, Mereen-Johnson now offers a private label brand of oil mist lubricants specifically blended to maximize performance of your saw's lubrication system.

    Should your lubrication system not function as recommended, please reference your operations manual or contact the Mereen-Johnson Customer Service Department for assistance.           

    Mereen-Johnson mist oil lubrication blends can be ordered by calling 888-465-7297 or 800-328-4588.

  • Mereen-Johnson's Rip Navigator Optimizing Scout System for the Gang Rip Saw provides big shop production and features in a small footprint and is affordably priced. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GDUiXR5wwR4

  • The Mereen-Johnson Model 524-DC/SR can be equipped with up to four fully independent shifting saw blades maximizing production flexibility, improving utilization efficiency from raw materials, and drastically reducing set-up times. The Model 524-DC/SR is value engineered and manufactured in the our factory in Webster, SD and is priced significantly less than traditional multiple blade selective rip saws. The saw is designed to require minimal maintenance providing an extremely low cost of ownership and is arranged to be integrated with automatic infeed systems, such as our Rip Navigator Optimizing System. Check it out in action HERE!

  • Mereen-Johnson's Quality Assurance Program will keep your equipment running at peak performance, improving accuracy and quality, while reducing rejects and down time. https://lnkd.in/dQQwSby

    Mereen-Johnson's Quality Assurance Program

  • Mereen-Johnson’s new Scout loader is a fully automated feeder designed to directly offload lumber from bunks to it’s Rip Navigator Scout Optimizing system for more efficient and flexible production.  The system features a compact footprint compared to unscrambles or tilt hoists. The new Scout Loader will streamline production, greatly reduce material handling damage, and precisely transfer each layer of boards through vacuum assist without destabilizing the bunk. Partially used bunks can be returned to stock once production needs are met. Click Here To See It Run
     

  • After 41 years at Mereen-Johnson Gary Kish has decided to retire. Gary was Mereen-Johnson's longest tenure employee, starting in 1975, working at our Webster factory as an assembly man, electrical installer, and later at our Minneapolis facility as a traveling service technician, and Parts/Service Manager.
    Gary will now focus on his passion of training specialized service dogs for handicapped and PTS veterans (although we hope we can talk Gary into helping us out from time to time). 
    Mr. Kish has many friends within the industry and is respected for his knowledge and expertise. He has been a great co-worker and always a positive force in the office.
    Gary Kish will be at the Mereen-Johnson booth at the IWF Show in Atlanta (August 23-27). Be sure to stop by our booth (5567) and visit with Gary. 

    Gary Kish

  • Say Goodbye to Edgings!
    Mereen-Johnson announces its new Model 524DDC/SR Select-A-Rip Edging Rip Saw designed to drastically reduce handling and disposing of edgings at the back end of the saw. This saw features precision, glue joint accuracy with two moving edge hogging blades and four moving saws blades providing the ultimate in production flexibility, reducing labor, enhancing yield recovery, streamlining production, and improving your profitability. The Model 524DDC/SR will be demonstrated with Mereen-Johnson’s Rip Navigator Scout Optimizing System and New Automated Lumber Loader at IWF, Mereen-Johnson Booth 5567.

    524DDCSR

  • Check out our new Series of Select Saw Videos on the Mereen-Johnson YouTube Channel 
     YouTube Logo

  • Mereen-Johnson celebrated its 110th anniversary in June. Read more here

  • We are pleased to announce the promotion of Dave Olson to the position of Key Account Manager. Dave has been employed with our company since 1986 and has a very diverse and extensive knowledge base including; his specialty in Production Door Sizing equipment, experience in machine fabrication, Technical Service Support, and Customer Service Support. The Key Account Manager is a new position in which Dave will act as a liaison to facilitate and grow our relationships with our most important and valued customers.
    Dave Olson

  • We are pleased to announce the promotion of John Branch to the position of Vice President in charge of Sales. John has acquired a vast knowledge of the woodworking industry, starting at Mereen-Johnson in 1986, serving as a Project Engineer and Regional Sales Manager. John brings a wealth of technical and application experience in both solid wood and engineered wood applications.

    John Branch