Motor Technology, Inc. is Keeping Motors Running to Keep Business Running
By Thomas Rossomando, Manufacturing and Technology Advocate
Motor Technology, Inc. (MTI) is a family-owned company that builds, services, and sells industrial motors, controls, gearboxes, and related driving equipment for advanced electric motor systems. Its mission is to provide exceptional electro-mechanical repair services, innovative products, and always exceed customers’ expectations. Since 1981, they have been an integral component keeping Pennsylvania industries up and running smoothly and efficiently.
Thomas J. Ryan, CEO and founder, began his journey to a business owner as a technician in the United States Navy. MTI was incorporated in November 1980. In January 1981, MTI opened its doors for business with just five employees. Through hard work and dedication, Tom and his family have spent the past 35+ years growing Motor Technology into Pennsylvania’s premier electro-mechanical repair facility.
Currently, MTI has over 100 employees. After two relocations and multiple expansions, MTI now operates out of a custom-built and equipped 65,000-square-foot facility. In order to get its customers back in operation as quickly and as streamlined as possible, MTI’s service operation is 24/7, 365 days a year.
“We keep the motors running that keep business running,” said Motor Tech President and Founder Tom J. Ryan, 85 (and still at work every day!)
“As pervasive as motors are, they are also pretty prosaic. Not much has changed since Tesla invented the AC electric motor in 1888,” third-generation manager Kirk Ryan, Jr., 34, explained. “But our company is now in a major new phase that’s on the very cutting edge of high-tech, employing remote condition-monitoring sensors and the industrial internet of things (IOT) along with big data analytics to provide state of the art predictive maintenance for our customers’ equipment.”
“For example,” continued Kirk, “we put a wireless condition-monitoring sensor on the motor of a roller coaster that pulls the cars up that first high hill. One hot afternoon, that sensor calls us up to say its motor is going to fail in the next few weeks, so we better come fix it that evening after close!”
“There’s more!! It says to bring bearings because they are what’s failing!! But there’s more!!! It says the reason the bearings are failing is misalignment, so now we know to also bring our laser alignment equipment!!!”
“Potential catastrophe averted with prescriptive actions for both the failure and root cause – all in a single timely visit thanks to that sensor and data analytics!!!! The future has arrived,” concluded Kirk.
“We’re a service business,” noted Kirk Sr., “so our success depends more than most on well-trained and motivated employees who are financially secure and happy. President Trump’s tax cuts have let them take home significantly more of their earnings and have enabled the company to put more money into those paychecks as well as into bonuses, profit-sharing, and the 401k.”
“But sometimes it can be about less rather than more,” continued Tom B. “Less, as in regulation. It isn’t like there’s one big regulation that’s killing us. It’s more like death by a thousand cuts – paper cuts!!”
“The constant, copious, complex documentation required by government regarding every tiny aspect of our business is insane and inane. Everything requires a report, a form, a poster, verification, and/or an elaboration. Often, the same information must be provided in confusingly varying formats to several different regulators.”
Tom B. continued, “We’re a small, lean company and everyone already wears multiple hats working long hours. But we could hire two more people working around the clock just to fill out all the paperwork government wants, usually for who knows what.”
“The worst part is the adversarial and punitive nature of such inquisitions and demands,” added Kim Flaharty, Chief Administrative Officer, daughter of the founder, and mother of two more Motor Tech employees. “On top of all our time trying to comply, we’ve been fined, more than once, for simply not filing out a document in the minutely-precise nit-picky way wanted even though we were in actual daily practice doing everything totally according to regulation.”
“We’re confident that the ongoing deregulatory and business improvement initiatives will keep us going in the right direction,” the Ryan clan concluded in chorus.
Tom Rossomando serves as the Manufacturing & Technology Advocate for the SBA Office of Advocacy, representing small businesses in the manufacturing and technology industry. Rossomando works with small business owners, state and local governments, and small business associations to bring the voice of the manufacturing and technology industry to Washington DC. He can be reached at Thomas.Rossomando@sba.gov.