Case Studies

DESMA assists CUSTOMER to increase mold flexibility and efficiency through data software

“DESMA has been a great support as we work to modernize our operations. Their machines have given us new flexibility in handling larger molds, which opens up avenues of new business for us.” Lake Erie Rubber & Manufacturing

Lake Erie Rubber has been in business since 1961, spanning over 60 years of experience in the rubber industry. Jon Meighan purchased the company in 2017, building on a multi-generational family tradition through keeping the core employee base intact and guiding Lake Erie through multiple consecutive years of growth since that time.

The new ownership quickly realized that while Lake Erie had a long tradition of expertise and service, their machines were generally quite old, running on technology from the 80s and 90s, and some of the once-reliable injection presses were beginning to show their signs of aging with regular repairs and additional maintenance needed. Sensing an opportunity to improve efficiency while increasing the specialized offerings they could provide their customers, Jon began to seek a partner for new machines.

As a newcomer to the rubber industry himself, Jon went to work making connections through various tradeshows, as well as fellow members of ARPM, seeking their experience and advice concerning excellent manufacturing partners. Through these conversations, it became apparent that DESMA should be on his shortlist along with a couple of other top machine manufacturers. 

Lake Erie got their first DESMA machine (a 968.400 Vertical Machine) up and running in January 2023 and have a second machine preparing to be installed in the next several weeks.

Key Selection Factors for DESMA:

  • Reputation for Quality – DESMA is well known in the rubber industry as a supplier of quality, reliable, and modern machines.
  • Flexibility – Lake Erie has some space constraints to be taken into consideration, especially as it relates to ceiling height. DESMA was able to provide machines that would work in their space while still allowing easy access to key components.
  • Available Daylight – The available daylight of Lake Erie’s new DESMA machine has enabled them to efficiently run some of the larger molds required for key customers and jobs.
  • Shot Size – The increase shot size of DESMA’s injecting molding machine provides for higher cavitation molds. This means lower piece pricing which makes for higher profits for Lake Erie but also opens up additional potential customers they couldn’t pursue with their old machines.
  • Data, Data, Data – While DESMA’s machines increase efficiency through their functionality, Lake Erie also really loves the benefits of DESMA’s software. The data they receive on each job allows them to identify areas for improvement, better schedule and run their jobs, and improve efficiency even beyond what the machine’s base capabilities have already allowed. This will only continue to improve over time as they gather more data on a variety of molds and jobs.


Although they are new to DESMA, Lake Erie is already reaping benefits of the relationship and their new machine. They have seen increased efficiency, reducing man-hours required for each job while increasing the parts per job. They also no longer have to deal with the headaches of the old machines regularly needing repair and extra maintenance, slowing or stopping jobs entirely.

The increased flexibility of molds that can be used has enabled Lake Erie to improve and expand their work with existing customers, providing better end results as well as new opportunities to collaborate. In addition, Lake Erie has been able to pursue several new customers that they would not have been able to efficiently serve before. Their potential avenues of business have been expanded to areas they couldn’t even consider a competitive bid for in the past.

Lake Erie is excited to get their second DESMA machine up and running. This machine, a 968.560 ton model, will provide even further flexibility and options for the molds they can handle, and will be specialized to Lake Erie’s needs to handle some less common items, allowing them to continue to serve new and existing customers better than before.