PIQUA, Ohio—Ostensibly, the French Oil Mill Machinery Co. in southwest Ohio is a machinery manufacturing business that has grown to see a majority of its sales come on the rubber side of the industry.
But as its employees might testify, French Oil is a people-first business—enriching the lives of those who work there and the businesses of downstream rubber processors who purchase French Oil's premium quality hydraulic presses, rubber mixers and molding machines.
And it is in this capacity that many machinery manufacturers have struggled, through supply chain delays and the absence of skilled labor, microchip shortages and regulatory hurdles.
But with planning, the 75-employee French Oil has been able to thwart some—not all, but some—of those issues to maintain its strong professional reputation.
"We are very fortunate that our growth has continued over the last seven years," said Douglas Smith, sales engineer for the hydraulic press division. "But we are having to do a lot of things that we have not had to do before."