Local business Circle M Automation celebrated its tenth anniversary last month.
Located at in Leitchfield, Circle M is a systems integrator, which designs and/or builds more efficient automation systems for other companies, according to Circle M Owner, Brian Manion.
“We’re a company that helps other companies improve,” Manion said.
Manion said customer companies may contact Circle M with an idea for an automation system and discuss whether Circle M can build the system.
Manion said another service Circle M provides is designing a system, selling the design to the customer, and either building the system or consulting with the customer on the best way for someone else to build it.
“We get involved in the stuff that you can’t go through a catalogue and buy,” Manion said.
For example, Circle M was recently tasked with building a custom crane system designed to lift and transport a Dodge Viper to a designated area to be given a visual inspection by robots.
Circle M were tasked to build the crane in such a way that in the act of moving the Dodge Viper, neither the car nor the robots would be damaged, Manion said.
“We built a system that is quicker, easier on the operator, and makes a better product,” Manion said.
Circle M’s work on the crane led the company to becoming a certified Gorbel crane dealer, Manion said.
Manion founded Circle M after he took a voluntary layoff from his ten-and-a-half-year tenure Leitchfield Leggett & Platt (L & P) plant.
Manion said during his time working with L & P, he felt he had learned enough about automation to start his own business and when it was announced that L & P would be laying off workers, he volunteered and took the opportunity to start Circle M.
Circle M’s decade in business has been a learning experience for its workers.
In its early years, Circle M did a great deal of business working with plastics, but the closing of Leitchfield Plastics forced Circle M to branch out into other areas, such as robotics and custom controls, Manion said.
“We really learned that you don’t need to have all your eggs in one basket,” he said. “You have to be flexible…and continuously be going after work and different customers and broadening your horizons.”
This flexibility, along with support from local government and the Leitchfield-Grayson County Industrial Development Corporation, has led to a currently prosperous business.
“From a small business standpoint, I feel very fortunate to work where I am,” Manion said. “We’ve started picking up bigger industries. And we’ve been really fortunate with retaining our customer base.
“I feel extremely extremely fortunate to be able to do what I want for a living,” Manion said. “I’m not very good at very many things, but I feel like I’m pretty good at this. And 90 to 95% of the time, we knock it out of the park.”
Circle M” Automation is located 176 Judge Kenneth H. Goff Drive and can be contacted by phone at 270-230-0877.