Inflation was at an all‐time high in 1981 when MPI’s founder and CEO, Keith Rhodes, had a vision to substantially change the way magnets were designed and used in the industrial, metal forming, and food industries. Keith knew that customers wanted education regarding the proper use, capabilities, and limitations of magnetic equipment. He also believed in an environment where highly skilled entrepreneurial people could collaborate in as a team and enjoy working to reinvent magnetic products and be rewarded for their success, so he set out to form MPI. The beginning years were tough. Keith did not foresee the hardships MPI would face as a new manufacturing company in a severe recession, but MPI weathered through the difficult 1980s. Proving that an educated customer is an MPI customer, enabled the company to survive and thrive during those difficult early years to become the leader in product innovation.
“I have always been fascinated with the rules of physics and how they drive the principles of magnets and related technologies such as metal detectors. I wanted to take that passion and share the basics of physics and how they relate to these products to fill the void where magnets can improve work efficiency,” states Keith Rhodes. “When it comes down to it, MPI helps educate manufacturers on how to control their metal. Whether using a conveyor to move metal, or a magnetic separator to capture and remove unwanted metals from a process line, MPI can provide a solution that exceeds our customer’s expectations.”
MPI’s first products were designed for food production. Through attrition of food production process equipment, metal contaminants could potentially be introduced in the product flow and needed to be removed. By listening to customers’ needs to improve product quality, reliability, efficiency, and plant safety standards, MPI introduced a complete line of manual quick‐cleaning and automatic self‐cleaning permanent magnetic separators.
“Magnets need to be cleaned to operate at peak performance.” Rhodes adds “At the time, not all plant operations had the staff for maintaining regular cleaning cycles or the ability to reach some of the magnet installation locations”. MPI revolutionized the overall performance and reliability of magnetic separation equipment by designing the Easy Manual Quick‐Clean and Automated Self‐Cleaning permanent magnets. Soon, MPI’s new concepts became the industry standard.
Headquartered near Detroit, The Motor City, Rhodes knew the importance of the region’s reliance on automotive manufacturing. By hearing the struggles of local companies, Rhodes sought to assist industrial manufacturers with the necessary solutions to move parts or scrap metal throughout their facilities without equipment failure. MPI established a full line of conveyor products that improve production throughput by providing the most reliable parts handling and scrap removal equipment. Never settling for the status quo, the company set an industry record by building the world’s longest single beltless magnetic conveyor at 101’ long. Products continue to evolve with the recent fabrication of a complete scrap metal conveying system measuring over 450’ long.
Deemed as a critical infrastructure supplier during the Covid‐19 pandemic, MPI remained operational and supplied products vital to the industrial, transportation, food, and healthcare industries. MPI continues to invent, engineer, manufacturer, and service magnets, material handling, and electronic inspection systems for thousands of domestic and international companies.