Miller Formless is what you might call a “boutique” slipform paver manufacturer, but it competes head to head with the biggest players in the concrete paving industry. The nearly 50-year-old company was founded and is still based in McHenry, IL.
Equipment Today had a chance to do a walking tour of the facility, where we saw the equipment being manufactured and assembled in action. It wasn’t hard to see why the company is so successful in a niche market.
Miller Formless hangs its hat on two core paving requirements:
Slipform paving machines
- The M-1000 is a heavy-duty modular machine that can pour radius as tight as 24 in. or sidewalk as wide as 5 ft. It is suited for concrete contractors performing curb, curb and gutter, sidewalk, and specialized profiles.
- The M-8100 can pour multiple profiles from curb and gutter to 16-ft. paving widths, including barrier wall, parapet and ditches.
- The M-8800 pours up to 102-in. barrier wall and bridge parapet walls and can pave up to 20 ft. in straddle- or side-mount configuration.
Molds & barrier walls
- Custom curb and gutter molds of any design and application are engineered and manufactured to each customer’s requirements:
- Requirements and designs of barrier walls vary dramatically and can weigh in excess of 20,000 lbs. Designs can include features such as hydraulic skirts, adjustable heights, extensions, inserts and numerous other customizations.
- The company designs and fits molds and barrier walls to any competitive machines, as well – painted in original OEM colors.
Learn more about Miller Formless and its products at www.ForConstructionPros.com/10073907.
Precision Construction Built In
The intricacy of the slipform paver product design became apparent quickly. As our hosts pointed out, the M-1000 alone contains over 3,000 parts, with most of the fabricated parts produced on site.
While water jet and plasma cutters are used to produce individual metal parts, the factory team performs all metal forming and welding on site. Manipulation of sheet metal is handled by “metal forming artists” trained by a master technician with decades of experience. The company continues to evolve its processes, including investing in more state of the art automation; however, any equipment brought in must be capable of meeting exacting specifications, particularly for custom curb molds and large barrier walls.
The company has used John Deere engines to power its machines for more than 20 years. The engines are Tier 4 Final, with Tier 3 models available for specific export markets.
Though certain components are sourced, the vast majority of the major framework of the machines is produced in house, including the undercarriage chassis.
Parts and Service on Site
Because Miller Formless has machines that are still in the field after 15, 20 and even 30 years of service, it maintains an extensive parts warehouse on site. The company is able to fill orders quickly, with most parts shipping out the same day and the majority within 24 hours.
With so many older machines still in the field, service and factory updates have become a key part of the company’s business. A full service department is located at the manufacturing plant to assist customers in keeping their machines in peak condition year-round, but especially during the off season.
In winter, customers often send machines to the service department for inspection, service and Factory Rebuild programs to get them prepped and ready for the next paving season. The advantage is customers can depend on the Miller Formless trained specialists, who understand the various nuances of the equipment – an especially valuable service at a time when qualified technicians are few and far between.