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John Martin, web handling pioneer, dies

March 1, 2011

The founder of Martin Automatic Inc. was 74.

John R. Martin, a pioneer in the development of web handling and automatic roll-changing technology, died February 27, 2011, after a brief illness. An entrepreneur known for his irreverent sense of humor as well as his engineering acumen, Martin – who founded Martin Automatic Inc. in 1968 – was 74.

His many patents and technological advancements include: inertia-compensated tension control, web guiding systems, automatic zero-speed splicers, and non-stop rewinders. In 2002 John Martin turned over complete operations of the company to Roger Cederholm, naming him president of Martin Automatic after Roger’s 18 years of tenure as the compass for the company’s direction.

Cederholm says, “John was a rare individual, a talented engineer with a great business sense and the foresight to set up a culture, which fosters creativity in all areas. He disliked ‘me too’ products and favored solutions that give real, long-term value to printers and converters. His legacy continues with Martin Automatic’s innovative work in splicing, rewinding and web handling systems.

“John’s great wisdom and foresight have enabled us to continue doing “business as usual” at Martin Automatic.”

Martin Automatic is based in Rockford, IL, USA.

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