John R. Martin, founder of Martin Automatic Inc. and developer of web-handling and automatic roll-changing technology, died Feb. 27 after a brief battle with thyroid cancer.
Martin was 74.
His patents and technological advancements include inertia-compensated tension control, web-guiding systems, automatic zero-speed splicers and non-stop rewinders.
Martin graduated from the University of Illinois with a degree in electrical engineering. He founded Rockford-based Martin Automatic in 1968, and turned over operation of the company to now-President Roger Cederholm in 2002.
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, Cederholm said in a news release.
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, Cederholm said.