how to grow a steel fabrication business

Growing company supplies steel and metal products to a wide variety of customers, both do-it-yourselfers as well as major construction companies. However, it can sometimes be very challenging. (Amerequip President and CEO Mike VanderZanden told the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel in October 2018 that the company had turned away about $10 million in business because it couldn’t hire enough people.) Whether you are selling a physical product or a software-based service, knowing your target audience will definitely give you an upper hand. I need a partner to setup a welding & steel fabrication business. Get to know your customers. Heus credited the new equipment for this newfound accuracy, but also said that working more closely with engineering has revealed that some parts may not require as tight of a tolerance as was originally specified. Automating critical processes like production and assembly is helping businesses to optimize their operations and reduce costs. The company was renamed Arps Corp. in 1952 and ultimately Amerequip in 1983, following an ownership change. It then flows through welding and finishing before arriving back in assembly. “People want time, and it’s even more so now than it was 15 years ago. 2021 metal fabrication forecast: The road to recovery continues, Die Science: Finding the root cause of stamping failures, Ask the Stamping Expert: How to start using tool coatings, Engineering Angle: Draw bead restraining forces in sheet metal drawing operations, Stamping in an EV World: Gestamp’s innovative approaches to forming EV components, Aluminum Etc. A mistake made by many new business owners is attempting to do too much at one time. Until 1983 the manufacturer had mainly focused on its own line of products, which included medium-duty backhoes for compact utility tractors, front-end loaders, front and rear blades, and post hole diggers, which had been marketed through distributors and dealers. This “pull” demand, instead of “push” demand in which the fabricating and welding department just produce parts and send them to the finishing and assembly departments even if they may not really be ready for them, is symbolized by pallets and totes found throughout the assembly area. A quick glance of the monitor can give machine operators an idea of how laser cutting is going. The first way to quickly grow your business is by building a sales funnel. The cylinders are made at the company’s New Holstein, Wis., facility. The essence of having the necessary documentation in place before launching a business in the United States of America cannot be overemphasized. Amerequip has the pretreatment bath; an e-coat tank; two paint-application booths with automated, reciprocating guns; and manual touchup areas for complex parts that didn’t receive complete paint coverage in the automated booths. It had $55 million in sales revenue in 2016 and expects to reach $110 million in 2020. With the labor situation somewhat settled, attention is now being turned to optimizing the robotic welding effort. It's foolish to make important metal fabrication services business decisions without carefully assessing the risks associated with each option. It’s a constant push to serve customers better, and if a fabricator does it well, often more opportunities arise. Fabrication works businesses deal with using various metals such as iron, steel, and even aluminum for the creation of doors, windows, staircases, roofing structures, and other items for homes, office complexes, etc. The casting weighs 5.6 lbs. Fabrication shops could be employed by contractors, OEMs and VARs in … To begin fabrication works business, you need fabrication skills and equipment to cut, bend and assemble aluminum metal. When the local economy thrives, these boosts tend to cause consumers to loosen their purse strings and purchase bigger-ticket items such as cars, boats, and houses. Know your customers is the basic rule for any or all business. New online metal fabrication services business owners often find that running an online business is more labor-intensive than they expected. Dan Davis is editor-in-chief of The FABRICATOR, the industry's most widely circulated metal fabricating and forming magazine, and its sister publications, STAMPING Journal, The Tube & Pipe Journal, and The Welder. “We want to do more for less,” he said. In my experience, people used to want more overtime. To do that, it can’t afford to supply assemblies and end products that don’t meet customer expectations. If Amerequip wanted to keep growing, it had to make some changes. His next project is looking for existing parts that are good candidates to be moved to the robotic welding cell. The absolute first thing you should do is create a metal fabrication business plan. MC Machinery Systems supplied the laser cutting machines and the material handling system. When other fabricators were cutting costs and postponing investments during the Great Recession, BTD Manufacturing, Detroit Lakes, Minn., was moving forward with plans to grow the business. Abfall said the company has been able to take out about $5 million worth of inventory. One of the first steps Amerequip took was to renegotiate the contract with the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers, which represented its employees. TTM May 2018 SDE. When a company is making end products, fabricating large assemblies, and preparing kits for major OEM customers, it has to have its assembly process down. The automobile designed for snow was discontinued in 1939, but not before Admiral Richard E. Byrd took a couple with him on his early Antarctic expeditions. Also offers custom fabrication of products as subcontractor on major regional projects as well as one-off design and fabrication of products as diverse as farm and ranch, Bar BQ, trailer applications and much more. He lives with his wife and two children in Crystal Lake, Ill. Sign up and be the first to know about the latest industry news, products, and events! And more would be needed. Amerequip had made significant investments—$25 million alone in capital equipment from 2012 to 2017—to stay on top of all these new opportunities. After almost doubling the manufacturing square footage over the last four years, the company has achieved a comfortable production rhythm. Now a part can be put in the fixture, and it’s ready for the robot. “With everything that has changed over the last six months, now everybody really is being able to focus more on cost,” Abfall said. Change is a constant in the steel and metals industry and fabrication businesses need to be able to keep up or risk becoming obsolete. To do that, it can’t afford to supply assemblies and end products that don’t meet customer expectations. Inquire today about this profitable and growing steel fabrication business for sale! It’s also giving thought to how might be the best way to stage product for shipping to customers. The rise of automationhas no doubt changed the nature of many industries including metal fabrication. With its capital equipment investments over the last couple of years, the company won’t have to worry about laser cutting or bending being its bottleneck. Around the same time the laser cutting system was being installed, the fabricator also upgraded its bending capabilities with two SafanDarley servo-electric E Brakes, one that is 40 tons and the other which is 120 tons. (Oxidized edges act as a barrier to superior paint and powder coating adhesion on metal parts.). Irrespective of the power or condition of your management, large-impact hazards can take a toll on any kind of business. Abfall said that, in combination with finding nearby partner companies that can assist with fabricating, welding, and finishing tasks when job orders exceed capacity, stabilizing the employee turnover has proven beneficial in allowing the company to focus on internal improvements, which ultimately leads to more efficiency on the shop floor. However, human resources was posing a problem. Bob Heus, the company’s operations manager, said the big benefit of this automated material handling system is that no lift trucks are needed for material movement. Additionally, working with one weldment that is delivered to final assembly instead of having to laser-cut and weld the 11 pieces to create the same thing is always going to be helpful in streamlining assembly and meeting on-time delivery goals. We quickly learned that in metal fabrication, … Understand your customer's needs and develop products and services that meet those needs. If you are starting a one-person metal fabrication shop, you might be fine with a 3G MIG and stick certification. The company had followed this approach for almost the last four years. Don’t Rush to Expand. How to Start a Business in the Steel and Metals Industry, How to Get the Best Price When Selling a Steel Industry Business. To fill up the talent pipeline, the fabricator is looking to strengthen its partnerships with local high schools and technical schools. Degree/Diploma in Welding, Fabrication and Metal Work; List of Legal Documents You Need to Run a Welding and Fabrication Company . After new ownership came in, the fabricator turned its focus to building products for OEMs and taking on more contract manufacturing work. He has written about U.S. manufacturing trends and issues for more than 20 years. There’s no guarantee that these and other improvements will get Amerequip to its goal of $150 million in sales by 2023, but all of these recent changes create a solid foundation from which to make a solid go of it. We learned the importance of “partnering” early on. It is a fact that you cannot successfully run any business in the United States without the proper documentations. A relationship with another custom finisher in Wisconsin has helped to take some pressure off the finishing department and ease the bottleneck, but company leadership is considering expansion of the paint department or acquiring capacity to provide a more permanent solution. 2010s: Were the 2010s the Golden Age of metal fabricating? It had just completed a major expansion of its welding and fabricating areas at its main manufacturing facility in Kiel, Wis., in 2017 and boosted its laser cutting capacity with a major investment in cutting machines and a huge 15-tower, 200-shelf automated raw material storage and retrieval system, but it was still having trouble handling all of the new opportunities from its customers. The fabricator also has a pretreatment system, installed in 2017, in which all parts are processed. A Metal Fabrication Shop. When it comes to the metal fabrication sector, the good news is that things are currently experiencing a growth spurt. Early on it built its reputation as a custom equipment manufacturer, especially unique backhoes, a product the fabricator is still heavily involved in. You probably already have an idea of what type of business you want to open and how you want to incorporate. When one is emptied, the accompanying router card and pallet/tote goes all the way back to the front of the system, the fabrication department, and a production order is triggered. Steel fabrication is a segment of the overall metal fabrication industry. Clutch Plate. In the past two years alone, the company has made great strides to upgrade … Too many entrepreneurs forego this fundamental step. Based on product volume, the number of pallets and totes that feed assembly varies. Amerequip Corp., Kiel, Wis., wants to keep growing its business with a handful of key OEM customers. As of 2018, Amerequip had six Mitsubishi CO2 laser cutting machines attached to a River automated material storage and retrieval system that keeps the equipment constantly supplied with sheets to be cut. Abfall said another project is investigating ways to add capacity. We at SW plan to serve the metal fabrication market segment. They joined the company’s two hydraulic press brakes. Until then some of the fabricating and welding work took place at its 40,000-sq.-ft. New Holstein plant, which is now being used exclusively for cylinder manufacturing. Abfall said that the company has committed to doing a better job in internal posting of jobs and communicating about opportunities. Enjoy full access to the digital edition of STAMPING Journal, which serves the metal stamping market with the latest technology advancements, best practices, and industry news. The system can supply material to nine lasers and be expanded to 18 towers and 250 shelves to accommodate 12 laser cutting machines. In order to be a smart metal fabrication services business … These include doors, windows, metal cabinets, railings, and metal garden tools among others. Meanwhile, everyone is working to find the best and most cost-effective ways to build parts and end products for customers. All Rights Reserved. The tooling setups can be done quickly because of the Wila tooling design, and software that simulates the bend process in 3D helps the operator to see what is about to happen instead of having to visualize it on his own. Voice of the Customer – Know the Customers to Grow Your Metal Fabrication Business. Be sure to highlight your turn around period and if the service is free to customers. The exercise is bearing some fruit after only a few months. Easily access valuable industry resources now with full access to the digital edition of The Tube & Pipe Journal. Needless to say, the added space gave the fabricator room to maximize its material flow and plan for the future. The fabricator is growing because it has figured out what makes it special and how to maintain that with expansion and new blood entering the organization. An acquisition can be a great way to enter structural steel fabricators business ownership. Easily access valuable industry resources now with full access to the digital edition of The WELDER. 2135 Point Blvd., Elgin, IL 60123 (815) 399-8700. $7,394,379. Now Amerequip has morning and afternoon shifts that run 10 hours each, Monday through Thursday, and a weekend shift that comprises three 12-hour days, Friday to Sunday. Red means laser cutting has come to a halt for some reason. Please fill out this form and we will get in touch with you shortly. With a little planning and innovation, you can drive growth and expand fabrication operations. “Those companies that are promoting their business, following the sales plan, and keeping track of where they are, are growing,” he said. In the metal fabrication business, everyone would rather be busy than slow, but that doesn’t mean it’s easy. Then the fabricator made a major shift in its work hours. If you hope to thrive, balance investments in skills with selecting emerging technologies and implementing flawless customer service. 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Expected to grow at a rate of 3 % annually, reaching USD $ 21.38 billion by.... Said that the welding department is getting a lot of the customer – Know the customers grow... You need fabrication skills and equipment to cut, bend and assemble aluminum metal might be best! By 2024 customer ‘no, ’” said Rob Abfall, Amerequip’s chief operating officer welding is! Whether you are starting a welding business … Clutch Plate employees committed to its growth machines that destined! Changes enable us to make some changes have been instrumental in helping the bending department up. €¦ growing a fabrication business planning should always include contingency measures in the metal fabrication shop, you might fine. The automobile industry Farm specialty manufacturing Co., founded in 1920 by Bruno F. Arps of new Holstein Wis.. Ready for the material mix that amerequip cuts on a regular basis valued...

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