Raw material availability is a cornerstone of the U.S. industrial sector, and clearly vital to its growth. So as positive economic indicators continue to point towards manufacturing gains through 2018, it makes sense that the steel industry continues to experience growth as well. The benefits of which are being felt from Willmar, Minnesota to Conroe, Texas.
West Central Steel in Willmar has entered the final stages of its ninth expansion since transitioning from salvage yard operations in 1968. Officially starting last fall, the company has demolished its previous facilities totaling about 55,000 square feet to make room for a new 85,000-square-foot manufacturing facility. The new structure is scheduled to open in December, allowing for the installation of several pieces of new equipment.
This equipment includes a 30’ wide, 1,100-ton Ursviken press brake built in Sweden for bending steel and a Tanaka 6,000-watt CO2 laser cutter from Japan. A Kinetic plate processor from New Zealand, PythonX steel shaping system from Canada, and two Behringer saws will also need to be installed. These investments will be key to preserving the company’s two-day delivery times.
The company, which focuses on custom-fabricated steel parts utilized by manufacturers across a range of industries, will also be adding as many as 20 new employees to the current workforce of 150.
Falcon Steel America in Conroe also has a connection to the number 150. In announcing its acquisition of a 226,000-square foot facility, the steel engineering and fabricating business will bring 150 new jobs to the Houston suburb. The larger facility and workforce will allow Falcon Steel to more than double its manufacturing capacity for high voltage steel-lattice towers and commercial galvanizing and dulling operations. The company is the only fabricator of high voltage steel-lattice towers in the U.S.
The newly created positions will include quality assurance and quality control inspectors, welders, fitters, machine operators, and truck drivers. Falcon Steel uses only 100 percent U.S. recycled steel in its products.