The TRUMPF TruLaser 5000 tube and pipe laser cutting machine, seen here, is the latest in a string of investments Elias Custom Metal Fabrication's owners have made. The recent $2 million investment also includes a TRUMPF press brake.Click image to enlargeby mary scianna

Ontario fabrication shop’s $2 million equipment purchases are the most recent in a string of investments to diversify and grow

When brothers Fadi and Sam Emeid formed Elias Custom Metal Fabrication Ltd. in 1994, they made a commitment to invest in leading edge technologies to stay ahead of the curve and to remain competitive.

That strategy continues today with the latest equipment purchases: a $2 million investment in a TRUMPF tube and pipe laser cutting machine and a TRUMPF press brake.

“The investment in the tube laser is to expand the business and we’re doing that now,” says Fadi Emeid, president. “We just added a few new customers, including one that makes railings. We’re cutting the pickets for the railings on the tube laser.”

Elias’ 7,432 sq m (80,000 sq ft) metal fabricating operation in Concord, ON, is a diversified operation that in addition to the tube and pipe laser cutter, houses a punch/laser combination machine, bending and forming equipment, MIG, TIG and spot welding stations, as well as polishing processes.

Emeid says his reasons for selecting the TRUMPF equipment are twofold: a long history with TRUMPF machines and his preference to house the shop with equipment from one supplier for greater efficiencies.

Elias’ history with TRUMPF equipment dates back to 2000, when Emeid purchased his first laser. While he has had other equipment, he likes the performance of the TRUMPF equipment. Indeed, the company purchased a TRUMPF press brake ten years ago at an auction and put it back to work after updating it.

“We repainted the machine, got an oil change, added new filters and it looks brand new. We’ve been using it for about ten years and it was ten years old when we purchased it; we’ll probably be able to use it for another ten years.”

Fadi Emeid says investing in leading edge technologies is the only way to stay ahead of the curve and remain competitive.Click image to enlargeAnd when it came time to train employees on the latest TRUMPF tube cutter and press brake, it was an easy transition, adds Emeid.

“Because we’re already using TruTops, TRUMPF’s programming software, it was easier for our employees to work with the new equipment. I don’t want to have multiple software from different equipment suppliers.”

Running a custom metal fabrication business is tough, but the Emeid brothers know that the secret to staying competitive is investing in leading edge technologies, including industry certifications. The company is certified to ISO, CSA, CWB and for electrical enclosure manufacturing.

“This gives us more credibility because when a potential customer searches and compares suppliers, they will see that Elias not only has leading edge technologies, we have all the required certification that customers look for, and it’s an advantage that sets us apart from the competition.”

Fadi Emeid says the tube laser cutting machine is fast. It has cut parts, complete with perforations, in less than two minutes. The manual process would have taken much longer and used more than one machine for cutting, drilling and deburring.Click image to enlargeEmeid says he’s confident that Elias will be able to expand business with the new tube laser. 

In fact, during Shop Metalworking Technology’s visit to the company, Emeid was scheduled to meet with a major automotive parts supplier to talk about some work “and I plan to let them know about the tuber laser because we can do even more work for them with this machine.” In another case, Emeid visited a potential customer where he saw the customer’s employee cutting tube pipe manually. “I told him I can cut ten pipes cheaper than the one you’re cutting manually. We were already working with them for punching, forming and welding, and when I mentioned the tube cutting, the pricing made sense. And this is a selling feature for us because it’s added value for customers.”

Brothers Fadi and Sam Emeid continually invest in technologies to keep their metal fabrication business competitive. Indeed, Fadi Emeid says the recent investments in the 7,432 sq m (80,000 sq ft) plant will help the business to expand in current markets it serves and get into new markets too.Click image to enlargeEmeid is optimistic about the future. He expects Elias to grow its customer base within current markets the company serves–retail store fixtures, electrical enclosures and general industrial and commercial–and to get into new markets too.

“We have additional projects in the pipeline, work that if we get it, will mean more investments in the next three years. We have a list of items, but I don’t know what we’ll purchase until we see the direction the business starts to grow in.” SMT



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