Job Shops | Alberta: Keeping Up With The Times

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by Mary Scianna

Kaymor Machining & Welding Ltd
Clairmont, AB

  • Years in business: 15
  • Shop floor: 2,044 sq m (22,000 sq ft) on 1.6 hectares (4 acres) of land with room to expand)
  • Part capacity: 813 mm diameter (32 in) by 7 m length (12 ft )
  • Key processes: CNC three and four axis milling and turning, welding (CWB certified), forming, and ABSA (Alberta Boilers Safety Association) registration for pressure equipment manufacturing, on-site and portable welding, mechanical services
  • Employees: 30

When Robert Stegmeier formed Kaymor Machining & Welding in 2001, Clairmont,

AB, located on the outskirts of Grand Prairie, he had a simple plan: do whatever it takes to remain in business and to grow.

For Stegmeier, a 35-year machining veteran, that has meant investing in diverse manufacturing technologies to meet a wide range of customer needs and to embrace social media.

“When I was thinking of building the business I wanted to be more than just a general job shop,” explains Stegmeier. “When I thought about diversification, for me it meant diversification of industry and services. That’s why we
offer CNC machining, and design, welding services, mechanical services, millwright services and welding, both in-house and off site.”

The shop includes CNC machines from a variety of builders, including Mazak and Yama Seiki.

Kaymor also houses a small fabrication shop for bending using Masteel press brakes, and farms out sheet metal cutting, but he hopes to change that within the next five years.

“We’ve got a five year plan in which we want to be able to do full machining and fabricating in-house. In our budget for next year, we’re looking at adding plasma technology because it’s versatile and would be able to cut the range and thicknesses of materials that we handle for customers.”

Kaymor's move to its current facility, which is ISO accredited, has lent the company more credibility.For Stegmeier, providing top notch service and high quality products is a given if you want to run a successful custom manufacturing operation in Canada. Perhaps more importantly, is getting that message out to potential customers and Kaymor has embraced social media to do that.

Stegmeier’s wife, Melonie, runs this side of the business, but the family operated business also includes their daughter Morgan, who handles payroll.

“My wife handles third party marketing through a company called Fused Logic and they help us with social media marketing on Facebook, LinkedIn, etc. I’m not a young man but I’ve come to the realization that the millennials now in the business making decisions and will increasingly be our customer base are all into social media and we need to reach them. We’ve been doing this for two years now. I wasn’t convinced at first but we’ve started to see results and we gained customers from as far as Ontario.”

Asked about Kaymor’s biggest milestone, Stegmeier says it’s the move to the current facility, ISO accreditation, which has lent the company more credibility, and the longevity of many of its employees.

“We moved from a one bay facility to this one and we gained credibility, not just with our customers but with our employees too. We have people who have been with us for 11 years and one who is coming up on 13 years.”

Stegmeier says part of his success with employee retention is ensuring employees are happy in their work. The company doesn’t run typical hours, five days a week from 8 am to 5 pm. Instead, the shop is open seven days a week, from 7 am to 7 pm and employees have flexible shifts in which they get two days off every week and every second week is a long week-end.

“We don’t attract a lot of people to a place like Grand Prairie so when we have good workers we want to make sure they stay. Our core people like plant supervisors and plant foremen have been here for five years or more.”

Stegmeier says he is planning on growth for the business and his five year plan includes Lean accreditation. Indeed, Kaymor has a quality manager with his green belt.

“Everyone tends to think of Lean as a tool for big manufacturing facilities but you don’t have to be big to implement Lean. It’s simply a way to eliminate waste, save you costs and ultimately make you more efficient and more competitive.” SMT

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