Diamond Steel Begins 2020 with Lots of Work

NORTH LIMA – With a hefty amount of industrial maintenance projects in the pipeline for 2020, Diamond Steel Construction Co. is poised for another busy year, says President Dave Collins.

“If we get all the work we’re bidding, I don’t know how we’ll do it all,” Collins says. “There’s a lot of bidding going on and there’s a whole lot of work going on around us.”

Clarence Smith Sr. established Diamond Steel in 1928. His son, Clarence Smith Jr., took over in the early 1950s and brought Collins’ father, Arnold, an accountant, into the company. This ushered in a long-standing friendship with the Smith family, as the elder Collins went on to become financial vice president at Compco Industries, established by Smith Jr. 

Dave Collins joined Diamond Steel in 1976 and purchased the controlling shares from Smith in 2005.

Business at the 92-year-old company has remained strong over the past several years, Collins says. Volume was down about 10% in 2019 versus back-to-back blockbuster years, but profit margins are up.  

“New construction is a smaller part of the business today,” Collins says.  “Maintenance of existing plants has commanded more of our business.”

And that business has remained strong across the board, he adds.  “It’s spread out. We’ve had some refinery work, work in the titanium industry, the steel industry and some work at Youngstown State University.” 

Diamond Steel currently is involved in projects at Arconic Titanium in Niles, the Ergon refinery in Newell, W.Va., and NLMK Steel in Sharon, Pa. “It’s important right now to bring older plants up to date,” Collins says. 

Diamond Steel employs roughly 50, but that number increases during peak construction season. The company owns 30 mobile cranes ranging in capacity from six-ton to 275 tons. “In 2019, we added three mid-size rough terrain cranes” with 50-ton capacity, Collins says. “It was a good year.”

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