G.W. Becker Completes $1.5M Expansion

By Brent Rozar, development manager, G.W. Becker

HERMITAGE, Pa. – Last year was an exciting one for G.W. Becker Inc. with expansion of our operations in Hermitage, Pa., successful completion of notable projects, widening our service network and hiring new employees. We attribute this success to a strategic business plan implemented in 2016.

G.W. Becker, a family-owned supplier of overhead crane products since 1980, received Gorbel’s outstanding dealer award for sales growth. We also received an economic impact award from Penn-Northwest Development Corp. in recognition of our $1.5 million expansion.

The project included construction of a 40-by-50-foot, two-story brick office and 19,000 square feet of industrial warehouse space on 2.6 acres of land. The additional space allowed us to relocate our service department and better support internet sales while creating much needed office space.

We also upgraded our manufacturing plant for improved flow of production, enabling us to process larger contracts with greater efficiencies. A new automated drill beam line, aerial lifts and additional service trucks accommodate our growing service market and bolster our internal capabilities.

Several projects in 2017 demanded expertise in application assistance, custom-design engineering, manufacturing, installation and commissioning.

One notable turnkey project was for a company consolidating several locations into one facility. The customer purchased 31 new cranes and 16 freestanding runway systems totaling 4,060 linear feet. This project included the design and manufacturing of the new cranes, runway systems and self-performing installation.

On three separate projects, we worked closely with a repeat customer in western Pennsylvania who specializes in steel products for the railroad industry. These projects included replacing an overhead crane cab, upgrades of new hoist drums and gearboxes to a 110-ton ladle crane hoist, and a 20-ton capacity modernization with new controls.
Other turnkey projects were completed for an automotive supplier in Wooster, Ohio, and a roofing materials manufacturer in New Columbia, Pa.

We also designed and built a 50-ton, top-running trolley hoist for a dredge manufacturer. The outdoor unit was rated for continuous severe service and enclosed in a protective building with its own monorail system for maintenance. In late 2017, we received an order from the same customer for a near-duplicate project.

Meanwhile, we increased our regional crane manufacturer market base for pre-engineered line of crane components. These components are supplied as kits for the crane builder to incorporate and assemble into projects for its customers.

Service and inspection orders increased to nearly 3,300 units in 2017. We expanded into a new serv-ice territory with a contract for the inspection and service of more than 50 overhead cranes for a large manufacturer in southeastern United States. This order required additional staffing and equipment.

A new marketing specialist enhanced our marketing with social media, communicating our company news and events through LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, Google+ and YouTube. We are currently revamping our website with a fresh design, easier navigation and improved search capabilities.

Finally, last year G.W. Becker hired Chris Wilson as operations manager. A former director of engineering at a manufacturer of large material testing equipment, Wilson brings a deep experience in the equipment manufacturing industry and will complement our executive team as we expand our North America customer base, streamline processes for efficiencies.

Editor’s Note: This story was published in The Business Journal’s Growth Report 2018. The 144-page edition features growth reports from more than 200 local businesses and organizations. It was published this week. If you are not a subscriber, CLICK HERE to purchase a copy or call Eileen Lovell at 330 744 5023 Ext. 1008.

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