Two companies with a heavy presence in northeastern Minnesota's mining industry are working together to provide broader and better service to customers.
Range Steel Fabricators and JADCO Manufacturing, Inc., have formed a partnership with Range Steel Fabricators facilities in Hibbing as headquarters.
“Range Steel will be our preferred partner,” Scott Rife, JADCO vice president said. “We will have inventory at his facility and we will work with him and put work through his facility as a preferred partner and a preferred vendor.”
JADCO is a more than 40-year-old global wear solutions company based in Harmony, Pa.
It manufactures and sells impact and abrasion products for mining production trucks, shovels, loaders, and taconite processing plants.
JADCO also serves the paper and pulp, power generation, steel mill and foundry, concrete and cement, aggregate, waste and recycling, and glass industries.
The company does business across the world, including North America, South America, Canada, and Africa.
Range Steel Fabricators is a more than 100-year old family-run business.
It's a steel and aluminum fabrication shop that also manufactures machined components.
Range Steel Fabricators serves the mining industry along with paper and pulp, construction, and other heavy industries.
The partnership benefits both companies, Jeff Halter, Range Steel Fabricators president said.
“They are bringing the premium product and we will bring the manufacturing capability,” Halter said. “We're both looking at this positively. We're both very comfortable and excited to have our names together and make it a win-win-win for JADCO, Range Steel, and the area.”
JADCO sales representatives have been working on the Iron Range for a number of years.
But until its new partnership with Range Steel Fabricators, JADCO hasn't had a physical facility in northeastern Minnesota.
The partnership gives JADCO a physical base in the region while also bringing more work to Range Steel Fabricators, Rife said.
“It gives us the facility we were needing through the investment that he's (Halter) been making,” Rife said. “He gets work from us and he's solved the issue we needed in having a physical facility.”
Partnering with Range Steel Fabricators also gives JADCO a stepping off point into Canada and other parts of the United States, Rife said.
“Jeff is a really good guy to work with, with his roots on the Iron Range,” Rife said. “By us putting work through there, it means people stay employed.”
Range Steel Fabricators recently completed a major investment of its facilities with a 6,000 square-foot expansion. That gives the company a total of 18,000 square-feet of manufacturing and fabricating space.
Heavy-duty overhead crane capabilities, a 40-foot ceiling height, and the best cutting table on the Iron Range, means Range Steel Fabricators can repair and rebuild large pieces of mining and contractor equipment on-site, Halter said.
“Our hope is to target equipment repair and rebuilding,” Halter said. “It's something I've put a large amount of investment into so we can do bucket and shovel rebuilds and for dirt work contractors.”
The combination of Range Steel Fabricators labor and JADCO materials, provides customers with high-quality work and top-notch product, Halter said.
“All of the labor will come out of our shop for their customers and the materials will come from them,” Halter said. “JADCO has a history of premium products and a sales network that goes out into the Dakotas and to the west, which will also help us. If we can take advantage of some of these opportunities, our intention is to grow our workforce.”
With northeastern Minnesota's six iron ore plants running and other mineral projects in development, Rife sees a bright future for the partnership.
“We're excited about it,” Rife said. “With as busy as the Iron Range is getting right now, it gives us that presence on the Range that we've needed there. I love coming up there.”