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Plasma cutting: Building tall

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Building Tall_collins-steel-proof-33

Look around: the Shaw Conference Centre Expansion, IKEA Edmonton, Cross Iron Mills, West Edmonton Mall Theatre Expansion. These are just a few of the structures throughout Edmonton and Calgary that wouldn’t exist without the help of Collins Industries Ltd. (CIL), an Edmonton-based structural steel fabrication firm. “We are involved and assist in the entire process from planning and design, processing the raw material, welding and final installation” says Rick Collins, supply chain manager at CIL. “The core of our business is in the commercial market, but we also do a fair amount of industrial and institutional work.

Collins is well equipped for it. With 4, 732 sq m (51,000 sq ft) of production space and 65 employees working two shifts, CIL can process more than 1000 tons of steel per month. With 30-years of experience in this business, there’s little the shop can’t handle in terms of structural work.

When CIL began to consider its equipment selection strategy for the future, its decision was influenced by a visit to FABTECH in November 2013 and a trip to the Voortman Steel Group’s manufacturing facility in the Netherlands. CIL representatives were able to see the fully automated Voortman equipment manufacturing plant and the same equipment being used at Voortman Staalbouw across the street.

With business on the increase and several large orders in the works, CIL took the decision to replace aging equipment with a new plate processing system. The request for proposal was quickly narrowed down from three competitors to one, and in July 2013, CIL took delivery of its first Voortman machine, a V330C Plate Processing System. Says Collins, “I think what finally won us over to Voortman was the job their people did at analyzing what we needed rather than what they could sell. They took the time to consider our facility and product mix, and offered a solution that best suited our requirements.”

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