Manufacturing Day (Oct. 6) is a celebration of modern manufacturing meant to inspire and empower the next generation of manufacturers. Two local companies – Co-Line Welding, Inc. and Janco Industries, Inc. – share more about their roles in the manufacturing industry and community.
Located five miles south of Sully on Hwy. T-33, Co-Line Welding, Inc. – originally known as County Line Welding in its inception in 1979 – is a force in the metal fabrication industry. For nearly 40 years, the company’s work has been a mainstay in a wide array of industries including automotive, recreational, agricultural, trucking, racing, communi-cations, United States military, home construction, firearms, construction and material handling, and recreational vehicles.
From its humble beginnings to today, Co-Line’s workforce of 171 team members strives to fulfill the company’s commitment to shaping the metal that moves the world.
Below is a question-and-answer with Co-Line Welding, Inc. owners Dale “Rail” Brand and Eric Brand:
What does your business specialize in? Co-Line Welding, Inc., owned by Dale, Tana, Eric, and Faye Brand, provides advanced metal fabrication services and is proud to be firmly rooted in Iowa. The “Co-Line Edge” is a promise of the best quality, service, and overall value that is supported with quality fabrication technology and processes that are consistent with the best thinking in manufacturing today. Our ISO 9001:2015 certification reinforces that commitment. We provide fabrication services in the areas of metal stamping, laser cutting, welding, metal cutting and sawing, production CNC machining, CNC bending, design and engineering, and tool and die.
What are some of your business strengths or highlights? Some of our toughest times have actually been our highlights in business because our team of employees became stronger and grew together. The farm crisis of the 1980s was a challenge – Co-Line shouldn’t have survived. The bank was wanting to sell us out, but I was able to convince them to allow us to keep trying a little while longer. In the late 1980s, we were actually expanding and building on.
In the late 1990s to early 2000s, our business grew rapidly in the automotive industry. Extreme periods of growth is the summary of those years. Romech, our largest customer at that time, was demanding us to sign an agreement that would commit nearly all of our resources to the automotive industry. I refused to sign, and ironically enough in 2007, they moved all their business from Co-Line out of the USA, and Romech closed its doors. This was also the time the Goalsetter owners decided to sell. Our largest customer was moving processes overseas, our second-largest customer was for sale, and we had just broke ground for (at that time) one of our largest building additions. But we made it through!
The F2 tornado that hit Co-Line in 2007 was another life experience that took us by surprise. Amazing community support, our employees, customers, vendors, and even total strangers helped make us a better company than we actually were before the tornado hit.
But by far, the most rewarding and meaningful project Co-Line has ever been part of is making ammunition magazines for the United States Department of Defense. Through a government contract with Brownells, we supplied magazines that were and still are saving soldiers’ lives and protecting our freedom. There were incredible quality standards we had to adhere to because having an ammunition magazine misfire is not an option in battle. It was the most purpose-driven project that Co-Line has ever been part of.
Brands: Surelatch™ – a gate latch and gate accessory line that began in 1988 and is still going strong today even with intense overseas competition.
Goalsetter™ – a height-adjustable in-ground basketball system sold nationwide, manufactured at Co-Line since 1991.
What are some challenges ahead? Finding and retaining employees who want to work in rural Sully, Iowa. Continuing to be competitive with the unfairly government regulated overseas steel tarriffs and imports.
What is something local community members would be surprised to know? Rail built our seven-acre lake out front as a sabbatical away from business in 2000. At a moment’s notice, he called a friend and had a scraper delivered the next day.
Our employees can get $5 haircuts, chair massages, and home-cooked meals while at work, just a few perks of working at Co-Line.
A third-generation employee was recently hired at Co-Line – his grandpa worked at Co-Line before passing away of cancer, his dad currently works at Co-Line, and now he is a Co-Line team member, reiterating Co-Line’s commitment to family.
What is on the horizon for Co-Line Welding, Inc.? Completing our 120,000-square-foot addition with state-of-the-art automated liquid paint and powder coat line. Continued growth in technology, automation, and robotics.
What are the benefits of serving as a business owner/leader in Sully? We are blessed by many very hard-working and talented employees who make their home in the Sully and surrounding areas. Working closely with Lynnville-Sully, other local schools, and colleges allows us to show the next generation what manufacturing is all about and how far it has come in Co-Line’s nearly four decades.
To learn more about Co-Line, visit www.colinemfg.com or follow Co-Line Manufacturing on Facebook.
Janco Industries, Inc.
Janco Industries, Inc. is a family-owned and operated metal fabrication company. Located at 600 W. 2nd Ave. in a new 75,000 sq. ft. facility within the Sully Business Park, Janco employs 38 hard-working team members dedicated to Janco’s unique customers.
Janco was started in 1993 by Ron Jansen. Today, Joel and Deann Jansen oversee Janco Industries, Inc.’s team whose work can be found in the agricultural, construction, and recreational industries.
Below is a question-and-answer session with Janco Industries, Inc. owners Joel and Deann Jansen:
What does your business specialize in? Janco Industries, Inc. is a family-owned, specialized metal fabrication company, fully equipped with the right team of employees and equipment to complete specialized projects for all customers, from prototyping to production to packaging. Our departments include Laser Cutting, Forming, Sawing, Mandrel Tube Bending, Machining, Welding, Paint, Assembly and Packaging, Research and Development, Quality Control, Fulfillment, and Office.
What are some of your business strengths or highlights? We are a family-owned and operated business whose team of employees daily strive to embrace our company’s core values. Janco’s first laser was purchased in 1998. We purchased Handy in 2010. We overcame a fire that destroyed part of our original location in early 2014 and our new 75,000 sq. ft. building was completed in 2015.
Brands: Handy - Janco Industries, Inc. co-purchased Handy Industries, LLC in August of 2010. Handy manufactures motorcycle/ATV/UTV lifts, louvered tailgates, shop equipment, and accessories. American-made products since 1964. Janco now owns and manufactures the entire Handy product line.
What are some challenges the business has faced? On Jan. 30, 2014, a devastating fire destroyed Janco’s welding and saw departments. The previous plans for a new building location in the Sully Business Park were expanded to include all operations of Janco and Handy in a 75,000 sq. ft. facility. Ground broke for the new facility in the Sully Business Park May of 2014, and operations started in the new facility in the spring of 2015.
What is something local community members would be surprised to know? We ship our Handy product globally to distributors in 12 different countries.
What is on the horizon for Janco Industries, Inc.? We are working towards and anticipating ISO certification early in 2018.
What are the benefits of serving as a business owner/leader in Sully? We know we have the support and work ethic of people in a small community – a great example is the support we received from the community and the teamwork of our employees following the fire. We are grateful to be able to provide jobs and give back to the community in different ways.
To learn more about Janco, visit www.janco-ind.com.