By Sue Roberts
What’s the next move for a company that has increased its revenue 80-fold—from
$250,000 to $20 million—a year since its inception? More growth. More space. More people.
More equipment. More capabilities. More customers. Repeat.
That describes Winnipeg’s Mackow Industries.
In 1984 machinist John Mackow rented almost
300 sq. ft. of space to house one manual mill,
bringing his expertise to Winnipeg’s manufacturers. Welding capabilities soon followed so the
company could machine large weldments. The
excellent quality of the parts put the company in
a fast growth mode.
The first move occurred after only two years
when it moved to a 5,000-sq.-ft. shop. Several
moves later, the company purchased the building
that houses it today. The facility was 9,000 sq.
ft. when it was purchased in 1996, but additions
since then bring the plant to over 50,000 sq. ft.
“The company started out making one and two
components at a time for a mining company.
They involved a lot of machining and weld-
ing,” said Bob Mackow, John’s son and current
president. “Then we got involved with fabricat-
ing parts to repair buses in 15 to 20 quantities.
Some of those parts involved laser cutting, and
I would need to farm them out. I’d have to wait
days to get them back and I couldn’t do that. Our
service has always included fast turnaround.
“So we purchased our first TRUMPF laser. With
the laser cutting capabilities, if it was Monday
and a customer needed parts by Wednesday, we
could do that.”
Mackow credits the first CNC mill with kicking
growth into high gear. Although the company
still has its manual machine shop, there are now
17 CNC mills. But, he said, things really went
into overdrive after adding the laser.
It was a natural progression to expand cutting
and welding capabilities. Then it added forming and primer painting to become a one-stop
shop. TRUMPF lasers and press brakes and
Accurpress shears and brakes fill out the fabricating shop along with 12 welding stations. The
majority of the equipment is less than 5 years
old, reflecting the company’s strategy to stay
current with new technologies.
It was also about the time the first laser was
CNC machining and laser cutting
put the company on the fast track
Precision Fabricating to New Markets