Still As Strong As Steel
June 17, 2013
Still as strong as steel
June 12, 2013 By Lisa Marr
Jayne Industries has mastered the art of handling industrial booms and busts
By Lisa Grace Marr
Jayne Industries partners Duncan Robson and Chris Cashin, with a CNC bar bending machine. Photo: John Rennison/Hamilton Spectator
Jayne Industries, a refractory anchoring systems manufacturer, is forging ahead this year – despite the downturn in the steel industry that has affected its customers.
Duncan Robson, owner/principal, said the recent lockout at U.S. Steel at Lake Erie has meant an 8 per cent drop in business for the Stoney Creek firm.
“It’s not a huge impact but suddenly there’s the uncertainty of when they’re going to go back, the work we were doing on the blast furnace didn’t get done, ” he said. “I think as far as Jayne goes, it’s tough to find that 8 per cent in sales. I felt we were really going to hold our own this year and maybe a bit better than that.”
But this is a company that has seemingly mastered the art of industrial booms and busts.
Chris Cashin, co-owner/principal, said this year, Jayne has bounced back from the 2009 recession, with staffing levels back up to about 80 from about 60 just after the recession.
Even in 2009, the executive team was optimistic, purchasing a 60,000-square- foot facility on Seaman Street in Stoney Creek.
It’s that kind of optimism along with the decision to invest again this year in high-tech equipment which helped them earn the 2012 large business achievement award from the Stoney Creek Chamber of Commerce.
Jayne Industries has made a specialty of engineering and manufacturing anchoring systems that hold the special, high-temperature tolerant ceramics and cement-like bricks that line the inside of furnaces (such as steel blast furnaces), kilns, incinerators and reactors. The high-end steel brackets hold the ceramics almost like a coat hook holds a coat, says Robson. The company also offers repair and steel fabrication work.
“We’ve stayed busy – finished up all of our quotes and keeping on top of work, ” said Cashin.
“We’ve been able to keep our heads above water.”
The company has also diversified beyond steel to include a number of industrial sectors such as petrochemical – making parts for the refineries.
It’s the refractory hardware systems and parts manufacture that Cashin feels gives Jayne an edge.
Robson said developing a solid reputation in the refractory repair business for the oilsand companies in Alberta hasn’t hurt either.
“We are the only refractory hardware manufacturer for this business in Canada, ” said Robson.
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