CB Fabricating makes $2 million investment
Company adds second shift and three workers
July 29, 2014
By Ken de la Bastide, The Herald Bulletin
ANDERSON – A local business founded in 2006 has invested $2 million in new equipment and a building expansion.
CB Fabricating, 425 Sycamore St., completed a 6,500-square-foot addition to its facility in mid-2013 for a total of 17,000 square feet to accommodate planned equipment additions.
The company owned by Chris Barkdull is located in the former Ward Stilson building on the city's west side.
In October, Barkdull said, the company purchased an Amada FO MII 3015 NT Laser Flex Cell — a computer-controlled, precision-laser metal cutter — that allows the company to fabricate sheet metal products around the clock.
This month, the company purchased an Amada Press Brake, further increasing capacity and improving turnaround time on client contracts, he said.
In the past year the sheet metal fabricator expanded its production capacity by 75 percent, added a second shift and hired three full-time employees. Barkdull said the expansion was accomplished without requesting any assistance from the city of Anderson in the form of tax abatements.
"I attended some of the abatement meetings," he said. "I heard companies promise to hire a certain number of employees and it never happened.
"I couldn't make those promises," Barkdull said.
He said all the work on the construction of the addition to the building was done by local companies including M.K. Betts and Nugent Electric.
The company recently signed contracts with companies in the aquatics and agriculture industries that have steadily expanded the company's offerings and facilitated the new hires.
"We began seeing signs of recovery and growth as early as 2011," Barkdull said. "Looking ahead we decided early last year to implement expansion plans to stay ahead with technology and capacity. With the expansion we've been able to obtain business from international companies in transportation, agriculture, and other industries."
Both pieces of equipment are programmed and set up using complex software and require employees with technology training and knowledge. In addition to the three employees hired in recent months, the company is seeking additional staff with greater levels of training and technology knowledge, Julia Kattner, client manager, said.
"While CB prides itself on providing good wages and benefits to our employees, our challenge, like many others in the manufacturing sector, is finding qualified employees," she said. "We were excited to hear about the coming Purdue Polytechnic Institute and hope it can help train the technology savvy workers that Madison County needs to keep moving forward."
Follow Ken de la Bastide on Twitter @KendelaBastide, or call 640-4863.