GC Custom Metal Fabrication Ltd., a family owned and operated company, specializes in rapid prototyping and production runs in custom fabrication and machining.
“My father, George, founded the company in 1982,” says Darren Schmidt, who now runs the business with his brother Steve. “It started as a one-man operation and a couple of machines. We had leased one bay of a building.”
The company grew quickly, and George started looking for a larger space. When the building he was operating out of went up for sale, he purchased it and steadily expanded into all four bays.
It wasn’t just the company expanding, it was the range of services too. GC Custom Metal brought in CNC equipment and purchased another location for powder painting. Next, water jet and laser cutting machines were added.
“We had to rent another bay for welding,” says Darren. “This brought us to three locations. In 2016 we acquisitioned into machining in Leduc. Now we had four buildings.”
Earlier this year GC Custom Metal consolidated the four locations by purchasing and renovating their 2503 – 84 Ave facility, and the family couldn’t be happier to see how the company has grown and developed over the past.
“We build custom parts and components for our customer’s products and projects. If our customers require a metal component, and it doesn’t exist as an off the shelf item, we make it for them,” says Darren. “In the past we did a lot more custom fabrication for projects and one offs. We are now moving towards larger volume production of product lines and parts for OEM’s. Our expertise in fabrication and machining allows us to build parts using a myriad of different processes. Our diversification enables our success. We are able to work for a wide range of customers.”
GC Custom Metal has created everything from stunning exterior metal bar panels to hidden internal components. Their work stretches across Western Canada and around the world in everything from signage to foundational building components.
Darren explains, “The parts are support items – hidden, while integral to the project. GC’s work is in the Royal Alberta Museum, Roger’s Place, Telus World of Science, and the Remand Centre, to name a few. We don’t have a GC product or brand. We support our customers and their products. We have a lot of processes, so we can do a lot of things in-house without having to send it out to different vendors. We have always been responsive in getting the work and getting the work done.”
It was this responsiveness that earned the company a project to quickly fabricate an integral part of the Keystone Pipeline – a part that was critical to commissioning the pipeline.
With their processes in place and the move to the new building behind them, Darren and Steve are focused on the next phase of GC Custom Metal’s evolution: internal organizational excellence and supporting the team with leadership, training, and opportunities.
GC Custom Metal started as a one-bay operation and now has a 32,000 square foot shop, a 3,000 square foot office, and completes orders for customers around the world. The management thanks George for setting the foundation, their clients for helping to grow the company, and the team for their hard work.
Darren concludes, “This year we celebrate our history, our consolidation, and everything and everyone that makes us who we are today.”