Ever wish you had an opportunity to start over and build the manufacturing process in the right place? Well, MARKS Design and Metalworks, LLC (MARKS), a major manufacturer of custom stainless-steel vessels and equipment, had that opportunity. MARKS recently moved into a new production facility located at the Port of Vancouver USA. With this move MARKS could redesign its entire manufacturing process for fabricating custom stainless-steel tanks, other vessels and equipment.
A lot of time was spent on pre-planning the new facility, said Jim Paulsen, president of MARKS. We had the opportunity to think through what was important to improve our processes and enough space to design the work areas for the right flow of each step of fabrication. The Port of Vancouver worked with us every step of the way to retro-fit the building to meet our special needs.
Key to the process was to give each skilled fabricator his or her own work area, with enough space to build their custom stainless-steel equipment. We didn’t plan for a pandemic in the middle of our move into the new facility, said Jim. But our new production design provides for wide spacious individual work areas that keeps our craftsman well physically distanced. Andy Harrington, production manager, said the employees really appreciate the enhanced safety built into the new design.
The main feature of the new design is that it seamlessly allows for the movement of the custom stainless-steel tank from one workstation to the next, with little extra effort on the part of the fabricator. He or she can spend their time focused on their craft rather than moving around parts. Formed parts come to them in a “just-in-time” system that keeps the process moving.
New employment applicants are impressed with the new facility says Andy Peterson, recruitment manager. This gives us a much better ability to develop training for those new to welding and fabricating profession, Andy said. MARKS started working with Clark College’s welding program as well as the Workforce Southwest Washington before COVID-19 put a temporary hold on some of our progress. Andy looks forward to moving those programs forward as soon as is possible.
Those customers who have come to the facility express their confidence in MARKS ability to provide a high-quality product with the new facility set-up. Jim notes that MARKS is looking forward to an open house to showcase the new production facility as soon as we are able. We believe the local craft brewers, makers of custom beverages and industries that use stainless-steel equipment will be impressed. MARKS is especially pleased with the support from the Port and its other tenants. Several have approached their new “neighbor” MARKS with stainless-steel projects.
MARKS’ sales and projects have grown and required the relocation to the new facility. We started in Vancouver, said Jim. And MARKS wanted to stay here. We are one of the top stainless-steel manufacturing companies in the country. MARKS has increased its sales and unique fabrication solutions well beyond the greater Portland area. Jim estimates that greater than 65% of sales and projects are outside the Northwest region. We have several projects under development that will expand MARKS brand to Australia, Mexico, Asia and Europe. These really help to put Vancouver on the map for custom stainless-steel manufacturing.
Look to MARKS for your unique project
MARKS specializes in unique solutions. If you need something stored, piped, processed or fermented, MARKS’ team of engineers can make it happen.
We proudly offer American-made solutions. From beer and craft beverages to methane storage and cannabis extraction, MARKS creates custom brewing, processing and storage equipment.
Mary Novak-Jandrey is owner/manager at MARKS.