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Samuel unit pushes into growth markets

Keywords: Tags  Samuel Pressure Vessel Group, Barry Berquist, steel tank fabricating, energy, chemicals, food, water applications, pneumatically controlled factory equipment competition

CHICAGO — Samuel, Son & Co. Ltd. is looking to continue growing its pressure vessel business to meet rising demand in manufacturing, construction and other industries.

The Mississauga, Ontario-based steel distributor and processor bought Silvan Industries Inc., Marinette, Wis., in 2006 and combined it with pressure vessel manufacturer Steel Fab to form the Samuel Pressure Vessel Group, run by president Barry Berquist.

In 2007, the group acquired Northland Stainless Inc., Berquist told AMM, and since then the business unit’s revenue is up 45 percent. While the recession hit the group hard, business has rebounded, with revenue up 64 percent since 2009, he said.

Samuel has "made some major investments in our plants," Berquist said, including the relocation of Steel Fab’s Lebanon, Va., operation to a roomier facility, a $1.5-million project that will require hiring 50 people to expand the product line into larger tanks.

Steel Fab has five other fabrication, engineering and detailing sites in Alabama, Georgia, North Carolina, South Carolina and Texas.

Berquist expects the energy market will "remain strong for a long time. We are also seeing good growth in process vessels for chemicals, food, and water applications."

Growing automation in U.S. manufacturing is driving a need for pneumatically controlled equipment, he said.

"Construction, another market segment where compressed air is used, is also mounting a bit of surge," Berquist said.

Samuel also wants to slowly expand its energy sector presence, he said.

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