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Steel plant expands product line

Steel plant expands product line

JERRY PURVIS | Star Herald

Mar 9, 2019

GERING — With the end of World War II, the government approved subsidies in 1946 to help get the nation’s economy rolling again. It was also the beginning of B&C Steel in Gering, a family-owned company that is now in its third generation.

Once the war ended, steel buildings were being shipped back from the South Pacific. So B&C Steel tried its first venture — selling steel Quonsets for family homes. A few of them still remain in the Scottsbluff area.

While their first try wasn’t that successful, company leadership knew their future was in manufacturing steel products.

That machinery forms rolls of steel into side panels and roof panels that are welded and assembled into finished buildings.

“We manufacture about anything that needs a roof over it,” Jim Reinhardt said. “Our customer base is in the aviation industry, agriculture, energy, churches and a lot more.”

While most of their sales are in the Midwest area, B&C Steel went to Kazakhstan to assemble a building for a uranium mining operation.

Now B&C Steel has installed a new type of roll former to improve their product line.

Older roll formers take rolls of steel, cut them to length and punch holes in the panels for assembly.

In recent years, what is called “standing seam” roofs and panels are becoming more popular, especially along Colorado’s Front Range. Standing seam panels are held together with clips on the underside of the building frame, so there are no penetrations in the steel.

But until recently, B&C Steel had to have another company manufacture the new panels for them.

“We got so many requests for standing seam panels we decided to get into manufacturing our own,” Jim Reinhardt said. “That makes our price point more attractive for customers.”

Lewis Reinhardt, B&C Steel’s metal buildings manager, said the old-style panels are primarily used for commercial and ag buildings. But standing seam panels are more visually appealing and can be made in different finishes and colors.

“We got rid of the middle man, so to say,” Lewis Reinhardt said, “but we’re just starting to get into the manufacturing end on standing seam panels.”

Lewis Reinhardt said their first test panels were a copper finish but were slightly off with the measurements as the crew learned how to calibrate the machinery.

A new building expansion is also under construction to make room for the new machinery.

“This is something we’ve been thinking about doing for some time,” Jim Reinhardt said. “The economy has been strong for us in the last couple of years and we’ve had record-setting sales. Now we feel comfortable we can expand.”