The video segment and original article can be found here.
Made in the Northwest: Accra-Fab
Posted: August 19, 2021 10:00 AM
by Derek Deis
LIBERTY LAKE, Wash. – As a contract manufacturer, Accra-Fab doesn’t make its own products. Instead, its 170 employees make other company’s products for them.
“So we take sheet metal and other raw materials and we cut it, bend it, form it, insert hardware, weld, finish it, assembly and create finished products for our customer,” explained Accra-Fab president Greg Konkol.
Unlike a lot of manufacturers, Accra-Fab offers all of its manufacturing processes under one roof, making it a true “one stop shop.”
“It’s kind of cool being able to watch from ground zero,” said training supervisor Josiah Bird. “And watching it evolve from a flat sheet of metal to a chassis or something that’s got powder coat or wet paint on it.”
Accra-Fab serves a wide range of industries, but Konkol says power and energy is by far its biggest.
“That represents about 50% of our business. We also do a fair amount of aerospace work, which is between about 25-30% of our business.”
The company invests heavily in manufacturing technology. A newly purchased deburring machine is used for aerospace parts.
“This equipment basically smooths out all the surfaces and all the edges of the parts in a very precise way,” said Konkol.
And Konkol says its Trubend forming machine is state of the art.
“It’s electrical servo operated, not the traditional hydraulic. So what makes it unique is it is extremely fast and extremely accurate.”
Accra-Fab prides itself on training up its employees and advancing them through the company.
“We’re able to take someone straight off the street and train them from the ground level up,” said Bird.
The company offers cross training opportunities as well, which employees like Nathan Peyton have used to their advantage.
“So I started in punches, I’ve worked my way over to hardware, breaks,” said Peyton. “I’ll be learning the laser, which is super cool because it’s a giant plasma cutter.”
“We really focus on improvement, performance and we value creativity and innovation,” added Konkol.
And after working through a bit of a slowdown during the COVID-19 pandemic, Accra-Fab believes it’ll soon be poised for more growth.
“We went into this thing saying, ‘Hey. We’re not sure what’s going to happen, but we’re going to learn from it and we’re going to be stronger and better coming out of it,’” said Konkol. “And I’m very proud that’s exactly what’s happened.”
And that added strength could help Accra-Fab last another 40 plus years in the business.