Hranec Sheet Metal Inc.

Precise spiral and oval ductwork and custom metal manufacturing
Written by: 
Molly Shaw
Produced by: 
Victor Martins

Spiral, oval, PVC, square, rectangular — when it comes to ductwork, Hranec Sheet Metal Inc. (Hranec SMI) is the leading expert in all forms. Based in Uniontown, Pennsylvania, just south of Pittsburgh, the union HVAC manufacturer has been going strong for more than 20 years, specializing in the fabrication of spiral and oval ducts. Hranec SMI offers customers exceptional lead time, affordable pricing and all duct work is built to Sheet Metal and Air Conditioning Contractors’ National Association (SMACNA) standards.

Hranec Sheet Metal

Hranec SMI was established in November 1995 by owner Steve Hranec and has experienced considerable growth over the last 20 years. Today, Hranec SMI employs some 200 to 250 skilled craftspeople and the company is now doing more manufacturing than ever before.

Growing product lines

The company’s core competency is still oval and spiral commercial and industrial ductwork, but Hranec SMI has steadily diversified into a range of new metal items. “We’re making some new items, including access doors, dampers, gasket spiral ducts and now some roofing products called roof ports,” says Steve.

As a leader in time-saving technology, Hranec SMI has eliminated the labor-intensive, time-consuming work of manual duct takeoffs. The company’s state-of-the-art HVAC duct design feeds data directly from CAD programs to the coil line and plasma tables for precise fabrication.

Hranec SMI’s experienced draftsmen are capable of finding collision and problem areas before fabrication, preventing costly repairs down the road. They also specialize in the most demanding SMACNA standards and are able to maintain project data consistency with all sections and elevations accounted for in a single computer model. This model instantly reports data to fabrication and estimating teams, making for the most precise manufacturing possible.

After first perfecting a range of duct fabrication, Hranec SMI has stepped out of this box, adding new manufacturing capabilities backed by the same precision standards. “One of the biggest products lines that’s really taken off is the roof port,” notes Steve. “The roof port product is a form of piping that allows electrical conduits to go up through a roof and it seals them from weather damage. We’ve been working on this line for a little over a year and we’ve seen a steady increase in business as a result.”

Hranec SMI is now manufacturing gasket fittings for ductwork as well. “This is a newer type of connection that’s only been around for a few years and there aren’t many companies making it,” Steve says. “It seals by pushing two duct connections together with a rubber gasket so there’s no need to caulk the duct work.”

Spiral duct production has also taken off for Hranec SMI. “We’ve invested in more machinery — about $1 million worth — into gasket spiral connection capabilities and we’ve essentially eliminated lead times,” says Steve. “Also, the install cost on this product is 50 percent less than regular ductwork because it cuts field installation time down.”

Many of Hranec SMI’s competitors have longer lead times, which is a major inconvenience for contractors waiting to turn over projects. “We’ve added a second and third shift to allow us to expedite orders and perform quick shipments,” says Steve. “It’s been a bit of an adjustment to make sure things are communicated well between shifts, but overall it’s cutting lead times down to nearly nothing. Now, it’s almost as though we have three shops instead of one.”

Gaining ground

Even through the down years of the recession, Hranec SMI’s reputation for rapid service and leading money- and time-saving technology allowed the business to expand. Today, Hranec SMI remains based in Uniontown, but to drive sales through the recession, Steve says the company stepped out of its usual geographic footprint.

“We added on to our manufacturing operations and we also put more salesmen on the ground,” he notes. “Before, our primary territory was Pennsylvania, Ohio and West Virginia, but in the last several years we’ve expanded south into North and South Carolina, Virginia and Kentucky. We’ve also gone west a bit, moving salesmen into Missouri, Illinois, Wisconsin and Indiana.”

After more than 20 years in the industry, Hranec SMI continues to lead the industry in design, drafting and expedited manufacturing capabilities, allowing it to meet the highest SMACNA standards. If a contractor is in need of spiral or oval ductwork, polyvinyl coated, traditional square or rectangular ductwork, or any number of specialty items such as roof ports and spiral gasket connections, Hranec Sheet Metal Inc. delivers the highest quality product on a fast-tracked timeline.

Strategic Partnership(s): 
Hartford Steel
Penn Summit
Spiral Helix
Stephany Associates Inc.