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Metalcraft Mining Equipment Rebuilders Inc.
Harley McClung purchased a mining equipment remanufacturing business in 1984 with the goal of remanufacturing and selling underground mining equipment. McClung had worked with the previous owner since 1972 after working as a laborer when the building was under construction. He was hired on to work as a welder. He moved his way up to crew leader, then shop foreman and eventually a manager. Today, McClung serves as owner and president of Metalcraft Mining Equipment Rebuilders Inc. (MCM).
Today, McClung employs approximately 40 people between two plants in Summersville and Fenwick, W.V. “We remanufacture, rebuild and resell underground mining equipment,” McClung explains of the company’s niche. “We offer a premium service in remanufacturing this equipment. We serve customers across the country and do some international work. My son, Lowell McClung, serves as vice president and engineer. He just got back from Canada, representing our business to current and potential customers there.”
MCM operates with more than 23,000 square feet of production space. Customers turn to the experienced team for a variety of needs. The team performs complete remanufacturing, as well as reconditioning and repairs. The business also fabricates specialty components for existing equipment or new applications. The qualified team utilizes honed skills and technology to deliver high-quality results.
The company’s remanufacturing and reconditioning services allow customers to determine their own specifications for a project. MCM can incorporate the latest design changes and equipment updates to existing equipment and have this important machinery up and running as good as new within a reasonable timeframe.
The fabrication team works closely with clients and the engineering staff to develop and create products that meet the distinct needs of each individual project. Using a CAD system that includes a computerized cutting torch, MCM can redesign existing equipment to meet a specific requirement and also fabricate for new applications.
Aside from these in-house services, the company also sells used equipment that has been fully remanufactured, reconditioned or repaired. Vince Belletto, general manager of MCM, handles the majority of the company’s sales.
Belletto explains that customers return time and again to take advantage of the value MCM offers. Whether purchasing used equipment or sourcing repair work, these long-term business partners have come to rely on the team for quality, safety and attention to detail.
A light at the end of the tunnel
While the recent recession actually turned more customers onto refurbished equipment, McClung and his team face a different set of challenges than other industries. “We have been unable to expand because the coal industry is under a great deal of pressure right now,” McClung explains. “Environmental regulations are stricter than ever and that puts pressure on our industry. We have to work harder to maintain volume. Our prices have to be very competitive. Right now, we are ahead of where we were last year in terms of sales, which is a good sign. While we are happy our sales volume is greater than it was this time last year, profit margins are much more difficult to maintain.”
McClung says there is a light at the end of the tunnel, although a competing sector of the energy industry has put more pressure on coal mining. “One of the things that is driving our industry down is the amount of natural gas available,” he explains. “The supply will not be as great in the future, which will ultimately force coal back to the horizon again. This business is cyclical.”
In the coming years, McClung is hoping for a facility expansion. “We are looking at adding a new steam cleaning facility to one of our locations,” he notes. “Aside from that, we are still remanufacturing and reselling underground mining equipment. There is not a lot of change in equipment that mines coal. Of course, there are always ongoing safety changes. As far as changes in regulations and things that have to be specifically done on equipment, our engineer keeps track and keeps us compliant. Our employees go through monthly safety training and we have regular safety meetings.”
Regardless of where the future takes the business, McClung and his team maintain focus on a simple goal: provide the mining industry with outstanding service at a competitive price. The crew maintains a sincere commitment to customers and McClung is dedicated to the success of his employees.
“The way I measure success is whether after we go through a tough year, we still make a profit,” McClung explains. “As long as we maintain quality and the relationships with our customers, we have done well.” With no major changes on the horizon, Metalcraft Mining Equipment Rebuilders Inc. will continue to do what the business does best: deliver high-quality products and services to a loyal and growing customer base.