G.H. Roberts Manufacturing celebrates 150 years

G.D. Roberts Manufacturing, a fifth-generation full-service metal fabricating and powder coating supplier, combines the personal and attentive service you’d expect of the past with modern technology of today.

Roberts Manufacturing was founded as G.D. Roberts & Co. Inc. in 1870 as a blacksmith shop in Columbus, Wis., by the great- great-grandfather of Nathan Roberts, the company’s current president.

“We’re very fortunate to be celebrating 150 years of business. We take great pride in our company’s history and feel a sense of responsibility to continue this legacy in a way that our ancestors would be proud of,” he says. “No pressure, right?”

Since its beginning, Roberts Manufacturing has made it a priority to listen to customers, and to solve their complex problems or goals with simple solutions. This way of doing business brings customers back time and again, as they come to appreciate the personalized attention and expertise devoted toward achieving their goals.

Roberts Manufacturing is not only a full-range metal fabricating and coating specialist, but also provides value-added services such as: industrial design, design for manufacturing analysis and design for cost reduction.

The company’s software includes ERP system, SolidWorks, SigmaNest, SigmaTube, SigmaPunch and TruTops Boost Bend, Tube and Punch-laser.

Manufacturing capabilities: 6,000w fiber optic laser with tower, 4,000w standalone laser with sheet and tube capability, Trumpf 6,000 punch laser combo with sheetmaster, Trumpf 7000 Tube laser with bundle loading, CNC sheet sheering, CNC band saw, CNC turret punch, four brakes with six-axis back gauges, CNC mills and lathes, mobile tapping arms, two insertion presses, 100-ton CNC angle roll, and one-quarter x 60” four roll CNC plate roll.

Welding capabilities: Eight-manual welding stations with Bluco fixturing systems Mig, tig, steel, aluminum and stainless. 150 KVA DC Spot Welder; and two Panasonic center rotation welding robots Bluco fixturing for 1,300-pound 5’ x10’ and 60” x 36” reach respectively with aluminum, steel and stainless offline programming.

Surface prep: Grit blast booth with air wash and auto-reclaim 24’ x 10’ 10’ blast booth with glass bead, aluminum-oxide, etc. available; and 52-inch Time-saver belt and brush and 52” timesaver 2200 Rotary Brush edge rounding machine

Coating: 76” x 46” six-stage wash paint line with quick change automatic powder paint line. 30’ x 12’ x 10” dual oven batch with nano-technology seven-stage reverse osmosis wash.26’ x 14’ x 8’ wet coat booth.

Assembly services: Full range assembly and kitting capability. “We pride ourselves on being on the cutting edge of technology and always staying ahead of the curve in equipment, on time delivery and the highest quality products,” Roberts says.

History of innovation
Founder Griffith D. Roberts started his blacksmith shop in 1870 in a 4,000-square-foot facility.

The business used its initial location until it was destroyed by a fire in 1930. At that time, Roberts Manufacturing built a new facility at the same site, which it still uses today. In 2010, the company went through a major expansion, going from an 8,000-square-foot facility to 62,000-square-foot facility, adding a powder coating line and batch that year.

In 2019, business grew so much that Roberts Manufacturing acquired a second facility adjacent to the original building. That expansion allowed the business to double its capacity, bringing it to a total of 125,000 square feet of space. The expansion also allowed the business to add new capabilities, including a tube laser and a punch laser combo machine.

Commitment to customers
“Each generation of the family added their own touch to the business,” says Roberts, adding “This contribution has been to expand the customer base and add new technology.”

In discussing that customer base, Roberts says, “When working with clients, we’re looking for a partnership and we want to build a two-way relationship. We are active partners in our customers’ success.”

Creating an employee-friendly culture is essential at Roberts Manufacturing. “We have a really awesome culture of great people,” Roberts says.

The company and its HR team have made great strides towards making Roberts Manufacturing a great place to work. Roberts says this dynamic environment translates to benefits for the customer.

Roberts’ goals for the next four years are very aggressive and focus on widening the customer base and expanding capabilities even more.

Pictures showing the rich history of this 150-year-old family-owned company are kept hanging up on the walls at Roberts Manufacturing. This is a company that wants to be reminded of its roots, and with it an insistence to be respectful of its employees, and always attentive to its customers.

Mindfulness of the past mixed with modern technology of today. This is Roberts Manufacturing.

100 Continental Drive
Columbus, WI, 53925
(800) 355-3475

To view the entire 2021 Anniversary Celebrations edition, please click here.