Fabricating the future: Grand Junction company creates components that enhance other companies’ technologies
By Craig Hall
There’s an old commercial that had the tagline, “At BASF, we don’t make a lot of the products you buy. We make a lot of the products you buy better.” With one visit to All Metals Welding and Fabricating Company in Grand Junction, one can see that vision being played out into reality.
Owner Chris Muhr says that while he never knows just what kind of job may come through the door, and everything has from a welding job to repair an heirloom teapot to fabricating components for some of the most sophisticated one may find in the defense industry, it’s humbling to know that what his company is doing has such a wide reaching impact. “It’s really incredible to think that an order we finished one day can be installed on a job in Dubai the next week,” says Muhr.
But the ability to do the kind of precision worked required to fill those jobs orders has All Metals Welding in high demand to create the parts cutting edge companies need to compete in an ever-increasing technological world. The company has fabricated parts and components for Reynolds Polymer, CalFrac, Coors Tek, C5 Medical Werks, and the Grand Canyon and Canyonlands National Parks. Currently, Muhr’s company is supplying components for Leitner-Poma’s “Big Wheel” project in Las Vegas, which when completed will be the world’s largest observation wheel.
In addition, Muhr has ongoing projects with two other western Colorado companies that are leaders in their perspective fields, which are literally miles apart in the business world in terms of what they do, but the common denominator is the their satisfaction of the work done by All Metals.
Bonsai Design is a Grand Company that is dedicated to “finding all kinds of ways to have people fly through the air,” according Thaddeus Shrader, Chief Executive Officer. Bonsai designs custom, tree-based adventures and is known around the world for its innovative styles since it began in 1992.
“What we enjoy about working with All Metals is that they are right here in Grand Junction and available at any time during our creation process,” says Shrader, “I can literally visit the shop and adjust CAD files or make adjustments to the water jet to produce the results we want immediately. And what we truly appreciate with All Metals is the fact that when the job is done, the level of quality from the first part to that last is exceptional.”
Glenwood Springs based Fiberforge is a company that designs, manufactures and sells automated tape layout systems that create advanced composite parts with thermoplastic tape. The company’s systems are used in the automotive, aerospace and defense industries as well as in the manufacturing of window frames for business jets.
As an industry leader in the composite plastics field, Fiberforge utilizes All Metals’ expertise in building their one meter and two meter-wide RELAY® Stations. “We are very pleased with All Metals and the parts they make for us,” says Susan Goldberg, senior manager for marketing and sales at Fiberforge,” Their work is an integral part that enhances our patented process that keeps us an industry leader.” Additionally, Fiberforge takes advantage of the quality employee base in Grand Junction with a handful of workers making the trip to Glenwood every day to work at its facility.
Beyond the unique jobs All Metals is creating for companies, Muhr is also dedicated to technology for the business itself. All Metals was the first to install a water jet cutting system that can cut components and parts from the most delicate materials to steel over an inch thick. Additionally, Muhr has installed solar panel systems on the roofs of both of his buildings in Grand Junction. “Given the electricity we need to operate our equipment, it’s very important that have the ability to offset our use, and run cleaner in the process,” says Muhr.
And the unique projects continue to hit the door of All Metals. The latest has the company fabricating a prototype, pop-up shell to go on the roof of Toyota Land Cruisers that creates a sleeping area. The aluminum shell is currently being marketed at off-road shows by its western Colorado entrepreneurs.