Standing strong

By Lisa Rummler

September 2010- Buildings, trees and wrecking balls. At first glance, it might seem as if they have little to nothing in common. Dig a bit deeper, however, and one company emerges with ties to all of them: Mirabel, Quebec-based Garier.

One of Canada’s largest manufacturers of equipment for heavy machinery, Garier has about 100 employees and serves a variety of industries by producing and supplying construction, forestry, recycling, demolition and mining accessories. These include buckets (as in the scoops of excavating machines), quick couplers and other parts for excavators, wheel loaders and crawlers.

"We process steel sheet metal, manufacture and replace blades and other wearing parts, and design a wide range of steel accessories for a number of types of applications," according to the company’s website.

Additionally, Garier operates an active research-and-development team whose goal is to provide continuous innovation and improvement.

"Year after year, we strive to refine our manufacturing procedures, select the most efficient material, determine new profiles for designing our buckets and improve the technical aspects of our ground-attacking tools," according to the company’s website.

Garier offers a variety of in-house manufacturing services, such as oxyacetylene cutting, plasma cutting and welding, as well as bending and forming of steel plates.

In terms of welding, the company uses flux-cored arc welding systems with semiautomatic feeders.

Earlier this year, Garier produced a 112-in.-by-120-in.-by-110-in. bucket that weighed 30,000 lbs."given the size of its products, the potential exists for issues to arise during welding processes.

"Every brittle point on a bucket has a chance of cracking under severe loads," says Jérôme Duchesneau, sales and marketing representative at Garier.

A combination of factors enables the company to overcome these potential welding-related challenges.

"The key is to have attentive welders, good equipment, continual formation and, of course, the best steels and [to] follow the manufacturer’s recommendations," says Duchesneau.

From the start
Garier opened in 1988, and from the beginning, the company has been using products from SSAB, Stockholm, Sweden, says Duchesneau.

"The founder of Garier, Rosaire Gariépy, had previously experienced working with the SSAB product as a welder in a bucket company," he says. "That’s how he found out about the quality of SSAB steel before he started his own company.

"He met a sales representative to get more information regarding some specifications, and since then, Garier has been using Hardox steel to provide a reliable product to [our] customers."

This high-strength, abrasion-resistant steel helps meet seemingly disparate requirements, says Patrick Leclerc, regional sales manager for SSAB Americas.

Hardox is "manufactured to fulfill the needs of the different industries that require abrasion resistance while reducing the weight of the equipment," he says. "Manufacturers in the construction equipment, mining equipment and truck-body industries have long recognized the benefits of using Hardox for durable yet light solutions."

Wide-reaching presence
SSAB started in 1978 in Stockholm, Sweden. It has grown considerably over the years, and its focus has evolved into high-strength and quenched steels.

The company has 8,700 employees in more than 45 countries around the world in North America, South America, Europe, Asia, Africa and the Middle East. Its production facilities are in Sweden and the United States.

Another high-strength steel product SSAB?produces is Hardox HiTuf, which is geared toward applications that require abrasion resistance and increased crack resistance. Another is Weldox, which crane manufacturers often use because it provides optimal structural qualities for lifting and carrying applications, says Leclerc.

The right stuff
Garier regularly welds Hardox and Weldox steels that range from 1/4 in. to 4 in. thick.

Further, the company uses SSAB steel in every product it manufactures and welds, and it has a simple reason for this, says Duchesneau.

"From the extreme-duty bucket that works in abrasive material to the handling grapple for recycling work, Garier wants to provide the best quality and a durable product," he says. "At Garier, Hardox grades 400, 450 and 500 are used as a structural steel as well as a wear component for parts that are directly in contact with the abrasive material, [such as] wear plate, bolt-on cutting edge, bucket liner, etc."

Over the years, Garier has found success using SSAB’s steel products, which has trickled down to the company’s customers.

"We’ve always had a good experience with the product--uniform quality, durability to impact and wear, and reliability; excellent service, responsive supplier [and] easy procurement; [and] good comments from our customers," says Duchesneau. "Most of our customers know about the excellent quality of Hardox steel. That helps us position our own product as a premium in the marketplace."

This commitment to excellence regarding the materials it uses and the products it manufactures has helped Garier solidify its place in the industry.

"We built our name and reputation on the quality and durability of our products," says Duchesneau. "That’s why every component entering in the fabrication of our products is really important. Every component must reflect the mission and the vision of Garier: providing the best product."

Lessons learned
SSAB always strives to maximize the potential of its high-strength steels. Accordingly, the company built a facility in Montpelier, Iowa, dedicated to research and development, where "17 metallurgists and engineers will help SSAB move forward in the evolution of our products, as well as offer invaluable assistance to customers in the development of their specific applications," says Leclerc.

SSAB also offers support to customers through technical managers, as well as on-site training and information sessions.

Garier has taken advantage of these training opportunities several times.

"Some of our employees went directly to Sweden for a special training regarding SSAB product, and a sales representative also visited Garier and gave us more information," says Duchesneau. "Last year, an SSAB engineer came here to give us training about steel specifications. It helped our team to improve our understanding of the product and how to do comparisons between different types of steel." FFJ

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  • Garier
    Mirabel, Quebec
    phone: 450/437-7794

  • SSAB Americas
    Lisle, Ill.
    phone: 877/594-7726


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