Manufacturer remains optimistic during difficult year | New



Mission Critical Solutions (MCS) is a full-service metal fabrication and precision machining company located at Alum Bank since Bob McGowan established the company in 2008.

“We manufacture parts, assemblies and finished products for a diverse customer base that includes companies in the defense, rail, transportation and infrastructure, mining and energy, geotechnical construction and construction industries. ‘branding,’ said McGowan, who is the chairman and CEO. “We started with a handful of employees and are now approaching 70.”

As a defense contractor, MCS was seen as a critical business at the height of the pandemic in 2020, when other businesses were forced to shut down.

“We have of course had challenges with our supply chain like most manufacturers, especially with some of our steel suppliers,” McGowan said. “However, as we have longer term relationships with various suppliers, we have been able to meet the manufacturing demands of our customers. “

While some sectors have slowed down over the past 20 months, MCS has been able to adapt to the changing economic environment by applying the skills and quality certifications of its team in growing sectors such as transportation and infrastructure, he said.

“We are ISO certified and also hold American Institute for Steel Construction bridge related certifications, and we are a PennDOT approved fabricator and machine shop,” McGowan added. “We are grateful that MCS is currently in expansion mode.”

Built-in resilience

As other companies struggled to overcome the challenges of the pandemic, McGowan said resilience was built into MCS operations.

“We have a cohesive and knowledgeable group of welders, machinists, fabricators, estimators, managers and support staff who are resilient and already accustomed to adapting to the varied demands of our diverse customers, and they are motivated. by new opportunities, ”he explained. “We made keeping the MCS team informed and employed a priority throughout the uncertainty. “

MCS qualified for a Federal Payroll Protection Program loan, which helped keep staff on the payroll despite any production changes.

“We are grateful to our federal and state governments who have recognized that growing small businesses like MCS are the backbone of the economy,” McGowan said. “We like to say that we employ families, not individuals. Obtaining financial relief gave our team a sense of security and allowed us to meet the changing needs of our growing list of clients. “

Despite the economic downturn and labor shortage, MCS has been successful in retaining a large portion of its staff and even attracting new skilled hires to help fuel its growth.

One of the things that sets MCS apart is its ability to custom manufacture parts, assemblies, fixtures and other finished products to customer specifications using engineering drawings provided by the customer, or to provide specifications. turnkey manufacturing engineering services to help customers lock in a custom design, McGowan said.

“Projects in the build-to-print category cover everything from highly technical products used by military customers to structures used to support commercial lighting and signage applications,” he added.

Big capacity

Currently a member of the Executive Board of the Bedford County Development Association (BCDA) and the Bedford County Industrial Roundtable, McGowan said he appreciates the work the BCDA is doing to foster economic growth in the county and create more partnership opportunities.

Additionally, he said MCS also benefits from its convenient location, which provides quick access to I-99, the Pennsylvania Toll Freeway, and other major highways nearby.

“We remain optimistic for next year and know that it will be necessary to be able to adapt to changing economic and public health scenarios for the foreseeable future,” he said. “We are grateful for having adapted our business operations to this new normal. “

MCS can work with many grades of aluminum, carbon steel, stainless steel and special alloys, and it can adapt to large capacities.

Its press brakes are capable of bending any flange up to 24 feet in length to a maximum depth of 20 inches. Its punching equipment can process sheets up to 60 x 160 inches and its plasma equipment can process sheets up to 120 x 144 inches.

Its line of precision CNC machines includes a horizontal lathe capable of turning products up to 80.4 inches and 25.5 inches in diameter, and a vertical lathe with a maximum lathe length of 18.1 inches and a diameter of maximum turn of 19.5 inches.

Looking to the future means adapting, capitalizing on existing and emerging strengths and business relationships, and choosing to find opportunities hidden in challenges.

“These are some of the lessons our team have learned over the past 20 months,” said McGowan. “We are grateful to professionals like Rhonda Long of Bedford County PA CareerLink who have helped us secure on-the-job training funds. These and other programs have allowed us to develop local talent while providing MCS with savings on payroll; it was a win-win for all parties.


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