By Laura Kostad
Miramac Metals Inc. opened a new manufacturing facility a year ago in Pasco and is already considering a future expansion.
The Mead-based company supplies a diverse offering of customized steel products, including corrugated, ribbed and snap-lock panel profiles, to commercial and residential customers in the rapidly growing Tri-City region.
Miramac signed a two-year lease with the Port of Pasco last May for one of its warehouses in the Big Pasco Industrial Center, located off Ainsworth Avenue along the Columbia River.
The Tri-Cities has been experiencing tremendous growth over the past two years as the tourism and job sectors continue to expand and diversify, drawing more people to the area.
The resulting housing shortage has put pressure on developers to respond to this need, creating a greater demand of local construction resources. It’s translated to a boon for local companies and emerging industries in the area.
“We’ve been shipping product into the region for years, so it just made sense,” said Jeff McDonald, company president.
Miramac’s commitment to high-quality craftsmanship and customer service began in 1959 near Spokane with McDonald’s father, who started working just one steel roll-forming project at a time. The Pasco facility is the company’s first expansion.
Miramac was one of the first to own and operate roll-forming machines in the western U.S., McDonald said. Roll-forming is the process by which coils of flat sheet metal are fed through a specialized machine that bends the metal into a desired shape or pattern, known as a profile. This method of bending steel helps to ensure shape consistency on long pieces produced in large quantities.
Over the years, demand for steel products in the agricultural and commercial sectors and new design developments for residential customers have enabled the company to grow and become a leader in roll-forming innovation and manufacturing techniques, McDonald said.
Miramac has clients in Washington, Oregon and Idaho, as well as Montana and the Dakotas.
The Pasco facility features a smaller building footprint compared to that of its headquarters, located just north of Spokane, but is equal in performance due to the implementation of new, state-of-the-art factory innovations developed by Miramac, McDonald said. He said this translates to a large quantity and wide array of high quality products offered. The cost of the expansion was “well into the seven-digits,” he said.
Miramac offers full-service siding and roofing manufacturing, providing clients with all the materials needed to complete their projects, including screws and other accessories, said Dennis Billman, manager of the Pasco facility.
“We stand on our own here. If you want it, we can do it,” he said.
McDonald said Miramac utilizes innovative materials and treatments, including its exclusive hot rolling process, which “provides better protection than traditional roll-forming methods,” maintaining steel flexibility and paint elasticity for the long term.
“We’re doing things differently than others and offering products new to the industry,” McDonald said.
Backed by a lifetime warranty, clients can rest assured they will be taken care of for the life of their investment, Billman said.
Miramac also prides itself on guaranteeing orders are completed on-time and under budget.
Attention to detail, as observed in its extended link trim components that mask undesirable seams, and the individual handling of each piece produced, contributes to Miramac’s commitment to the highest of quality standards, Billman said.
“Custom metal. Twenty-four hours,” Billman said. Clients can pick up orders, or have their product delivered within 72 hours — even entire building packages.
Miramac boasts more than 30 color options in-stock, in addition to several degrees of rustic treatment and other textures that can be applied to many of its panel types, including the popular corrugated designer panel.
No longer merely an industrial building material and roofing option, steel has become a sought-after design element in the last few years, McDonald said. It lends a rustic-meets-modern edge to projects, in addition to being long-lasting, durable, and low-maintenance.
“We’re transcending what people think of steel,” McDonald said. “I am excited to see architects and designers focus on utilizing the decorative and structural possibilities that steel offers. Not to mention its green building benefits, which include energy efficiency and 100 percent recyclability.”
Previously, local contractors were hard-pressed to obtain the steel materials they needed at a reasonable cost and in a timely manner, McDonald said.
Miramac’s manufacturing facility changed that. Now, instead of waiting weeks for orders from Seattle, Spokane or Portland, local contractors can get next-day turnaround.
This translates to lower costs because of reduced shipping expenditures, shorter project timelines and not having to over-order to ensure they have enough material, McDonald said.
“Local contractors can now compete with others trying to move in on jobs from outside the area,” he said. “This helps the local community tremendously.”
The standalone Pasco facility is also committed to keeping employees and jobs local. “We employ local people that actually live in Tri-Cities,” McDonald said.
“I live and work here,” Billman said.
In anticipation of ongoing demand, further expansions to the new Pasco facility are already in the planning phase. “The Tri-Cities community has been great to us and embraced us. It has been a joy working with them,” said McDonald, who looks forward to ongoing growth and serving both new and existing clients in the community.
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