New building spurs growth for Cutting Edge Fabrication

Cutting Edge Fabrication
6030 N. 60th St., Milwaukee
Industry: Metal fabrication
Employees: 25

Milwaukee-based Cutting Edge Fabrication is coming off a record year in 2013 and is continuing to add employees and expand its business.

Since purchasing its current facility at 6030 N. 60th St. in late 2011 and moving in in 2012, the company has seen positive growth in many different aspects of its business, said Keith Butze, president.

Cutting Edge Fabrication moved into its new facility in 2012 and it has been a catalyst for the company’s growth.

“Moving into this building opened the door for everything,” Butze said.

Cutting Edge welder Chris Thorpe.

The company offers welding, fabrication, plasma cutting, assembly, machining and production sawing.

Cutting Edge welder Brian Koshen.

Cutting Edge Fabrication was started in 1990 as Production Cost Cutting Inc., and after several changes to the business through the ’90s and early 2000s, became Cutting Edge Fabrication in 2007 under Butze’s leadership. The company still does the production sawing it started its business with, but the fabrication capability came into focus with Butze at the helm.

“What I wanted to do was expand the fabrication part of (the business),” Butze said. “That’s my background. I know where the work is. I grew up welding. I worked in the shop. That’s what I know. The sawing is such a small scale of everything, and I knew that we could do a lot more business in the fabrication part of (the business) than the sawing.”

An equipment purchase in 2007 made a significant impact on Cutting Edge’s business.

“The first thing we did in 2007 was acquire a laser,” Butze said. “That was our first major purchase. Once that took off, it opened the door for us to do other types of work. We started to acquire more equipment to continue to grow.”

At that time, the company was renting a 37,000-square-foot facility at 30th Street and McKinley Boulevard. But in 2011, Cutting Edge began to outgrow its space.

“2011 is really when it took off,” Butze said. “We had our biggest year. We doubled the business from the year before. That’s what led us to get serious about looking for another building.”

Before officially moving in to the 60th Street building, the company made improvements to the facility, which was formerly occupied by Chicago Tube, largely as a warehouse. The 58,000 square feet of shop space at the new facility has led to a number of new opportunities for Cutting Edge.

“Moving into this building enabled us a much larger area to take on bigger fabrications,” Butze said.

In addition, he said, a partial second shift has been added, which the company plans to expand upon.

New equipment has also been added, including a new plasma table and two new machining centers, with a third currently being explored.

“We don’t have a problem spending money on equipment if it’s justified,” Butze said.

These expansions have also led to job growth. Cutting Edge currently has 25 employees, seven of which have been added since opening the new facility, Butze said, adding the company is still “looking to add people.”

Butze said the majority of Cutting Edge’s raw materials are local, which helps with its transportation costs. The new facility has also allowed the company to purchase and warehouse more raw material.

Cutting Edge Fabrication is part of a family of companies, including Brookfield-based American Friction Welding, Brookfield-based Trace-A-Matic and Oconomowoc-based D&H Industries.

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