Small business impacted by the pandemic pushes through for expansion


SIDNEY — For LaserFab Technologies Inc., the business year 2020 started off looking very promising for growth, which included us purchasing a new Amada Brake Press at the beginning of the year. Then, March hit and the world seemed to come to a halt.

“COVID-19 took over the lives of everyone. As part of a small business, the unforeseen, drastic change made a huge impact on the company. In the back of our mind, we worried if we could make it through something like this,” said Nichole (Ellis) Cotterman, general manager.

Her report continues:

As we entered the late third quarter, the economy started to shift back to normalcy and by fourth quarter business was back on track for growth. We began to forecast for 2021 business, and it looked like a strong year ahead for the company.

With that forecast in mind, LaserFab decided it was time to expand capabilities. We have always prided ourselves on being a one-stop-shop, utilizing local partners to help meet the expectations of the customers we could not internally provide. We have now taken this to a new level of one-stop-shop and are excited to announce the new acquisitions.

LaserFab Technologies purchased a second robotic weld cell in October 2020 with anticipated installation date of March 2021. Our current robot meets demand but for growth of the current project, this will now help us to not only meet but exceed and open more business opportunities.

Along with that purchase, we acquired a tube bender. This install was anticipated to be complete and operating by Jan. 31, 2021.

The company has always been based on our laser cutting systems, especially the 3D laser cutting which we currently have two with our late 2019 purchase of the second one. Laser technology is ever changing so we do our best to stay up to date with the latest. One of the most recent purchases, coming the second quarter of 2021 is a Fiber Robotic weld system. Fiber technology is one of the latest trends, so we decided to take it one step further and become one of the first in the area for the fiber robotic technology. We are very excited to see where this takes us in the market today!

Also coming by second quarter will be a powder coating system. We have always had great partners in the area helping us with this type of customer requirement, but we now see this as an added benefit to internalize.

This is just the beginning for LaserFab as we have a few other pieces of equipment in the budget for 2021 but we are prioritizing our efforts on the current purchases to ensure successful installation and operation prior to any additional equipment purchases. With that being said, stay tuned for future announcements as we progress through 2021.

As most people know, Jamie Ellis was the founder of LaserFab Technologies in 2006 and continues to own 100% of the company. Last year, he did make the decision to fully retire and act as a board member for equipment/financial decisions. There are plans in operation for the company to be handed down to Nichole (Ellis) Cotterman in the near future. I currently runs the day-to-day operations with my key management team and plans to keep the legacy Jamie created alive. It is important for me to keep the family business growing and successful so the future generations can continue to live out that legacy as well!