MURRAYVILLE, Ga. — The unassuming entrance to Murrayville-based Titan Steel Door is just how leaders in the company like to be seen. However, walk through the halls (and grab your safety glasses) to the 50,000-square-foot, state-of-the-art plant where Titan has the ability to streamline the manufacturing of hollow metal doors and frames, and you will see that the company knows exactly what they’re doing. If you haven’t heard of Titan or haven’t been able to contact them yet, that’s not because they are having difficulties with marketing. Instead, being selective is simply by design. First, here’s a bit of background about Titan and its network of companies in order to understand how they are able to streamline the hollow metal door and frame manufacturing process.
Titan is part of a larger family of manufacturers owned by Dick Treadwell. The “mother” company is USA Production Parts, based in Gainesville, Ga. Treadwell formed USA Production Parts in 1997 and landed its first major job with General Motors Services that same year. While USA Productions Parts originated in the automotive industry, it quickly picked up steam in other industries (furniture, conveyer, ATV, food industry, electrical and more) but has always lived up to its mission of having quality be the No. 1 standard. USA Production Parts is still in business today (with four locations nationwide) and provides a multitude of services that include roll forming, stamping, welding, bending, punching and laser cutting. In addition, the group of companies also includes Titan’s sister company, Patriot Tool and Die, also in Gainesville. What puts Titan Steel Door in such a unique position is that, outside of purchase parts (conduit or wiring, for example), everything that Titan produces is within the “family” of companies, so Titan does not have to rely on anybody else outside to supply parts, according to Vice President Damon Santimauro.
“That’s important for us because we can make adjustments for our customers in real-time,” said Santimauro. “We control the process throughout, and that’s how we want to keep it.”
Making the Connection
So, how did this successful manufacturing company in a small town in Georgia find itself immersed in the corrections and detention market? The answer really lies in two very different avenues, both human and machine. Before you start thinking this is going to take a Sci-Fi spin, fear not. Simply, Titan has the ability, experience and knowledge to streamline manufacturing (i.e., the machine aspect), in which Santimauro referred to the production process of the company’s doors and frames as, “going from minutes to seconds.”
The company is able to capitalize on the precision of manufacturing from its experience on the automotive side and translate that over to the detention side, according to Santimauro. By using automated, fail-safe technology, the company eliminates costly human errors and speeds up production, which results in a much-more accurate product that saves time and labor and, most importantly, saves the customer money in the end. Now, aside from advanced technology including robotic weld cells, how does this mean they are equipped and ready for the unique challenges and relationships in the detention and corrections industry?
Enter Mike Smith, president and CEO of Baldwin, Ga.-based SteelCell. Smith has been working with USA Production Parts for more than 10 years, as USA Production Parts has been supplying Smith with studs and other parts for SteelCell’s prefabricated cells. When serious consolidation in the DEC supplier market happened around 2015 and early 2016, Smith — and many others in the industry — were left without many options when it came to detention-grade door and frame manufacturers and suppliers. So, in April 2016, he decided to take the 30-minute drive down to Treadwell’s plant and ask him a question.
“[SteelCell] had been working with [Treadwell] for quite some time, and I have known [Treadwell] even longer. Knowing his vast experience and manufacturing expertise, I asked if he had ever considered making detention doors and frames,” Smith said. “A few days later and here comes a very innovative prototype. I knew immediately there would be a nice option in the near future.”
To read the entire article, check out the January/February issue of Correctional News.