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Florida Fabricator Finds Success in Midst of Sadness

Established in 1997 in Jupiter, FL, A&J Sheet Metal is a family owned and operated manufacturer that has been fabricating a diverse scope of quality metal products and services for the Palm Beach County area for over 20 years. When the owner fell ill, his wife stepped in to lead an expansion and equipment upgrade that helped the shop survive.

A&J Sheet Metal services both residential and commercial projects. The residential side of the business produces custom kitchen hoods, countertops, backsplashes, flashings, roof jacks, and much more. The commercial side of the business produces many additional items, including elevators, restaurant over/under shelving, skinning of the walls, and stands for AC units.

A&J Sheet Metal owner Kari Neville with her expanded staff.

 

 

Over recent years, the business had expanded from humble operations to a rapidly growing fabricating manufacturer. The master behind the expansion of A&J Sheet Metal is owner, Kari Neville.

Over most of the past 20 years, A&J Sheet Metal was a one man show. Kari's husband ran the business himself with just one helper to produce projects at hand.

This was the means of operations until an unfortunate turn of events; Kari's husband suffered an illness to which he would eventually succumb. Kari had to step into the ownership role and make strategical decisions about the business. She knew that it was crucial that she expand the business in order to provide financial support for her husband's healthcare needs.

Change in Direction

To expand the business, Kari decided that first she needed to replace the manual equipment with new and more precise technology.

"I knew we needed more advanced technology and we needed to hire experienced talent. My goal was to invest in new technology that would be easy to use, safe for my team, and allow us to give our customers a good quality product at competitive rates," said Kari.

A&J Sheet Metal fabricates metal parts for both residential and commercial applications.

 

 

A&J has both commercial and residential projects, so they have a wide range of products that they manufacture. After some intense research they decided to purchase a waterjet machine from U Tech.

"The waterjet machine looked like it would give us the cutting capabilities we needed and best serve our customers," added Kari.

"Kari was spot on with the machine she selected. The precise cutting of the waterjet would solve their sheet metal cutting needs; based on the type of materials and job sizes, this waterjet would virtually cut any material quickly and efficiently which maximizes profitability," said Cliff Pearson with U Tech.

U Tech took care of the installation, service and training. "The U Teach team has been a pleasure to work with. Cristian did a fantastic job with the waterjet installation and since then they've done such a great job in both service and support that when we were ready for new equipment, there was only one company to call -- and that's U Tech because they go to bat for you," said Kari.

After studying their projects, Pearson recommended a machine for bending -- American made Standard Industrial Brake. According to Pearson, "This press brake is the only American made press brake that comes with a 5 year parts and labor warranty."

A part fabricated at A&J Sheet Metal with the press brake in the background.

 

 

The Standard Industrial press brake would allow A&J to bend twelve-foot long material of various thickness very accurately and the user friendly, graphical touch screen control would be great for them as it had quick set-up times and bend sequencing to show the part on the screen before the material is ever bent.

"The press brake is a super rigid machine; and their parts and labor warranty is unbeatable. Paired with U Tech's service timeliness, it's a win-win investment. Even after the service technician leaves the shop, the U Tech service technicians still call back to make sure everything is still working," said Tyler Wallace, a fabricator at the shop.

A&J Sheet Metal is still running with the same family values as it did over 20 years ago, but it has experienced very positive changes and rapid growth over the past few years.

They have recently moved into a new freestanding building, that is now running with 6 employees on the shop floor. The manual equipment has been replaced with more efficient equipment, allowing them to mass produce items. This allows them to turn over products quicker and with confidence that the finished product will exceeds expectations.

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U Tech CNC

A&J Sheet Metal

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