Special Business Spotlight
Who is SWS?
Salem Welding & Supply (SWS) is a unique business with two plants located on the southern end of the City of Salem. SWS houses two separate businesses: welding supplies and industrial gasses, as well as fabricating, machinery, and assembly.
After several years of thought and consideration, Fred Baker Sr. retired in 1975 as a mill wright at the Niles Electric Power Plant. With support from his wife Anne, he dove head first into entrepreneurship by purchasing ‘Salem Weld Service’ – a business that sold a few welding supplies did repair work. Over the course of several years, Salem Weld Service acquired an Alliance based welding supply company, made building additions, brought in Fred Jr. to help grow the company, and rebranded as Salem Welding & Supply. Under the leadership of Fred Sr. and Fred Jr., SWS transitioned from a small time shop to a large industrial player. More recently, a third generation, Tom Baker, joined the team when Fred Sr. retired. Tom is responsible for operations as well as company sales.
What is SWS doing?
Our fabricating, machining, and assembly are our bread and butter. By definition we are a job shop. We’ll build anything, as long as a blue print is provided. We work with several local and out of state engineering firms, OEM’s, mills, telecommunications, material handling, mining, rail, and power generation. With crane capacity of 60,000 lbs and 30’ of height, we have the capability to build some mammoth parts, pieces, & machines.
Though the supply side only makes up around 15% of our entire business, it’s a critical part of our daily operations. We service anyone from walk-in customers looking for a few pounds of welding rod, to large OEM manufactures building some of the largest equipment known to this industry. We are fortunate to have key partnerships with several of the biggest supply manufacturers in the business, allowing us to be competitively priced with anyone.
As of late, SWS has invested heavily into technology, looking toward the future. Tom’s desire to grow the family business led to purchasing ‘plant two’, which is located directly across the street from our offices. In the past year, SWS has completed installation of two new CNC machine centers. This new technology has taken us from mechanical ability to computer controlled technology with precision tolerance. These new abilities have made SWS a ‘one stop shop’ for turnkey projects. With four additional acres to expand and a focus on technology, SWS will continue to grow in Salem.
Salem is the only place we would want to be; so much in fact, it’s a part of our name. Not only are we centrally located between Cleveland, Pittsburgh, & Youngstown, but within one day we can have our projects across one third of the Unites States. The Salem community offers fantastic city services and service members, multi-level educators, and a pool of employees to be proud of. Simply put, Salem is home.
The future is bright and clear. With Tom’s youth and initiative, we look to grow our physical size, employee size, and capability. When we purchased our second location, it was obvious to us that we’d be growing. With two full plants already, we hope to expand again in the near future. In addition to physical size, we also look in continue investing in CNC machining equipment. This will give us further capability and allow us to do even more in house. Lastly we look to continue hiring supreme talent to help us achieve these growth goals.
The SOD Center is pleased to welcome Salem Welding & Supply as a new SOD Member. Thank you for your support!