Brown Industrial Legacy
Brown Welding Shop was started by Lawrence M. Brown (LM) in 1936 as a part time business in his garage in Botkins, Ohio. LM worked for the C.D. Beck Company in Sidney, Ohio, full time and worked to build his own business on evenings and weekends. LM started by doing general repair work and making buck rakes. In the late 1930’s as the business grew, he resigned from C.D. Beck and began working full time for his company, Brown Welding. Also during this time he purchased a building on State Street in Botkins, Ohio and moved Brown Welding into it
Around 1945, LM purchased the ground where Brown Industrial is currently located at 311 West South Street in Botkins, Ohio, built a new building and moved the business into it.Brown Welding continued to grow throughout the 1940’s doing repair work, millwright work, building buck rates, constructing buildings, and building grain bodies. In the mid 1940’s Brown Welding started doing work for a local renderer which began their start in mobile rendering equipment, which is a major product line of Brown Industrial to this day.
In the early 1950’s Donald C. Brown and Laverne F. Brown, LM’s sons, took over the day-to-day operations of the business and continued the growth of the business. Brown Welding Shop became incorporated in 1956.
In 1962, there were approximately 24 employees. During the 1960’s Brown Welding continued to build equipment for the rendering industry as well as millwright work, general repairs, building construction, platform hoists, installation of dump bodies and truck equipment, and also built the first automatic rubber bale cutter in 1969. The WaBo name was trademarked in 1967.
In 1972 LM passed away and Donald and Laverne took over ownership of Brown Welding. The 1970’s were a period of rapid growth for Brown Welding. In 1970, Brown Welding expanded by adding onto its existing building located at 311 West South Street, Botkins, Ohio. In 1975, the current paint building was added. In 1977 Brown Welding purchased the adjacent ground and building that belonged to a local foundry. During the 1970’s Brown Welding continued to grow all areas of its business.
In February 1980, Donald Brown passed away suddenly. At this time Laverne and Ruth C. Brown, Donald’s wife, took over ownership of the business. In 1981, Chris Brown, Donald’s oldest son, joined the company full-time and started doing much of the design work. During the 1980’s Brown Welding started building container grease trucks and trailers that are the company’s major product line for the rendering industry today. In 1984, 7,200 square feet of manufacturing area was added. In the 1980’s there were approximately 35 employees.
In 1992, Brown Welding Shop Inc. ceased being the operational entity and name was changed to Brown Industrial Inc. to better represent the diverse work that was happening in the business. During the 1990’s Brown Industrial continued to refine and grow its mobile rendering equipment line. In 1996, Craig Brown, son of Donald, joined Brown Industrial on a full-time basis. He assisted Chris with the design work and worked in the day-to-day operations. In 1998 there were approximately 25 employees. This reduction in staff was due to the downturn in the rendering industry and led to the diversification of work in the 2000’s.
In 2000, Brown Industrial bought its first laser cutter and started in the job shop market. This market has grown very quickly for Brown Industrial with it now representing a significant portion of annual sales. In 2000, there were approximately 27 employees. In 2001, Brown Industrial added 138-ton CNC Press Brake to their facility. In 2002, Chris and Craig Brown took over the day-to-day operations and became the third generation of Brown family to operate the business.
Brown Industrial grew to three laser cutters, and added another 6,600 square feet of building in 2005. In 2006, there were approximately 50 employees. In June of 2007, Laverne F. Brown passed away and Chris and Craig Brown took over ownership of Brown Industrial. Chris and Craig Brown both have their B.S. in Mechanical Engineering and complete the design work on all products manufactured by Brown Industrial. In 2008, Brown Industrial added a 280-ton CNC Press Brake to their job shop.In 2009, a major remodel of the first building on the existing property was completed to streamline the look of the Company.
In 2010, a new logo was created to represent the forward growth and cutting edge focus of the company to meet and exceed customer expectations. In 2011, Tyler Brown joined the company as the fourth generation family member involved in the business.
Also in 2011, a new aluminum line of truck bodies and trailers were created with the help of consultant Philip Pishock in order to focus on customer needs and requests. This line continues to be a highly successful addition in the truck business. With this additional growth, Philip Pishock stayed on with Brown Industrial as part of the outside sales team.
As the business grew so did the need for space. In 2011 a 6,300 square foot addition was added to the back building on the existing property. And again in 2012 a 12,530 square foot addition was built.
In 2013, a waterjet was added to compliment the laser business and help the growing aluminum body line. In additional, a third CNC press brake was added to support the increased sales in the job shop and the expanded growth in the truck business.
In 2014, a fifth laser has been added which increases our capability with thickness of material and nitrogen cutting of mild steel.
Brown Industrial also broke ground in 2014 beginning the largest addition to date. The new building will add 60,800 square foot of manufacturing space and will double the size of Company operations. Brown Industrial currently has approximately 95 employees.
Brown Industrial will continue to strive to be the leader in the mobile rendering equipment market and metal fabrication job shop work and support our customers with the highest level of customer service today, tomorrow, and beyond.