Cutting edge St. Catharines machine shop and repair facility marks over 65 years of service excellence.
W hen you’ve been in the business as long as Girotti Machine, success comes with the territory. Family owned and operated, Girotti Machine is one of Niagara’s premier machine shops and repair facilities. Located on 26 Seapark Drive in St. Catharines, their ﬁrm has over 65 years of experience in nearly every aspect of machining, machine repair, fabrication and welding. “At Girotti Machine, we offer complete design, machining, assembly and fabricating services,” says Don Girotti, the president of Girotti Machine. “We can take care of everything from large machining jobs to small precision parts. We also have a press refurbishing facility and can offer complete engineering and rebuilds.”
The Girotti Machine team has a strong reputation for being the go-to experts when it comes to manufacturing, installing, testing and maintaining a wide variety of machinery and parts. Over their six plus decades in business, the Girotti Machine team has also expanded their horizons, doing work for everything from oil ﬁelds and steel mills to power generation ﬁrms.
“We pride ourselves on our ability to be versatile,” Don explains. “Our team has catered to a wide variety of industries. Some of our customers are major suppliers to the paper, steel, textile, printing, automotive and nuclear sectors.”
Built To Last
Girotti Machine has been meeting all their customers’ production and machining challenges since 1946. But their operation started modestly enough.
The company was originally established following the end of the Second World War. Brothers Silvio and Marino Girotti had been busy working steadily at Clark’s Machine Shop in St. Catharines but were looking to go into business for themselves. They soon set up a small machine shop in their father’s 12 x 24 foot garage on William Street in Merritton. All they had was one drill press, one lathe and one shaper—but they had boundless energy and their small business began to ﬂourish.
“Over the years, we’ve handled the complete manufacture and set-up of equipment for hundreds of customers throughout Canada, Mexico, Spain and the U.S., and that includes every facet of the project, whether it’s design, build, testing, shipping or installing machinery.” – Don Girotti, president of Girotti Machine.
It didn’t take long before other members of the Girotti family came on board including their brothers Nello, Dino, Mario and Guerino (Scotty). By the early 1950s, the Girottis had moved to a larger facility on Boyle Road (now Glendale Avenue) and worked on major projects such as manufacturing idler and drive rollers for the new Stelco plant in Welland. The Girottis would eventually begin diversifying into other areas such as concrete products. (The company was later split into two separate companies—Girotti Machine and Hy-grade Precast Concrete.) By 1980, the operation had continued to prosper and the Girottis relocated to their current location on Seapark Drive. These days, the second and third generation of the Girotti family has ﬁrmly taken over the management reins at Girotti Machine. In addition to Don, there are his cousins Vince Girotti, Norm Girotti and Len Bianco, as well as his daughter Karen Girotti-Livingston.
According to Don, Girotti Machine has grown substantially since its early formative days and can now service customers anywhere in North America. “Over the years, we’ve handled the complete manufacture and set-up of equipment for hundreds of customers throughout Canada, Mexico, Spain and the U.S.,” he says. “And that includes every facet of the project, whether it’s design, build, testing, shipping or installing machinery.”
A Commitment to the Customer Whether it’s reworking existing parts, manufacturing new ones or taking care of entire machine rebuilds, the Girotti Machine team has the ability to source materials, design/engineer drawings, manufacture parts, and install them when necessary. “It doesn’t matter how tough the work is or difﬁcult the material,” Don says. “Our knowledgeable team can help every step of the way—from the drawing board to the ﬁnal installation.”
1. Machine Repair
A big challenge with many of today’s industries is being able to keep their machinery running at peak capacity. Equipment breakdowns can often lead to expensive downtime, not to mention long production delays. The Girotti Machine team also prides themselves on the speed of their repair work. The typical turnaround time for minor repairs can be as little as 24 hours while a full rebuild can be completed in 10 to 12 weeks.
“Our CNC department can handle any job,” Don says, “from complicated one-offs to high volume production. Whole production cells have been designed and implemented at our facilities when our customers’ demands are great enough.” Girotti Machine has full jobbing shop capabilities with a variety of manual and CNC equipment. (Their CNC department is integrated with an enhanced CAD/CAM system.) They also have full in-house design capabilities for the development of prototype machines and other related components
3. Fabricating and Welding
At Girotti Machine, their in-house fabricating and welding department is able to produce fabrication work with the ﬁnest detail—everything from small two piece fabrications to large machine frames. Through the years, Girotti Machine has been involved in the design, fabrication and testing of various different types of specialized machines. Girotti Machine’s welding department also has many years of experience in overlay welding and is capable of welding a wide range of materials. Don says they’re able to get the job done for their customers due to the strong sense of teamwork and commitment among their departments. “Our in-house fabrication and machining teams all work hand in hand,” he says. “That way, if a customer needs changes to a certain prototype, we can make those changes quickly and easily, and at a minimum cost to the customer.”
4. Heavy Forge Maintenance
In recent years, Girotti Machine has experienced exponential growth in the area of heavy forge machine repair. With the high cost of new forging equipment, reworking existing equipment is usually the only option for most forging companies—and Girotti Machine is perfectly suited to the task. Their 42,000 square foot facility is fully equipped with eight overhead cranes that give their team the ability to handle a variety of heavy parts and equipment safely and securely. Through the maintenance process, existing presses can be brought back to OEM standards or modiﬁed with new technology depending on the customer’s requirement. That can involve several options such as die nest modiﬁcations, lubing systems, computer monitoring or new safety features.
Quality and Continuous Improvement
Throughout their company’s history, continuous improvement has played a major role in the way they do business. In 1998 for example, Girotti Machine received their ISO 9001 registration from the International Organization for Standardization—a worldwide organization that recognizes companies for their commitment to continuous improvement and for having an effective quality management system in place.
Through their ISO registration, Girotti Machine has dramatically increased their company’s efﬁciency over the years—and has been able to deliver a more enhanced brand of service to their clients. Being ISO registered and Z299.2 designated enables Girotti Machine to maintain constant control over their work. For example, Girotti keeps strict documentation of all customer supplied materials such as jigs, ﬁxtures and casting patterns so their team can properly track and maintain everything that’s shipped to their facility.
Don feels that their belief in delivering the highest quality work possible is one of the big reasons behind Girotti’s growth.
“Our quality control department is one of the busiest parts of our organization,” he explains. “Whether it’s values for production runs or a rush job with no part drawings, our inspectors are committed to making sure everything that leaves our plant is completely defect-free.” “All our inspection gauging equipment and standards are qualiﬁed on a yearly basis according to our ISO standards,” Don says, “and we’re very proud of that fact. Our customers are free to review our ISO manual at any time.” But the Girotti Machine’s team commitment to improving their ﬁrm doesn’t stop at quality control. They’re also dedicated to constantly adding to their plant capabilities and that means having all the latest computer technology and software in place. “We’re constantly working hard to upgrade our technical capabilities,” Don explains, “whether it’s increasing our machining capacity or providing more specialized equipment and computerization. Innovation doesn’t just happen. We make it happen.”
Girotti Machine has been busy with several projects in recent months. A proud member of Niagara Industrial Association (NIA), Girotti Machine recently began work with NIA member Dilts Piston Hydraulics to produce a series of 24 Collomatic Winches for the Chengxi Shipyard Company Limited in mainland China. Girotti Machine is responsible to manufacture the entire base and all of the machined components.
The Girotti team has also recently completed a $1-million dollar project with St. Gobain Technical Fabrics to fabricate and build two complete 174” scrim machines used for textile weaving. (One machine was for their plant in Albion, New York and the other was for their facility in Spain.) “We’re working with new customers in several diverse ﬁelds lately,” Don says. “Currently we are helping a Mississauga-based power company with the design and prototype of some of their breakthrough energy storage technology and renewable power sources.”
Locally, Girotti has also been working with Lakeside Steel in Welland (and their facilities in the U.S.) with the refurbishing of forging equipment, aiding them in the production of their drill pipe product.
Major international projects like these are a deﬁnite sign of the Girottis’ commitment to the growth of their company. But after 65 years in the business and thousands of completed assignments, their success always comes down to one thing—satisfying the customer. “Running a successful operation like Girotti Machine means a great deal to us,” Don says, “but our success can only be measured by the dedication of our employees and the success of our customers. That’s what matters the most.”