MaXfield Inc.

Some firms may not believe in giving their employees a share in their success, but MaXfield Inc. does. In fact, Vice President of Operations Tony Giasson says the company’s gain-sharing policy has helped it stay strong within its market. Through its policy, MaXfield Inc. will share profits with employees after it has reached a certain limit. “Our employees help us make money,” he says. “That creates an approach to a customer that is open and honest.”

Based in Calgary, and with plants in Crossfield, Alberta, Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, and Brandon, Manitoba, MaXfield Inc. is an ASME-authorized “S,” “U1” and “U2” stamp company, experienced designer and manufacturer of fabricated steel products. The firm is a customer driven, integrated solutions provider and supplier, providing on-time delivery of high-quality products.

MaXfield’s capabilities cover a wide range of custom fabrication from light to heavy plates, vessel and pipe spool fabrication. Products manufactured by the company include ASME code pressure vessels and piping for various industries, including oil and gas, pulp paper and mining, and transportation, as well as power generation.

Other products consist of LPG, CO2 and NH3 equipment, including stationary storages, pump packages, dispensers, vaporizers and cargo transports, the company notes.

MaXfield’s excellent reputation is a result of its ability to be innovative and service oriented. In addition, technical support for every product manufactured is provided.

Industry pioneer
Together with its clients, MaXfield has pioneered many innovations in today’s specialty delivery units and cargo-transports. In addition to a standard product line of tanks and vessels, MaXfield has custom fabricated a number of plate-works, large-diameter pipe, special-use piping, vessels, drums and tanks made of carbon and alloy steels or stainless steel structural, as well as custom packages.

Because of the specialized nature of the products, MaXfield Inc. has an engineering group dedicated to extensive computer-aided design and drafting techniques. Much of the design work and modeling is directed to meet individual customers’ specific needs. The company’s engineering department has the capability of transforming customer designs and requirements into production drawings.

Today, Giasson says, MaXfield Inc. employs a staff of 270 and enjoyed sales of more than $40 million in 2010. “Our customer base is pretty diverse,” he says, noting that its clients include farmers and fertilizer dealers in the agricultural sector.

Additionally, within the pressure vessel base market, the company serves engineering, oil and propane companies. “On our trucking side, we have LPG, NH3 and CO2 transports that we build,” Giasson continues. “On the mining side, we’re trying to develop a customer base and this industry is very new for us.”

Growing Together
A longtime veteran of MaXfield Inc., Giasson originally was part of RNG Group as its vice president of operations. He managed the group’s Western Canada plant. “Prior to that, I was in sales,” he recalls.

Giasson also is a co-owner of MaXfield Inc. and has enjoyed the opportunity to grow the business as well as the associates’ respective skill sets. The company mentors and educates its associates so they can succeed.

“We [have grown] it from $5 million [in sales] in 2003 to currently over $40 million,” he says. “Our management team is largely homegrown.

“We’re proud of all employees and their contribution,” Giasson asserts. “We think we have a strong core [of workers who are] very good and has the same goal in mind with us.”

All in Place
While some firms are struggling, MaXfield Inc. is seeing relief after the global recession, Giasson says. 2009 was a slow year for the company, but it rebounded in 2010. Additionally, this year, the company has more than $25 million’s worth of projects in its backlog.

The only real challenge the company is looking at now is ensuring all clients’ delivery requirements are, Giasson explains. Manpower may be a challenge, but the company prepares to recruit temporary foreign workers if it runs into a shortage.

“We have a plan in place and procedures to identify the shortage to be submitted to our governments for their approval,” Giasson says. “We can react more quickly this time than we were able to react in 2008 when the same thing happened.”

He also predicts a strong future for MaXfield in the oil and gas industry, as well as the structural and modular assembly portions of its business.

“Our goal is to get to $65 million in four years, if we’re able to get the adequate manpower to support that kind of work,” Giasson says.

Giving support
MaXfield’s work serving oil companies helps provide support to a thriving business within its home country. According to the Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers (CAPP), Canada’s oil industry produces more than 2.6 million barrels of oil daily and is a portion of the global crude oil market.

CAPP notes that Canada has large oil and natural gas resources across the country and is active in 12 of 13 provinces and territories. “Canadian energy production has almost doubled since 1980,” the association says.

“Our oil reserves total 175 billion barrels, of which 170 billion barrels can be recovered from the oil sands using today’s technology,” CAPP says.

“As of January 2011, we are third to Venezuela and Saudi Arabia in terms of global oil reserves.”

For instance, CAPP says that Canada has approximately six billion barrels of oil located outside the oil sands, primarily in Alberta, Saskatchewan, and offshore Newfoundland and Labrador.

In addition, Canada has large amounts of natural gas, particularly in British Columbia, Alberta and Nova Scotia, CAPP says. “The easier-to-produce sources of natural gas are in decline, so our industry is starting to work in areas that were once considered too difficult to produce, “ it says.

“These include natural gas from coal, tight gas, offshore gas and shale gas, and we are increasing exploration and development in Northern Canada,” the association explains.

Industry challenges
“As an industry, our challenge is getting access to these remaining reserves,” the association explains. “Often, they exist in remote locations, which can mean harsh environments for our workers, technically complex and expensive methods of production and environmental challenges.”

In addition, “Crude oil is one of the most actively traded commodities in the world,” the association continues. “Because of this, oil prices change daily in response to changing conditions that affect supply and demand.

“Across the world, the demand for oil has gone up steadily over the past 20 years, growing from 60 million barrels per day to 88 million,” the association says. “A lot of this growth is due to oil demand in emerging companies like China and India.”

CAPP notes that many sources of conventional oil are in decline, including Canada’s. “The conventional oil reservoirs that were abundant and easy to find 30 years ago are harder to locate and more costly to develop,” it says.

“However, Canada is fortunate to have sources of unconventional oil in the oil sands,” the association continues. “This oil is more remote and expensive to produce, and needs to be processed.”