Cornell started in 1967 as a small one-person welding and repair shop. In the first few years, we grew to have five truck mounted portable welding machines doing in-plant maintenance work for local industries. In addition, we produced miscellaneous metal products and ornamental iron work for industrial and commercial construction, as well as residential projects.
Cornell also became involved in the design and manufacture of forms and molds for the precast concrete industry. This business has grown to become an important part of our company, with customers across Canada and in many states in the USA. In the early 1970's, we also produced a safe model of liquid manure spreaders for local agricultural use.
The company grew and twice moved to larger facilities. In 1974, it was incorporated as Cornell Welding & Fabricating Ltd. In 1976, property was purchased at our current location, 960 Keyes Drive, in Woodstock. As business increased, additions were added to the office and plant and the building next door was acquired.
On Friday the 13th, in January 1989, a serious fire destroyed the back half of the main plant. Despite this setback, the employees pulled together, working with temporary heat and lighting, to get back into production within a few weeks. That level of dedication to the company and its customers is still found in our employees today.
During the 1980's, Cornell gradually broadened its customer base and moved into the field of custom metal fabrication. Over the next few years, we added press brakes, shears, turret presses, flame and plasma cutter, and began using CNC technology. Our engineering department acquired a CAD system in 1995.
The Cornell reputation for quality in all of its products has contributed to the growth we see today. The company was registered to ISO-9002 in 1999 and ISO-9001 in 2002. We serve many diverse markets throughout North America and have produced custom components that are also used in several overseas countries. The search for new ways to help our valued customers is an ongoing process at Cornell. In 2005, Cornell won the Outstanding Achievement Award for Small Manufacturing, presented by the Woodstock District Chamber of Commerce. In 2007, the company celebrated its 40th successful year in business. A modern 16,000 square foot addition was completed to Plant 2, at 984 Keyes Drive. New hi-tech fabricating and Laser cutting equipment was installed to provide a competitive edge in our various markets for custom components.
Cornell managed to survive the economic downturn of 2008 and 2009 without any layoffs. Instead, the company pursued more complex weldments and assemblies, by utilizing their certified aluminum and steel welding expertize. Our customer base expanded when we became registered with the Canadian Controlled Goods Program. In 2012, Cornell marked their forty-fifth anniversary with pride, and in 2013 the company received the Award of Excellence for Outstanding Achievement in Manufacturing – presented by the Woodstock District Chamber of Commerce.
Later in 2014, Cornell designed and manufactured a series of new steel forms (molds) used in the production of 30 foot long precast highway barriers – the longest size used in Canada to date. In 2015, they upgraded their fabrication capacity with the installation of a new Hi-Def Plasma 2 head cutting machine and a 50 foot long cutting bed! In early 2016, a new very powerful 6000 watt fiber laser cutter was added to Plant One that can very quickly produce very complex shapes from a variety of materials.
During 2017, Cornell will happily celebrate their 50th. Anniversary in business – a significant milestone, to be shared with employees, customers and suppliers.