Hartford industrial machine repair business to expand
Production Equipment Services moving to industrial park site


June 18, 2017

The sign for the future home of Production Equipment Services is seen Thursday afternoon in Hartford. The business is looking to expand to the area on Innovation Way, constructing a 9,500-square-foot office building.
John Ehlke/Daily News

Many economic experts contend small business is the backbone of the nation’s economy. One young small business in Hartford is an example of how small businesses can grow and impact local economic conditions. Monday, Hartford’s Plan Commission approved a conditional use permit and site plan for the construction of a new building at 2240 Industrial Way in the Dodge Industrial Park. It will be the new home of Production Equipment Services LLC. The building is being constructed to fit the company’s needs. They will then lease it from the owner. The company is a small, family-owned business that performs industrial machine repair.

“Right now we’re working out of a rented bay at 730 Wacker Drive,” said company owner Keith Justman. “But we have a business that’s growing and the size of the equipment we’re working on is getting to be a challenge to find places to go with it so we’re building a bigger facility to grow into.”

The business was born in 2013 and Justman said he now has four full-time and two part-time employees.

“Our goal is to do more machining internally at our facility and hire more people to learn the trade and hopefully take over the business,” Justman said. “Metal fabrication equipment is our primary work, but we work on from punch presses, nuclear power plants doing the alignments and working on the main bearings for the turbines.”

According to an executive summary written by City Planner Justin Drew, Justman’s site plan for the new location shows three potential buildings, with the easternmost one to be built this year.

“The building would be for industrial equipment repair and service,” Drew said. “Per the owner ‘we have no hazardous materials on site or have the intent to have such in the future’.”

Justman said it’s hoped construction of the new 9,500 foot-square building, that will include office space and a shop, can begin as soon as possible.

“We hope to be moved into the new building by October at the latest,” Justman said. “The lot is about 4.5 acres. We had hoped we could be in the new building in September, but it looks more like October because of the weather and the time it took in getting final approval.”

If all three buildings are eventually constructed that are now shown on the company’s site plan, the structures would cover nearly 30,000 square-feet. The first building will be a one floor structure with a mezzanine over the office area.

“The building has been located on the site to allow future additional development,” Justman said.

A major portion of the building, Justman said, will be for equipment storage and a shop area.

“We need more room. We do industrial machine repair. We have a mobile business. We go out there and evaluate it,” Justman said. “If we can repair it on site — great. If not, we utilize local machine shops. We’ll bring stuff to our facility to rebuild it as well.”

Justman said his company has “a pretty solid customer base within an hour of Hartford” and then through word of mouth he’s gotten his name “into a lot of different scenarios, so things are going well.”

According to the U.S. Department of Commerce, small businesses represent 99 percent of employer firms. They employ half of all private sector employees and they pay around 40 percent of U.S. private sector payroll.