Operating from Clane, Co Kildare, Weld Plant Ltd provides stainless-steel, aluminium and mild steel fabrication and manufacturing for all sectors. They also offer a mobile welding service. Irish Tractor Agri & Plant touched base with its Managing Director Michael Weld to learn all about the ins and outs of the company, its current projects and its future plans to grow the business.
The past 15 years have flown by for Michael Weld as his company continues to grow and offer its services across a broad range of different industries.
2018 saw Weld Plant Ltd officially becoming a limited venture and today the business employs nine full-time staff from its base in Clane, Co Kildare.
Weld Plant Ltd. operates nationwide in a variety of different industries, including residential, industrial and commercial, while also offering engineering solutions from bespoke engineering to large scale projects.
Irish Tractor Agri & Plant spoke with Michael recently to find more on the origins of the company and the overall state of business at the moment.
“We do a good bit of welding repairs on large mobile plant for example loading shovel buckets and digger buckets. We would also build up and then hard face shredders and other processing machinery,” he outlined.
“We also have an engineering and fabrication workshop here which we bought in 2019 and we do everything in it from mild steel to aluminium to stainless steel.”
It’s all a far cry from where Michael first started out in the industry.
After finishing secondary school, the Kildare native began driving plant machinery on a full-time basis with ASCON before he started an apprenticeship with Roadstone in the capital.
Soon enough, he’d be running his own plant business and the rest, as they say, is history.
“Originally, I actually drove plant when I left school and then after about two years I went and served my time with Roadstone as a construction plant fitter,” Michael explained.
“I worked there for close on ten years in a number of different roles. I finished there in 2007 and went out on my own then.”
His work with Roadstone in particular would stand to him when getting his own venture off the ground back in ‘07.
Michael and his staff grew a reputation amongst clients for not only providing an excellent service, but also a vast range of different types of work on offer.
Today, business is good but it’s not without its challenges, as Weld Plant Ltd’s Managing Director explained.
“It is difficult to get good staff that stand on their own two feet and think for themselves,” he said.
“Because we offer such a wide range of services, we’re always busy. We’ve the capability to weld aluminium and stainless and we have a mobile unit with a Lincoln Vantage 500 on it and we’ve a compressor and set of gas bottles on it.
“So, we’ve always somewhere to go and something to do because we cover such a wide range of operations.
In recent years Weld Plant Ltd. has been interacting with local schools in an attempt to recruit apprentice fabricators.
So far, the approach has been successful according to Michael.
“We went to the local schools in the area, particularly the school in Prosperous, and liaise closely with the career guidance teacher in actively recruiting apprentice fabricators every year where possible,” said the MD.
“We’ve a new apprentice starting in August. This will be our third apprentice to join the team. It’s been a success since we started it and we are hopeful it will continue.”
As for what’s currently in Weld Plant Ltd’s workshop, the company recently purchased a brand-new 175-tonne press brake C&C machine.
It’s also about to add another 500 amp water-cooled welder to its collection and hopes to buy a new plasma later in the year if business remains vibrant.
So, all of that considered, the burning question is what has been the secret to the success of Weld Plant Ltd thus far?
How has a small start-up grown into a thriving business which has an excellent reputation amongst its customers?
For Michael, a key ingredient to the success has been the willingness to go the extra mile for the client every time.
“When I worked directly in the quarry industry I was over the running and maintenance of some sections of the plant. So when you get a contractor in to do repairs, you want it done right. So, I understand what the customer wants.”
Looking towards the months ahead for the business, Michael is as optimistic as ever and hopes that they can continue to grow from their base in Clane.
“At the minute we just want to keep going the way we’re going.
“We’d like to continue to grow the business. We took on an engineer here two months ago fresh out of college and he is a great asset to the company.
“We’re producing a lot more detailed drawings and are seeking to go down the route of CE Certification for our steel work.
“I believe there is great potential in our central location. We are within touching distance of Dublin so therefore we are close numerous industrial and construction works in the locality,” he concluded.
Weld Plant Ltd
Tel: (045) 868 693
Email: [email protected]
First published in Irish Tractor & Agri magazine Vol 10 No 6, November/December 2022