Founder Paul Grieco began Oshawa, Ont.-based P.R. Engineering in 1965. A family business, it was in only a few years later when Grieco’s two sons, Frank and Joe Grieco, would join in the family-run operation and today, the company is managed by Linda Grieco, daughter-in-law of Paul Grieco.
But it was in the early years of the company when P.R. Engineering truly established its footing. Over the years, the father and sons team built up a solid customer base and an earned reputation for reliability and quality of service.
In the beginning
Before it was housed in its own shop, P.R. Engineering subcontracted out its manufacturing services. Simply put, P.R. Engineering would go from company to company and receive work orders, and a third party would then see out the order. Today, work is completed at P.R. Engineering’s own plant, originally purchased by the father and sons team in the 1970s.
The services of P.R. Engineering centre around the crusher industry (for the production of gravel), from designing, to manufacturing, to component repair. P.R. Engineering is involved in both the crusher industry and the mining industry, supplying parts and services. Diverse industries, but perhaps what best separates P.R. Engineering from its competition is that the company understands the needs of its spanned customer base and will always put customer needs ahead of its own.
Linda Grieco detailed, “We will assistance our customers. Take for instance, when a customer calls, we will drop everything to assist a customer in a down time, like if one of their machines breaks down, because they could be losing hundreds of thousands of dollars a day.
“Our ability is actually to minimize [customer] downtime and that’s what makes us attractive to a lot of our customers, plus we do fabulous work.”
This year, P.R. Engineering celebrates its 46th anniversary in business. From manufacturing equipment required to manufacture steel paper and pulp, material handling, and power generation, P.R. Engineering is always busy, as Grieco alluded, “We’re so busy right now that we’re running out of floor space.” Such growth and plenty of work has put the possibility of future business expansion on the map for P.R. Engineering.
“Although crushing technology hasn’t changed much in the last 100 years or so, the ability to repair those crushers and minimize downtime has,” reads the company’s website. “P.R. Engineering has become an expert at this, outfitting its equipment over the years with all of the latest CNC machine tools, welding and CAD/CAM technology to handle the work.”
Across the many services offered by P.R. Engineering, three that stand out include fabricating, machinery, and babbitting, the company’s forte.
“Not a lot of companies do babbitting anymore,” commented Grieco, referring to a service where a surface or bearing is lined with Babbitt metal. Babbitt metal is commonly used in complex structures as a surface layer composed of several different alloys, often including tin, copper, antimony, or lead. Babbitt metal is an ideal material for withstanding the pressures of heavy machinery, and it is often characterized for its galling resistance.
“For one thing, jaw crushers all have babbitt bearings so it is really just part of our manufacturing base, but then we also do a lot of repairs for other people,” Grieco added. “Concrete, aggregate, and mining all use jaw crushers, so that’s really why we’re involved in this.”
Gary Robinson, General Manager, and a part of the P.R. Engineering team since 1979, elaborated on the development of the company over the years.
“When I started here [in 1979], the company had two machines. Now we have 20 machines. When I started, there were probably a dozen staff and now we have more than 35 on staff, so there has been quite a bit of growth over my time.”
P.R. Engineering’s offerings are highlighted in its ability to service as a one stop shop.
“When you bring your crusher here, we do all the work in house. We don’t sub any of it out. We do all the fabrication, welding, and machining here,” Robinson explained. “We even do our own babbitting here, which is an intricate part of a lot of jaw crushers.”
Moving forward, P.R. Engineering plans to continue its focus on its specialized services. Service specialization and sustainable growth are key to P.R. Engineering.
“We don’t want to double the size of the company or anything like that. We are pretty specialized right now, but if there is an opportunity to expand by getting into a new product type, we certainly want to explore that,” Robinson summarized. “When we build something, we build it to last.”