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About Heartland Fabrication

Heartland Fabrication started the process of preparing for operations in November 2005. Production commenced in February 2006 and our first barge was launched on April 26, 2006. The facility that Heartland Fabrication operates has been producing marine vessels since 1939. Everyone in the local community remembers this facility as being the “Hillman barge Company”, a name engrained into the mind of local residents as many still living in the area worked at Hillman Barge or know neighbors who were at Hillman. This facility has the tradition in the industry of producing high quality barges and will continue to maintain this reputation as the owners and management team continue to improve processes, develop workforce training and expertise, and expand products and services. Heartland Fabrication’s 1000th barge launch was celebrated in November 2014.

In October 2012, Heartland Fabrication completed an extensive upgrade to the front shops in the plant, adding a new, fully automated, horizontal blast and paint system, a new 45,000 sq ft Prep Shop housing a state of the art one-sided welder and other technologically advanced and specialized welding/fabrication gantries, and a new rail spur to facilitate the direct delivery of all barge construction steel. With this upgrade all Production processes are in complete linear flow, and have adopted Japanese Lean Manufacturing principles to support efficient and cost effective barge construction. In June 2014 Heartland Fabrication completed an engineered expansion which brought a third barge line into production. This well facilitated third line expanded Heartland Fabrication capabilities by providing the platform to build any inland river marine equipment up to 54’ wide.

Our ownership and leadership team has over 200 years combined experience in the manufacturing and maritime industries and further share diverse experiences which cross the aerospace, automotive, construction, research and development, and service industries. This brings in different perspectives on management and operations tactics and strategies, which support the implementation of improvements from various manufacturing perspectives. Our academic backgrounds range from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology to various State universities and have blended this with many years of good, old fashioned hands-on experience.

Supporting the professional development of its employees, Heartland Fabrication manages an in-house weld school and facilitates all equipment training. Additional training initiatives strengthen the Administrative Support Staff and continue to provide professional development for our employees. While recognizing each employee’s skills, initiative, and goals, it is management’s vision to encourage and provide the opportunity for every employee to rapidly advance to the First Class Craftsman level.

It is the collaborative efforts of the owners, the management team, the supervisors, the strong workforce, and support staff that have earned Heartland Fabrication an outstanding reputation in the barge building industry as well as the satisfaction of being highly respected in the community. Heartland Fabrication continues to work to build strong relationships with local and political leaders to assist in the revitalization of the area’s economic health. In April 2012, Heartland Fabrication was presented the local Frank Irey Progress Award, noting Heartland Fabrication’s process improvements, production efficiencies and growth.

At this time Heartland Fabricationspecializes in the new construction of jumbo open and covered Hopper Barges and Deck Barges, Barge Repair, steel blast and paint services, and CNC Steel Fabrication Services. Heartland Fabrication’s facility is also capable of building Dock Barges, Dry Docks and other customer specified steel hull Special Vessels. Heartland Fabrication is currently expanding its Engineering and Production processes to include the construction of 10,000 Barrel Tank Barges.

Heartland Fabricationis a partner business to Heartland Barge Management, LLC (HeartlandBarge.com).

Core Values

Customer Focus  – We must be relentless in our pursuit to meet and exceed customer expectations

Respect  – We must have respect for one another in our interactions

Passion  – We must have a passion for excellence

Ethics  – Doing the right things and uncompromising with our ethics

Innovative  – Constant drive to be innovative and solutions driven with how we service our customers and how we deal with our daily challenges

Diversity  – We must continuously seek and value our diversity

Community Involvement  – We must be philanthropically active and good citizens in the communities we work in

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