- Written by: Jeanee Dudley
- Produced by: Dave Gushee
- Estimated reading time: 4 mins
Alcon Mechanical has been in business since 1994, serving the mechanical installation and service needs of industrial and commercial customers in northeast Ohio and Western Pennsylvania. With strong in-house fabrication capabilities, Alcon stands out in the market with diverse expertise and an ability to build lasting relationships with customers.
The business first started out 30 years ago as Commercial Piping, a business specializing in fabrication of plumbing materials. As the company’s capabilities have diversified, Alcon has rebranded to target a larger market of commercial and industrial customers.
John Deraway serves as the company’s superintendent. He works with a team of 20 full-time employees, a staff that fluctuates during busy times to accommodate the needs of customers. Deraway has been with the business since 2000, before the operation restructured. Over the years, he has worked closely with a strong management team, including CEO, George Poschner Jr., whose uncle established the original business in the early 1980s, and whose father also worked for the company.
A skilled staff
One aspect of the business that sets Alcon apart from competitors is the staff’s diverse capabilities. “We have enough people on staff with expertise in different aspects of the business that we can serve a large, diverse customer base,” Deraway explains. “Our customers include treatment plants, manufacturers, energy producers, auto manufacturers and even residential property owners.”
The business employs skilled union tradesmen and engineers who leverage experience and technology to turn around high-quality projects with efficiency and precision. On the design end, Alcon offers AutoCAD expertise for both new installation projects and maintenance contracts. The company also constantly reinvests in equipment, ensuring safety and efficiency on the job.
From a single location in Niles, Ohio, the business serves clients in Stark, Cuyahoga, Mahoning and Trumbull counties as well as in northwestern Pennsylvania. Throughout the service area, the Alcon team has completed a range of complex mechanical contracts in commercial and industrial settings.
“We recently completed a sizable project at BDM, the old RG Steel facility,” Deraway notes. “Also, Alcon has serviced the Arcelor Mittal Coke Plant in Warren for many years providing efficient and cost saving maintenance work as well as new installations. The company has a large repeat customer base of industrial and municipal plants and an excellent track record of solving complex process piping problems,
RTI Titanium Warren has been a long time customer of Alcon. Recent work for the large, local industrial client includes maintenance contracts as well as a project involving the mechanical aspects of an experimental PAM titanium furnace.
One of the more interesting projects Deraway recalls has been a project on a methane gas plant. “We have been working there for the last two or three years,” he says. “This is a unique contract for us as the plant is running methane gas off a waste management facility. It has been very interesting to see how it all works. The plant sells the methane to the gas company, because it has higher volatility than regular natural gas.”
Alcon performs 90 percent of labor in-house for these complex mechanical projects. A well-equipped shop makes fabrication efficient and workers in the field have the expertise, tools and materials at-hand to turn projects around quickly. Deraway explains that the only trades subcontracted out are insulation, rigging, drains and ironwork.
The company’s staff prioritizes quality, efficiency and safety. Working in critical environments, particularly in the energy and manufacturing sectors, the team strives to be accident- and incident-free. Crews attend weekly safety meetings to address potential hazards and staff members are required both by the company and the union to participate in regular third-party safety training.
Alcon is also supported by the Mechanical Contractors Association (MCA). As a member company of the organization’s Mahoning Valley chapter, the business benefits from several aspects of the association.
Deraway and the management team take advantage of opportunities to network through association events. The organization also provides training and education opportunities at a reduced cost, allowing Alcon employees to take advantage of these programs. Beyond the typical scope of a trade organization, the MCA also fosters camaraderie between industry partners, providing a forum to give and ask for advice and assistance as well as build interdisciplinary partnerships.
Deraway and his colleagues have built lasting success over the years by focusing on the more important aspects of mechanical construction. Clients have come to count on the business for reliable quality, efficient turnaround and the guarantee of safe practices in their facilities. 80 percent of Alcon’s customers are repeat clients. Moving forward, these relationships will continue to spur new work for the business.
With wide-ranging capabilities, a loyal customer base and the support of a strong national trade association, Alcon Mechanical will continue to provide leading mechanical services in northeast Ohio and Western Pennsylvania.
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