Case Studies

Fabcon Precast

Innovation in Concrete Slab Construction

Fabcon Precast (Fabcon) began over 40 years ago producing concrete slaps for apartment buildings and retail projects. Since its inception, the company has focused efforts on innovation and growth.

Fabcon’s first plant location in Savage, Minn., opened in 1971. The company has since become a franchisee of Span-Deck technology and acquired The American Precast Company in 1995. Fabcon operates out of its original plant and locations in Grove City, Ohio, and Mahanoy, Penn. Expanded operations allow the company to serve 26 states in the Midwest and eastern parts of the country and areas of Canada.

Established by David Hanson and Gerald Rauenhorst, Fabcon is now under the leadership of CEO Mike LeJeune. LeJeune took over as president and CEO in 1996 and has sustained the company’s tradition of quality, innovation and ability to readily seize new opportunities, allowing the company to serve its customers well.

Throughout the years, Fabcon has used the efficiencies of manufacturing to meet the demands of construction. The company uses cutting edge techniques to cast and finish concrete slabs before the material is placed into position during construction.

The company specializes in various precast products to meet customer needs. Products are suitable include VersaCore+Green and material suitable for fire containment. Customers can also choose from a variety of finishes, aggregates, patterns and decorative banding choices for design tastes.

The materials produced by Fabcon are manufactured in a controlled environment to ensure high quality. The company strives to create products that are easy to install and cost effective. The company also boasts the material is virtually maintenance free, with minimal finishing based on interior needs.

Building Customer Relationships

Jim Houtman, vice president of sales and marketing for Fabcon, explains the company has carved itself a niche in the private sector. Fabcon works with businesses to meet construction needs, whether it is for office buildings or retail locations. In most cases, Fabcon is working with repeat clients to fulfill new construction needs.

Two major markets Fabcon as found itself working within are big box retail and industrial distribution. Houtman reports Fabcon has recently worked with companies like Wal-Mart, Lowes, Home Depot and Target on new store locations.

However, Fabcon isn’t keyed into just the regular clients. Houtman points out a recent project for Fabcon is a little off the regular jobs. The company currently worked with Cineplex Entertainment for the construction of its multi-screen Galaxy Theater in Canada.

Fabcon is constantly working on securing different projects. One featured on the company’s website is Minneapolis-based Mariucci Arena. The 57,040-square-foot building used eight-foot VersaCore insulated panels in the construction process. Other projects in the work are for customers including LA Fitness locations, projects for FedEx and work for Cummings Diesel.

The work Fabcon has been doing hasn’t happened without recognition. CSA International Precast Concrete Products Certification recognized the company in 2012 for categories including architectural, structural and specialty. The Safety Council of Greater Columbus and Minnesota Safety Council honored Fabcon in 2010 for the company’s safety efforts. Fabcon was also recognized as Innovation Collaboration of the Year in 2009 with the Tekne Award from the Minnesota High Tech Association.

Keeping Up with Invention

In 2011, Fabcon marked 40 years of business and celebrated success. The company’s innovative manufacturing process allows the company to house its equipment in a small, quality controlled area. This process sets the company ahead of its competitors who utilize large facilities to house fixed-bed production, which is proved less effective.

“Optimizing the quality and cost efficiency of our portfolio through manufacturing innovation has helped Fabcon weather numerous economic storms over the past 40 years and remain an industry leader,” LeJeune says in a 2011 statement to mark the company’s anniversary. “Because of the company’s pioneering efforts and culture for embracing change, we are entering new markets as well as growing our commercial construction business.”

Fabcon has developed a reputation for innovation being one of the first companies to develop prestressed, hollow-core wall panels, which reduces cost of shipping. The company’s VersaCore+Green precast panels use as much as 58 percent recycled material to lower heating and cooling costs, as well as increase environmental friendliness.

According to Houtman, who has been with the company more than 30 years, the insulation value and sustainability of this panel is an advantage for Fabcon. With new energy codes cropping up in the construction industry, many companies see meeting those codes as a challenge. Fabcon sees it as an opportunity to continue inventing new ideas and pursuing new opportunities.

Houtman sees Fabcon taking off in the next few years. The economy has proved challenging in the construction industry, but Fabcon Precast will continue pushing the envelop to stay ahead of the industry with innovation.

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Spring 2018



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