P.R. Engineering Ltd.
Paul and Rose Grieco established P.R. Engineering Ltd. (PRE) in 1965 as a small family business based out of the couple’s home kitchen. Paul was a graduate of the University of Toronto, where he studied mining. After working in the industry for years, he began selling equipment to mining companies and subcontracting fabrication to regional shops.
In the early 1970s, the couple’s sons, Joe and Frank Grieco, joined the family business. The brothers eventually took over the company, but passed away tragically in a plane crash in 2007. Today, Frank’s wife, Linda Grieco, has taken the reins. With the help of a strong team of employees, Linda has been able to maintain a strong and steady flow of business for approximately seven years.
“There are not a whole lot of companies that do what we do left in Canada,” Linda explains. “We are mostly in the mining side of things, but we also supply to concrete aggregate, nuclear defense and architectural advertising. Our capabilities allow us to take on some diverse and unique projects. As a small business, we can make decisions quickly. Especially for our industrial partners in mining, a broken piece of machinery can lose a company a lot of money. We can rush a repair for our clients, which is one of the things that really sets us apart.”
PRE employs an estimated 50 people, which has been a steady number for a long time. Linda touts her team’s experience and expertise as a leading factor in the company’s success and leading ability to provide efficient, quality work.
“My office manager and our general manager have both been here for around 35 years,” she explains. “We do not have a lot of turnover. Our crew works together out of a single location in Oshawa, Ontario. Our primary market is North America, serving Canada and the United States, but we have supplied new equipment and performed repair and fabrication work for clients around the world.”
With nearly 50 years in business, PRE has established a reputation in the industry. Customers trust the team to turn around fabrication work efficiently and do it right the first time. In critical industries, such as mining, aggregate and defense, turnaround time can make or break an operation. The catch is, the machinery that every so often needs repair is enormous. A large portion of the company’s work is on components for rock crushers.
“If a customer has a part that breaks down, often we cannot fix it on-site,” Linda elaborates. “For the most part, the machinery has to be dismantled and the broken component sent to our shop. It can be a difficult process, but we are willing to work overtime, weekends and holidays to do whatever it takes to get them up and running again. Lead times on some equipment replacements can be as long as a couple of years. The fact that we can bring the part down, repair it, and get them up and running makes our service very well liked. We did not have a lot of trouble throughout the recession because when tough times come, people don’t buy new - they repair. It works out well for us and our customers.”
The company’s work includes the re-building of a number of 7-foot cone crushers for Vale Sudbury. The rebuilding included modifications and installation of a Metso Designed Tramp Release System that will eliminate between 75 and 85 percent of Vale’s down time due to tramp iron events. PRE’s work ranges from the highly technical to the highly artful, demonstrating a broad range of fabrication capabilities.
After half a century of quality fabrication work, PRE is not scheduled for any major expansion or overhauls. Linda and her team are always striving to improve efficiency and service. The business frequently updates plant technology to meet the changing standards or production. A fully integrated CAD system helps the crew work with precision.
On the office end, Linda is looking forward to a system overhaul. “We are excited about getting new computer programs and upgrading our systems,” she explains. “We have a big project the on books at the moment, but we haven’t pulled trigger on that yet. We will be upgrading all of our systems for operation. All of our CNC machines already have latest technology, at work in the shop. In the office, we need to upgrade our communication and record keeping systems.”
Still on the production floor, the company’s efficiency exceeds the standards for the industry. PRE’s trained staff performs approximately 75 percent of work in-house, with the exception of specialty processes such as sandblasting and crane rentals.
“We have tried to outsource in the past,” Linda notes. “We have had issues with quality and delivery that have been problematic. We can do a better job in-house and we maintain control over the quality of products and services we render.”
Linda takes great pride in the company’s reputation in the industry. The crew takes in a lot of work through repeat business and referrals. Backed up by a strong team of efficient and experienced employees, Linda is looking forward to what the business has to offer in the coming years. P.R. Engineering Ltd. will remain steady for the foreseeable future, building and maintaining strong client relationships throughout North America and overseas.