Downey Metal Products finds success in Adairsville, wins national awards
by Matt Shinall
Nov 03, 2012 | 1914 views | 0 0 comments | 9 9 recommendations | email to a friend | print
In 15 years, Downey Metal Products has gone from one man’s basement to 110,000 square feet and counting. For DMP, steady growth and aggressive expansion hasn’t come by playing it safe. The company has found its strength in thinking outside the box for the design, fabrication and installation of custom metal products.

DMP was founded in 1997, but owner and President John Downey Jr. has been working with metal his entire life. Since leaving his father’s company to start his own, Downey has outgrown one facility after another until he landed in Adairsville at 200 Princeton Blvd. with 11 acres to grow into.

“I started fabricating in the basement of my home in Marietta,” Downey said. “It didn’t take long to outgrow that and I moved up here to Adairsville and bought a home that had a 3,000-square-foot metal building and that’s where I set up my shop.

“Then of course as I started to add equipment, it didn’t take long to outgrow that and I found a facility up in Calhoun and I moved into a 33,000-square-foot facility in Calhoun.”

Downey closed on the Adairsville facility in July and is in the process of moving equipment from Calhoun while simultaneously building a paint lab as customized as any of their regular projects. The paint facility will include a four-stage washer to pre-treat metal before it’s sent along 1,300 linear feet of elevated conveyors through an eight-station paint booth before entering a 165-foot curing oven.

The ability to finish their own products will increase the company’s competitive advantage by reducing freight costs, internalizing recurring expenses and ensuring quality control.

“A lot of the companies I was outsourcing to didn’t have the proper pre-treatment capabilities so they were having trouble getting the paint manufacturers to warranty their products. It wasn’t that I couldn’t get it, but it was problematic. ... So that’s sort of what led me to look at developing my own paint lab,” Downey said. “We hope to be up and fully operational somewhere around early or mid-December. We’ve actually got customers waiting in line for us to get this paint line up and running.”

While Downey looks forward to future growth, others are excited about what the company has already accomplished. A recent project in Savannah earned DMP a spread in Metal Construction News and a 2012 Award of Excellence from the Associated Builders and Contractors, a national trade association.

Metal Construction News, a major trade publication for the metal construction industry, featured the Adairsville company in the September 2012 issue for a regular feature titled “Success Story.” The article highlights DMP’s track record with difficult projects using a metal shutter installation at Savannah College of Art and Design as an example.

Not only were the sloped metal shutters custom built, but so was the installation hardware, the construction scaffolding and the mechanism required to securely hoist the shutter panels with a crane.

Downey saw the need for custom metal products from the time he opened shop and continues to serve all areas of construction in the design, fabrication and installation of such pieces.

“One thing my father’s company didn’t do is serve general contractors. My dad was always used to having designs done and brought to him. So when I left, one thing I concentrated on was the general contractor side of operations,” Downey said. “Where we are able to showcase our abilities is being able to do sort of complicated and off the wall jobs like this.”

While creative and custom products are what have gotten DMP noticed, they fabricate metal work for jobs of all sizes — from award-winning designs to handrails, canopies, architectural beam and column wraps, signs, panels and ornamental iron work.

The recent fame from their job in Savannah was a shock to Downey and further excites him for future growth possibilities at the company’s new home in Adairsville.

“It’s awesome. I’m very humbled by it. We’ve actually gotten a lot of leads off this where people have called us and said, ‘we’ve got a project real similar to that and we’d like you to take a look at it,’” Downey said. “I’m very thankful for it and we’re just very blessed in this economy to be able to expand and grow and provide jobs and help out the community. I try to keep as much business local as I can and give as much back to the community as I can.”

For more information, visit www.dowmet.com and to read the full article from Metal Construction News, visit www.tiny.cc/downeymetalproducts.