Ratcheting up interest

Getting into a new industry, says Grant Brown, is much like entering a new high school.

A Cooper Roofing worker shovels snow from the top of a new strip mall in Sylvan Lake Tuesday. Half of the 8

Getting into a new industry, says Grant Brown, is much like entering a new high school.

“You make a couple wrong moves, the word gets out pretty quick.”

The past few years, the owner of Madco Machine Inc. in Red Deer has been stepping carefully as he coaxes along another venture: Madco Fasteners.

Brown has developed special threaded fasteners that snap directly onto a ratchet, without the need for sockets. They help prevent the frustration of dropping traditional fasteners while working in awkward settings.

A longtime involvement in stock car racing — which required him to loosen and tighten fasteners on equipment like valve covers — inspired Brown to develop his alternative. He’s secured patent protection and produced a “few thousand” fasteners, with these used for promotional purposes and sold to local racers and others over the Internet.

Brown has attended a number of trade shows, including the Performance Racing Industry Trade Show in Orlando, Fla. this month, and the National Industrial Fastener Show and the SEMA (Specialty Equipment Manufacturers Association) Show in Las Vegas in November.

He was pleased with the reaction Madco Fasteners got at the Performance Racing Industry Trade Show.

“They’re all hard-core racers,” he said of attendees at the Florida event.

“Everybody there has a mechanical sense, so that was the perfect venue for us to exhibit in.”

Brown said he’s developed some good contacts and generated enthusiasm for his product in the racing industry. But he’s also set his sights on another market — industrial users. That was his motivation for attending the National Industrial Fastener Show, where he was on the lookout for manufacturers or distributors who could help get Madco Fasteners into this sector.

“We’re ramping up to make sure we’ve got some inventory sitting ready for the orders that will be coming in.”

Brown is working with another machine shop in Sherwood Park in hopes of manufacturing on a larger scale.

“It looks like we’ll align ourselves with them for production, as well as development.”

Brown senses that he’s close to a break-through, but still feels like that teen walking into a new school.

“It’s getting exciting, but it’s getting pretty hectic too.”

Information about Madco Fasteners can be found online at www.MadcoFasteners.com.

hrichards@bprda.wpengine.com

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