Navigating the Welding World: Blending Tradition with Innovation

We’d like to delve into the intricate world of welding for large, custom metal fabrications, where the fusion of traditional techniques and modern technology plays a pivotal role.

Navigating the complexities of large metal fabrications since 1975 while consistently pushing the boundaries of what’s possible in our industry, GMFCo is always studying and developing the art of welding. The advances in both robotics and human technique have come a long way since the mid-1970s and our customers are great motivators to stay on the leading edge of welding applications.

The Mastery of Manual Welding

The craft of manual welding lies at the heart of custom metal fabrications. Our experienced welders are artists in their own right, possessing a deep understanding of metals and the subtleties of heat and fusion. This expertise allows us to address unique challenges and deliver customized solutions. The human touch brings:

  • Adaptability:

    The human touch in manual welding provides the flexibility to adapt to the distinct characteristics of each project.

  • Quality at the Core:

    Our welders’ skills ensure that each weld is a mark of craftsmanship, contributing to the structural integrity and longevity of the fabrication.

  • Custom Craftsmanship:

    Manual welding is indispensable for custom projects, demanding a level of precision and personalization that only human expertise can provide.

The Evolution of Robotic Welding

The advancement in robotic welding technology represents a leap forward in efficiency and consistency for large-scale projects. These systems complement our traditional capabilities, ensuring uniform quality while enhancing productivity. Robotic welding offers:

  • Consistency:

    Robotic welding provides unwavering accuracy, delivering consistent quality across all welds.

  • Efficiency Boost:

    This technology allows us to handle larger volumes and complex tasks more efficiently, maintaining our commitment to quality and efficiency.

  • Versatile Applications:

    Our state-of-the-art robotic system adapts to a variety of materials and welding techniques, proving to be an invaluable asset in our computerized fabrication portfolio.

The Synergy of Manual and Robotic Techniques

At Gilchrist Metal Fabricating, we believe in the harmonious integration of manual and robotic welding. This combination enhances the quality, efficiency, and scope of our end products, ensuring that we meet and exceed our clients’ diverse needs.

  • Strategic Combination:

    We deploy manual and robotic welding where they excel, guaranteeing the best outcome for each project.

  • Innovative Solutions:

    This dual approach allows us to innovate, creating structures that are more robust and aesthetically pleasing.

  • Client-Centric Approach:

    By blending these techniques, we cater to our clients’ varied requirements, supplying a superior product faster than ever before, accelerating delivery and application in the market where it counts.

Dedication to Customers

At Gilchrist Metal Fabricating, our pursuit of excellence is relentless. Whether it involves a complex piece requiring the nuanced skills of our welders or a large-scale project benefiting from the precision of our robotic welding system, we ensure that every project reflects the highest standards of quality in metal fabrication.

Engage with Gilchrist

Have a project in mind? Reach out to us. We’re here to transform your vision into reality, combining tradition and technology seamlessly.


Generations Pulling Together in a Straight Line

Last year, our company was recognized in Business NH Magazine for being a “Top Family Business.” This got us thinking about what it took to get where we are today, and what will move the company forward.

With the third generation of Gilchrists adroitly at the helm, we’ve discovered a few of the ways successful businesses succeed for multiple generations. For us, it began with principles set by the late John Stuart Gilchrist, our company founder. The common sense and pragmatism he espoused remain imbedded in our culture & methods today.

Aligning Goals and Methods

Creating large metal fabrications for global clients offers plenty of challenges. Differing approaches on the same executive team can lead to problems and even greater challenges. What we’ve figured out is that if you’re going to have two generations leading the company, “the old horse and the young horse need to pull together in a straight line.”man with goggles walking inside

For the last three of his years at Northeastern University, Stuart Gilchrist worked for a large electrical contractor that was soon absorbed by a top five US construction company with annual sales in the billions. Four years after graduation, Stu brought his education, corporate experience and younger insights to GMFCo. New perspectives, processes and systems were introduced and some were debunked by the management team. Though not all suggestions survived the process, “The old horse and the young horse’’ often found themselves aligned. Gilchrist Metal Fabricating’s performance improved significantly since the young horse teamed up with the old horse.

Everyone Pulls Together

We try to make sure that all our team members are pulling together in the same straight line. A business like ours needs to find the best people it can and keep them. It takes a unified team to help carry out the strategy set by the leaders. At Gilchrist, we have patiently built a team that takes care of our customers and often amazes others in our industry.

Pulling in a straight line includes supporting all contributors equitably and all our employees matter to our continued success. Everyone working full time at Gilchrist receives the same benefits package as senior management because health is hugely important, and paramount to a successful life and career.

Lessons learned and applied since 1975 have worked at GMF for three generations and we’ve enjoyed record-breaking years with our young horse now in charge.

A Real Safety Policy is End to End

A workplace is safe only when EVERYONE is safe.

In a heavy equipment manufacturing plant, safety takes a total team effort from the front desk to the corner office, all the way to the last loading dock and out the driveway.

At GMF, we work with large, heavy metal parts and fabrications which don’t yield easily to pressure. We never take safety measures lightly. In reality, employee safety is a very heavy topic. We make sure that everyone goes home healthy and happy when their shift ends.

Building a Safety Culture

We look for potential risks. That means proactively seeking out and  retiring those risks before they occur. For example, we report any and all “near misses” and process them as nonconformances to our quality management system. We seek out the root causes, identify any potential for hazard and implement procedural changes, often bringing in outside experts when needed.

It’s better to proactively retire a looming hazard than reactively rehabilitate an injured team member. Therefore, safety training must be systematic and ongoing. It is required to work with the materials and equipment in our plant. This is on top of learning all the various machine and materials handling operations.

A Rewarding Initiative

Fabricating large metal parts used in construction, transportation, maritime operations and manufacturing is often fun and exciting, especially when workers feel safe and confident in their roles. Building a safety culture that promotes “having everyone’s back” goes a long way in fostering trust in the team and the established safety systems.

Setting Goals and Measuring Progress

The goal is simple: an injury-free workplace. GMF has established a safety team designed to get management and employees together in a cooperative effort to promote safety and health at work. The team is composed of equal numbers of senior management and staff representatives. This assures accountability across the company in all matters of safety standards, training and track with goggles walking inside

The goals of the GMF Safety Team are:

  • To create a hazard-free work site
  • To create an injury-free work site
  • To attain zero lost-time accidents

These are the procedures we follow to achieve these goals:

  • Engage all employees in safety awareness and training.
  • Report all “near misses” as nonconformance, investigate trends and causes, and implement appropriate improvements.
  • Review all first reports of injuries.
  • Conduct injury investigations and take corrective action.
  • Conduct regular safety inspections.
  • Oversee ongoing training.
  • Develop safety incentive programs.
  • Encourage and reward adherence to safety rules.

Our ongoing commitment to maintaining a safe and healthy work environment is one of the most important things we do. It’s a key factor in attracting some of the best and brightest talent in our industry to come work for us.