October 24, 2014

The Great Golden Business Tour: Williams Form Engineering

When we think of the sectors that drive primary jobs in Golden we tend to think of energy and technology, and less about manufacturing (except for obvious examples like Coors and CoorsTek). Steve Glueck and I visited with a less obvious but equally cool exception some weeks back: Williams Form Engineering. I will, no doubt, do a poor job of explaining what they do, but here’s a stab. Flatbeds with long steel pipes drive into their facility (located at Rooney Road and Colfax), Williams takes them and various other materials (like steel cable) and turns them all into sophisticated anchoring and tension systems for wind turbine foundations, tension bridges, retaining walls, tunnels, and anything else involving large amounts of concrete and steel. One local example are the sizable retaining walls for the light rail line just south of the Taj (easily visible when you are northbound on U.S. 6 at Johnson road, just north of Johnson). Their soil anchors there help hold the retaining wall in place. A few less local examples: the Colorado River Bridge at the Hoover Dam, the Bears Bridge in New Town (North Dakota), and the San Francisco-Oakland East Bay Skyway. Williams has been around more than 85 years, employs a bunch of folks in good manufacturing jobs, builds some very cool (and complex) products, and is another of the great businesses contributing to Golden’s economic vitality.

The steel cable as its being treated.

Steel cable after it's been coated.

Treated cables are bundled into housings.

The cables in their housings and on rolls.

Unloading steel pipes as they are delivered via flatbed truck.