Northern Engineering Celebrates 100 Years
Northland Uncovered: Northern Engineering
There are countless Northland businesses that have been around for many years, but it’s hard to imagine the Twin Ports without shipping.
Sparks fly and gears get hot on a daily basis at Northern Engineering in Superior.
For 100 years, the company has been keeping ships in shape in the Twin Ports.
“It has a history and people respect the history,” explained President and COO James Farkas.
It all started with two brothers.
“The Knudsen brothers founded it a long time ago and eventually the Knudsen brothers purchased what was, what became, Fraser Shipyards and so the two companies are kind of very much joined at the hip,” said Farkas.
The work is done by mostly locally educated workers who keep busy day in and day out.
“Essentially the workload is mostly mechanical; power transmission, we’re doing a lot of work on gear boxes, some are propulsion systems, some are loading and unloading systems,” said Farkas.
This is all done on a variety of old and new machinery.
Some of the equipment dates back to World War II.
“During the war all metals and all equipment was rationed. You had to have authority from the government to produce anything so you have the war approval stamp on the piece of equipment,” said Farkas.
Over the years, the company has experience many necessary expansions.
“You see the gear boxes that we have over there take up a lot of space, these rollers here take up a lot of space, we have a large fluid drive we’re working on over here as well,” said Farkas.
This machining business is catering to an industry that doesn’t show any signs of stopping.
“Transportation is key,” explained Farkas, “it provides a lot of jobs in the community here.”
He says it’s the employees who fill those jobs keeping the company moving along.
“We have third generation people over at Fraser; we have people who have been here for over 30 years as well,” said Farkas, “it is really a family”
Farkas tells us to make the company last another 100 years they plan to look for good people, provide good jobs and support and expand their customer base.