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Making the largest convex-steel building

Brandon outfit sets record with Russian complex

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A large metal truss sits assembled in a field at Behlen Industries as a mock-up for an order destined for Russia.

BRUCE BUMSTEAD / BRANDON SUN Enlarge Image

A large metal truss sits assembled in a field at Behlen Industries as a mock-up for an order destined for Russia.

BRANDON -- Behlen Industries has come a long way from its early days of building quonsets and grain bins.

The company, which got its start manufacturing agricultural buildings in Brandon in 1969, is fabricating the largest convex-style steel building in the world.

"This is the largest building we've ever done and to our knowledge it is the largest building of its style in the world,"àBehlen Industries vice-president Sean Lepper said. "It is quite an engineering feat that we've been able to design and manufacture through our factory."

The building, which will be fabricated at the company's Brandon location, is destined for Krasnoyarsk, Russia, where it will become an indoor soccer facility.

The project was commissioned by the Russian Ministry of Sport. When the building is finished, it will be 95 metres wide, 121 metres long and stand 23 metres tall.

Lepper is proud to be part of a company on the cutting edge of technology in its field.

"Behlen is a very positive place to be right now,"àhe said.

The company currently employs more than 200 workers -- and is still hiring -- with its head office in Brandon, where it has always been, and a satellite office in Cambridge, Ont.

With humble beginnings, Lepper said the company has made a concerted effort to expand globally over the past decade.

"It's taken several years to get to the point where we are able to do a project of this magnitude and scale efficiently,"àLepper said. "Over a period of time, we started to develop some strong relationships and now those are starting to bear fruit."

Today, the company exports to the United States, Russia, Algeria, Australia, Ukraine, Poland, Mongolia, South Korea, Venezuela, Morocco and South Africa, with plans of further expansion.

 

ctweed@brandonsun.com

 

-- Brandon Sun

 

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition June 21, 2013 B4

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