Ag components, oil and gas equipment made at Midmach in Jamestown
Most items fabricated at Midmach are built to order.
JAMESTOWN — Flat pieces of metal arrive at the shop of Midmach and, through a process of cutting, bending and welding, leave as completed buildings used by the oil industry to house equipment, according to Casey Veil, vice president of the company.
The company’s fabrication and manufacturing work is about evenly split between agricultural components and oil and gas field equipment.
“Primarily we manufacture different types of agricultural products and for the oil and gas industry,” he said. “We make a broad range of ag products under contract for other companies.”
Those products flow through the fabrication process at Midmach without Veil or the staff knowing the final product their component is destined for. Each component is built to the specifications supplied by the company that will do the assembly.
Veil said that none of the agricultural components they fabricate could be identified by the equipment user.
“Almost 100% goes outside the Jamestown area,” he said.
The company’s oil and gas field products are also shipped around the nation.
“We are national in scope,” Veil said. “We have a good mix split up between North Dakota, South Dakota, Texas, Wyoming and Illinois.”
These products include a variety of products including stairs and catwalks around oil storage tanks and the small buildings used at oil and gas facilities.
Veil said they build the shell of the building with all parts welded together to produce a watertight enclosure that is then powder coated to prevent rust.
Powder coating involves spraying a powder on the parts which adhere due to a static electrical charge. The part is then baked in an industrial oven at 450 degrees to form a durable finish.
The buildings are then shipped to another company that fits out the interior for use to house electrical components at an oil facility.
“We’ve built hundreds of these buildings for the oil field,” Veil said.
The buildings don’t carry the Midmach logo or name but are common in oil production facilities around the country.
“We work with the customers to understand the scope of the project then design and build,” Veil said. “An example would be the catwalks and stairways to access an oil tank farm.”
We are centrally located among the ag manufacturers we market to. And we are just far enough away from the oil field that we aren’t competing for employees but close enough to be attractive to them as a manufacturer.
Each tank farm has different dimensions and requirements, but Midmach works to utilize components such as stair or catwalk sections it already has designed to reduce costs for the project. Any necessary engineering and design work is done in-house to prepare the final product.
Most items fabricated at Midmach are built to order with little inventory of finished products at its facilities. The company employs more than 30 people and is actively looking for a couple of additional workers.
“We are willing to train people that want to learn and work,” Veil said. “There is not much we can’t teach them if they want to learn and work.”
Most equipment used at Midmach has some sort of computer technology to assist in the machine work and fabrication.
“Lots of high-tech equipment,” Veil said. “Probably some of the most technically advanced equipment used in manufacturing in Jamestown.”
While the equipment improves accuracy and efficiency, it is not the most critical part of the process.
“Good people are still the most important part of the business,” Veil said. “We could immediately hire three or four but then we’d max out the facility.”
Midmach looks to address that problem later this year.
“We have a building expansion planned in 2023,” Veil said.
Plans call for a 24,000-square-foot expansion at its facility in Jamestown. The facility will include manufacturing and office space for the growing company.
What is currently known as Midmach started as Midwestern Machine back in 1977.
“In 2014, we rebranded to sound less like a machine shop,” Veil said.
Veil said the company managed to keep all of its employees through the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Kept virtually all of them even though we had no work,” he said. “We came out the other side and have been busier than ever.”
Coming out of the pandemic, materials were difficult to acquire but that also seems to have improved, Veil said.
“Right now our main hurdle is employees,” Veil said.
About 90% of the products produced by Midmach leave the facilities on the company’s own trucks.
“Most of our products ship as quickly as they are completed,” Veil said.
Jamestown’s geographic location at the crossroads of U.S. Highway 281 and Interstate 94 is beneficial for shipping agriculture and oil field products, Veil said.
“We are centrally located among the ag manufacturers we market to,” he said. “And we are just far enough away from the oil field that we aren’t competing for employees but close enough to be attractive to them as a manufacturer.”
Corry Shevlin, CEO of the Jamestown/Stutsman Development Corp., said companies like Midmach are important to the community.
“As primary-sector companies, they bring more wealth to the area,” he said. “They provide jobs but they also bring in wealth from all over the country.”
The wealth comes in the form of the value of the products sold outside the area entering the local economy as wages paid to local employees. It puts new money in circulation in the Jamestown economy, Shevlin said.
And Veil said those employees are good at their jobs.
“It is a great place to work,” he said. “We have a lot of long-time employees and offer good benefits.”
And they produce a good product.
“Our employees are proud of the products they make,” Veil said.
Midmach can be reached at