The way one company is celebrating its 50th anniversary is to complete a major expansion of services with the acquisition of a new partner company. As of August, Precision Tank will have been in business for 50 years, and it has been majorly expanding in the last decade with the most recent being the acquisition of A&B Welding during June.
“Our celebration of 50 years is actually our acquisition of A&B Welding. I cannot think of a better way to celebrate than a key acquisition,” said David Hemming, president and CEO of Precision Tank.
Precision Tank, which was established in August of 1965 by three Illinois businessmen whose families still have controlling interest in the company, has been a manufacturer of shop-built tanks and a manufacturer of associated equipment. A&B Welding since 1979 has specialized in field-erecting 100,000-gallon to three-million-gallon tanks and general contracting for liquid storage facilities.
Precision Tank began operations at Virginia, Ill., expanded to Athens, Ill., in 1985 with acquisitions of businesses in that area, constructed a manufacturing facility in Ligonier, Ind., which opened in 2010, and then constructed another manufacturing facility at Humboldt, Iowa, which opened in 2014. The company started manufacturing mild steel tanks and quickly extended into stainless steel tank manufacturing. Fiberglass tank manufacturing was added with the Ligonier, Ind., plant opening.
Hemming said the company is proud of being a one-shop stop for tanks and related equipment. “With the acquisition of A&B Welding, it is even more true that we are a one-stop shop for tanks,” he said.
A&B Welding, based out of Thompson, Iowa, will construct tanks on a site, can serve as the general contractor for facilities associated with the large tanks, such as the load-out building, and then can install Precision Tank’s shop-built smaller tanks inside or outside the facility. Precision Tank manufactures tanks from 2,400 gallons up to 30,000 gallons. And A&B handles all the plumbing.
“We offer a very wide product line. There is no one else of which we are aware that makes all three types of tanks—mild steel, stainless steel and fiberglass,” Hemming said.
Precision Tank specializes in shop-built tanks of 12-foot diameter or less because they can be hauled down a highway without an escort. And having three main manufacturing facilities means customers over a wide geography are close to a manufacturing plant.
Over time, the fiberglass tanks in general have been replacing mild steel tanks for fertilizer storage because of fewer corrosion concerns. For fiberglass tank manufacturing, two different resins can be used based on the planned use for the tank. One resin is good for manufacturing a tank that will hold the basic common liquid fertilizers such as 32-0-0 or 10-34-0, but another resin must be used if the tank will store more corrosive products such as AMS (12-0-0-26). The 26 refers to corrosive sulfur.
Stainless steel is the tank for chemical storage other than fertilizer and transport of liquids, and Precision Tank manufactures vertical tanks with legs and horizontal nurse tanks for mounting on trucks.
“We are 98 percent agriculture based when it is all said and done, but it doesn’t take too much imagination to look at a nurse tank that goes from the fertilizer plant out to an applicator and see that same idea for a rural fire district tank truck for hauling water,” Hemming said. Those fire tank trucks are a small portion of the company’s sales.
The company also sells truck-based liquid sprayer applicators and dry-product applicators. Mounting a tank on a truck chassis with floater tires and installing all the controller equipment is part of the Athens, Ill., operation. New Leader dry applicator boxes are also mounted on trucks.