Metal Fabricator Captures Spirit of Entrepreneur

PaulB car - old photo
Paul B. Zimmerman, 17, stands beside his 1934 Ford DeLuxe Fordor with V-8 engine.

Paul B. Zimmerman was known in Lancaster County as a mechanically minded problem-solver whose ingenuity – and honesty – gained him the title as the go-to guy for parts and repairs in the agricultural community. Neighbors quickly learned they could take a parts dilemma or equipment problem to Paul B and he’d welcome the opportunity to resolve it.

In 1947, he founded what was to become PaulB Hardware, in a 40′ X 60′ shop at the intersection of Word Corner Road and Burkholder Drive in Lititz, PA.

Job Shop Solutions Today

Today, that hardware store is now 35,000 square feet. And, as the Zimmerman family grew, that entrepreneurial spirit increased exponentially. Paul B. Zimmerman, Inc. now encompasses the hardware store, PaulB Wholesale, Keystone Koating and PBZ, each of which employs Zimmerman family members, and others, who help in research and development.

Perhaps where that is most evident is at the metal fabricator, PBZ, where the CropCare brand of agricultural equipment is developed.

“The spirit of Paul B’s creativeness and inventiveness is captured by the engineers at CropCare, especially,” said operations manager Chad Hackman. “CropCare’s engineers take ingenuity and turn it into a solid product.”

Efficient Mass Production

PBZ manufactures the parts for the innovative agricultural equipment in the CropCare product lineup.

“They have their own design department. They get all the nuts and bolts figured out,” Hackman said. “Then it’s up to PBZ Manufacturing to mass produce this efficiently.”

The fully equipped manufacturing company uses structural 3D and flat bed laser cutters, and performs bending, precision machining, MIG and TIG welding and robotic welding on stainless steel, aluminum and regular steel. It also provides powder coating through Keystone Koating.

“We run with the engineers’ ideas,” Hackman said. “We take what they want us to make, and we go and make high volumes.”

Lead Time Accommodations

PBZ’s efficiency also helps it fulfill OEM requests, creating products such as crane manufacturing components, complete weldments, and automotive aftermarket parts.

“If we ever need parts pushed through their shop under lead time, they do whatever they can to make sure our needs are met.” _ Kristy Morres of Miller Welding & Machine Co. in Brookville, PA

Hackman is quick to point out that customer relationships and problem solving are still a big part of this Zimmerman family company. Companies often come to them when they need a lead time that’s less than the norm because they know PBZ will do what it can to accommodate their deadlines.”

“We want to thank you for your expedited turnaround and delivery on our project. It was critical that we get it asap, and you delivered!
Thank you very much, and we look forward to many more projects with PBZ in the future.” _ Todd Graham, Argosy Designs, Inc., Brookley, N.Y.

Still The Go-To Partner

“I cannot say enough good things about PBZ,” said Kristy Morres of Miller Welding & Machine Co. in Brookville, PA. “They have been a wonderful source for us being able to process our parts quickly and correctly. If we ever need parts pushed through their shop under lead time, they do whatever they can to make sure our needs are met.”

The inventive, get-it-done spirit of Paul B, witnessed decades ago, still exists at PBZ today.

“Paul B had a good reputation with his people. He wanted to please them,” Hackman said. “Today, PBZ focuses on our sales teams to develop those relationships. We don’t just ‘say it,’ we act it and go the extra mile…doing the best for our customers.”