More Success Stories


We appreciate our partnership with aSa

1568 Alberni is a 43-story luxury residential tower in the heart of Vancouver, BC. Reinforcement provided by LMS includes 4,000 tons of rebar, 350 tons of horizontal posttensioned steel and 150 tons of vertical post-tensioned steel.

LMS Reinforcing Steel Group has multiple fabricating and post-tensioning facilities in Canada and the United States, and at any given time, the company is working on 400 active projects. It’s hard to believe the business started with 14 men and a pickup truck.

Actually, the origins of the company go back even further … to 1987 when owners Ron McNeil and Ivan Harmatny met on a jobsite and became friends. Both were ironworkers at the time. Together Ron and Ivan went into business, and between 1987 and 1998, they built the largest independent placing company in British Columbia. Eventually, LMS purchased assets from a failed fabrication company and began cutting and bending rebar.

The business, headquartered in Surrey, BC, continued to grow, eventually adding a post-tensioning facility in Surrey and a fabricating shop in Calgary.

Ron, Co-founder and CEO, explains the company’s entry into the U.S. market. “We were looking to expand. Corona (in southern California east of Los Angeles) was a good fit for us because there are a lot of Canadian developers working in that market,” says Ron. He continues, “Because we source our steel from all over the world, it’s always good to have an operation near the coast.” LMS also has a post-tensioning facility in Corona and a detailing office in Las Vegas. LMS is a full-service company, providing installation services for all of the steel that it fabricates.

Cody Lake, Business Operations Manager, talks about some of the ways LMS is unique. “Almost everyone on our management team started in the field. We have all detailed. We have all estimated,” Cody says. He also touts “LMS Academy,” an in-house school developed to support the continued development of LMS team members, from apprenticeship training, to leadership and specialized courses.

One of the factors in the company’s success has been its investment in technology, including aSa software. Prior to implementing aSa, LMS had contracted with a developer to create its own custom rebar software. When it became apparent that the home-grown system was not meeting the company’s needs, executives made the decision to go with aSa rebar software. “aSa has such a broad range of products. It just made sense,” says Ron.

Ron notes that in Western Canada, installers work from the engineer’s drawings, and they rarely require fabricator-produced placing drawings. In this environment, detailers handle a large volume of work and really rely on the speed and accuracy of aSa’s Bar List module. aSa Computer Shearing is also helpful to LMS, especially at the Calgary plant where “everything they produce is optimized,” according to Cody.

“We appreciate our partnership with aSa,” says Ron. Throughout its locations, LMS uses many of aSa’s modules, including 2D CAD/Detailing, 3D ProRebar, Scheduling, Material Tracking, Bundle Inventory, and Delivery Ticket, as well as core Bar List and Production software. Additionally, the company automates several of its shearlines with Opto-Shear Console units.

Cody notes that LMS employees appreciate aSa’s staff and service, as well as its products. “We work a lot with J.C. (Rodriguez, aSa Senior Reinforcing Applications Consultant), and he has always been helpful,” says Cody.


Strength & Innovation

Coen Steel is a family-owned company that has been in business for more than 100 years.

Customer service is important to Coen Steel … both providing it and receiving it. The Ireland-based fabricator was using another software package before switching to aSa. Coen’s team was unhappy with the customer service they received from the previous vendor. Michael Curtin, Coen Steel’s COO, says, “aSa is able to deliver support at critical times. We very much consider aSa a partner within our business.”

Coen Steel is a family-owned company that has been in business for more than 100 years. The Coen family started The Coen Group in 1888, when they opened a general builder and timber store in Gort, Ireland. Two generations later, brothers Rynal, Dermot, and David Coen Sr. moved the company from Gort to Galway and Tullamore. In 1997, David Coen Sr. and Coen Steel’s current CEO, David Coen Jr., migrated part of the business from timber to the steel industry. Today, Coen is owned by brothers David Coen Jr. and Derek Coen, the fourth generation of Coens to operate the business. Coen Steel focuses on five main areas of business: construction, manufacturing, engineering, agriculture, and renewable energy; construction is its biggest component. Coen provides products to builders, builders’ merchants, precasters, and civil engineers, mostly in Ireland and the United Kingdom.

From 1997 to 2008, the company grew from €12 million to €47 million in net sales. After the recession hit in 2008, sales fell by 75 percent. David says it was a very difficult time for everyone, and Coen was forced to reduce staff by more than half and move to a three-day work week. Following the recession, the company’s leadership knew it was time to make some changes. That’s when David launched a new vision in 2015. He wanted to focus on three things: processes, technology, and people.

David’s new vision led Coen to update its operations. In the past, every part of the production process was manually input and recorded. Coen implemented aSa’s Bar List, Production, and Shearing modules first. In the beginning, Coen was only utilizing about 10 percent of the software’s capabilities. The decision makers were not totally committed to a big change at the time, admits David. After the launch of the company’s new initiative, Coen implemented aSa Bundle Inventory, Scheduling, Material Tracking, Load Tracking, and Delivery Ticket. “The need for automation was the driving force behind fully getting into aSa. We wanted to maximize aSa in Coen,” states David.

By partnering more closely with aSa, Coen has decreased downtime and increased overall efficiency. John Woods has been working in the industry for 25 years and has been Coen’s Production Manager for the last two and half years. John says, “Since we’ve started using aSa, our efficiencies have increased 100 percent. We went from producing 100 tons per week to 400 tons per week because of the software. I’ve used a lot of other software, and aSa is the best system in the world. It’s like having a personal assistant that has all the answers.”

Coen strives to stay on top within its market, says David. The company was the first in the industry to produce its own electricity by installing 312 solar panels on the plant building. This solar energy powers all the machines outside and inside the shop, including shearlines and cranes, plus everything in the office. “Reducing our carbon footprint is very important to us,” says COO Michael.

David also credits the company’s success to the employees who work for Coen. Management has hired key people, and Coen is currently working toward several certifications, including ISO9001, 14001 and 45001. “We want to keep ourselves well equipped. We want to eliminate problems and build trust between us and our customers,” says David.

Coen Steel is currently providing reinforcing for Cherryood, a new urban center south of Dublin. Spanning 2.1 million square feet, the project includes homes, apartments, bars, restaurants, commercial properties, and much more. Construction is about halfway through its five-year time line. Another large project is for Cairn Homes, one of Ireland’s largest landowners. Coen is providing rebar and prefabricated mesh for Cairn-developed housing plans and apartments.

The Coen Group circa 1888

4 Generations of Customer Service

CMC MMI Stainless Plant

The 3-year old, 70,000 square foot home of Corrosion Resistant Reinforcing in Walton, KY, is capable of producing #3 through #11’s from stainless coil up to 60 feet in continuous monolithic straight lengths.. 

There are not many companies still in business more than 100 years after they started. Yet, the four-generation, family-owned Contractors Materials Company in Cincinnati is celebrating its 111th anniversary. William H. Luken Sr. founded the company in 1907 during the presidency of Theodore Roosevelt. At the time, automobiles were gaining popularity and the business primarily focused on the supply of granite paving stones and curbs for city streets. During the late 1940s, William Jr. and his brother, Robert, joined their father in the business, which added additional concrete paving accessories and 20-foot small diameter reinforcing bars to their inventory. In December 1977, William (Bill) H. Luken III began working at Contractors Materials Company.  On April 1, 1978, Bill became a principal in the organization after his father’s retirement. After his uncle’s retirement in December, 1980, Bill began to add other concrete construction products and accessories to the company’s inventory mix, which now included rebar fabrication. During his tenure, Contractors Materials expanded operations with new, larger, and more up-to-date equipment and related facilities to help meet the needs of their customer base.

In 1989, they expanded again with a sister company, MMI of Kentucky, housed in a new 25,000-square-foot facility in Lexington.  MMI primarily provides the same product mix as Contractors Materials on a somewhat smaller scale.  Their market includes highway and bridge paving contractors and specialty concrete contractors in Kentucky and Northern Tennessee.

Almost 10 years ago, when Bill was considering retirement, an ownership transition was offered to Bill’s daughter, Megan, and her husband, Rob Faircloth. Rob has been  with the company nearly nine years.  Total Luken ownership was transferred to Rob, Megan, and their son, Luke Faircloth, in June 2012. 

A couple of years before Rob joined the CMC/MMI team, the company realized an opportunity to begin fabricating stainless steel reinforcing. Initially, the stainless steel rebar was fabricated at their Cincinnati location. It was soon evident that more space was needed, and a 60,000-square-foot building was leased for the sole purpose of fabricating stainless steel rebar. However, the leased facility did not provide efficient material handling. Rob then began to look for a suitable location to build a new facility. The decision was made to build in Walton, Kentucky, and to also form a new company, Corrosion Resistant Reinforcing (CRR). The Walton location is only 35 miles from their main stainless steel supplier and is located close to several major highway interchanges near the Ohio/Kentucky border.

In March 2015, CRR moved into a new 70,000-square-foot concrete tilt building in Walton for the exclusive purpose of fabricating stainless steel rebar. During the initial years of fabricating stainless rebar, it soon became evident that an exclusive facility was needed to eliminate any contamination caused by carbon rebar fabrication. According to Bill, “Having the least bit of carbon debris on our stainless product can cause the inspector to reject the bars at the jobsite.” He continues, “By maintaining a clean carbon contaminant-free environment in our (stainless) shop, we virtually eliminate expensive rejected products at the jobsite.”

CRR generally fabricates every bar from stainless rebar coils. They prefer coiled rebar for several reasons. First, like carbon bar, remnants and expensive scrap are reduced. Second, because most stainless mills are typically limited to 12 meters in straight lengths, CRR can provide continuous monolithic lengths up to 60 feet for #3 through #11 bar. Also, it’s more productive and economical for the stainless mill to pickle 3,500 pound coils than straight lengths. Additionally, the mills generally offer a discount for purchasing stainless bar in coil. 

CRR is proud of the couplers they developed for stainless steel reinforced construction projects. It was Rob’s idea to make couplers out of stainless steel rebar; this way the couplers have the same chemical make-up as the fabricated steel. The couplers have been tested and approved by numerous states. CRR also produces rolled thread on the male bar they supply with their couplers. In addition to matching chemistries and possible heats, the deformations on their couplers help with reduced isolated slippage when in place.

Stainless reinforcement has been used extensively and successfully in Europe and the Middle East for years. Only recently has the US become more interested in using stainless steel rebar in the interest of its life cycle costing. The majority of CRR’s stainless rebar is used for, but not limited to, highway and bridge projects throughout the US and Canada. Despite being considerably more expensive up front, in the long run, stainless has a considered lifespan of nearly 100 years in reinforced concrete design before it requires major restoration, according to Bill.

CMC, MMI, and CRR use a variety of aSa modules from Estimating to Rebar Financials at all of their locations. According to Bill, one of the major keys to success has been the use of aSa Optimized Shearing. While they own a license for aSa Material Tracking and other barcoding solutions at only the CRR site, a recent inventory of materials has proven its value. “We recently conducted our mid-year inventory at CRR using aSa’s barcoding solutions and saved approximately 50% of the man hours it would have taken without using aSa,” says Bill.  He continues, “For stainless rebar, material tracking is extremely important.  Because of our success and experience with aSa Material Tracking at CRR, we are currently in the process of implementing it at Contractors Materials and will eventually bring MMI into the Material Tracking fold!”

aSa Material Tracking uses barcode scanning technology to record every step of the fabrication process, including the date and time of each operation and the persons responsible for all stages of producing and shipping an item. This real-time record provides an extra level of quality assurance in the shop. Material Tracking also helps fabricators make smart decisions based on employee and machine productivity rates. When used with Bundle Inventory, heat information is automatically associated to each fabricated item. When combined with aSa Scheduling, Production, and Load Tracking modules, employees get all the information they need to efficiently plan, execute, and follow up on material fabrication and delivery.

On July 28, 2018, CRR passed its first Wiss Janney Elstner inspection for the CRSI “Standard Practice for Stainless Steel Reinforcing Facilities.” CRR/CMC has been working on the program for the past five years.  This standard is recognized by ANSI and is very similar in structure to the CRSI/ANSI standards program that governs the epoxy coated rebar industry.  Salit Specialty Rebar, another stainless producer, also passed inspection for the new standard. The program will soon be launched with a press release to all US Department of Transportation offices, Canadian Ministries of Transportation, and others within the engineering community.

Stainless Couplers

CRR produces stainless couplers from the same heat as the fabricated bars to ensure consistent chemistry requirements for each job. The deformations on their couplers also help prevent isolated slippage.​