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The Little Manufacturer that Could

Diskin Enterprises Bucks Downward Trends

Business Development Manager Erin Corley and Vice President & General Manager Michael Diskin with Maize in Diskin Enterprises’ Durajoint show room.

Garrettsville –  There’s a quiet revolution under way on Industrial Drive, where a small manufacturer has developed a global reach — even exporting to Mexico — during a time when  similar U.S. businesses are losing ground or folding altogether. Diversification and expansion through acquisitions has been the key to success for Diskin Enterprises over the past 10 years. A three-in-one manufacturing and sales force now operates under one giant roof… and there’s still room to grow.

Making the most of low prices afforded by the recession, the former Four Seasons Industries is now Four Seasons Manufacturing, an umbrella manufacturer for Durajoint Concrete Accessories and Modern Store Fixtures along with its original Four Seasons Industries. In an ironic twist, Diskin grew out of its original building and into the former Amweld Building just down the road. Amweld, once an anchor steel-based manufacturer in Garrettsville and Niles for 60 years, moved to Mexico in 2008 to remain competitive. Now Diskin Enterprises ships its goods from the former Amweld building to Mexico at a profit.

Four Seasons, which had operated in Garrettsville for nearly 20 years as a custom manufacturer of plastic goods, moved from its cramped 22,000-square-foot building to Amweld’s 168,000-square-foot building five years ago. However, the building was far from move-in ready. The Amweld building had sat vacant for four years prior, so it was in a sorry state of disrepair, caved-in roofs and ceilings, mold, bird infestations and worse when the new owners came on the scene. Just getting the building back in shape for sales and production was a major accomplishment which required all hands on deck from Diskin’s dedicated crew of only 27 employees and one local contractor, J.C. Electric.

From its new, spacious location, Diskin Enterprises — owned by Mike Diskin Sr. and managed by his son, Michael — was now able to manufacture and ship its Durajoint construction products throughout the U.S. and into far-reaching global markets including Japan, South Africa, South and Central America, Canada and Guam. Diskin Sr., along with business development manager Erin Corley, recently offered a tour of their plant to the local Chamber of Commerce. It provided an eye-opening realization that a small local business can grow and thrive during the worst of times. “When we were searching for a way to expand from our old building, there was always a chance we would move away from Garrettsville,” Diskin recalls. “We gave it a shot with the Amweld building. We were able to stay here because of the recession.”

In 2005-2006, Diskin Sr. acquired Durajoint and Preco, manufacturers of concrete accessories for the construction market. Second only to a Swiss company, Durajoint is a leading global manufacturer of a plastic (PVC) water stop that is used in major municipal and infrastructure projects like sewage treatment plants, airport tarmacs, underground tunnels, storage facilities and dams, including the Panama Canal and Yankee Stadium in New York City. In fact, the company is currently bidding on a renovation project of California’s Oroville Dam, which made the national news this winter for its breach and mudslides. More locally, the water stop is being used at an Ohio Department of Transportation storage and maintenance facility in Grafton.

The water stop is a water containment product that allows for expansion, creating an impenetrable seal along concrete joints so water cannot crack, seep through or erode the concrete. According to Diskin, the life of this product is about 100 years, so it always outlasts the concrete structure it reinforces.

On the 110,000-square-foot production floor at the Garrettsville plant, giant extruders consume thousands of pound of plastic pellets every hour, extruding various profiles of waterstop everyday.  Diskin Enterprises has developed 150 varieties of the waterstop to date, plus a new chemical stop that features a super high-density plastic to prevent chemical seepage for various manufacturing and municipal projects.