Rand Machine Receives Small Business Award

A city business was honored last month in Buffalo for expanding its operations.

Rand Machine Products Inc. was an award recipient at the Small Business Administration Buffalo District Office’s Small Business Week Awards Luncheon. Along with Buffalo Niagara Score, Business First, area banks, chambers of commerce and economic development agencies, businesses and individuals were honored for being outstanding entrepreneurs, small business owners and champions who are working to grow small businesses, create 21st century jobs, drive innovation and increase America’s global competitiveness.

Rand Machine was given its award by Five Star Bank. Jason Ruhlman, Rand Machine Products Inc. general manager, said, even though the business received the award, it would not have been possible without the help of Steve Swanson, who is Five Star Bank’s business and professional banking vice president.

“Without Five Star Bank and Steve Swanson’s efforts, who persistently kept moving us forward, none of this comes together for us,” Ruhlman said about an expansion project at the business during the last year. “I need to send this (award) to (Swanson) for his help and efforts.”

Rand’s expansion project was to construct a 10,000-square-foot building designed to support the Mori Seiki-NT-6000 CNC Mill/Turn Center and Coordinate Measuring Machine. The CNC Machine will allow Rand to work on very large products. The machine is one of only a handful in the country. Rand purchased the machine from a Japanese company.

Herman Ruhlman, Jason’s father, took over control of Rand Machine in 1980, and is the business’s president. The business has been in operation since 1949.

After traveling to Japan, the machine was purchased. However, due to its size – with the CNC mill-turn center machine alone measuring 40 feet long and 15 feet wide by 15 feet high – the machine traveled to the United States via boat. Once it arrived, it was taken to Erie, Pa., where it stayed for nearly a year-and-a-half before being moved to Rand Machine.

The total project cost was more than $4.6 million. The county Industrial Development Agency worked closely with Five Star Bank and the New York Business Development Council to put together the financing package.

Rand Machine Products Inc. is a custom contract manufacturing service. They machine and assemble a variety of products per customer drawings, such as railroad, pipeline couplings, defense work, mining industry, hospital and medical equipment and decorative brass hardware.

Additionally, the company currently employs 104 full-time employees. The project will create 10 new jobs at Rand.

“It was nice to be recognized for a large project, and for doing something like this in the community,” Jason Ruhlman said.