Marine Experts

Kropf Industrial

For over forty years, Kropf Industrial Inc. has been one of Canada’s foremost suppliers of quality floating dock systems, boat handling equipment, boat stands, hydraulic boat trailers, and custom-built equipment solutions for clients in both commercial and residential sectors. The company seamlessly performs every aspect of every project from design and engineering to fabrication, sandblasting and painting.
~
The proudly family-owned company has come a very long way since it was founded in 1977 by President Peter Kropf. He was a man of many skills, including welder, machinist, and heavy crane operator.

There was plenty of highway construction going on at the time. Heavy machinery was used to build roads, and since this equipment was used during the week, the only time Peter could undertake repairs was on evenings and weekends, when the machinery was down. Peter did much of his work on-site, repairing equipment in the Parry Sound area of Ontario, with a mobile welding machine on the back of his pickup truck.

Kropf Industrial has steadily grown ever since. The business today has approximately seventy full-time employees, including certified welders, fabricators, machinists, mechanics, electricians, industrial millwrights, field staff, and office workers. It expanded from a small operation into a business with facilities totalling about 40 000 square feet, with 24 000 square feet of manufacturing facility under one roof, another 13 000 square feet in another building, and the remainder in another company purchased by Kropf.

Although Peter has retired from the business, his company is still committed to introducing new products with state-of-the-art designs, manufactured using quality materials and craftsmanship. Kropf designs, engineers, and manufactures a range of products for the marine industry from barges and breakwaters to steel tube floating docks, high-density polyethylene (HPDE) pipe docks, bridges, gangways, and aluminum and steel scows.

Its premium residential dock systems are designed to be robust and are able to withstand tough conditions and climates, with quality and performance that are simply unmatched. They are highly functional as well as aesthetically-pleasing and sure to complement cottages throughout the Muskokas, Georgian Bay, and other areas. Much like their commercial counterparts, these products are designed, engineered, and manufactured for maximum strength, structural integrity, and longevity in constantly-moving marine environments.

Peter’s son Jordan has been with the business for about a decade, handling marine sales. He says that much of the company’s ongoing success is the result of its innovation, commitment to quality and client service, and flexibility.

Kropf Industrial is strategically located in Parry Sound, known for its stunning natural cottage scenery and the deepest natural freshwater port on earth. Its proximity to the shores of Georgian Bay is ideal for serving the commercial marine industry.

Although the company turned forty last year, it did not celebrate the milestone, as it was too busy working. “Two thousand and seventeen was the busiest year in the company’s history, as we were taking on major projects, like the floating docks in Hamilton,” says Jordan.

The company has taken on projects of varying size over the decades. One of the most recent is the massive dock project located on Hamilton’s Lake Ontario waterfront and the first revitalization to the Hamilton waterfront in years. The project is a multi-agency effort valued at about a billion dollars in total.

The company’s portion of the massive project, with a budget of approximately $8.5 million, required it to install a custom floating dock system with advanced options that was still able to handle ice in winter. While steel tubing was still used in the construction of the system, the company devised a method to use aluminum extrusion on the sides. “The reason Kropf was selected is we were one of the few Canadian dock manufacturers able to tackle such a large project, and our design was uniquely suited for the project requirements.”

The completed project will provide much greater access to the water’s edge for boaters and the public. The area will see more green space with a new park, as well as commercial and residential development, and a large promenade, making it an enjoyable place to locals and tourists alike to visit and enjoy. The boardwalk is being rebuilt using two materials: concrete and composite.

On the industrial side, the company creates ingenious products including hydraulic dollies, trailer tugs, self-loading trailers, and custom-designed mobile gantry cranes. These products can be uniquely designed for material handling applications in industries ranging from heavy fabricating to mining and oil and gas.

Kropf Aquaculture has established itself as a prime supplier for fish farms located in northern freshwater areas. It manufactures products like extremely durable floating net pens and has applied its “extensive experience in hydraulic boat handling equipment into the development of support equipment for the aquaculture industry,” according to the company. “Our hydraulic pallet carts offer increased efficiency and ease of handling, saving you time and money.”

Kropf is also behind Conolift, complete boat handling and storage systems that include marine lifts, self-propelled trailers, boat stands, and yard and highway trailers.

Nearly forty years ago, Peter Kropf was asked to make a hydraulic boat trailer and, when looking into what that would entail, soon saw that improvements could be made in manufacturing the product. The result is the Conolift hydraulic trailer, featuring a unique open frame design that is able to expand as needed, a hydraulic tongue for levelling, and ride height adjustment. Conolift hydraulic trailers offer many advantages when compared to products from the competition, and the company has sold well over 1,200 units.

Most of Kropf International’s work at present is in the marine industry, but the company is open to custom works and diversification, as its well-built lifts and trailers have plenty of applications in material handling.

“We are here to help,” says Jordan Kropf. “If a customer has a particular issue or challenge with lifting, we will work with them, and even build a one-off.”

Making Meticulous Metal Parts

Precision metalwork centers on tight tolerances, strict specifications, and repeatability to create parts or entire assemblies out of metal. In machining, material is removed through milling, turning, grinding, or drilling. Another common method of metalworking is forming, in which the material is reshaped through bending, cold-forging, rolling, or stamping.

Past Issues

December 11, 2018, 3:39 AM EST