Foundations of Steel
D+M Metal Products began in 1946 with Davis & Moelker – two enterprising men with experience in metal forming. Moelker left the business shortly after helping found the company, so Davis ran D+M for the next 30 years until he sold the business in 1977 to Dale Buist.
1946 – Davis & Moelker founded D+M
1977 – Dale Buist purchased D + M Assets with 8 employees and 8,000 square feet for production
Fabrication in the Family
When Dale bought D+M, there were 8 employees working in an 8,000 square foot building. Three years after his father bought the company, Bob Buist began working on the shop floor learning how to weld and operate the machinery. Bob was there when D+M bought their first CNC Turret and computer in 1981. He saw firsthand the opportunities that came with the new machinery and learned to operate it as well.
1980 – Bob Buist joined D+M
1981 – Purchased First Amada CNC Turret and computer
That first CNC machine sparked D+M’s rapid growth. By 1984 they had moved to a larger building and were running two shifts. D+M became one of the first metal fabrication shops in the area to invest in a laser system – an investment that allowed them to do more for less. Eventually, D+M bought the building next door and combined the two into one larger facility that allowed them to bring in more machinery to do jobs internally that they used to outsource.
1984 – Moved to 18,000 square foot building on West River Drive
1988 – Added 6500 square foot Turret Department
1992 – Purchased Cincinnati Laser System
1994 – Combined 4994 and 5020 buildings for total of 58,000 square feet
Leadership and Investment
In 1997, Dale Buist passed away and Bob Buist stepped into the leadership position. After working on the floor, Bob knew the metal fabrication business inside and out, and had seen the value of continuous improvement. He focused on adding more and better machinery while continuing to hire, teach and maintain a valued staff of engineers, operators and other workers.
In 2007, Russ DeVries, who had been with the company for years, became a part-owner of D+M. To this day, Russ, Bob and the whole staff of D+M provide metal fabrication of all sorts to the Grand Rapids community.
1997 – Transferred Ownership to Bob Buist
2000 –Purchased JobBOSS computer system, OTC Robot, Romer CMM
2002 – Purchased 4kw Amada Laser System
2003-2007 – Added or replaced various pieces of equipment
2007 – Russ DeVries took an ownership position in D+M
2008 - Current Continued Investment in staff and equipment