The work being done at Cox Design & Metal Fabrication, a longtime Altoona business located on 1st Avenue, is all about science, art and engineering. But it looks like magic.
Here, a team of about 17 talented individuals cut, bend, paint and otherwise manipulate various metals to create amazing things: laser-cut signs for local law firms, medical-grade countertops for plasma donation centers, and mobile food truck kitchens constructed entirely out of stainless steel, to name a few.
What’s even more impressive than the products? How they’re made.
Lasers, electrostatic paint, automated systems, even high-powered water – these are the tools that make the magic happen. The sign outside the Bondurant Cemetery? The staff at Cox Design created it with a Waterjet (a super-powered squirt gun that cuts intricate designs straight through just about any material, including steel).
Cox Design was established in 1987, but the business really began growing a decade later, when the company moved into its current headquarters in Altoona. Here, the business has more space, unbeatable accessibility, and plenty of talented workers in the community.
With ample room and a growing customer base, Cox Design scaled-up its operations. They invested in the latest manufacturing technologies, like automated loading systems and a new Waterjet device. In 2002, the business nearly tripled in size, adding 16,000 square feet to their existing 9,000. The expansion added much-needed receiving bays. Now, it is easier than ever for trucks to unload and pick up materials at Cox Design and head straight to Interstate 80, about a half-mile down the road.
Recently, Scott Martin and Daniel Sease purchased Cox Design. The pair says they have big plans for the company’s future: scaling-up operations while focusing on architectural work, NSF-Certified kitchens and medical centers, and other large-scale projects.
As their business grows, the new owners of Cox Design say that Altoona – the location, the leadership and the community – is essential to their future.
“The location is fantastic,” Daniel says. “We have the access we need, and the talent’s here. We haven’t had any trouble finding the quality employees we’re looking for.”
“As a business owner, [the City of] Altoona’s very easy to work with. You have questions? Give them a call. They’ll do whatever they can to help you out.”
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