In a sedate industrial-park setting a mile or two from the Ohio Turnpike’s interchange at Streetsboro, Ohio, lies the two-building compound occupied by Viking Forge Corp. (VFC), a forger of steel products. Incorporated in 1988, privately owned VFC will be closing out its first quarter-century of operation this year.
The company owes its origin to Buyers Products, a distributor of truck-body and trailer parts located in Mentor, Ohio. As a distributor of steel forged products, Buyers Products’ owner and two colleagues decided to start a forge shop to supply its business so as not to be too reliant on sometimes unreliable outside sources of product to sell. Men of action that they were, they set up VFC in Streetsboro in a high-bay building that is VFC’s current main production facility. They bought some used gas-fired furnaces, presses and other necessary equipment and started their forging business. They soon learned, however, that the forging business is a challenging one. The first two years or so were very rocky for the fledgling company.