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BOC ready to show off Rt. 45 plant expansion

September 16, 2012

SALEM - BOC Water Hydraulics will hold an expansion completion, ribbon-cutting and grand opening ceremony at its new facility at 11 a.m. Sept. 28.

It will feature a number of local, county, state government and business officials.

Donald R. Olson, former executive vice president and chief engineer of Hunt Valve Corporation, founded BOC Hydraulic in 1993.

Today it's located at 12024 Salem-Warren Road (state Route 45), three miles north of Salem.

During his 28 years at Hunt, Olson earned a global reputation as an innovator in water hydraulics.

He personally created a number of highly successful and patented product lines including descale valves, control valves and the like.

His track record of innovation led to founding BOC which began in a storefront building on Main Street in Washingtonville in 1993 where early designs and simple repairs were performed.

It was a start that led to a move into Salem at the invitation of Valley Forge owner Dan Swindell who operated an industrial incubator in the old Deming building on South Broadway Avenue.

Sales charted upward and two years after his son Todd, the 1981 Salem High School valedictorian, joined the company after a tour in the U.S. Navy, the company relocated offices to 409 E. Second St.

That gradual move lasted from 1998 through 2001 when BOC purchased the property for its current location.

While there were big doubts in 2001, Todd Olson said in a 2008 story for the Salem News that the previous 10 years had produced an eight- to 10-fold increase in business.

Growth was steady.

In 2004, there was the addition of a 4,200 square foot assembly bay which provided manufacturing, testing and inventory storage space; and a 2,000 square foot addition in 2006 added three work stations, storage, office space and a conference room.

The 2007 expansion saw the addition of a complete machining and assembly facility including new cranes and air conditioning.

That 14,000-square foot addition doubled the size of the state Route 45 facility and was operational in the summer of 2008.

The company manufactures specialty valves and had moved into at least two big markets spurring the growth that underpinned the $750,000 expansion in 2007.

It was the first major expansion since the business moved to its new location and it came after what Todd Olson called, "a pretty aggressive growth spurt" spurred by steady revenue growth at between 15 to 20 percent over the previous five years.

BOC Hydraulic products range from cartridge type valves to highly durable, steel-on-steel cylinders. Services range from component supply to complete applications design and build, the company said.

The oil and gas and steel industries have been a big part of BOC's recent growth, but the shale boom is a little less of a revenue pathway.

BOC is "doing some repair work on the pre-drills ... the drill heads break off and they need repaired," a spokesperson said.

"So far that is all we are doing for shale industry," he said.

"We are kind of a niche company in that we work with ... companies that need water hydraulics in place of oil because of contamination, and flammability issues."

During the 2007-2008 expansion, Todd Olson said the state of Ohio's linked deposit program helped with below-market financing and foreign contacts were acquired through the Ohio Department of Trade.

In 2007, the company was received the "Governor's Excellence in Exporting" award.

BOC clients include AK Steel, U. S. Steel, BP refining, Valero Refining in Texas, ConocoPhillips, and "a couple hundred other customers," Olson said that represent a full domestic and global focus.

The plant operates six days a week in the machine shop and uses skilled trades and the usual array of support staff in drafting, engineering, assembly and office work.

Olson said the personnel, almost all local, are the key.

Today, BOC continues to grow rapidly, adding newer, more advanced product lines that often cost less than those offered by the traditional segment suppliers such as Hunt Valve and Ellwood. Products range from cartridge type valves to highly durable steel-on-steel cylinders. Services range from component supply to complete applications design and build.

In short, BOC offers an innovative product set that is quickly being adopted by the market place.

Specialty hydraulic systems for industrial applications include roll bending and roll clamping systems, end-to-end system design & manufacture, specialty component level design (bending cylinders in chocks, clamping cylinders that retrofit mill housing ) and other engineered solutions including predictive maintenance systems and hydraulic system redesign.

For more information, visit

Larry Shields can be reached at



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