Brad Done watched carefully as a machinist drilled a hole into a bright yellow metal tube about a metre long and 10 centimetres across at his Surrey, B.C., business, Reliance Foundry.
The pole is called a bollard, designed to be set into the ground to keep vehicles away from people and buildings.
The demand for this product is so strong it’s become the main focus of his business, which once forged metal into tools and other products for B.C. industries.
“The bollard business for us is thriving, it’s now our No. 1 sales product.”
Some bollards are just ugly metal tubes filled with concrete, Done said.
Increasingly, though, designers are looking for decorative barriers made from cast iron or stainless steel. Some serve double duty as bicycle racks.
It’s this market that Reliance is homing in on. Bollards with decorative metal covers help disguise the beefy metal and concrete barriers beneath.
“We ship product into every state in the U.S. and every province and territory in Canada,” he said on a tour of his warehouse.
“We have product in front of the Federal Reserve, Apple headquarters, Cirque du Soleil, major hotel chains, major restaurants, just about everything.”
His company alone is now selling about 15,000 bollards a year.