Our Company, Over Time
Our Company, Over Time
In the 1950’s
Charles Shepherd developed a new embossed film technology to create a pebble-like surface on FRP surfaces such as the fiberglass panels commonly seen today in commercial kitchens and public wash room areas. In 1957, he founded C. E. Shepherd Company, Incorporated to manufacture his product. The following year, Shepherd, an avid water sportsman, expanded his business by designing and patenting a foam filled navigational buoy. This product gave us our first slogan, “Wise Birds Settle on Shepherd Products.” Though Shepherd no longer manufactures buoys, the design remains the standard for use in all waterways under the jurisdiction of the US Army Corps of Engineers.
In the 1960’s
Development of a pinless plastic hinge which becomes stronger with each flex (not weaker) in 1965 made C. E. Shepherd one of the largest injection molders in Texas. The 1960’s also marked our company’s entry into the industrial cooling tower market. Experimenting with materials to replace the traditional rot-prone wood cooling tower components, Shepherd designed and built the first fuse-bonded powder coating line for wire mesh and single strand wire. This revolutionary and highly effective process produces a fusion bond between the PVC coating and the steel core wire inside. The resulting product, Shepherd Slat Fill Hanger Grids, were quickly embraced as the standard for use in cooling towers throughout the country. Cooling tower components have since become a cornerstone of the company’s product mix and demand for our coated wire mesh steered the company in yet another direction.
In the 1970’s
In 1972, the growing demand for Shepherd’s PVC coated wire and the need to directly oversee quality control compelled the purchase of a wire welding machine. Shepherd fuse bonded welded wire products immediately gained a foothold in the gulf coast marine (crab and crawfish) trap making industries, outperforming and outlasting conventional galvanized chicken wire traps. Eventually, welded wire PVC coated mesh traps replaced the traditional wooden traps of New England’s lobster fisherman as well. Wooden lath and galvanized chicken wire had long been staples of commercial poultry operations as well. Here too, Shepherd’s PVC coated side screen wire and breeder floor prove longer lasting and more importantly, far more sanitary than these conventional materials. Poultry containment has become another of our major markets.
In the 1980’s
The need to support its growing customer base in New England prompted Shepherd to establish the Shepherd Lobster Wire Company, a regional center for sales, service and warehousing in Newcastle, Maine. Back in Houston, our plastics division was relocated to its present 35,000 square foot facility that also houses our corporate offices. The new facility allowed the expansion of the plastic extrusion department to focus on designing and manufacturing advanced, high-efficiency PVC fill slats for use in our PVC coated wire fill slat hanger grids. This effort resulted in four patents for cross flow cooling tower slat fill and a 300% increase in growth in the extrusion production.
In the 1990’s
Seeing a need for improved corrosion resistance and reduced cost in the soil stabilization and erosion control industry, C. E. Shepherd formed Modular Gabion Systems in 1990. Our PVC powder coated welded wire mesh dramatically improves the durability and performance of an erosion control and soil stabilization product known as a gabion. Much of the success of Modular Gabion Systems can be attributed to our years of research and development of coating technology that would stand up to the demanding requirement of New England Lobster fishermen year after year.
C. E. Shepherd is recognized worldwide as the supplier of choice for PVC coated and stainless cooling tower fill slat hangers, high-performance cross flow fill slats and specialty cooling tower components. Our company manufactures a wide variety of welded and twisted wire mesh products, both PVC powder coated and galvanized, or stainless steel. We produced over 50 miles of the specially designed welded wire mesh for the SBI 225 Border Fence under contract with The Boeing Company. Our manufacturing facilities in Houston includes our 14-acre plant which houses the integrated welding and coating operations, warehousing and distribution. The company has expanded into international markets and is well positioned to take on the expanding opportunities for its products while continually applying improved material and manufacturing technology to our core product lines. For the Shepherd Company, innovative manufacturing is both a proud tradition and our course for the future.
C.E. Shepherd proudly leads the way in manufacturing programs and practices to reduce our carbon footprint and has developed methods to reduce our energy consumption. We consistently monitor air emissions, storm water runoff, and waste water discharge. We also recycle 100% of our steel and plastic scrap. Our products are fabricated from domestic steel and plastic that contains up to 85% recycled content.