ROME — Imagine a New York-based company that supplies Tesla and other electric car makers with products essential to their carbon-reduced automobiles.
Now imagine this business in your own backyard because that’s exactly what happens at Revere Copper Products, Inc., 1 Revere Park.
Retired Chairman and CEO of Revere Copper Products, Mr. Brian O’Shaughnessy, said Revere is very busy now, as each electric car uses 50% more of its product than gasoline-powered automobiles.
Additionally, those who use Zoom or other modes of video conferencing also help reduce the carbon footprint of travel, and Revere helps provide copper for the busbars and data centers that make these platforms possible.
“This New York-based company provides nearly half of a core product used in data centers that supports video conferencing,” O’Shaughnessy added. “The same product is essential for building efficient electrical substations and transformers for wind power growth. And their wind turbines need this product.
Now imagine that Revere uses virtually all recycled materials to manufacture its environmentally friendly products needed for the Green Revolution. Revere has even been recognized by the state Department of Environmental Conservation for its outstanding environmental performance.
But O’Shaughnessy said Revere has a problem because several similar companies in China produce the same products from government-subsidized coal-fired electricity using raw materials shipped from as far away as Chile. Often they even use recycled raw materials shipped from the USA
“Imagine that carbon footprint,” O’Shaughnessy pointed out. “…Revere faces such fierce competition, which results in very tight margins.”
Today, O’Shaughnessy is pleading with local politicians to support legislation to offset costs for Revere and similar companies that instead help reduce global carbon emissions.
“I know the committees working on this legislation do not intend to increase global carbon emissions by shutting down Revere. Please understand that partial offsets of any increased costs associated with technology to further reduce Revere’s carbon footprint are not acceptable. “Please work with Revere to effectively offset all of these costs and stay alive, and to reduce global carbon emissions.”
Revere is an employee-owned company that pays no dividends but reinvests 100% of any cash proceeds into equipment upgrades and owner employee training.
Revere manufactures copper sheets, strips, coils and busbars. As such, Revere is an integral part of the supply chain for manufacturing copper products, O’Shaughnessy said.
His son and current president and CEO, Michael O’Shaughnessy, said Revere began its long and storied history when it was founded as a rolling mill by American patriot Paul Revere in 1801. Revere’s early work the business was to put copper on the floor of the USS Constitution.
“At the time, our warships were slower than our competitors because barnacles were growing on the bottom of the ships, slowing them down,” explained Mike O’Shaughnessy. “And the barnacles would need to be knocked down. Copper funds prevented this.
Revere’s first construction job would be the copper roof for the Boston courthouse, O’Shaughnessy said, adding that the company continues to be a supplier to the U.S. Navy and architectural market, even all those years later.
While Revere’s Rome site had to close one of its major tube mills in the early 1980s, and copper and brass markets and demand continued to contract in the 1980s, 1990s and even “a little beyond,” and also as several customers moved away from the United States, Revere had to “get really good,” continually improving manufacturing, O’Shaughnessy said.
We “had to focus a lot of effort to get really good at continuous manufacturing improvement, and we’ve been at it for over 20 years now,” the CEO said. “We never had the capital to invest in equipment – we had to improve our equipment availability efforts and work hard to maintain good relationships with our employees – to make sure we create a good environment for everyone to succeed, whether you’re driving a forklift, operating a rolling mill or working in accounting, we work hard to prepare people to succeed in what we do.
O’Shaughnessy explained that no one outside of Revere owns any part of the business. Therefore, no dividends are paid to anyone outside of Revere and whatever the company earns, “we reinvest it in our equipment and people.”
“Granted, we had tough years as markets shrank or customers moved away, but we survived with a lot of resilience and we got a lot better,” he said. “Before COVID, we started to hear more and more from customers who were considering bringing factories back to the United States, or at least to North America. We were beginning to be well recognized for the quality of our products – we were beginning to be seen as a preferred supplier. And then just before COVID, we were starting a great year, and we always heard that copper was going to be important for society and sustainability efforts.
These efforts involve copper for batteries and electric vehicle charging stations, as well as other electrical substations and transformers for wind power – a far cry from the pots, pans and other kitchen utensils the company used to be. famous for decades.
“Then COVID hit and everyone went to Zoom and team meeting platforms – from busbars to data centers, copper helps keep these things going. So our market started to grow and thanks to COVID we were considered an essential supplier and remained open all the time,” O’Shaughnessy said. “…Also, our market share has started to grow, so the size of the market and how we are perceived in those markets has allowed us to get more orders. We are able to make a small margin where we couldn’t make that margin before, and now we are investing in our equipment which has been under capitalized for several years.
The CEO added: “That’s why this testimonial is so important – we’ve fought for decades to stay alive and now we see things getting a little healthier…we’re a key part of the supply chain. ‘sustainable supply’.
And while it’s still a small market and not a big focus for the company, Revere has also found a way during the COVID-19 pandemic to promote the health and safety of city workers. In early 2021, Revere partnered with the Rome Fire Department and donated antimicrobial copper sheets to firefighters to install push pads on some of the doors at the central fire station, helping to reduce the presence of bacteria and viruses.
“Copper has antimicrobial properties, so the fire department was interested in working with us,” O’Shaughnessy said. “It’s not one of our biggest markets at the moment, but we still think it has some potential for the future.”