We’re proud of what we do, and who we do it for.

Our Story

ideal-gear-historySince 1919 and hundreds of years of collective experience Ideal Gear has been striving for excellence in innovation.

Our Past

In 1919 Herb Elfstrom, SR. and Francis Smith, former machinists for Grand Truck Pacific Railway established and incorporated Ideal Gear. They opened the doors to their machine shop located on Alexander Street, just a few blocks from downtown Vancouver’s waterfront.

Their machining business began by providing services for fishing vessels, steam tugboats and grain elevators. With the onset of World War II, their efforts became strictly war production, supplying valves for the Liberty Ships being built at Vancouver shipyards. This experience established new criteria, growth and a high level of organization and production for Ideal Iron Works. They continued operations in the Alexander Street shop until 2003.

In 1963 William Raymond Ahnert joined the company as a welder working for both Herb Elfstrom Sr. and Herb Elfstrom Jr. Ahnert took a keen interest in the machining business, especially gear cutting. By the early 70s, he had learned a lot and began investing in gearing machinery and learning all he could about the gearing industry from mentors at successful gearing companies based in Ontario. From there the company grew quickly, and supply of gearing to various industries became the focus.

In 1980 Herb Elfstrom Jr. passed away, at which time his wife Mary signed the company shares to their daughter Wendy Elfstrom and William Ahnert. Together Wendy and William headed Ideal Iron Works until 2003. The company now includes the fifth generation of family members serving customers with gearing and machining needs. Along with William Ahnert are his sons, Kevin Ahnert, the General Manager (who tragically passed away in 2013), Brett Ahnert, the Gear Shop Manager and nephew Steven Ahnert, the Engineering & Estimating Manager.

Since 1919 and hundreds of years of collective experience Ideal Gear has been striving for excellence in innovation of in-house experience and an expanding client base, Ideal Iron Works amalgamated with another family business in 2003 to become Ideal Gear and Machine Works Inc and then moved to a 25,000 square foot production facility on the banks of the Fraser River in Delta, British Columbia, Canada. The facility was expanded to furnish an area for a gearbox repair, testing and inspection centre.

Striving for Innovation

Since 1919, Ideal Gear and Machine Works has created, innovated, patented and manufactured technologies used worldwide in industries ranging from commercial fishing and marine, cement and aggregate, mining, oil and gas, pulp and paper, power generation and others. Now we look forward to the next 100 years to continue expanding our horizons starting with the recent purchase of over $20 million USD of new tooling and equipment to produce gearing for natural resource and alternate energy industries.