Manufacturing AUTOMATION

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Ont. manufacturers receive nearly $6.5M to implement new technologies


Six companies in southwestern Ontario are receiving nearly $6.5 million from the federal government to implement new automated equipment or rebuild facilities.

The repayable contributions from FedDev Ontario will support Algonquin Bridge, Bold Canine, Five Star Tool and Die, Larsen & Shaw, OWS Rail Car and Kinectrics Enterprises in scaling up their operations.

Algonquin Bridge, a rural manufacturer and supplier of modular steel bridge systems and crossing solutions, will receive $300,000 to adopt new automated manufacturing equipment and technologies to develop new prefabricated bridge designs with lower installation costs, positioning the company to scale up for growth. With this investment, Algonquin expects to create nine skilled manufacturing jobs for the rural Thorndale community.

“Strategically, we identified investing in automation equipment as being critical to our business growth and resiliency,” says Dale Gaston, president of Algonquin Bridge.

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Bold Canine, a pet food company that manufactures all-natural raw pet food, will receive $1.5 million to acquire a state-of-the-art storage freezer and advanced manufacturing equipment for increased food production and packaging, as well as to expand its current facility from 14,000 to 21,000 sq. ft. Bold Canine expects to create up to 10 new full-time jobs and maintain 37 jobs in the town of Erin.

Five Star Tool and Die a women-led rural manufacturer that produces and repairs aluminum and magnesium die casts and molds for automobile components, will receive $600,000 to adopt Lean manufacturing processes, including the acquisition of advanced manufacturing equipment and Industry 4.0-related technologies to improve operational efficiency and competitiveness.

It will also support the company to expand its facility by 6,200 sq. ft. to accommodate the new equipment. Five Star expects to create three new jobs and maintain 20 jobs for the local Wallaceburg community.

Larsen & Shaw a family-owned, women-led manufacturing and stamping company that produces specialty hinges fabricated from steel, stainless steel and aluminum for industrial and agricultural applications, will receive $750,000 to adopt advanced manufacturing and digital technologies, expected to boost production and meet the growing demand for its specialty products in North American markets. Larsen & Shaw expects to create eight full-time jobs and maintain four jobs in the Walkerton area.

“Taking advantage of the latest technologies that are incorporated into this project will improve our competitiveness and sustain the business long-term and grow local talent in a multitude of technical disciplines,” says Mary Jane Bushell, CEO, Larsen & Shaw Limited.

OWS Rail Car provides railcar services, repairs and maintenance for clients such as CN Rail, CP Rail and Via Rail Canada, and will receive over $832,000 to acquire and install advanced manufacturing equipment and tooling.

The equipment will allow the company to diversify its service offering beyond railcars to include locomotive maintenance. This will make OWS one of North America’s few suppliers to offer Positive Train Control servicing—a communication-based safety control system designed to monitor train speed and prevent accidents and derailments. OWS expects to create 11 new jobs and maintain eight jobs in the Sarnia area.

Finally, Kinectrics and its subsidiary Kinectrics Enterprises are lifecycle management services companies offering design, testing, inspection, certification, engineering consulting and maintenance services for the electricity energy sector. Kinectrics Enterprises will receive $2.5 million to redevelop an industrial building to establish Canada’s first nuclear laundry facility in Teeswater, Ont.