Remcor’s focus on material procurement, machinery integrity and human inspiration ensures top quality products. By Alan Dorich
After more than 35 years, The Remcor Group (dba Platinum Tank Group) has prospered by developing and maintaining strong relationships with its customers, suppliers and employees. “We’ve had long-lasting relationships and tremendous loyalty throughout the years at all levels,” Roberts states. “They enjoy working with us, and we enjoy working with them.”
Based in Chambly, Quebec, Platinum Tank Group is the marketing and sales umbrella for Remcor’s tank trailer manufacturing facilities. Roberts’ father – Peter Roberts – founded the company in 1979 with the creation of Remtec Inc., which specializes in aluminum petroleum, aluminum asphalt and aluminum crude trailers for clients in Eastern and Western Canada.
Tony Roberts, who joined the company in the mid-1980s, became involved in many of the acquisitions that helped Remcor grow its industry footprint. Most of the acquisitions, he notes, were industry recognized players would encountered financial troubles and were in need of a restart. “I became the negotiator of the acquisitions with my father and then I would be a member of the executive team that would restart the operations,” he recalls. These acquisitions included the purchase of Columbia Remtec in 1994, a manufacturer of aluminum petroleum tank trailers, aluminum crude tank trailers and specialty trailers for the Western Canadian market.
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Commitment to manufacturing high-quality products in Canada allows Bibby-Ste-Croix to stand out against the importers in its marketplace. By Eric Slack
With a history that stretches back for more than 90 years, Bibby-Ste-Croix is today a two-foundry company located in Quebec. From its Foundry Ste. Croix and Foundry Laperle facilities, the company manufactures two distinct product lines: cast iron drain pipe, fittings, couplings and wade drains, and waterworks products like valve boxes and street castings. These products make up 90 percent of the 53,000 tons of product the foundries produce each year. The remainder is OEM products for dozens of different companies and industries.
“Bibby is the largest and by far the leader in the production of our types of products in Canada,” President Tom Leonard says. “For drain pipe products, the biggest reason is we are the only producer left, as 19 years ago there were five foundries manufacturing cast iron pipe in Canada and now it is just us.”
The waterworks side of the business is similar. Nearly 20 years ago, there were a dozen foundries in Canada making street castings. Now there are really only two to speak of, and Bibby is the largest. This is due to investment, as Bibby is part of the McWane family of companies, which has taken on the difficult and risky task of investing into Canadian and American manufacturing instead of heading overseas.
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Versatex drives customer conversion by remaining innovative and nimble to meet their needs. By Janice Hoppe
Getting its start in last place with no sales 12 years ago, Versatex Building Products has become the second-largest player in the cellular PVC (polyvinyl chloride)architectural trim market. “Our success has been achieved by employing a business strategy built around flexible manufacturing, product and process innovations and approachability,” says John Pace, president and co-founder.
The Aliquippa, Pa.-based company is an innovator and manufacturer of high-end, premium, cellular PVC exterior trim products sold under the Versatex® brand name. Versatex’s products include trim board and sheet stock, signboard for digital printing, bead board, window and door casings, column wraps, soffit systems, corner board, mouldings and other precut and pre-shaped elements.
Versatex products are sold to professional contractors, builders and remodelers in the North American residential and commercial building markets through a network of stocking lumber dealers. Regional wholesale lumber distributors supply the company’s products to its local lumber dealers. “Versatex focuses exclusively on trim and sheet products,” Pace explains. “This focus, combined with expertise in precision and linear/vertical manufacturing have helped Versatex develop unique and proprietary formulations, processes and products that differentiate us from the competition, helping us drive customer conversion and loyalty.”
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Imagineering Finishing Technologies’ component coating and finishing capabilities help its customers achieve difficult goals including space exploration. By Jim Harris
Imagineering Finishing Technologies’ (IFT) capabilities go far beyond the simple coating and painting of parts. “We do not provide decorative coatings which only need to be visually appealing,” says Jim Hammer, president and CEO of the South Bend, Ind.-based company. “We apply functional, precision coatings for parts that absolutely cannot fail.”
IFT has earned the reputation as the KnowledgeSource™ for metal finishing and testing solutions. “We work collaboratively with our clients to understand their needs and critical performance objectives to solve wear and corrosion concerns to improve performance and extend the useful life of manufactured components,” Vice President of Technical Services Dan Englebert says. “With the assistance of our global supplier-partnership network we provide our clients with a competitive advantage in the markets that they serve.“
For the company, this includes treating metal parts and components used in a number of critical applications. One recent example of the company’s capabilities is its collaborating with aerospace giants Boeing and Lockheed to coat and treat parts used in NASA’s Space Launch System (SLS). IFT modified its Indianapolis facility to accommodate large treatment tanks that can process rocket parts of 18 feet or more in diameter. The SLS is the platform for launching rockets including the Orion manned spacecraft into space for exploring the underside of the moon as well as Mars.
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McFarlane Manufacturing Co. builds agricultural tillage equipment and fabricates structural steel as a means of diversifying its manufacturing efforts. By Russ Gager
Most of agriculture relies on something growing from a seed, but to do that, the seed has to be planted successfully. Preparing soil for planting in as few operations as possible is the goal of the agricultural tillage equipment designed and manufactured by third-generation, family owned McFarlane Manufacturing Co.
“We consider ourselves to be the seedbed specialist,” explains Todd Lassanske, general manager of the manufacturing division. “We’re preparing the seedbed before planting, which improves the productivity, robustness and maintenance of the soil by integrating the residues from the prior year.”
Incorporating the residues of corn stalks, soybeans and wheat into the ground in the fall, spring or both so they can decompose and fertilize the soil is the specialty of most of the equipment McFarlane manufactures. The equipment is designed to do several jobs so the number of times a farmer has to pull equipment through his fields with a tractor is reduced.
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Morton Industries has become a major partner for industry leaders like Caterpillar through vertical integration. By Chris Petersen
Beginnings don’t get much humbler than Morton Industries’. The Morton, Ill.-based company started out in a garage in 1946 that cost the founder $1,000. After performing simple welding and repair jobs, the company attracted the attention of industrial giant Caterpillar, which hired the company to start performing small production work and repairs. In time, Morton Industries’ bond with Caterpillar only grew stronger, and the company eventually added new capabilities including tubular fabrications and machined components.
Today, the bond between Morton Industries and its customers is stronger than ever, with large OEMs providing the company with nearly 80 percent of its business. CEO and President Chris Ober says that the long-standing relationships it has with industry leaders such as Caterpillar, John Deere, Komatsu and Kubota are testament to the strength of Morton Industries’ services and processes.
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Kyntronics specializes in developing unique and custom actuation systems used in a variety of industries. By Jim Harris
Since their development in the late 1930s, actuators have become a common component of machinery, medical equipment and other mechanical systems. Although the needs of the companies using actuators are frequently evolving, the basic functions of the devices themselves typically operate in the same manner as they have for decades. A more recent trend is how the field of mechatronics is impacting actuators, enabling more precision, feedback and intelligent operation, allowing higher degrees of automation with how actuators are applied.
Kyntronics prides itself on finding new twists on a technology that can hardly be considered cutting-edge. “I am proud of the new technology and innovations our team has developed and continues to develop,” says Carl Richter, vice president of the Eastlake, Ohio-based actuator manufacturer and motion control specialist. “We are pushing the envelope and coming up with something different in an industry that has been around for many years.”
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Brampton Engineering applies lean methodologies and modular practices to improve its already high level of service to clients. By Jim Harris
Brampton Engineering Inc.'s customers have long looked to it to provide custom plastic extrusion equipment to meet a variety of consumer packaging needs.
The Brampton, Ontario-based company specializes in manufacturing custom blown film equipment used in the food and beverage, medical, personal care, health and beauty and electronic product markets.
“We're a small company in comparison to many of our competitors, however the reason we're able to sell to major brands is our specialty and leading technology in multi-layer barrier film,” President and CEO Gary Hughes says. “We've been around for more than 40 years, our brand is well-known if you're making blown film.”
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