There is lots of gloom and doom in the news around manufacturing these days. It seems that hardly a day goes by without a story about a plant closure. Yet, the reality on the ground is very different. It turns out there are lots of innovative Ontario manufacturers that are operating successfully below the radar. In a joint project for the Lawrence Centre and the Trillium Network, a team of student researchers visited a number of Ontario manufacturing ‘success’ stories this summer. Here are the students’ profiles of the firms they visited and the people they met.

 

Structural Panels Inc.

Structural Panels Inc. (SPI) is a Baltimore, Ontario-based manufacturer of high-quality, steel-skinned insulated sandwich panels that are ideal for walls, partitions, ceilings, and value-added projects. With its mission to provide its clients with customized products, solutions, and support for all their building needs, SPI has experienced substantial success, especially since it is the only company in ...

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Tri City Materials Ltd. & Tri City Ready Mix Limited

With its goal of producing and delivering high-quality concrete quickly and efficiently to customers, Tri City is a prime example of a successful local, family-owned business. Serving the Kitchener-Waterloo, Guelph, and Cambridge area for over 30 years now, Tri City was first established in 1986 by Harold Esbaugh as Tri City Ready Mix. Harold built ...

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Sciencetech Inc.

Operating out of its relatively unassuming London, Ontario facility, Sciencetech Inc. is one of the world’s leading suppliers of spectroscopy instruments. The firm has supplied spectroscopy equipment to the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), the European Space Agency, and a multitude of other cutting-edge research institutes. Sciencetech was established in 1985 by former employees of ...

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Arctic Snowplows

Canada is known around the world for its famously snowy winters, so it seems appropriate that a Canadian company has stepped up to meet the country’s unique challenges, labelling its products as “tougher than a Canadian winter.” Arctic Snowplows (Arctic) was founded in 1969 in London, Ontario as a division of London Machinery.  Arctic began ...

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Cardinal Fine Cabinetry/McKaskell-Haindl Design Build Inc.

When touring the factory floor of Cardinal Fine Cabinetry (Cardinal), one can clearly observe a production process that is finely tuned for maximum efficiency while also retaining the craft and artisanship of traditional cabinet making. Skilled staff members apply deep concentration at every stage of the production process, whether operating computer numerical control (CNC) machines, ...

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Heritage Coffee Co.

“There aren’t many companies of our size in the coffee business,” says chief operating officer of Heritage Coffee Co. Ltd. Brian Martell. The coffee roasting industry has long been dominated by large multinational suppliers (such as Nestle and Folgers), with minute niche roasteries serving a small population of discerning customers. However, due to its strong ...

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