MANUFACTURING PROFILES

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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. A team of student researchers visited a number of Ontario manufacturing ‘success’ stories. Here are the students’ profiles of the firms they visited and the people they met.

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e.Hofmann Plastics Inc.

Innovation and automation. Paul Kalia, chief executive officer at e.Hofmann Plastics Inc. (Hofmann Plastics), notes that these two ideals are the keys to running any successful manufacturing business, and the aims that drive his company’s strategy. The company is in what Kalia refers to as the “rigid packaging business”. It manufactures plastic buckets for industrial markets (such as the orange buckets seen at Home Depot) and plastic packaging for the food and beverage industry. However, Kalia does not see Hofmann Plastics as a plastics company; instead, he views it as a technology company that is constantly innovating and looking for new ways to solve problems.

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The Southern Ontario Network for Advanced Manufacturing Innovation (SONAMI)

The Southern Ontario Network for Advanced Manufacturing Innovation (SONAMI) is a network that partners with post-secondary research institutions and offers state of the art equipment, facilities and expertise to small and medium-sized firms. SONAMI focuses on these smaller firms in the manufacturing sector because they often have limited cash flow, and may not have the capacity to invest in research and development that will lead to more innovative products or processes. One of SONAMI’s goals is to connect these firms with a post-secondary institution that can successfully complete the firms’ projects.

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Kropf Industrial Inc.

The town of Parry Sound, Ontario and the surrounding Muskoka region is one of the most famous boating areas in Canada, if not the world. Therefore, it seems fitting that it is also home to a leading marine hydraulic equipment and dock systems manufacturer, Kropf Industrial Inc. Kropf Industrial is a family-owned and -operated company that is run out of two facilities just south of Parry Sound, comprising a total of 40,000 square feet.

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J&S Manufacturing

J&S Manufacturing (J&S) is a successful mining equipment manufacturer located in Spanish, Ontario. The company’s motto is “Built to Perform,” conveying the fact that all of its equipment is durable and dependable. J&S’s in-house design capabilities allow the company to manufacture mobile equipment as well as technical custom equipment, transforming customers’ ideas into usable solutions. The quality of the equipment manufactured, along with the company’s ability to customize products, has helped J&S to sell its equipment around the world.

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Hybrid Power Solutions

Established in 2015, Hybrid Power Solutions (HPS) is a company based out of Mississauga, Ontario. HPS was founded in response to the growing need for safer, cleaner, and more efficient energy solutions within industrial markets. To address this need, the company produces powerful lithium ion batteries that are compact, portable, and extremely easy to use. Lithium ion batteries have been available in consumer markets for many years, but HPS has geared their systems to respond to growing need expressed by industrial customers.

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Linear Transfer Automation Inc.

Based out of Barrie, Ontario, Linear Transfer Automation Inc. (Linear) is a global supplier of press transfer automation, blank feed systems, and press to press automation. Linear is able to customize its automation solutions to fit specific equipment geometry and requirements for its customers, regardless of how old the equipment is or how the equipment is organized on the shop floor.

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