LONDON MAT INDUSTRIES
Although few visitors even notice them, safety mats are one of the most important items at any amusement park. These mats use sensors to determine whether people are in unsafe locations around machinery (such as a fair ride), and can stop the operating machinery immediately in order to prevent accidents. Located in London, Ontario, London Mat Industries Ltd. (London Mat) supplies these sensor mats to clients in the transit, car wash, and safety industries.
Robert Keats, general manager of London Mat, reveals a sample rubber mat with a switch built into it. Upon detecting weight on the mat, the device can be used to do anything from shut down an amusement park ride to count the number of people boarding a bus. Keats pulls out another mat resembling sleek wood flooring, and excitedly demonstrates, “They can also have very unique finishes.” He continues, “We don’t make what we want; we listen to our clients and make what our clients want and need. [This particular] client had an advanced manufacturing facility with beautiful wood flooring and wanted safety mats fitting the design too.” Keats is an electrician by trade, but held many sales positions before joining London Mat in 2001.
London Mat also adapts the electrical components of its mats, depending on the project. Keats demonstrates how another set of mats fits together like a puzzle, leaving no dangling wires. “This allowed our client to minimize their installation costs,” he says. Keats has supplied mats to advanced manufacturing facilities with very powerful equipment. The safety industry has been a high-growth sector for London Mat because government safety requirements for facilities have become increasingly stringent. Particularly with respect to amusement parks,
LONDON MAT PLAYS A KEY ROLE IN HELPING WORKERS AND CONSUMERS REMAIN SAFE AND ENJOY ALL OF THE COTTON CANDY, ROLLER COASTERS, AND LAUGHTER THAT THESE EVENTS HAVE TO OFFER.
Now owned by an American company, Tapeswitch Corporation (which is part of a group of privately-owned companies), London Mat has come a long way in its 50 years of operations, and continuously adapts to cater to its clients’ needs. Keats also emphasizes that the company is fortunate to have the strong, skilled team that it currently employs.
What’s next for London Mat? Keats states, “Firms need to flexible, just like Canadian leaders, Linamar and Magna International Inc. London Mat has a diverse portfolio supplying mats to clients from a variety of industries, and [it] will continue to do so. As the safety industry continues to grow and new client relationships develop, we will keep competing.”
Learn more about London Mat by visiting their website.
Published on April 5, 2016
London Mat Industries Ltd (London Mat) is the manufacturer of the world-famous “MATEX” Treadle Switches, used on buses, trains and trams for door safety, opening and passenger counting. As well as “Safety Zone” mats for protection around hazardous machinery and robotics. They export more than 65 percent of production to 14 countries worldwide. Count as customers well known firms such as Mercedes Benz, Renault, Volvo, M.A.N., GMC, Van Hoole, and 3M.
Headquarters: 635 Newbold St, London, Ontario, N6E 2T8
- Robert (Bob) Keats, General Manager
Year established: 1972
Number of employees: 24
Plant Size: 100,000 sq. ft.
Line of business
NAICS: 335315 – Switchgear and Switchboard, and Relay and Industrial Control Apparatus Manufacturing
- Treadle switches and safety mats for exit doors in transit industry (busses, trains and trams) and safety zone mats for machinery and robotics safety
- Pressure sensitive mats (aka floor switches or electric mats) used for door automation in public and private buildings
Customers: Agriculture, construction, environment, information technology and telecommunications, manufacturing, medical/biotechnology/chemical, mining/petroleum/gas, service industry, transportation, aerospace, defense, automotive, pulp and paper, plastics and rubber products, primary and fabricated metal, electrical equipment
Exports: Main export market is in Europe, due to its large bus industry market share. Exports also to U.S., Australia, Mexico, China, etc.
R&D, Skills and Educational needs
Employees: London Mat is constantly looking for skilled workers with technical ability that understand both products and customers needs. Can be hard to find good people – the ones with strong work ethic, right motivation, ability to learn.
London Mat is nearly 50 years old and now is owned by an American company, Tapeswitch, which is part of a group of privately owned companies.
Tapeswitch Corporation was founded in 1959. The first product manufactured was a ribbon switch, which was invented by the founder of Tapeswitch, Robert Koening, and his wife Sondra, who was a brilliant mechanical engineer.
Over the decades, the simple and elegant ribbon switch design has evolved into many new and improved variations. In addition, ribbon switch has been incorporated into a wide range of switching and sensing product lines, such as safety mats, sensing edges and bumpers, touchpads, and even vehicle sensing devices.
Many competitors both in the Global and Domestic markets.
- No formal partnerships with educational institutions
- Highly involved in Safety and Parks Industries
- Participated in trade shows, which was helpful with the exposure of the business
- Low Canadian dollar helps with exports
- Employs a group of hard-working employees
- Limited access to Canadian government’s programs
- Continuous new opportunities in Quebec and Western Canada for the safety mat industry
- Innovative technology
- Ability to meet customers’ needs
- Interact with customers directly
- Senior management group’s extensive industrial experience