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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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Circumference Technology Services

Manufacturers are regularly being reminded of the need to leverage the benefits of IIOT and disruptive Industry 4.0 technologies and processes. For most small to mid-sized manufacturers (SMEs) this is perceived as a daunting task suited only to large corporations like Siemens or automotive OEMs. In reality, smaller manufacturers will benefit by taking steps to move in the direction of Industry 4.0, and will uncover significant opportunities as well. Circumference Technology Services (Circumference) helps SMEs take the right steps to move in this direction, and to develop their data-driven capabilities and smart factory approaches without need for a massive capital budget.

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Innovative Automation

Located in Barrie, Ontario, Innovative Automation Inc. is one of the most creative manufacturers of custom automation solutions in North America. It is Innovative Automation’s Vision to “Be the first choice provider of automation solutions to global leaders in manufacturing”. To ensure that it is equipped to handle even the most complex machine solutions required by its customers, Innovative Automation has an electrical systems design team, a mechanical design team, a programming team, and a mechanical build team.

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Most Ontarians know the town of Collingwood for being a four-seasons, world-class tourist destination. However, you might be surprised to discover that it is also home to one of the top architectural glass manufacturing companies in the world. The company, AGNORA, fabricates the largest architectural glass in North America at its 280,000 square foot facility right on Mountain Road in Collingwood.

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Select Tool Inc.

Select Tool Inc. is a full-service supplier to original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) and tier 1 and tier 2 suppliers. Based out of Windsor, Ontario, this privately owned company began as a fixture and sub-contract machine shop in 1996.

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FIRST Robotics Canada

One of the biggest challenges for manufacturers in Ontario is the lack of qualified science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) graduates pursuing careers in manufacturing. The problem is not that Ontario is short on bright and motivated students, but that the talent pool containing those with the proper training needed for success in manufacturing is small, while the demand for these individuals is large.

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Hamill Machine Company Inc.

Just off the Queen Elizabeth Way and minutes away from the world-famous Niagara Falls lies Hamill Machine Company Inc. (Hamill), a machine shop known for its perseverance and innovative products. Hamill is a diversified small manufacturer of custom machined parts and other machinery for a wide range of industries. Best known for its wine racking systems, microgreens harvesting equipment, and custom machined parts at present, Hamill has built its reputation on providing creative solutions for a variety of businesses in the Niagara Region.

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