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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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RBR Ltd.

Located in Ottawa, Ontario, RBR Ltd. designs and manufactures customizable oceanographic instruments. By listening to customer needs and feedback, RBR creates the right instruments for all of its customers, satisfying their specific budgets and applications. Additionally, the company offers high-quality support services to its customers throughout their product purchase, deployment, and maintenance. RBR is recognized within the industry as an innovative product developer and technological leader, and the company heavily invests in research and development (R&D) to maintain this reputation.

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Giatec Scientific Inc.

Located in Ottawa, Ontario, Giatec Scientific Inc. (Giatec) strives to revolutionize the concrete industry by providing technologies that make concrete testing faster, safer, and more efficient. The company produces concrete testing solutions with smart capabilities, meaning its products collect and analyze data before presenting the results to users in order to help them make faster, more informed decisions. Applications of these products include wireless monitoring of concrete properties, accurate condition assessment of infrastructure, and durability-based quality control of concrete.

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SmartCone Technologies Inc.

Ottawa is increasingly considered one of the hottest and most diverse tech hubs in North America. One of the companies contributing to this wave of excitement is SmartCone Technologies Inc., headquartered in the Stittsville area southwest of Ottawa’s Kanata suburb.

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Laurysen Kitchens

Thriving family-owned and -operated businesses are becoming increasingly rare in the global economy. Yet Laurysen Kitchens Ltd. (Laurysen Kitchens) is the exception to this rule. Located in Stittsville, Ontario, Laurysen Kitchens is a family company that has been manufacturing cabinetry since 1970. Its major customers include many large home builders in Ottawa, as well as local retail consumers and renovators. In addition, the company has an extensive network of 40 active dealers—ranging from Ottawa to Windsor and Sault Ste. Marie—all of which sell its products.

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Heliene uses its highly automated 30,000-square-foot facility on Allens Side Road and just-in-time delivery model to offer the best solar photovoltaic modules and customer service in the market. The company is also about to open a state-of-the-art production facility in Minnesota to service the American market, which company president Martin Pochtaruk calls the “newest and most modern factory in the United States.”

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Parsons ADL

With an offering of more than 1200 products, Parsons ADL (Parsons) manufactures the largest selection of home health care products in Canada. The company strives to create innovative solutions to improve the quality of life for the ageing population, as well as individuals with disabilities. Located in New Tecumseth, Ontario, Parsons ADL supports the Canadian manufacturing industry by sourcing the majority of its materials from Canadian manufacturers. Over the past 30 years, Parsons has developed relationships with more than 900 dealers and distributors around the world, allowing the company to offer its innovative products worldwide.

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