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Prodomax Automation investing $2.9M to expand Barrie, Ont plant

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The project will create 20 new jobs at the Ontario manufacturer, which makes robotic systems for Ford, GM and several other major automakers.

An Ontario manufacturing automation firm based north of Toronto is bolstering its operations with an approximately $2.9 million expansion project.

Prodomax Automation Ltd., which supplies automated robotic systems to big-name automakers such as Ford, GM, BMW and Volkswagen, plans to add more floor space at its Barrie, Ont. plant, as well as bring in new equipment and staff.

The automation company will invest $2.7 million in the expansion while the provincial government will contribute $233,800 through the Southwestern Ontario Development Fund.

Along with putting the company in a better position to compete internationally, the project will create 20 new jobs in Barrie.

“Our company has come a long way since its inception in 1971 when it was founded in a garage in Barrie,” Carolyn McGoey Garvey, one of Prodomax’s two co-CEOs, said in a statement. “Through these partnerships, we are able to almost double our plant space to over 200,000 square feet and prepare ourselves for the next wave of automotive innovation.”

Prodomax expects to complete work on the expansion by fall 2020.

http://www.canadianmanufacturing.com/financing/prodomax-automation-investing-2-9m-expand-barrie-ont-plant-201954/

Canadian Manufacturing

September 25, 2017

Ontario and Prodomax Automation create 20 new jobs

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Prodomax will expand its current facility, invest in state-of-the-art equipment and improve its production capabilities.

Ontario is partnering with Prodomax Automation Ltd. to help expand its facilities, creating 20 new jobs and retaining 133 positions in Barrie.

Ann Hoggarth, MPP for Barrie, made the announcement today on behalf of Jeff Leal, minister Responsible for Small Business.

Prodomax Automation is an industrial engineering firm focused on designing complex manufacturing production systems for automotive companies specializing in robotic welding, laser cutting and material handling.

The company is one of the largest automation integrators in North America having delivered over a billion dollars worth of equipment since 1971 to its customers who in turn build parts for companies including Chrysler, Ford, GM, Mercedes, BMW, and Volkswagen.

With support from the Southwestern Ontario Development Fund, Prodomax will expand its current facility, invest in state-of-the-art equipment and improving its production capabilities. These enhancements will allow the company to expand its product line, take on more business and compete on a global stage.

Supporting business investment in southwest Ontario is part of our plan to create jobs, grow our economy and help people in their everyday lives.

Quotes

“Supporting manufacturers in their efforts to modernize and innovate is a top priority for our government. Our partnership with Prodomax is helping the company expand, create new jobs and grow the economy in Barrie, just one of many ways we are fostering an environment for the sector to succeed and grow.” – Jeff Leal, minister Responsible for Small Business

“I want to congratulate Prodomax Automations on all of their success over the last number of years. Creating these jobs makes our community stronger while enhancing the value of our business sector. The City of Barrie is full of endless possibilities. I am thrilled that this company has recognized its potential and chosen to expand their business operations here.” – Ann Hoggarth, MPP for Barrie

“Our company has come a long way since its inception in 1971 when it was founded in a garage in Barrie. Through these partnerships, we are able to almost double our plant space to over 200,000 square feet and prepare ourselves for the next wave of automotive innovation. Thank you to the provincial government for encouraging this initiative. On behalf of our Co-CEO Don Leslie and myself, the Prodomax Team is excited to be expanding our technology portfolio and embrace the opportunities that are presenting themselves in our industry.” – Carolyn McGoey Garvey, CO-CEO

Quick facts

Ontario is investing $233,800 from the Southwestern Ontario Development Fund for this project, supporting an additional investment of $2,689,200 from Prodomax Automation. The project is expected to be completed by October 2020.

Since 2013, the Southwestern Ontario Development Fund and Eastern Ontario Development Fund have helped to create and retain over 45,000 jobs and have attracted approximately $2.2 billion in investment. The funds cover up to 15 per cent of eligible project costs, with the recipient company funding the remainder from its own resources.

Ontario is accepting applications for the Southwestern Ontario Development Fund from qualified businesses that are growing and creating jobs. Sectors eligible for the fund include advanced manufacturing, food processing, life sciences, information and communications technology, tourism and cultural industries.

Ontario’s five-year, $650-million Business Growth Initiative is helping to grow the economy and create jobs by promoting an innovation-based economy, helping small companies scale-up and “modernizing regulations for businesses.

https://www.barrietoday.com/local-news/ontario-and-prodomax-automation-create-20-new-jobs-723950

Barrie Today

September 23, 2017

Ontario Supporting Jobs and Business Expansion in Barrie

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Prodomax Automation Investment to Support More Than 150 Jobs

Ontario is partnering with Prodomax Automation Ltd. to help expand its facilities, creating 20 new jobs and retaining 133 positions in Barrie.

Ann Hoggarth, MPP for Barrie, made the announcement today on behalf of Jeff Leal, Minister Responsible for Small Business.

Prodomax Automation is an industrial engineering firm focused on designing complex manufacturing production systems for automotive companies specializing in robotic welding, laser cutting and material handling. The company is one of the largest automation integrators in North America having delivered over a billion dollars’ worth of equipment since 1971 to its customers who in turn build parts for companies including Chrysler, Ford, GM, Mercedes, BMW, and Volkswagen.

With support from the Southwestern Ontario Development Fund, Prodomax will expand its current facility, invest in state-of-the-art equipment and improving its production capabilities. These enhancements will allow the company to expand its product line, take on more business and compete on a global stage.

Supporting business investment in southwest Ontario is part of our plan to create jobs, grow our economy and help people in their everyday lives.

Quick Facts

  • Ontario is investing $233,800 from the Southwestern Ontario Development Fund for this project, supporting an additional investment of $2,689,200 from Prodomax Automation. The project is expected to be completed by October 2020.
  • Since 2013, the Southwestern Ontario Development Fund and Eastern Ontario Development Fund have helped to create and retain over 45,000 jobs and have attracted approximately $2.2 billion in investment. The funds cover up to 15 per cent of eligible project costs, with the recipient company funding the remainder from its own resources.
  • Ontario is accepting applications for the Southwestern Ontario Development Fund from qualified businesses that are growing and creating jobs. Sectors eligible for the fund include advanced manufacturing, food processing, life sciences, information and communications technology, tourism and cultural industries.
  • Ontario’s five-year, $650-million Business Growth Initiative is helping to grow the economy and create jobs by promoting an innovation-based economy, helping small companies scale-up and “modernizing regulations for businesses.

Quotes

“Supporting manufacturers in their efforts to modernize and innovate is a top priority for our government. Our partnership with Prodomax is helping the company expand, create new jobs and grow the economy in Barrie, just one of many ways we are fostering an environment for the sector to succeed and grow.” Jeff Leal, Minister Responsible for Small Business

“I want to congratulate Prodomax Automations on all of their success over the last number of years. Creating these jobs makes our community stronger while enhancing the value of our business sector. The City of Barrie is full of endless possibilities. I am thrilled that this company has recognized its potential and chosen to expand their business operations here.” Ann Hoggarth, MPP for Barrie

“Our company has come a long way since its inception in 1971 when it was founded in a garage in Barrie. Through these partnerships, we are able to almost double our plant space to over 200,000 square feet and prepare ourselves for the next wave of automotive innovation. Thank you to the provincial government for encouraging this initiative. On behalf of our Co-CEO Don Leslie and myself, the Prodomax Team is excited to be expanding our technology portfolio and embrace the opportunities that are presenting themselves in our industry.” Carolyn McGoey Garvey, CO-CEO

https://news.ontario.ca/sb/en/2017/09/ontario-supporting-jobs-and-business-expansion-in-barrie.html

Ontario Newsroom

September 22, 2017

Which Barrie manufacturer benefited from provincial funding Friday?

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Prodomax Automation is getting a financial endorsement from the provincial government.

Ontario will invest $233,800 in the Barrie industrial engineering firm through the Southwestern Ontario Development Fund. Prodomax will use the money to expand its current facility, invest in state-of-the-art equipment, and improve production. These enhancements will allow the company to expand its product line and take on more business.

“Prodomax is a valued member of our business community,” Barrie MPP Ann Hoggarth said in an announcement at the Welham Road plant Sept. 22.

Two other local companies received money through the fund last year, she said.

he funds cover up to 15 per cent of eligible project costs, with the recipient company funding the remaining amount. This expansion has created 20 new full-time jobs.

Prodomax designs complex manufacturing production systems for automotive companies. It is one of the largest automation integrators in North America, having delivered over a billion dollars in equipment since 1971. Its customers then build parts for companies, including Chrysler, Ford, GM, Mercedes, BMW and Volkswagen.

“Our company has come a long way since it was founded in a Barrie garage,” Prodomax co-CEO Carolyn McGoey Garvey said. “We’ve put the funds to great use. They help us compete against the best in the world.”

https://www.orangeville.com/news-story/7571805-which-barrie-manufacturer-benefited-from-provincial-funding-friday-/

By Chris Simon, Barrie Advance

September 22, 2017

 

Barrie Company Growing Thanks To Provincial Funding

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Prodomax Automation Benefiting From Southwestern Ontario Development Fund

A local engineering firm is benefiting from a provincial betterment fund. Prodomax Automation is getting just over $233 thousand bucks to expand its operation, creating 20 jobs and retaining 133 here in Barrie. The money comes from the Southwestern Ontario Development Fund, and will provide state-of-the-art equipment and improving production capabilities. “Our company has come a long way since its inception in 1971 when it was founded in a garage in Barrie.” says CO-CEO Carolyn McGoey Garvey, “Through these partnerships, we are able to almost double our plant space to over 200,000 square feet and prepare ourselves for the next wave of automotive innovation. Thank you to the provincial government for encouraging this initiative.”

http://rock95.com/barrie-company-growing-thanks-to-provincial-funding/

By Brett Glover, Rock 95

September 22, 2017

Local businesses support FIRST Robotics event at Georgian

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On March 25 and 26, Georgian College is hosting Barrie’s largest ever robotics competition. Several local businesses are rallying to support the event.

Nissan is the presenting sponsor. Honda is the Georgian Team Pit and Machine Shop Sponsor. Prodomax is the food lounge and meal sponsor. InvestBarrie is an event partner. Advanced Motion and Controls Ltd is an event supporter.

The FIRST Robotics competition will pit 35 robots, built and programmed by teams of Ontario high school students, against one another. The teenaged teams are currently hard at work developing custom, 120-pound machines to achieve specific tasks like collecting fuel, installing gears, and climbing structures.

“It’s always great to see the community rallying behind young people,” says Stephanie Knight, Manager of Resource Development at Georgian College. “We’re particularly excited about this event because it allows high school students to develop skills in innovation, technology and teamwork – all values held by our local event sponsors.”

Sponsors aren’t just supporting the event financially, many are also providing volunteers – notably competition judges. Teams will receive awards for everything from great engineering to professionalism in the robot pit.

Approximately 100 volunteers are needed from March 24 to 26 to ensure the competition runs smoothly – March 24 is set-up day. Anyone interested in volunteering can visit firstroboticscanada.org.

More than 1,000 people – students, competitors, coaches, industry leaders, and supporters – will be at the Barrie Campus to participate in and watch the robots and young inventors in action.

http://www.georgiancollege.ca/news/local-businesses-support-first-robotics-event-at-georgian/

Georgian College

February 10, 2017

Leslie Tells how his Company Went From a Tiny Machine Builder to a Vehicle Underbody Specialist

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In an interview with Business Review Canada, Don Leslie, Vice President of Sales for Prodomax Automation discusses how his Company rebranded itself from a small specialized machine builder to a vehicle underbody specialist.

Prodomax Automation works very closely with its customers to come up with a manufacturing solution that’s going to work for them. “We use lean manufacturing principles to develop a manufacturing solution that’s going to work for them in their plan,” says Leslie in the article. “We consider components such as robot utilizations, operator utilizations, ergonomics and material flow products coming in and out of the cell, minimizing operator walk distances, and just employing a lot of those lean concepts into the systems that we’re designing for our customers.”

At Prodomax Automation, customer satisfaction entails executing a job on time and on budget, and a happy customer will come back and buy more equipment. “That’s really where the success of our company comes from is providing our customers with an economic solution and following through to ensure they have a successful start up for themselves,” Leslie adds.

https://www.prlog.org/11027228-leslie-tells-how-his-company-went-from-tiny-machine-builder-to-vehicle-underbody-specialist.html

By Chad Recchia, Press Release Distribution

October 26, 2010

Innovation abounds at Prodomax Automation Ltd.

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Innovation abounds at Prodomax Automation Ltd. where they find solutions to complex global manufacturing challenges.

The specialized industrial engineering firm focuses on designing complex manufacturing production systems for automotive companies producing structural underbody components.

“We design, build and install the production lines that assemble, join and weld the vehicle component parts,” Carolyn Garvey, co-chief executive officer, said. “Once we build and test the production line at our facility, we tear it down and ship it to other cities in Ontario, the U.S. or Mexico for installation at our customers’ plants.”

Clients include Honda, VW, Ford, BMW, Mercedes, GM, Toyota, Nissan and Fiat Chrysler, and the Barrie company has just completed a $20-million project for a new Alabama-based customer.

After evaluating management, engineering, operational and financial business processes in 2013, Ford named Prodomax second in North America and in the top five per cent globally. “In 2014 we were awarded as one of Canada’s best managed companies for the first time and have re-qualified every year since that time,” Garvey said. “We typically compete against companies that are two to five times larger than ourselves.”

Founded in 1971 by an ex-Nortel employee, it all began in a garage with two employees. Today, there are over 160 employees and a number of contractors armed with very technical and diverse skill set. “The range of career opportunities includes engineers and designers (process, mechanical, electrical, capital and fluid power), project managers, robotic technicians, controls specialists, process specialists, electricians, millwrights, tool and die makers, machinists, welders, machine builders, developers, assemblers, and network, HR and finance administrators. Check out our website — we are hiring!”

Prodomax offers those with a STEM (scientific, technology, engineering and mathematics) background the change to work in a uniquely interesting environment. “Most of our employees have a passion for automation, engineering, robots and/or automobiles — like-minded individuals working together have a lot to talk about.” Prodomax invests heavily in the next generation, working with colleges and universities offering co-op work terms and internships.

People are what sets Prodomax apart. “Our culture is supportive. New hires, apprentices, interns, co-ops, juniors, intermediates, seniors and management all work side by side helping each other to improve their skills and meet our project commitments.” All employees proudly adopt a “founder’s mentality” to ensure quality in every piece of equipment they build.

Garvey said their guiding principles — listen first; be accountable to each other; empower and excite; open communication and trust; keep it simple — are critical to their success. “Our employees are all subject matter experts within their fields. It is in our best interest to hear what they have to say in order to strengthen our decisions and the company overall. Creating opportunities for employees to grow within the company and promoting from within keeps everyone engaged. Employees participate in a profit sharing plan — they know that constantly challenging the status quo allows us to strive for best in class recognition by our customers.”

It’s challenging to find the talented, teamwork focused people to help grow Prodomax and meet market demand, however, Barrie’s exceptional work-life balance attracts individuals and young families who embrace the community.

In turn Prodomax supports many local charities such as Hospice Simcoe and Season’s Centre for Grieving Children, and sponsors events like Georgian College’s First robotics competition.

With a constant eye on global trends, Prodomax is currently updating their strategic plan and a team of technical employees is implementing new systems to streamline every facet of the business to ensure the company’s continued success.

https://www.simcoe.com/news-story/7248307-innovation-abounds-at-prodomax-automation-ltd-/

By Jennifer Harker, Barrie Advance

May 13, 2017

 

 

Cybergnomes Win Western Canada Regional Competition

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Prodomax is proud to sponsor CYBERGNOMES FIRST Robotics team from Stayner, Ontario, WINNERS OF THE WESTERN CANADA REGIONAL COMPETITION!

With 14 students, two school staff advisors and two industry mentors, the team just arrived home from Calgary April 7th, exhausted but elated, where they competed at the Olympic Oval in Calgary!

Click to watch the live stream link.

On April 6th, they joined up with two teams from Calgary and Fort McMurray to win the Western Canada Robotics Regional event making 2016 their most successful year yet.

With 3rd and 4th place finishes in Oshawa and North Bay, this win in Calgary qualifies the team to attend the World Championships in St. Louis, Missouri for the third straight year!

A SPIRIT OF COOPERATION IN COMPETITION

The win in Calgary went beyond medals however. Cybergnomes made very close connections with teams from around the world in their time there. Mentors and students from Australia, Israel, Mexico and the US met with and built friendships with the mentors and students from their team. These are connections that will stay with the students as they move on from high school.

Cybergnomes also worked closely with a number of young teams to help them program and refine their robots for competition, teaching and encouraging them. One example of this spirit of cooperation: Taylor Reevie, one of the Cybergnomes programming students, spent the day on Monday programming one rookie team’s robot from scratch. It worked so well that this team turned up on the opposing alliance in the Finals. Fortunately, Cybergnomes drive team was skilled enough to outmaneuver this new defensive challenge. If you watch the elimination matches look for team 6178.

TAKING ON THE WORLD…

Now for St. Louis and the World Championships from April 26 to May 1st. In 2014, the team advanced to the Semi-Finals on their field. Eight fields play at the Championships and the top three teams from each move on to Einstein Field for the final matches to crown a champion. Their goal this year is to play on Einstein Field.

Cybergnomes Robotics truly is a community effort and the success of the team is dependent upon donations and support from the community.

http://www.cybergnomes.ca/

Barrie Examiner – Prodomax … one of Canada’s best managed …

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1297673676287_ORIGINAL

Another chapter has been written in a Barrie business success story.

Prodomax Automation has been named one of Canada’s Best Managed Companies in 2014 for excellence in business performance by Deloitte, CIBC, Queen’s School of Business, MacKay CEO Forums and the National Post.

The award recognizes Canadian-owned and managed companies for their sustained growth, financial performance and management practices.

Prodomax is a specialized industrial engineering company that manufactures production systems for automotive companies which produce underbody components. It designs, builds and installs the production lines that assemble, join and weld vehicle component parts.

Prodomax executive vice-president and chief financial officer Carolyn Garvey said the award bodes well for the company’s profile in Canada and abroad.

“The Best Managed Company brand is recognized not just in Canada but in other countries as well,” she said. “It gives us credibility similar to what an ISO certification (International Organization for Standardization) would provide and opens doors to new markets for us.”

The company was nominated by an official at Export Development Canada, which has provided financing and credit tools to facilitate Prodomax customers in other countries buying its equipment, she added.

Garvey said the award has also “energized” the company’s work force.

“We have many long-term employees that are so pleased that all their years of hard work have been recognized with this prestigious award,” she said. “Employees and management work together to create a balance that incorporates the most sustainable decision for the long term. This allows us to build upon previous successes and ensures we are always working towards our goals of remaining very competitive in winning work and becoming a better place to work.”

Prodomax was founded in 1971 by a former Nortel tool and die maker and was acquired in 1995 by Sab Ravalli (now president and CEO) and David Crook.

To date, more than a $1 billion of its automation technology has been delivered worldwide

“Over 20 years ago we set out to build a team who believed in the goal and vision to be best in class,” Ravalli said. “Our people at every level of the company execute to deliver on what we promise.  Receiving this award is a wonderful testament to our employees’ many years of striving to ‘do better at what we do best’.”

Garvey said Barrie offers employees an excellent work/life balance.

“Working parents with children are closer to home and have more time to play,” she said. “Skiing, golfing, kite surfing, sky diving are just some of the activities that our employees can do not just on weekends – but after work on any given week night.

“The challenge for us is hiring senior, experienced personnel in our industry in the Barrie area since there are few automation companies that all need the engineering, electrical, robotics, controls, millwrights, tool and die makers, machinists and welding expertise.”

The outlook for other Barrie companies is also looking rosy.

According to a Manpower Employment Outlook Survey, Barrie-area employers anticipate a positive hiring climate for the second quarter of 2015.

“Survey data reveals that 17% of employers plan to hire for the upcoming quarter (April to June), while 3% anticipate cutbacks,” said Tara Benson, of Manpower’s Barrie office.

Another 77% of employers plan to maintain their current staffing levels in the upcoming quarter, while 3% are unsure of their hiring intentions, she added.

“With seasonal variations removed from the data, Barrie’s second quarter net employment outlook of 14% is a significant increase of 20 percentage points when compared to the previous quarterly outlook,” said Benson. “It is also a one percentage point increase from the outlook reported during the same time last year, indicating a favourable hiring pace for the upcoming months.”

http://www.thebarrieexaminer.com/2015/03/10/prodomax-in-barrie-named-one-of-canadas-best-managed-companies

By Ian McInroy, Barrie Examiner