By Anthony Capkun
January 21, 2016 – With the goal of increasing productivity and reducing production costs, Stelpro—a Quebec-based manufacturer of integrated heating solutions—is investing $750,000 to automate baseboard manufacturing at its Saint-Bruno-de-Montarville facility.
“Of all the methods we have used to remain competitive, the [robotification] and automation of our manufacturing processes have taken on greater and greater importance in our business strategy,” said Francois Séguin, VP of operations. “Our plant is operating at full capacity; we are manufacturing over 800,000 units annually in St-Bruno, and improving productivity is not just an option, it’s a must.”
Séguin also points to the falling Canadian dollar as another reason “for us to react quickly in order to remain competitive and maintain acceptable margins”.
“Our employees are the key to our success and, for us, automating manufacturing procedures is not synonymous with cutting jobs,” added Séguin. “Thanks to the savings resulting from increased productivity, we’ll be able to keep current jobs, as certain employees will be reassigned to other duties within the plant.”
In the near-term, Séguin feels robotification may even create some specialized jobs, such as programmer or automation engineer.
The new equipment is already functional, and installation is expected to be completed by the end of January.
— Photo from St-Bruno facility courtesy Stelpro