Expansion and technology updates will help rural metal manufacturer punch above its weight
Recipient: Wellington Perforated Sheet & Plate Inc.
Total funding allocated: $1.5 million
Like many longstanding industries in North America, the steel sector has transformed greatly over the past 30 years. The growing global marketplace, where steel and steel parts are sourced from around the world, has inspired one rural southern Ontario metal manufacturer to change the way it does business so it can better compete.
Formed in 1995, Wellington Perforated Sheet and Plate (WPSP) manufactures a variety of mild steel, galvanized steel, stainless steel and aluminum plates for a wide range of industries, including mining and aggregate, food and beverage, agriculture and automotive. Over the last 25 years, the company has become a major player in the manufacturing of perforated metals in Canada. No longer the “buy and sell” distributer it once was, WPSP saw increased sales and a rising demand for their services, and transitioned to bulk manufacturing as well as creating customer orders for just-in-time delivery. With a $1.5-million contribution from FedDev Ontario, WPSP is taking its next big step.
The company is using the funds to purchase and install new equipment, featuring a 500-tonne advanced perforating press with a complete finishing line. The addition will enable WPSP to process up to 80 percent of its products in house, resulting in a shorter production lead-time, helping to meet the increase in demand they have experienced. A new eco-friendly degreasing line and a laser cutter are other acquisitions that will help WPSP increase its product offerings and custom orders, as well as reach new markets. WPSP will also hire and train five new full-time employees.
“In order for our company to be able to compete here at home, we must be able to deliver quality products at the right price and, more importantly, at the right time,” says Brent Renton, the president and founder of Wellington Perforated Sheet & Plate Inc. in Fergus, Ontario.
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“Being a local manufacturer of these highly specialized parts gives us a great advantage versus delivery from overseas, Mexico and even the U.S.,” adds Renton. “We feel that by being here and being able to produce what Canadian industries require, makes the entire industry stronger.”
Renton says that while punching holes in metal sheets may not sound exciting, perforated metals have a wide market across many applications because of their strength, durability and aesthetic characteristics. Airports and other large and loud environments require noise control products, such as perforated acoustic panels that absorb sound waves. Homes and workplaces benefit from perforated metal filtration system products, such as HEPA filters for cleaning the air. And the mining industry relies on variable-gauge screening plates for both large and fine particle removal. He says that WPSP has even been commissioned for large architectural projects, including supplying metal railing filler panels for the Daniels Waterfront Lighthouse Towers project in Toronto.
“The company’s long-term goal always has been to become Canada’s supplier of perforated metals,” says Renton. “So what is really exciting is to think of all the projects we will now be capable of accomplishing!”
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