Cambridge Brass plant tour including City councillors Shannon Asdhade, Frank Monteiro and Cambridge MPP Kathryn McGarry.ambridge Brass general manager Ed Hesselink, left, leads a tour of the plant Friday for visitors, including, from left, city councillors Shannon Adshade and Frank Monteiro, and Cambridge MPP Kathryn McGarry
Waterloo Region Record
CAMBRIDGE ? A century-old
Cambridge business is investing solidly in its future.
Brass?will invest about $5 million over the next five years in
its Orion Place facility, aided by a provincial grant of more than $380,000
from the Southwestern Ontario Development Fund.
"I look at this as an
opportunity to improve our processes, improve our technology," general
manager Ed Hesselink said Friday. "Our goal is to grow and to compete and
to be a leader in the waterworks industry."
Cambridge Brass produces
municipal water supply components for the North American market, making recent
inroads into Mexico and the Caribbean.
The investments could see
another 18 or so employees added to a workforce that presently numbers over
100, Hesselink said. "We've made a commitment to increasing jobs."
The new investments in equipment,
processes and automation will improve efficiency and expand the plant's
capabilities, allowing the company to bring in new work, he said.
It should also increase the
firm's flexibility and enable it to be more responsive to customer requests,
Hesselink said. "In order to remain competitive, you've got to bring in
Hesselink likened one of
the plant's newest pieces of equipment, a high-precision CNC lathe, to
something straight out of the space age.
The high-tech machines and
robotics being introduced at the plant represent the 21st-century face of an
industry that still sees glowing molten metal poured into moulds.
tremendously from where we were before," Hesselink noted.
Cambridge Brass traces its
roots to the early years of the 20th century, with the establishment of the
Galt Brass Manufacturing Co. Ltd. in 1905 and the Canadian Brass Co. Ltd. two
In 1969, Wallaceburg Brass
purchased Galt Brass, becoming Waltec Industries. Waltec purchased Canadian
Brass a decade later, and in 1980, the two facilities combined and moved to the
new Orion Place plant under the new Cambridge Brass name.
The 100,000-square foot
plant has the capability of producing eight million pounds of finished product
a year, Hesselink said.
The company also has a
distribution centre in British Columbia.
Today, Cambridge Brass is
owned by the A.Y. McDonald Manufacturing Co., based in Dubuque, Iowa.
"It's a very
impressive facility," said Cambridge MPP Kathryn McGarry, who visited the
plant on Friday to announce the provincial grant. "This has been a stable
workplace for many years in our community."
McGarry was joined for the
announcement and a tour by a number of municipal politicians.
Hesselink said the
investments will also give employees the opportunity to work with the latest
equipment and technologies. "If individuals develop, the benefit to the
company is tremendous, too."