By Brad Bamford, President, Automatic Coating Limited
I grew up in a family business, founded by my dad in the 1950s. When I was a kid, our shop in Scarborough only had a handful of people and we mainly rewired motors for appliances.
Fast forward 50 years and we’ve perfected many powder and liquid coating techniques we used to apply on household appliances to become a leader in industrial corrosion coating in North America.
Feeling the auto pinch
Automatic Coating now employs 75 people and we supply blasting and coating services to the U.S. and Canadian Navy, nuclear power plants, wind turbine operators, pipeline companies, the mining sector and other industries.
Our business has grown and flourished. But this was not always the case.
Around 2008, several large car manufacturers we worked for began moving their operations to China, Mexico and the southern United States. This was a real blow for our business. We needed to find new clients. That’s when we started working with TransCanada, doing coating work for some of their pipelines.
Pipeline industry gives boost to family business
This work with TransCanada came at just the right time for us and it was the start of a partnership that goes beyond business contracts.
TransCanada has encouraged us to enhance our innovation solution lab in our shop. We’ve invested heavily to develop advanced tools such as an automated coating system for pipe welds that uses no thinner, which is better for the environment. We can also test our coating techniques to ensure they can withstand harsh conditions – extreme weather, humidity, and soil and rock abrasion.
Our collaboration with the pipeline industry has not only allowed us to replace the clients we lost in the 2008 downturn. It also made us bigger and more innovative.
Energy East will mean 30+ new jobs for Automatic Coating
In fact, Energy East means we’d be able to hire eight to 12 people to work in our field-coating team, a similar number in our shop for new pipe coating and up to 10 people to design and build new equipment. This would be a game changer for us.
That’s why we’re excited and optimistic about the positive impact Energy East will have on Ontario manufacturing and jobs – for us and for a lot of local businesses.
Our products and services are in demand across North America and we take pride in the fact that our family business is exporting its expertise while creating jobs here, in Canada.
If your company wants to work on the Energy East Pipeline Project, contact us on our Contractors and Vendors page.
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