Canadian Plastics

New company to make composite utility poles

A newly formed Canadian subsidiary will manufacture polyurethane composite utility poles out of a facility in Tilbu...

March 5, 2007   Canadian Plastics

A newly formed Canadian subsidiary will manufacture polyurethane composite utility poles out of a facility in Tilbury, Ont.

Global Composite Manufacturing Inc. (GCM), a subsidiary of Tilbury, Ont.-based Global Vehicle Systems, will manufacture composite RStandard brand utility pole modules under a contract with Calgary, Alta.-based RS Technologies. All production for the next 24 months has been sold to HD Supply, a division of Home Depot, in a contract valued at approximately $60 million Cdn.The RStandard poles are made from polyurethane resin, a cost-effective, durable composite material that is lightweight and immune to rot, corrosion and pests.

RS Technologies developed the new modular utility transmission pole product, but GCMs experience will be used to refine the manufacturing process.

“Their internal skill sets were not focused on manufacturing,” said GCMs president David Butler. “They were focused more on research and development.”

The $10 million worth of manufacturing equipment that is being provided by RS Technologies is going to be reengineered and redeveloped to better suit the production needs of the contract.

“[The equipment] has never performed to the level of expectations that RS Technologies originally had,” said Butler. “Our job is to rely on the services and expertise of Global Vehicle to remanufacture the equipment.”

The equipment was designed for two lines of production, and the company hopes to have three lines running by the end of December 2008. A further three lines are expected to be added by 2011.

GCM has been looking at a particular 74,000 square foot facility in Tilbury that would provide the company with the ability to expand. The location would also come with an additional nine acres of space, allowing for future expansion.

The new facility will generate approximately 100 permanent positions in 2007, as well as about 50 temporary jobs initially required to start-up production. The move to Ontario will also allow RS Technologies to address the lack of available labour in Alberta.

“It is such a boom province with the oil sands that just finding staffing has been an ongoing challenge for them,” said Butler. “When you have high staff turnover, repeatability of quality becomes a problem.”

The plant will produce utility pole modules ranging from 35 to 135 feet in length. Butler anticipates an annual output of nearly 14 million kilograms of RStandard product.


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