SRP doing its bit to rebuild Canadian manufacturing sector
August 28, 2014 | By HPAC Magazine
Superior Radiant Products (SRP) held the grand opening of its 50,000 sq. ft. Barton Street location in Stoney Creek, ON, on August 27. The designer and manufacturer of infrared heating solutions for the residential and commercial market moved to the scalable LEAN facility early this year. The move from its original location on Millen Road marks a commitment to an aggressive growth plan. Established in 1995 with four employees, the company now employs 60 people worldwide.
“We have come a long way,” said Kevin Merritt, SRP president. “SRP shipped its first order to Prince George, BC almost 19 years ago to the day. We have just received CE approval so we can ship products produced here to Europe.” The company is also ISO 9001:2008 certified.
Nigel Southway of Nexus Consulting noted that the new location is about double the size of the Millen Road site. Southway is providing SRP with guidance as it adopts its LEAN Build to Order capability. This requires flexibility on the floor and a cross trained workforce. “What we are doing today, we won’t be doing tomorrow,” stated Southway.
He went on to say that SRP started the process of bringing production back to Canada in January 2014 with its portable LPG model, which entered the market in 2011. Fifteen hundred heaters sold in two years but Made in China was not sustainable for the upscale North American market. “There were quality control and shipping issues,” noted Southway. The Made in Canada model will launch in October 2014.
The decision to bring manufacturing home and remain in the Hamilton area garnered great praise from officials at the grand opening. Hamilton’s Mayor Bob Bratina commented that he had just been at an event at the city’s new football stadium where there was a lot of media coverage. “They should be here. This is for providing living wages, building our city—the other stuff is nice to have but this is where the rubber meets the road.”