K-Trail, a trailer manufacturer in Montmagny, Quebec, Canada, recently used a government grant to acquire a robotic welding cell it says will increase production capacity.
The new equipment will help make K-Trail one of the top trailer manufacturers in Eastern Canada, in welding complete and assembled dumper bodies, the company said.
“Canadian manufacturers face many challenges as they evolve with competitors from around the world,” said Maxime Roy, K-Trail’s co-owner and sales director. “To be able to compete internationally, we must turn toward new technologies and innovation to manufacture quality products. I am pleased and proud to be able to count on a partner such as Canada Economic Development to support us as we grow and make this technological shift.”
The funding—a non-repayable contribution of $370,035 administered through the Canada Economic Development for Quebec Regions (CED) agency—was announced by Diane Lebouthillier, Canada’s Minister of National Revenue, on behalf of Mélanie Joly, Minister of Economic Development and Official Languages. It falls under CED’s Steel and Aluminum Initiative (SAI).
“By setting ourselves a strategy to boost businesses active in the steel and aluminum sectors, we have chosen to help those who are innovating to find new ways to create value and seeking to conquer new markets,” Lebouthillier said. “The financial contribution granted to K-Trail represents concrete support for an SME (small and medium-sized enterprises) that has demonstrated its know-how and willingness to ensure growth, in addition to creating well-paying jobs for Canadians.”
K-Trail submitted a project to purchase a two-station robotic welding cell, equipment that will be installed and integrated into its existing production line. As part of the Industry 4.0 shift the SME launched in 2017, this project will, among other things, open up the possibility to reassign staff to the development of new products or to other production lines, enabling K-Trail to make up ground lost against US competitors at the level of technology integration.
Acquiring the equipment will boost productivity, make it possible to conclude partnerships with local businesses specializing in steel laser cutting, and lead to the creation of 20 jobs by 2022 in Montmagny, according to the company and officials.
Founded in 1979, K-Trail specializes in manufacturing hot-dip galvanized steel trailers for cars and trucks. The third-generation family-run SME designs a range of products, including dumpers, drawbar platforms and gooseneck trailers, for snowmobiles, ATVs and utility vehicles.
“We are here to support Canadian workers in the steel and aluminum sectors, as well as businesses that play an important role in regional economies,” Joly said. “The Canadian SMEs we invest in through the SAI produce or use these metals, and we are keen to help them to innovate to enhance their productivity, expand, conquer new markets and create good jobs.”