An Ontario tool and moldmaker that services the North American auto industry is investing $15 million in its operations, and the provincial government is kicking in $2.25 million to offset the cost.
Windsor-based Cavalier Tool & Manufacturing Ltd., a global manufacturer of mid- to large-size molds used in several sectors, including automotive, said it in a statement it will “adopt new robotic and automated technology to increase production at their Windsor facility and create 30 new jobs.”
“This will strengthen supply chains across Canada by helping companies in the automotive, agricultural, manufacturing, recreational and commercial sectors reduce their reliance on imported tools and molds,” the statement read.
Ontario Minister of Economic Development Vic Fedeli said in the same statement that Cavalier’s investment will help “manufacture products that would otherwise have to be sourced outside of Ontario.”
Tim Galbraith, general manager of Cavalier, said Cavalier managed to “take the labour element out of it and automated” the work that used to be done by Cavalier overseas.
He wouldn’t say how many jobs it took to do the same work across the ocean.
“Let me put it to you a little bit differently; the fact that we're building this here means that we're buying steel in Canada. So, the steel people are working. The fact that we're doing it here, means the [steel] cutters are working. And I’ve got to have programmers to program this machine."
“There's a lot of services, as well as people, you don't see here [at Cavalier].
He said the “trickle down effect” benefits the community. The new expansion was nine years in the making as Cavalier executives tried to cut enough costs to bring the work home.
Galbraith didn't name automotive clients or say whether the new technology would service automotive customers.
Trevor Jones, member of provincial parliament for Chatham-Kent—Leamington, indicated the new technology and manufacturing will support automotive.
“We are actively expanding our automotive supply chain by fostering an environment conducive to local manufacturers, such as Cavalier Tool & Manufacturing to make investments,” he said in a statement.
Galbraith said about 10 per cent of the company’s production is in the auto sector.
“In this [tool-and-die] industry, we have to maintain a multi-market discipline,” he said. “We do that to mitigate the ups and the downs of any given industry and it's worked very well for us.”
Galbraith said the EV revolution hasn’t affected business much.
“From a mold builders point of view, anybody who builds a vehicle needs plastic. So, from a mold builders point of view, anybody that needs plastic components needs a mold. Whether it's an EV or internal combustion, it doesn't matter,” he said.
The province is providing the funds through the Advanced Manufacturing and Innovation Competitiveness stream of its Regional Development Program.
Fedeli, Jones and Essex MPP Anthony Leardi were scheduled to speak at and tour Cavalier at 10 a.m. ET on Thursday.