The advanced manufacturing sector relies on the use and coordination of information, automation, computation, software, sensing, and networking to make use of cutting edge materials and emerging capabilities. This involves both new ways to manufacture existing products, and the manufacture of new products emerging from new advanced technologies.
AGNORA is a customer service company that fabricates the largest glass in North America. It is also quickly becoming one of the largest employers in the Advanced Manufacturing sector in Collingwood. AGNORA has been recognized as one of the top manufacturers in its field world-wide. US Glass magazine has named founder & owner Richard Wilson one of the Industry’s most influential people. Read more about Richard Wilson and AGNORA here.
AGNORA was launched in 2011 from assets of the old Barber Glass plant with 6 employees; now, not even 5 years old, this homegrown Collingwood company employs over 60 people and continues to grow, creating numerous local jobs for partners and vendors. A few of the initial projects were sourced locally, including replacement glass for the Collingwood library and glass in the new Collingwood Fire Hall.
AGNORA has a disciplined approach to primarily focus on extra large and complex glass fabrication, carving out a specific niche in the industry. As word of mouth spread about the company, the projects became larger scale and higher profile, meeting the stringent quality demands of such organizations as Apple and the US Federal Aviation Agency (FAA).
AGNORA represents South Georgian Bay’s recreation and community-oriented culture by providing outstanding amenities to employees. These include a full gym, yoga and spin studio, horseshoe pits, ping pong and pool tables, an indoor ‘Wallyball’ court complimented by a fleet of bicycles for employees to use throughout the day. A healthy workforce is supported by a physiotherapist, family doctor and a full time personal trainer available to all staff. This “Georgian Bay” inspired environment mirrors the greater Collingwood community that values activity, recreation, and teamwork as essential to success. AGNORA is truly the pinnacle of the Collingwood business ethic.
Looking to the Future
A testament to AGNORA’s product excellence is a sample of their end-client list, which includes some of the most respected brands in the world: Apple, Microsoft, Audi, Dolce & Gabbana, Burberry, Holt Renfrew, Louis Vuitton, De Beers and Ferrari. Today, almost 75% of sales are to the US, with New York City as the largest market and a recent delivery as far as Sydney, Australia. From storefronts to windows to glass staircases and more, AGNORA’s work can be seen across North America, and they plan to continue to grow on a global scale.
Learn more about AGNORA at agnora.com
Isowater is a clean technology company and leading global supplier of deuterium oxide and related products for the Life Sciences, High Technology and Environmental Science sectors. Our products are deuterium oxide (heavy water) and custom solutions for deuterium gas management.
Applications for Isowater’s deuterium products within the Life Sciences, High Technology and Environmental Science sectors include: Pharmaceutical, Diagnostics, Hydrology, Fibre Optics, Semiconductors and Scientific Research and Manufacturing.
The company was founded by Andrew Stuart (President & CEO of Isowater) in 2009 who in his almost 30-year career, led the development of a number of enterprises based on the principle of creating profitable companies that contribute to a sustainable future. Andrew has a passion for building a greater Canada which can compete globally through innovation and trade.
Originally located on Hurontario Street in downtown Collingwood, expansion required new premises, and they recently moved to a new industrial facility on Ronell Crescent, where 10 people are employed. They also have numerous consultants at other locations, as well as representative in the USA.
Isowater is located in Collingwood primarily as the founder lives in the region and Collingwood has the best local capability for growing a business. These include many of the unique Collingwood advantages for science-based businesses which are not found in other rural communities. Examples include:
Collingwood has a very high proportion of skilled individuals who have chosen to live here often after or part way through distinguished scientific and business careers. This provides a top level and flexible work force who have acquired both experience and wisdom.
An excellent science-focused private school at the Pretty River Academy which not only provides a deep academic environment for youth pursuing STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) careers and thus interns and Co-ops for our business but also can build industry/academic relations that increase the capacity of our community.
A four season lifestyle that is conducive to health and proactivity.
Looking to the Future
Isowater’s goal is to be the leading global entity in the sustainable supply chain of deuterium to the world’s Life Sciences, High Technology and Environmental Science Markets. Our customers are the leading edge of the future in their fields – from fibre optics, semiconductors and pharmaceuticals to nutritional supplements, beauty products, chemicals and medical diagnostics. We seek to expand our product line to new manufactured products which support the deuterium supply chain and expand our market. We seek to grow our export markets beyond Europe, China and the USA. Learn more about Isowater at www.isowater.com
The owners of what is now ARO Technologies Inc., Steve Agar, Ricard Redpath and Bill Owens, are long-time friends and business associates. Back in 1989, whilst working for a company in Barrie that was struggling, the three began to talk about the possibility of going it alone. Talk turned into action, and in June 1990, they founded ARO Technologies. With humble roots, they worked out of their homes and garages, and it wasn’t long before the business began to boom. In 1999, business had grown so much, they moved into formal premises on Stewart Road in Collingwood.
ARO Technologies Inc. offers complete automation solutions to a variety of industries that include Automotive, Electronics, Mining, Commercial Manufacturing, Municipalities, E-waste and the Ski Industry. They pride themselves on providing high quality workmanship with a wide array of in house specialists that include Technicians, Technologists and skilled Trades people. And they are diverse in their capability – from electrical and mechanical design for automated machinery, CAD drawings and wiring of machinery, to PLC and Robot Programming, Man Machine Interfaces, Process Control and SCADA, machinery development and on site installations.
Both Rick and Bill grew up in the Collingwood area, so this was already a second home for them. Steve was from Elmvale, and when the three were discussing where to locate the now much-expanded business that needed full size premises, Collingwood won the day. The scenic beauty, the trails, the waterfront, the ski hills – and a bustling town, meant in Collingwood they would have the opportunity to operate a growing business and enjoy an active lifestyle. “And that attractive lifestyle is advantageous to ARO because it attracts the caliber of employees our company needs,” adds Rick.
Looking to the Future
ARO and their 20 employees, celebrate their 26th Anniversary this month, and today they service a host of multi-national companies, local municipalities, and the thriving local ski industry. Their one-of-a-kind specialized solutions include a robot that can palletize and de-palletize. In July of 2016, it will be launched at Pilkington Glass in Collingwood.
Their current building is also being expanded – they will be doubling in size this summer, and they anticipate they may have job opportunities to offer as a result. Visit their website for more about this exciting Collingwood company! www.arotech.ca