March 9, 2009
by Andrew Joseph, Features Editor
No modern-day production line can run to its full potential without reliable conveyors transferring the product through all the processing and packaging stations along the way in the most cost-efficient and trouble-free manner possible.
For companies like Storcan Conveyor Systems Limited of Châteauguay, Que., helping its clients in the pharmaceutical, cosmetics, food-and-beverage and other industrial segments optimize their production flow with high-quality conveying systems has provided a solid platform for steady business growth and market penetration since it was founded back in 1976.
Acquired a few years ago by local entrepreneur Jean Martin Savoie, the privately-owned, 30-employee company operates out of a lively, 30,000-square-foot facility that ships out between $5 million to $10 million worth of conveying systems per year to customers in Canada and the U.S., with food-packaging and bottling lines accounting for about 80 per cent of its production output.
According to the company’s director of major accounts Jean St-Martin, Storcan’s unwavering commitment to quality and innovation has enabled it to overcome many serious economic challenges in the past, which is why he’s confident about its ability to overcome the current economic turmoil as well.
“Operating in such a competitive industry, we did feel the pinch last summer when the Canadian dollar climbed to par with the U.S. because we tend do a lot of business there,” he told Canadian Packaging in a recent interview, “but the recent fall of our dollar has been quite helpful for us by having many of our American clients come back.”
According to St-Martin, conveyors generally don’t get the respect they truly merit in the manufacturing sector, where some often look at them as a necessary nuisance.
“However, placing the correct conveyor system to work in a client’s production line can be the most important thing we can do for them,” St-Martin points out. “If you don’t have a flowing production line, the bottlenecks caused by the wrong conveyor can make even the most high-tech, million-dollar bottling equipment look completely ineffective.”
While Storcan manufacturers a standard line of conveying equipment, customizing conveyor systems to suit the client’s individual application requirements is one of the company’s key core competencies, relates St-Martin.
“It’s been our goal since Day One to listen to our clients’ needs, visit their production lines, and see how we can best help improve the efficiency of their manufacturing operations,” he explains.