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  • Writer's picturePaul Hogendoorn


Yesterday, I had the pleasure of touring the Wolfe Equipment facility with Paul Veeke and Stefanie Ince, the new Executive Director of Innovators Alliance. And once again, I found myself marveling at the immense range of things that is built right here, and the entire ecosystem that supports it.

In a short 20 minute tour, Paul was able to show how it all starts as sheets of steel, which are cut into the exact shapes of the numerous unique components needed, then bent, machined, welded, painted and assembled into a massive end product. Of course its far more involved than that, but seeing the form of the material entering the shop contrasted to the finished product that leaves the shop is a great illustration of how much “value” is created through our secondary industries – the manufacturing industry.

As I toured the shop, I saw that much of their material was cut by a Hyd-Mech saw, that I know was (and is still) manufactured in Woodstock, Ontario. This particular saw, now about 35 years old, was equipped with a “PLC 100”, an electronic controller that I designed and programmed, and that was manufactured by my (then) company OES (of London Ontario).

And now, as the chair of the London chapter of Innovators Alliance, as well a Digital Transformation Consultant for the MEE Cluster in Alberta and occasionally as an independent consultant in Ontario, I get to continue to visit many of our country’s unique and amazing manufacturing companies.

After spending 40 years in hundreds of factories making countless different things, you might think that I would no longer be amazed or surprised by what these companies produce or how they produce it – but I still am!

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1 Comment

Ellen McLean
Ellen McLean
Oct 05, 2023

I think I soldered some of those PLC 100's. Let me know if you ever need a solderer in the future. That was the best job!

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