In 2016, the owners of The Bucket Shop in Timmins embarked on an ambitious plan to expand the family business. The manufacturer of specialty buckets, parts and attachments for large equipment used in the mining industry not only wanted to meet the growing needs of its clients in Ontario, but explore export markets.
With a repayable contribution of $1 million through FedNor's Targeted Manufacturing Initiative for Northern Ontario (TMINO), The Bucket Shop constructed a 65,000 square foot building to house office and production space. FedNor's financial assistance also enabled the company to purchase state-of-the-art equipment used to manufacture its products. The Bucket Shop is another successful example of how FedNor is helping Northern Ontario businesses grow their operations, boost productivity, increase sales and expand into new markets.
One of the purchases was an overhead crane able to handle 70 tons, facilitating the production and repair of larger-scale buckets and accessories for heavy equipment, and in turn, helping mining companies increase the longevity of their assets. As a result, increased demand for service and products is translating into job creation – clearly a win-win for all.
"We're now running two shifts per day, Monday to Friday. Combined with our mobile field crews operating at mine sites, we have approximately 105 people employed full-time," revealed Jamie Pouw, Market Development Manager. "That's an increase of 12 positions since we moved into the facility in June 2017, just six months ago."
New automated equipment, such as its 100-foot computer-controlled plasma cutting table, is also helping The Bucket Shop speed up production. With it, operators can cut steel up to 14 inches thick, and given the table's immense size, manage multiple jobs simultaneously. One of the table's added advantages is that it is filled with water. Since steel can be cut while submerged just below the surface of the water, there is no smoke or particulate released into the air, resulting in a healthier and cleaner work environment.
Pouw says the line, 'Build it and they will come' adapted from the 1989 movie Field of Dreams has been their experience. "We have put a lot of great stories on social media and YouTube," shared Pouw. "Our big crane has already brought in projects and is capturing the attention of companies in South Africa, Chile and around the world."
"We now have global players who are willing to partner with us based on our capacity and infrastructure. This initiative has clearly opened doors to global opportunities and we are excited about what the future holds in store."