Although North Simcoe Tool operates a small shop on the corner of William and Yonge Street, the local plant is manufacturing components for some pretty significant projects.
The machine shop, which specializes in tooling, prototyping and small production runs has been assisting larger companies in the design and machining of components for some unique and impactful jobs.
“Part of the reason for our success is a never say no attitude,” said Mark Losch, who took over the business from his father in 1989. “Often a customer will ask us to step out of our comfort zone and manufacture something challenging. Instead of declining these opportunities our talented team of designers, tool makers and machinists embrace those opportunities and we try to turn them into an advantage.”
Diageo, the company which owns brands such as Johnny Walker, Smirnoff, Captain Morgan, Crown Royal and Baileys, reached out to North Simcoe Tool to design a custom chess set for retiring employees. Each piece of this set was a small replica bottle of one of their products.
“It was certainly an interesting project for us and one that was certainly beyond our scope of work,” said Losch, who serves as the company’s president and CEO.
The company is constantly investing in new technology enabling them to expand their capabilities and allowing them to take on new projects.
North Simcoe Tool has worked with McDonald, Dettwiler and Associates Ltd. — the company that built the Canada Space Arm — and helped them machine some prototype bushings to replace ones on the space arm that were wearing out.
They were also contracted by the University of Calgary to build a few different mechanical components to be used with a new remote control surgical device they were developing for complex brain surgery. Scalpel holders and other procession components used remotely in the surgical process were created in Midland.
“We worked on prototype drilling equipment used by the Northern Centre for Advanced Research and Technology when they were bidding on the Mars Rover project,” said Losch. “The prototype augers that we built would have drilled holes in the surface of Mars to extract core samples.”
Their willingness to take on new challenging projects and continued investments in new machinery and technology has made their name stand out in the industry.
When Alpine Shredders paper shredding trucks were in need of new parts they sought out North Simcoe Tool to supply them with the components.
“We had just purchased the exact type of machine Alpine needed to manufacture many of their components,” said Losch. “They are now 30 per cent of our business and we are their only supplier of machined components.”
Although many in the industry have suggested North Simcoe Tool expand their business to a bigger facility, Losch believes the small plant allows them to have much-needed flexibility.
“While we certainly want to grow, we always want to keep in mind that our size does make us nimble. We are often able to change gears quickly and able to provide responses and solutions in a timely fashion,” said Losch.