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Kenroc expanding and modernizing to increase presence in Europe, U.S.

Kenroc expanding and modernizing to increase presence in Europe, U.S.

With a 20-per-cent addition to its manufacturing facility, Kenroc Tools Corporation will strenthen its position as one of the leading drill bit and accessory manufacturers in the world.

The $4-million, 743.2-squaremetre expansion and modernization project is now underway and will be phased in during the next two years.

The announcement of the expansion came shortly after Kenroc celebrated its 50th anniversary and was accompaned by good news from two levels of government.

Financial aid - in the form of incentive term loans of $550,000 each from the Northern Ontario Heritage Fund Corporation and FedNor - will enable the international mining equipment manufacture to increase its production of drill rods.

A ground-breaking ceremony was held on July 12 at Kenroc's North Bay aterfront location. On hand were then heritage fund chairman Rene Fontaine and FedNor administrator Hal McGonigal, who explained the details of the assistance to assembled dignitaries, guests and Kenroc workers. The expansion will mean job security for 35 employees and the creation of seven new positions.

"An important producer of mining equipment will continue to be located in the north," said Fontaine. "We must encourage mining-related companies to serve the international market from Northern Ontario to provide a boost to the northern economy."

Fontaine said the project will also have an impact on Canada's trade balance with the United States. Imports from the U.S. will be reduced by $3.8 million, and Canadian exports to the U.S. will increase by $3.2 million because of the expanded production at Kenroc.

"The modernization and expansion of this manufacturing enterprise in Northern Ontario is a major step in maintaining Northern Ontario's leadership and expertise in the mining sector," said Tom Hockin, minister of state responsible for the FedNor program. "I'm delighted that FedNor has been able to participate in this resourceful venture."

"We hope to strengthen our presence in Europe and in the United States," said Stanley Lundberg, president of Kenroc. "Our manufacturing facility will be able to increase production from 40,000 to 90,000 rods."

According to production manager Bill Hoggan, the relocation of existing rod carburizing furnaces and the addition of a new furnace capable of handling 16-foot drill rods will be another step in improving the quality of the product.

"This will enable Kenroc to remains as one of the leading suppliers of extension rods in the mining industry," said Hoggan. "We are now capable of heat-treating rods up to 16 feet in length."

New rod-straightening and shotpeen machines will compliment existing technology as part of the on-going modernization plan of Kenroc for its new Uniroc manufacturing division. The shotpeen process improves the quality of the drill rod by decreasing steel fatigue.

Hoggan said the plant expansion will allow for "better material flow" within the present product manufacturing lines, reducing production times and increasing efficiency.
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Title Annotation:North Bay Report; Kenroc Tools Corp.
Author:Steer, Wilston
Publication:Northern Ontario Business
Date:Sep 1, 1990
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