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Nortek recognized for innovation, growth; computer engineering firm is an industry leader.

Tucked away on Main Street West in North Bay, overlooking Lake Nipissing is the unassuming home of Nortek Computers Ltd.

At first glance passers-by would never suspect that the building houses a computer engineering firm which is a North American leader in computer hardware manufacturing and servicing.

Upon closer inspection, a visitor discovers that the store front conceals a larger, highly technical facility that houses Nortek Computer's elite team of engineers.

Nortek Computers recorded $4.1 million in revenue last year from the manufacture and repair of computer hard drives, ranking it second in the North American industry.

The company recorded $1.2 million in revenue from the repair of tape drives, ranking it third in North America.

Nortek Computers estimates that its sales will be between $5 million and $6 million this year. Its clients include NASA, IBM, AT & T, Sun Microsystems and Honeywell, and its two main competitors are Veltron Industries and Dyne Systems, both of the United States.

It is the company's growth, leadership and technological innovation which have earned Nortek Computers the Company of Year Award (26 to 50 employees). The award is sponsored by Canadian Partner.

Nortek Computers began modestly in 1978 in the basement of the home of company president and chief executive officer Brian McGaffney.

Today the company has assets worth an estimated $30 million, and it is debt-free.

Nortek Computers currently employs 47 "hand-picked and hand-trained" people and has an annual payroll of more than $1 million.

The company also specializes in "reverse engineering" which McGaffney describes as the disassembling, inspection and customizing of computer components.

The company's latest development is a state-of-the-art Model 3000 servo writer. Designed and built in-house by Nortek Computers' engineers, McGaffney says the Model 3000 is revolutionary in the reverse engineering of hard discs.

McGaffney describes his company as self-sufficient in all aspects of production, equipment repair and employee training.

All of Nortek Computers' engineers are trained in-house by McGaffney who gained much of his expertise while employed by NASA.

He attributes much of his company's success to the expertise and dedication of its employees.

"The goal and dream of all of us is to maintain a high degree of science and integrity," explains McGaffney. "Our company grew and became successful because of our emphasis on science."

McGaffney states with pride that there has never been a layoff at Nortek Computers and that the company has an employee turnover rate that approaches zero per cent.

He chose to locate the firm in North Bay because of the quality of life the city offers.

McGaffney indicates that the company is considering opening a branch in Europe "because that is where the growth is." However, he says Nortek Computers will concentrate on serving its existing markets for the short term.
COPYRIGHT 1991 Laurentian Business Publishing, Inc.
No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
Copyright 1991, Gale Group. All rights reserved. Gale Group is a Thomson Corporation Company.

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Title Annotation:Northern Ontario Business Awards; Company of the Year - 26 to 50 employees - awardee Nortek Computers Ltd.
Publication:Northern Ontario Business
Article Type:Company Profile
Date:Nov 1, 1991
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