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Voith powers up Centre of Excellence


August 19, 2009
by Corinne Lynds

Voith Hydro Inc.’s new Centre of Excellence in Mississauga, Ont. will be the sole supplier of hydropower generator coils to the company’s worldwide operations.

The state-of-the-art manufacturing and service facility in the Sheridan Science and Technology Park was designed from the ground up using lean principles to maximize productivity and quality. The coils it makes are used at the heart of a hydropower generator, creating the electromagnetic field needed for the production of electricity.

(L-R) Consul General of Germany Holger Raasch; Mayor of Mississauga Hazel McCallion; Andreas Endters, COO, Voith Hydro Holding; Denys Turcotte, CEO, Voith Hydro Canada; and Bill Malus, COO, Voith Hydro Mississauga, at the Centre of Excellence opening.
Photo:PHOTO: VOITH

Voith, which employs roughly 120 people at the Centre of Excellence, is an international company based in Heidenheim, Germany with Canadian headquarters in Brossard, Que.

The Canadian hydro operations are part of the Voith Siemens Hydro Generation joint venture formed in 2000 that manufactures hydropower generators, turbines and a range of related electrical and mechanical equipment, including coils.

According to the company’s website, its Mississauga facility has a manufacturing area of 7,250 square metres and is equipped with turn taping machines for multiturn coils, groundwall-taping machines and one cutoff and stripping machine for Roebel Bars, in addition to winding heads, pullers and stripping equipment for smaller coils.

“We saw an opportunity to create, for our operations all over the world, a centre of excellence for coils, and we made a multi-million dollar investment, installing state-of-the-art equipment,” said Bill Malus, chief operating officer for Voith Hydro in Mississauga at the grand opening May 29.

Four key pieces of high-tech machinery were added to its processes—a coil-forming machine, electric press, taping machine and an impregnation system.

“This new, more compact equipment allows us to expand our after market service business in the same building,” says Malus.

Lean thinking
When asked about the facility’s production capacity and overall investment, Malus was tight-lipped, citing competitive reasons. However, he says the new centre won’t have any problems handling increasing production demands in the years ahead.