Systemair expanding in Tillsonburg

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Systemair has purchased the 10 Rouse St. property adjacent to its existing facility in Tillsonburg, the town announced Monday.

The newly-purchased property contains an 86,400-square foot building on 19 acres and will allow the company to increase its vertical integration and bring additional jobs to Tillsonburg.

“Since Systemair consolidated their operations to Tillsonburg in 2013 with the purchase of our current location at 8 Rouse St., we have continued to expand our product offerings for both the Canadian and U.S. markets,” said general manager Rick Kyle in a media release.

“Purchasing the 10 Rouse St. property will allow us to further consolidate our operations, increase our capacity, introduce new products to the North American market, and at the same time vertically integrate some parts of our supply chain.

“I’m especially proud that the company wants to invest, not just in North America, but this particular team in Tillsonburg.”

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Systemair said it plans to expand into the new facility with a phased-in approach. That will see them relocate products that are stored in 40,000 square-foot leased space into the new building this year, followed by the installation of advanced metal fabrication equipment at the beginning of the second quarter of 2021.

“Systemair is a global company,” said Kyle. “It provides heating and air conditioning and ventilation all over the world. They continue to see a large opportunity in North America, so making this big investment is definitely going to give us a positive experience here in Tillsonburg.”

A new product (commercial air handling unit) was recently launched for the North American market, and Kyle said it’s starting to pick up traction.

“As well, we’re going to be moving a model from New Brunswick (to Tillsonburg). That will happen in (the first quarter). So there’s a lot of positive things going on for us, we’re really excited about it.”

The New Brunswick facility is also experiencing great growth, Kyle noted.

“For that product line to come to Tillsonburg, strategically it’s great for us as a company. (The sister company in) New Brunswick has almost maximized their space as well.

“The important thing for us here is that our other factories have metal fabrication capabilities, where in Tillsonburg we didn’t. So we were dependent on metal fabrication suppliers… Taking on that part of the supply chain, where we’re actually going to make some of our raw material, I think that’s pretty substantial for our strategy.”

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“On behalf of town council, staff and residents, I would like to congratulate Systemair and their team on this investment to expand their Tillsonburg operations,” said Mayor Stephen Molnar. “This will bring a much needed boost to our community as we move forward with recovering from the ongoing pandemic and in creating a brighter future for our town.

“They’ve done an excellent job integrating their services into the community,” said Molnar. “Their leadership and team members have been a valuable part of our community for a number of years, and this step ultimately is an example of the success they’ve had and how well they work with their team and their corporation as a whole.

“They had the capacity to identify a property for expansion right beside them when International Beams’ property became available on Rouse Street.”

“With the purchase of the 10 Rouse St. property, Systemair will have a combined property of 25 acres and 128,800 square feet of building area,” said Tillsonburg development commissioner Cephas Panschow, “And this will result in them having the fifth largest manufacturing footprint in Tillsonburg.”

Based on employment, Systemair is Tillsonburg’s 10th largest employer with an average full-time equivalent of roughly 90 employees.

EMPLOYMENT OPPORTUNITIES

Systemair is in the process of ramping up production to meet market demands and they are looking for people who are passionate about making products that support their customer’s cooling, heating and ventilation needs.

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“We’ll be looking for more people here pretty much immediately,” said Kyle, “because the recruiting process obviously takes a little bit of time.”

Systemair gained possession of 10 Rouse St. on Nov. 20 and major renovations have been underway since then.

“The next day I had people in, all local businesses, to do everything from some landscaping to new LED lighting to putting in some new concrete floors.”

The plan is to start to move some production to the 10 Rouse building at the end of January, and be fully moved in by middle February. Advanced metal fabrication equipment will be coming in March and August (two phases).

Employment opportunities will be available for metal fabricators, as well as employees for the backbone of their business in Tillsonburg, the Changeair product line (classroom ventilation for schools), which was enhanced by new models from Europe when Systemair purchased the Corinth-based company in 2013.

“Definitely, the strategy for Systemair is to make Tillsonburg the hub or the centre-point for their North American operations for all commercial air handling units… which to me is kind of great for our growth and stability here in Tillsonburg,” said Kyle.

Because their business is cyclical – classrooms are the major part of their business and most classroom construction takes place in the summer – Kyle said they typically ramp up about this time, and this year they will have about 120 people at the facility.

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Questions about employment can be obtained by sending an email to hr.tb@systemair.net.

“We employ everything here from general labourers all the way to engineers. There’s a wide range, including technical trades, from electricians to HVAC personnel. There’s a wide range of different skill sets throughout the organization, and therefore opportunities.”

“Representing the town and our council, and the stakeholders of our community, we’re extremely pleased that we were able to assist in the facilitation of this expansion,” said Molnar.

“I’ve been working with a number of people like Cephas for the last couple of years looking for our expansion opportunities,” said Kyle. “We looked at everything from building a new factory in town to buying an adjacent property… and then all of a sudden this particular property (10 Rouse) came up and the timing was just perfect. We had to jump on it very quickly, but his has been in our sights for a couple of years.

“Cephas was looking out for opportunities for us… and this one was the most strategic and economical for us, just to buy the adjacent land and adjacent building. So it worked out really well for us. It’s nothing but positive for the Town of Tillsonburg and as well for Systemair.”

cabbott@postmedia.com