IPP&T Magazine Online

Manifold manufacturer gets FedDev money for “smart factory”

January 29, 2021   Don Horne

Ottawa today announced a FedDev Ontario repayable contribution of $1.13 million to support the scale-up of Bélair Mechatronics (Kawartha Controls).

Kawartha Controls designs and manufactures hydraulic manifolds used in areas such as construction, farm equipment and power generation.

“As we have been growing, we have been successful in creating high-value jobs for our local community,” said Robert F. Bélair, founder, chief technology and executive officer, Kawartha Controls. “We have heavily invested in developing our “smart factory” and the demand for our product is 300 per cent greater than we can currently produce. With support from FedDev Ontario, scaling our “smart-factory” will allow us to fill that demand and continue to create additional high-value advanced manufacturing jobs.”

With this funding, the company will set up a new machining cell and refine its innovative “smart factory,” which is driven by artificial intelligence processes, and is expected to create six jobs in rural Omemee, Ont.


“Today’s investment is great news for the Omemee community. Our government is proud to support Kawartha Controls as it adopts new equipment, ramps up productivity and creates new jobs. By making investments that will help businesses in southern Ontario to scale up and access the capital needed for success, we are building for a resilient economic future,” said Maryam Monsef, Member of Parliament for Peterborough–Kawartha and Minister for Women and Gender Equality and Rural Economic Development. 

Kawartha Controls operates with a focus on environmental sustainability, as it’s “smart factory” processes significantly reduce the amount of greenhouse gas emissions created by their operations, compared to industry standards.

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