CALGARY, ALBERTA - Plywood and panel manufacturer Okaply Industries, which opened a new factory in Calgary, Alberta last fall, says it added a robot and moulding wrapper and two laminating lines - one with funding from Investissement Quebec.

"We have developed some strong relationships with customers in western Canada and we felt that to better serve them and reduce their costs, we had to manufacture our products closer to the market," said company president Craig Starke in a statement about the plant, which opened last November.

Based Oka, Quebec, Okaply supplies the manufactured housing and commercial modular building sectors with plywood, particleboard, MDF, shelving, mouldings and prefinished gypsum board for the walls, ceilings and cabinets of factory built homes and commercial buildings.

The large robot will feed its new lamination line at the Oka factory, which was funded through Investissement Quebec. A new lamination line will be added to the factory in Calgary, Alberta as well.

Okaply services markets across Canada, in parts of the U.S., Chile, Peru and Argentina. According to the time was right to establish a manufacturing presence in western Canada. 

Starke says the rise in commodity prices has created a very good market for Okaply customers who are building large infrastructure projects for the energy and resource sectors.

"We are one of the companies in the supply chain that is benefitting from the rise in commodity prices for raw materials such as oil, and precious metals," says Clarke. "Setting up shop in Calgary is part of our plan to be closer to our customers and grow our business. We believe the industry has many good years ahead."

Okaply Industries was established in 1966 in Oka, Quebec by Ernest M. Hirscheimer producing pre-finished paneling in North America, supplying the retail market as well as manufacturers of RVs, pre-fab homes, and factory built structures. In  1975 Okaply bought Panofab, a laminater of panels, and moved into supplying industrial OEMs with laminated, and painted panels including manufacturers of furniture, displays, store fixtures and kitchen cabinets.

In 1990, Okaply purchased panel saws, edgebanders and machining centers to produce components and expand into new markets.  In 2008, Okaply redesigned its 100,000 square foot factory and warehouse in Oka.

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