Common Cultures: Two Companies, One Community Vision

Prodomax
Written by Allison Dempsey

Arising from humble beginnings in 1971 with a handful of employees in Barrie, Ontario, Prodomax Automation Inc. has since transformed into a premier automation supplier recognized for quality machines and a highly skilled, experienced and professional workforce.

Now employing more than 200 knowledgeable individuals who contribute to the company’s enduring growth and success as an industry leader in automation systems, Prodomax specializes in the design, build and commissioning of turnkey automated manufacturing solutions.

With the team capable of manufacturing a wide range of systems for a variety of industries, including automotive, electronics, consumer goods, telecommunications, and construction, Prodomax’s clients are largely Tier 1 automotive manufacturing companies that supply significant assemblies directly to OEMs not only in North America, but around the world. Solutions are based on a core Technology Portfolio that includes automated assembly, welding, material handling, as well as laser cutting and laser welding processes.

The company is owned by Jenoptik A.G., a globally operating technology group where optical technologies are the very basis of the business, with the majority of its products and services being provided to the photonics market. Key target markets primarily include the semiconductor equipment industry, medical technology, automotive and mechanical engineering, traffic, and aviation, as well as the security and defense technology industries. Headquartered in Jena, Germany, Jenoptik boasts production and assembly facilities throughout Europe, the United States, Canada, and Asia, employing more than 4,000 people globally.

A renowned manufacturer of metrology, laser processing, and production automation solutions in the automotive industry, Jenoptik is capable of creating 3D laser processing systems and machines for customers to integrate into their production lines as part of process optimization and automation. Their laser systems are widely utilized for efficiently and safely processing polymers, metals, and natural materials.

“When Jenoptik first met with Prodomax, both companies quickly realized they shared common values and cultures embracing ‘best in class’ ideals and principles,” says Scott Young, Director of Sales, Prodomax. “Much more than their corporate logos resembling each other, both firms value an ethical, equitable, transparent, accountable, and sustainable workplace.”

For Jenoptik, corporate behaviour isn’t limited to implementing business targets; rather, corporate culture is essential to the company’s success, nurturing a place where bright ideas are born and where an adventurous spirit can lead to changing the world.

Not only does Prodomax work hard for its clients, it also places equal importance on a healthy work-life balance and supporting active community involvement. For instance, Prodomax employees reflect a broad and diverse variety of interests and activities, including mountain bikers, road bikers, skiers, golfers, runners, amateur chefs, video game heroes, care-givers, musicians, community volunteers, kayakers, race-car drivers, fitness enthusiasts, hockey players, and outdoor sportspeople.

Prodomax embraces a positive and progressive workplace culture, and now celebrates 50 years in the industry—no easy feat, and one the company is proud to acknowledge.

“Prodomax transformed itself from a small engineering company that built its first production machine in the early 1970s to an industry-leading robotics system integrator specializing in automotive production systems with over $1.2 billion of automation systems delivered globally,” says Young. “From the mid-1990s, the company focused upon robotics systems integration for the North American automotive market.”

Today, Prodomax has in place a highly competent, professional and experienced staff of more than 200 people, each of whom is responsible for ensuring the growth and success of Prodomax as an industry leader of automation systems.

Throughout its impressive history, the company has been entrusted with the successful integration of cutting-edge technologies into its manufacturing systems that international customers continue to rely on. In its ongoing quest for innovation, in the mid-1990s Prodomax achieved the first automated robotic YAG laser cutting system in Canada of hydroformed seamless steel tubes used in vehicle underbody and chassis structures.

“This experience later opened the door for more laser cutting and remote laser welding applications, which is still one of our core technologies today,” says Young.

Although 2020 was a very challenging year, with the start of the pandemic followed by supply chain issues which continue into 2022, the company’s ERP and project management systems have enabled Prodomax to monitor supply delivery challenges and plan contingencies to minimize disruption, due in part to the commitment of its employees.

“Prodomax is very proud of our employees who are composed of professionals with diverse individual backgrounds,” says Young. “As a vertically integrated systems supplier, our strength derives from their collective skills and experiences. Our clients know and trust our employees will provide excellent service and support for their business-critical projects, ensuring best-in-class automation solutions delivered on time and on budget.”

During 2021, the company’s Quality Management System not only received ISO 9001:2015 certification for the design, manufacture, and installation of automated manufacturing systems, it also saw some strong upturns compared to the previous year. The company is now planning for annual growth of 10 percent year-over-year, which has created demand for additional employees; in fact, Prodomax currently has new open positions in technical, engineering, production, assembly, and administrative roles.

Moving forward, Prodomax remains dedicated to a shared vision and long-term partnership that it hopes will last another 50 years as it continues to embrace change and innovation in an ever-changing industry. “Prodomax’s value proposition is simply stated as our ‘Commitment to deliver with complete customer satisfaction,’ and we strive to fulfill this promise to our customers,” says Young.

The company’s uniqueness in achieving this goal is best represented in three points, which include always being ready to listen to customers and discover the best answers to their problems. With a long-term perspective, Prodomax pursues this shared vision, which is the corporate culture of Prodomax Automation.

From tooling to enterprise, the company delivers best-in-class operational performance and reliable technology. “Our complete solutions assist companies in achieving long-term profitability and growth,” says Young. “We’re committed to providing safe and stable operations for the long term. On the basis of sound project management, a secure integration can be achieved.”

With a team of seasoned project managers and engineers capable of delivering integrated automation solutions of any size and complexity, Prodomax’s core competencies, culture, community involvement, and vertical integration capabilities all combine for an integral segment of a large, publicly traded corporation active in 80 countries globally.

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