Prior to establishing a direct presence in Canada, Cast Resource Equipment Ltd. was its Sudbury distributor for approximately 15 years. However, the company’s current business model focuses on building closer customer relationships and offering more comprehensive support to its international clients. This led it to establish Normet Canada Ltd. in November 2009, bringing to 18 the number of countries in which it has a presence.
“Sudbury was chosen because of its significance as a Canadian mining hub of activity and its central location to the pan-Canadian mining industry,” said Mike Rispin, managing director of Normet’s North American headquarters in Union Grove, Wisconsin.
The Sudbury headquarters officially opened its doors on April 1, 2010. Dennis Wrixon, general manager, Joel Campbell and Jason Montpellier oversee sales, service and parts.
“Normet has its equipment in many provinces stretching from one end of the country to the other,” Rispin said. “Normet equipment in Ontario and Canadian mines dates back to the ‘70s.”
Rispin, a Canadian himself, said he is quite familiar with the Sudbury area and has spent a large portion of his time working in Canada with the mining sector in explosives, construction, chemicals and equipment.
The bulk of the manufacturing is performed in Finland and consists of mobile equipment for concrete spraying and transportation, charging, lifting, transport and scaling. The full line of Normet products will be available to the Canadian market through the Sudbury facility, which will also provide customization of equipment, stocked parts and service.
Rebuilds of Normet products remains a future possibility.
“We have a very strong track record of high quality, high performance equipment,” Rispin said, adding that the full offering also encompasses a lifetime care philosophy with respect to service, parts and training.
“Selling the equipment is only the first step toward the relationship,” he said. “Equipment needs to keep operating efficiently and it needs to operate at a high level of availability. You need to be able to work with the customer and understand what it takes for that equipment to be a successful part of the process.”
By increasing its presence in Canada, the company plans to showcase the expertise that it has developed over time in explosives charging and other utility vehicles.
More recently, Normet formed a partnership with TAM International, specialists in chemicals and systems for waterproofing, leak sealing and protection for the civil construction, underground construction and general building industry. A 40 per cent shareholder in the company, Normet will sell construction chemicals to complement its concrete spraying equipment, while TAM will represent Normet equipment and services.
Rispin sees this as another step closer toward providing solutions and process knowledge over and above the equipment.
“When you look at the whole spray concrete (wet mix shotcrete) process, you have three fundamental requirements underground that make it work: equipment, concrete and chemicals,” he said. “You need to have all those support elements working together for the whole process to be successful.”