Petrolia company moving its R&D into former Vulcan plant

By Heather Wright    The Petrolia Topic

Glenn Buurma says the research and development department at Penta in Petrolia needs room to grow.

So the company, which employs 40 people at its Progress Drive plant, has purchased the former Vulcan plant on Centre Street.

Penta is in the middle of tearing down some of the old buildings and renewing others to make room for three employees who develop and improve the company’s livestock feed mixers.

Buurma said the company is constantly working to improve the equipment to make it more efficient and easier to use — “making it more productive and more user friendly.

“Three people are dedicated to (research and development) now,” said Buurma.

“They’ve just kind of outgrown this building (on Progress Drive) and we need to get it off into a separate site where we can be a lot more efficient at it … We could make better use of this building in the production end of things and that’s why we are moving off-site.”

Buurma said investing in research to improve the product is the right thing to do.

“There is just a mountain of different opportunity … There is very little agricultural manufacturing in Ontario but there is a mountain of agriculture done here.”

Buurma said before the move can be made, the Centre Street property has to be improved. Penta is demolishing one of the buildings on the site and renovating another. Buurma hopes to have the useable building ready for use in a couple of months.

“Hopefully we’ll have the building closed in by November, then we have to do a bit more work inside …put a little bit of equipment in there,” he said. “We gutted the offices and they have only been partly redone.”

Buurma hopes employees will be able to move into the new building in December or January.

The Vulcan plant, which opened in 1954 and manufactured new steel drums and reconditioned steel and plastic drums, was closed in 2009.

The Petrolia Topic Article ID# 3333914

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