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'It’s really special': New water jet table boosts Timmins business

Three Timmins companies pick up over $580,000 from Northern Ontario Heritage Fund
The Bucket Shop's business optimization lead Jamie Pouw shows Timmins MPP George Pirie the first item they made with a new water jet cutting table.

A Timmins business has added a cleaner, safer way to cut some of the hardest steel. 

The Northern Ontario Heritage Fund Corporation (NOHFC) has handed out another round of cash totalling more than $570,000 to three Timmins businesses. 

The Bucket Shop received the largest portion of $251,500, Global Industrial Rigging and Supply Inc. received $202,800, and Focused Vision got $115,970.

“This investment will create jobs, increase operational capacity, efficiency and productivity and further economic prosperity in the northeast,” said Timmins MPP George Pirie, who made the announcement on behalf of Minister of Northern Development Greg Rickford.

At The Bucket Shop, the funding is for two major projects.  The NOHFC cash covered 20 per cent of the total $1.2-million project, said Pirie.

The primary investment was buying a computer-controlled water jet cutting table, with the second being to expand an outside building to support large welding upgrades, said business optimization lead Jamie Pouw. 

An oval-shaped cut engraved with NOHFC was the first cut and given to Pirie at the announcement.  The Bucket Shop now boasts two cutting tables at its shop in the west end of Timmins. 

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A plasma table was the company's first purchase years ago and uses a lot of electricity, heat and sparks to cut, said Pouw. With no heat, sparks, or smoke, the water jet table is safer and cleaner to use.

“It actually cuts from a needle of water that’s at 90,000 PSI mixed with an abrasive, which is garnet, and we could cut through three inches of the hardest steel you could imagine and make a flawless flat cut. It’s really special,” explained Pouw.

With the plasma table, he said when hard alloys are being cut the shop has to be shut down and staff need respirators.

"This allows us to cut the really hard alloys without shutting the shop down because there is no smoke and particulates, so we can use our regular cutting table for the big projects and this water jet table for the unique alloys we have to cut. It’s added to our capacity and it’s made it safer for the employees,” he said.

For Global Industrial Rigging and Supply, the NOHFC money will be used to buy and renovate a building, as well as purchase equipment.

NOHFC is covering nearly 14 per cent of the $1.4-million project.

The Focused Vision investment is to allow for an optical business that includes a manufacturing lab and optometrist office catering to low-income customers needing affordable eyewear. NOHFC is covering just under 48 per cent of the $242,191 project.

— TimminsToday