Hemi Controls

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“I have been in the power system business and specialised in hydro generation for 18 years” Christian Roy, President of power systems specialist Hemi Controls says.

In fact Roy has worked in hydrogenation and power systems since he left school.

“I then worked at system design and implementation for a large international corporation; this has been a great experience” he says.

“At a certain point, I figured it would be best to work on my own in order to better serve customers and provide better project execution services.  This has been a turning point and major milestone toward the foundation of Hemi Controls.”

Roy says that his brief spell working as a consultant affirmed in his mind that the market demanded a specialized project execution task force.

“Hemi Controls was then founded and quickly became capable of providing complete dedicated project execution services offering customised, efficient and functional solutions that adequately integrate process control and electrical power systems” he says.

“From two founders of the company (myself and René Leblanc), we first built a team capable of handling one project.  We are now more than 15 employees and capable of achieving many large projects simultaneously.”

This pioneering quality which enabled Roy to begin Hemi Controls is something the company still retains today.

The company now runs projects from two locations; Cochrane, Ontario (Northeast area) and Chambly, Quebec (Montreal south shore area). Roy explains that their primary customers are large power production utilities such as Ontario Power Generation and “hydro equipment manufacturers (turbines/generators) that will use our services for the design and supply controls/protections/SCADA that complete their scope of work.”

IRJ caught up with Roy to discuss the future of the hydro generation and power systems business and the next step for Hemi Controls.

Hemi Controls Today
Roy is keen to emphasize the importance of delivering “customer complete systems that are fully integrated and designed to meet their specific needs” and uses two key criteria to explain how Hemi Controls goes about doing exactly that.

“The emphasis is on providing trouble-free efficient systems that meet the required reliability and performances.  We base our designs on thorough knowledge of the process and equipment and also always thoroughly test everything at factory before site delivery” he says.

“We also offer our customers valuable customisation of certain design and documentation. For example, large utilities have drawings standards and specific operational needs that we carefully consider and implement in our products.”

Just as Roy noticed market demand for the company in the first instance, he is in tune with the changing needs and growing market place today.

“We had to adapt our own expansion to more demanding customers.  That is in addition to the growing market” he explains.

“The market is demanding for more systems rehabilitations due to 1970’s systems becoming obsolete and in need of enhanced reliability and performances, with added networking and communications (data exchange and telemetry).  The market is also in demand of more green power production and therefore new constructions. We have moved into a larger facility that will support our expansion, larger test labs and more fabrication space.”

In terms of responding to technological advancement, Roy says that the Hemi Controls team enjoys testing new equipment and concepts and has “significant lab testing and implement Research and Development programs.”

“To stay on the leading edge, we continually strive to enhance all of our activities; this as impacts on our internal organisation as well as on our final products” he says.

“As we provide “turnkey” style projects, we generally apply the following statement in order to sell new products: “if it is good for us, it is good for the customer and if it’s good for the customer, it’s good for us!”

It perhaps comes as no surprise that the Hemi Controls company culture leans towards “a lot of place for thinking and ingenuity” in light of this.

“We hire smart people and encourage them to be imaginative.  There is always a way to make things better” Roy says.

“We organize our project teams so each member is part of a project from the beginning to the end, (through design, manufacturing, installation and commissioning).  This allows for complete knowledge of the project’s particulars, better coordination and comprehension of the whole project process.  All members of the team are an important link of the chain.”

Hemi Controls Tomorrow
While Roy agrees that the global economic climate of late has caused some customers to delay the execution of new projects, it has not stunted Hemi Controls’ plans going forward.

Roy highlights two main future focuses for the company at this time.
The first is to “complete our project execution teams so that we can satisfy the need of our customers and avoid having to say “sorry we are fully booked!” he says.

The second is to “Complete our fabrication facility which is going to secure quality and schedule controls.”

Roy is also very clear about the product Hemi Controls seeks to provide for their customers.

“Today’s technology, clean and simple development of application with high level of customer involvement via interactive design review meetings.  Ease of maintenance, no “blackbox” to live with, but a tool that works for you” he says.

“New systems should not be considered as risky and complicated; when properly designed, they are a great enhancement!”

Coming from Hemi Controls; a pioneering, technologically-minded, ever-developing company brimming with expertise and customer-centric goals, the future of the wider hydro generation and power systems industry looks very bright indeed.

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