Founded in 1993, Klimer Platforms initiated a focus of providing power scaffolding systems to local construction companies in the Ontario market. Klimer began by importing product from a Swedish-based company and was very successful in those endeavours.
After years of utilizing the Swedish product line, Klimer decided that it was not the product most ideally suited for the North American construction environment. The Swedish company, who after approached decided that they were not interested in making changes to their product end, saw the catalyst that made them to become a manufacturer. Klimer underwent a two-year research and development process in developing its first machine, then spent another three years prototyping it and getting it out to its customers in order to receive feedback before officially releasing it to the market.
“That worked out very well for us. It really allowed us to develop and have the machine that we wanted to be able to provide to our customers,” said James Gordon, President of Klimer Platforms. “We basically took our customers’ wish list in what they wanted in a piece of equipment and put all their suggestions into one package.”
With a focus on providing access solutions to various contractors, whether it is glass contractors, drywall contractors, or general contractors, Klimer provides its clientele with the best access to material handling. Currently, the organization is involved in a fair amount of bridge construction, with applications in restoration, as well as new construction activities.
“From a competitive advantage, we compete against traditional scaffold. The biggest advantage is that ours is an adjustable scaffold that will position the workers [on the scaffold] at the ideal height, making them more efficient and providing a safer work environment while also reducing repetitive strain work injuries,” added Gordon. “At the end of the day, it is easier for our employees. They are less tired and it’s a much more comfortable environment.”
The technology is one of the few tools that allow workers to be productive without having to be resistant of injury. Says Gordon, “After convincing an owner to try the product, that owner will then see the benefits in productivity, in terms of cost and overall construction time. Workers love the product so the owner doesn’t have to fight with them in getting them to use it.” Statistically, the technology results in a 25 to 40 per cent productivity improvement. In concrete restoration, the productivity improvement is even greater, from 40 to 65 per cent. “Our units will carry up to 12,000 pounds on a single mass unit or 24,000 pounds on a twin-mass unit. It allows you to do a lot more work from a heavier capacity standpoint,” added Gordon.
Currently, Klimer is working on 22 projects where it is supplying the equipment, with another four projects which its clients have purchased, with Klimer providing ongoing support and training for contractors, who are provided with the best access and functionality to conduct these projects. Additionally, 16 units are involved in the redevelopment of a San Antonio, Texas-based veteran hospital. The majority of Klimer’s work is based in Ontario, with 18 or 19 of the current projects in that market. The company is also doing some work in the Middle East and is working on some training initiatives with the Scaffold Industry Association. Klimer has assisted in developing codes and committees from a technical standpoint. Educationally, Klimer is very focused on initiatives that examine how to better regulate mast-climbers in Ontario.
“We take on custom solutions, typically utilizing all standard components and then customize a few key items to access needs. That gives us reliability because we are using proven components and then we adapt one or two custom accessories,” said Gordon, adding that the Klimer philosophy is, for any project in which the company’s product is involved, to provide compatibility to the user for all equipment usage.
“We are looking to restructure a little bit from where we were in the past, prior to the recession when a lot of our business was exports (product sales to the United States); about 70 per cent of our business. The other 30 per cent was more in the direct rental supply to companies more in the Ontario market,” said Gordon. Klimer is also looking to expand its rental and service base so that, more often, the company is working alongside the end user.
Klimer is very interested in the Alberta market, looking to add a full-service company involved in sales, rental, installation and engineering, similar to its Ontario base. This is one of the key markets that the company has focused its development. “We are really focused on providing our clients with a safe, efficient access system that allows them to do their job much easier and safer, and providing them with a good return on their investment. We ensure that it is easy for our clients to use our services,” said Gordon. With such a high level of commitment to its client base, the future for Klimer is certainly bright.