Onward Cluthé comes from a line of successful businesses under the umbrella of Onward Multicorp, a company with a history tracing back as far as 1906, when T.A. Witzel started his own small business manufacturing and selling ballpoint pens. Following the Second World War, the company took the advantage of the post-war economic boom, and expanded into the barbecue market, holding a prominent name with brand names like Broil King and Sterling.
Based in Kitchener, Ont., Onward Cluthé saw the first light of day in 1996 when Onward Multicorp came together with Cluthé in order to produce plastic parts for the onward barbeque products — an unheard proposition at the time.
The Canadian Business Journal spoke with Edy Vega, Vice-President Marketing and Business Development, and Scott Allan, Business Development Manager at Onward Cluthé, about the company’s upside in the injection moulding sector and its plans for the future.
“We started as an exclusive plastic moulder of parts for our parent company. The competition at the time assumed that the plastic and heat could not coexist, so there was a lot of ingenuity and engineering expertise involved in this step, creating the first plastic parts, and taking over the original Cluthé plastic mould company. Nowadays most barbeques have multiple plastic parts, as revolutionized by Onward Multicorp,” says Vega.
Onward Cluthé continues to supply Onward Multicorp with plastic mould products to this day, while growing its own roster of clients who come to the company seeking quality product design and expert custom injection moulding. The company operates a 55,000 square foot facility that creates plastic moulded products 24 hours a day, five days a week; its 75 employees operate 22 injection moulding machines ranging from 40 to 1,500 tonnes, capable of creating injection moulding solutions of various sizes, from the dime-sized products all the way to products the size of a table.
The leader in custom injection moulding, Onward Cluthé is ISO 9001:2008 registered, servicing the consumer products, medical, recreational vehicles, appliances, sport hunting, lawn and garden, outdoor grills, hardware, ergonomic accessories, construction, promotional, plumbing, music instrument and various other markets across Canada and the United States.
“The wide range of plastic materials we have experience with offers us a great advantage when we approach our existing clients or seek out new clients. When our clients need solutions, we can recommend the appropriate solution for the application, whether it’s the material, the design, or the part itself. We have a unique ability to add value into the design and create more effective components, for example creating fastening methods that allow for a quicker installation cycle, eliminating the need for extra hardware on the product, and shortening the assembly time. Thirdly, it’s how we address the ‘black box design’, helping the customer to integrate the plastic components right into the design in conjunction with other systems,” says Allan.
These are the services that make Onward Cluthé not just a producer of injection mould plastics, but a product development consultant, eliminating unnecessary production steps and shortening the overall production time. This is only possible in a company such as Onward Cluthé, where all employees come with a technical background with focus on various aspects such as manufacturing, design, and systems design. “As you can see, we offer a variety of capabilities as a group to address any issues that our clients may be facing. Everyone in our company comes with the experience and the hands-on expertise that provides us with that edge you can’t just find anywhere. This is one of the reasons why we were able to make it through the recession. We took on the concept of not just injection moulding, but the expertise that can deliver additional cost savings and value,” says Vega.
The philosophy of quality products and efficient design continues to drive Onward Cluthé towards success in the rebounding North American market. Company sales in 2012 had risen by 20 per cent. The company is not directly dependent on any one industry, providing product solutions for Canadian and U.S. clients, who distribute their final products right across the globe.
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Edy Vega: email@example.com or