Category Archives: Company Updates

The Next Generation of Automation Experts

TCA is delighted to host student’s for “Take Our Kids to Work Day”

Since we opened our doors in 1996, TCA’s been committed to championing young talent and training the next generation of automation experts. With a critical shortage of skilled labour across the manufacturing industry, we believe educating our youths to the possibility of this career path is vital to sustain our local thriving automation industry.

Every year across Canada, students in Grade 9 are urged to spend the day in the workplace of a parent, relative, friend, or volunteer host. Through exposure to the workplace, student’s are prompted to focus on early career planning and given insights to make informed decisions about their future goals.

TCA’s safety culture means that our student’s were required to undergo Health & Safety coaching about safety in the workplace, and given instruction on how to safety interact with large and sophisticated automation equipment.

We had a great day with our group of kids, and left them with some knowledge of how Canada’s manufacturing industry works, along with a souvenir for their hard work on the job.

The BBQ Life at TCA

Those close to TCA team members or their families are very familiar with the food obsession fondly cultivated throughout the company. This may be the only company in existence where new employee’s are required to read the Donut Handbook before reading the Employee Handbook. Each year a calendar of events is created by the TCA Social Committee. This is when the planning for team events is done, and employee’s can vote on the employee-engagement events that are planned.

Beginning in May, the last Thursday of every month is BBQ day. Lovingly cooked by team members, a full spread BBQ is prepared for lunch every month until the end of September. We say a final farewell to BBQ season mid-October during the annual Oktoberfest BBQ and patiently wait for the next BBQ season to begin.

Each season the team looks for new ways to make BBQ days special. This years improvement? Games!

Kudos to the Social Committee for giving a fun and healthy break for the team working so hard designing and building exceptional equipment.

Happy Retirement Wendy!

Our steadfast and diligent administrator is finally off the clock. This month we are saying good-bye to an instrumental member of TCA’s staff; someone who played a crucial roll in our company’s history. Wendy started with TCA almost 16 years ago. When she joined us, we were experiencing rapid corporate growth – and all of the growing pains that come with it. Many of our internal processes weren’t designed for scale and she happily jumped into the chaos. Wendy helped develop and streamline our internal structure with a laser focus on our customers’ needs.

Though Wendy’s work over the past 16 years has been exemplary, her strength of character remains her legacy. One of TCA’s most talked about corporate value is integrity. Our President Dave Nelson, refers to integrity as making the right decision, even when it is hard to make. Wendy’s character is integrity personified. She could always be counted on to do the right thing, regardless of the extra work, complication, or friction it may cause. With an attention to detail that is almost super human, Wendy easily navigated and organized complicated corporate contracts, maintaining customer records and ensuring a level of accuracy that could always be counted on. While her work skills are undisputed, Wendy was also a genuine, kind, and trustworthy friend to many. She was momma-bear to our sales team, working diligently to simply make their lives easier.

When such a tenured and respected member of the team retires, it is always bittersweet. Everyone here will greatly miss her, but she leaves a legacy behind she can be proud of.

Enjoy your travel and your gardens Wendy-loo!

Introducing our new Director of Operations: Chris Draper

We are very pleased to announce our newly minted Director of Operations and Project Management: Chris Draper.

Chris joined our organization back in October 2017, responsible for bringing a formalized Project Management structure to TCA. His understanding of our customers needs has allowed us to remain nimble with our innovating designs, while adapting to changing needs within the industry.  His background within machining and design gives him a unique ability to make creative choices in order to meet our customer’s needs.

In his new role, Chris will be responsible for maintaining the exceptional quality of machines that customers have grown accustomed to from TCA. He will ensure that customers timelines and standards are met while making sure that the floor remains a fun and exciting place to work.

We’re excited to have Chris in our Leadership team, and look forward to his success.

 

TCA’s 2018 Christmas Luncheon

Every year TCA begins the holiday season by celebrating and giving thanks to the people who work so hard for our customers. This year, we gathered to eat and have some fun at the Aberfoyle Mill.

We began our luncheon with some fun raffle prizes, a game of Truths and a Lie, and Kahoot. We were also able to include some of the TCA family who were out at customer sites, via Skype.

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To get into the spirit, we held a photo contest where departments competed in creating an original Christmas Photo. Second place, a prize of team coffee and donuts, went to the Controls Department.

With our first place – grand prize, an all expense paid Pizza Party, going to the Machine Shop.

We finished our lunch off with a White Elephant Gift Exchange, where our VP of Finance was thwarted from owning a drone, for the second year.

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While TCA loves to give back to our employees, those workers also love to giving back to the community.  This year, we chose The Salvation Army Toy Drive. Everyone is pleased to be able make children’s Christmas morning a little more special.

Merry Christmas from TCA Technologies!

Annual TCA Sushi Championship

In late November, worthy TCA competitors responded to the call to arms –  ready to attend the Annual Sushi Championship. With nothing more at stake than honour, the competitors gathered to devour. Sadly, the competitor voted most likely to win found himself hampered by a cold. In surprise, a latecomer rose to the occasion and came close to winning it all. In the end, the coveted belt went to the mighty Mike. His slow and steady approach beat out the fast flurry of the piranha’s.

Check out some pictures of our event.

We’re Hiring!

Thinking of making a change? We’re looking for new talent to join our team.

TCA is hiring multiple positions at our Puslinch facility – check out the job descriptions below and apply at careers@tcatech.com.

Intermediate and Senior Controls Engineer

This highly motivated individual is responsible for creating electrical drawings and designing controls for custom automated solutions.

Read more about the position here.

Applications Engineer

Responsible for actively driving and managing the concepting stage of the sales process, this highly skilled individual works as the key technical adviser for our customers.  If you want to be a product advocate identifying and providing reliable solutions for all technical issues, this may just be the role for you.

Read more about the position here.

Senior Project Manager

This engaged individual must be highly organized and have a passion for working collaboratively with technical teams. Responsible for fully managing the project, this person will be the customers go-to guy for up-to-the minute information on their projects.

Read more about the position here.

Electrician

We’re looking for a licensed electrician with a keen eye for detail and general love for the job. This person will be responsible for wiring, panel building,  and commissioning of automated equipment.

Read more about the position here.

Machine Builder

This position requires someone who loves the challenge of putting together complex equipment. Our machine builders work closely with out technical team to fit, assemble, and debug technically advanced machinery.

Read more about the position here.

Are these not the right fit, but you’re still interested in TCA Tech?

Even if we don’t have a posted vacancy, we still urge you to submit your resume! We are always interested in talking to great people with specific skill-sets.

Other positions we typically are looking for:

  • Mechanical Designers
  • CNC Machinists

Send your resumes to our Human Resources Department at careers@tcatech.com

 

2016 In Review

This year has been jam packed with fun at TCA! Celebrating our 20th anniversary, we spent the year giving back to the employees and community of customers who made it happen.

Lets take a look back over the highlights of 2016!

BUILDING EXPANSION

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TCA was excited to open its new building addition in April of this year which broke ground in 2015.

FRIENDLY COMPETITION

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Once the snow began to melt, TCA staff gathered to partake in some healthy competition on the track.  A four hour, round robin race separated the men from boys, and coworkers used their skills to run others off the track to stay in the race.

BBQs

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BBQs

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AND MORE BBQs

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As TCA staff know, summer is all about the barbecue. Manned by the talented staff in our machine shop, a feast is cooked on the last Thursday of every month – from May to October.  Hamburgers, sausages, sauteéd mushrooms, onions, and jalapeños, are all part the menu for these legendary events.  Rain or shine, we love our BBQs.

OFFICIAL AND UNOFFICIAL TEAM MEETINGS

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Whether an impromptu meeting includes cake or a visit from the ice cream man, TCA always appreciates a good state-of-the-union address.

 FAMILY FUN DAY

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As part of our 20th Anniversary Celebration, TCA held its first family day at Bingemans Big Splash Waterpark. The team gathered with their families for some good old fun in the sun before getting together for a barbeque lunch.

ANNUAL GOLF TOURNAMENT

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This event is the staff favourite! Our annual golf tournament, a nine-hole “best ball” tournament followed by dinner and prizes

FALL POTLUCK

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There’s no better way to shake up the monotonous lunchtime routine quite like a potluck.  It’s a great way  for everyone to showcase their impressive cooking skills to coworkers.

TCA FOOD DRIVE

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There’s no better way to prepare for the holiday season then to focus on giving back. This year, the team decided to collect food items for the Cambridge Self Help Food Bank. Almost 200lbs of household items were donated this year on behalf of TCA staff and family.

TCA CHRISTMAS PARTY

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TCA invited its staff and their special someones for a night out to celebrate the holiday season. Held at the Cambridge Butterfly Conservatory, we spent the night enjoying the interesting exhibits, eating a delicious meal (not of the insect variety), and playing some games. A competitive white-elephant gift exchange kept everyone on their toes. Someone left with a drone for under the tree, and one lucky fella got a new snowman hat to keep him warm while shoveling.

GIVING THANKS TO THE MAN WHO STARTED IT ALL

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Throughout the year, the TCA leadership team planned lots of special events and activities to celebrate the milestone 20th anniversary together.  Those staff members were keenly aware of the driving force behind TCA’s 20 year success – our sage leader Dave Nelson. Staff will wax poetic about the leadership qualities and compassion exhibited by Dave to every member of the team, but how do you show thanks to a man as down-to-earth as Dave?

A perfect idea came from Dave’s loving wife. You see, Dave is an avid car fan. He long ago mentioned an old Corvette engine block that he would love to re-purpose for his office. His wife Suzanne mentioned this to the TCA elves who came up with a plan. The machine shop manager worked under cover of darkness to turn Dave’s engine block into a coffee table. The gift is in fact not the custom built coffee table – the gift to Dave is that Suzanne actually agreed for his new coffee table to make its home in their living room!!

What a wonderful year it has been for everyone at TCA! The holiday season is the time most fitting for us to say thank you. We’re sending the warmest, most heartfelt of thanks to our exceptional staff and their families, to our steadfast vendors, and our deeply valued customers. Without all of you, the past 20 years would not have been possible. Wishing you a very Merry Christmas.

 

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INDUSTRY SPOTLIGHT: TCA + ASSEMBLY AUTOMATION

assemblyblog

The business of designing and building custom industrial equipment is a complicated, detail orientated, and exciting industry to be in. Over the past twenty years in business, TCA has developed thousands of innovative and groundbreaking technologies for our customers. From material handling and machine vision, to leak testing and composites, TCA has a wide portfolio of experiences to draw from when designing new equipment for our customers. This blog series will highlight some of our current and past projects where we advanced automation standards.

First up in this series spotlight: Assembly Automation

In manufacturing, assembly refers to the process of putting together all components and sub-assemblies in order to create the end product. Arguably the most in-demand type of automated equipment in industrial manufacturing, assembly automation will help customers reduce man-power, increase throughput, and maximize efficiency.

WIRE FORM AND ASSEMBLY
form-assblogDesigned and manufactured by TCA to produce concrete-forming ties, this 10′ x 25′ wire form and assembly machine has the capability to process wires with walls of 200, 250, and 400 mm, with a 1/2″ hexagon across the flats and 120 or 210 mm end lengths.
Offering high throughput operation, this machine features a hopper that holds up to 1,000 raw wires. TCA designed and built the 80 ton servo forming press to deliver highly accurate speed, motion, and position control in order to keep the parts within tight tolerances.

Two cold forming operations (coin & bead forms) are performed as a one-up forming cycle in the press. Dual thermal-upset hex form positioning slides are also servo-driven to maintain the same accuracies throughout the entire process. A chain conveyor moves the formed ties and stages the packaging boxes to further speed operations, and floor mounted perimeter guarding completely ensures operator safety.

TCA was able to design, build, test, and install this high speed automation system in 24 weeks. We provided a fully programmed Allen Bradley interface and PLC, and commissioned the system at the customer site.

SUB-ASSEMBLY LINE
sub-assblogA customer in the automotive industry needed a second assembly line to handle increased production volume.
TCA’s challenge was to use as much engineering as possible from the existing TCA-designed line so the two could efficiently run in tandem. Working from the customer’s part specifications, we created 3D designs for all the components and arranged the second line in a Z-configuration to facilitate loading and changeover. In addition, we designed a second flux supply line with a separate set of tooling to enable both lines to operate independently.
Occupying a 20 ft x 30 ft footprint, this assembly line has three main subsystems – a feeder, flux applicator, and a stacker. Handling 6 parts per magazine, 6-axis robots are used to feed the parts to a servo index conveyor for pick and place transfer – a careful process monitored by machine vision cameras.
Next, a dual-head spray system electrostatically applies the flux while a reclaiming system removes the excess. After air drying, the parts are fed to the assembly system, 2 per magazine in a nested position.

Want to learn more about TCA’s assembly automation solutions? Email info@tcatech.com today.

TCA Family Day at Big Splash

familyday_blogLast month we hosted a staff event at Bingemans Big Splash in Waterloo – it was about time that we brought the team and our families together for a little fun in the sun!

TCA Families spent their day enjoying the large wave pool, splashpad, and waterslides for the big kids. A mid day break to enjoy BBQ and watermelon slices was a welcomed reprieve from the 100 degree weather.

Check out a few pictures from TCA’s Summer Family Day!