MRO Magazine

Baldor moving pulley production from Mexico to its Quebec facility

Ste-Claire, QC – Baldor, based in Fort Smith, AR, and a member of the ABB Group, is moving pulley production to Ste-Claire, QC, from Mexico. The decision was made after Investissement Québec agreed to provide a $600,000...


Ste-Claire, QC – Baldor, based in Fort Smith, AR, and a member of the ABB Group, is moving pulley production to Ste-Claire, QC, from Mexico. The decision was made after Investissement Québec agreed to provide a $600,000 non-refundable contribution from the Québec government to Baldor Electric Canada for its St-Claire facility.

The provincial government’s investment goes toward a $6-million project that consists of upgrading equipment at the Ste-Claire plant to increase its production capacity. In August 2012, the parent company officially announced that four types of pulleys would be manufactured at the Ste-Claire plant. So far, about half of the production from the Mexico plant has been transferred to Ste-Claire.

The Ste-Claire management team successfully demonstrated to Baldor’s headquarters in the US the benefits of transferring the products from Baldor’s facility in Mexico to Ste-Claire.

“This move will allow Baldor to bolster all 175 existing jobs and create 11 new ones, which is great news for the economic development of the Chaudière-Appalaches region,” said Gaétan Lelièvre, Minister for Regions and Minister responsible for the Gaspésie-Îles-de-la-Madeleine region, speaking on behalf of Élaine Zakaïb, Minister for Industrial Policy and the Banque de développement économique.

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Those with good memories will recall that Baldor Electric Co. acquired Maska Pulleys of Ste-Claire, QC, (Poulies Maska Inc., founded in 1964) in November 2008. (Baldor itself was acquired by the ABB Group in January 2011). Maska was a designer, manufacturer and marketer of sheaves, bushings, couplings and related mechanical power transmission components and employed 180 people. That business is now called Baldor Maska.

“We appreciate the confidence that Investissement Québec has placed in Baldor,” said Chris Poynter, vice-president of the Discrete Automation and Motion division for ABB in Canada. “We are pleased to announce that those investments will result in new jobs to increase production and that we demonstrated that our Québec-based manufacturing can be as competitive as any of the other site that we consider.”

“Our production capacity was higher and the investment required to manufacture the pulleys in Québec was lower than the investment required to produce them in Mexico or transfer production to North Carolina,” explained Pierre Boutin, plant manager for Baldor’s Ste-Claire facility. “We also worked with Investissement Québec and got the support of its Foreign Subsidiaries Department, which guided us in our initiatives with senior management.”

On April 3, 2013, Baldor was recognized for its contribution to the regional economy at the 6e Gala des sociétés en Bourse 2013. It won the top prize in the category of ‘Regional investment – Public company based outside the Québec City region and Chaudière-Appalache’. The annual event recognizes and celebrates the strategic role head offices play in driving economic vitality, innovation and creativity in the regions surrounding Québec City.

ABB (www.abb.com) supplies power and automation technologies in Canada primarily to customers in the utilities, mining and metals, oil, gas and petrochemicals, aerospace, life sciences and semiconductor markets. ABB Canada is based in Ville Saint-Laurent, QC.