MORRISBURG – Completion of the 55,000 square foot Ross Video expansion isn’t really an ending, it’s just the beginning of the next step for the Iroquois-based company.
Ross designs and manufactures equipment for live event and video production globally, and its success has meant 31 years of steady growth.
In a recent tour of the new facility, chief manufacturing officer Jeff Poapst spoke about how those years of growth, have not only continued, but accelerated through the pandemic.
Ross, which prides itself on looking after its customers, keeping promises, looking after its team and controlling its own destiny, was able to get through the pandemic with very little impact.
Significant investment pre-pandemic by company CEO David Ross to purchase stock to protect its supply chain, good production practices during the pandemic and the flexibility to shift employees to work from home, all contributed to the company’s continued success.
Completed on budget the new facility features first floor production space and second floor office space and a second lunch room.
Poapst explained that throughout the construction process Ross endeavoured to support the local economy by using local firms such as Eastern Engineering for design work, DC Snelling for construction management, local tradespeople like Lloyd McMillan Equipment, 401 Electric/Carmichael, and more. “We went local if at all possible,” said Poapst.
Environmental sustainability was a big focus of this expansion. Getting to net zero carbon is a target the company should be able to meet by the end of next year.
Lighting changes, rooftop solar, electric vehicle charging stations for employee use, high R-value building materials and moving away from gas to heat pumps are all key components in being able to achieve that target.
Ross is planning to host a community open house in mid-June to give people the opportunity to see the facility for themselves.
“Moving into the new building is exciting, but we’re still out of space,” said Poapst.
The next big thing in terms of the Ross production facility will be modifications to the current building to make room for the addition of a fourth surface mount line. Presently three surface mount lines are operating within the building, but that’s not enough.
Poapst explained that just three years ago those surface mount lines were seeing 32 million placements per year. This year that number is up to 67 million placements. “Not only is there increased demand, the products are more complicated,” said Poapst.
With the latest expansion Ross now has 120,000 square feet of space within its main Iroquois facility.
Since the beginning of this expansion, Ross has always planned for another expansion to accommodate its robotics work that presently takes place within its Iroquois Plaza location.
“We have 8,200 square feet of space in the plaza and we need 35,000 square feet of space for the work we need to do over the next three years,” said Poapst.
That expansion was initially meant to take place on the land between Ross and the plaza where the former Iroquois medical clinic sits. The former clinic has been a residential rental property for a number of years, but it will be lifted from its foundation and moved from its present location by the employee to whom it was gifted, opening up that land to become an expanded parking lot with landscaping including more grass and trees.
The KBD property, recently purchased by Ross, will be the location of Ross’ next major expansion, the planning of which has already started.
Presently Ross has about 350 employees based in Iroquois, 130 of whom already reside in South Dundas. Ross expects to add at least another 60 people within the next 12 months.