The decision by Salmon Arm approximately 50 years ago to create an industrial park was indeed visionary, given the park is now full and there is effort underway to expand it or develop another park somewhere else.
For many of the companies operating in the park, their success is due to remarkable, innovative processes and products that fulfill needs not being addressed elsewhere, as well as the expertise and ingenuity of the engineers and skilled workforce, many of whom came from the former Newnes sawmill manufacturer.
Valid Manufacturing began as a standard, sheet metal and electrical integration shop that produced electrical boxes and cabinets primarily for streets and highways. The quality of their products has been recognized throughout the sector and now these units are in use in countless intersections throughout the province. Additionally, the company now manufactures a wide range of electrical products, including generators, control consoles, kiosks and dashboard flat screens.
Custom coaches are in wide use for the film industry, concert tours and wealthy travellers. Slide outs are popular for these massive RVs and typically there were problems with these systems. Valid took on the challenge and now their slide outs are recognized as the Rolls Royce systems for the sector. Valid used their expertise to expand this product line to fabricate similar systems for other vehicles, as well as design, engineer and manufacture leveling systems, compressor systems and digital dashboards.
New products are being developed at Valid thanks to their well-funded research and development department and their partnerships with other companies. A few years ago, they met with the BC Forestry Council and inquired what was the most serious problem in the industry. Some of the most frequent injuries occur when chip truck drivers are covering their trucks with the tarps needed to keep the chips from flying out.
Valid took on the challenge to build an automatic system to accomplish this task, which included designing an arm that had to defy gravity to reach out far enough to accomplish the job. They are now field testing the prototype and hope to be able to market the device this fall, with the hope that many of the 3,000 trailers on the road in B.C. will be equipped with this high-tech device that will cut down on injuries.