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September 21 2009

Building forts around infrastructure



Kelvin Emtech may be an engineering consulting firm, but it also sees itself as a protector of business' crucial infrastructures.  "We work to fortify critical installations using solutions that meet all their electromechanical needs,"  president Michel Chartier said.  "Our job is to shield those installations from potential hazard," he added. "We build a fort around it."  He said the 8-year-old company offers "best solutions. We don't sell product."  Created in 2001 with the fusion of two local firms - Kelvin Emtech-conseils, founded in 1993, and Les Consultants Emtech, established in 1994 - the firm has become a specialist in conventional electromechanical building engineering services.  In addition to installation designs that don't permit service interruptions, it also offers specialized lighting that takes into consideration energy consumption, esthetics and light pollution as well as unique control systems for railway electrical switches.  Chartier notes that Kelvin Emtech was the first engineering consulting company in Canada to design and  construct all electromechanical infrastructures for a high-density type computer room.   



Planning session: Michel Chartier (right) president of Kelvin-Emtech, looks
over some drawings with electrical engineer Kamal Driche at the company's
Montreal office.
Photograph by: DAVE SIDAWAY, THE GAZETTE, The Gazette

Some of its main clients are big companies like CGI, BCE, Ubisoft, Vidéotron and Radio-Canada, for which Kelvin Emtech has helped increase their data centre efficiency. Chartier pointed to telecommunications companies like Rogers, Tata Communications Canada ULC (when it was still the Canadian crown corporation known as Teleglobe Canada Inc.) and Telus Quebec that "are not hurting because data services are too important" and which are calling on Kelvin Emtech for its expertise. Although the majority of work is carried out in Canada, primarily in Quebec and Ontario, Kelvin Emtech has provided mandates for the evaluation of infrastructures abroad. "Our next step is maybe the U.S. or Western Canada, where we already have a foot in the door," Chartier said.  Kelvin Emtech has experienced stronger growth in Ontario than expected and was also surprised at the ease in finding qualified staff when 200 engineers responded to one Toronto newspaper advertisement to fill jobs at the office that opened there in June. "We haven't had that in four years here," Chartier acknowledged. "There's lots of raiding in this industry, but we've managed to keep our staff and have little turnover," he said. The team of 35 professionals is expected to grow to 40 within a year.The private company had revenues of $3.1 million in 2008 and expects to double that in the next three years thanks to the Toronto office. "The recession hasn't really hit us yet," Chartier said.



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