Orenda Automation Technologies Inc. is expanding its first European operation as it gains new customers for its size reduction equipment.
Orenda, based in Markham, Ontario, began production of pulverizing disks and segments in Thessaloniki, Greece, in July 2013, the firm’s international sales manager Mario Sisca said in a telephone interview. Orenda bought an existing 19,000-square-foot facility and added modifications such as CNC machinery and an overhead crane that allows it to make pulverizer components and to sharpen Orenda’s and competitiors’ disks.
The new location is aimed at customers in Europe, the Middle East and Africa. Sisca said the company formerly served customers in these markets by air freight but the Greek operation drastically cuts turnaround time and transportation costs.
“With the economy of Greece being weak, there is an abundance of skilled labor available,” Sisca explained. As well, Orenda’s owners, including company founder and President Chris Lefas, are of Greek extraction and their familiarity with the language made it easier to stickhandle through approval processes.
The Thessaloniki operation now employs six skilled craftpersons and is adding a sales force. Its Markham headquarters, where it does complete machinery manufacturing employs more than 20.
Orenda’s pulverizers, micronizers and granulators process a range of virgin plastics and recycled polymers. The company was formed in 1994.