Caroline David, vice president sales, and Mary-Louise Donadio, vice president of marketing, manage Five Seasons Comfort Limited & Electro Air Canada, a company that was founded by their father in 1962. Photos by Prima Power
Since 1962, Five Seasons Comfort Limited & Electro Air Canada, has designed and manufactured a complete line of residential, commercial, and industrial air cleaning systems, such as electronic, high-efficiency media, and HEPA filtration, including ultraviolet light and photocatalytic filtration technologies.
The company is located in Concord, Ont., and has achieved success in part due to its visionary outlook that emphasizes helping people with allergies, asthma, and respiratory illnesses. In fact, the company’s founder, Howard David, first became interested in electronic air cleaners because his daughters had allergies. Those two daughters, Caroline David, vice president of sales, and Mary-Louise Donadio, vice president of marketing, manage the company today. “Our father was ahead of his time,” explains Caroline David. “Back in the 1960s he was doing yoga and was very health conscious. Our product line has evolved dramatically. It started out with the electronic air cleaner and portable room air cleaner and now includes all mechanical air cleaners on furnaces, air handlers, heat pumps, furnace bottoms, platforms, etc. Today, we have 250 different stock-keeping units (SKUs). We are also in the development stages of introducing a new business in early 2024.”
Five Seasons moved into the present building in 1985. It now has 100,000 square feet and is expanding. The company will add another 30,000 square feet to the same location later this year. Through the years, the Five Seasons’ management has acquired an array of fabrication equipment for punching and bending.
In 2011, Five Seasons took its first move to bending automation with the purchase of a Prima Power Fast Bend to help remove bottleneck delays in the bending operation. “We decided to move away from the traditional press brake operation and produce the parts on a servo-electric panel bending machine,” says David.
The Fast Bend reduced the labor-intensive tool setup, programming time, and part handling. It also provided the company with additional flexibility with the capability to form different angles, hems, multiple corner radii, etc. The automatic tool change (ATC) option, automatic feed table, and automatic inversion of positive and negative bending blades also allowed more bends to be created per side in an automatic sequence without manual intervention.
As a result of the positive Fast Bend installation, Five Seasons purchased two additional Prima Power benders in 2021 and 2022.
Prima Power BCe Smart introduces new principles for modern semi-automatic machines by innovating new technologies and by enhancing intelligence that combined with operator ability makes this machine easy to use and eliminates the margin of error, says Gary Maranda, Technical Sales Representative for Prima Power. Maranda adds that Prima Power BCe Smart with its innovative servo-electric bending technology is the optimal solution for medium production volumes as well as for low volume or lean production. It guarantees precision and repeatability with a considerable reduction of maintenance costs.
“BCe Smart’s compact layout and loading / unloading capability guarantees high productivity and offers a very attractive investment. The large working table that allows loading and unloading in a single sequence increases productivity. The machine is extremely easy to use and does not require skilled operators. Due to the barcode reader and the ATC system its setup is automatic, it takes place in masked time and activates dynamic production queues,” Maranda says.
The high ergonomics and safety levels are obtained through a series of features. These include the absence of physical barriers for manual loading, warning lights and acoustic signals to synchronize the loading and unloading, and the additional interactive display that guides the operator in the working phases to be carried out, for example, the orientation of the pieces, etc.
Maranda says BCe Smart panel bender offers the best benefits to customers who need:
• Compact footprint
• Higher productivity (loading operation ergonomically in sequence with unloading)
• Reduction of direct labor assigned to bending and set-up
• Full safety for the operator (no physical barriers for high efficiency)
• Excellent component quality
• Wide range of bending profiles
• Lower tooling costs
• Electrical energy savings
• Reduced maintenance costs
• Low noise level and vibrations
Why Prima Power?
“In addition to the two BCe Smart benders, we also purchased two Prima Power press brakes,” explains David. “Before making the purchase, we talked to three bender manufacturers. We showed all three builders the parts we wanted to build. But the other two companies couldn’t help us. Prima Power sent our parts to Italy to test if the parts could be made on the BCe Smart. As soon as they told us it would work, we bought the two machines. We chose the Prima Power machines due to our close relationship with the company. The people at Prima Power actually take the time to understand what we are manufacturing. They take care of us and help foster our growth.”
According to David, the BCe Smart machines have dramatically increased productivity. “We have a complex job that we were bending on the press brakes that took 8-9 minutes per part. The BCe Smart makes the part in 60-70 seconds. In addition, the press brake operator has to be very knowledgeable on tolerances, the machine, the part, etc. These days it is very difficult to find experienced press brake operators. But with the BCe Smart, we can hire someone with basic skills, who doesn’t need to have engineering knowledge or be a technician. He doesn’t need to worry about tolerance, damage, or which side has to be bent first. Everything is done by the BCe Smart.”
“We promise 48-hour delivery on all our orders,” continues David. “With the press brakes, you need experienced operators. Hiring skilled labour during Covid was next to impossible. Prima Power and the BCe Smart machines have literally changed our company.”
From the first day the BCe Smart machines were installed, Prima Power made sure they were operating efficiently, adds Donadio. “If we have a programming question, the Prima Power technician stops what he is doing and is there for us. It is not just the machines that make Prima Power unique, it is also their customer satisfaction. When there is a problem that has to be addressed, Prima Power will respond immediately.” SMT