Tapmaster® has been manufacturing our products in-house in Alberta since we started up in 1993. Over the years we’ve grown from a small garage-based operation in Calgary to a larger operation in the MD of Rocky View. As of March 2021 we are excited to be moving into a new location within the city of Calgary. This move allows us the space and resources to increase our production even further. Moving back into the city also affords us a number of other tangible and intangible advantages that we did not have while operating outside the city. We have a better selection of telecommunications providers, close access to transit for our staff and reduced costs for things like shipping providers.
Over the years we have looked at overseas manufacturing to reduce costs as well as moving to other provinces. But every time we explored other options it remained apparent that keeping our operations in Alberta made the most sense for us.
Tapmaster® prides itself on our high-quality products that lead to extremely high customer satisfaction. Much of our quality comes from elegant and effective design choices. However, the care our staff put into building every single Tapmaster® product plays an even bigger role in our success. Tapmaster® may seem like a simple device, but it requires extremely tight tolerances and attention to detail to ensure it performs to our standards. Every valve assembly is hand-built and tested to find any minor performance abnormalities before they are shipped. That’s right, we test every single valve before it leaves the factory! This kind of individual care and attention is hard to foster when manufacturing overseas in a contract factory.
Further to that, Alberta is our home. We have countless friends and family here and feel a great sense of pride knowing that Tapmaster® products are shipped worldwide bringing money directly into our home economy.
It is no secret that the Alberta economy has been hit with significant challenges over the last few years. The drop in oil and gas prices as well as the global pandemic have hit us hard. Businesses across the province are struggling with the impacts of reduced exports and tour
ism. Manufacturers like Tapmaster® provide an alternate way to bring much-needed cash into the Canadian and Albertan economies. Alberta is an extremely business-friendly province with great access to local suppliers and an aggressive tax advantage.
Supply chain management
One thing we have always been weary of when considering offshore manufacturing was disruptions in the supply chain. Disruptions in intercontinental shipping can occur for many reasons ranging from weather to geopolitical challenges and public health crises. Even now, many companies are experiencing major supply chain disruptions due to COVID-19. Where possible we source our raw materials and within North America. We also keep the vast majority of our suppliers within Alberta. This has allowed us to completely avoid disruption in our ability to produce and sell products through the pandemic.
Rapid prototyping and development
We design our products in the same building we manufacture them. This makes it easy for us to make on-the-fly production improvements. In the time it takes to complete one CNC part-run we can make changes to the CNC program and implement them on the next production batch. This close communication between the designer and the machinist optimizes our product for both improved quality and production speed.
Manufacturing in-house also allows us to randomly pull completed assemblies for full analysis and testing. If there are any issues that might have gone unnoticed in production we can catch them early before they become a problem. This includes things like minor tooling wear and chemical variations in diaphragm materials.
All of those are just some of the reasons we choose to keep manufacturing in Canada. There are plenty of other advantages that are harder to quantify, as well as a few disadvantages. Until recently, commercial real-estate in Calgary was both hard to come-by and could be quite expensive. Calgary has also not been a traditionally manufacturing focused city. These things are starting to change, and we see precision manufacturing operations such as ourselves thriving in Alberta going forward. There are many skilled engineers, technologists, machinists etc. in the province just waiting to get started on a new and exciting project.