HRAI has celebrated 2023’s Manufacturing Month with spotlights on some of the many members who make the Association proud. To mark the early days of fall, we’re turning our beam on a company that has been heating its corner of the HVAC industry since 1995: Superior Radiant Products (SRP).
Founded in Stoney Creek, Ontario, SRP specializes in the design and development of energy-efficient and high-performance infrared heating solutions for a wide range of commercial, industrial, and residential customers. But before it was the trusted international manufacturer it is today, the 28-year-old company got its start by manufacturing its own concepts for infrared heating equipment.
“The company quite literally started from nothing,” shares Kevin Merritt, SRP President. “SRP started with three partners who had been in the industry for a number of years and decided they could make better, more efficient heaters than what was out there. So, they developed some patents and started from the ground up.”
In 1999, SRP added IR Energy Inc. to its family and expanded the company’s infrared heating offerings with products such as outdoor patio heaters and aircraft de-icing units. One year later, it opened its first international office in Qingdao, China, and began establishing what would become one of its key overseas markets. From there, the company continued to expand its global footprint, establishing offices, facilities, and warehouses in strategic locations across the US, UK, Germany, the Czech Republic, Bulgaria, and beyond.
All the while, SRP has kept its headquarters in Canada. In 2014, it moved into a larger Stoney Creek facility, adopted a LEAN manufacturing philosophy, and continued building upon the technologies and processes that enable the team to conduct all of the company’s research and development in-house.
“At our facility in Stoney Creek, we have an ISO-certified lab and sophisticated testing and measurement equipment where we can do all of our own testing and development,” explains Merritt. “That way, we don’t have to send our products out to get tested or certified; we can do everything in-house and welcome CSA and other approval bodies can come to us to verify our testing.”
Merritt says the company is pleased to call Canada home. Not only does it take advantage of Canada’s Scientific Research and Experimental Development (SR&ED) tax credits, but SRP’s Stoney Creek location provides an edge in regards to sourcing talent and getting its products out to the world.
Says Merritt: “We’re doing a lot of product importing and exporting, and this is a very good logistical spot in that it’s close to the US border, Toronto Pearson International Airport, and the Port of Montreal. Plus, it’s great for our salespeople who can pretty much fly anywhere out of Toronto.”
Bringing the heat
SRP has done its share of innovating in the infrared heating space. In many cases, says Merritt, the company’s inspirations have come from its customers: “We’ve always made a point of listening to our customers and developing products around their needs. For example, we originally developed our ETS series of outdoor heaters specifically for Top Golf. Now, not only are those heaters on Top Golf facilities around the world, but they ended up becoming a mainstream, best-selling product for us.”
Today, SRP’s diverse line of heaters can be found in a wide range of facilities, from logistics centres to sports facilities, airport hangers to retail stores, schools to greenhouses, poultry housings, and beyond.
As for what comes next, the company is bringing in new automation and robotics technologies to upgrade its Stoney Creek operations. Importantly, the team is committed to supporting Canada’s Net Zero plans through its ongoing design and development of electric and energy-saving heating products. Moving forward, Merritt says the goal is to intensify its efforts in this regard by exploring ways to further reduce SRP’s carbon footprint and provide heating products that promote cleaner, more comfortable, and more energy-efficient environments for future generations,
“There is a push towards electrification, and we want to apply our knowledge, experience, and innovation to want to be part of that movement,” he insists.
Reprint from HRAI. Original Article Here.