February 2002

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Peace River Members Tour Risley Plant

Peace River Branch

One of the goals of the APEGGA branches is to provide opportunities for members to network and increase their understanding of professions within our association. A tour of Risley Manufacturing in Grande Prairie, a leading forestry equipment manufacturer, was held to help the Peace River Branch meet this goal.

Those who took the three-hour tour were fascinated by what they learned. Risley Manufacturing designs, manufactures and markets a wide range of mechanical harvesting and log-handling equipment. It has a worldwide reputation for innovative design and quality construction.

The company has grown on the strength of the inventive genius of Reg Isley. APEGGA recognized Mr. Isley's innovative work and his company's achievements by making him an honorary member on April 22, 1999.

The company now employs 215 people, producing and servicing a product line of 20 innovative, heavily optioned types of forestry equipment. Design work by the engineering group is fast-paced due to the nature of the regional market. Equipment is modified to meet the local characteristics of the fibre supply, bringing greater efficiency, reliability and productivity to their customers.

Risley is a fairly large player in the Grande Prairie economy. Its business has expanded into manufacturing other industrial products, and providing hydraulic and mechanical services. The design, equipment assembly and computer electronics areas were toured during the APEGGA tour. The company showed us how the organization is integrated into the local and worldwide market place.

The leap into the global market occurred with a recent agreement with Caterpillar Inc. Risley's TIMBERKING track feller buncher was acquired by Caterpillar, which added it to its forestry equipment line. The Grande Prairie Risley facility continues to produce the TIMBERKING product until Caterpillar has the capacity to manufacture it.

Among the other equipment the company produces are the patented Risley Rotosaw, Lim-mit delimbers, the Rolly II modular single grip harvester and double grip processor, the SideWinder processor, and the Rotosaw Slingshot Harvesting Head. Innovation is obviously at work and alive in the north.

Risley Manufacturing also supports local and provincial communities. The company received one of two Top Employer Awards in the year 2000 from Alberta Learning. This award recognizes exceptional efforts in training apprentices and continuing support of the province's apprenticeship and industry training system.

Sometimes we don't have to look very far to find great things.


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