Saskatchewan Manufacturing Highlights

By Prairie Manufacturer staff

At a glance

Manufacturing plays a key role in Saskatchewan, making up more than six per cent of the provincial gross domestic product (GDP).

Saskatchewan manufacturers have achieved many world firsts – in everything from satellite communications technology and dryland farming equipment to in-road scales for the trucking industry.

Saskatchewan’s innovative manufacturers are building leading-edge technology such as continuous mining equipment used in the potash industry, remote-controlled equipment used in uranium mining, autonomous farm equipment, unmanned aerial vehicles and deep-space antenna systems.

With the province’s central location in North America, Saskatchewan manufacturers have access to markets of 270 million people within a one- or two-day drive.

Key manufacturing clusters include:• Machinery, transportation and industrial equipment
• Food, crop and beverage processing
• Wood, steel and plastic products
• Chemical manufacturing

Emerging clusters include:
• Aerospace and defence
• Specialty automotive products
• Unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs)
• Electronics and instrumentation

In focus

Emerald Plastics Regina

With nearly 30 years of combined experience in the water service and delivery business, Chad and Paige Sveinbjornson, owners of Regina’s Emerald Water, know the ins and outs of water bottles and cooler jugs. They knew the challenges that everyone – from water suppliers and distributers to end users – faced with the existing plastic bottles in the market.

Then came their chance to take all the talk and turn it into action. Emerald Plastics came into being in May 2020.

With years of experience in the industry and with handling the standard bottles, they had the foundation that led to a quick turnaround on the creation of their first proprietary bottles.

Chad and Paige share why they choose Saskatchewan for their manufacturing home.

“Being in the middle of Canada, Saskatchewan’s an excellent pivot point to ship, and distribution from the centre makes sense. Look at the global transportation hub! No matter where we are sending our bottles within the country, we are a midpoint.

We know Saskatchewan is ready for growth and rebound, and the market is craving the opportunity to support local whenever possible. For us, local doesn’t necessarily mean in your backyard, but maybe Canadian or even North American.

We took this seriously when selecting how we chose to do business. The resin used for our bottles is a global-grade high-impact quality resin, and it’s made exclusively in North America. Our pallets are custom produced using Canadian lumber in partnership with SaskAbillities to help our community. All of our lubricants proudly support the Canadian oil industry, and our packaging is made in Canada and sold by a Canadian distribution company.

But quite honestly, the most prominent reason we feel Saskatchewan makes sense for manufacturing is that it’s home. We currently have a workforce that’s ready and willing to learn an entirely new skill and trade.”

What advice do they offer to others looking to make the leap into manufacturing?

“Honestly, don’t think too hard. Just jump in.

Don’t delay doing something difficult; do it quick. Adding time doesn’t solve the problems, and half the time, you aren’t even sure what issues you need to solve yet.

Saskatchewan is ready for more investment. We’re prepared for growth, and we’re prepared to own the market.”