BC RV Company Rings Up Winning Design
February 12, 2010— Salmon Arm, British Columbia
Valid Manufacturing Ltd., best known for manufacturing recreational vehicle equipment, has taken a creative twist with a famous Olympic symbol. The Salmon Arm, BC firm designed and built the aluminum frame supporting a stunning three-story high set of Olympic rings, located on the road to Vancouver's airport. The 14 m tall structure, built in celebration of the Vancouver 2010 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games, is an impressive sight after dark as more than 20,000 individual LED lights bring the rings alive against the night sky.
Valid, founded in 1991, not only develops innovative solutions for recreational, commercial and industrial vehicles, but also produces electrical control and power distribution kiosks.
For Grant Hiebert, Valid's Product Development Manager, the Olympic rings project is one outstanding example of the company's wide-ranging expertise. In fact, now the company is taking on an even more interesting project that is, once again, outside its traditional product line.
Valid recently patented a unique design for a heat exchanger system for use in the oil industry. An intricate arrangement of pipes reuses waste heat from the oil well motor, which could dramatically enhance an oil well's efficiency, extending its working life and yield. That translates into significantly lower operating costs and reduced CO2 emissions.
This technology demanded rigorous prototyping and testing, supported by the National Research Council's Industrial Research Assistance Program (IRAP). The program works closely with small and medium-sized enterprises, helping them grow their businesses, increase their competitiveness, and enhance their impact in the marketplace.
"It was a big investment," he says, "and we wouldn't have been able to make that leap without NRC-IRAP behind us."
Hiebert recalls a decade earlier, when a similar research arrangement with NRC-IRAP helped Valid carve out its valuable niche in the RV market. It's a relationship that continues to help propel the company ahead in exciting new directions.
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