Indus Automation Today
Indus owns and operates from a 6,400 square foot facility close to downtown Winnipeg.
History of Indus Automation
Indus was started in 1963 by John Rogalski, with Ted Glass and Jon Johnson as silent partners. John had a long history in the Electrical industry with Langley Electric which became Amalgamated Electric. John had apprenticed in Germany, and had a superb combination of electrical and mechanical skills. During this time he played a key role in the design of the Amalgamated Rotary handle switch from 30 Amperes to 1200 Amperes. This basic design is still manufactured today.
John had gone to work for Westinghouse as the head of a assembly shop to offer control panels and custom distribution equipment to local contractors. The shop was burdened by high overheads artificially imposed by the company and therefore appeared to Westinghouse to be unprofitable, in an accounting sense. John, Ted Glass (who then ran the service shop at Westinghouse) and Jon Johnson the regional manager of Westinghouse believed that this was unfair and decided to start their own company headed by John.
The name Indus was chosen by Ted Glass who as a keen student of history knew that the first manufacturing in the world was in the Indus Valley. John brought a strong sense of integrity to Indus. John insisted that every piece of equipment we built had to meet the highest standard of quality and workmanship. Many Indus panels built almost half a century ago still are operational, and one is struck by their quality of workmanship. This integrity has become a hallmark of Indus quality ever since.
Peter Johnson joined the company in 1964. In 1965 the company was awarded a contract to design and build the control system for the Highlander Curling Club. This was the largest arena complex of its kind in Canada at that time. The company submitted this project to "CSA" and was awarded a "CSA" listing which allowed it to build control systems up to 600 Volts and 800 Amperes. In 1967 the company built and commissioned the controls for the Winnipeg Planetarium. This included the lecturers console, the technicians console and all of the operating panels for the Ziess projector. This project included over eight miles of wire, with tens of thousands of terminations. The system went into service during Canada's Centennial.
The company progressed steadily until about 1976 when the company initiated an ambitious development program. The company undertook the research and development of several high tech products.
Monitor for output of radiological devices (X-ray machines): X-Rays were one of the most widely used diagnostic tools used in Medicine and Dentistry. Small errors in calibration of radiological devices could result in significant errors in the amount of radiation that patients received. This caused several problems. If the quality of the radiograph varied from one X-ray to the next, the radiologist would have difficulty reading the X-ray accurately and therefore making accurate diagnoses. More important some poorly calibrated machines were exposing patients to massive doses of radiation which could have long term damaging effects.
Ground Hound: This device was used to detect buried cathodically protected pipe used in the distribution of natural gas.
Toll Restricter: This device was designed to detect unauthorized long distance calls and block them.
The company raised over a million dollars of venture capital. Unfortunately this was not enough, and when the provincial government decided to purchase technologically inferior X-ray monitors from an out of country source rather than supporting a local high-tech company. This forced the company to liquidate.
The company was restarted in 1987 by Peter Johnson and Lorne Kjernisted rebuilding the core business. In 1991 the 6400 square foot building was constructed where the company currently operates.
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