ARVA Industries wins another multi-million dollar contract for its St. Thomas facility


Article by Jennifer Bieman, St. Thomas Times-Journal, Thursday, June 2, 2016


St. Thomas-based Arva Industries is building a hefty crane with a price tag to match.

The mining and rail equipment manufacturer is getting down to work on another seven-figure contract, a rail-bound hydraulic crane for the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey (PATH). The nearly US$4.4 million project will have the highest lift capacity of any rail crane the company has ever built.

“It’s a pretty interesting project … It’s really kind of a cool thing. It’s a very fascinating piece of equipment,” said Paul Smith, president of Arva Industries Inc.

“We’re already getting a lot of interest from other agencies for this thing.”

The 18-metre-long, 120,000 lb. rail maintenance crane will help PATH crews remove and replace damaged track in the transit network. But this isn’t just a garden-variety utility vehicle, PATH is looking for a mega-machine capable of lifting bigger, heavier objects.

“It’s very versatile. It can telescope in and out with its boom … It’s a very utilitarian piece of equipment for them,” said Smith, adding the crane will have a lift capacity of almost 32 tonnes.

To reduce the amount of shutdown time required for rail repairs, Smith said transit authorities are increasingly building larger, more complete pieces in their shops ahead of time, instead of painstakingly assembling smaller pieces on-site.

“The window for maintenance is pretty small … They need a bigger crane in order to lift that piece of equipment off the rail car and onto the tracks,” said Smith.

Arva submitted its bid in December and was awarded the contract three weeks ago. Staff are well into the engineering phase and are already trying to source materials for the vehicle. Once it’s complete, a process that’s expected to take about 18 months, the heavy-duty crane will be shipped by truck to its new home in Jersey City, NJ.

The big-time build is the the latest in a steady stream of multimillion-dollar projects for the company. The manufacturer is hard at work on a $12 million scaler for the Potash Corporation of Saskatchewan and is well underway on a US$2 million track maintenance machine for the Delaware River Port Authority.

But no matter what type of heavy duty machinery Arva is working on, each vehicle is built to suit the unique needs of each buyer. Arva’s 45-person team builds every machine from the ground up at the Gaylord Rd. facility.

Though Arva is a proud St. Thomas company, the manufacturer has its sights set on global markets. This spring, Smith traveled to an international mining expo in Chile and will be heading to Zacatecas, Mexico this week for another trade show. The Arva team is working hard to build international contacts, specifically in South America where the mining industry is booming.

“We’re hoping our market in Chile is going to expand. That’s the big trick, just to build these networks. It takes time to meet people and to develop trust,” said Smith.

“It’s been really positive.”

Other Recent Arva Industries Projects:

$12 million – Mining machine for Potash Corporation of Saskatchewan
$4.9 million – Vaccuum car for the Toronto Transit Commission
$2 million USD – Track maintenance vehicle for Delaware River Port Authority
$1.6 to $1.8 million – Two mobile cranes for the Toronto Transit Commission


To view the article in the St. Thomas Times-Journal, click here.