Mississauga’s Lynch Fluid Controls Inc. has for a quarter-century, been a North American leader in the design, manufacture, and distribution of hydraulic motion control manifolds, and integrated hydraulic systems.
President Ernie Lynch, Lynch Group of Companies and Chief Information Officer, son, Gavin, in the plant at their offices in Mississauga.
From its cutting-edge, 40,000-square-foot facility at 1799 Argentia Rd., Lynch supplies motion control to industries such as: automotive, aerospace, material handling, mining, logging, industrial, mobile equipment, plastics, medical, and even entertainment – from hit productions Miss Saigon, the Phantom of the Opera, Cirque de Soleil, to movies like Terminator 2 and Universal Studios’ productions. This kaleidoscope of business interest comes to a head in April when Lynch celebrates 25 years serving its growing list of customers.
“We sell into 48 countries, and have a goal of one hundred by 2020,” says president and CEO Ernie Lynch.
At present, exports account for approximately 30 percent of the firm’s total sales, and Lynch is eager to up that to 80 percent by 2020.
ISO 9001 and AS9100B certified, the Lynch Group of companies is divided into Lynch Fluid Controls Inc. (manufacturing and distributing for mobile and industrial markets), and Lynch Dynamics Inc. (design and manufacturing for the aerospace and medical industries).
Lynch’s exclusive distribution arrangement with the Florida-based Sun Hydraulics – a leading designer and maker of high performance screw-in hydraulic cartridge valves, and manifolds – has been the backbone of its manufacturing division. They’ve been able to take valve integration to a new level and are now suppliers to many well-recognized fluid power establishments and OEM’s.
“We’re the master integrator/distributor for Sun Hydraulics Corp,” explains Lynch.
“That’s a huge help, having that relationship with a publicly traded company on NASDAQ. We’re also a certified manufacturing partner with Sun Hydraulics.”
Ernie Lynch with a product Lynch Fluid Controls Inc.
Lynch provides complete and fully functional manifolds ready for the customer’s application – both from its standard product line, or customized to specifications. Lynch’s support of the customer includes conceptualization, engineering, component selection, 3D modeling/design, machining, assembly, documentation and validation. They have a marketing department and reseller location system in-house.
“We’re pretty self-sufficient,” says Ernie. Operating on a Just-In-Time basis, their cutting-edge, fully flexible manufacturing plant/warehouse runs “24 x 7, lights out.” The companies are heavily automated, and they’re in the process of integrating two new robotic cells, which manufacture a part every two minutes.
Lynch is so bullish on his companies’ prospects; $4 million was invested in infrastructure in 2011.
Explained Ernie, “We want to be able to compete with offshore production on a global basis, and the only way to do that is through automation, in order to be competitive, and advance the capability and ensure our place in the market.”
The Centennial College graduate (he received a 2011 Alumnus of Distinction), Ernie was working for other hydraulics firms when he observed that there were a few countries supplying the world, but none based in Canada.
What started out as a one-man operation in Etobicoke in 1987 has mushroomed into a staff of 77, and state-of-the-art facilities. The move to Meadowvale has proven propitious because of its proximity to highways, hotels and Pearson International Airport.
“We found that 85 per cent of our employee base was closer to home,” noted the 57-year-old father of two (including his 30-year-old son Gavin, who is the company’s chief information officer).
Six years ago, Lynch Fluid Controls opened a U.S sales office in Kentucky, and three years back it purchased a neighboring, 30,000-square-foot building on Argentia. Plans are in place to expand into the second Mississauga location by 2014.
“Right now, our biggest hurdle is keeping up with the market demand, because its extremely high right now, contrary to what the media would like to tell us,” says Lynch. “We have space to grow, but for the bulk of that growth, we will have to export and be active in other countries – especially in China – one of our target areas. Our expectations are to be opening a facility in China this year.”
Lynch has shared the company’s 20-20 vision with customers, suppliers, and employees, and by formulating it; the challenge is there for all to see – especially for the executive and the employees. But setting goals is nothing new to Lynch, or his necklace of companies. “I believe in written goals,” he says “and there’s a connection between the brain and the hand. I look at the brain as a biocomputer. If a computer doesn’t have a program to run on, it won’t know what to do – your brain is not different”
If this sounds like classic left-brain thinking, consider that Lynch was a professional bass player for two years, and still jams, some jazz, country, and rock in the off-hours. He even leads the in-house band, the Bare Naked Lynches, when they play the company’s Christmas party.
That’s part of the fun, but professional culture is alive at Lynch.
Ernie even finds striking parallels between music and business. “Andy Warhol said working is art and good business is the best art of all,” he says.
Lynch credits “our excellent management and staff” with all the success over the years, and its partly due to taking a “holistic approach” to the employee. “We’re not a huge company,” he notes. “We’re small enough that we can be in close contact with our staff.”
Ernie asked that Andrew Garcia, Bill Gregory, Attilio Treglia, and Brian Wilson, four of his closest friends be mentioned in this article for their loyalty and dedication.
Lynch offers profit sharing, and there’s even a student recognition program for employee’s children. The tight-knit firm is putting a team in this year’s Mississauga Marathon, and “really promotes diet and exercise.”
The focus on fitness comes after Ernie developed a near fatal blood clot at the heart while running 5-km distances in June of 2009.
To live a better lifestyle he’s gone vegetarian, and during the first week of June, the company holds a `Heart Healthy Lunch’ when the boss cooks everything totally vegetarian and organic.
“We grow our own vegetables and will be experimenting with hydroponic gardening indoors, probably this coming winter. We’d like to expand the building to include a solarium with indoor gardens,” he says.
After 25 years, Lynch Fluid Controls Inc. is a healthy and growing contributor to the robust Mississauga business community. Indeed, it is time to celebrate.
For more information visit lynch.ca