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Local steel industry leader celebrates 15 year anniversary

HAMILTON – A company that began as a steel storage supplier and now is known for sophisticated automation technology is celebrating its 15th anniversary.

Originally known as Steelcare, the company was founded in 1999 by entrepreneur Demetrius Tsafaridis, who left his management job at Dofasco and launched a steel storage business after sketching out a business plan on a Tim Horton’s napkin. In November 2000 the young company’s flagship building at 400 Longwood Road South was opened. It remains Canada’s largest steel transload (rail to truck) facility and company headquarters.

Today CareGo’s main focus is automation and optimization technology for facilities storing or distributing steel and other heavy products. The technology has been installed at locations including the Port of Liverpool Steel Terminal in the United Kingdom, at a major pipe and tube manufacturer in north Toronto, and most recently at CareGo’s own Longwood Road facility.

Originally developed in-house for the company’s Eastport Boulevard storage facility, the patent-pending TELIATM technology creates efficiency by speeding up loading and unloading, making better use of space, boosting employee productivity and creating a safe facility for both people and products. The software-automated cranes move twice as fast as manually-operated cranes, always “know” where each coil is located and can safely stack products to optimize facility space.

“Over 15 years we’ve evolved from serving primarily local mills and service centres to seeing world-wide interest in our TELIA automation technology,” Tsafaridis says. “The people we hire today are as likely to be programmers and software specialists as crane operators and material handlers.”

A book about CareGo’s history, “From a sketch on a napkin: The story of CareGo” will be launched at an anniversary celebration tomorrow (12-2 pm, 400 Longwood Road South).