If you’re like me, you watch Discovery Channel’s How it’s Made with your thumb on the pause button. Sure, it’s neat to see how my favourite ice cream sandwich is put together from ingredients to packaging, but it’s fascinating to see in detail the machines and robots that are specifically designed to make it all happen. Can you imagine the engineering resources a company would need to be able to take an order for an industrial-sized ice cream sandwich machine with very particular specs? I’ve often wondered who makes the machines that help businesses make their products. Then I spoke with Sam Lim, the Vice President of 416 Automation. 416 Automation offers superior custom solutions in the worlds of automated machinery, testing equipment, and adaptable electrical panels. Sam chatted over the phone with Spotlight on Business from 416 Automation’s Mississauga, Ontario facility in late June about what it’s like to build dream machines for the giants of the automotive industry– and more.
By David MacDonald I f you were going to compare Sam to a US Veep, it would have to be Joe Biden. He’s quick, clever, friendly and positive – and genuinely selfless. “I’m just a lucky guy who gets to have fun working with a bunch of nice people doing fun stuff,” he laughed when I asked him about himself. Sam was much more interested in talking about his colleagues, so I had to do a little digging. His education is impressive. He graduated from the University of Waterloo with a bach- elor’s degree in Mechanical Engineering where he special- ized in mechatronics, or technology that combines elec- tronics and mechanical engineering. He then went on to the University of Liverpool to earn his Master of Science in Information Technology. “I joined the 416 team in January 2012 and Victor joined in November 2016 – and Mimmo Carbonara started it all in 2009. We all used to work together at Sterner Automation before 2008. Unfortunately, Sterner Automation ceased operations during the last recession. Shortly after, Mimmo started 416 Automation. Victor and I had already taken other jobs just before he started the business. I got a job Sam is the Professional Engineer of the future, today.
working for Research in Motion as a software developer until 2012 and Victor got a job at Skyservice and became Director of Planning in Sales and Support before he joined 416.” “We have an extensive engineering expertise that enables us to design our own electronics instead of buying off-the- shelf solutions.” For Sam and the rest of the management team at 416 Automation, Mimmo is much more than the president and founder of the company; he’s a real leader. “Yes, he’s responsible for the sales, finances, and administration teams, but Mimmo is more – he’s the heart of the company. He really is the driving force for our growth. He is a natural entrepreneur with an uncanny gut instinct for business. He’s also got a gifted mind for visualizing the design in his mind and he has a memory like a computer recorder. He really does remember everything,” Sam explained mat- ter-of- factly. Mimmo graduated from Centennial College
SPOTLIGHT ON BUSINESS MAGAZINE • JULY 2017
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