Securing the business of safety

Securing the business of safety

A progressive technology transfer centre at Cégep de Saint-Hyacinthe helps a Quebec textile manufacturer remain competitive and keep jobs at home
February 22, 2013

Belt-Tech Products Inc. employs 115 people in Granby, Que., to manufacture high-performance webbing for belts, straps and slings that are used in everyday products from seatbelts to safety harnesses. Generating sales of up to $25 million a year, the company is the only independent supplier of seatbelts in North America, serving the automotive, aircraft and trucking industries. It is among the 10 largest employers in this city of 70,000.

Belt-Tech’s products literally save lives. One of its Kevlar straps, for instance, is secured to the inside of firefighters’ coats, allowing rescuers to drag a downed firefighter out of a life-threatening situation. To ensure that its products meet the stringent safety standards its clients demand and to diversify its product line to keep up with changing technology, Belt-Tech tests and develops its materials at CTT Group, a CFI-funded technology transfer centre specializing in textiles at Cégep de Saint-Hyacinthe, near Montréal.

Belt-Tech is one of the more than 800 clients in the textile, geosynthetic and paratextile sectors that CTT Group has helped over the past year to develop and commercialize new products. The centre, which employs 60 highly qualified personnel, offers a critical service to companies like Belt-Tech that do not have the research and development resources needed to remain competitive.