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PETER MOREIRA

Visit this link for the original article at the Chronicle Herald. 

Tracy Clinch usually hesitates before revealing numbers about her company. The president and CEO of Masitek Instruments Inc. is careful about revealing too much about the Moncton-based company that helps manufacturers reduce container damage on production lines.

But what she does reveal tells the story of dramatic growth.

For more than six years, Masitek has grown from a small outfit that prevented damage in potatoes during the harvesting process into a predominantly industrial concern. Its main product now is a pressure-sensitive decoy that goes through a production line with regular containers to warn of logjams and gather data on where problems occur. These decoys test for shock and pressure that can damage containers, and the vertical pressure to ensure the process of capping bottles is working well.

The big story is that sales are rising dramatically, aided by the hiring in early 2016 of Pablo Asiron as executive vice-president of global business development.

“We have recently sold into our 33rd country and we’re seeing very significant sales growth,” said Clinch in an interview in the company’s Moncton headquarters. “What we’re seeing is our customers are re-ordering and bringing us into new factories in other countries.”

Clinch, who was recently named to Atlantic Business Magazine’s 2017 Top 50 CEOs list, revealed a string of data and milestones that demonstrated how the company is progressing.

Most impressive, Masitek has doubled revenues in the past year, and sales are up 350 per cent in the past three years. The company’s roughly 250 customers include six of the top 10 beverage companies in the world, and it is talking with two more of these multinationals. A big reason for its expansion is that these companies have tried the Masitek products in one factory, and like them enough to install them in other factories in other countries.

The 13-employee company is continuing to expand and has just added a sales representative in China, hiring an employee from its distribution partner there. And it continues to bring out new products.

Research and development comprise about 10-15 per cent of Masitek’s operations, and the company has just brought on a new head of R&D in Moncton.

In September, Clinch and Asiron will attend the world’s largest conference for the beverage industry — the Drinktec conference in Munich, which is only held once every four years. At the conference they will launch a new platform (which plant managers can use to monitor the data gathered by the company’s sensors) and a new anti-scuff product.

Clinch explained that in some European markets, scuffing of bottles is a huge problem. Companies spend excessive amounts on lubricants and special coatings so bottles look pristine when they come off the production line. Masitek’s new product will help provide plant managers with the information they need to reduce scuffing.

Masitek was launched years ago with an investment from Moncton-based investment firm Technology Venture Corporation, and has since then grown on revenues. Clinch said the company has no plans to raise more money as it can finance its growth through its rapid revenue growth. Bringing on Asiron has helped those sales grow.

“Pablo has brought an executive level knowledge to the sale team and has really improved our sales,” said Clinch. “It’s great to have someone take on the product and really ramp up the sales.”

Peter Moreira is a principal at Entrevestor, which provides news and data on Atlantic Canadian startups.