Apex Automation provides industry with intuitive, autonomous solutions that empower business owners, streamlines operations and gives people back their time.
The company was founded in 2012 by Adam Berlinic, Chief Financial Officer; and Aaron Berlinic, Chief Technology Officer. Tanner DeLorey, Chief Revenue Officer, joined in 2013.
Aaron says, “We specialize in providing process, hydraulic, motion and robotic control systems. In addition, we have software and network specialists to execute turnkey industry 4.0 initiatives.”
“From day one, our goal was to build a culture based on the highest quality and most authentic business practises and where people actually mattered,” adds Adam. “Our staff are our true business partners, and they are amazing. We do our best to show them our appreciation, and to create an outstanding corporate culture. The goal of our team is to create long-term, business relationships built on integrity, resulting in the highest quality solutions and operational excellence for our clients.”
With a clear purpose, Apex Automation grew quickly. The first employee was hired in 2013 and new office space was required by 2014. In 2016, Apex became a Rockwell Certified systems integrator. This program helps develop and promote integrators that lead with Rockwell Automation technologies. The certification helped launch Apex technically and commercially, while also helping Adam, Aaron and Tanner add to their team. The move to the west side office in Edmonton was the first of what would grow to offices in Lloydminster (2020), Calgary (2021), Saskatoon (2019) and Vancouver (2022), along with the recent formation of Apex Automation USA. The team grew alongside the geographical expansion, reaching 75+ members in 2022.
Fueling this growth and success is a commitment to outstanding business practices. Tanner explains, “We work in an extremely challenging engineering environment. When mistakes happen, which they will, we work on minimizing risks by ensuring our quality and even subsidizing the costs ourselves. We consider every client a partner; we put the accountability on us and our staff.”
The team have enjoyed a number of impactful projects over the past 10 years, logging more than 700,000 man hours of experience over 600 projects and alongside more than 20 industry partners. This includes the remote operations center for Cenovus, the tele-remote operation of under ground mining machines for Nutrien and several PLC/DCS turnkey project solutions.
To understand the many ways Apex Automation can revolutionize a business, one needs only glance at their list of industry accomplishments. For example, creating autonomous positioning on a UG machine has allowed Apex to reduce human/machine interaction by 90 per cent. This drives up efficiency, lowers human error and dramatically improves safety. Another project saw the integration of multiple control rooms into one centralized location – with zero productivity interruptions during each phase. More innovations of this kind can be viewed at www.apexautomation.ca/projects.
Apex Automation was an early adopter, and quick to see the full potential of AI. This has paid off in rapid growth – and that comes with its own challenges.
“Keeping up with our growth while ensuring employee morale and exceeding our clients’ expectations can be a challenge,” explains Adam. However, as with every issue Apex Automation faces, they rise to the occasion. By holding fast to the vision started 10 years ago, the authentic business practices and great employee work culture mean everyone pulls together through thick and thin.
Aaron shares, “One of the most rewarding things, for me, is watching our team become leaders in the automation industry while making significant impacts to our clients’ bottom line. I also find growing industry relationships into friendships to be an unexpected bonus in this career.”
“What most people don’t know,” Tanner adds, “is that Apex started in a little farm shop about 45 minutes northwest of Edmonton.” He, Adam and Aaron couldn’t be prouder to see the company grow to be an industry leader with teams across Western Canada, and now pushing into the States.
“We did not arrive here on our own. Our clients fueled our growth, pushed us to think in creative new ways and have been with us, loyally, every step of the way. We cannot thank our clients enough,” says Adam. He continues, “We are also grateful to our Edmonton community. The charitable spirit and willingness to help one another is inspirational and very unique to the city of Edmonton.”
Being on the forefront of automation is a never-ending journey. The processes and products available 10 years ago have already changed and improved many times over. Apex is not only keeping pace but innovating many of the changes needed for the engineering, fabrication and automation spheres. Edge computing, machine learning (ML), data visualization, connected workers, integrated apps – Apex does it all, and more.
“Businesses with a culture of acceptance of technology and automation will prove to be economically resilient despite regional, international and political influence,” says Aaron.
Tanner discusses how Apex Automation helps businesses integrate AI, ML and other innovations that save time, increase safety and improve revenues. “We generally offer free automation assessments, executive level power points and honest commercial terms allowing flexibility with initial costs and payments to help spark a great, initial collaborative conversation. We ensure that the operator experience for all of our automation systems are intuitive and simplistic. This allows faster reaction times to problems or disruptions in addition to allowing staff and management to learn and engage our systems with ease.”
One hurdle to overcome is the commonly held belief that automation will reduce the need for human interaction and labour. The opposite is often true. Companies that embrace automation free up their teams from basic, repetitive tasks that could cause repetitive strain injury – or worse – over time. This moves those workers into better positions where they can oversee the equipment or retrain into higher skilled areas. Automation is not about replacing the workforce; it is about enhancing it. Apex’s growing client list is a testament to industries’ growing commitment to improve efficiency and safety, but not at the expense of their teams. It is truly a win-win situation, and Apex is pleased and humbled to help willing companies through this exciting journey.
In addition to revolutionizing the workforce, everyone at Apex is equally focused on the communities they serve.
“Over the years we have supported numerous charitable organizations throughout the provinces and cities where we are active,” says Adam. “Giving back is a huge responsibility that we take very seriously.”
It’s been a whirlwind 10 years but Adam, Aaron and Tanner wouldn’t have it any other way. They thank their team, clients, vendors, families and everyone that has been a part of their success so far. Apex is a young company that has an exciting future in a fast-paced industry where constant innovation is the goal. The team looks forward to continued growth in both Canada and the U.S. over the next decade.
Learn more at apexautomation.ca and follow the journey on LinkedIn.