by Greg McNeil
The Cape Breton Post, Sydney - The grand opening of the new head office and manufacturing facilities for an innovative local company turned into a celebration of the past, present and future. Protocase Custom Enclosures, a designer and manufacturer of custom metal enclosures for the electronics industry, now calls the former Sydney Steel site its home. Speaker after speaker at the Wednesday ceremony talked of how Protocase — like the steel company before it — is using the location to provide innovation to its respective industry.
Eric Parsons, chairman of the Sydney Steel Museum Society, briefed the audience of politicians, Protocase employees and local business leaders on past steel innovations, including the controlled cooling of rails, a state-of-the electric arc furnace and many others. “These are just a few of the technical aspects of what went on on this site and how important it is to see a company like Protocase move on into the future.”
Parsons’ insight into past technical feats of the local steel industry led nicely into discussion of the current technical expertise of Protocase. “We are acutely aware that people put their heart and soul into this place and special stuff happened here economically,” said Doug Milburn, a co-founder of Protocase. “Sydney Steel changed the rail business. One of the dominant business of the world today is engineering and design, particularly electronics. We are fundamentally changing the way that engineers and designers work. That is why people come from all over North American and (the United Kingdom) to buy from us.”
Steve Lilley, the company’s other co-founder, told the audience their current success is due in part to community assistance. “This is all about people and it is about partnerships and it is about relationships.” Lilley said local investment and support of their vision was very important to the company’s early years. “Folks in this community saw and believed in us. I certainly extend a thank you to those early day shareholders.” Protocase was incorporated in 2001 and now has 45 employees providing services to about 2,000 customers, including NASA, Boeing, Google, Microsoft and Apple.
Cape Breton Post Website
Protocase Custom Enclosures, a designer and manufacturer of prototype enclosures for the electronics development industry, had its grand opening of the new head office and manufacturing facilities on the former Sydney Steel site, Wednesday. Pictured, Protocase co-founder and president Steve Lilley thanks the large crowd that included family, supporters, politicians, Protocase employees and local business leaders for their ongoing involvement in the business’s success. Steve Wadden - Cape Breton Post