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Highland Valley
Escondida, Phase IV

WHO WE ARE: Company History

Synergy began as a one person, green-fields venture, driven by one man’s vision to satisfying the need of the large scale Materials Handling industry for technologically advanced Engineered Drives & Drive Systems.

Richard Neuman started the company in 1987 for the purpose of engineering, designing, and manufacturing large electrical drive systems and associated controls for the materials handling industry.

Initial projects included the supply of conveyor drives and electrical systems to the Highland Valley Copper Mine in British Columbia. Synergy entered the industry by successfully completing a number of small and medium sized conveyor drives and mill drives projects.

The company soon ventured into the Alberta oil sands, competing against established multinational suppliers. Synergy delivered a series of drive solutions for major energy producer, Syncrude Canada Ltd.

Success on these projects helped establish Synergy Engineering as a credible and capable supplier for conveyor drive solutions, and the company also earned preferred supplier status with several domestic firms who themselves had an international footprint.

Increasingly large scale projects facilitated Synergy's development of the base technology used to start the growth in technical excellence required to compete for business at the highest levels, anywhere in the world.

Neuman applied modern engineering thinking to an old traditional electro-mechanical device, revitalizing its usage in the material handling industry.

"We began by providing customers with motors and drives and we did the occasional e-house, but that’s just the tip pf the iceberg compared to the complete solutions we offer today," says Neuman. "We've added electrification at the front end. We've added instrumentation and control at the back end, usually wrapped around a drive and a motor solution for a much larger scope application."

As the young company demonstrated its competence to the mining industry, it was soon in demand in some of the world's most highly productive mining regions, including the Atacama Desert of Chile. Here, Synergy has generated repeat business in many phases of the Minera Escondida mine, the most productive open pit copper mine in the world. Success on initial projects in Chile laid the base for further expansion into other international markets.

The size and technical difficulty of these international projects was a positive force in further driving Synergy to deepen the number and calibre of engineering skills as a way to reduce risk and maintain the technical reputation Synergy had already developed. As an expected consequence of the business development strategy, Synergy expanded its engineering skills to include automation, drive systems and power distribution for large materials handling projects.

Synergy's success in Chile brought requests from our customers that we establish a significant presence in Chile. In 2003, this resulted in the formation a wholly owned Chilean subsidiary, Synergy Ingeneria Ltda. The office in Santiago has positioned us positively to source locally manufactured products and components for South American projects and to operate as a forward support base for technical support and project supervision teams operating in Chile. This has led to additional export business in Peru. In 2006, in response to the increased activity in the Canadian oil sands, Synergy opened a branch office in Edmonton, Alberta.

Over the years Synergy has grown by adding highly qualified personnel and by investing in digital technologies that enable cost-effective, reliable systems.

Today, Synergy is renowned as an effective systems integrator that succeeds through creative leveraging of our expert capabilities in power distribution, drives, instrumentation and control. "We're not a time and materials company any more," notes David Atkinson. "We take on a larger scope and take the risk away from the customer."