Local Businesses: Protocase, Part 1

The manufacturing side of the building.

Just to give you an idea of how backed up I am in turning raw material (photos, written interviews, etc) into actual blog posts, I visited Protocase for this piece back in March. Yikes!

Although, maybe with such a vibrant, interesting place as Cape Breton as my subject, that’s just the way it’s got to be.

Anyway – back in March of 2012 I visited the premises of Protocase Incorporated, a Sydney-based manufacturer of “custom electronic enclosures for engineers and designers,” on the invitation of my friend Alicia Lake‘s husband, Douglas Ronne. (Note: I had no idea what “custom electronic enclosures” were before I set foot in the Protocase building. But maybe that’s just me.)

Douglas lives in Baddeck, where I live, and he works as the Lead Software Developer for this small but growing local company. When he heard about my blog, he said I definitely had to come visit his workplace, as he felt it was defying the dominant narrative of Cape Breton being a difficult place to start and run a business. (Protocase is actually always looking for people to hire!)

So, I went, and I toured the building with “the two Dougs” – both Douglas Ronne, and his boss, Doug Milburn – getting to see the manufacturing process and meet some of the workers. It was a lot of fun! I even saw a laser at work. They are super fast and so efficient, going exactly to the point they are meant to go to, doing the work, and zooming off to the next point, stopping on the nose. Like Douglas said, ‘if/when the robots take over the world, we have no hope.’

Both Douglas and Doug were kind enough to do Q+As with me, as well, which I’ll share in parts 2 and 3 over the next couple of weeks.

Enjoy your tour of Protocase!

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