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From 2016 to 2017, College of the Rockies experienced a 14.6% increase in students

Success story: Applied Compression Systems

Cranbrook’s proximity to the U.S. and connectivity allows Applied Compression Systems to access a worldwide market

mike sanderman
Mike Sanderman, president of Applied Compression Systems in Cranbrook, B.C.

Drawn to the area by its plethora of outdoor activities, Mike Sanderman left his native Alberta and the big city he was living in and moved to Cranbrook in 2004. That same year, he and his father, who owned a vacation home on one of the area lakes, started Canadian Purcell Machinery (CPM)—a supplier of used, reconditioned and new surplus compression systems. Today, CPM offers one of the largest inventories of its kind in North America via e-commerce.

But that’s only part of the story.

In 2010, Applied Compression Systems (ACS), which designs and manufacturers compression equipment, was started. Utilizing the latest technology, ACS offers standard and custom equipment for clients around the globe.

“We service just about every sector, from food producers to oil/gas, power generation, manufacturing, aerospace and mining,” said Sanderman.

Much of their equipment is exported; therefore, Sanderman appreciates the fact that Cranbrook is less than hour from the U.S. market.

“I chose Cranbrook because I knew the area, but the labour force, cost of living and proximity to the U.S. border were big factors.”

Proximity to major infrastructure, such as the Canadian Rockies International Airport also comes in handy when embarking on business trips. It is only a 15-minute drive to the airport from APC’s location on Industrial Road A.

Ten full-time employees work at ACS and the company also has one to four contractors for special projects. When it comes to finding skilled workers, Cranbrook’s College of the Rockies has proved to be a valuable resource.

“We have worked with the welding program at the college to find young, new welders, when needed,” said Sanderman.

Locating in Cranbrook gives Sanderman a competitive business advantage as well as an enviable lifestyle that includes snowmobiling, ATVing, mountain biking, camping and hiking.

“It has great access to the outdoors, so I can enjoy life,” he said.