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Hitachi is going against the grain in the battered heartland of Canadian manufacturing. Amid a raft of plant closings, it's planning to expand

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A worker at the Hitachi Construction Truck Manufacturing Ltd. plant in Guelph, Ont., takes the EH1100 dump truck for a test drive. The plant makes several giant industrial trucks, including this one, which has a 65-ton capacity.

glenn lowson The Globe and Mail

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An employee at the Hitachi plant works on an engine for one of its large mining trucks. Hitachi is expanding its Canadian operation by more than doubling the size of its work force in Guelph and boosting output of its trucks by almost 100 per cent.

Glenn Lowson/glenn lowson The Globe and Mail

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A worker at the Hitachi plant in Guelph, Ont., walks pass the rear wheel assembly of the giant EH 5000 truck that has a load capacity of 320 tons and takes 20 days to assemble. The plant is expanding over the next year and will concentrate on the larger EH 5000 trucks with load capacity of 320 tons.

glenn lowson The Globe and Mail

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Hideo Kitawaki, CEO of Hitachi Construction Truck Manufacturing Ltd. in Guelph, Ont., tours his plant where they manufacture 200 giant industrial mining vehicles a year. A key reason he cites for expanding in Guelph instead of opening a new factory in a lower-cost location is the presence of a skilled and veteran work force at the plant.

glenn lowson The Globe and Mail

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A worker at the Hitachi plant climbs into the cab of the EH1100 dump truck. Hitachi is one company in Canada that is benefitting from the global commodities boom that is driving up the Canadian dollar and causing havoc for much of the manufacturing sector.

glenn lowson The Globe and Mail

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Hideo Kitawaki, centre, CEO of Hitachi Construction Truck Manufacturing Ltd., talks with engine assembler Ralph Schmidt, left, near one of their 3,000 horsepower motors used in dump trucks. Mr. Kitawaki said the company would like to increase its global market share for giant mining trucks to 40 per cent from 8 per cent now.

glenn lowson The Globe and Mail

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Alex Easton uses an ultrasound machine to look for faults in the steel of a spindle destined for the axle assembly of one of Hitachi Construction Truck Manufacturing Ltd.’s giant trucks.

glenn lowson The Globe and Mail

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A wielder at the Hitachi plant makes one of several industrial machines built on site. The Canadian Auto Workers union represents about 400 workers at Hitachi.

Glenn Lowson/glenn lowson The Globe and Mail

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