“We were really impressed with how the boxways allowed the machine to move, as well as its sturdiness. It was also important for us to have local support available.” – Usinage Superieur

By Canadian Metalworking Technology Usinage Superieur, a job shop located in Sainte-Catherine, Que., has spent the better part of the last 34 years perfecting its holemaking abilities. From its beginnings in 1985 as a small repair shop for industrial parts,” said Jean-François Dextraze, operations manager, Usinage Superieur. “To perfect our quality and reduce our downtime, we have developed specific tooling and drilling methods. Holemaking is really our sweet spot.”

The majority of its work comes from the hydroelectric and petrochemical industries, particularly heat exchangers. For much of its recent history, the shop has partnered with Thermofin, a manufacturer of heat exchangers and Usinage Superieur’s largest customer, taking up about 80 per cent of the shop’s capacity. This left the shop with only a limited capacity for other projects and lessened its need to take on additional projects.

However, in recent years the shop has shifted its production whereby Thermofin occupies only about 40 per cent of the capacity, opening up more space for new customers and expanding into new industries. It has even landed some new contracts with the rail transportation industry. Diversification has allowed the company to better serve both structural and pulp and paper industries as well, which is where the company sees its most promising contracts going forward.

“The first CNC machine was purchased in 1994,” said Louis-Charles Rondeau, owner, Usinage Superieur. “It was an Okuma MC-60V milling machine and after more than 74,000 hours on the clock, it’s still running strong.”

For this reason, the company reached out to EMEC Machine Tools Inc. for its latest equipment purchase, a new Okuma MCRA5CII double-column milling machine, one of the first installations of its kind in Quebec.