Making better holes

Making better holes

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 equipment, the company has grown over the years, expanding its facility and machining capabilities.

“That’s what we primarily do here; we produce holes in tube sheets and structural 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.

Read more: Making better holes