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Open house showcased Metaltek’s CAD/CAM machining
Pipeline News
Lloydminster –

Welcome to a 21st century machine shop. held an open house on May 14 to showcase the latest generation of computerized numerical control (CNC) lathes and milling machines in their expanded manufacturing facility.

Owner and CEO Kent Carriere along with partners Jackson McGee and Adam Budenski – all journeymen machinists – will be on hand to demonstrate how they use advanced CAD/CAM software with CNC machines to prototype, produce or repair parts or tools from start to fi nish.

“A lot of people don’t realize what we have for high-tech equipment,” said Carriere.

“When people think machine shop, they think of a little lathe in the corner and a milling machine made in the ’40s. I think it will be a real eye opener for lot of people to see how high-tech things are from the initial idea to the design, engineering and fi nished product.

“We’re going to show the production steps and have the machines running. It will be good for everyone in industry to realize the capabilities that we have in Lloydminster.”

Metaltek has the ability to make a product from scratch starting with the CAD/CAM technology operated by McGee who has 26 years of experience as a machinist.

“If someone wanted us to make a fl ange, we would need to know what specifications are required and we would build it to API specs,” said McGee. “We would source out the materials to meet those specs and get the materials in.

“Sometimes there are custom requirements for projects, so we draw it or scale it on the computer. From there, the software allows us to create a program that is sent to the CNC machines.

“CAD usually comes into play for prototypes and for production runs. I design things from a machinist’s point of view.

“My focus is on ease of manufacturing. Th e goal is to manufacture a product from a cost eff ective standpoint and still get the job done for the customer.”

Standard Metaltek machining tasks include API treading, surface grinding and valve repair, wellhead fl anges, rod hangers, heavy duty C vices, rod breakers, BOP testing nipples , sandline bailer and bailer bits and tubing drains.

“We manufacture any product for any customer who comes along,” said Carriere.

Where Metaltek shines is in its ability to work from a customer’s drawing or idea or from a sample part and take it from a CAD design to a completed machined product.

“When we have a product to manufacture, we will sit down and do a rough sketch of what we want to see,” said Carriere.

“ Jackson does all of the design and Adam does the engineering. We put our heads together and come up with a saleable product at the end of the day.

“It’s a team approach. We are always running new ideas off each other. Every perspective makes your product that much better at the end.”

CAD drawings are converted by McGee to a programmed code that is uploaded to a specifi c CNC machine. An operator can edit the program using a key pay and assign various built-in tools to carry out operations like threading or drilling a hole.

“Once you have proved the program and everything’s been measured and signed off , you go into production from that point whether it’s two pieces or 2,000 pieces,” said Carriere.

“Th e software and the machines that we are running are basically the latest that are out there.

A lot of the work we do is too labour intensive for manually operated lathes. When you get into complicated parts like internal radiuses you can’t reproduce that eff ectively on a traditional lathe.”

Th e CNC lathes are used for machining tubular and round products – cutting threads, drilling holes and cutting internal threads. Th e lathe has the fl exibility to machine any sized part up to a 30-inch diameter.

Th e milling machines are used for drilling and tapping holes, milling slots and cutting windows in tubes and have the capability to handle text and logo engraving, intricate curves and shapes and large milling jobs.

Metaltek also has a combination CNC lathe and mill for products that require a mill and a lathe operation .

Manual lathes are used to machine a multitude of parts from very small pieces all the way up to 36-inch diameter pieces.

Manual mills allow Metaltek to perform all types of operations such as milling, drilling and tapping any spot on a workpiece.

“We can do all kinds of parts from adapting existing equipment and making equipment more effi cient to designing new products from ideas,” said Carriere.

“Th at’s how we got our start designing new products. I have a patent on a downhole tool that I designed 10 years ago. You kind of build your reputation on designing new products for people and working with people on modifying equipment.”

Lloydminster, with the type of heavy oil and the high sand cut, leads to a lot of innovation. Th ere are a lot of new products and ideas out there and you can bring them to the table and make them workable.”

Recently, Metaltek designed and manufactured a mixing system and a relief valve system for sample bottles used to collect oil samples from pipelines for testing in the lab.

“Designing something that is interesting and new is the exciting side of the business,” said Carrier. “It’s exciting to see an idea on paper that is hand-drawn become a completed product. Th at’s a rewarding experience.”

Carriere started Metaltek 12 years ago with a couple of machines and is surprised the company has grown to the point where he is having an open house to mark the latest expansion.

“When I started, I envisioned making a good living for myself,” he said. “I tried to advance with technology as it became available and it kind of grew from that point.”

As for further expansion Carriere said, “I’m not slowing down now. I got a few more years left in me. I am shooting for the moon.”
Manufacture and repair of wellhead equipment (API 6A)
Rotary connection manufacture and repair (API 5D and 7)
Thread and re-thread casing and tubing and line pipe (API5B)
Construction of down hole production and fishing equipment
Storage of customer drill pipe and collars