Quebec | COVER STORY - JOb ShOPS 23
before and after
views of 4340 steel
forged and heat-treated railroad car
wheels. The process
time was reduced
by 30 per cent
GC4305 inserts from
by the Canadian Welding Bureau. OSI also has another
division–OSI Machinerie–that designs and builds
equipment for the hardwood floor industry, including
a patented, self-centering planer for board processing.
Between the two, this ISO-9001 company employs 50
people in its 3,700 sq m ( 40,000 sq. ft.) facility.
“We’ve been on a consistent growth path since
day one,” says general manager and co-owner Sylvain
Bernard. “Between founder and president André
Lapointe, major shareholder and business development
manager Jacques Michaud, co-owner and operations
manager Denis Lachance, and myself, we have kept the
company growing, with a commitment to continual
reinvestment and a strong belief in empowering our
employees. As a result, the company enjoys an excellent
labor crew; many of them are in their forties, and have
been with us since leaving school.”
The amount of reinvestment is obvious. OSI
Précision is currently adding on another 550 sq m
( 6,000 sq. ft.) to a shop floor filled with a variety of high
tech equipment, including DMG Mori CTX gamma
2000 and CTX BETA 1250 TC turn mills,
several Nexus FH-series Mazak horizontal
machining centres, and a number of Mazak
multi-tasking lathes. In fact, it was on one of
these machine tools—an Integrex 400 Y—
that the problem with the wheels began.
“We have great experience with a wide
array of parts, from large hydraulic manifolds
for the hydraulics industry to foundry work,
mining and forestry components, parts for
the paper mills, and so on,” says Lachance.
“But no matter what we tried, we couldn’t
get the wheels to run at an acceptable level.
We knew we had to try something different.”
Like most job shops, OSI Précision relies on
various vendors for its tooling needs. One
of these is Sandvik Coromant, with which
they’d had good luck and service in the past.
When the competitive brand continued to
fail on the railcar wheel, Lachance decided to
see what Sandvik had to offer and called the
area sales representative, Steve Boutin.
“I’ve worked with OSI for the past 888–THINBIT
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