2022 Top Canadian Defense Technology Company
Macfab is both pleased and humbled by the opportunities we’ve been given over the last 35 years. There’s no mistaking that it’s been difficult work. There have been challenges, and we’ve faced each one head-on. At year’s end, it’s traditional to look back with gratitude and forward with expectation. This year, though, we have a special reason to be thankful. Aerospace and Defense Review is the business and technology magazine for the aerospace and defense industry. They have just named Macfab as a Top Canadian Defense Technology Company in 2022.
Growth and Change
It’s amazing to think back to the state-of-the-art technology when we started. We’ve witnessed the introduction and maturation of new technology in several fields. Machining has become synonymous with CNC mills, and lathes. Digital (and then computer) control of machines revolutionized machine shops.
That runaway success led to a revolution in engineering. Paper gave way to screens as we were getting started, and CAD/CAM software gave designers the tools to create devices of unprecedented complexity. Along with accuracy, new technology brought the speed. CNC mills and lathes began to have multiple axes of operation, meaning they can shape parts from various angles, often with multiple spindles. Deep recesses, fine protrusions, and thin walls -all with precise surface finishing- have become our bread and butter. These technologies also mean these products can often be produced without repositioning the part during machining. That’s a huge time-saver.
The Next Steps
New developments don’t end with machining, either. Cleaning and measuring have kept up with the needs of engineering, too. Macfab’s cleanroom facilities and metrology investments have kept us at the forefront of our industry. Thorough inspections and intense cleaning regimens are generally required for the parts we produce today. Whether we’re cleaning and packaging components for a customer or we take those parts to our cleanroom for assembly, the level of care required is hard for most people to grasp.
The cleanroom facilities and our attention to eliminating surface contamination down to the microscopic level set us apart from most CNC machine shops. Our component assembly facilities enable us to make sure that delicate parts are handled safely. We are often tasked with assembling individual components into larger parts because our customers know they can trust us to do the job properly, and we can test the functionality of the finished assemblies before sending them to the customer. Our work eliminates surprises on their manufacturing line or in the finished product.
Thank You, and We Look Forward
We’ve grown a lot over the years. We’re going to keep growing, too. Just this year we invested several millions of dollars in new machines, including vertical and horizontal mills, 5-axis turning centers, and Swiss turning machines. The range of materials we encounter continues to expand to include new alloys and new plastics. Each of those brings its own machining strengths and weaknesses, and we have to adapt to all of them. It all comes back to the customer’s needs.
Both aerospace and defense industries face new challenges, whether it’s cube sats for the burgeoning private space industry, critical designs for long-distance surveillance in military actions, or new capabilities for the front lines. We’re very happy to be recognized for our work, and we’re excited to see what 2023 is bringing.
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