BEN MACHINE PRODUCTS ACQUIRES MACFAB MANUFACTURING

Uncategorized

We are proud to announce Macfab Manufacturing Inc. has joined the Ben Machine Products family.

Backed by over 35 years of experience, Macfab Manufacturing Inc. will continue to offer precision manufacturing expertise to its broad range of customers in the life sciences, defence, aerospace, environmental and power generation industries.

Ben Machine Products is the ideal partner for Macfab Manufacturing with synergies that will benefit all our customers. Our combined machining capacity will include a total of more than 100 advanced CNC machines, almost 200 employees and more than 100,000 square feet of production floor space. We are excited about what the future will bring.

As part of the EIC group, Macfab Manufacturing and Ben Machine will continue to operate independently and collaboratively serving our customers’ requirements with no disruption, offering additional capabilities and capacity with the significant backing and resources of the parent company EIC of Winnipeg, Manitoba.

To learn more about Macfab Manufacturing, please visit us at www.macfab.ca

To learn more about Ben Machine Products, please visit us at www.benmachine.com

To learn more about EIC, please visit us at www.exchangeincomecorp.ca

Top Advice to Find Your Best Precision Manufacturing Partner

Uncategorized

Building high-quality, precision manufactured goods require a partner you can trust, who has the credentials and the level of expertise and experience to provide you with quality finished products or equipment.

How do you choose the best in a market full of supposedly good quality precision manufacturers? Moreover, how do you even evaluate whether a precision manufacturer will meet your needs or not?

Choosing the right partner is paramount, as that’ll potentially affect everything in your supply chain. Let’s look into how you can make the right decision when searching for a great precision manufacturing partner.

1. Tools Of The Trade

Precision manufacturing needs highly specialized tools and equipment. As technology and requirements keep changing, the equipment needs to be upgraded as well. A CNC expert would know the equipment best practices as well as when it needs to be upgraded.

Take into account the equipment the CNC team currently has and its level of upkeep. You’d want your partner to be an expert in CNC machines to get the best results. They should also be vetted for the machinery that they’re using.

An ISO 9001:2015 certification is a good proxy for quality and a commitment towards the latest CNC technology.

Non-machining experts could find the technical details a bit overwhelming, but the right precision manufacturing partner will bring in efficiency and quality with the use of their equipment and its good maintenance.

You should also be aware of what you need. A five-axis CNC machine cannot and must not be replaced by a three-axis one. Check out the machine roster on the company website to ensure they have what you need.

2. Skills and Expertise

A precision manufacturing partner that you choose should not only have the best machinery but also a highly experienced team to operate the equipment.

A good CNC team will need more than just theoretical knowledge and programming skills; they should be well versed in machine behaviour and have a deep understanding of its intended design.

There is no substitute for experience, and in-depth precision manufacturing experience is only built over the years. A highly experienced CNC manufacturing partner will provide high reliability, product commitment and have a reputation to uphold in terms of customer service.

They will also provide invaluable experience in terms of optimizing your component design, which can save money, from material to selection production.

This can’t be said enough but a CNC manufacturing partner must know their equipment, materials, the industry and your business. Do your research to make sure that they have an experienced team with the proper credentials.

The right team will offer design support and engineering suggestions on the production to reduce costs and potentially increase yields. It is necessary to understand the full capabilities of the machining team.

Some questions you want to answer are –

  • Can the company work with the materials you have in mind?
  • What techniques do they implement?
  • What are the tolerances and outputs they can achieve?

You also need to know whether the company has experience in your industry (e.g., automotive, defence, medical, electronics, or optical)

The last thing you want to hear from a precision machining partner is about yield and quality issues. An experienced partner can do better capacity planning, and you will know your project is safe in the hands of skilled machinists.

3. Communication is Key

We’ve gone past the times where finding a precision manufacturing partner involved going through phonebooks, making calls, and meticulously collecting cost estimates.

In the internet age, communication has become speedier, and just a click away. Nonetheless, finding the right CNC expert can still be cumbersome. And one of the ways to separate good precision machine shops from the best ones is through communication.

The company should have clear contact information on their website with their location, phone number, and email address. A prompt reply to your email means that the company is well-staffed and prioritizes customer queries.

While communicating with external stakeholders (customers etc.) is essential, a good precision manufacturer will also have stellar systems of internal communication. A collaborative team with high energy and the right skills can make your project run on time and within your budget.

This means having reliable systems to track the project, collaborate, schedule, run and improve processes.

In an ever-changing environment where events in one part of the world can quickly have a ripple effect across your supply chain, you need to be sure that your precision manufacturing partner will have quick, transparent, and clear communication with you.

4. Scale and Additional Services

While having a precision machining partner that can do their core job very well is excellent, it’s not a bad thing if they have a more well-rounded repertoire of services. A precision manufacturer that offers additional services can take a lot of burden off your shoulders.

These additional services can be –

  • Help with procuring raw materials
  • Prototyping
  • Fabrication
  • Custom machining
  • Testing & Inspection
  • Clean room assembly

All these additional services can save you a lot of time in the long run.

Also, look out for the scale of operations and breadth of customers. An international customer base would mean that the company is very well equipped to manage global supply chains.

An international customer base also implies that the company has a machine shop that operates at scale and would be flexible towards your needs, no matter the complexity of your manufacturing job.

There’s a lot that goes into finding the right precision manufacturing partner. Be mindful that the partner you choose should adapt to your needs and bring in the right level of expertise.

If you’re looking for a precision manufacturing partner, look no further than Macfab! We’ve always delivered excellence to our customers owing to our experienced employees, engineering acumen, and diverse experience across industries.

Feel free to get in touch with us, and we’d be happy to help!

How To Choose Between Machining & 3D Printing Service

Uncategorized

Machining and 3D printing are based on two fundamental processes – subtractive and additive manufacturing.

Subtractive manufacturing forms the basis of CNC machining and cuts away a block of material to arrive at the final part. In contrast, additive manufacturing is the concept on which 3D printing is based. In 3D printing, layers of material are added to arrive at the final part.

The development of 3D printing has encouraged manufacturers to explore the new technology, although it is still limited by speed and accessibility. However, CNC machining has established itself as an industry standard in machining.

While both have their pros and cons, there’s a lot that goes into choosing the right one. And if you’re a company evaluating the two, finding the right one depends on multiple factors like cost, material, time.

Let’s take a look at everything that you need to know to make the most informed decision between machining or 3D printing.

Evaluating the Differences Between 3D Printing and Machining

Whether you want to create functional prototypes or end parts, both technologies can offer a variety of advantages. Also, both 3D printing and machining rely on CAD data and a variety of materials. And this is where they start diverging from each other.

Physical Feature Considerations

Both CNC machining and 3D printing are limited by their tool size. In the case of CNC machining, the tool diameter will dictate the smallest negative feature that can be created. In 3D printing, the nozzle diameter in combination with Z axis resolution will dictate the smallest positive feature that can be made.

When it comes to surface finish, CNC machining takes the lead as it is able to produce a lot smoother surfaces. 3D printers can produce fit and finish, but for exceptional smoothness, machining is the way to go.

If we talk about loading, CNC machines can create parts that can withstand much higher loads. In comparison, non-structural parts are a better fit for conventional 3D printing.

Both the manufacturing technologies can use metals and polymers to build parts. The choice then comes down to which process is more readily available for manufacturing the part you need.

Also, take into account the waste that is created in both the manufacturing technologies. Since CNC machining is a subtractive manufacturing process it often results in more waste.

3D printing creates minimal waste, as it’s an additive manufacturing process, with some technologies even allowing the reuse of the minimal waste that is created.

Budget and Time Considerations

Usually, CNC machining removes material a lot more quickly than 3D printing deposits it. But if your material removal requirement is quite high, then 3D printing might be a better option.

Programming time is an important consideration. The complexity can significantly increase the programming time in CNC machining. However, once that’s done the cost per additional unit drops rather quickly. This scales well into hundreds or thousands of units per month.

For 3D printing, the programming time is fairly less and complexity has little impact on the time. The unit cost is not much affected by volume and scale can be achieved by getting more 3D printers up and running.

Labor costs are a huge consideration as well. Properly trained operators and programmers are critical to success with CNC machining. However, in 3D printing, there is only minimal training required as programming is made simple using software and can be run unattended.

As a rule of thumb, if you’re looking at scale CNC machining will work fairly well for you. But if you’re looking for quick prototyping and tooling, essentially low volume applications, 3D printing is your best choice.

How To Know Which One Is Right for You?

There is a lot to consider when we talk about machining and 3D printing. While we’ve laid out the essential differences, let’s also look at some guidelines that you can use depending upon your requirements.

How Much Are You Producing?

Making the right choice between the two can often come down to the volumes you are aiming for. If you are chasing scale, CNC machining is your best choice but when you are manufacturing in small batches, 3D printing might be more effective. Also, if you’re creating complex parts but in small quantities, 3D printing will keep your costs under control.

What Materials Are You Working With?

Since CNC machining is the more established technology, you can work with almost any material. This includes metals, plastics and wood.

However, some materials cannot be easily machined (flexible, glass). Here, 3D printing can come to the rescue. It can also work with resins and some metals.

Finally, your choice will depend upon what you need to create. Complexity, cost, materials, volume, budget, and timeline are a few factors you need to keep in mind when making the decision.

We, at Macfab, take pride in our operator’s years of experience and programming skills. Offering both CNC machining and 3D printing, our team of professionals can guide you on the best process for your requirement while maintaining top-notch quality.

Drop us a line now!

Macfab invests in precision-balancing technology for satellite rotors

News, Space and satellites, Uncategorized

 

NEWS RELEASE: March 17, 2020: Macfab Manufacturing, an international supplier of precision components and sub-assemblies, today announced that the company has committed to a significant investment in a hard-bearing measurement system with two-plane dynamic balancing capability.

This technology is used for high-precision balancing of rotors of widely varying sizes – ranging, for example, from dental drill rotors to the much larger rotors used in electric motors, turbines and generators in a variety of industries. Macfab’s initial focus will be on balancing rotors used in reaction wheels for satellites. The new system is calibrated and certified in accordance with SAE ARP 4048. As a result, Macfab will be able to deliver components conforming to the optimal grade, designated as G 0.4 from ISO 1940/1.

Another turnkey solution for satellite component customers

The purchase of precision-balancing equipment is the latest in the company's long history of technology investments that further the company's ability to deliver turnkey solutions. In the case of satellite component manufacturers, including precision-balancing as part of Macfab's full suite of services provides several important benefits. "A big factor is streamlining the supply chain," says Macfab president Chris Macmorine.

“Previously, our clients would purchase the machined component from us, cleaned to a very high standard. They would then do the assembly at their facility, then send it out to a precision balancer and wait another six to eight weeks. Now that client can come directly to us. We’ll machine the part from raw material, we can assemble it with all the other components, clean it, balance it, and then do a final cleaning, and send it to them – certified and ready for installation. The result is reduced lead times, lower overall cost of the assembly and, again, a much more simplified supply chain.”

Reaction wheel

(Shown above:) Reaction wheels designed and built by Sinclair Interplanetary, machined and engraved by Macfab, have been installed in 44 satellites, all of which are still functioning on orbit after several years in service.

About Macfab Manufacturing

Macfab is a contract manufacturer of components and sub-assemblies used in four major industry sectors: space & satellites, analytical instruments, optics & photonics, and defence & security. Macfab supports early-stage product development as well as production volumes, and offers a complete suite of precision machining, finishing, cleaning and assembly solutions. Founded in 1987 in Toronto, Canada, the company today works with science- and technology-based businesses across North and South America, the United Kingdom, Europe, South Africa, Singapore and Australia. For more information, write to sales@macfab.ca or visit: www.macfab.ca.

Macfab exhibiting at Spanish Small Satellites International Forum

News, Space and satellites
SSSIF2020
SSSIF2020

NEWS RELEASE: February 19, 2020: Macfab Manufacturing, an international supplier of precision components and sub-assemblies, is exhibiting at the Spanish Small Satellites International Forum 2020 (SSSIF2020), held February 25-27, in Malaga, Spain.

“SSSIF2020 promises to be an exciting first-time experience for Macfab,” says Joe Magyar, Macfab's business development director. “Over the past year, we’ve significantly expanded our presence in European and international space and satellite markets. In Malaga, we’re looking forward to meeting new colleagues and reconnecting with many of our current customers. I’ll have a number of component samples at our booth that illustrate Macfab’s expertise and some of our unique capabilities.”

SSSIF2020 - Macfab
Space Tech Expo

Macfab produces a range of components and sub-assemblies for space and satellite customers worldwide. Shown here:top: detail of structural element; left: detail of microwave body; right: gold-plated sun sensor housing

About Spanish Small Satellites International Forum 2020

The second annual SSSIF 2020 brings private and public sector leaders and decision-makers together with smallsat designers, technicians, scientists, suppliers, developers and launchers. The forum will present panels and sessions that examine a range of evolving technologies and industry trends. The event will also feature interactive poster sessions and a speaker’s corner for open-ended participation and discussions.

About Macfab Manufacturing

Macfab is a contract manufacturer of components and sub-assemblies used in four major industry sectors: space & satellites, analytical instruments, optics & photonics, and defence & security. Macfab supports early-stage product development as well as production volumes, and offers a complete suite of precision machining, finishing, cleaning and assembly solutions. Founded in 1987 in Toronto, Canada, the company today works with science- and technology-based businesses across North and South America, the United Kingdom, Europe, South Africa, Singapore and Australia. For more information, write to sales@macfab.ca or visit: www.macfab.ca.

Macfab showcases mechanical component expertise at Space Tech Expo Europe

News, Space and satellites
Space Tech Europe - Macfab
Space Tech Expo
Space Tech Expo

NEWS RELEASE: November 14, 2019: Macfab Manufacturing, an international supplier of precision components and sub-assemblies, is exhibiting at Space Tech Expo Europe, held November 19-21, in Bremen, Germany. The company's display will be located at Booth 4035.

"Macfab has a unique story to tell," says Joe Magyar, Macfab's business development director. "We are a highly specialized niche player in the space and satellite market. At this year's Space Tech Expo Europe, we're presenting a number of component samples that illustrate our expertise and, in particular, our ability to work with complex designs, challenging materials such as magnesium and titanium alloys, and, of course, with tight deadlines. I'm looking forward to sharing our experience and insights during this event."

Space Tech Expo
Space Tech Expo
Space Tech Expo

Macfab produces a range of components and sub-assemblies for space and satellite customers worldwide. Shown here: top: structural member machined from magnesium alloy; left:detail of microwave body; right: close-up of large reaction wheel rotor

About Space Tech Expo Europe

Now in its third year, Space Tech Expo Europe is fast becoming one of Europe's premiere supply-chain and engineering event for manufacturing, design, test and engineering services for spacecraft, subsystems and space-qualified components. The exhibition and conference brings together buyers and sellers representing all aspects of civil, military and commercial space.

About Macfab Manufacturing

Macfab is a contract manufacturer of components and sub-assemblies used in four major industry sectors: space & satellites, analytical instruments, optics & photonics, and defence & security. Macfab supports early-stage product development as well as production volumes, and offers a complete suite of precision machining, finishing, cleaning and assembly solutions. Founded in 1987 in Toronto, Canada, the company today works with science- and technology-based businesses across North and South America, the United Kingdom, Europe, South Africa, Singapore and Australia. For more information, write to sales@macfab.ca or visit: www.macfab.ca.

Macfab sponsors and exhibits at NewSpace Europe

News, Space and satellites
NewSpace Expo Europe
NewSpace Expo Europe

NEWS RELEASE: November 6, 2019: Macfab Manufacturing, an international supplier of precision components and sub-assemblies, is a sponsor of NewSpace Europe, held November 13-14 in Luxembourg.

Building on this year's theme, "Driving Momentum," the event's sessions will address ways to stimulate growth in  the NewSpace economy, ranging from advances in satellite technology to the building of a lunar economy. Attendees include private and public sector executives, investors, startups, and a range of technical professionals. NewSpace Europe is organized by the Luxembourg Space Agency.

Representing Macfab is Joe Magyar, Macfab’s business development director.“We’re a proud sponsor of NewSpace Europe and also an enthusiastic participant at this year's event,” says Magyar. “Our exhibit will showcase a number of components we've developed for space customers, including ADCS instruments, sensors, propulsion, and communications and electronics. I'm especially excited about this event's networking opportunities, to share and exchange ideas and insights in this fast-growing NewSpace sector."

Building on over a dozen years of experience in the space sector, Macfab today is focused significantly on developing new business relationships in the space and satellite industry. In 2019, the company has participated in space industry conferences and events throughout Europe, the US and Canada.

Separation ring
Honeycomb panel- Macfab
Reaction wheel rotor - Macfab

Macfab produces a range of components and sub-assemblies for space and satellite customers worldwide. Shown here: left: satellite separation ring; center: close-up of honeycomb composite panel; right: stainless steel reaction wheel rotor

About Macfab Manufacturing

Macfab is a contract manufacturer of components and sub-assemblies used in four major industry sectors: space & satellites, analytical instruments, optics & photonics, and defence & security. Macfab supports early-stage product development as well as production volumes, and offers a complete suite of precision machining, finishing, cleaning and assembly solutions. Founded in 1987 in Toronto, Canada, the company today works with science- and technology-based businesses across North and South America, the United Kingdom, Europe, South Africa, Singapore and Australia. For more information, write to sales@macfab.ca or visit: www.macfab.ca.

Macfab brings space & satellite focus to Best Defence Conference 2019

Defence & security, News

NEWS RELEASE: November 1, 2019: Macfab Manufacturing, an international supplier of precision components and sub-assemblies, is a sponsor of the Best Defence Conference, held November 5-6, in London, Ontario.

Best Defence Conference 2019

"We are a smaller event, but punch far above our weight. While most of our 400 attendees are from Canada, we are also drawing increased international traffic from places such as the U.S., the U.K. and Israel. The technology showcase, which we added three years ago, continues to grow.”

– Heather Pilot, Pilot Hill Productions

Heather Pilot

Reflecting Canada's growing defence sector 

The Best Defence Conference is one of Canada’s must-attend defence and security events, bringing together Canadian and international companies to address Canadian defence procurement and supply chain opportunities. In a recent article, conference organizer Heather Pilot linked the event's success to the growth of Canada's defence sector in general.  “While most of our 400 attendees are from Canada, we are also drawing increased international traffic from places such as the U.S., the U.K. and Israel.”

Ontario’s defence sector has over 300 direct suppliers and over 500 tier 2 suppliers generating over $5 billion per year in sales.

Making space for space – and satellites

"In recent years we've seen huge growth in the space and satellite sector," says Macfab's business development director, Joe Magyar. "This is a major opportunity not only for Macfab but also for Canada's defence and security sector. At this year's Best Defence conference, we’ll be demonstrating some of the work we've done, and sharing our experiences, in this exciting new market."

Macfab has focused significantly on developing new business relationships in the space and satellite sector. In 2019, the company has participated in space industry conferences and events throughout Europe, the US and Canada.

Macfab produces a range of components and sub-assemblies for defence and security customers worldwide.  Shown here: Left: Control system housing, aluminium with selective red anodization. Right: Heat sink, approximately 5 ½” X 8”, machined from magnesium alloy.

About Macfab Manufacturing

Macfab is a contract manufacturer of components and sub-assemblies used in four major industry sectors: space & satellites, analytical instruments, optics & photonics, and defence & security. Macfab supports early-stage product development as well as production volumes, and offers a complete suite of precision machining, finishing, cleaning and assembly solutions. Founded in 1987 in Toronto, Canada, the company today works with science- and technology-based businesses across North and South America, the United Kingdom, Europe, South Africa, Singapore and Australia. For more information, write to sales@macfab.ca or visit: www.macfab.ca.

Macfab touching down at IAC 2019

News, Space and satellites
AIC 2019 - Macfab
AIC 2019 - Macfab

NEWS RELEASE: October 16, 2019: Macfab Manufacturing, an international supplier of precision components and sub-assemblies, is exhibiting at the 70th International Astronautical Congress, held October 21-25 at the Walter E. Washington Convention Center in Washington, DC. Macfab’s display is part of the Canada Pavilion, located at Booth 591.

The IAC event typically attracts over 4,000 attendees, including scientists, researchers and business professionals from all facets of the space sector. Hosted by the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics, IAC 2019 will feature over 200 technical sessions, plenaries and panel discussions.

“We’re extremely excited about showcasing our capabilities at IAC 2019,” says Joe Magyar, Macfab’s business development director. “Several of our space and satellite customers are attending, and many of them have recommended this conference to us as one of the major go-to events of the year. For Macfab, IAC 2019 promises the opportunity not only to reconnect with customers but also to present our unique story to a huge international audience."

Macfab has focused significantly on developing new business relationships in the space and satellite sector. In 2019, the company has participated in space industry conferences and events throughout Europe, the US and Canada.

About Macfab Manufacturing

Macfab is a contract manufacturer of components and sub-assemblies used in four major industry sectors: space & satellites, analytical instruments, optics & photonics, and defence & security. Macfab supports early-stage product development as well as production volumes, and offers a complete suite of precision machining, finishing, cleaning and assembly solutions. Founded in 1987 in Toronto, Canada, the company today works with science- and technology-based businesses across North and South America, the United Kingdom, Europe, South Africa, Singapore and Australia. For more information, write to sales@macfab.ca or visit: www.macfab.ca.

Macfab sponsors, attends, 11th European Cubesat Symposium

News, Space and satellites, Uncategorized

Shown: Student-designed cube satellite at the University of Aalborg’s Institute of Electronic Systems

NEWS RELEASE: September 5, 2019: Macfab Manufacturing, an international supplier of precision components and sub-assemblies, is a participating sponsor of the 11th European Cubesat Symposium, held September 11-13 at the University of Luxembourg.

The symposium provides a snapshot of the cubesat world, from technology demonstrators and scientific missions to the future technologies and the space exploration.This year’s event will emphasize the role of cubesats, and of satellite businesses large and small, in driving the commercial NewSpace phenomenon.  

“We’re very proud to support this year’s symposium,” says Joe Magyar, Macfab’s business development director. “For us, this event provides a wonderful opportunity to connect with our colleagues in the satellite industry, in Europe and beyond, and also to meet new ones. Space is a fast-growing, fast-moving industry and we treat events such as the Cubesat Symposium as a top priority.”

The European Cubesat Symposium is organized by the Luxembourg Space Agency, the University of Luxembourg, and the von Karman Institute for Fluid Dynamics.

About Macfab Manufacturing

Macfab is a contract manufacturer of components and sub-assemblies used in four major industry sectors: space & satellites, analytical instruments, optics & photonics, and defence & security. Macfab supports early-stage product development as well as production volumes, and offers a complete suite of precision machining, finishing, cleaning and assembly solutions. Founded in 1987 in Toronto, Canada, the company today works with science- and technology-based businesses across North and South America, the United Kingdom, Europe, South Africa, Singapore and Australia. For more information, write to sales@macfab.ca or visit: www.macfab.ca.