by Tim Wilson
Growing demand in Western Canada
Precise Machine Technologies Ltd.
location: Regina, SK, & Gunton, MB
size: 6,000 sq ft / 557 sq m (MB); 6,500 sq ft / 604 sq m (SK)
years in business: 20 (MB); 6 (SK)
key manufacturing process: CNC machining, welding, fabricating, surface prep and painting
Precise Machine Technologies Ltd., also known as PMT Ltd, was formed in 2008 in Regina, SK. It was set up as the satellite branch to PMT Inc. in Gunton, MB, which was already well established as a CNC machine shop. Now, to address growing demand on the prairies, the Regina company has completed a reverse consolidation with the Gunton operation.
“PMT Ltd. just purchased the Manitoba machine shop–we had our grand opening in June,” says Brian Mustard, president and operations manager of PMT Ltd. “We are in a unique position because we have a project management and technical services side, which includes field machining, but then also have our production machine shop in Manitoba to complement it.”
The company has executed on its strategy of taking its millwright and machinist workforce and driving into specialized service and machining areas in Saskatchewan and Manitoba. It has accomplished this while being the only 100 per cent millwright union company in both provinces.
“Because our service component is union-based we can staff up pretty quickly,” says Mustard. “That’s important to us because our markets, which are primarily in the two provinces, require flexibility from a manpower perspective.”
On the machining side, the Gunton facility began offering custom production machining in 1990. The 6,000 sq ft facility now employees between six and 16 people, depending on demand. The services operation in Regina is 6,500 sq ft, though its core group of six sometimes rises to 20 or more depending on the project.
“Then, when you look at our industry mix, we are biggest in utilities,” says Mustard. “This is followed by mining and heavy industry, then oil and gas and manufacturing.”
Central to PMT Ltd’s value proposition is its ability to deliver work off custom designs to machine parts on a large scale, with quality and precision. To deliver on that, the company has quality control and quality assurance practices specific to tooling and gauge calibration, as well as quality control manuals for the construction and maintenance of pressure piping and boiler external piping approved by the authorities in Manitoba and Saskatchewan. This has been of particular value when gauging machined parts in repeatable scenarios under strict standards.
“On the Manitoba side we do a lot of specialty machining and castings,” says Mustard. “These are often special alloys for mining and core drilling sampling. By contrast, in the operation in Saskatchewan, we do service field machining, which includes a lot of chrome content for piping in the energy sector.”
The combination of these two abilities–in-house CNC, and field machining–means PMT is able to address some of the design, operation, and system factors that come up in repair scenarios in the field, particularly within utilities, energy, and mining. The result is that PMT’s advanced repair services are able to assess and address repeat failure or performance loss, as well as material and design upgrades.
“Our approach has been to diversify into the service sector to accommodate the valleys in manufacturing,” says Mustard. “It’s a good strategy, because services have stayed pretty strong, whereas the manufacturing sector got hit in 2003 and then again in 2008. We are in a unique situation now that we have completed the merger between the two companies.”
Given PMT’s emphasis on servicing rotating machinery, it is in a good position to support ongoing activity in its core markets, where mechanical services and maintenance are critical. And having flexible access to millwrights, machinists and technicians means it can get the job done while ensuring profitability over the long haul.
“The last two years have been phenomenal,” says Mustard. “Now, with the one company, we can showcase our capabilities.” SMT
Tim Wilson is a contributing editor. [email protected]