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Published on:
09.04.20

Fabrimet Inc. continues to endorse FICEP’s innovative labor saving technology!




In the town of Drummondville, Quebec which was founded in 1815 to house the British in their battle against the Americans in the War of 1812, is where an enterprising and inventive young man by the name of Georges Guerette with his son Gilbert founded the company Guerette Machine Shop in 1944.  As Gilbert had seven children he needed to generate some aggressive growth to provide for his family going forward thus he grew the initial company into three diverse divisions under the name of General Manufacturing Company:

 

  • Machinery Division (Woodworking Machinery)
  • The Cast Iron Division
  • Sheet Metal Division

 

Over the years Gilbert sold the machinery and casting divisions to other family members and ultimately changed the name of the Sheet Metal Division in 1978 to the current name of Fabrimet Inc.  During the past few decades Fabrimet Inc. has focused on steel fabrication with the following products:

 

  • Lattice type transmission towers
  • Highway guard rails, post and accessories
  • Bridge connection plates
  • Electrical sub stations
  • Tubular transmission towers
  • The generation of welded angles exceeding 10” X 10”

 

In 1978 Gilbert’s sons, Georges and Paul, joined the firm and presently represent the second generations management.

 

Georges Guerette, President states, “As the majority of our historical products were galvanized our principal production evolved into the area of power transmission and highway accessory items like guard rails.

With my father’s engineering background and experience designing labor saving woodworking machinery meant we were always eager to engage in automation for the fabrication of our products.  This creative thinking helped pioneer our initial investments in CNC angle fabrication systems from the firm Profel in 1979.  As the fabrication of transmission towers grew to become a major portion of our product line we installed multiple CNC angle lines during the following few years.  This was just the beginning as we continued to aggressively invested in multiple automated systems also for plates and beams in the next few years.  As we moved to the next decade we were producing virtually all our angles on CNC angle lines.  This level of capital investment enabled us to focus on the following target markets:

 

  • Utilities and engineering firms in Canada and the United States
  • Guard rails, post and related accessories in Eastern Canada
  • Structural steel requirements for the mining industry in Canada and the United States”

 

As Fabrimet’s sales expanded and the Profel lines started to show their age and obsolescence Fabrimet started to invest in new technological solutions from FICEP.  Georges had many discussions with FICEP’s engineering team and his experience helped to support and adapt the machinery to the specific needs and requirements to Fabrimet needs.

 

Georges Guerette states “ In 2008 we started to focus on CNC technology that consolidated multiple operations into one system to eliminate the many material handling steps from one fabrication operation to the next.  The FICEP CNC systems that we installed in 2008 accomplished the following consolidated operations:

 

  • Plate processing that incorporated punching, drilling, marking and thermal cutting.
  • Structural steel fabrication that combined the operations of drilling, marking and sawing.
  • Angle fabrication that included punching, marking and programmable notching that could generate different notch geometry without the need to manually change tooling.

 

The ability to incorporate programmable notching into a CNC angle line represented a major labor saving function as most of the cross bracing angles in lattice type towers are notched or clipped.  The FICEP angle line that we installed in 2008 enabled us to go from a stock length to a finished angle ready to go to galvanizing without manually labor!

 

Investment in automation at Fabrimet did not stop then, as in 2013 they once again invested in new technology from FICEP with the following capabilities:

 

  • High speed processing including punching, marking and carbide sawing of miscellaneous steel sections.
  • Plate processing incorporating drilling, marking and thermal cutting.
  • Angle drilling, marking and carbide sawing of larger angles that require drilled holes and saw cutting to length (in lieu of punching and shearing) per design code.

 

Recently Georges was asked how has FICEP equipment improved his productivity over past methods.  “In our business the goal is more pounds per hour with less labor.  The ability of FICEP’s innovative technology to combine multiple operations and reduce up to six processes into one productive CNC operation and eliminate the need for secondary operations enables us to achieve this goal.”

 

Fabrimet currently fabricates in excess of 55,000 US tons of fabricated lattice towers per year, which is a substantial tonnage comprised of hundreds of thousands of parts when you consider the average part weight.  When Georges has been asked how has FICEP enabled his company to grow to this level, he stated “We have been able to grow our volume and market share substantially through automation while maintaining exceptional quality and accuracy which is of paramount importance in our industry.”

 

Presently Fabrimet produces both lattice and monopole type towers.  Georges shared his thoughts on how he sees the future of these two designs as well as the cost comparison between them: “The lattice tower designs are much better, cheaper and do not require an extensive foundation when compared to a monopole tower design.  Generally monopoles are specified in urban areas for esthetic reasons.”

 

Georges and his brother Paul continue to understand the role that technology and productivity in the fabrication of their product line continues to play now and in the future.  In line with this thinking in 2019 they added to their capability and capacity by purchasing the following new FICEP CNC fabrication systems:

 

 

In reviewing the capital investments in automation that have been made by Fabrimet over the past decade it is clear that they realize that efficiency, competitiveness and growth revolves around innovative automation and the consolidation of multiple fabrication steps.  The nine different CNC lines that Fabrimet has purchased during the past decade represents the type of customer endorsement that confirms that FICEP continues to deliver industry leading innovative labor saving technology for the entire steel fabrication industry!

 



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