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The Machining Center Innovation Chosen for Skills Ontario Competition

May 4, 2017

Contact: Paul Vreugdenhil, The Machining Center Inc
Tell: (613) 969-0053


 Students Redraw Air Force Device Prototyped and Produced by Quinte West’s The Machining Center Inc.

One of the devices used by Air Forces all over the world (the Airborne Systems PR-A2 Disconnect device) was locally prototyped, produced and shipped by local companies (just outside of Belleville, Ontario) in the Bay of Quinte.

Local support was key in the device’s initial development. Airborne System’s device is an important Ontario success story. Designed, made and shipped from Ontario, it was also a logical addition to this year’s Skills Ontario Competition held this week in Toronto May 1-3.

The Skills Ontario Competition is Canada’s largest skilled trade & technology competition. Participants this year were tasked with drawing Airborne Systems PR-A2’s complex device. Being able to draw a machine part is an industry requirement; this year, Skills Ontario wanted students to work with a part that has a real life application in the industry which made the challenge more meaningful and tied it to ongoing talent development in Ontario.

Initiatives like the Skills Ontario Competition continue to foster a healthy manufacturing sector by supporting future local economy,  promoting trades & technologies and inspiring innovative thinking among the next generation.

Quinte West’s The Machining Center prototyped and produces Airborne System’s devices. Their work on the ‘disconnect device’ shows that advanced machining is alive and well in the Bay of Quinte.

Paul Vreugdenhil, the Machining Center’s Operations Manager, spoke to high school and post-secondary students from across Ontario at this year’s Skills Ontario Competition. His address showed participants how the company combined technology and machining to produce Airborne System’s innovative product.

In 2004, with the help of the Quinte Economic Development Commission (QEDC) and government funding, The Machining Center purchased SolidWorks® and GibbsCam® CNC Programming software. When an engineer from a company called Airborne Systems came in with hand-sketched parts looking for help building a prototype, the Machining Center team was ready for the challenge. Together they created the finished assembly: Airborne Systems’ PR-A2 Disconnect – a device that attaches between cargo to be dropped from an aircraft and its parachute, and releases the parachute seconds after landing, preventing the cargo from being dragged and damaged by the wind. This one part replaces a troublesome system of multiple parts that the industry previously relied on.

This week Vreugdenhil said he felt humbled by the opportunity to help youth develop real-life skills for future careers in skilled trades and technologies. “We couldn’t have gotten here without a little help ourselves.”  He adds, “Loyalist College’s Jeremy Braithwaite has done so much for Skills Ontario – opting for a real-life part is certainly easier for kids to draw in the competition and more inspiring. Obviously for us Miltex Solutions (our client as much as Airborne Systems) were key in making the product available for students to attempt to draw. QEDC played an early hand in helping us get to this point where we could solve industry problems like this. Castings were purchased from Niagara Castings in Ontario and all assembly was done in the Bay of Quinte. To date, over 1000 assemblies have been made.”

Vreugdenhil also thinks his company’s accomplishment is part of broader manufacturing industry gains here in Canada. “It’s a clear indication that businesses in Ontario and other provinces can compete on the global manufacturing stage because they have the ability to generate new ideas and turn those innovations into useful products with practical application.”

The results of the 2017 Skills Ontario Competition? Two Loyalist College second year manufacturing students won Bronze in differing categories, and for the second year in a row: Loyalist College earned the People’s Choice Award for best booth. For more details please see media contact below.
About The Machining Center: The Machining Center Inc provides CNC and manual machining services, custom fabrication, various design/engineering services as well as industrial maintenance services from a 14,000 sq. ft. facility in Bay of Quinte, ON, Canada.

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For more information, or to schedule an interview with Paul Vreugdenhil at The Machining Center, please contact (613) 969-0053.

QEDC is so proud of what this company has achieved – we made a video

Tags: The Machining Center

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