Or­ford MNA 618 Sher­brooke Ma­gog 819-847-3911 1 855-547-3911 Space age com­ing to Ayer’s Cliff

Stanstead Journal - - NEWS -

The smell of metal grind­ing is there, but the high pitch deaf­en­ing noise isn’t heard, only a muf­fled sound. Yet, there are sparks un­der two huge ma­chines, cut­ting one inch thick steel at mi­cron pre­ci­sion.

Unat­tended, both shut­ting down au­to­mat­i­cally at the first hint of a prob­lem, and the lat­est one, send­ing a video stream to the op­er­a­tor!

This is the ma­chine shop of the fu­ture. It opened less than a year ago in Ayer’s Cliff un­der the lead­er­ship of Alec Van Zuiden as Zen Metal. Brand new laser cut­ter, one CO2 the other the lat­est fiber op­tic with an Ital­ian look that al­most scream ‘Fer­rari’. Maybe two mil­lions in in­vest­ment al­ready. 14 em­ploy­ees, all need­ing the lat­est skills. “Mis­take are al­lowed once, said Mr. Van Zuiden, not twice!”

For Vin­cent Veilleux (photo above), the op­er­a­tor of the Ital­ian made Ci­laser, this is a dream job. He holds a DEP, a high school tech­ni­cal de­gree, and this is al­most a dream come true. “Here at Zen Metal, I’m work­ing with the lat­est tech­nol­ogy and I’m able to use my knowl­edge.” The demon­stra­tion of hav­ing the ma­chine stream to a mo­bile phone a live video of its op­er­a­tion the best proof that the fu­ture is a lot closer than we think. It should al­most be a manda­tory school visit for those who don’t see well-pay­ing jobs in their fu­ture.

But it was less the state of the art equip­ment that im­pressed the Stanstead-Jour­nal, that see­ing Mr. Veilleux take out an old fash­ioned note­book to look at notes that he taken ear­lier! For Ni­co­las Pouliot, the vice-pres­i­dent, log­ging all de­tails is the best way to a smooth op­er­a­tion. “Th­ese are new ma­chines, new tech­nol­ogy in an uncharted ter­ri­tory, if we doc­u­ment what we do cor­rectly, then we will have the best re­turn on our in­vest­ment, if not we will be rein­vent­ing the wheel ev­ery day.”

This is a highly com­pet­i­tive en­vi­ron­ment, some­time the turn­around is less than a cou­ple of days, some­time the same day. Th­ese ma­chines are pre­cise to the thou­sands of an inch, able to re­peat the same pat­tern with­out hu­man su­per­vi­sion. As long as there is steel on the rack, the can churn out the ex­act same piece with­out hu­man su­per­vi­sion.

To­day’s job mar­ket is in fact play­ing out right now in Ayer’s Cliff. In less than a year, there are 14 em­ploy­ees work­ing in a high pre­ci­sion en­vi­ron­ment. Us­ing the lat­est tech­nol­ogy on the mar­ket. Zen Metal is not the only com­pany in the re­gion who is look­ing for trained em­ployee in th­ese new fields, there are a lot more than seems to ex­ist for those who are not look­ing at the right place. Next to home for a lot of us.

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