Integral Machining LTD has long touted its expertise in high-precision machining, but that term has taken on new meaning during the past few years. Serving customers in such industries as microfluidics and photonics has pushed this 6,000-square-foot, Toronto-area shop to institute machining processes that achieve tolerances measured in single-digit microns.
The shop’s entry into these markets was the result of a deliberate push to differentiate itself in the immediate wake of the economic downturn, says Peter Reypa, president and founder. Enter Kern Microtechnic’s five-axis Evo, a machining center with positional accuracies of ±0.5 micron that was installed in 2010. That’s sufficient to achieve ±2 microns on the workpiece. Still, even this machine must be pushed to its limits to satisfy the stringent requirements that characterize work from the shop’s newer customers. Efforts to that end have consisted largely of eliminating even the most seemingly insignificant sources of error through environmental controls, careful calibration routines, advanced CNC functionality, and new cutting tools, software and machining strategies.