St. Paul, MN (March 6, 2020) –Alberta machine shop readies itself to break into complex aerospace, oil and gas markets with Matsuura simultaneous five axis machining center.

The Problem: Diversify into more complex machining work

The Solution: Purchase high end five axis machining center

When Luke Nguyen makes up his mind to do something, there’s no turning back. So, when Nguyen decided to form his own machine shop, HQ Industries, Edmonton, AB, in 2006, he decided to purchase equipment and then go after business.

“You need to have the equipment to get the work; you just can’t do it the other way around.”

Lucky for him, his decision has paid off. Within six months of forming the business, he had purchased six CNC machines.

“The demand was there for more machines and my strategy has always been that when I commit to something, I strive to do it right and make the best product possible. I had a customer in the oil and gas industry, a manufacturer of down hole tools, and he needed work and we wanted to ensure we supplied him with the quality parts he needed.”

His strategy to make customers happy is a simple, but effective one that has carved a path to success. When HQ Industries began machining parts for the downhole tool manufacturer, it was one of 30 suppliers.

“Within a few months we had climbed up to the top 15 suppliers. With a quality management system in place and a good quality policy, today we rank fifth globally with this customer. Our non-conformance rate is a consistent 0.01 per cent,” says Nguyen.

Today, HQ Industries is a busy, 22,000 sq. ft machine shop. Forty people work in the machine shop operating the 20 CNCs, including three vertical machining centers. The most recent investment is the Matsuura MX-520 simultaneous five axis machining center.

True to form, Nguyen purchased the five axis machine not because he had to meet customer demands, but because he wanted to diversify into markets requiring more complex work.  “With the purchase of the Matsuura MX-250, we will be working with complex machining. This will give us the cutting edge in manufacturing and new technology, which will widen our scope and customer base.”

Nguyen says five axis machining is better designed for complex work for aerospace and oil and gas. “We currently machine to complex specifications, which require three to four operations and fixtures on the vertical machining center. The Matsuura five axis capabilities will eliminate use of fixtures and decrease operations to one.”

When Nguyen formed HQ Industries back in 2006, he did the programming for lathes and mills. Today, “our highly skilled foremen currently do the programming, which allows me to focus on other areas of the business.”

Fiscal Smarts

Nguyen credits his success to his ability to work hard and his financially conservative nature. He began working in machine shops in 1993 sweeping floors, “and I worked my way up. I managed a machine shop, comparable to the size of HQ Industries; there was a lot of pressure. I thought if I went out on my own, I could take it easy,” he says with a laugh, noting the irony of thinking he would be “taking it easy” operating his own business.

He began business in a 2,300 sq. ft shop and within five years was operating out of a 12,000 sq. ft facility. In September 2012, he moved to the existing 22,000 sq. ft facility.

When Nguyen decided to invest in five axis machining, he had many expensive options. He wanted a high-end machine but didn’t want to invest millions of dollars in the technology, “so I chose the Matsuura, which is a high-end machine, however I selected the smaller model. I use caution when purchasing new equipment. If the equipment proves its investment, I can acquire more.”

(Portions from Shop Metalworking Technology)

With high-precision, performance, speed, accuracy and reliability, the MX-520 provides a simple, effortless and cost-effective transition for 3-Axis users making the transition to full 5-Axis operation. Matsuura’s MX-520 5-Axis Vertical Machining Center provides a simple, effortless and cost-effective transition for Three-Axis users making the transition to full Five-Axis operation.

The MX-520 has a compact footprint and outstanding ergonomic design, allowing rapid set-up and processing of complex parts.

The Matsuura MX-520 guarantees high rigidity, as well as, a generous machining envelope with excellent operability. The MX-520 also offers an assortment of configurations, which are ideal for all applications, all industries and all materials.

The Matsuura MX-520 is designed with a RAM type structure, which offers a compact and highly rigid machining platform. The machine guarantees high rigidity, as well as, a generous machining envelope with excellent operability. The MX-520 also offers an assortment of configurations, which are ideal for all applications, all industries and all materials.

The headstock and trunnion on the MX-520 have been configured to minimize collision while maximizing tool access and reach. The MX-520 is offered with two table sizes: 11.81 in. and 19.68 in. (option).  Loading capacity is 440 lb.

More from Mary Scianna, Shop Metalworking Technology at:

Matsuura Machinery USA, Inc., located in St. Paul, MN is the U.S. subsidiary of Matsuura Machinery Corporation in Japan. Since 1935, Matsuura has been the forerunner in designing innovative technology and manufacturing solutions to a variety of industries around the globe. Matsuura Machinery USA, Inc. delivers unmatched excellence in 5-axis, vertical, horizontal, linear motor, multi-tasking CNC machine tools and machines with a powder bed metal AM platform with machining capability. Matsuura Machinery USA, Inc. provides the service, applications and technical field support that have always been the Matsuura standard for business.

For more information about Matsuura, please contact: [email protected] or visit: