The Leduc-Nisku EDAtorial
Leduc Blog
Cutting Edge Laser Technology
December 09, 2016
Imagine you’re a drilling company and a multi-million dollar tool essential to your operations breaks down, what do you do? Replacing the part could cost tens of thousands of dollars, take months to produce, and it may have to be shipped from half way around the world. What if I told you there’s a company located right here in Leduc that can save you time and money by repairing your damaged drilling part with lasers. “By using lasers instead of welding, we can better control the heat applied to any given metal and therefore prevent the overheating and cracking that you may see from welding,” explains Doug Hamre, Research and Development Manager, Apollo Clad Laser Cladding. The result is a refurbished part that’s as good as new. Apollo Machine began back in began back in 1971 by founder Robert Norton when he rented a simple lathe in a 300 sq. ft. shop. It has evolved into a 120,000 sq. ft. shop in Edmonton, and a 45,000 sq. ft. special laser cladding shop in Leduc, which combined employ over 150 people. 

Apollo Clad essentially does 3-D printing on an industrial scale and they are servicing more than just the oil industry. Recently, they have expanded into repairing mining equipment and because Apollo Clad is the only company in the world licensed to do some of this intricate work, there is a demand for their services all the way from the Middle-East. By looking to new industries and new markets, Apollo Clad serves as an example of how diversification can help you not only survive the downturn but come out stronger on the other end. “Apollo has faced multiple oil and gas downturns since the 70’s and we understand the importance of diversifying our operations,” says Doug.

In grade school we are taught about the three R’s: reduce, reuse and recycle. As Doug sees it, Apollo Clad specializes in the two more forgotten R’s (reduce and reuse). By using Apollo’s services and reusing an old part, you will dramatically reduce the carbon footprint left by recycling (ie: melting down old parts) and transporting brand new material or parts from thousands of miles away. Apollo Clad offers a greener, more efficient and cost effective solution that dramatically reduces lead-time. Through their commitment to programs like the Industrial Research Assistance Program (IRAP), Apollo Clad has stayed on the cutting edge of technological advancement in laser cladding and is showing no signs of slowing down. Part of this sustained success has come from partnering with associations like the Leduc-Nisku Economic Development Association. “Working with organizations like the Leduc-Nisku EDA has helped expose us to new opportunities and build awareness of who we are and what we do,” says Doug. Simply put Apollo Clad Laser Cladding is doing things that no one else in the world is approved to do and they’ve managed to diversify their operations all the while embracing clean technology, supporting university research and conducting industry research.