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Fortis Mining Engineering & Manufacturing

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How Quality Control Affects Fabrication, Machining and Welding Safety

At Fortis we have really come to respect how much quality affects safety.

Our Quality Assurance Coordinator, Ken Ross states, "At Fortis we clearly understand the correlation between quality of product and safety. If you aren’t in control of the quality of your product, you can potentially (even though unintentionally) cause injury or death to others. We’ve all seen examples of this in the auto industry when defects such as wiring issues caused fire, tires blew out and accelerators stuck causing several injuries and deaths."

Fortis understands one of the keys to success is getting employees to “buy in” on the shop floor. One of the ways to get that “buy in” is to educate your work force to ensure they understand what can happen when we deviate from the quality control processes that we have in place. If you have any kind of a quality control system in place, you know how important it is to: question something that doesn’t look right, document any issues (even if they are small), communicate between steps, take the time to double check or have someone verify your work, sign off the appropriate steps, have qualified person check along the way, etc.

Our philosophy has been “Think of the news article”. When disaster strikes the news reports are often cruel and misleading, reporters don’t worry about the small details of what really happened or whose reputation they are destroying. It’s bad enough that someone was injured or killed, now the ripple effect starts. If you consider the news article approach, you are more apt to take the time to double check and be very particular as to what you are checking and signing off.

We coach people only to sign quality control steps that they agree with, to add comments, to seek further explanation and bring issues to their Supervisor’s attention. For example, a welder finishes the last welds on a unit before it goes on to the next step in the process, he or she didn’t complete the welds on top of the unit and doesn’t like the look of them, the welder should sign “I didn’t complete these first welds on the top of this unit, I question whether or not they meet our standards. Please have our Welding Inspector and/or Supervisor re-check them and sign off.” If the welds were up to our standard, then we coach the welder as to how to meet them and (most importantly) thank them for raising the concern. If they weren’t up to standard this person may have potentially saved the lives of people, saved our reputation and kept us out of a news article.


Quality will affect safety
Get control of the quality checks on the shop floor
Educate your workforce -Don’t sign off on a step that you aren’t happy with, ask questions, write comments, and/or ask for a second opinion, etc.
Think of the news article approach.

Fortis has taken it's quality control to the highest level by achieving ISO 9001 certification. ISO 9001 is the international standard that specifies requirements for a quality management system (QMS). Organizations use the standard to demonstrate the ability to consistently provide products and services that meet customer and regulatory requirements.
Contact Fortis Mining Engineering and Manufacturing to inquire about our fabrication, machining and welding services. We have CNC machining capabilities and our welding shop is CWB certified.

Phone: (306) 242-4427
Toll Free: (844) 542-2247
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Fabrication Shop Exceeds Expectations On Roller Frame Project

Fortis’ metal fabrication shop has completed manufacturing a huge custom order of conveyor frames.  Fortis described the challenge the project presented to our client, and our plan for completing the project on time and on budget.  Fortis provided regular progress reports to the customer throughout the manufacturing process.  Now, Fortis has completed the order and the graph attached shows the detailed progression of our metal fabrication process...
Fortis used Earned Value Reporting to track progress on a regular basis.  Manufacturing hurdles did occur as we progressed through the fabrication process.  However, we were able to see the problems as they occurred and corrected the issues.  We met our delivery requirements which resulted in Fortis completing this equipment manufacturing project on time and on budget.  Fortis is fast becoming one of Saskatchewan's premier original equipment manufacturer shops.

Fortis Mining, Engineering, and Manufacturing has the capability to fulfill all your Industrial construction and mining needs.  We have a fully certified CWB weld shop located in Saskatoon.  From engineering, to welding, to machining, to install, Fortis can complete all your project requirements. Fortis’ ISO certifications in quality, environment, and safety make us a perfect fit to satisfy all your custom manufacturing and OEM needs.  No job is too complex or too small for our welding shop, Fortis will work through them all.

Please visit for a full company profile and please feel free to email or call 306-242-4427 to contact Fortis to see how we can help you with your next project.
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In the custom fabrication world most projects come and go however, every now and again there is a unique challenge to get a quality product efficiently completed in order to meet schedule requirements. While considering all aspects at hand and meeting quality control check points, Fortis Manufacturing has risen to the challenge repeatedly throughout its history.

The latest challenge currently being completed at Fortis’ fabrication shop, is a huge conveyor frames order – slightly over 8,100 of them. With Fortis Manufacturing ingenuity, the welding assembly line was born. In order to meet schedule requirements, each process and step needed to be identified and planned in order to ensure efficiency was a key factor.

When you think of a quick turn-around most people think that means rushing. When you rush shortcuts and corners being cut are inevitable in order to maintain the capacity to meet schedule requirements. And the truth is, there are! Fortis takes the following short-cuts to improve efficiency:

•Fortis short-cut the time needed to find parts – everything is in hand reach for fabrication.
•Fortis short-cut the set up time by building fixtures to aid in the welding.
•Fortis short-cut the time for moving welded components – Work areas were identified and staged to keep productivity levels at acceptable speeds.
•Fortis short-cut rework requirements by establishing continuous checks throughout the fabrication cycle.

With all these shortcuts certainly other areas will suffer? Actually, by identifying and planning the work for these frames, Fortis is also accomplishes the following:

•All the clients’ specifications are being met.
•Detailed inspection test plans are developed and being used to ensure all areas are being monitored and reviewed.
•Safety in design options offered to the Client for approval to highlight safety areas.
•Developing a value added packaging option, which can reduce waste as well as increase operation efficiency with moving a large volume of product.
•Ensuring all industry regulations and requirements are upheld like CWB certifications and industry requirements.

Fortis Mining, Engineering, and Manufacturing has the capability to fulfill all your Industrial needs. From engineering, to welding, to machining, to install, Fortis can complete all your project requirements. No job is too complex or too small, Fortis will work through them all.

Please visit for a full company profile and please feel free to email or call 306-242-4427 to contact Fortis to see how we can help you with you next project.

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A few weeks ago we talked about how our fabrication shop is manufacturing a huge order of conveyor frames. Fortis managed to take control of the manufacturing side of the order, but how do we handle keeping our customer aware of where all the frames are?

Fortis is a multi-faceted organization with specialties ranging from manufacturing, to engineering, to project management, and site install when required. Fortis used all of these areas to bring together reporting metrics so our customer easily sees how the project is advancing at any stage of the project.

Fortis uses Earned Value Reporting to track progress and to provide updates to our customers. In the graphs below, Fortis uses this reporting method to establish trend lines showing how the brackets are progressing at weekly intervals. Our customer can see the status at a glance and can look at the detailed report as required.

There are three different types of frames required. Fortis tracks the progress on each frame and the whole order as a total. This allows Fortis to share with our customer the short falls and gains on an ongoing basis. This reporting eliminates surprises and allows Fortis to adjust the schedule and resources accordingly in order to ensure overall customer satisfaction.

As the frames are completed; labeling is attached as per our Clients requirements. Information including frame type, laydown areas (surface/underground), contact information, are just a few items we can include on the label. Fortis’ labels are waterproof to ensure the information won’t smudge or disappear when exposed to wet environments.

Fortis Mining, Engineering, and Manufacturing has the capability to fulfill all your Industrial needs. From engineering, to welding, to machining, to install, Fortis can complete all your project requirements. No job is too complex or too small, Fortis will work through them all.

Please visit for a full company profile and please feel free to email or call 306-242-4427 to contact Fortis to see how we can help you with your next project.

Fortis Mining Engineering and Manufacturing is proudly Saskatoon, Saskatchewan owned and operated.

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This past weekend was the 48th Annual Emergency Response / Mine Rescue Skills Competition at Praireland Park in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan.  This competition brings Mine Rescue crews in from all across Canada.   18 teams take part in the skill competition.   All of the teams spend countless hours training for mine emergency scenarios.  At the skill competition, the teams compete in variety of events that mimic emergency situations that could occur in a mine.   
Fortis' Health and Safety Manager Terry Zerbin was a volunteer and judge at this years event.   Terry was lucky enough to be interviewed by Global News Saskatoon

Terry was not the only one to volunteer from Fortis.   A number of Fortis employees showed their support for the SMA and the skill competition by volunteering their time.
 Our sister company Northern Strands' had one of their Trainers, Cassena Parmeter, also judging this years Mine Rescue Skills Competition.  Cassena Parmeter is a well known Safety Trainer in Saskatchewan and has judged numerous Mine Rescue Skills Competitions across Canada throughout her career.  
Did you know that Northern Strands offers numerous mine safety courses?   

Not only was this event fun to watch, it showed the importance of having skilled emergency personnel ready in case of a mine emergency.   
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In September of 2012 Fortis took on yet another challenging mine project.   This particular job was at the Mosaic Colonsay Mine.
The scope of work included: demolition and removal of the existing conveyor; mucking, excavation, rehabilitation and rock bolting; installation of structural steel, mechanical equipment and all conveyor components. Fortis successfully completed the project two days prior to its scheduled completion date with no safety incidents. Fortis is proud of the quality of work it provided and its timely completion.
Fortis Successfully Completes Underground Conveyor Upgrade Installation - See more at:

Fortis Mining Engineering and Manufacturing continues to set the bar high as a Mining contractor and service company.   Fortis continues it's work in many of the mines in and around Saskatchewan.   Fortis has completed contractor work in Saskatchewan mines; PCS Allan, Mosaic Colonsay, SanGold Bisset, Cameco Cigar Lake, BHP Billiton Janzen, PCS Lanigan and many more.

Fortis Mining Engineering and Manufacturing is proudly Saskatoon, Saskatchewan owned and operated.
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Popular Mining Trade Shows for 2016

At Fortis we recognize the importance of mining industry trade shows.   It would be great if we could have a booth or send delegates to every show.   However, attending every mining trade show is simply not possible.   Hard decisions need to be made on which mining trade shows to attend.  Yet even finding a list of the popular mining trade shows can be difficult.  For the convenience of our partners and clients, here is our list of popular mining trade shows for 2016:

Popular Mining Trade Shows Outside of North America

Expomin 2016 
April 25-29, 2016
Espacio Riesco
Santiago de Chile, Chile 

ExpoMina 2016 
September 14-16, 2016
Centro de Exposiciones Jockey
Lima, Peru 

MINExpo 2016  
September 26-28, 2016
Las Vegas Convention Center
Las Vegas, Nevada, U.S.A. 

Popular Mining Trade Shows in North America

Prospectors and Developers Association (PDAC) 2016
March 6-9, 2016 
Toronto, Canada 
PDAC International Convention, Trade Show & Investors Exchange is the world’s leading convention for people, companies and organizations in, or connected with, mineral exploration. The four-day annual convention has grown in size, stature and influence since it began in 1932 and today is the event of choice for the world’s mineral industry. In addition to meeting over 1,000 exhibitors, 25,122 attendees from over 100 countries, it allows you the opportunity to attend technical sessions, short courses as well as social and networking events.

Atlantic Heavy Equipment Show 2016
April 7-8, 2016 
Moncton, Canada 
Atlantic Canada’s most comprehensive heavy equipment show returns to the Moncton Coliseum. This is THE must-attend event for the heavy equipment, roadbuilding, forestry, landscaping, and municipality sectors―boasting a vast indoor and outdoor showcase of the latest products, services, and BIG iron.

Expo Grands Travaux
April 22-23, 2016
Montreal, Quebec
With a decade of history and growth, this massive heavy equipment show has established itself as a pillar of the industry. Visitors will be treated to many exciting features, including a brand new demo zone. A small fleet of dump trucks will deliver thousands of tons of dirt directly onto the stadium floor and equipment will dig, lift, carry, break and push, just like on an actual worksite.

Canadian Institute of Mining Convention (CIM) 2016
May 1-4, 2016 
Vancouver, Canada 
Founded in 1898, the Canadian Institute of Mining, Metallurgy and Petroleum (CIM) is the leading technical society of professionals in the Canadian minerals, metals, materials and energy industries.  CIM has over 14,600 members, convened from industry, academia and government. With 10 Technical Societies and over 35 Branches, our members help shape, lead and connect Canada’s mining industry, both within our borders and across the globe.

International Conference & Exhibition on Mining, Material & Metallurgical Education
July 11-13, 2016
Quebec City, Quebec
The International Conference & Exhibition on Mining, Material & Metallurgical Education (ICMM) is the premier event will focus on the exchange of relevant trends and research results as well as the presentation of practical experiences in mining, material and metallurgical pedagogy and education.

ISMS 2016
August 13-19, 2016
Montreal, Quebec
The third International Symposium on Mine Safety Science and Engineering covers different aspects of mine safety issues ranging from rock mechanics and ground control to occupational health and safety.

COM 2016, Conference of Metallurgists
September 11-15, 2016
Quebec City, Quebec
In September 2016, over 1,500 mineral processing experts, academics and industry professionals from more than 60 countries will gather to explore and discuss the important issues and trends currently shaping our industry and its future. Canada last hosted the IMPC in 1982. The theme of the 2016 conference is “Sustainability in Metals and Materials Processing and Use.”

MINExpo 2016
September 26-28, 2016
Las Vegas, Nevada
The largest mining show on (and under!) earth returns to Las Vegas in 2016. MINExpo 2016 is all about the solutions that make it possible for the mining industry to meet the challenges and capitalize on the opportunities in a rapidly changing world in need of metals, minerals and energy.

Popular Mining Trade shows in Saskatoon

Mining Supply Chain Forum
April 12–13, 2016
This forum will provide information on how manufacturers, construction, equipment and service providers can access mining supply opportunities. In addition, there will be a third session on operations topics such as reliability, operations excellence, and maintenance.  In order to allow all registrants the opportunity to participate in the Forum sessions, the tradeshow area is closed while the Forum is in session. 

Fortis is proud to announce that it will be a Platinum level Sponsor for the Mining Supply Chain Forum! 

Fortis Mining Engineering and Manufacturing is a mining contractor based out of Saskatoon, Saskatchewan.
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Fortis Designs and Fabricates Unique Sheave Stand Assembly for Mine

Fortis is becoming well know as among the mining industry for designing and fabricating specialized equipment for mines across Saskatchewan, North America and the world. 
Fortis was commissioned to install power distribution cables down two 8” boreholes 500 + Meters deep. These cables feed an underground substation in a mine. We designed specialized equipment to accomplish this task. One of the items required was a sheave stand. The cable bending radius’s had to be carefully accommodated. Also a suspended load capability of 30,000 lbs had to be incorporated into the equipment design. As a result Fortis designed and built a wire rope sheave stand assembly to perform the task. See picture below. The job went very well, it was completed safely and ahead of schedule. 

Fortis continues to provide innovative solutions for technical challenges in the Mining industry.

Visit our Mining Projects Webpage for more examples great examples of recent projects Fortis has successfully completed in the Mining industry.

Fortis is proudly Saskatoon, Saskatchewan owned and operated.
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Fortis Installs Feeder Cables at Potash Mine

Historically at Fortis we have excelled at handling challenging mining projects.   Here is another great example of a past project successfully completed by Fortis Mining Engineering and Manufacturing for Potash Corporation of Saskatchewan, Lanigan Division.

In July of 2011, Fortis was contracted to install six 25kV Feeder Cables in the Service Shaft. Fortis successfully completed the installation of three cables in 2011 and the remaining three in July 2012. Fortis utilizes a cross head with integrated camera to guide the cable down the shaft to the lower drift level at the bottom of the shaft. The cross head is assembled in the shaft on top of the skip or cage. Camera provides live video of the cable being lowered down the shaft. Fortis is using a load cell to monitor the weight at the sheave.

Fortis has worked with many of the local potash mines in Saskatchewan.
Mining companies Fortis has completed work for Include: 
Potash Corporation of Saskatchewan,  Lanigan division mine
Potash Corporation of Saskatchewan, Cory division mine
Potash Corporation of Saskatchewan, Allan division mine
Cameco Corporation, Cigar Lake mine
BHP Billiton, Jansen Mine
Mosaic Company, Colonsay Mine

To learn more about past and present mining projects Fortis has completed, visit our mining projects webpage.

Fortis, "Your partner in providing mining solutions."
We are proudly Saskatoon, Saskatchewan owned and operated
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