Innovative Economical Solutions

For Technical Support in CANADA, please contact IES
5701 Airport Drive - Suite 57
Fort Nelson, B.C. V0C 1 R0
(403) 800-1799
or Email

For Technical Support in the USA, please contact IES
23102 NE 3rd Avenue, Ridgefield, WA 98642
Voice (360) 887-0702 Fax (360) 887-1930

Innovative Economical Solutions is more than just our company name, or logo. It's the way we do business. Using a combination of well proven ideas and integrating them with modern technology we tend to think outside the box and have developed some of the most Innovative Economical Solutions for a wide range of customer applications. Located in Northern Canada and the Southwest corner of Washington State we offer full design, manufacturing, service and repair facilities with special emphasis on automated production and specialized troubleshooting and systems repair.

Our primary products revolve around the metal fabrication and steel plate processing industry. Specifically those using Oxyfuel, or Plasma cutting processes. In our quest for the Ultimate Thermal Machining Centers, we designed and developed our own machines from the ground up. Unique in their design, they are the only full size Oxyfuel / Plasma Machining Centers completely self contained and mounted on their own air displacement style water tables. This allows for substantially reduced emissions during the cutting process, and the ability to move the machines to different locations easily.

We currently manufacture these machines specifically for our customers requirements in sizes ranging from 48" x 96" capacity up through 120" x 240" capacity. In the past we have built and installed conventional rail type systems up through 360" x 1200" capacity. All of our machines utilize state of the art PC based Edge or Voyager controllers with the latest high performance closed loop servo motor A/C or DC drive systems. We can supply these machines with Oxyfuel, Plasma, Laser, Waterjet, and Routing capabilities. High speed plasma marking is a very useful available option, greatly reducing manufacturing costs, while simultaneously improving quality.

Automatic torch height controls are available for both Oxyfuel and Plasma systems. If plasma cutting is what you need, we offer conventional plasma systems, long life plasma systems, Hi definition or precision plasma systems, as well as plasma marking and punching systems. Each style of plasma system can only perform at its highest potential when the torch can be accurately and quickly positioned and controlled over your workpiece. We offer the outstanding InnerLogic Inova torch height control system on all of our machines.

Our controls come with a built in standard shape library that is far superior to anything else available on the market today. Programming the shape is incredibly easy, and you are graphically prompted during all phases of geometry creation. Need to flip, rotate, nest, or chain cut a part? It's a simple process and built into the control. You don't need to memorize dozens of keystrokes, since all the keys are context sensitive, and labeled as to their specific functions. If programming in G code makes you happy, this control will make you ecstatic. Using the built in shape wizard you can draw or modify your part in G code, whilst simultaneously seeing exactly what the effect will be in the onscreen preview. We simply can't say enough good things about this control. You really need to come see one for yourself in action, or call us for a demo.

Using the built in programing functions is enough for many of our customers. If you need to create really complex geometry, or nest multiple parts for different orders quickly you will be blown away with SigmaNEST part development and nesting software. After conducting extensive research (including being a distributor for many competing products), we choose SigmaNEST exclusively as our one stop solution for optimized automation.

By combining some older technology, with modern electronics we also offer a solution designed primarily for the boat building industry. Most Aluminum boat manufactures use physical patterns to manually layout the cut lines on aluminum sheet, then they transfer layout lines for bending, forming, and the final fitup. In the past, it has been difficult to accurately mechanize the process due to the limitations of physically measuring off the large scale parts accurately. At IES we pride ourselves on providing Innovative Economical Solutions. In this case, we use well proven tracing eye technology to physically track the edge of the actual aluminum templates. Our Computer control easily monitors the position of the gantry at all times, and records the path generated to within 0.001". Using the reverse post feature built into SigmaNEST we can then process the resulting code and generate the physical geometry which can then be entered into any CAD program, modified as required and then used to automatically and efficiently process the parts in the future.

SigmaNEST is far and away the best product available for efficient geometry creation, nesting, and post processing. With the appropriate module, you can do easily do multi torch nesting, nest around remnants, save remnants, keep track of all your in process parts, track your plate inventory and utilize a host of other features. One of the things we like most about this product is that they make it easy to set up a custom post processor to give you complete control of every feature of your machine. If keeping track of the time and cost to produce your parts is important, SigmaNEST makes it easy to cost your individual and nested parts to the penny and the second if you so choose.

Thermal machining is great for steel products, but doesn't work quite so well on wood, plastic, foam, or similar type products. Most of our gantries can be delivered with a dry, clamp down or vacuum style hold down system. Using the same control and SigmaNEST software, you can easily do 2 1/2 axis machining. Any of our machines can be upgraded to perform full simultaneous 3 axis contouring, but it requires a more specialized post processor to generate the code the machine requires to interpolate the motion to generate the part.

Automatic tool changing can be integrated to most of our routers making it easy to swap between different tools and enabling you to use your time doing other things than baby sitting a machine to change tools. On our larger gantry machines we also offer a spindle capable of simultaneous movement in the A, B, and Z axis to allow very easy 5 sided machining of fairly large parts.

Our experience with multi axis technology also enables us to bring complete plate processing to one machine, which can be built to your specific requirements. This enables you to get exactly what you need, without paying for fluff that you don't want. Our heavy duty Plasma or Oxyfuel machines can be equipped with Plasma Marking systems that enable you to quickly, efficiently, and accurately mark your plate for bend lines, layout marks, drill locations, etc. Powerfull direct or gear driven spindles can be added to allow drilling, counterboring, and tapping of the plate. Tool changers can be integrated into the spindle as well for greater versatility. Add a multi axis head to your torch holder, and you can then even do full 5 axis contouring to create parts that require virtually no additional processing before being integrated into your production components. Combine all the above features with automatic torch positioning, full or partial torch retraction between cuts, and high speed height control incorporating a very responsive collision detector, and most of these machines are quite capable of fully automatic operation requiring little or no operator attention.

Programing multi axis parts is a bit more complicated, but we have teamed up with Mastercam to bring you Mastercam X, the best multi axis tool path generation product on the market.

Powerful milling
for 2- through
5-axis jobs
Fast, flexible
CNC turning
2-axis and 4-
axis wire EDM
Quick and easy
Turn flat line
art into artistic
3D work
part modeling

Mastercam allows easy 2 or 3D part programing, tool path creation, and part verification. With Mastercam, you can generate the most efficient tool path to quickly and accurately remove material to develop the finished shape desired. We love the ability that Mastercam gives its users to modify the code generated by the post processor easily, which allows you to get maximum productivity from your tools. If you have a shop that uses a wide array of CNC milling, drilling, burning, turning, or multi axis machines, this may be the only software that you need. In fact if you currently are using a different product to program your 3 or more axis machining centers, you really need to compare the time required to program your part and generate the toolpath; then compare your toolpath with one generated by Mastercam and you will be blown away. The enhancement to productivity is incredible. For those companies competing against foreign manufacturers, this is welcome news, especially if you are forced to compete in this market with an unfair playing field. Of course if you need the ability to rapidly and automatically nest multiple parts, and manage your inventory on burned plate products SigmaNEST is where you want to be. The great thing is that both of these programs work very well with each other, and transfer data back and forth readily. We recommend both application programs highly and use both of them, every day. They are simply the best in the business.

Over the past few years we have begun to integrate 6 axis robots for various cutting and welding needs. These amazing devices have become very affordable and there are few things applications that can't be automated with them. As a stand alone robot, they can easily hold a mechanized plasma, laser, water jet head, router, or milling spindle. They are fantastic when integrated into a production line to automate repetitive operations. We have even added versions of these robot arms to our overhead gantry style machines to allowed unparalleled reach and flexibility. All of these robots incorporate collision detectors, and safety interlocks to prevent injury to your plant personel and ensure compliance with the latest OSHA standards. Key points to consider are the flexibility of an industrial robot. Not only can you use a robot to cut, route, or mill your products, but if set up properly you can use a robot to load, unload, and transfer parts among various machines. If you are looking for a way to control your labor costs, or enhance productivity, you really need to consider adding some form of robotic automation. At IES we use our robots on a daily basis to not only cut and weld, but to load a variety of automated manufacturing machines. In fact our late shift runs entirely in the dark using robots to load slugs into various machines and remove finished parts. If you're getting frustrated with your employees not showing up for work, or perhaps not being as productive as you would like, consider the benefits of robotic automation. A robot is physically bolted to the floor, so it will be there when you need it. They don't call in sick, get tired, complain about the heat or cold, and they don't complain about repetitive tasks or heavy lifting. If you've never considered a robot, give us a call for a new or remanufactured solution. You might be surprised to learn how inexpensive it is to add a robot to your facility.

As Original Equipment Manufacturers, our technicians are experts at integrating a wide range of technologies into a single production capable piece of equipment. From the simplest hobbyist, using our smallest 2 axis machine on the dirt floor of their barn, to the manufacturers of some of the largest equipment in the world, our machines and services will provide you with an Innovative Economical Solution.

Do you have older metalworking equipment that is broken, or no longer fits your needs? IES will purchase outright, or upgrade your older but serviceable machines to the latest CNC controlled state of the art manufacturing devices. We are experts in retrofitting older cantilever or gantry style flame cutting machines to Edge controlled CNC machines, capable of performing as well as, or better than a brand new machine... For a fraction of the cost. We can equip most other types of lathes, mills, positioners, or pipe fabricating machines with Digital readouts, or CNC controllers as well. In addition, our staff can provide complete sales and support for the latest in productivity software to help you get the most production possible from your machines, at the minimum cost. Our Full Service Machine Shop has some impressive capabilities. Many customers have contacted us because their existing machines were broken or badly in need of parts, that were simply not available. Knowing that we produce most of the components used on our machines in house they figured that we could also help them out by creating the parts they needed. They were of course correct and were back up and running quickly.

I'm sure you're familiar with the trend in just in time manufacturing. It's great at helping you reduce your inventory levels and maximizing the potential from your investment dollars. It's terrible when you have a machine that is broken down and neither the distributor nor manufacturer has a part on the shelf. Sure, you can get the part you need in 6 to 8 weeks, but can you afford, or even survive the downtime? We manufacture most of the components for our machines in house, and many of them can be quickly adapted to service or upgrade your existing machine. If you've been frustrated by the lack of expertise to repair your machine, give us a call. Since we build our machines from scratch , we are very familiar with how each piece of technology works, and how to integrate them together to form a very complex piece of equipment. This knowledge makes it easy for us to accurately and efficiently diagnose the problem with your machine, and get it back up and running quickly. Our technicians are capable of component level troubleshooting and seek to determine why your machine failed or is operating intermittently We are typically able to diagnose the problem without wasting time or money by randomly purchasing and swapping in new parts, hoping to stumble on the solution like many of our competitors do. Often, the problem lies in a single chip or component that has become defective, and is easily replaced. It's far faster to repair the card or replace the component in many cases that wait until a replacement can be obtained from another manufacturer who practises the "just in time" philosophy. In fact, we have yet to find a machine that was broken that we were unable to get up and running in a timely and cost effective manner.

Need something custom built or manufactured, and can't justify buying your own machines yet? Let us know how we can help. While we specialize in Thermal Machining, for applications where our "hot melt milling" machines aren't enough, we can mill, drill, turn, or weld almost anything. If you can think of it, we can build it. From "one off" parts to production quantities, if it can be fabricated, we will do it. (If it's impossible, we can still do it - it will just take a little longer!) Broken machines, or equipment? Contact us! We can fix anything but the crack of dawn, or a broken heart! We can produce individual parts or complete assemblies from as little as a sketch on a napkin, up to a complete set of CAD or engineers drawings.

In addition to our fabrication department, our programmers can help you generate the code to make even some of the most complicated parts. We specialize in the graphics intensive designs often required in advertising and high end architecture. With experience in up to 8 axis of motion control, it's fairly certain that your needs are not something we can't accommodate. Whether it's creating a new design, or promoting your product, our Graphic Arts Department can assist you in presenting your product or idea in a unique fashion. IES can provide complete computerized layout and design of your artwork for desktop publishing, or graphics needs. We can output your design on a wide variety of media, including vinyl. IES has the capability to produce vinyl graphics, signs and banners from simple markings 3/8 inches high, to large signs and banners up to 30 by 150 feet in size. For truly creative individuals, looking to produce permanent attention getting displays; IES can even produce you design or logo by cutting it from a solid sheet of Stainless, Brass, Copper, or mild steel plate.

We also have an impressive Industrial Sewing Department that utilizes a wide array of industrial machines. We specialize in webbing and structural products designed to meet critical strength requirements, and often do limited production runs of specialized equipment for the Climbing, Rescue, Racing, and Paragliding communities. With many industrial sewing machines on hand, from simple Straight stitch and zig zag machines through double needle compound feed walking feet machines with split needle bars, to bar tackers and electronic pattern tackers and embroidery machines; there are few products that we can't create.

One of the neat things about our company is the diverse range of services we can offer. We are grateful to have been involved with many companies and individuals in the past who came to us for a total solution. From a simple idea, we have helped them produce their prototype parts, generate the literature and promotional aids they needed to advertise their product, then actually built the machines they used in manufacturing their products. Our philosophy is really quite simple. We have been blessed with the ability to perform a huge range of tasks, and an incredible amount of knowledge. Yet virtually everything we can do stems from the fact that someone took the time to show us a technique, tip or trick, or helped us locate a source of supply. We feel compelled to help others, particularly those who are just starting out. In the past we've helped engineer solutions from small Ma and Pa operators working on a very limited budget, to a few major aerospace companies with multi-million dollar projects. If you have an idea, and don't know where to go with it, please give us a call. I'm fairly certain we can help you out. What's in it for us? The bottom line is simple, if we help you succeed, you generally keep coming back to us as we help your business grow, and you recommend us to your friends, and business associates making us more successfull as well.

Are you in need of transportation on, above, or under the earth's surface? Contact us for a transportation solution. We can provide Drivers for over the road trucks with all licenses, endorsements, drug tests and medicals current (CDL A CLASS ENDR TPX M3). For transportation by air, our flight department can provide a wide range of aircraft services, with Airline Transport rated, Single and Multi-Engine land and seaplane qualified, airline experienced flight crews. For those needing air transportation to the back country, our chief pilot has extensive bush flying experience operating a diverse range of recip and turbine powered into unimproved airstrips domestically, and internationally. In need of Ab initio, recurrent, or upgrade training? We can provide flight instruction for all ratings in most aircraft. IES can even provide underwater transportation to research, survey, archeological, or recreational destinations in our own 3 person MiniSub SSRV. Some members of are flight department are even paraglider, or paramotor pilots, and many are qualified as instructors in these craft. These foot launched gliders are unique in their ability to provide a great aerial platform for photographic or survey work, with a minimal impact to their environment. In our effort to support our employees we operate a small fleet of Vessels equipped with hydraulic Payout Winches so they can catch a quick flight by towing up on the river just a few minutes from our shop. If you get up to Fort Nelson, and stop by on a sunny day, you just might be able to catch a ride, or come watch the show. Check out for more information.


If you're a return customer who has been to our shop in Calgary, and perhaps even taken a tour in one of our MiniSub's , you may be wondering where our MiniSub and Jetmate products are. We currently no longer distribute Jetmate products. For a short period, we experimented with our MiniSubs in the Pacific Northwet, but the cold and reduced visibilities underwater made it an impractical proposisiton except for a couple months out of the year. Our MiniSubs are still a fantastic product, but the production and support of this incredible device has moved overseas. The Pacific NorthWet is just the wrong place to adequately promote this product. The decision was made a couple years ago to move the production, training and support of this product to an environment that was more conducive to everyday operation of the MiniSub for testing, training, and tours.We still maintain a demonstrator, and have a few hull kits and components available. More information can be found by following the MiniSub link.

Everybody needs a little fun. Click on the picture to the left and see some of the activities our employees are involved in when they are not busy working.

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Last Modified February 2006 Copyright by Innovative Economical Solutions, all rights reserved