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NZ Manufacturer February 2012

A meeting is an event at which the minutes are kept and the hours are lost. – Unknown

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AUCKLAND MANUFACTURERS

Dotmar exports quality manufactured components to India

D

otmar Engineering Plastics in Auckland’s Mt Wellington industrial area – with other branches in Christchurch and Palmerston North -- is part of a privately-held company which is truly a global giant in the supply and manufacture of game-changing thermoplastics. They don’t need to boast, because they are already the biggest in North America; second- biggest in Europe; and Australasia’s biggest. Then you add the ability to buy the best European plastics and hand them to highly-skilled and experienced, long-term employees like technical manager, Grant Pedersen, and the rest equals sustained success. Customers seek them out for their product-knowledge, design skills, collaborative working relationships, the quality and precision of their manufacturing, and the knowledge they have the highest quality rawmaterials – sheet, rod and tube, almost exclusively of European origin – when they start. The results include uncontaminated – either on or in the thermoplastic -- componentry for the local food and dairy industry; hard-wearing conveyor systems; specialist bearings and fittings for super yachts; seals for petro-chemical pipelines and graphite-filled compressor-grade seals for compressors, amongst a zillion others. The New Zealand operation also has a significant export trade in machined components to Australia, Mexico, the USA and India. From page 1

Which brings us to the headline. After supplying indirectly initially, Dotmar is now providing Swedish headquartered, Atlas Copco, directly with high-spec, compressor piston rings for their now-55-yearold Indian operation. Carl Lunt, the local business manager explains: “Their compressors are part of a growing industry worldwide, the use of tankers to deliver gas to homes and factories, rather than by pipelines, which have a propensity to fail, when not properly maintained, and are sometimes subject to vandalism too. “It goes without saying that compressors operate under extreme pressures and in this application are constantly being switched on and off. Some 80-percent of the costs of those oil-free piston compressors are ‘running costs’, .and the Atlas Copco expectation of 100-percent right first time operation is mirrored by Dotmar. “Clearly Atlas Copco could get cheaper and more readily-available products in India, but after flying out and auditing our processes and systems, and being convinced of our ability to meet their quality and precision requirements, as well as their exacting delivery needs, their key people went away happy. “It also helped that we have removed the need for the specialist parts to be hand-fitted, meaning Atlas Copco don’t need a qualified technician on the other end to handle the change-out. Downtime is a particularly costly exercise in

Carl Lunt (left) with Grant Pedersen and some of Dotmar’s manufactured products.

the tanker-based gas reticulation business,” he says. He and Pedersen believe this example demonstrates a growing move back to design, quality materials, precision engineering and a growing desire to take advantage of the move to thermoplastics in every walk-of-life. “Increasingly, existing customers and new-comers want to discuss, upfront, their product needs and their search for alternatives. Our collective knowledge across our New Zealand operation, our colleagues across the globe and our first-class suppliers means that people are regarding us as an ‘industry knowledge centre’, not just a manufacture-to-order operation,” he says. ‘Functional replacement’ is

the term they use to describe the massive inroads thermoplastic is making globally. “As the world develops and people are getting a better understanding of the quality, precision and robustness of our products, especially when their applications cannot afford to have fatigue or deterioration at certain temperatures, or a variation in strength, for example.” Surely there must be some weakness in their offering? Pedersen again: “We sometimes err by providing too-high a quality, which isn’t really necessary.” Not a problem too many might have. nextSTEP: www.dotmar.co.nz Tel: 09 579 8300

Tandarra typifies NZ manufacturing at its best

Today, Tandarra’s 20-odd staff operate a 10,000sqm full-production workshop and assembly plant, manufacturing custom-order roll-formers and accessories for a number of clients – many of them going back some 25-plus years -both locally and abroad. CNC lathes, VMC mills, radial drills, table-grinders and even their own heat-treating facility, mark this as a world-class design and manufacturing hub, which also ‘loves a challenge’. But, you’ll be pleased to learn, the original, simple drill press and manual lathe are still making parts for their current machinery, because that’s part of the company culture: it’s about maintaining a tradition of quality and high-precision which has

had the likes of Bluescope Lysaght, throughout SE Asia, calling on them to produce speciality products over the decades. “Our attitude is one of ‘almost anything is possible’, so along with producing a wide-range of generic profile machines, we also regularly find ourselves involved with projects to develop new profiles that have never been made before - often because we are the only ones willing to attempt them. “We welcome those, because they stimulate the long-serving team to come up with the solution and then implement it to the budget and the deadline. To date, we have a perfect record on that score, and mean to keep it,” says Watson, who has just received an enquiry from

Ethiopia, from a manufacturer who is so impressed with a 15 year old Tandarra machine he’s acquired, that he wants another. Watson is due to fly to Thailand a couple of days later to supervise the training on and installation of the company’s latest project for Bluescope Lysaght – a containerised (custom-made, 40-footer, with roller door on the end and soft curtains) roll-forming machine which will be craned up onto scaffolding for continuous sheet rolling onto the many and massive warehouses and retail centres popping up all over that rapidly industrialising country. “Although we have a reputation for mobile roll-formers, amongst others, this was a real weight challenge due to the on-site lifting requirements. It will be used to produce continuous sheets, up to 200M in length which have to be spoton accurate as the profile uses a concealed clip system instead of traditional screw fixing. That and they have to be monsoon-proof. “We also don’t want any

problems which would require us to fly back-and-forth to fix. We made it with some 28 kg to spare; and just to keep the team on its toes – we had to accelerate the completion date, right at the end, to beat the pending Auckland dock strike” he notes. Test-sheets were sent to their Australian laboratory in December and only a few minor tweaks were required before the client signed the profile and machine off just before Christmas. “We are committed to continuing our existing relationships, as well as fostering some new ones, through the continuous improvement of our machinery, the safety features within them, and our manufacturing techniques, to ensure a safe working environment, both for our own team, and that of our customers.” NZ manufacturing at its best. nextSTEP: www.tandarra.co.nz www.nzmanufacturer.co.nz

NZ Manufacturer February 2012  

NZ Manufacturer February 2012

NZ Manufacturer February 2012  

NZ Manufacturer February 2012

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