EMEX - Engineering, Machinery & Electronics Exhibition
Bigger than ever!
A growing show in 2018 has allowed us to introduce an additional hall plus several new visitor destinations.
KIWI SME ROBOTIC AUTOMATION NOW A MUST NOT A MAYBE
Christchurch-based Design Energy is in somewhat of a unique situation. It has a product and service that most Kiwi businesses think they are too small for, but the stark reality is that if they put it in place they would forever wonder how they ever worked without it – robotic automation.
While the company provides for New Zealand’s larger producer it is increasingly seeing a meeting of ways between smaller businesses and the robotic technology beginning to serve them.
The company’s founder and managing director Mike Shatford says that manufacturing automation is now intrinsic in other parts of the world, but in comparison New Zealand lags far behind in terms uptake albeit not through its own fault.
“New Zealand has not historically been able to deploy automation/robotics due to our smaller production volumes and therefore not the target for the type of automated systems that have been available that required a mass production scale for efficiencies,” Mike tells Engineering News.
But, he says, the robotic automation landscape that’s now available on the home front has changed due to this massive global uptake. And with that opportunity knocks for many SMEs.
“The scale of industry and demand is driving robot cost down and capability of technology upwards,” he says.
But leaving the train station late has put us behind at all stops.
“Due to that historic inability to automate, mainly due to required scale, we are also missing skillsets within industry. Where large countries have had continuous use, experience, learning as automation technology progressed – our engineers, accountants, maintenance people are not as knowledgeable with robotics,” Mike explains. He says this flows through again to not knowing how to use them efficiently or even how to maintain them.
Measuring and justifying the benefits of robotic automation is where Design Energy steps in, in terms or having the products, implementing the systems and tweaking the efficiency on a case-by-case nature.
Design Energy has analysed New Zealand’s business terrain and through that it has isolated where robotics automation can benefit Kiwi manufacturing the most. Large scale manufacturing, perhaps surprisingly to many, did not come out at the top of the list.
“New Zealand has a unique business infrastructure with a swag of SME’s – in fact, over 97% of New Zealand businesses are classified as SMEs according to MBIE,” Mike tells Engineering News.
It’s here, he says, because “they are the majority of our producers,” where the company now believes it can offer its services best.
“They don’t need the speed, they need the flexibility. It’s also harder to get a return on investment as SMEs are making smaller quantities, so it takes a level of expertise to first off, evaluate if robotic automation technology will benefit them, then if so, and many will be very surprised to find out that in most cases the answer is ‘yes’, install, train and work with the customer to make huge gains in efficiencies and most importantly greater profit.”
He says robotics automation should be nothing to fear.
Design Energy, under the AutoMATE brand, has been a national provider of robotic automation hardware (robot sales) and solutions (turn-key’s, training, service) for the past decade. Mike and his team know the local automation terrain well.
“In contrast to many industrial technology resellers we have built a complete offering around robots – we can supply a robot, training, servicing, but many New Zealand users do not have the skills in-house to deploy robotics so we can step in to provide a turn-key solution. The fact that we can turn out a fully integrated and commissioned system stands testament to our technical knowledge and capability. Building a one-off machine that works first time – no second tries here – requires an extremely talented team,” says Mike.
The company’s customers are reassured in knowing that this level of capability and support is available in country, whereas non-practicing resellers will “refer you to a chapter in a manual or ‘go back to the manufacturer’ for advice”.
“The team at Design Energy has over 100 years of automation experience to draw from. As we compete on world markets with our Kiwi-made products we must get in synch with automation – our relatively high cost of labour and distance to markets mean that we must produce our goods with the latest, most efficient means availabl
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GLOBAL STAINLESS KNUCKLES DOWN TO THE JOB
Knuckling tank end disc to 40 radius. Various knuckling rollers up to 200mm.
Global Stainless has realised the exceptional value that it can give to tank and vessel fabricators by taking on the tricky but rewarding knuckling service of radius forming the edges of domes and cones.
Lincoln Raikes, managing director of Global Stainless Industrial and Global Stainless Artworks says, “Our tank fabricator customers base just keeps growing when people hear about the range of service and the quality we achieve in our knuckled domes just gets better”.
“It takes a lot of skill to operate a knuckling machine and perform a ripple free knuckle at the exact diameter so that it fits perfectly to a tank cylinder,” Mr Raikes says.
Most of Global Stainless’ new work comes through word of mouth advertising when fabricators hear it can guarantee that correct circumference before the domes or cone is even made, which means the fabricator can start making the tank before the dome arrives.
80mm knuckle radius on large mild steel domes.
Global Stainless knuckle either domes or cones supplied by its customers offering 10 different knuckle radii from 10 to 200mm radius.
It also specialises in double curved forming in stainless steel and mild/carbon steels. These include: torispherical and hemispherical domes, hemispheres for pharmaceutical manufacturing vessels, stainless steel spheres for industrial applications (pressure or vacuum), mirror polished stainless steel spheres for art, mild steel/carbon steel spheres for industrial applications (pressure or vacuum), long radius-large diameter S/S rolled and fabricated bends, mild steel / carbon steel domes, stainless steel dished ends, aluminium dished ends, copper dished ends, teat spray/sprayer tanks, pressure vessel heads, tank heads, tank ends, pipe end caps, dished heads, ASME and AS1210 heads and bulk milk dairy cooling vats.
METCO: WELLINGTON-BASED BUT WITH A GLOBAL ATTITUDE
Wellington-based Metco Engineering’s international reputation is something the company is extremely proud of says company director Paul Jessup.
“From Antarctica to China, we specialise in providing a complete five-star engineering package,” he says of the company that is able to do it all in-house – from initial consultation and concept design right through to the production and transportation of the finished product.
And since the Rt. Hon. John Key opened Metco’s newest premises last year, staff and management have made every post a winner and now provide a service level that they describe as second to none.
“The capabilities of our staff and equipment combined with the breadth of our services makes us unique and a market leader within our industry,” says Mr Jessup.
The mantra is simple: no job is too big.
And to keep strong to the philosophy, Metco Engineering makes sure it continually invests in its staff and equipment so that any job that enters its doors can be met with the necessary level of expertise to ensure customers’ expectations are not just met but exceeded.
Such investment in the future can be seen with the recent installation of the new Trumpf TruLaser 3030 laser cutting machine.
The machine is capable of unmanned, automated operation which results in a highly cost-effective production process. The state-of-the-art German machine has the capacity to cut steel up to 25mm thick, and with its automation Metco Engineering can have the unit run in long shifts.
It’s part of a full end-to-end sheet metal service.
“We provide intelligent manufacturing solutions,” says Mr Jessup. “Our philosophy is to create a partnership with our clients. We provide precision engineering but in a unique way which puts together the best of our client’s ideas with ours to create a ‘co-makership’ synergy.”
Mr Jessup believes collaborative partnerships are critical to the company’s success. He says that Metco’s relationship with Colin Brown and Aotea Machinery – through the supply of quality Trumpf machinery, service and advice – fits perfectly with internal standards and philosophies. It’s a case of ‘like’ doing business with ‘like’ working wonders.
The Trumpf machines fits in perfectly with the heights of quality that Metco sets itself.
The 4kWh TruLaser 3030 laser cutter with CO2 lasers combines high performance with cut quality that is of the highest standard. The TruFlow laser, which is robust and reliable, will create extremely smooth cutting edges that generally do not require post-processing. Due to compact machine dimensions and a simple operating concept, the TruLaser 3030 is the perfect overall package for the production of laser-cut parts – a perfect fit for Metco.
Because of this and other high spec machines, the company can create cost-efficient products using outside-the-square techniques that most haven’t thought of – “possibly at lower cost than China… without all the hassles”.
“We can fabricate any steel, aluminium, brass, copper, or plastic components to precise specifications. You’d be surprised at the consumer-grade finish we can achieve with our state-of-the-art fibre laser, paint line, process automation, and quality control system.”
By managing everything seamlessly in-house, Metco makes it easy and flexible for its clients to get the quantities they want… when they want and need them.
Today, the business is a far cry from where it began in 1971.
“With the right foundations in place of technology, processes, and know-how, the company is looking to grow its product diversity, production volumes, and client base,” says Mr Jessup.
“We are expanding its international market with a full service complement. We will continue to invest in cutting edge capabilities so that Metco offers a truly competitive edge in today’s engineering industry.”
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CATCH A TRAIN TO THE FUTURE
Schaeffler’s Drive Train 4.0 digital services are easily accessible and increase system availability
Schaeffler’s latest EcoSystem for monitoring motors and drives
A world leader in industrial bearing technologies, Schaeffler, is introducing to Australia and New Zealand its latest condition monitoring and predictive maintenance technologies that use advanced digital services to look into the future of motors and drives.
Schaeffler Drive Train 4.0 – part of the Schaeffler Smart EcoSystem suite of digitally integrated products – expands conventional condition monitoring approaches by linking diverse digital information sources into a single platform with new options for increased efficiency, machinery lifespan and sustainability, reduced downtime, reduced energy use and reduced total cost of ownership (TCO).
“Schaeffler’s Drive Train 4.0 links existing technology with new digital services to take a big step further into the digitalised production and machine monitoring of the future,” says Mark Ciechanowicz, industrial services manager, Schaeffler Australia.
Drive Train 4.0 is the product of extensive research and development of the global Schaeffler organisation which employs more than 86,000 people globally, including more than 6,000 at 16 research and development centres dedicated to high-performance, low-maintenance bearing technology. Schaeffler’s 170 locations in 50 countries include long-established Australasian operations whose capabilities include new system engineering, refurbishment and extensive technical support for systems such as Drive Train 4.0.
Drive Train 4.0’s latest innovations include two newly-developed micro services, which focus on optimum machine capacity, longer machine operating times, data-based predictive maintenance, and reduced overall operating costs, says Mr Ciechanowicz. The new micro services include the calculation of rolling bearings’ nominal remaining useful life during operation based on real load spectra, and automated rolling bearing diagnostics with the FAG SmartCheck vibration analysis system. Both services connect to the Schaeffler cloud, where the corresponding big data and software solutions are implemented. Software installations on the end devices of customers are not required; an internet browser and a network connection are sufficient.
The new technology was showcased at the most recent Hannover Messe, the world’s leading trade fair for industrial technology, where it was reviewed by the Managing Director of Schaeffler Australia, Mr Andre Kluge, for suitability to diverse Australasian industries where downtime is costly, and maintenance is expensive and poorly performing machinery wastes time and energy.
Applications include bulk handling and conveyor applications, mining and energy; building, construction and access equipment installations, such as forklifts and logistics; food and beverage and agribusiness processes, including paper and packaging; manufacturing, metals and process engineering, transport and industrial motor and transmission applications, including pumping and HVAC installations and utilities including electricity, water and waste water.
Technology exhibited at Hannover Messe and particularly relevant to Australasian industry comprised an engine, clutch, and transmission designed to represent a wide range of drives in all performance classes. The latest generation of the FAG SmartCheck single-channel vibration analysis system, the FAG DTect X1s multi-channel vibration analysis system, the FAG Concept2 automatic lubricator, the FAG WearDebrisCheck – an oil particle counter – and the FAG Xeleris torque measurement module are integrated into the drive. An outstanding characteristic of the innovative torque measurement module is that the sensor system does not affect the torsion rigidity of the drive train as the mechanical properties of the drive shaft are not affected. The dynamic behaviour of the drive remains unchanged.
Drive Train 4.0 is part of the Schaeffler Smart EcoSystem, which is attuned to the digital revolution and the linking of components and systems that increase the efficiency of machines and equipment.
Schaeffler Smart EcoSystem
Schaeffler is shaping the digital transformation with a clear vision and specific solutions highly relevant to Australian industry, says Mr Ciechanowicz. With Smart EcoSystem, Schaeffler is offering a consistent hardware and software infrastructure – from sensorised components to digital services and business models. Objectives include:
• Obtaining important data for process control and machine monitoring, providing dependability and precision with sensors and mechatronic products.
• Making use of Schaeffler’s unique global domain know-how, in the form of digital services, in order to automatically generate relevant information from the gathered data and to receive specific recommendations for action.
• Profiting from digital solutions such as Drive Train 4.0, which is one of many solutions, including those for machine tools, railway, or wind applications.
• And to use them specifically for controlling processes, maximizing availability and optimising product quality.
GOUGH INDUSTRIAL SOLUTIONS PARTNERS WITH SANY
The Gough Group has signed an exclusive dealership agreement for Sany concrete equipment in New Zealand and Australia as part of the creation of a new business unit, Gough Industrial Solutions.
This is part of the evolution of Gough Engineering to Gough Industrial Solutions.
Ho Hogg, business manager – concrete products, says that the creation of the new business unit and signing of the agreement was both an exciting and natural progression for the Gough Group.
It will enable our team to offer leading-edge 360-degree solutions to the local concrete and infrastructure industries.
“Gough Engineering was well-established as leaders in the truck concrete mixer segment with a reputation for superior technology, operator-friendliness, reliability, precision and safety, and this now carries over to Gough Industrial Solutions.
“Sany shares these attributes and we’re proud to deliver and support these solutions for the benefit of the New Zealand industry,” says Mr Hogg.
Sany is described as a world-leading supplier of concrete machinery delivering exceptional quality in performance, ease-of-operation, adaptability, efficiency and reliability. Its range of truck-mounted concrete pumps, trailer pumps, line pumps, placing booms, truck mixers, batching plants and mortar pumps deliver quality and safety in demanding environments throughout the world.
“Sany is the world number one concrete machinery manufacturer. Currently it has 25 manufacturing bases and over 100 offices and 8000 suppliers worldwide. In China, Sany has established six industry parks and has global R&D centres and manufacturing bases in the US, Germany, India and Brazil. Sany’s products are exported to 150 countries and regions worldwide.”
Gough Industrial Solutions operates bases in Christchurch, Auckland and Melbourne with sales and technical support available nationally.
“For the industry, this partnership between Gough Industrial Solutions and Sany will deliver exceptional local expertise, global technology and lifetime support and parts back-up. To this end, we have recently welcomed two new team-members from Sany to support product locally.
“For our customers, this new partnership will assist in maximising productivity and profits while eliminating unnecessary cost in their businesses long term,” he says.
Gough Industrial Solutions is a member of Gough Group, New Zealand and Australia’s leading value-added solutions provider to the infrastructure, mining, forestry, transport, and power system industries.
As a privately owned New Zealand business, the Gough Group draws on a rich heritage stretching back over 80 years. In partnership with their global supply partners and longstanding customer relationships they’ve built a reputation for quality and integrity.
KONECRANES INTRODUCES COMPLIANCE GAP ANALYSIS
Regulatory compliance and best maintenance practices are crucial in optimising the safety, performance, reliability and efficiency of overhead cranes vital to major manufacturing, materials handling, mining, food and beverage and other material handling applications, but when there are several different programmes across multiple sites, it can be difficult to see if anything is missing.
To search for and fill any compliance gaps in maintenance programmes, Konecranes is introducing to Australasia its Compliance Gap Analysis service, where a qualified trained Inspector will thoroughly evaluate all aspects of a programme, including inspection methods and documentation, preventative maintenance, repair processes and operator safety.
“Konecranes’ Compliance Gap Analysis is designed to identify if any gaps exist in your current maintenance program using information from all applicable OEM documents and overhead material handling standards,” says Joseph Cefai, consultation services manager, Konecranes Australia and New Zealand.
Konecranes draws on its experience as the world’s largest crane service organisation – with over 450,000 pieces of equipment across all makes and models under service worldwide – to provide an expert opinion on whether a company’s current crane operations and maintenance practices are aligned with applicable OEM, regulatory requirements and best practices.
“Our aim is to provide a holistic view of the current situation and find key gaps that may have otherwise been overlooked, despite best intentions,” says Mr Cefai.
A typical process involves three key steps:
An on-site meeting with safety, maintenance and operations representatives, plus any other associated departments or personnel, where information-gathering methods are explained and questions about the analysis method are answered.
A comprehensive review of the facility, where the Konecranes Inspector studies key processes that typically include inspection practices, pre-shift checklists, and corrective maintenance procedures.
A findings review, conducted in person with key stakeholders, where safety-critical items are prioritised and other professional recommendations are made. Information is treated in commercial confidence.
“Compliance Gap Analysis can be a useful tool for safety and maintenance managers seeking to employ best practice and standards compliance, because it gives an external expert opinion and covers all aspects of inspection, service and maintenance simultaneously,” says Mr Cefai.
Compliance Gap Analysis is part of a broader suite of Konecranes services, including RailQ runway analysis, RopeQ wire rope inspection and CraneQ crane geometry survey.
ENERPAC RAIL BRIDGE GANTRY TACKLES DEADLINE
Timing is critical for road and rail construction and land and maritime infrastructure projects, to avoid unscheduled disruption to passenger and freight services.
However, even the best project planning can be undermined by adverse weather conditions, such as those encountered in Australia’s remote northern regions and in coastal regions throughout both Australia and New Zealand. Even winds greater than 20kph may prevent bridge deck lifting using a crane, leading to project delays.
A safe and precise bridge deck lifting alternative is Enerpac’s Hydraulic Gantry lifting systems, which are being deployed throughout Australasia for use in heavy lifts involving construction, infrastructure, transport and mining, maritime and energy applications. Enerpac gantry systems are proven in Australasia and globally, with one of the technology’s recent successes being demonstrated by a leading road and rail heavy lift company, Osprey Heavy Lift Ltd, which used an Enerpac SBL900 gantry to prepare a replacement bridge section on the Chester line in the UK.
GANTRY LIFT TECHNOLOGY
The SBL 900 deployed on this project was one of two types Enerpac provides rail construction: Super Lift (SL) series: for lifts up to 400 metric tonnes (mT), and Super Boom Lift (SBL) series up to 1100 mT.
Both types comprise four or more telescopic legs and an overhead beam or girder, allowing vertical lifting of heavy loads. If movement of the load is required, the complete gantry system and load can be traversed along a track.
The Enerpac hydraulic gantries feature self-contained hydraulics and electrics, self-propelled wheels or tank rollers, mechanical locking permitting load holding for extended periods of time and Intellilift wireless control system.
Intellilift provides the operator with information about the stroke, lift and load per unit and automatically corrects any unsynchronised motion of the individual units, as well as unobstructed views of the load for a safer lift.
Moreover, the gantry lift is less affected by wind speeds than using cranes, allowing the gantry to be used at up to four times the wind speed permissible with a crane. A gantry can be used in areas where crane access is impractical, and it allows a continuous lift onto SPMT’s (self-propelled modular transporters) that is more efficient and safer than traditional jack and pack used on smaller bridge decks, says Enerpac Australasia mining and heavy lifting technology manager Warren Baltineshter.
Several of these advantages demonstrated in practice in the Chester Line lift, where “the Enerpac gantry was the ideal lifting system for this bridge deck replacement project,” says Nigel Fletcher, managing director, Osprey Heavy Lift Ltd.
“Working at ground level and the ease of lifting the deck onto an SPMT made for a smooth installation of the new bridge desk,” he says.
An Enerpac hydraulic gantry is cost effective to mobilise. The gantry’s telescopic leg can be folded down for ease of transportation, either on a flatbed trailer or in a container.
Once on site, the gantry allows the new deck to be completely constructed on-site at ground level, avoiding the need for working at height requirements.
Gantry lift systems are part of the Enerpac range of heavy lift, shift, balance and place solutions, which includes the world’s largest portfolio of heavy lift and load control applications. Enerpac systems – such as hydraulic gantries, strand jacks, skidding systems, self-erecting towers, SPMTs and synchronous lift systems – can handle some of the world’s most challenging lifts, including awkwardly shaped and sometimes massive structures weighing tens of thousands of tons in maritime, mining, energy and heavy industrial applications.
NEW BONFIGLIOLI 300M PLANETARY GEARBOX RANGE SETS INDUSTRY-LEADING TORQUE BENCHMARKS
Torque increases in the new Bonfiglioli 300M series. Average Nominal torque [Nm] of 4 stage reduction and in-line gearbox configuration. For right angle and combined gearbox 3/A 3/V performance increases.
Bonfiglioli is introducing to Australasia its new 300M range of planetary gearboxes, which achieve greater torque without increasing the size of the gearbox, to produce greater performance, efficiency, and cost saving for many industries such as bulk materials handling, mining process equipment, food and beverage, materials handling, water treatment and waste handling.
The 300M series has eight new sizes from 310M to 318M, all of which have a significant improvement in torque over their preceding models and set new industry benchmarks for torque ratings at one million cycles.
Depending on the size, torque has been improved by up to 45%, as shown in the graphic below.
One of the innovative improvements in the series is the addition of a new bearing design. The 300M series uses a customised roller design with an inner race on the pin and an outer race on the planet gear. This creates a bigger roller diameter, with a higher load capacity and greater torque.
“The new 300M series has been engineered to the highest standards of quality. The gearboxes are built for reliability, durability and improved performance,” says Malcolm Lewis, managing director, Bonfiglioli Australia and New Zealand.
“A significant advantage of the higher torque capacities is that a smaller size gearbox can do the same task that a larger one would have had to do previously. This can mean savings in power, space and costs, both up-front and ongoing,” he said.
The 300M series is completely interchangeable with the existing 300 series gearboxes, and no machine modification is required when upgrading to the new units.
Major applications for the 300M series include:
• Mining – car dumpers and stacker reclaimers
• Materials handling – screw conveyors and apron feeders
• Cranes and winches – jib cranes and ship loaders
• Food and beverage – spiral freezers and flaking machines
• Water and wastewater – mixer agitators and band screeners
“These are competitive industries where companies are always striving to improve efficiency, minimise downtime and reduce costs. The 300M series has been designed with these goals in mind, and the industry-leading torque benchmarks will greatly optimise their performance,” says Mr Lewis.
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ON-SITE SAFETY TRAINING WITH BITE
Global high-pressure hydraulics leader Enerpac is introducing to Australasia new on-site safety training designed to optimise the uptime and performance of widely used tools while spotlighting workplace hazards and preventable accidents.
Enerpac’s Goal Zero safety programmes draw on the organisation’s practical workplace experience in more than 30 countries and its commitment to promote the goal of zero harm to employees, customers and end users of Enerpac and other-brand heavy lift, shift, position, fabrication and bolting machinery used across Australia, New Zealand and PNG.
“As a hydraulic technology and safety leader in Australasia for more than 50 years, Enerpac is now taking a further lead in the industry by taking its unique expertise out on site where it will do the most good for busy people and companies,” says Enerpac Western Australia territory manager David Capper. “These are practical, down-to-earth safety training development courses designed to deliver immediate benefits from course leaders who combine local expertise with global knowledge and standards. The key outcomes on which they focus are reduced accidents and downtime.”
Mr Capper is working in partnership with his East Coast colleague and SE Queensland/ Northern NSW territory manager Sandy Whyman, along with Enerpac’s network of territory managers, to bring the safety message on-site to audiences who might not otherwise have the time or opportunity to bring themselves up to date with technology advances and the latest safety and maintenance best practice global standards.
Elements of the on-site courses are tailored to the needs of individual sites and workshops, including mine, oil and gas, energy generation, primary processing (including paper, sugar, food and beverage and agribusiness) bulk handling, construction, infrastructure (including ports and defence establishments) transport (including rail, road and aviation) and energy generation and public water and local authority service utility organisations.
They include: tool inspections and correct workplace usage guidance; maintenance and storage practices that optimise safety and uptime; spotlighting potentially dangerous practices, with case studies; extending tool life and productivity; safety guidelines for general situations and for particular industries; attendance certificates
The courses are open to groups including tool users; supervisors; inspectors; safety managers; project and site engineers; maintenance shutdown engineers; administration and management staff concerned with risk assessment and management; training and development managers.
Visit www.enerpac.com/au-safety for inquiries about scheduling and composition of courses.
THE GREAT KIWI ENGINEERING CHALLENGE IS ON
XPO ANNOUNCES PRINCIPLE SPONSORSHIP; FINALISTS FOR EMEX 2018
It’s great to see that when you toss out an idea, even from the root of you being angry at the world – or in this case, someone bagging Kiwi ingenuity and highlighting skewed statistical analysation of it – that others can grab hold of a limb and help grow it, because they see merit.
Page 10 of this issue has the official announcement by XPO Exhibitions in its endorsement of The Great Kiwi Engineering Challenge.
They spotted a good concept, shoved all-in along with NZ Engineering News, and logistically the Challenge will be in part propped by its avenues to market to promote the event. Finalists in two categories will be exhibited on Engineering News‘ stand with announcements of the winner on the seceond day of EMEX 2018 at the Greenlane Event Centre on May 2 (exhibition runs May 1-3).
The competition launch itself will be featured in our October edition and open for entries from October 1. We will make a song and dance about it at that time, and give you all the information needed to showcase your engineering talent through your manufacture of a Kiwi – any Kiwi – in Professional and Student sections. Quality of make will be important, but much judging emphasis will be placed on Kiwi innovation. Moving CNC-machined parts or perhaps you’ll go down the road of a mechanical robot Kiwi, or even something out-of-this world 3D printed; whatever you choose it needs to make people’s jaw drops that you and the engineering industry have been able to turn such a simple and proud Kiwi symbol into a re-engineered masterpiece. A work of mechanical art.
Go for it. We are looking for one more principle sponsor as well as next-tier-down sponsorship from within the industry. If you are a supplier to the engineering industry and would like your company to get involved flick me an email to email@example.com.
Kiwi’s are indeed an innovative lot, and I don’t care what anyone says. We are, as we’ve had to be. In my role as NZ Engineering News editor I’ve already seen plenty of what the professionals have to offer (that’s you lot). And, of course, then there’s the SHEDers.
But even the professional engineers down this way have to think well out-of-box on occasion (and that doesn’t mean they neglect quality either, sheesh).It usually means you have to make something you don’t have or can’t get hold of, from what you have at hand. So you adapt with what you have and quite often, and I know this for fact, your adaption surpasses the original.
I’ve even talked to people who have turned out complex, heavy-duty machinery from a picture in a book. Now that’s creative. One of the funniest moments though, and I think that it was at an NZ Steel awards evening, was when MC for the evening comedian and engineering SHEDer enthusiast Te Radar talked about the great, historic Kiwi No 8’ers in engineering. I remember, in particular but one of many funny yarns, his portrayal of the first ever submarine – built in Dunedin, believe it or not. It was called the Platypus, which in itself boggles the mind.
Finding gold at NZ’s most southern port was a priority, and in 1873 on December 14 the banks were loaded with onlookers at the world‘s first sub, the Platypus, as it froze its toes in the icy waters.Designed to work in Otago goldfield rivers, the Platypus was an iron cylinder constructed of 3/8-inch plates (total length 35 ft/10.6m, diameter 7ft 2ins/2.2m.) A paddle or wheel box was fitted on each side and between an iron hatch covering allowing entrance into the hull.
Dredging was the aim. Getting stuck turned out to be the game. For over four hours the ingenious craft stayed submerged until help came. It was truly cutting edge in terms of design, mechanics and engineering… if only for that rock.
Te Radar‘s delivery brought it all to life as he described manual flag messages and crew running along the bottom of the seabed through an open hatch, in true flickered-frame, black-and-white, Laurel and Hardie-fashion.
So, it’s in our DNA to try, and try again through innovation. Prove the engineering industry still has that mettle. No sinking subs please, but Kiwis that fly, cry, turn into a meat pie… they’re all good. A word to the wise, with the talent this industry has behind it we are expecting it to be a showcase to the whole country of just what you guys are capable of – best not to over simplify.
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