Thomas Steel, Australia

Interview with Daniella Lane

Daniella Lane is the General Manager of Thomas Steel Fabrication in Townsville, North Queensland Australia. In this role she oversees the running of the day-to-day operations of the business as well as lead the automation strategy of the Company. 

“Before the Zeman we used to produce around 1,500 tons per year so the Zeman it’s enabled us to double our output so we’re now fabricating well and truly over 3,000 tons per annum when we first implemented the machine we didn’t have any in-house steel processing capability we relied very heavily on our steel providers to undertake the processing so where we actually sought to invest our into machinery was through the fabrication where virtually within the regional area suffered like most of Australia’s skill shortages so it has been hard to find skilled labour.

So the Zeman’s been able to ensure that we’ve been able to meet our project timelines by having that surety of production so especially now that it’s welding out we can rely solely on the Zeman to basically  produce without worrying about the need for skilled labour we purchased the Zeman Compact Steel Beam Assembler with 18 meters and the 16 rotators all the add-on parts. The Zeman was the very first major equipment purchase we undertook that was over three years ago now so in 2015 we invested in this compact SBA. Within our workshop we have a relatively small footprint so the Zeman has allowed us to increase our capacity without huge investments or increases in Space.”

More power with SR Compact

“The Zeman has a relatively small footprint but for that footprint produces a hell of a lot of tonnage and has enabled us to increase our tonnage significantly. We actually initially used the Zeeman to tack first and foremost and then we would weld out within the workshop so over the last six month the Zeman has been used now to fully rolled out the beams so while it some tacks and welds it also now fully welds out so that’s enabled us a huge efficiency within the workshop reducing the sort of man-hours involved in production family. The Siemens Software very easy to use.

We do NOT have a  dedicated programmer! Our operator actually programs whilst operating the machine so  he finds it takes about five minutes per beam to actually do the programming. We use Tekla as our drafting software and it imports very easily into the perfect software with very  minimal manipulation the Zeman has really enabled us to be able to match this client  demand our business and taller so scalable we can size up size down with regard to a client demand as I said we’ve had the machine for over three years now the machine is  operated without fault we’ve had no breakdowns so in terms of performance it has been exceptional the quality of the work has been exceptional as well with everything goes together on site without manipulation the tolerances are spot-on it’s exactly as we  were described in the initial discussions as it has operated as described so in terms of scheduling it’s enabled us to meet client demands we’ve been able to scale up our business to meet projects with very short timeframes so we’ve been able to increase our tonnage and meet those deadlines so previously we had a lot of large projects within the region going offshore or to southern fabricators so now we’ve been able to win those projects and keep them locally through our ability to ramp up our demand.

The service provided by the team in Austria so the support via the over the phone and also on FaceTime in live has been exceptional.

We’ve also found the performance of the machine over a three-year period to be second to none we’ve had no equipment breakdowns within that time which is pretty much unheard of with most equipment of these days Zeman has definitely allowed us to win more and do more and more we would purchase the Zeman again it has been our best machinery purchase and it is definitely a valued piece of equipment which has been in our workshop.”