Page Steel counts on SBA

Recently the Australian Fabricator Page Steel invested in robotic machinery, increasing their capacity by up to 50% and future-proofing the business for the next ten years.

Page Steel recently purchased a Zeman SBA single rail robotic fabrication machine SR-Compact , which is capable of fabricating beams 1,100mm wide and 18,000mm long. The handling robot can pick up 250kg per add-on part and the beam weight has a maximum of 6 tons. This machinery is an investment in the future of the company. It will ensure the company is relevant and at the forefront of the industry.

“It has set us up for at least the next ten years. The machinery we’ve invested in solves a lot of the issues we’ve been facing in terms of difficult to recruit workers, accuracy and speed. There are so many pluses to the machines besides the initial investment”. The CEO of Page Steel, Chris Piacentini says. “We’ve had the Zeman SBA single rail running for about a year now. It is incorporated with, and connected to, all the other machines in our facility, so our entire process can flow without the use of cranes – the steel flows from machine to machine to machine and unloads itself as well.”

It’s very difficult to get apprentices who are interested in a career in fabrication and welding.
What’s happening is that workers are aging and retiring, and taking a lot of the skills with them.
And it’s only going to get harder and harder to find good workers. When you automate, it future proofs your company!”. Chris Piacentini, CEO Page Steel

Automation is not just about protecting against a shortage of skilled labour. It’s also about being able to increase your output with the same footprint. The Zeman SBA single rail could icrease our capacity by 300% – we’re not running at that capacity yet, because other processes within our facility cannot keep pace. However, our production hast increased by around 50% to 50%, said Chris.

When the robot was initially installed, it’s output outstripped our fittings production. So, we increased our shifts for the production of fittings. We also had to refocus some of our machines to produce more material for the Zeman machine.

The robot is hungry – it has a very big appetite. And the key rule is to make sure that the robot has enough work. When the robot has enough work, it means more steel out the door and onto the worksite.

We did’t want a machine that could only meet existing capacity. We wanted a machine capable of meeting our capacity five or ten years into the future – a machine that would help the company grow.

Chris is willing to help anyone who needs a hand. “We’re happy to help other fabricators, and the industry in general, to improve efficiencies If the industry as a whole increases

capacity, there is less need for clients to look offshore. So when it comes to automation, we encourage fabricators to embrace technology and look at ways to improve their business. We want everyone to succeed, because the entire industry will succeed together.

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