Taupo Manufacturing Engineers (TME) is reaching new heights, there is no doubt about that. The business has new premises, is upgrading its website and marketing and now thanks to a new Street gantry crane can give its customers even more than before.
‘If it’s made from metal, we can make it’ is a statement the company holds strong to and is proud of. “We don’t turn people away, we will find a solution to anyone’s problem,” says owner Grant Perry.
The business began in 2004 and Mr Perry did on average 115 hours a week to get the business rolling and all he had was a set of hand tools from his apprenticeship days.
Engineering from 16 years of age as a fitter and turner, he couldn’t have envisaged the 980 square metre workshop the business now operates from on Mahoe Street.
The inside is kitted out with all the usual engineering gear that customers demand and has six staff operating the workshop supported by a management team of three, and now pride of place among it all is a brand new ZX64 Street gantry crane.
It’s the first time Mr Perry has worked in a place that has a gantry, and now he wonders how he ever did without one.
“We’ve always just managed with forklifts and chain blocks and just the shear hassle factor with these… it’s already exceeded my expectations of time saving, it’s just massive,” he says.
“In the old workshop, when the steel truck came in there would be four guys for a good 40 minutes not only getting steel off the truck but then having to get it into the workshop. So, we’ve designed this workshop with a drive through work bay and the gantry can pick up the load with one man for 10 minutes operating it, pick it up put it right by the saw and she’s ready to be cut. Now my staff can get on with other jobs and that means the whole business works a lot more efficiently.”
The gantry was super easy to install. “We had it off the truck and on the railings within about 30 minutes. All ready to be wired up.”
Ease of material handling is one thing, but safety plays a huge part too. “It’s way safer than using a forklift.”
Mr Perry considered going to China to look at cranes up there but after a quick call to a colleague in Australia who had already gone down that road he quickly changed his mind.
“They had the hassle of getting all the design recertified to Australian crane standards and all the electrics weren’t up to Australian electrical standards.” There was a lot of re-work and then if something did go wrong parts would be a nightmare so we went off that idea fast,” says Mr Perry. ‘Local’ made a difference because the after sales service needed to be there.
Freight also played a part, unable to fit in a 40-foot container.
He got two other quotes before going with Street… all within “Cooey,” and “I just thought we can’t go wrong”.
The 3.2 tonne heavy-duty 17 metre span crane is ideal for general workshop use providing a huge array of versatility and does everything down to stairway bannisters – the ideal gantry to play a major role in TME’s expansion plans.
Radio control provides that safety factor that more and more engineering businesses need to factor in with a greater emphasis as well as ease of use, and Mr Perry opted for wire-rope for the heaviest duty possible for the workshop. It’s been specced with travel limits in both directions and the ZX64 hoist’s slack resistant wire rope guide was a big bonus.
“The trolley on the hoist is fully rollered with no rubbing surfaces and has a counter-weightless design which extends the life of the hoist wheels. No gearing is exposed, making it ideal for the often dusty workshop environment, all internal and lubricated in an oil bath meaning we shouldn’t have to look at new drive pinions in 10-15 years’ time.”
Who knows how high this business will get to by then, but one thing is for sure it’s made some massive steps.