To change may be difficult – not to change can be fatalThe grain stacker under test in Christchurch earlier in the year

A Christchurch engineering company that once specialised in sawmill machinery has landed a major, NZ$25 million supply contract for an Australian bulk grain handling firm that will see up to 50 new jobs created in the firm’s Christchurch manufacturing base.

Southern Cross Engineering chief executive Paul Thorn is unequivocal about the reasons for the firm’s diversification into different fields.

“Survival,’’ he says.

Sixty years ago, ‘’there was a timber mill in every small town in New Zealand,’’ he says.

Not so today, with that industry in a protracted downturn.

But the firm’s strengths – innovation, discipline, efficiency and an X-factor described by Mr Thorn as “lateral thinking” – have turned successfully to other fields, including materials handling and a foray into minerals in Australia.

Australian bulk material handler Graincorp has ordered 25 grain stackers due for staggered delivery up to November this year.

The order will see a new site developed in Hornby, Christchurch, and new employment opportunities for everything from tradesmen to assembly operators, in order to manufacture and deliver on time.The grain stacker in action at one of GrainCorp’s Australian working sites

Mr Thorn says the company hopes to absorb some skilled workers from other Christchurch companies undergoing restructuring, retaining skills within the region. They are also advertising extensively nationwide.

He says Southern Cross won the contract with its innovative edge.

“We broke the paradigm,’’ he says of the design for the mobile stacker, which receives grain from trucks post-harvest and transfers it into storage bunkers.

Existing arrangements had issues with safety, operability and efficiency. Southern Cross’ machine is unique.

It can be transported from bunker site to bunker site – is easily assembled and disassembled – conforms to Australian road regulations – is four wheel drive enabling it to operate in extreme terrain – it is self-propelled with its own electrical generator and controlled by one operator.

The mobile stacker has a throughput capacity of up to 700 tonnes per hour, far exceeding anything currently in use.Paul Thorn believes a uniquely Kiwi understated arrogance drives New Zealanders to do better and never rest on their laurels, as opposed to the more overt Australian self belief

It can also operate in temperatures up to 50C.

An Australian engineer who has worked in New Zealand for more than 20 years, Mr Thorn is also clear on why a New Zealand firm was able to trump Australian competitors for the coveted Graincorp contract.

Price was an obvious factor, he says, but then “we can build 40 per cent cheaper again in China.’’

“Innovation is the key. One of the unique things is we design/manufacture/ install and commission. We’re not a consultancy.

“We market as a one-stop shop – we have a workshop and our designers have a pragmatic view of the world because the workshop guys feed back to the designers about some aspects of design.’’

He also believes a uniquely Kiwi “understated arrogance” drives New Zealanders to do better and never rest on their laurels, as opposed to the more overt Australian self belief.

The current order for 25 grain stackers is due progressively by November, a tight time frame which will see double shifts running in the company’s Christchurch sites – is the result of a carefully cultivated relationship with Graincorp over several years. It is not expected to be the last and the firm is expecting a repeat order, as well as marketing the product further afield, such as in North America.

In another recent project, Southern Cross completed a belly dumping woodchip truck receiving facility at a Victorian port for Graincorp, a project which led to the request for a prototype grain stacker.

Mr Thorn says Southern Cross’ outside-the-box approach to the operating issues with current grain stacking arrangement won it the contract.

A prototype was trialled in Canterbury, then in Australia under conditions replicating an Australian harvest.

Thorn says Southern Cross – 100 staff strong and with offices in Christchurch, Auckland, Melbourne and Brisbane – isn’t small, but neither is it the largest firm in Australasia. They make that size work to their advantage.The stacker, boom and DOG (drive over grid) under construction at Southern Cross Engineering’s Christchurch workshop

“We have to keep ahead on innovation. We can’t afford to waste money on patenting … we change and develop to keep ahead of the competition.’’

Next up for the firm is a continued and growing involvement in the Australian minerals sector.

A project to upgrade plant at a quarry in Kullnara, New South Wales, where rock is crushed, graded and screened for use in concrete, roads and rail ballast has been a huge learning curve, he says.

“There were lots of lessons. The potential is huge. The client is a large competitor in the industry and was very happy.’’

Further mining/quarrying work is inevitable.

For a company founded in 1955 on servicing the timber industry, mining and grain handling seem a long way from its roots.

Mr Thorn says Southern Cross is still deeply involved in solutions for timber processing, but diversification into other industries is ensuring the company’s future.


Green refrigeration technology set to revolutionise industryMeatcase LEDs

A New Zealand refrigeration company has improved European technology to create green natural refrigeration that is being used in food distribution, horticulture and the FMCG sector.

Arneg New Zealand, the country’s only 100 percent owned and operated supermarket refrigeration business, has created history by installing the first state-of-the-art green refrigeration technology into a New Zealand supermarket.

Arneg NZ managing director Matthew Darby is delighted to have created a first, using the old number eight fencing wire mentality by adapting a European designed refrigeration system to meet the needs of the New Zealand supermarket industry.

“New World in Devonport on Auckland’s North Shore has become the first supermarket in the country to have one of our completely environmentally friendly refrigeration systems installed and running only on carbon dioxide,” says Mr Darby.

The system, which is called a Transcritical System is truly green. It cools purely using CO2, a natural refrigerant, instead of the more common commercial synthetic refrigerants that emit several thousand times stronger gasses than CO2.

That’s not all the good news according to Mr Darby, the system also negates the ETS effect with the new Emission Trading Scheme that comes into law in 2013 making synthetic refrigerants significantly more costly.Produce

“When the law comes into effect it means New World Devonport will avoid the impact of having to report on using synthetic refrigerants. It’s commendable that this supermarket is leading the charge by purchasing this innovative new refrigeration technology, making the store more energy efficient,” he says.

“This cutting edge technology is set to revolutionise the FMCG sector that relies on refrigeration systems. It also means that there are significant savings at store level for the Devonport New World owner operator.

“The store now is energy efficient, whilst increasing refrigeration in the supermarket it is also reducing the power required to run the system. Plus the new system provides the store with free hot water and free store heating in winter,” says Mr Darby.

Arneg New Zealand hopes by showcasing the new cooling system, it will mean other supermarkets will take note and suppliers to the FMCG chilled and frozen sections will also be interested in the brand new system.

Arneg New Zealand is a privately owned and operated business with offices in Auckland, Hamilton and Christchurch. The company employs more than 30 staff and in 2011 won the JRA most improved small business award.

Matthew Darby is an engineer and heads the family owned business which has the rights to tap into European designs via Arneg global group of companies.

Internationally Arneg is one of the largest manufacturers of commercial refrigeration equipment worldwide with manufacturing plants in 16 countries around the world.

For more information:
Visit: www.arneg.co.nz


Absurd RBNZ rules present failure as success

By John Walley, chief executive, NZ Manufacturers and Exporters Association

One of the conclusions drawn from the economic crisis that has played out over the past few years has been that a more pragmatic focus has been more successful for central banks. The International Monetary Fund for one has been on record saying that small export focused countries that paid only lip service to inflation control while managing their exchange rate achieved better economic outcomes than those focused on price stability. Certainly price stability came at a massive price for exporters in New Zealand with exports stagnating from about 2004.

Unfortunately this shift in the best practice policy focus seems to have been missed by the government and its offi cials in New Zealand. In a recent speech John McDermott, assistant governor of the Reserve Bank, noted the difficulties inflation targeting had imposed on exporters:

“During the boom period expectations of tight monetary policy to offset the excess demand pressure probably contributed to the persistently high exchange rate throughout the period, causing considerable discomfort and worries about the sustainability of parts of New Zealand’s tradable sector.”

Yet the conclusion was that monetary policy over the last decade was overall a success: “The Bank’s analysis on the recent business cycle underscores that the inflation targeting framework is an effective way to conduct monetary policy under a range of testing circumstances and that the framework is a useful tool for future inflation control.”

The success or failure of the Reserve Bank cannot be measured solely on inflation.

If we were to default on our debt like the Greeks would inflation between one and three percent still be a success?

The Policy Targets Agreement between the minister of finance and the governor of the Reserve Bank must be changed to include measures of export growth.

This is the missing piece of the puzzle for New Zealand, and only export success will bring the growth that is necessary to relieve the debt problems we face.

There also does not seem to have been any lessons learnt from the housing boom from 2002 to 2007. We are starting to see the same 95 percent loans offered by banks that blew up New Zealand’s debt bubble last time around. The same asset weighted capital reserve ratios that existed then are still in place now, encouraging asset backed debt over business lending. These macro settings could be changed to have the same effect as loan to value ratios at the retail level.

The decisions we are seeing from the Reserve Bank are a result of a lack of connections to the real economy. The forecasts underpinning their actions are fairly optimistic and end in the wrong decisions being made even on when to cut the Official Cash Rate. Clearly those building forecasts are out of touch with our trading reality.

With Alan Bollard leaving at the end of the year it is an ideal time to consider some changes. Burying our heads in the sand by ignoring other measures simply serves to deepen the hole we are in.


Fire safety reminder to businesses as winter kicks inFire safety

Fire protection specialist Wormald is warning businesses to be extra vigilant about using portable heaters and electrical appliances in the workplace now that winter has set in.

According to Peter Fermor, general manager with Wormald, “Regardless of what industry you’re in, electrical fire hazards exist in almost every workplace. These hazards can increase during the winter months as a result of the increased use of electrical heaters and other equipment. We would advise against the use of portable heaters; however, if they are in use, it is important that they have been adequately serviced and are in proper working order.”

Fire costs New Zealand an average of $50 million per year in commercial property damage alone. This excludes the costs associated with loss of output due to damage, as well as direct or indirect injury costs.

Mr Fermor continues, “Fire can impact businesses with significant costs resulting from personal injuries, damage to plant and property and lengthy downtimes. Being adequately prepared is vital and can help to minimise such impacts. It is essential that business owners and managers identify and assess all fire hazards in their workplace and understand the level of risk associated with those hazards.

‘Almost all electrical equipment is potentially hazardous and can cause serious injury or damage if improperly used or maintained. Many workplace fires can be attributed to malfunctions in electrical equipment due to overworking, inappropriate use, inadequate ventilation or overheating, neglect, ageing or lack of maintenance.”

Wormald recommends the following to help reduce the risk of electrical fires in the workplace:

  • If using portable fan heaters, avoid placing them under desks or in enclosed spaces. The heat from these units can cause paper or other combustible material to catch on fire or melt the insulation around electrical appliances
  • Multi-way outlets and extension cords are often used in the workplace due to the number of devices and machines operating at any one time. Do not overload electrical circuits and extension cords as such overloads can result in a fire.
  • The use of unsafe, poorly maintained and/or poor quality electrical appliances should be avoided as they can develop electrical shorts which could result in a fire. Careful attention should be given to the condition of equipment and extension cords, including regular maintenance and testing by qualified tradespeople. All appliances should be turned off when not in use.
  • Replace any electrical tool or apparatus if it causes even the smallest electrical tingle/shock, shows evidence of overheating, shorts out (e.g. trips a circuit breaker), or gives off smoke or sparks.
  • Electrical office equipment such as computers, printers, scanners and shredders should be checked and tested regularly to ensure their power cords are not defective, frayed or improperly connected. Cords should never be placed on or near hot surfaces, such as radiators, or fastened to walls or windows or pushed tightly against or behind furniture such that the cord could become acutely bent, compressed or damaged.
  • Working on ‘live’ equipment is a serious hazard. Before cleaning, adjusting or applying flammable solutions, electrical machines should be disconnected.
  • Combustible material such as cardboard boxes and paper should not be stored or allowed to build up in inappropriate locations near sources of heat or ignition.


Wormald provides a wide range of fire safety products from portable fire equipment to large scale fire detection and suppression systems for commercial and industrial facilities.

For more information:
Freephone: 0800 4 WORMALD
Visit: www.wormald.co.nz


Innovative passive fire protection cabinets

A novel new range of cabinets to protect critical process equipment in hazardous areas against very high temperature fires has been launched by the field equipment protection specialist Intertec.

The cabinets ensure that equipment such as emergency shutdown valves remain operational by keeping them below 60 degrees Centigrade for periods of up to 90 minutes in the event of a hydrocarbon-based fire, to allow time for controlled shutdown. The new 90 minute protection capability – which Intertec believes to be a first in this sector of the industry – has been tested against the ANSI/UL 1709 standard by the test body MPA Dresden.

Passive fire protection cabinets for process plant protection applications are usually only required to provide 30 minutes of protection. Intertec’s new cabinet design provides at least three times this duration. This provides a very broad margin of safety to ensure that plant operators are able to continue remotely controlling critical valves to ensure that the process cannot feed the flames with flammable materials, or that vessels do not burst from over-pressurisation. It additionally provides as much control time as possible to support personnel evacuation procedures and fire fighting responses.

Another key advantage offered by Intertec’s unique range of cabinets is the ability to incorporate easyaccess panels to simplify maintenance and inspection, because of the rigid structure provided by the composite construction materials. Rapid access is less easy to achieve with other fire protection methods such as blankets or intumescent coatings.

The third-party testing program was carried out by MP Dresden. The test house subjected a typical process valve/actuator sized cabinet – with an interior space of around a cubic metre – to a hydrocarbon-based fire.

After a period of 90 minutes when the test was stopped, the body temperature of an example electrical actuator mounted inside the cabinet was still less than 55°C – considerably below the target 60°C level. The cabinet also retained its structural integrity, suggesting that it could survive even longer.

Intertec has been building cabinets for the fire protection of valves and actuators and other critical field equipment such as electrical junction boxes and marshalling cabinets for over 10 years. Its cabinet designs for this application are based on a unique form of layered construction with GRP (glass reinforced polyester) sheets ‘sandwiching’ insulating and fire resistant mineral wool materials. Other proprietary techniques are also employed to help the cabinets to resist the damaging effects of the fire, and to degrade in a slow and predictable manner.

The composite sheeting material that Intertec uses to manufacture these cabinets combines great structural strength with high resistance to weather and the corrosive effects of salt and aggressive chemicals – making it suitable for use in the harshest of environments such as offshore platforms. The sandwich construction means that cabinets can be made using bonding techniques, avoiding thermal short cuts between inner and outer skins.

For more information:
Visit: www.intertec.info


App makes it easier to work with technical gasesGas Analyser

As anyone who works with them will know, it is impossible to remember everything about technical gases by heart.

But now there is no need to: ‘iGASES’, the new app from WITT for iPhone, iPad and Android devices answers your questions, even interactively.

‘iGASES’ for smartphones and tablets is available as a free download in the app store and android market (google play). The new app from WITT serves as a reference work for all current technical gases, including important physical-chemical characteristics such as density, steam pressure, ignition range or thermal conductivity as well as safety information.

Required values such as pressure, volume (flow), temperature, mass and other parameters can be converted to all important international units of measurement with the extra unit converter.

A special feature from WITT is the integral dialog tool: If a question cannot be answered with the app, this can be sent directly to the WITT gas specialists. To round off the package, technical information regarding the manufacturer’s complete product portfolio can be called up.

For more information:
Visit: www.wittgas.com


Radar training simulator among finalists of INNOVATE NZ AwardsThe RNZAF P-3K2 Orion Radar Trainer, designed by Beca

A high-fidelity radar training simulator for the RNZAF’s upgraded Orion aircraft, a waterfront tram system and national park tracks are among contenders for the INNOVATE NZ Awards of Excellence 2012.

There are 39 finalist projects being assessed by the judges for the prestigious awards which are organised by the Association of Consulting Engineers NZ (ACENZ) and recognise innovation in consulting engineering, both in the structures or processes developed and in the means of providing engineering services to the client.

Convenor of judges Allan Leahy says that there had been many different project-types entered this year, including investigation and environmental improvement, construction, roading, buildings, power generation, radar training and urban renewal.

“The variety of submissions once again highlights the wide range of capabilities and versatility within the New Zealand consulting engineering community,” he says.

“Many of the submissions represent examples of world leading applications of technology showcasing the strength of consulting engineering in New Zealand.”

The groundbreaking RNZAF P-3K2 Orion Radar Trainer, designed by Beca, resolved a challenge for the Royal New Zealand Airforce.

The recently upgraded P-3K2 Orion aircraft is one of the first in the world to be fitted with the ELTA 2022 radar – but costs associated with on-the-job radar training are high due to the number of flying hours needed for operators to gain experience.

Beca became the first New Zealand company to develop a high-fidelity training simulator for an airborne radar system. The highly successful project for the Whenuapai base exceeded the client’s expectations, providing high levels of flexibility and future-proofing. The Auckland Waterfront Tram project, by Tonkin & Taylor for Auckland Waterfront, used New Zealand-first technology to provide a low maintenance, low noise/vibration track that is electronically isolated from any surrounding communications equipment.

MWH, working for the Department of Conservation, used innovative survey and design methods to enable the building of the Franz Josef and Fox Glacier Walkways/Cycleways, New Zealand’s first purpose built shared walking and cycling tracks through a national park.

The design incorporates measures that meet the needs of both walkers and cyclists, including preventing extremes in cyclist speed and has resulted in the tracks becoming a tourist attraction in their own right.

INNOVATE NZ Awards 2012 – finalists

Auckland Museum of Transport & Technology (MOTAT); Aviation Display Hall (Holmes Consulting Group for Museum of Transport & Technology); Auckland Waterfront Tram (Tonkin & Taylor for Waterfront Auckland); Britomart East/Westpac Charter House (Holmes Fire for Cooper & Company); Intelligent Street Lighting – Eden Park (Opus International Consultants for Auckland Transport (formerly Auckland City Council); Pacific Steel Smelting Shed – Advanced CFD Assessment (Beca for Pacific Steel Group); SH18 Hobsonville Deviation & SH16 Brigham Creek Extension Upper Harbour Corridor (Aurecon for HEB Construction Ltd & NZ Transport Agency) ; SH20 Manukau Extension (Sinclair Knight Merz for NZ Transport Agency); Telecom Place (Beca for Mansons TCLM Ltd); Viaduct Events Centre (Holmes Consulting Group for Moller Architects & Auckland Council); Waipuna Bridge Strengthening (Beca for Transpower & NZ Transport Agency); Wynyard Quarter – Stage 1 Silo Park, Jellicoe St & Karanga Plaza (Beca for Waterfront Auckland)

Royal New Zealand Airforce – P-3k2 Orion Radar Trainer (Beca for Royal NZ Defence Force)

Bay of Plenty
Dominion Salt Vacuum Plant Upgrade (Aurecon for Dominion Salt Ltd); Waiari Trunk Main Route Selection (Opus International Consultants for Tauranga City Council)

Carterton, Wairarapa

Carterton Events Centre (Opus International Consultants for Carterton District Council)


Christchurch Wastewater Treatment Plant, Biosolids Drying Facility (Beca for Christchurch City Council); Land Damage Assessment Team (Tonkin & Taylor for Earthquake Commission (EQC))

Dunedin 3 Waters Strategy (Opus International Consultants & URS for Dunedin City Council); Forsyth Barr Stadium (Sinclair Knight Merz for Carisbrook Stadium Trust); SH88 Realignment (Opus International Consultants for Dunedin City Council)

Golden Bay, Tasman
James Road Bridge (MWH New Zealand Ltd for Tasman District Council)

Hawkes Bay, Waikato
Hastings Wastewater Treatment Plant (MWH New Zealand Ltd for Hastings District Council); Matahorua Gorge Bridge (Holmes Consulting Group for Concrete Structures NZ Ltd & NZ Transport Agency); Mohaka River Bridge Seismic Strengthening (Opus International Consultants for NZ Transport Agency)

Whakapapa Knoll Ridge Cafe and Cat Shed OR Knoll Ridge Cafe & Cat Shed Whakapapa (Dunning Thornton Consultants for Stanley Construction & Ruapehu Alpine Lifts Ltd)

Tukapa St Waimea St Intersection Improvements (Opus International Consultants for New Plymouth District Council)

West Coast
Spent Cell Liner (SCL) Handling & Disposal Plant (Aurecon for G T Liddell Contracting Ltd & Holcim); Te Ara a Waiau Walkway / Cycleway & Te Weheka Walkway/Cycleway OR Franz Josef & Fox Glacier Walkways/Cycleways (MWH New Zealand Ltd for Department of Conservation); McKendries Corner Realignment (AECOM for NZ Transport Agency)

Alan MacDiarmid Building (Beca for Victoria University of Wellington); ASB Stadium (Sinclair Knight Merz for Wellington City Council); KiwiRAP Star Ratings (MWH New Zealand Ltd for NZ Transport Agency); The Customhouse (Beca for Centreport); The Peak – Mixed Use and Apartments (Aurecon for Taranaki Land 2006 Ltd); Wellington International Airport Corporate Jet, Maintenance Hangar and FBO Building (Aurecon for Wellington International Airport Ltd); MacKay’s Crossing to Waikanae Double Tracking (Opus International Consultants for KiwiRail Ltd)

IPENZ Practice Note 21: Farm Dairy Effluent Pond Design & Construction (Opus International Consultants for DairyNZ & IPENZ)

Salak Geothermal Field Master Planning – Indonesia – (Sinclair Knight Merz for Chevron Indonesia); American Association of State Highway & Transportation Officials (AASHTO); Transportation Asset Management Guide Volume 2: A Focus on Implementation – US – (AECOM for Transportation Research Board of the National Academies)


Shaping the future of New Zealand’s green growth

Pure Advantage, the not-for-profit organisation developing a green growth strategy for New Zealand, recently released a significant report into New Zealand’s position in the global green economy. It details how New Zealand is currently lagging behind the rest of the world and how industry can encourage green economic growth to ensure a greener, wealthier future for all New Zealanders.

Entitled ‘New Zealand’s Position in the Green Race’, the report examines the global green race and provides an appraisal of New Zealand’s environmental performance across a range of parameters.

This report is the first step in Pure Advantage’s process and is designed to be a conversation starter about the potential opportunities for New Zealand in energy efficiency, renewable energy, and the broader green economy. The report explains how green growth is a path to improved economic performance, better paying jobs, the protection of our environment, and improved health outcomes for New Zealand.

The report highlights that what has been missing from the discussion over the change to a green economy, is the many benefits of green growth. Much of the debate in New Zealand to date has focused on the downside, the various costs and obligations. But rather than a burden, green growth can be an economic pathway to create sustainable wealth and promises a revolution in how we structure our economy and society.

Sir Stephen Tindall, a Pure Advantage trustee, says this report lays the foundation for future action by proving that green and growth can go together.

“Pure Advantage recognises that prioritising green growth in NZ’s economic strategy and direction is going to require robust analysis, coupled with strong leadership. While acknowledging that government and the private sector need to work together, the first step must be taken by industry.”

Pure Advantage is working with corporate leaders who are willing to take a role in shaping New Zealand’s green growth future and aims to engage corporates, industry groups, academics, iwi, and the government, by positioning the discussion towards the huge opportunities offered by the emergence of a green growth economy.

Sir Stephen says that global green growth is potentially worth NZ$6 trillion a year and represents a once-in-a-generation opportunity for New Zealand to improve its economy for the better. Not only could this create further wealth for the country, but it brings with it significant environmental benefits.

The report identifies key examples from countries around the world that have begun to benefit from the emerging green economy, including Australia, the UK, Sweden, and Israel and offers a broad based look at where New Zealand’s strengths may lie.

The report finds that while New Zealand’s international branding relies heavily on the competitive advantage of our 100% Pure New Zealand brand, we continue to slide down the OECD economic performance tables and our relative quality of life is decreasing. It claims that successive governments have failed to make the long term strategic decisions needed to address New Zealand’s economic slide, while at the same time missing opportunities to keep the country green and clean.

For example, New Zealand currently has 1.6 million poorly insulated homes and a high extinction rate of biodiversity, added to declining water quality and the 5th highest CO2 emissions per capita in OECD.

Sir Stephen continues: “We have shown in the report that New Zealand has the opportunity to create wealth by focusing on the global shift to green growth.”

New Zealand’s Position in the Green Race is the first key piece of research that Pure Advantage has released, and this report is about broadly assessing New Zealand’s performance and opportunities while developing a vision for New Zealand’s future.

The report is a pre-cursor to a macroeconomic review that Pure Advantage has commissioned, the first of its kind in New Zealand, to identify New Zealand’s key high value green growth opportunities.

The review has been undertaken by internationally respected economists Vivid Economics in conjunction with the University of Auckland Business School and is due to be released in the third quarter of 2012.

For more information:
Visit: www.pureadvantage.org


Tasman Tank Co helps keep water flowing across the ditchWater Tanks

A recent local water supply project in South East Queensland highlights the ease of construction and cost effectiveness of the innovative bolted steel storage tanks from the Tasman Tank Company.

The $A2.2 million project, which was delivered by Allconnex Water’s Logan Water Alliance, involved the construction of a new 1.2 megalitre potable water storage tank (reservoir) and 4.2 kilometres of associated water pipelines (2.9 kilometres of rising main to the reservoir and 1.3 kilometres of gravity main from it) in the fast growing Cedar Vale region.

The new infrastructure will provide more reliable water services to the residents of Cedar Vale and its surrounds, as well as supplying the area with water for fire fighting purposes.

John Green, senior project manager with Logan Water Alliance, explains that the Cedar Vale project was a fairly straightforward job.

“There were three small poly tanks previously on the site. It was just a matter of pulling them out and upgrading the foundations for the larger tank.

“The ground conditions were not ideal so significant modifications had to be made to the ground before the new tank could be built onsite.

“But once that was done, the erection process was very quick and straightforward.

“The tank, which is a liner-free storage tank, is now full of water and the finished quality is very good. And being coloured green, it blends in well with the environment,” Mr Green says.

David Baker, major project sales manager with the Tasman Tank Company, explains that the storage tank chosen was the LIQ Fusion 7000 FBE bonded steel tank that is fully sealed between the panels, and does not require a liner.

“This type of tank has been on the Australian market for over three years now and has proved itself to be the most cost effective storage solution compared to concrete and welded steel tanks, and is very popular for municipality water applications.

“The factory applied coating complies with AWWAD103 and has NSF-61 international Standard approval.

“It is our proprietary coating that we get from our US suppliers, the internationally respected Tank Connection group and Akzo Nobel, the world’s largest powder coat supplier.

“Tank Connection technology delivers the best bolted water containment systems available anywhere, with optimum performance for potable water, industrial liquids, waste water, effluent, raw water, demineralised water, process water and anaerobic digesters,” Mr Baker says.

“It is unmatched compared with all other bolted and welded tank linings.”

He went on to explain that the ease and speed of construction is another major plus for the bolted tanks.

“One reason the modular systems are so popular is because access to a building site is often difficult.

“For example, with a welded tank you need to bring in large cylindrical sections and weld them onsite, whereas all our panels are flat packed into easily managed 1.2m2 flat packs.

“The panels are simply bolted together with no need to build scaffolding. Everything is hydraulically jacked from the floor up as we build the tank, with the tank, including the tank’s roof, built at ground level.

“The tank is hydraulically jacked as you go. Meaning there is no working at heights. You just keep bolting the panels in place as you go,” Mr Baker says.

“The other big advantage over other types of storage tanks is the ease of increasing capacity if needed in the future. We can achieve this by simply installing the hydraulic jacks again and adding more panels.

“Plus bolted site construction allows for control of all quality processes in good or bad weather. It is not subject to uncontrolled factors from outside influences, which in the case of non-steel tanks can impact upon mixtures specifications and joint connections.”

Mr Baker advises other municipalities, councils and companies contemplating similar projects requiring large storage tanks to take a close look at Tasman Tank’s modular storage tanks.

“They are quick to construct, and expedite the time and money on projects. Plus they can be successfully blended in with a building or landscape, turning the tank into a feature rather than an eyesore.”

Mr Baker said bolted tanks have steadily overtaken alternatives because they don’t leak, they are less expensive to build in the first place, they are cheaper and easier to maintain and typically outlast alternative materials anyway.

Tasman Tank Co is a recognised leader in the quality tank building industry, with in-house design, manufacture and installation expertise for prompt and professional performance.

Each Tasman Tank is certified to all relevant codes, with independent engineers providing verification of specifications and performance.

The company provides cost-effective storage solution in capacities from kilolitres to 30 megalitres. Tasman Tank Co also specialises in turnkey projects and service and refurbishment work through its dedicated service and refurbishment division.

For more information:
Visit: www.tasmantanks.com.au


Taking pastillation to the next level

Utilising its long-standing experience and knowhow in the pastillation of various melts, Sandvik Process Systems has now refined its Rotoform® technology with the Rotoform4G.

The latest 4G model comes with pneumatic functions that dispense with manual setting, making the system faster and easier to operate. A newly designed safety hood provides easier access to the machine for maintenance, while at the same time improving safety thanks to the comprehensive cover it provides. Further design modifications enable faster and easier product changes. This not only results in improved pastille quality, it also substantially increases the capacity and yield of the system.

Rotoform technology is one of the best-known and most effective processes for granulating liquid products. Consisting of a Rotoform and a steel belt cooler, this equipment from Sandvik Process Systems meets the most diverse product requirements and can be adapted to various product characteristics.

More than 1,500 Rotoform systems have now been installed worldwide and are used by a wide range of companies from the oil and gas, chemical, pharmaceutical and cosmetic sectors.

The wide variety of applications includes fatty alcohols as ingredients for crèmes, medicines and shampoos, waxes and resins e.g. for paints, through to chocolate chips and chunks.

Rotoform technology features an ingenious combination of Rotoform and a steel belt cooler, which facilitates the environmentally compatible production of highly uniform and dimensionally stable pastilles. Melts with vastly different characteristics are solidified into pastilles; viscosities of one to 50,000 millipascal seconds are possible, as are temperatures of up to 320°C. Their extensive experience enables the Sandvik experts to tailor the systems and process technology precisely to the application in hand. Thanks to the high quality of the resulting pastilles, the complex feedstock products can subsequently be stored, transported and processed more easily.

This industrial process technology can be used to help minimise energy costs and environmental impact. In addition, the Sandvik Process Systems service department installs the complete systems onsite and maintains the machines.


Recognition for lithium-ion battery vehicle creatorsPrime Minister John Key, current student Benjamin McGuinnes and University of Waikato Vice-chancellor professor Roy Crawford admire the prize winning battery electric vehicle

The Waikato University students who designed and built the battery electric vehicle which successfully drove from the length of the country, have been highly commended for their work.

The accolade was given to the group as part of their submission for the Ray Meyer Medal for Excellence in Student Design. Recognition is given annually to excellent final-year projects with a substantial design component, which have been completed as part of an Institution of Professional Engineers New Zealand (IPENZ) accredited qualification. All five of the University of Waikato’s engineering programmes are fully accredited by IPENZ.

The team of engineers included students Tim Mason, Dale Oswald, Greg McPherson and Matt Kershaw, with supervision from Dr Mike Duke. The group designed and built the single-seat battery electric vehicle, affectionately known as BEV (battery electric vehicle) as part of their fourth-year project during their Bachelor of Engineering last year.

“A highly commended award was given due to the professional manner in which the team investigated, executed and reported on their design project. The high standard of their entry is testament to high technical competence, enthusiasm, commitment and the comprehensive tuition and guidance provided at the University of Waikato,” says Paul Stephenson, awards convenor.

BEV was built by the students over two semesters and is a single-seater commuter vehicle powered by a bank of 10 lithium-ion batteries. Building and getting BEV roadworthy was a challenge for the students working to tight deadlines and completing other papers in the final year of their degrees. They quickly lost count of the hours they spent on the car.

Prime Minister John Key was particularly impressed with BEV during a visit to a University of Waikato stand at Fieldays recently. Mr Key spoke to current student Benjamin McGuinnes, who talked him through the working of the vehicle.

The award aims to encourage a new generation of engineering designers and is named in recognition of Professor Ray Meyer who was actively involved in research design and commercialisation throughout his engineering career. Meyer continues to hold positions on the governing boards of a number of companies in which excellence in engineering is essential to business.

Now in their first year out of university, the four team mates are all employed in engineering positions. Matt Kershaw is a materials handling engineer at Tetra Pak, Hamilton, Tim Mason is employed by TWL in Taranaki, Greg McPherson works at MB Century in Taupo and Dale Oswald has found a position at Westfalia Automotives in Mount Maunganui.


Campaign to get more women to take up engineering careersMichelle Dickinson explains nanotechnology to Enginuity Day students

The University of Auckland held an Enginuity Day in late June to encourage Year 13 high school girls studying physics and calculus to explore the possibility of a career in engineering.

Held at The Faculty of Engineering, Enginuity Day saw more than 200 students from 35 secondary schools from across the North Island taking part in the annual event.

This year’s theme, “Imagine, Innovate, Discover, Design”, explored the ways in which engineers discover solutions to problems by using their imagination to design innovative answers.

Robyn MacLeod, Women in Engineering equity adviser, says students were given a problem and worked as a team with students from other schools to come up with a viable solution. Engineers Without Borders were also involved, working this in with their other projects, which confront global challenges of poverty, sustainable development and social inequity.

Currently 23 percent of all engineering undergraduates studying engineering at The University of Auckland are female, a figure the University hopes to eventually increase to 50 percent.

“By holding Enginuity Day we are actively encouraging Year 13 girls to find out more about the broad range of opportunities a career in engineering can offer them,” Robyn McLeod says.

“Various workshop activities demonstrated the creativity and problem solving processes that all engineers use in real life will gave students the chance to try engineering with a hands-on approach.”Rosalind Archer

Dr Elizabeth Fassman, senior lecturer in Civil and Environmental Engineering talked about her current research projects on full scale living roofs (aka green roofs), permeable pavement, bioretention (rain gardens), and constructed wetlands.

Associate Professor Ros Archer, (Engineering Science) outlined innovative energy solutions using oil, wind farm design, gas and geothermal energy.
Dr Michelle Dickinson, senior lecturer in Chemical and Materials talked about the exploration into the world of nanotechnology.

Current engineering students also talked about what it is like to study engineering and the many academic and social organisations that students can belong to at The University of Auckland.





An opportunity lost?The current Ngatamariki Geothermal binary power plant

By Nick Inskip, industry development manager, HERA

Most countries try to maximise the opportunities for their industry to participate when it come to domestic procurement. The low hanging fruit for governments is their own procurement and we see countries like Australia, identifying in their defence procurement, industries that are strategically important. Brazil in their state-owned enterprises, such as the oil company PetroBras, also require local content.

The benefit to these countries is significant, and it’s not about ‘protecting’ local industry. It’s about supporting a solid base for export and the UK has grasped the opportunity in a nutshell when they talk about government procurement’s role in lead innovation.

The approaches taken to maximise opportunities for domestic industry are numerous, but many seem to aim at identifying local industry capability and then ensuring that mechanisms exist to give them every opportunity to compete.

Typically, large and complex projects present a particular challenge, in that local industry may not have the ability to bid for because they contain some elements which the local manufacturer does not make, or the project is too large for them to finance or the time frames are too short for their production capacity to meet.

The oblivious approach is for procurers to split projects into their component parts so that local industry has an opportunity to compete for them and many countries do that.

Some go as far as advance notice to their industries and consulting on delivery times so that projects are not specified with delivery schedules that only a 5000 person manufacturer can hope to comply with. Others go a step further and mandate that certain components come from local suppliers.

So why should countries want to maximise opportunities for their industries? The answer is almost a no-brainer, to build their industry so it has the level of work to compete at export and ideally for them to have high-value innovative products to compete with in the global marketplace.

Lead innovation can’t work without a lead user and in countries like New Zealand, where most of the substantial projects belong to government, either directly or through State Owned Enterprises, the failure to enable local industry to participate in supply is at best, an abdication of responsibility for enhancing export growth, and at worst a callous disregard for creating a vibrant export focused economy.

A current example of prevailing practice in New Zealand is the 136 Megawatt, Ngatamariki Geothermal binary power plant, which is being developed and procured by Mighty River Power.

They have sought exemption from paying tariff on the imported plant where they have lumped together turbines with separators, recuperators, accumulators and other pressure vessels that New Zealand has a long tradition of manufacturing and even exporting.

How might this have been procured in a way that gives New Zealand industry a chance to participate? Firstly, Mighty River could have identified which parts of the plant could be readily sourced from local industry.

Secondly, they could have asked themselves the question: are there any better solutions than those we might usually have supplied to us? Then they might talk to local industry to see if they can work together to develop better solutions. The outcome is that the project owner, as lead users, have a better solution, the supplying company has a better product that they can export and the country moves forward, that’s how lead user innovation works.

Each time we fail to properly consider how we can maximise the opportunities for industry, we dig a deeper hole for the country to drop into. However, if project owners play their part as good New Zealand corporate citizens, we won’t see another opportunity lost.


Massey academic helps enable London OlympicsDr Amal Punchihewa

A major publication outlining the innovations in information and communications technology being utilised at the London Olympics has been overseen by a chartered professional engineer from Massey University.

Dr Amal Punchihewa of the School of Engineering and Advanced Technology was the only scholar from outside the United Kingdom chosen to edit the document “Delivering London 2012: ICT Enabling the Games.” It was produced by the Institute of Engineering and Technology, of which Dr Punchihewa is a Fellow.

Dr Punchihewa says supplying the ICT requirements for the games is probably the largest project of its kind this century.

“Equipping the city with the infrastructure required was a massive project,” he says. “For example, the data demand for mobile devices, including phones, at venues is huge. Everyone attending probably has a mobile device, which they will want to use, so making sure they all can is vital.”

The Institute of Engineering and Technology produced the publication as part of a knowledge transfer initiative, designed to give businesses and academia the chance to connect with and understand major infrastructure projects for such critical events.

The publication contains papers on every aspect of the project; systems integration, super-fast fibre, mobile data, web development and sensing for athletic training.

Dr Punchihewa worked with colleagues in the United Kingdom to edit the publication and travelled to London to meet with the editorial team.

“I was honoured to be a part of the editorial team and to represent Massey University, which places such a great emphasis on sport science and technology,” he says.


Tunnelling into the futureCampbell Free Kindergarten after restoration

Auckland’s first urban road tunnel is set to cut commuting times from the Auckland Harbour Bridge across to the central business district. Its innovative design melds old and new, partly housing an advanced monitoring and control system from Rockwell Automation in a restored heritage building.

In 2009, the New Zealand government announced the Roads of National Significance project, an ambitious undertaking to build or upgrade seven essential state highway links to support national economic prosperity. The first of these projects, the Victoria Park Tunnel, completed in March 2012, paved the way for a new era in Auckland’s intra-city commuting.

A government-funded upgrade to State Highway 1, the Victoria Park Tunnel provides increased safety and reliability for trips on Auckland’s central motorway system for 150,000 vehicles each day.

Designed and constructed as a 450m cut-and-cover tunnel, it lies adjacent to the existing Victoria Park Viaduct and carries all northbound traffic formerly flowing over the viaduct. The viaduct has been reconfigured to carry four southbound lanes. This is Auckland’s first major urban road tunnel. The decision to go underground stemmed from the need to protect the character of Victoria Park, the sensitive and historically significant innercity green space which it runs through.

According to Helen Cook, communications manager with the Victoria Park Alliance, the northbound peak-time trip between Greenlane and the Auckland Harbour Bridge reduced by approximately 10 minutes when the full capacity of the tunnel became available in late March.

“It is still early days but indications are that the Victoria Park tunnel project has achieved its main objective, to remove the last major traffic bottleneck on Auckland’s central motorway network.”

The opening of the tunnel’s third lane was the final stage of project delivery, following the opening of two northbound lanes in November 2011. This staged completion was necessary due to the project’s complexity, which involved major traffic and service diversions.

The project was delivered by the Victoria Park Alliance, comprised of the New Zealand Transport Agency (NZTA), Fletcher Construction, Beca Infrastructure, Higgins Contractors and Parsons Brinckerhoff.

Designed and commissioned by Rockwell Automation, the tunnel’s plant is monitored and controlled by a dual Allen-Bradley ControlLogix system to provide redundancy in the event of system failure.

Auckland’s first tunnel

As the city’s first urban road tunnel, built through reclaimed land in a busy and heritage-rich area, Victoria Park Tunnel presented some unique challenges. It involved the diversion and upgrade of major services, including New Zealand’s largest sewer; the International Telecommunications Cable which links New Zealand to the rest of the world, and water supply pipelines for Auckland’s North Shore.

Contamination from previous land usage needed to be contended with, as did frequent encounters with unrecorded pipelines, power cables and drainage.

Traffic diversions were necessary during tunnel construction and associated motorway widening. “There were definitely challenges around traffic management – keeping traffic flowing while digging a huge hole in the ground,” says Wernher Roding, mechanical and electrical design leader with the Victoria Park Alliance.

According to Mr Roding, diversions were managed through good planning: traffic was diverted to local roads overnight and on weekends, minimising disruptions during the working week.

Monitoring and control

Integrated monitoring and control of the tunnel’s mechanical and electrical systems was also a challenge. According to Mr Roding, the project required a plant monitoring and control system (PMCS) which had no single point of failure and a could achieve a hot-changeover – where control is handed over seamlessly from the main controller to the backup controller, so the plant doesn’t experience any glitches or interruptions. The Alliance selected the Allen-Bradley Control Logix system supplied by Rockwell Automation as it met these criteria, and because of their previous experience in road tunnel projects.

“The PMCS is responsible for controlling drainage, ventilation, lighting and low voltage areas of the plant,” says Sean McGinity, bid and proposals manager, South Pacific with Rockwell Automation.

“It acts as the critical interface between fire systems, plant and NZTA’s traffic management system.”

The PMCS is hardwired to 10 remote I/O locations inside and above the tunnel, comprising a mix of sensing switches, fans and pumps. The PMCS interfaces with a number of third party products, including drives, power monitors and the NZTA’s Transdyn Traffic Management System, at the Auckland Motorway Control Centre in Takapuna, approximately six kilometres away. Mr McGinity says that the key to making the project work was drafting an interface specification document to define each interface fully at the design stage.

“Rockwell Automation authored the specification which included our requirements for integration. Each third party supplier added to the specification, outlining their requirements and answering our needs.”

According to Prasad Nory, industry manager, Rockwell Automation, “ControlLogix is becoming a standard Programmable Automation Controller for tunnels in New Zealand due to its excellent reliability and performance, ease of use and local service and support.”

The specification then went through a three-way approval process: Rockwell Automation, third party suppliers and the Victoria Park Alliance before the code was developed, prototyped and tested, and finally deployed. The design and testing of the PMCS was completed in just 15 weeks. “

Given the short project timeframe and high public profile, we needed to deliver on time and to requirement,” Mr McGinity says.

Old and newNew Zealand’s fi rst kindergarten building before restoration

Finding a place to house the PMCS and other tunnel equipment was also an interesting process. According to Mr Roding, the equipment needed to be located as close to the middle of the tunnel as possible to minimise the cabling required.

Because the tunnel went under Victoria Park, a sensitive area reserved for community green-space, building a new equipment room there was not possible. An underground space was prohibitively expensive. Fortunately, another option presented itself in the form of Auckland’s (and New Zealand’s) first kindergarten building, which had lapsed into disrepair.

“We identified the Campbell Free Kindergarten as a potential building. We did an analysis and found equipment would fit, and we found that it would be economic as well,” says Mr Roding.

Following approval from the local council, the kindergarten was restored to its original state and is now dual purpose: tunnel equipment is housed partly on the ground floor and top storey, while the remainder of the building is for community use.

Some issues of safety, both for the public and the tunnel equipment arose from this arrangement, particularly that of fire protection.

Although not required under New Zealand legislation, the Alliance chose to install fire doors and gas suppression systems in the rooms containing tunnel equipment to help protect the public from equipment fires, and help protect the equipment from fires in the public areas.

“If one of the public areas became a coffee shop, for instance, we wanted to make sure that if there was a fire it didn’t affect tunnel equipment,” says Mr Roding.

Security systems and locked doors further protect the equipment from public access.

Sharing the wealth

The New Zealand government’s Roads of National Significance projects, including the Victoria Park Tunnel, have been classified as ‘lead infrastructure projects’, specifically designed to inject money into the local economy.

“The government wanted the project to be split up in to smaller pieces – a philosophy of sharing the wealth, so to speak. We had to make sure we were up-skilling smaller organisations and also those that weren’t used to doing this kind of work. It wasn’t just about the money,” says Roding.

Tunnel work was new to many of the project’s suppliers and providers, and so design specifications had to be especially clear to keep things on track. This, along with careful monitoring and management of suppliers by the Alliance, lead to a successful outcome in this unusual project environment.

As part of the project evaluation, scores were given to project suppliers, and one of those receiving a high score was Rockwell Automation, who has also been working with the Victoria Park Alliance to make changes and improvements to the tunnel following its commissioning.

“From a technical perspective they were easy to work with, professional, and did what they said they would without any fuss. It seemed that there was a genuine drive to get the job done,” says Mr Roding.

The Alliance has received positive comments about the urban design initiatives included as part of the project, including the tunnel egress structures which incorporate artistic references to the importance of the area as a Maori fishery before European settlement. Early feedback from commuters on how the tunnel is working to improve their trip is that traffic through St Marys Bay is free-flowing for the first time in many years.

The Victoria Park Tunnel has been a complex, multistage project successfully completed on schedule. With its state of the art control and integration system, focus on protecting community assets and assistance to small local suppliers as well as experienced collaborators, it has set the benchmark for road projects of the future.

For more information:
Visit: www.rockwellautomation.co.nz