Ticking all the boxes


Being a company who manufacture high quality architectural sheet metal, Ashworth & Taylor Sheetmetals found that their current folding capacity was restricting the ability to meet their internal standards of quality and service.

They produce stainless steel, aluminium, brass, copper pregalvanised steels, and panel steel, producing wall and column claddings, kitchen fit-outs, flashings, tanks, well you name it, they can make it, and to the highest standard.

They required a new quality folding machine to cope with the higher throughput of their new high speed CNC Euromac punch press.

Bruce Taylor, managing director of Ashworth & Taylor Sheetmetals, Otahuhu, Auckland did what what was expected, he searched the market for a quality machine that would suit their requirements.After an extensive search, a new 4000mm x 135 tonne Metalmaster pressbrake with NC controller was ordered from the friendly and helpful staff at Machinery House East Tamaki, Auckland. Bruce chose the Metalmaster machine on basic common sense criteria: will it meet the length and tonnage requirements, maintain the accuracy and repeatability required, provide the speed of speedy support back-up if required and, of course, price?

The Metalmaster four metre 135 tonne press brake ticked all of the boxes.

Ticking all the boxes An industrial drives company that prides itself on speedy deliveries and prompt service is sponsoring a classic racing vehicle that makes its point in spectacular fashion. Bonfiglioli Transmission– which has invested $AU20 million in expanding stocking, assembly, and back-up for its technologically advanced drives in Australia and New Zealand – is backing a classic Fiat Abarth 1000 that beats cars 40 years its junior, even if it has to corner on two wheels to do it.

"These ultra-compact high performance cars were never beaten in their class in such famous long distance events such a Le Mans and Daytona, comfortably beating Mini-Coopers and other larger vehicles on the way. Their long pedigree as Group 2 and ultimately Group 5 touring cars remains impressive,” says owner, Mike Lowe of Hayes International, which manufactures roll forming machines for the metal building industry in 74 countries, a process for which it uses compact but powerful Bonfiglioli drives.

"It took me over a year to find the car I was after – a forwardhinged door Fiat 600-based Abarth that I could turn into a full blown Group 2 replica. The car was shipped from Sydney, and over the next five years parts were located all around the world, including a genuine Abarth race engine.

"Over the years, we have constantly developed the car so that now we believe it is the only tarmac-rally specification Abarth running in the world, and maybe, just maybe, is the fastest 1000cc car in NZ. We do need to find out one day.”

The car’s Abarth four-cylinder 1050cc, 8-port head, 10.75:1 compression engine with twin side-draft 40mm Webers, produces about 70kw at 7500rpm in rally trim on avgas. The 46-year-old classic weighs about 690kg dry or 900kg with driver, Mr Lowe and co-driver, Phil Sutton aboard in racing trim.

"That’s a really impressive drive compared to many other larger cars in Targa, we have to drive our little beast flat-out everywhere, as the big killer for us is loss of momentum.

"This is also why we hate uphill sections but love downhill ones! The car is enormous fun to drive, especially on either three or even two wheels around 90-degree lefts.

"As the only car to have started and finished every Targa event since 1995, I am often asked why don’t we run a faster modern car and go for outright honours apart from the obvious cost, I explained our main motivation is ‘satisfaction’ – having a near-50 year old 1000cc car not only finish the event, but beat home over half the field, catching Porsches and the like on the way, gives everyone involved in our ENGINEERING NEWS team immense satisfaction.”

Bonfiglioli Transmission’s managing director, Mr Malcolm Lewis says the car and its team share the advanced engineering ethos of Bonfiglioli, which designs innovative drives such as its heavy HD series to be the best from the ground up, rather than incremental improvements on existing designs.“Like us they have an Italian heritage of high performance, seeking always to be best in their class and years ahead of the field in design.”

For further information contact:

Neil Pollington,

Freephone: 0800 432 777, or

Email: [email protected]

Bruce has found the staff at Machinery House provided excellent sales, service, and after sales service, and always very willing to go the extra mile when asked.

For further information contact:

Machinery House, visit: