In-house steel fabrication – changing the design and construct game


The ability to design, fabricate and detail their own structural steel and components in- house is an increasingly attractive competitive advantage for national design and construct business, Ahrens. 

The fifth generation Australian family-owned business are the most vertically integrated construction company in Australia with their diverse in-house capabilities including construction, engineering, complete project management, silo manufacturing, structural steel manufacturing, site erection and rural infrastructure. 

However it is their unique ability to supply and erect structural steel work, cladding and concrete works for a wide range of applications that is seeing a demand for Ahrens Steel Solutions. 

Recent projects have included the supply and erection of steel buildings for long term client Treasury Wine Estates at their Wolf Blass winery; the supply and erection of 17 structural steel buildings for the historical Snowy Hydro 2.0 project in New South Wales; steelwork and components for Ahrens Mining Services operations; and a steady flow of steel supply and erection works for Ahrens’ Design and Construct division. 

Ahrens’ world-class steel fabrication plant located at their head office at Kingsford South Australia is home to Australia’s first automated Custom Engineered Building (CEB) plant – one of the most advanced of its kind in the world. 

Image credit: Ahrens

The plant has the capacity to produce up to 240 tonnes of heavy structural steel per week with state-of-the-art automated shot blast and painting capabilities. 

Ahrens have built a reputation for delivering large span structures with clear spans of up to 60 metres to offer attractive efficiencies of up to 30 per cent steel and accompanying cost savings compared to conventional steel. 

The facility also includes a Python X Processor – a robotic structural steel fabrication system. 

This technology allows a single operator to load the beam onto the infeed conveyor and input a part file from TEKLA, SDS/2, StruCAD or other detailing software, and Python X then calculates the cutting path and sequences, moves the beam into position and starts making all the needed cuts and features with zero programming.  

Features include:  

  • 360 degree automated plasma cutting of structural members  
  • Automated set out  
  • Automated etching/stamping of members  

Adding to this are a steel buildings fabrication facility in Northam in Western Australia, steel and silo manufacturing facility in Goombungee in Queensland, silo manufacturing line at Sheoak Log in South Australia and steel fabrication, full blast and paint capabilities workshop in Newman in Western Australia. 

This is supported by Ahrens’ dedicated in-house transport and logistics teams and the ability to access and deploy multi-skilled site crews to work anywhere in Australia.  

With a national reach and decades of experience, it’s easy to see why clients are turning to Ahrens to deliver cost effective steel solutions for their next project.   

Find out more about out Ahrens’ in-house capabilities at www.ahrens.com.au/man. 

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