Access solutions manufacturer Chamberlain Group is looking into investing further in robotics at its plant in West Gosford.
Producing commercial doors, the company has partnered with the Advanced Manufacturing Growth Centre (AMGC), to find solutions for its business as it has grown.
One area where Chamberlain has used this expertise is in the purchase and implementation of robotics and automation. After finding its facilities stretched to the limit, the company has been able to increase its manufacturing capacity, while ensuring the stability of its workforce, as Graeme Sheekey, head of operations in Ocean for Chamberlain, said to AMGC.
“People were definitely worried when we mentioned the [words] automation and robotics. They immediately thought it would be to reduce headcount; I think all it is done is it has reduced the need for any overtime and any weekend work,” he said.
The company employs 35 people at its site, with 15 in direct production roles. Robots have been brought in to move worm shafts and hears around machining centres, as well as making gears. The robots move blanks through machining, and washes, gagues, and places gears on a pallet. The robots can operate without direct human oversight.
“So we are preparing ourselves for future growth, and then we can invest in more robotic cells,” said Sheekey.
Support for the business has also come from AusIndustry, and Central Coast Industry Connect, while ideas have been sourced from employees in a continuous improvement program.
Chamberlain is looking to the Manufacturing Modernisation Fund to support the purchase of an injection moulding process.
The AMGC has also announced that future support for businesses such as Chamberlain group will be augmented with expertise from the private equity sector, with Richard Palmer appointed to the growth centre’s board of directors.
As manufacturers look to non-traditional sources of funding to upgrade plant, machinery, and technology, the AMGC will be looking to provide knowledge and expertise from Palmer’s experience.
We are delighted to strengthen AMGC’s Board with the diversity and financial expertise that Richard brings to support and develop Australia’s advanced manufacturing sector,” said Paul Cooper, AMGC chairman.