Australia’s best integrating with the rest of the world

Marand Precision Engineering is on the right track taking out this year's Global Integration Award with CST Composites highly commended. Katherine Crichton reports.

Marand Precision Engineering is on the right track taking out this year’s Global Integration Award with CST Composites highly commended. Katherine Crichton reports.

MARAND Precision Engineering is no stranger to the international market, but by focusing on precision engineering and stringent quality performance, the company has secured contracts with the Joint Strike Fighter (JSF) F-35 Lightning II project, the world’s largest single defence program in history.

The company took out the this year’s Endeavour Awards Global Integration category and Rohan Stocker, CEO of Marand Precision Engineering, said it was fantastic to be recognised for this award.

“It is early days for us in this area, but global integration is definitely a prime focus for our business and successfully integrating into local and international supply chains is obviously important in a competitive global market,” Stocker said.

The company recognised it needed to develop a new long term business strategy to adequately support the expected 10 to 30 year JSF project requirements, instead of the standard two to three year projects the company was used to in Australia.

Marand identified a number of world best practices and technologies and after extensive research, implemented these over many years to transition the company from a fundamentally domestic supplier in the Australian market to a globally recognised niche supplier of innovative aerospace and automation solutions.

The involvement in the JSF project has helped establish the company as a recognised proven supplier and an exporter of highly engineered and complex ground support equipment, tooling, automated robotic and machine tool solutions and is now a global supply chain partner of Lockheed Martin.

Being on the doorstep of Asia has also had some great advantages for the company, who has successfully competed with suppliers of complex or high value capital equipment which traditionally comes out from Europe, America or Japan.

Marand is now a niche player in global manufacturing based on their proven track record of delivering successful projects involving the innovative development, design, manufacture and inspection of complex aerospace and automotive tooling, automation systems and ground support equipment, which it now exports to the US, UK, Asia and soon Europe.

HIGHLY COMMENDED

Starting from humble beginnings, CST Composites has grown to be one of Australia’s leading manufacturers of filament wound and pultruded tubing for the marine industry.

The company has since added pultrusion to its filament winding processes, with its products made in carbon fibre, kevlar and glass.

By offering quality, made to order products, the company has been able to gain business in this niche market. These efforts were recognised at this year’s Endeavour Awards and Clive Watt, accepting the award said it was fantastic to get this recognition in the presence of world class companies.

“It is definitely motivating for us to get this award as we have only been around since 1996 with 20 employees while some other finalists have been there since 1969 and have over 180 employees. This award says to us that we are on the right track and must be doing something right.”

Several years ago CST identified a shift in the global market for sail boat spars from aluminium to carbon fibre. The company’s computer controlled filament winding technology was specifically developed to fulfil this need, allowing the production of next generation lightweight spars for this niche market.

Despite the company’s success in the American and Asian markets, Europe with its proud maritime history, remained an untapped market for the company.

Its objective was to further expand sales of its filament wound carbon fibre spar tubing to Europe and after identifying that the European carbon spar market was fast maturing, set this as a target area.

The advantage of CST’s unique computer controlled filament winding technology meant that products could be cost effectively manufactured locally and sold through European distributors strategically chosen for their location, product services and existing market position and acceptance.