Tougher tools, longer life

Manufacturers’ Monthly speaks with directors of Daintree Tools, Andrew and Kerry Rodgers, about the company’s specialised expertise in manufacturing live centres for Australian heavy industry.

Daintree Tools is an Australian, family-owned business with more than 15 years of experience specialising in the production of live centres for lathes.

Founded in the early 2000s, the company mainly manufacturers live centres for heavy industry, incorporating heavy duty bearings that are fully sealed and lubricated for extended life.

Technical advances in the production process ensure the live centres maintain accurate concentric work, which has increased the operational range and eliminated the need for adjustment during operation.

“We use state-of-the-art CNC machinery and CNC cylindrical grinders to get very high tolerance and a high accuracy,” Daintree Tools director Andrew Rodgers said.

“The main manufacturing that gives the live centre complete accuracy is that the finished grind of the 60-degree point at the front is ground when the centre is assembled. So, every spindle is pretty much hand ground to its own bearing pack.”

The company mainly supplies to the machining industry, such as fitting and turning, maintenance facilities, as well as aerospace manufacturers.

“We have a range of centres that go from 500kg capacity all the way up to 28 tonnes,” Rodgers said.

Co-director, Kerry Rodgers, said one of the benefits of being a locally-based business is that there are no challenges with accessing stock, and as a result, manufacturing costs stay at a minimum.

“We have a lot of inventory here in Australia, so when we make them, we make them in batches of 50 and 100 at a time,” she said.

Staying competitive

Kerry believes the company is competitive in a global market.

“We can compete in a worldwide market because we make in volume,” Rogers said. “We’re not paying import cost duties and freight, so from a manufacturing point of view, it is possible to make a world-class, very competitive product in Australia.”

“They’re as good a quality as anybody makes anywhere in the world. In fact, they probably have a higher tearing capacity, and the same accuracy – similar to what European countries offer,” she said. “And compared to other main brands, ours are heavier and faster with the same tolerances and possess the same accuracy.

“When you look at an Australian-made product, we’re saving on shipping, we use the same machines as they use over in Europe, China, or Asia, and because we’re doing them in larger quantities, our manufacturing costs are minimal.”

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