Writer: Emily Jarvis
Project Manager: Arron Rampling
Eilbeck Cranes has been capitalising on lucrative opportunities across the oil & gas, mining, power, construction and infrastructure sectors, bolstering its reputation among the world’s industry elite as the leading manufacturer in Australia.
Responsible for maintaining more than 2,000 cranes of various brands, the Company has spent the past century of operation adjusting to the changing needs of its clients, retaining a flexible attitude towards business opportunities in order to satisfy customer requirement.
Peter Heinrichson, the Company’s Operations Director explains: “Our core markets are never set in stone; a century ago it was the forestry industry, then the rail industry some time after. 15 years ago it was manufacturing, for the past decade it was mining and today, the focus is on infrastructure projects. We never leave any market but focus on what is required at the time.
“This makes our ability to change very quickly and deliver what client’s want very desirable. A lot of companies back away from projects where the risks are considered too great, whereas Eilbeck takes pride in taking on challenging requests, which at the end of the day makes us a stronger Company.”
The Company’s services are propelled by its flexibility; allowing for the design and manufacture of specially tailored cranes on a case-by-case basis. The Operations Director adds: “As the majority of our business is repeat business, garnered from our continually strengthening presence and reputation – also backed by a strong health & safety track record – we spend a significant amount of time and investment in research & development (R&D) to retain these clients and make sure we can satisfy their needs through value-add services. One of the ways we do this is by offering a post-installation maintenance service should the customer require.”
Eilbeck’s engineering team is just as flexible as the Company’s philosophy, displaying excellent knowledge of local markets and a huge passion for the job at hand.
“The team at Eilbeck represent one of the key drivers of the business. They are lovers of engineering and invest a personal interest in building new and innovative machinery. We never flinch when the going gets tough; we have a reputation of getting things done on time and to a high quality,” Heinrichson adds.
Despite the global economic downturn, Eilbeck has used the past few years as an opportunity to consolidate expertise with strategic investment decisions in R&D that serve to distinguish the Company from the competition.
“Ironically, the downturn in the Australian economy has been the driver behind our recent growth,” Heinrichson says. “In fact, our biggest growth modes have been during downturns in the past. When times have been good, Eilbeck has made shrewd investment decisions and kept up with demand of the market; and when times turned we used these investments to tool-up, upskill our employees and develop future-ready products.
Contrary to the current economic slump, Heinrichson believes that the oil & gas industry is a market that will be in high demand well into the future; having recently manufactured a new EX range of equipment for Africa’s oil & gas sector; allowing them to stay firmly afloat during the ongoing market conditions.
“As always with ongoing growth there is continual investment in R&D, and we hope to unlock new opportunities in Africa, the Middle East, Russia and South America; as well as the Australian market which is expected to rebound in the coming years,” he highlights.
Over the next 12 months, Eilbeck estimates its current investment in R&D to be in excess of $500,000 AUD. “We embrace the use of technology as a general rule, but it has to be as flexible as our teams and fit with our ‘anything is possible’ core philosophy; facilitating a more tailored service offering that can outperform the competition,” Heinrichson details.
Eilbeck’s long-held ISO9001 and AS 4801 certifications further support the Company’s aptitude for continuous improvement which spreads throughout the entire value chain. “By monitoring our internal system improvements with the help of our staff, we have openly embraced change and are willing to try different things; we have been able to recognise the lessons learned as well as those that didn’t work so well, but we always learn from the experience and set to improve from that point,” he summarises.
Having recently commissioned its CNC machining workshop with new equipment – including a eight metre mill, four metre lathe with 900 millimetres over the saddle, a five-axis Nakamura machining centre and a Kasto saw – Eilbeck Cranes is keen to continue growing in-line with industry trends and capitalise on customised solutions across as broader range of industry verticals as possible.
“We have assessed that there are many opportunities for expansion and going forward, our export plans will be very aggressive as we see every corner of the globe as an opportunity. Moreover, we are currently submitting plans which will house another five-axis machining centre, and waterjet and automated storage systems for our new EX hoist series of products, the first of which are being despatched at the end of May, 2016,” says Heinrichson.
These investments will be a welcome addition to Eilbeck’s six manufacturing facilities across Australia, which currently produce a range of cranes from 100 kilograms (kg)-500,000kg capacity.
“Although 90 percent of our custom is repeat business, we have taken part in many high-profile projects such as a bogie system to move the Sydney 2000 Olympic Games Stadium, as well as underdeck gantries for the Sydney harbour bridge,” he explains. “Backed by our strong reputation, it is quite humbling to see people recognising the large investments we have made in our passionate engineering team and equipment by supporting us, which we believe has stemmed from our proven performance and ability to complete even the most challenging project, safely and efficiently.”
He concludes: “Ultimately, we want to be the best at what we do, and this is very much reflected in our success to date. We are a hardcore Australian Company and we seek out people who have a hardcore Australian Company aspiration; those who strive to push the boundaries.”