JC Butko Engineering was established in in Wodonga 1976 by John and Carolyn Butko. Now employing 128 tradespersons and 30 contractors, the company’s expansion - particularly over the last ten years - has seen its factory grow to the present size of 7000m2 (with an additional 450m2 of administration area). With an average annual turnover today of $35 million, it is now the region’s largest general engineering company.
Born to Ukrainian immigrant parents, John Butko was apprenticed as a fitter and turner in Melbourne before returning to Wodonga and joining Milos Metrol & Sons. In 1972, Butko was named as Albury/Wodonga’s top apprentice. Soon afterwards, he rented a small shed in Kendall Street, Wodonga and invested heavily in machinery, including a lathe, guillotine and a set of rollers. And the rest is history.
Recent growth has come about as a result of working on larger projects throughout Australia (mostly the East Coast) and overseas (including the USA, New Zealand and Papua New Guinea).
The company is certified to ISO 9001-2008 Certificate No QEC10764 by SAI Global and has successfully maintained this accreditation since 1998. Furthermore, JC Butko is also certified to AS/NZS ISO 3834 Certificate 044 in accordance with the IIW MCS scheme, and is an accredited member of ASSDA (Australian Stainless Steel Development Association) and RMS prequalified.
Paul Butko, son of John, is the company’s Commercial Manager and has worked with the company for the past seven years. He previously worked for 5 years in construction with Lend-Lease, which was excellent grounding for his current role in the business.
A true family business, Paul’s brother Michael is the Director/Engineering Manager who has been with Butko for the past 14 years.
“My parents and brother, along with the support and dedication of current and previous employees have done an amazing job to get the company where it is today; I can’t reinforce that enough,” says Paul Butko.
The company undertakes diverse projects including large structural steel, tanks, pipe spooling, conveyor systems, food/materials handling systems and pressure vessel work in either mild steel or stainless steel.
“Our work is a 50/50 split between mild and stainless steel as well as a 50/50 split between fabrication and site installation,” Paul Butko explains. Tanks and pipes are the company’s forte and it also works with water, food production and dairy among other areas.
Butko prides itself on its one-stop-shop service from design through 3D modelling to installation and ongoing maintenance. “This is our bread and butter,” says Paul Butko. “We work with clients from the beginning to end of a project, providing a sense of reassurance,” he adds.
When the company came to increase its work capacity and scope, the management had heard about Yawei Pressbrakes through a service contractor, who was performing maintenance on the existing equipment. Yawei is one of the world’s leading manufacturers of CNC pressbrakes, fibre lasers, turret punch presses and guillotines.
Since its arrival into Australia over ten years ago, Yawei’s pressbrake technology has made a big impression. In fact, more than 300 machines are now installed across the country with Australian fabricators.
Although Butko had been looking at a few other manufacturers, the Yawei Pressbrakes impressed immediately. As a result, Paul Butko purchased a PBH 630-6200 CNC5 and a PBH 300-4100 CNC7. The 630t pressbrake is for larger projects whereas the 300t machine provides intricate high-precision work.
The machines have made a good impression on the operators. “After a few months in use, we have found them to be solid, reliable and good to use,” says Paul Butko. “They are also very user friendly; and are value for money,” he adds.
Applied Machinery played a major role in Butko’s decision. “We wouldn’t have purchased the Yawei machines without Applied Machinery’s advice and assistance,” Paul Butko explained.
Applied has also provided training to staff operating the machines and provides service and assistance where necessary. “The service we receive from them is crucial and we are grateful for it; the machines have allowed us to get more work so we can thank Applied for that,” he adds.
JC Butko Engineering was awarded with the Thales Australia Supplier HSE Award, in recognition of the outstanding achievements of the Butko Thales Team, and their collaborative and proactive approach towards improving HSE culture at the Mulwala Facility. In addition, founder John Butko was named 2016 Albury Northside and Wodonga Chambers of Commerce hall of fame recipient.
Paul Butko is optimistic about the future of JC Butko and what it holds. “We just want to keep consolidating what we do,” he says. “We want to continue to offer a complete service that makes our clients and customers happy,” he concludes.
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