Fibre lasers have revolutionised the metal-cutting industry, and Alliance Metal Solutions has taken the initiative and jumped on board the growing trend.
Located in Kings Park, Sydney, Alliance is a privately owned sheet metal fabrication company that was founded in 2007 by Shane Blewden and Sean Carragher. Both men had prior experience in the sheet metal fabrication industry, but after spotting an opportunity in the market and feeling like the time was right, they decided to strike out on their own and subsequently founded Alliance Metal.
Alliance undertakes a variety of work, but it specialises primarily in the mining and construction sectors, with the company recently putting a big focus on the construction industry. This has seen it expand its opportunities and business potential.
Alliance now services all of Australia, from locally in Sydney to many interstate locations, ranging from Perth to Mackay and across rural/urban Victoria. Shane Blewden’s expertise lies in developing business with customers and ensuring their needs are met, whereas Sean Carragher’s focus lies with the design of the products and their specifications.
Experiencing steady growth since its formation, Alliance started out with four employees but in its short operational time has grown consistently to an impressive workforce of 41 people. This is testament to Alliance’s first-class service provided by a skilled workforce using modern technology.
Laser cutting has become a big component of Alliance’s activities in recent years and this has transformed the company and the way in which it operates. This has resulted in the company recently purchasing a Yawei HLF-1530 3kW fibre laser cutter, complete with automatic loading and unloading device.
Shane Blewden and Sean Carragher travelled to China specifically to find a new machine, visited Yawei and were immediately impressed. “They blew us away,” says Blewden. “The machines and their operations were highly professional and just what we were looking for.”
After that, the choice was easy: “When we saw the Yawei HLF we knew it would suit us; the choice was a no-brainer,” Blewden continues.
The fibre laser was delivered recently and has already been a big hit in the organisation due to its ease of use and the quality of the end result.
“We needed a machine with more speed and energy efficiency,” Blewden explains. “And that’s what we got with the Yawei HLF.”
One of the key attractions for Blewden was the quality components fitted to the HLF; in particular the Siemens controller and Precitec auto focus cutting head.
“The Siemens 840D CNC controller is simple to learn and easy to use, significantly improving cutting speeds and material capacity. Furthermore, it allows for high-accuracy and repeatability,” says Blewden.
“Overall the Yawei is simple and user friendly. Running the machine is a basic task - which we like - it saves time and effort. Another attraction is that it uses filtered compressed air, which costs less in the long term due to its lower cost compared to ‘traditional’ assist gases. The etching feature is also well liked by Alliance operators,” Blewden adds.
The introduction of the fibre laser with its advanced capabilities has also allowed previously outsourced work to come back in-house. “To say the least, there have been some really big plusses with this machine,” says Blewden. “It’s also been quite cheap to run. So already we have seen the positive financial implications of the machine; it’s value for money.”
A current major project for Alliance Metal, in conjunction with another large-scale construction company, is James Packer’s new casino, currently under construction at Barangaroo, Sydney. Once completed, Alliance will continue with interior fit-outs as well as cladding work for the casino. This project highlights the success of the company’s move into the construction sector and the abundant opportunities that it has so far provided.
Shane Blewden praises the service and expertise provided by Applied Machinery staff. “The back up and support from Applied has been terrific. They’re great, and their technicians are great. They know what they are dealing with. They deliver on time and really have been wonderful. Overall we’re very happy with them,” he concludes.
Blewden wants to see Alliance continue to grow and expand into the future. “We have already increased the level of available shifts for our workers, but we would like to see continued substantial growth into the future,” he says. “All in all, we are optimistic about the future and believe we are heading in the right direction – Yawei and Applied have had a role in that.”
Applied Machinery is the exclusive supplier of Yawei precision sheetmetal machinery across the country. At the upcoming Austech exhibition in Melbourne Applied with be showcasing an 8kW Yawei HLX series fibre laser, along with a Yawei CNC pressbrake bending cell complete with a Kuka robot.
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