New high-definition plasma cutting technology has been introduced by the TW Woods Group to optimise efficiency and quality in the production of chutes, bins, loaders, tanks, silos and other materials handling and metal fabrication tasks involved in creating long-life low-maintenance products.
The new Lincoln Spirit 400 machine – now operating in the company’s 400m2 plate processing facility – was specified to deliver industry-best standards of cut quality on standard and specialty steels, including stainless steels and heavy-duty chromium carbide protective plates up to 60mm thick.
TW Woods Managing Director Tom Woods says high-quality wear- and impact-resistant materials are now in high demand as coal and mineral processing plants place new emphasis on long-life product that avoids delays and breakdowns as mines step up production. The same quality, traceability and accountability standards are being required by private and state organisations involved in the energy, marine, oil and gas and defence sectors, where safety and durability are paramount.
The investment in state-of-the-art plasma cutting technology has also been complemented by the installation of a new 6 x 15m, 5m-high Truflow spray booth and bake oven to deliver best quality protective finishes for customers in industries including defence, energy, manufacturing, mining, minerals processing, materials handling, metals, process engineering and water and waste water.
Truflow technology – the same type used by industry leaders including Siemens, Bombardier and Veolia – is used by TW Woods to apply quality finishes ranging from camouflage patterns for defence projects, to protective coatings for mining, energy and bulk handling equipment used in aggressive, marine, chemical and mining environments.
The new investments are part of an ongoing multi-million-dollar expansion of TW Woods’ two-hectare facility to expand the range of tasks it handles on the one site from start to finish, enabling it to maintain strict quality control and to meet tight deadlines.
Production efficiency and quality control when producing such designs is further enhanced at the TW Woods plant by the integration of its plate processing area containing the new Spirit 400 machine with an 800m2 paint and blasting facility incorporating a sand blast chamber with 10m-high ceiling to handle large jobs.
This facility feeds directly to a state-of-the-art 720m2 industrial paint shop with 12m entry door to handle major projects such as coal and ore train load-out facilities, complex piping, recirculation tanks, shaker screens, storage bins, hoppers, silos, chutes, ductwork, bridgework, steel structures, tanks and mobile water tankers. The paint shop is immediately adjacent to the new Truflow facility, in which painted products can receive specialised finishes, all on the one site.
“The optimised work flow and range of production facilities available on the one site means even the most complex jobs can be handled efficiently and expeditiously, without elements of the work having to be sent off-site with the attendant delays and potential lack of uniformity of quality standards,” says Tom Woods.
“We are also able to fully utilise the skills base of our staff team, which we have built up over 50 years and three generations of family ownership. We have a tremendous asset in our staff loyalty, great staff skills and our investment in comprehensively equipping ourselves to handle complete projects on-site.”
Materials handling system efficiencies are further enhanced by innovative designs from TW Woods partner engineering group Chute Technology, which uses advanced engineering technologies, including discrete element modelling, to optimise and translate into reality materials handling configurations that minimise problems such as impact and abrasion zones and which smooth the flow of material within such systems.
“We are finding that quality- and safety-conscious clients are requiring increasingly higher standards of design, construction, finish and quality control to ensure the best lifespans and least maintenance achievable in their industries. Companies and utilities are increasingly aware of the high costs of lost production and safety hazards involved in systems that are prone to wear and breakage. Failure-prone systems can entail high labour costs and significant hazards involved in having to continually clear stoppages and install new materials handling facilities to tight production deadlines.”
Housed on the company’s two-hectare site with Hunter River frontage, the new facilities complement 4000m2 of workshop area in which the company undertakes medium to heavy steel fabrication, plate rolling and pressing and manufacturing of materials handling equipment including chromium carbide clad plate hardened steel products.
The company’s services (including specialised shaping, fabrication and welding technology for metals including carbon steel, stainless steel and aluminium) are used by organisations such as Delta Energy, Incitec Pivot, water and waste water authorities, Integra Coal, Laing O’Rourke, Xstrata and surface and underground mining companies throughout Australia including iron ore producers in the Pilbara and coal companies in Queensland.
The company has also become a valued supplier to the water treatment and materials handling industry because of its expanded capacity to process specialised metals and manufacture complex shapes required for special-purpose tanks, silos and pressure vessels.
TW Woods Group
02 4964 8300