Bending the rules

Hare & Forbes gives VIC tube maker a boost

Established by Richard Swadesir in 1942, Melbourne based Swadesir International Manufacturing Pty Ltd has built a strong reputation as makers of high quality tube and pipe bending machinery and industrial quality floor sanding machines.

After several decades in the outer Melbourne suburb of Coburg, the business relocated in 2001 to its current larger premises in Thomastown.

Originally all products were manufactured in-house using conventional equipment, with up to 10 turners and machinists required at any one time.

While in Coburg, products were not produced cost efficiently, admits Swadesir Director Steven Casamento.

Therefore a decision was made to outsource all machining (excluding the tooling manufacture) and concentrate efforts on marketing and building the brand name. After a few years it became prohibitively expensive to continue outsourcing.

“To get a good unit price we had to order large numbers and consequently we found ourselves in a situation with too much stock being held which was draining our operating cash flow,” says Casamento.

So a major decision was made a couple of years ago to bring the outsourced work back in-house and to implement new technologies.

“To now do everything in-house again we had to get new equipment,” says Casamento.

“The manual machines just couldn’t keep up with demand and we would have been back where we were in the 90s, he says.

Casamento sought advice from Hare & Forbes, a leading Australian supplier of workplace equipment.

Swadesir has had a strong relationship with Hare & Forbes for more than 15 years and a decision was made to acquire a CNC Hartford Kappa 1100 AG Vertical Machining Centre.

The machine was delivered and installed by Hare & Forbes and was up and running in one day.

“We then had a weeks’ training and started producing parts straight away,” says Casamento.

Before installing the Hartford Machining Centre Swadesir had two machines dedicated to producing tooling, but were unable to keep up with orders.

Now with the Hartford CNC Machining Centre and only one operator, the company has returned all external manufacturing and is still able to produce all their tooling requirements.

Lead times are back in check. Customer deadlines are being met and stock holdings have been addressed.

Also, quality standards are far superior due to less human intervention.

“All our tooling, our machined and milled parts are done on the Hartford. We don’t outsource any machining at all anymore. We can now make what we want when we need it,” says Casamento.

“If we had not brought things back in-house we were faced with having to go off-shore as it was not profitable farming everything out locally. It’s taken a little while, about 18 months, as we couldn’t just drop our external suppliers overnight but we have now gone from running at a loss to making a profit. Having the Hartford with CNC technology has been a major part of the turn around.”

“The Hartford is very user friendly. My guys love it,” says Casamento. “It helps reduce machining time and production costs. It’s a solid machine with a bigger gear box and a bigger motor which is partly why we chose it.”

The machine offers increased heavy duty and precision performance with outstanding rigidity and stability.

Efficiently designed oil and fluid separation channels are cast into the Hartford frame, saving downtime caused by tank maintenance and frequent replacement of cutting fluid.

“We should have installed a Hartford 10 years ago, says Casamento.

“We are now planning for a growth year by continuously improving our standards and we can maintain this through our new leaner production capabilities. We can now grow with confidence. The Hartford is booked solid for more than a full shift all the time and in the next 18 months or so we intend to buy another one.”

Hare & Forbes
Ph: 02 9890 9111