While one piece of equipment has been consigned to Davy Jones’ locker, Andromeda Industries XL Sling Project is about to get underway, in a first for Australia.
Earlier in the year the Moonbi outfit lost their $250,000 test bed when it was in one of several containers that went overboard 30 km off the coast of Port Stephens, enroute from China, where it was manufactured.
On Wednesday the business, which specialises in making industrial slings and belts, received a 20 tonne swaging press from Sweden.
The new machine needed a 100 tonne crane to unload it from a truck, before two smaller cranes were used to install it in the manufacturing shed, where it will be put to work pressing Australia’s largest metal slings according to owner Raymond McLaren.
“The closing force of this press is 4200 tonnes, and it will press steel up to 100 mm thick,” he said.
“These slings will be the largest manufactured in Australia, and will be used by heavy industry to lift up to 80 tonnes in weight.”
Andromeda is the only metal sling manufacturer in Australia, using the Superflex cable made onsite in Moonbi to create slings ranging from 10 mm, to the XL 100 mm variety.
While the company has customers lined up for the new slings, unfortunately they will not be able to sell any until the pressing bed, which was lost overboard is re-manufactured in China.
General Manager Annette Williams is hopeful of receiving the test bed in November, although after all the drama “would be happy to just get it before Christmas.”
The test bed, as the name infers, tests the woven slings for strength by putting twice the recommended pressure on the sling, in the case of the XL Sling that is over 200 tonne.
The shipping incident has set Andromeda back almost 12 months, after the company built an all new shed to house the machines, and was also in the process of setting up two huge product launches both in the Tamworth region and in Sydney.