While the original still sits at the bottom of the Pacific Ocean, Andromeda Industries have finally had their spirits floated after finally receiving a replacement 300 tonne test bed for an all new project.
The Moonbi based plaited and woven steel sling and rubber belt specialists are now capable of not only manufacturing, but also testing Australia’s largest steel slings, specially made for heavy industry.
While the company took receipt of a specially designed press from Sweden just last month, the original test bed, which as the name suggests tests the slings to global standards, was one of a few containers lost overboard 30 km off the coast of Port Stephens when large seas rocked the IF Efficiency in June.
Now with both machines on site, manufacturing is hoped to begin by Christmas.
For general manager Annette Williams it has been an anxious six month wait for the replacement to arrive from the Taiwanese manufacturers.
“It was a matter of if you don’t laugh you cry – I think I cried,” she said.
“It has been such a long wait after the loss of the other one – it set the business back six months.”
The company, founded and owned by Raymond McLaren, are hoping the new slings will open all new domestic and international markets, with many industries already showing great interest.
“This is a major part to our business – this press is the biggest one in Australia,” Mrs Williams said.
“The new size of slings, and our ability to test it, will really open us up to the big guys in the market.”
Production manager Mark Simpson said the new slings will be capable of being plaited using 96 mm diameter wire rope, 25 metres in length and capable of lifting up to 85 tonne.
“The test bed can test up to 300 tonne – it is very important because the end users have to have each sling certified, so we proof load them to twice the work load limit,” he said.
“There is lots of heavy things out there that need moving around, so hopefully we will get a lot more work out of it. It is quite a large increase, and for a little company out here in Moonbi it is pretty sensational.”