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EN-Aug17-eMag4 35 WE CUT Stainless Steel, Steel Aluminium, Plastic Acrylic, Plywood, MDF WE WORK WITH Architects, Construction, Designers, Engineers, Manufacturers, Marine, Shop Fitters & Signage Succession is inevitable in business; something is always superceded or replaced whether that change be desired, feared, for the good of or detriment to. Change will occur. But when Mike Penney’s father John passed away following a brave battle with cancer, it was obviously more inherent than usual that the strong operational values that DisplayMakers had become known for must continue. That was one thing that couldn’t change. And although the father-to-son company transition was premature, brought about by that “bugger that is the ‘c’ word”, DisplayMakers and its employees were at least fortunate that Mike was already well engrained within the culture, business identity and near 60-year-built ethos. To Mike, it wasn’t just a case of ‘continue’ that fine tradition, instead he was dedicated to absolutely cementing it, then setting about building upon that rock-solid foundation. He’s done exactly that in the five years since taking over the helm – he’s forged something special. Something of a hybrid. And there’s little doubt, he’s made his dad proud. Although John and business partner Charles had taken over an existing business that had begun in 1958 – making wire products and glass milk bottle carriers – in essence, and in reality too, the pair had created a culture. They had worked hard and progressed with wise, loyal and dogged direction. Staff had followed that lead. When John passed away, DisplayMakers was in a strong position with an established base of satisfied customers who turned to the company for their design, merchandising and fulfilment services. Charles then stepped back from the company, knowing it was in safe – next generation - hands. A new legacy is born “DisplayMakers has been this really interesting little business with a diverse offering… you know, the Kiwi can-do sort of business. If something was ever needed by a customer we’ve always put the hand up and said, ‘Yeah, we can do that’,” crossing multiple industries and specialising in display in the process, Mike tells NZ Engineering News. He says it was a nice legacy to follow on from, and with. He describes – for many - a by-gone era where if you needed a machine and you couldn’t source it you just rolled up your sleeves, switched on the engineering brain and, in true Kiwi vernacular, built the bloody thing yourself. Mike wanted to continue with that mind set of innovation, but also take up new opportunities as they arose to propel the business into the future. “To do that, you have to have the right team and the right tools. The team, we had and have, with many staff easily adaptable within the business framework. But with more emphasis to be placed on steel and metal engineering through DM Laser – as opposed to the existing woodworking and joinery aspects of the business – it was the ‘tools’ that we needed to provide. You can’t build it like the old days - we’re talking completely next level technology, but you can source exactly what you need. We’ve done that with the new laser and Amada,” says Mike. DM Laser selected the Amada LCG-3015 to fill that void, described by distributor Am Prom as the ‘new standard in laser cutting machines’. And he says it has absolutely delivered upon its reputation. “Staff picked it up easily, and Am Prom was there to guide them all the way,” he says. The LCG3015 delivers higher speed and faster acceleration in processing via a lower centre of gravity on the carriage, the latest drive system, high torque motor and a helical rack moving system. It improves processing capability in thin to medium thickness material with higher speed and productivity. And those features made the difference when Mike was on the market for a machine. “We were basically setting up a new division within the company; engineering. I now couldn’t imagine a machine that would have fitted us better.” You can’t build it like the old days - we’re talking completely next level technology, but you can source exactly what you need. We’ve done that with the new laser and Amada

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