CUTTING-EDGE EQUIPMENT KEY TO ENGINEERING START UP www.engineeringnews.co.nz 39 J acob Smit makes no bones about it – there’s little point starting up a business if you haven’t got the right, current equipment. When Mr Smit began Metal Technic Engineering in Taumaranui earlier this year with co-owner Mark Vermeulen, the pair made it a top priority that whatever equipment they were to purchase needed to set them up for business today, and business in the future. Enter Machinery House. “You see it all the time, no one wants to get into the 21st century,” says Mr Smit after returning from a variety of engineering jobs in Australia. “Over there they have to. But here, so many businesses have this really old equipment and are essentially doing things the long way. We wanted to start ahead of the pack.” Metal Technic’s machinery is housed in a 520 square metre workshop and there you will find all manner of equipment they need to service their new and growing engineering clientele, from bandsaws to drill presses, welders to the brand new Swift-Cut plasma cutting table. “Machinery House was the right option for us… any issues and they were just a phone call away.” The Swift-Cut is helping grow the business which currently comprises about 80% agricultural repair work and the remainder made up of medium to light fabrication. “It just makes life easier,” Mr Smit says of the Swift-Cut, “and it means we can offer services that many start-ups couldn’t, while being competitive with other local engineering firms." The Swift-Cut CNC Plasma Cutting Table is capable of cutting up to 20mm and offers an affordable alternative to outsourcing, enabling Metal Technic to take greater control of its business. Features include water tray for efficient control of sparks and fumes, removable stainless steel splash guards for side rail protection, dropped rails for ease of loading full sheets, gantry parking to allow full sheet to be loaded overhead, heavy duty steel construction with durable paint finish and a host more. “It’s made a difference for sure, explains Mr Smit. “The machine will grow with us, not us outgrow it so it’s definitely a purchase that impacts on our future.” The future is another reason why the pair – both with a host of engineering expertise – decided to start the business. “We saw an opportunity. In our localised area there are quite a few firms that have engineers at the helm that are due to retire but no one to succeed them. There’s no one in that young to middle aged bracket so we thought we’d fill that gap.” Having never run a business before, Mr Smit says it’s been a steep learning curve.
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