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Case Study

Blakey Welding

Blakey Welding

About Blakey Welding

Michael Blakey has owned and operated the business for 16 years and started doing general fabrication with only two people. “Today we employ over 11 people and while we do general fabrication we also specialise in agriculture equipment, structural and mining work”, says Michael.

What are your thoughts on the industry – how do you remain competitive?

Michael continues, “Well you have to keep ahead of the pack and we do this through using technology. We started off using Autocad to design our implements and got our parts laser cut. This was to reduce production costs and increase quality, this gave us an edge, which allowed us to be more precise and in turn more productive. But the down side of sourcing our parts from a supplier was we had to stock spares, which, apart from the obvious financial costs took up valuable workspace”.

A year ago Michael purchased a MAXIEM 2040 Waterjet machine which has removed the dependence on outside suppliers and the associated delays that go with that. Michael comments, “It also reduced our spare parts stock because now we cut as required, this has given us a huge saving on transport costs, material cost and also on workshop space”.

Leah O'Connor
Leah O’Connor washing down plate while watercutter is cutting

“The operators we have for the machine are the apprentices and because of the user-friendly software, training operators takes roughly two to three days. The machine is a valuable step in our production of machinery and we rely on it heavily to keep the flow of jobs going”.

What’s the real value of the MAXIEM waterjet?


Increasing our market size – “The variety of materials we can cut is the true value, we can cut anything from steel, timber, aluminium and rubber. Having this ability increases our market size”, Michael says.

Turn around times – “We are also thinking about expanding the business which is a strong possibility now that we have reduced our turn-around time from three weeks to two days in some cases”.

What other types of equipment do you have?

“We have the MAXIEM 2040 Waterjet, we also have plate rollers, a guillotine, brake press, overhead crane, large & small drill presses as well as a forklift. We can offer precise machinery with our whole range of equipment. The waterjet is the star of the shop as the cuts are so precise, it cuts down the fabrication time eg; drilling and marking out – most of the parts we cut have secondary weld processes. By reading the end item drawings we can us the ‘etch’ function in the software to make marks for welders and fabricators to use when they are assembling jobs. Overall the machine helps us to increase our efficiencies and decrease our overall cost of production”.

What are the keys to your companies’ success?

“We try to maintain our high level of customer satisfaction and generally keeping good customer relations and producing good quality work. All of our work is gained through word of mouth, with no need to advertise our business in a small town”.

The Team
(Left to right) Leah O’Connor 1st year apprentice, Blake Rossiter 4th year apprentice, Brad Sutcliffe 2nd year apprentice.

“We aim to keep up-to-date with the latest machines and technology to be able to remain competitive”, says Michael.

For more information on Blakey Welding, call Michael Blakey on 07 4783 7356 .

Maxiem 2040

For more information about the Maxiem 2040, download the pdf here (213KB)