Australia’s welding and fabrication sector is facing significant challenges, including a shortage of skilled labour and rising costs. Opie Group, a leading manufacturer of steel products, struggled to find skilled welders to support their operations. In search of solutions, Tristan Opie, Managing Director of the Opie Group, reached out to his long-term partner, Headland Technology, for a solution. Together, they explored TRUMPF’s welding technology at EuroBLECH in 2018 to overcome Opie’s challenges and boost their manufacturing processes.
About Opie Group: Opie Manufacturing Group, Australia’s premier steel products manufacturer, has been a trusted industry leader since 1962. With a rich history and over 50 years of experience, they pride themselves on being a privately owned, multi-generation family business. Based in Western Sydney, their headquarters offer a comprehensive range of design, manufacturing, and industrial services across the country. Their ultramodern 8000m2 manufacturing and metal processing facility in Emu Plains highlights their unwavering commitment to excellence.
Specialising in contract manufacturing, they collaborate with a diverse range of professionals – engineers, fabricators, builders, designers, and architects – to bring concepts to life through realistic 3D model designs. This ensures that their customers can have complete confidence in the quality and functionality of the building elements they produce. Their local presence guarantees fast turnaround times, giving their customers a distinct competitive advantage. https://www.opiegroup.com.au/
Future proving welding processes for the next labour generation
We conducted an interview with Tristan Opie, Managing Director of Opie Group and asked what challenges he faced in Opie’s manufacturing process.
“We faced a problem with apprentices losing interest in welding, jeopardising our steel product manufacturing. To address this, we tried using a KUKA arc welding robot system with a CMT process. Unfortunately, this approach didn’t work well for our primary sheet metal-based production, which involves lighter gauges. Therefore, it is crucial that we directly confront this challenge and find ways to make welding more appealing and rewarding for the next generation.”
During his visit to TRUMPF in 2018, Tristan was captivated by the impressive demonstration of the TruLaser Weld 5000. The advanced welding technology offered by TRUMPF left a lasting impression, convincing Tristan to invest in the technology and add the machine to his manufacturing process.
However, the journey didn’t end there. The next challenge was finding a skilled technical operator and welding expert to run and receive training on the TruLaser Weld 5000. The ideal candidate for the job would need to be someone with a technical background or knowledge of mechatronics and a passion for this technology.
Opie successfully found an operator for the TruLaser Weld 5000 after a thorough search and interview process. Headland provided technology-specific training on the TruLaser Weld 5000 to equip the operator with the necessary knowledge to run the machine. Although the TruLaser Weld 5000 requires more time and effort to master compared to other machines, it presents a valuable opportunity to gain a deep understanding of its true capabilities.
Tristan was drawn to the TRUMPF TruLaser Weld technology due to its seamless integration with Opie’s existing software and systems. This feature allowed for a streamlined workflow and increased efficiency.
We further asked if the machine was bought for a specific purpose or project, to which Tristan responded:
“The TruLaser Weld 5000 was not bought for a specific job but for general use. While it may not be faster in operations, its precision and accuracy are exceptional. With this machine, we can effortlessly manufacture fixtures knowing that each part is welded with precision and the quality is remarkable. The investment in this machine has been a resounding success, as we consistently achieve the same precise outcome.”
When we asked Tristan why he chose Headland and TRUMPF as his preferred technology partner. Tristan did not hesitate to answer:
“I have been a loyal customer of Headland Technology and TRUMPF for quite some time now. The reason for my loyalty is simple – they consistently deliver high-quality products that I can rely on. Not only that but the service and support I have received from Headland have been exceptional. I highly recommend their products and encourage others to experience the same level of satisfaction that I have.”
Headland Technology was able to provide the perfect solution for the Opie Group’s welding processes, enabling them to achieve even greater precision and accuracy with TRUMPF’s welding solutions. With Headland’s expertise and TRUMPF’s cutting-edge technology, Tristan takes his welding capabilities to the next level.
Opie Group’s expansion journey with Headland and TRUMPF as their technology partners
We are thrilled to announce that the Opie Group is making significant strides in their growth and innovation. With the recent acquisition of Wilson and Gilkes, a prominent Sheet Metal company, the Opie Group is expanding their employee headcount from 60 to 110 by the end of August. This expansion is a testament to their success and a reflection of their commitment to invest in cutting-edge technology to supply the highest quality steel product to their customer base. With a 7-year capital purchase budget exclusively dedicated to Headland Technology and TRUMPF, the Opie Group is positioning itself as an industry leader for years to come.
Thank you to Tristan Opie for the interview and for sharing an outlook on future operations and collaboration. We are excited to support the Opie Group’s journey into a bright future in the manufacturing industry.
Do you need a reliable technology partner to future-proof your welding processes?
Our TRUMPF technology specialists are here to assist you in overcoming your unique welding challenges. With our expertise and knowledge, we can provide tailored solutions to meet your unique needs. Don’t hesitate to reach out to us today for assistance.