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R&D Investment and their TRUMPF TruLaser Tube Fiber, Ensures New Zealand Tube Mills’ Success
Headland recently caught up with Terry Carter, General Manager at New Zealand Tube Mills about their TRUMPF TruLaser Tube Fiber machine.
HL: How long have you been in business?
TC: “New Zealand Tube Mills stared in 1938. Originally, we were focused on producing truck rear-vision mirrors and pram wheels. The production of steel tubing and car exhaust systems followed soon after and took us down the path we are today.
“During and following the Second World War there was a shortage of materials which prompted the company to design and build tube mills capable of producing tubular steel using oxy acetylene welding. Today, we focus on manufacturing precision carbon tube and an extensive range of stainless architectural food and beverage tube.”
HL: In terms of size how have you grown?
TC: “Export sales have increased steadily over the last three years, from 17% to over 35%. In addition to NZ, we sell into Australia and the USA. We also made sakes to parts of Europe and even into to Russia for Vineyard posts. So we certainly have our markets covered which offers greater stability.”
HL: What industries do you service/what is your specialty?
TC: “Our primary industry these days is horticulture and Viticulture – with Tubular Steel Trellising solutions”.
HL: What are the keys to your companies’ success?
TC: “Thank fully we invest a lot of time and money into R&D of our own products. We are also big believers in investing in technology to assist us to do the job well, one latest example of this is the TRUMPF TruLaser Tube machine, which we use to build our own products.”
HL: What are you particularly good at, at NZ Tube Mills?
TC: “We are very responsive to the market, constantly monitoring any changes in the market, a change in customer needs. We also have a real can-do attitude, right across the board. So it certainly helps get things done, take on new projects or even adapt what we do now to do things better.
“We also have top engineering and design staff. We focus on training and retaining our engineers and design staff, and they certainly love what they do”.
HL: What equipment have you purchased recently and why?
TC: “The TRUMPF TruLaser Tube Fiber machine was the most recent ‘significant’ purchase”.
HL: What problem are you trying to solve through purchasing this equipment?
TC: “It has allowed us to create a product to supply into the Apple Orchard sector that we couldn’t have done before. It’s all new business – and has given us sales of over $1m annually in the past 2 years and growing, this figure is including exports.”
HL: Why did you purchase this equipment over the competition?
TC: “We wanted ensure that this significant purchase would last, so quality of manufacture, technical and after sales support were key drivers. Our view was that TRUMPF and Headland could provide this better than other supply options, this has proved to be the correct choice. In addition, due to the length of product we need to supply, we purchased the largest (longest bed length) TruLaser Fiber of its type now in NZ.”
HL: What other types of equipment do you have?
TC: “As a tube producer we have dedicated tube mills. In addition we have specialised Vineyard post production machinery. This equipment has produced over 3.5 million vineyard posts in the last 5 years alone”.
HL: What’s the real value of the machinery you have in your factory?
TC: ” The TRUMPF machinery allows us to produce top quality items in a timely and safe manner. This meets the needs of our expanding customer base and at the same time is increasing our sales.”
HL: What are your thoughts on the industry?
TC: “We have been fortunate to have expanded into a space that NZ is good at – namely producing Top quality Wine & Horticultural goods (Apples, Berries, so it’s been a little protected for us in terms of volatility”.