Sandvik Coromant Global President Klas Forsstrom visited NSW engineering company Archer Enterprises on his first trip to Australia.
A privately owned company established in 1977 and led today by the third generation of the Byrne family, Archer Enterprises is a specialist in the design and precision manufacture of complex performance-critical components and assemblies. The company offers turnkey solutions in CAD design, R&D, engineering, manufacturing, testing, analysis and assembly to a wide range of industries across the safety, asset protection, defence, power generation, mining and transportation segments.
Managing Director Brad Byrne says it was a real honour to host their European guest. Archer Enterprises has been relying on Sandvik technology for the past 20 years.
Mr Forsstrom took the time to comment on trends in the global manufacturing industry and offer advice on how Australian companies can become more competitive in this market. Globalisation, increase in competition from new markets, desire for shortened production times, hyper specialisation and skills gap were some of the major changes observed worldwide.
He also spoke about the focus on productivity with companies wanting to decrease production time and get products to market a lot quicker, which meant having the right tools to complete more complex tasks even faster and knowing how to increase feeds and speeds.
According to Mr Forsstrom, the skills gap is a key barrier in achieving various manufacturing outcomes such as machining cycle time, complete manufacturing time and design time. Given the lack of new talent coming into the industry, he is happy with Archer Enterprises’ initiatives for developing skill sets including attending Sandvik’s training days. Sandvik’s Productivity Centres and Application Centres are designed to close this skills gap.
Mr Forsstrom also spoke about hyper specialisation wherein manufacturers specialise in very specific products or processes. By focussing on a dedicated area and becoming leaders in their field, companies can become more competitive in the global arena while also increasing their profitability.
He said Archer Enterprises is a good example of hyper specialisation because they have become well known over the years for making sophisticated performance-critical products to international standards.
Mr Forsstrom said that for Australian manufacturers to succeed globally they need to be looking at the future, forming partnerships and continually coming up with fresh ideas.
He explained that working for the future means employing future technologies and future ways of machining, and figuring out how to cut down machining time, improve efficiencies and work with new materials such as composites.
Manufacturers should be partnering with their customers and collaborating on new ways to get products out to the marketplace. Describing how Sandvik has a partner culture, he cites Archer as a great example of a technology partner. Sandvik Coromant and Archer have been working side by side for 20 years, with Archer always quick to ask for new product trials and see how they can improve their business. Sandvik also views a place like Archer as an opportunity to test future products in a real-world scenario before releasing them.
Mr Forsstrom also encourages manufacturers to be innovative, not only in creating an end product but also how the product is used or how the manufacturer goes to market with it. He believes manufacturers can add a lot of value to their customers by getting involved in the entire product lifecycle from concept to availability in the market.