“I was previously using a rival company’s machine but their servicing levels were creating a lot of issues. We were having trouble with the machine and we felt the back-up we were receiving wasn’t adequate,” says Enterprize Steel’s Operations Manager.
“So then I rung around a few other companies I know and they were using Plazmax. That’s when I contacted them and it’s been good ever since.”
Enterprize Steel is based in Avondale and fabricate, paint and erect heavy structural steel for large warehouses and high rise buildings across Auckland, plus Ramada hotels in Wellington and Queenstown.
In 2019 they replaced their “prehistoric” machine with a 3.2m x 9m Plazmax CutPro HS Plasma Cutting System plus a Hypertherm XPR300 VWI power source. “Plazmax carry out a yearly service plus anything that’s needed in between. They’re really good to deal with and their remote support is fantastic. They can fix things online for you which wasn’t possible with our old machine. And if it’s something more difficult than that, they’ll jump in a ute and come see you.”
Enterprize Steel’s old machine used to run 24 hours a day, six days a week. But its slow pace meant 20 per cent of the company’s plate cutting work had to be outsourced. In stark contrast, Plazmax’s machine is an estimated 60 per cent quicker.
“Our new machine only runs now for a single shift or a shift and a half at most. Definitely not 24 hours a day. Sometimes it’s sitting there idle, mainly because it’s far more efficient. I don’t have to outsource anymore and I haven’t got guys waiting around for material. And the cut quality is far superior, it’s really good. All the holes are far more accurate. The machine is also a lot quicker on the traversing X and Y axis. The old one used to just trundle along like a train going down the road.”
Enterprize Steel has resisted requests to take on plate cutting work for others, preferring to keep things simple. But the capacity to expand production is certainly there now the Plazmax machine is bedded in.
Staff received training from Plazmax and the Hypertherm Edge Connect controller with Phoenix operating software can be converted into other languages such as Mandarin if necessary. “We did that at the beginning because not all of our guys speak English. But we want them to learn, so I changed it back in the end. If you had a shop where there’s a lot of Chinese workers, having that language option would be a huge benefit.”
New technology also means improved safety and electrical systems, and superior fume extraction. “It’s got a lot more safety features for the operator in regards to cutting. It will cut out if someone walks into the zone and if it collides or hits something it stops instantly whereas my old machine wouldn’t.
“I still plumbed it into my old baghouse but it has baffles that close and open so it’s only sucking on the area where it’s working. So in terms of extraction it’s concentrated on where it’s cutting which means less fumes are going into the workshop and atmosphere. It’s bloody good.”
Enterprize Steel says the Plazmax CutPro HS high speed, high production cutting system has already paid itself off, and its ease of use, speed and reliability has been outstanding.
“It’s saving me money not outsourcing work too. It’s also saving time waiting for someone to cut a part. If you’ve got your own one you can do it straight away. It’s been a great investment.”
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