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Engineered solution provided for key industry shifting problems

THE need to move its large engineering workshop from Fremantle to Henderson has sparked a new business for a WA company.

When Key Group made its move, which involved shifting 30 pieces of heavy equipment, including a 30-tonne Niles lathe, it found there was nobody in the market that could help.

After 10 years in the engineering business – it is responsible for about 70 per cent of the repairs to commercial ships undertaken in Fremantle and is a growing player in the precision engineering field – it added another division, Heavy Industrial Equipment Relocators.

The company handles the move, plans the layout of the new premises for the client, advises of any problems at the location, de-commissions, strips down and repairs any machinery that may require it, offers an ongoing maintenance service for that equipment, and re-commissions the machines.

Key Group personnel services manager Tony Borger said the company did a job-safety analysis.

“This involves breaking down the client’s jobs into a series of steps and assessing the safety concerns for each step,” he said.

The company also handles the remediation of the client’s original site. This is not only a handy additional service but also positions Key Group well to offer its moving service to the next occupant of the premises.

Indeed, it was the maintenance service that led to the creation of the moving division.

Key Group marketing manager Robert Toohey said the company had originally been soliciting maintenance contracts for heavy machinery, and then decided it would be a good idea to offer the moving service after its own experience.

“A lot of moving problems come in the planning. You encounter logistical things ranging from whether there is a power source for the machines to whether the concrete is thick enough to support heavy machinery,” Mr Toohey said.

“We even do vibration testing for high-precision machines.

“We had one client who wanted to run a high precision lathe. The problem was they had a train line about 150 metres away from their premises.

“You couldn’t run a high precision machine with the sort of vibrations you’d get from a train going by every 15 minutes.

The company has moved about 12 businesses, including the Perth Mint and General Cable.

It is in the process of conducting its largest move – shifting OneSteel’s industrial equipment from its Bibra Lake, Carlisle and Welshpool sites to its new Bibra Lake premises.

That move, which includes the laser alignment of some machines, has to be completed by July 27.

Mr Toohey said while the Perth Mint move had only been a shift of 40 metres, it had been a huge job.

“The people who owned the machines thought it would be a good idea to service them. We did that and gave them blueprints of the work that we conducted,” he said.

“We handle the decommissioning, moving and re-commissioning of the machinery for the client.”

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