Spotting a market niche

A WA company is building a reputation as the Red Adair of the underwater welding industry.

And, like the internationally renowned extinguisher of oil fires, the company’s name is being built on doing the jobs others have failed to complete.

Fees for its underwater welding system start at $10,000 per day.

XLT Industrial Training devel-oped a system for underwater welding that produces a weld with the same mechanical properties as a dry weld.

It was proven in work to fix cracks in a flow pipe at the Bakun hydro electricity plant in the Philippines.

The technique succeeded where many others had failed.

The system has received the approval of the American Bureau of Shipping and Lloyds of London.

The nearest competitor to XLT’s system involves building a hyperbaric chamber around the damaged area, which can prove to be a costly alternative.

XLT director Clive Langley said the company secured $160,000 in Science and Technology innov-ation funding from the Federal Government in 1999.

Ironically, the Bakun job came just as XLT had completed 12 months of development on its underwater welding system.

However, XLT’s main business lies in welding training.

It has been operating in WA for the past nine years and is accredited to deliver every Australian course in the metal trades.

Some of its biggest clients include the Australian armed forces and companies such as Fleur Daniels and Alcoa.

The company has approvals from the Northern Territory, Queensland and New South Wales governments to deliver training out of those states.

It teaches welding techniques for working with plastics and all metals up to titanium.

“We train apprentices, trades people and engineers here,” Mr Langley said.

“We’ve been approached by the Welding Institute of Australia to deliver technical papers and had a lot of interest from Asia in our training.

“We’re one of the few blue collar organisations that are allowed to take full fee-paying students.”

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