Prime Mover Magazine


Delta Hydraulics upgrades Tasmania factory

  • Posted on Friday 26th, August 2016
Delta Hydraulics upgrades Tasmania factory

To help it seize new growth opportunities in the booming waste industry and continue to support a demanding mining clientele, Tasmania’s Delta Hydraulics has invested in a high-tech factory upgrade.

While heavy vehicle sales in Australia have been stagnating for the most part of 2016, there is still ample movement on the components market, according to John White, Managing Director of Tasmanian cylinder expert, Delta Hydraulics – at least for those willing to adapt and change.

A seasoned hydraulics veteran, John says custom-made, often over-length cylinders are now driving much of the growth in the segment, indicating that demand is still strong for specialised equipment in waste management and mining, where the kind of componentry is needed that only a select few in the world can design and manufacture to perfection.

To cater to the shifting demand pattern, Delta Hydraulics’ Tassie operation has been increasingly focused on producing more specialised, value-added cylinders using high-tech skiving-burnishing machines as well as the latest friction welders, CNC lathes and CNC turning units. The production of off-the-shelf equipment, meanwhile, has largely been moved to a new Thailand factory, making the company’s Devonport plant the unofficial centrepiece of high-tech telescopic cylinder manufacturing in the Southern Hemisphere.

To maintain that status, John recently invested in a $2 million upgrade of the local Tassie facility, ensuring Delta can produce even the longest, most complex cylinders out there. “Demand for 9m double telescopic cylinders and annular ported cylinders for customers in the waste and mining industries has been growing notably over the past few years,” he explains. “These products require larger machines to build and we just didn’t have the right equipment to meet that demand at the time. That’s why we’ve decided to invest in a new skiving and burnishing machine that now allows us to create three-stage cylinders up to 22m in length.

Two years and $2 million after signing off on the upgrade, the new unit – which John refers to as an ID finishing machine – is now up and running. Weighing in at 100 tonnes and measuring 27m in length, it is used to size up and polish the inside of each new custom cylinder. With a contra-rotating function, it is able to rotate the cylinder in the opposite direction to the skiving tool, ensuring a perfect centre-line is maintained throughout the unit to make for an even wall thickness.

“Having the capacity to meet larger specifications is an important selling point for us, especially when dealing with makers of highly specialised gear like underground mining trucks,” John explains – revealing the expansion will help Delta serve its 2,000 customers in 30 countries with what is considered one of the broadest, most complete product portfolios in the industry.

“We now have the equipment to build everything from multi-stage telescopic cylinders and industrial single rod hydraulic cylinders, to constant velocity telescopic cylinders, annular ported double acting telescopic feed cylinders and even hydraulic manifolds,” he says.

Now in its 41st year of operation, John says the new investment has triggered a start-up vibe throughout the business that energised staff and clients alike. “The arrival of new equipment is always exciting and helps us maintain that disruptive edge that made us famous in the first place. In market as volatile as what we’re seeing today, you need to be able to adapt and react to new market trends, otherwise you’ll be left behind.”

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