Prime Mover Magazine


Product of the Month

  • BlueScope Plate Supplies

    July 2017

    BlueScope Plate Supplies

    Australian manufacturing businesses are constantly looking for innovative ways to adapt, process and manufacture more product to meet tight lead times and capture demand, while ensuring their final product remains cost effective to the end user. As such, trailer builders’ search for competitive advantages can drill through the entire manufacturing process to the very materials supplied.

    One trailer manufacturer that says it has found an ideal solution for its material supply requirements is MaxiTRANS. According to Group General Manager Manufacturing, Anthony Roder, MaxiTRANS has a partnership model with Australian steel provider, BlueScope Plate Supplies, that provides added value when compared to the traditional ‘supply and buy’ concept.

    MaxiTRANS uses BlueScope steel in the production of its chassis, main rails and cross members, to name a few. “We use a significant amount of steel in trailer manufacturing,” Anthony says. “We’re proud to say that our products use Australian BlueScope steel, including our Freighter, Maxi-CUBE, Lusty EMS, Hamelex White or Azmeb trailers made at the Ballarat facility in Victoria or the Richlands facility in Queensland. By working closely with BlueScope, we have found a win-win solution.”

    According to BlueScope Victoria & Tasmania Manager, Michael Gerada, the steel supplier works closely with transport manufacturers of all types to remove supply chain risk by consistently delivering the right product at the right time and providing easy and timely access to product information and technical data. “We have found transport manufacturers require confidence in quality material supply along with timely delivery and processing to specification,” Michael says. 

    BlueScope supplies a wide range of steel plate products to MaxiTRANS and numerous other manufacturers of trailers, truck bodies, caravans and campervans, each meeting the highest quality standards,” Michael says. “Our ISO 9001 Quality Management System accreditation removes the risk through order management and material delivery,” he adds. “Material test certificates and product heat numbers are provided as needed for all projects and manufacturing jobs. This provides peace of mind and confidence in BlueScope Plate Supplies supplying fit for purpose products.”

    BlueScope Plate Supplies provides simple length-based cutting to complex multiple precision processing on CNC controlled plate-line machines, ensuring finished products are delivered marked and safely packed as specified on time. “Our steel products, in particular Tru-Spec steel, are perfectly placed to add value in all manufacturing environments,” Michael says. “Tru-Spec steel consists of a range of structural plate grades that are rolled as coil on BlueScope’s Hot Strip Mill and then cut to length. It is typically used in structural members, brake press forming applications, trailer and automotive components, general fabrications and galvanising applications.”

    Michael explains that Tru-Spec steel is available in a variety of grades, in thicknesses from 3mm to 16.0mm and up to 1550mm wide in floor plate and weathering steel. The wide range of options, he says, ensures BlueScope has the right materials for any of MaxiTRANS’ requirements. “The key benefit of Tru-Spec steel is the flatness of the product allowing seamless output on manufacturing production lines, enabling customers to work with thinner gauge products without loss of strength and delivering better production runs,” he adds.

    To make sure it is always adaptable to the transport industry’s fluctuating trailer demand, BlueScope offers a Steel Efficiency Review program that focuses on the manufacturing operations of its customers, which MaxiTRANS’ Anthony agrees helps keep the supplier reactive. “When we get significant orders come through, BlueScope has the ability to react to our needs in a timely manner, helping us keep our delivery promises by always keeping theirs.”
    Neil Grieves, Manager BlueScope Ballarat, says that being local makes all the difference in that regard.

    “Our people are local and understand the challenges faced by Australian manufacturers. Regular and local communication is critical to ensure manufacturing processes flow smoothly,” Neil says. “This allows our manufacturing customers such as MaxiTRANS to continue to do what they do best, keeping to their build schedules and meeting tight production deadlines.”

    By working in partnership with BlueScope, Neil says MaxiTRANS is able to rely on the local supplier’s timely advice and deliveries that help it keep its status as the country’s leading trailer manufacturer.
    “BlueScope Plate Supplies is proud to be associated with MaxiTRANS, and to deliver the quality, strength and assurance that helps it manufacture superior trailer chassis and associated products on time and to strict specifications,” Neil says. “Together, MaxiTRANS and BlueScope are a true Australian partnership.”

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