In this blog, John discusses the long relationship that Superior has with providing stable floating helicopter landing pads for the Gold Coast 600 – Aerial footage courtesy of Gold Coast Helitours www.goldcoasthelitours.com.au
The title of this weeks blog is our Vision at Superior. The simple three words express a lot about us and serve as a reminder of what we do. The vision is the catch cry of our longer mission statement where we commit to “Provide flotation with sustainable solutions to support work, play and life.”
The transition of Superior from a specialist provider of marine berths into a multi disciplined flotation specialist has been a gradual broadening of scope brought about by two things. Firstly our natural imaginative flair that is part of our culture means we will “have a go” if we think we can help a customer. That led to diversification which during recent economic slow downs has proved invaluable. We have already diversified into the industrial flotation arena with pump pontoons, floating walkways and pipe floats under the brand SuperiorWORK. The next stage will see environmental flotation that provides living space, solar power generation, food and water improvement systems.
This all gives us lots of opportunity and an exciting future.
We recently prepared a list of our brand values that we use to filter all of our decisions. The acronym is simple as it tells you what TIPE of service you will receive when you call us. The values are:
Trust – we commit to provide honest dealings from a team you know you can trust.
Imaginative – we always try to find new ways to create value for the customer in our solutions.
Personal – our service will be provided by individuals who take pride in their role and take personal care of you.
Exceptional – we strive to provide an exceptional product in terms of both quality and service.
We look forward to serving you.
In 2013 the Superior Steel division on the Gold Coast at Jade Dr, Molendinar was started to allow Superior to fabricate a project for the Energy and Natural Resource sector (ENR). This has allowed our metal fabrication to expand from the traditional offering of aluminium fabrications over the past 25 years into new fields of structural steel and stainless steel. We have established a totally separate building to avoid any contamination issues.
Now we are able to support complex composite designs that utilise the separate manufacturing facilities now operating at Superior lead by Manufacturing Manager, Darren Basten. This means that we can fabricate steel, aluminium, concrete, plastics then crane and transport the product all with in house expertise and equipment. We are proud of our skilled team on the Gold Coast that support projects around the world. Our team members have travelled throughout Australia as well as to Sites throughout Asia and the Middle East to support our dealers in other countries. Steel gangways, bridges and pontoons have been the primary products produced, however now we are contracting truck bodies, pipe fabrications and structural steelwork.
The steel team are skilled in equipment maintenance of the Superior fleet of barges, trucks and cranes. A recent project to build a new truck body for our 9 tonne Hino crane truck, lead the paint shop to remark that this job was a ” top quality job and a pleasure to paint”. This is not surprising as our team hold accredited welding certificates that quality assure welds to inspection and test plans (ITP).
We welcome your enquiries to any steel project and look forward to offering your our Superior service.
This week proved very busy as the Superior team rolled out another SuperiorWORK integrated pump platform for the mining industry. Over the years the basic frame on floats to support a pump has evolved and now the in house designs are quite sophisticated. We find ourselves drawing on the 25 years of experience to make the systems rugged yet user friendly to assemble in remote locations where a guaranteed outcome is essential.
The client is often several tiers up from us so we start by gaining a detailed understanding of the needs and this is then engineered into the plans. In this case it entailed a double electric centrifugal pump station, associated delivery pipe work and flow meters, control station location, gangway landing, cable management and temporary flotation for delivery to final positioning. All of these components had to float level and this was proven in a water test prior to shipment. The four separate pontoon units were attached using the Superior elastomeric hinge system.
There has also been a simultaneous delivery of marine works for the WICET project in Gladstone with Monadelphous Muhibbah Marine (MMM). SuperiorWORK supplied, fabricated, surface treated and delivered two steel pontoons, aluminium gangways and landings with quality assurance documentation. The challenge of rotating the 20 tonne pontoons for positioning of efficient welding was handled with purpose built lifting assemblies attached to either end of the pontoons. Phil’s Cranes did the rest with careful efficient rotations on a 12 hour basis as required.
The delivery of these projects from the Gold Coast has been a team effort with many companies assisting Superior to be successful in the ENR (Energy Natural Resource) sector. As we have diversified, we have seen opportunities throughout our supply chain to add value in this sector. An example is the painting, assembly and water testing of product that was ably handled at the Boat Works facility at Coomera. This is gratifying to see the marine industry expertise able to expand our relevance into new markets where we can provide value.
Last week the annual conference of ARMA, the Australasian Rotomoulding Manufacturers Association was in Cairns, North Queensland. I was attending as a delegate and also provided one of the presentations on Becoming a Design Led Company. ARMA is a wonderful organisation that provides members in Australia and New Zealand with very professional representation in industry, government and internationally with the scientific community. As a former member of the Board of Directors I was able to see first hand the excellent results that Leisa Donlan and Michelle produce for members. Every year they surprise us with something new and this has allowed the industry to remain resilient.
One of my favourite results from ARMA has been the learning and friendships that result from having a genuine support group of like minded individuals. There are business deals, product sharing, technical benchmarking and international research all active from within ARMA. This is one of the reasons why I am sharing our experience at Superior on becoming design led in the hope to assist other companies to evolve with their unique brand values, a deeper customer insight and exciting new designs that improve the entire experience for all stakeholders.
The other reason is that many years ago when we had suffered a fire that severely limited our production for a few months, Leisa was immediately there to assist us. She gave us introductions to other ARMA members who could help us and they manufactured product for ourcustomers until we were back on our feet. I have never forgotten this as we would not have wonderful customers like Riviera, Fox Environmental or Greystone today if not for this generous support. Lets hope last week we could, in some small way, return the favour.
Over recent years the Superior group has added a commercial division to service the flotation needs of general industry and the resource sector in particular. The SuperiorWORK brand was born and a range of tough, rugged innovative products has followed. In addition to the range of pump pontoons, pipe floats, floating walkways and industrial gangways, the company now has added a general steel fabrication business.
This need has arisen over time as customers have used the aluminium fabrication service but increasingly asked for a heavier duty product in quality steel design and fabrication. With recent contracts for the Port of Gladstone requiring heavy steel pontoons, the company has opened a specialist steel service at their site at 7 Jade Drive in Molindinar. The work is highly specialised with a design team experienced in structural steel design, and a team of boilermakers with quality assured welding expertise. The team has produced great results with a quality assured (QA) system.
The need for QA is now a basic requirement for mining and industrial customers. This means that the procedures that we have worked on for years must now be documented and audited by a third party, in our case SAI Global. This increased level of assurance is a positive outcome for all parties as our people have proven performance and our customers have trust in the brand.
As in all of our manufacturing operations the Superior branded products are produced however we also contract fabricate for others. We welcome your enquiries to supply your structural steel fabrication needs in the near future.
We are busy in the run up to year end to ensure that numerous deadlines will be met. This is common at this time of year and in the hot weather the team is to be congratulated. In the midst of all this activity we still have our focus firmly fixed on the future. Our future products and services are being modified to meet the needs of a changing market.
We have produced the SuperiorWORK range of industrial products to respond to demand for pump pontoons, floating walkways, gangways and pipe floats for resource industries. A natural progression from this product line is the establishment of a separate steel division in our fabrication services. While we have had aluminium fabrication services for many years, the mining products need steel, and a new shop has been set up in Molendinar. This facility is available for all types of steel fabrication and we welcome your enquiries.
These investments in infrastructure reconfirm our belief in local Australian manufacturing. While it can be a challenging environment we use our home grown innovation to feed continual improvement to our international dealer network. We have a list of improvements slated for our marina systems and new products in development for a 2013 release. This is being done with design led thinking and lots of customer insight.
Thank you for your support in 2012 and all the best for the new year.
This week I attended the QME exhibition in Mackay which was a great opportunity to catch up with customers of our SuperiorWORK brand on the stand at the show grounds. This division of the Superior group delivers floating solutions and associated gangways and pipework to industrial clients. Having grown up on a farm near Mackay and spent time as a boilermaker at Newlands Coal many years ago, attending this show is always like coming home. The great thing is that we are able to add value to projects using our new flotation products specially designed for the mining industry, yet draw on the 25 years of experience from our marine division.
The show is bigger each time the bi annual event is held and the industry continues to provide leadership with workplace health and safety trends and innovative customer led new products. Impressive displays abounded however the Reed event could be improved with more signage including large printed numbers on the outside of each tent to show you which exhibits are inside that tent. Exhibitors and attendees waste a lot of time just finding their way around such a large show.
We launched the patented Razorback pipe clamp system at the show. This labour saving device allows the traditional concrete poured pipe sleeper to be eliminated and to have a premoulded base installed that can support the load or be concrete filled on site. A high visibility cover completes the product and locks the pipe in place.
We continue to gain great customer feedback at the shows as well as requests for new products. This feeds into our design led philosophy where we will desk top prototype the items and be guided by our customers to ensure we nail the concept, enrich the features and provide real winners in the field. This only happens when we work together to create smart products. We have already seen products with older life cycles become subject to strong competition from overseas. If we are to continue to provide quick turnaround times and local jobs, we must continue to innovate. We have engaged an industrial design team at Superior that makes this vision a reality however we are only ever as good as the feedback and relationships we have from customers.
We encourage you to participate is this user led design process to maintain Australian manufacturing expertise and to enrich the communities in which we live.
Until next time.