Rototour 2016

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Superior has just hosted rotomoulding professionals from all parts of the world as part of the 2016 Rototour of Australia, organised by the Association of Rotational Moulders Australasia.

Delegates from the US, China, Turkey, Chile, the Philippines, Brazil and as far as Kazakhstan – most of whom had not been to Australia – enjoyed typical Aussie hospitality, including barbeques and visits to cultural attractions, sightseeing and site tours, culminating in the international conference at Sanctuary Cove.

After visiting various operations in Brisbane and Melbourne, the delegates came to the Gold Coast where they took in tour of Superior’s high-tech factory and facilities.

Superior is design-led and highly skilled in manufacturing a range of flotation systems, including pontoons for marinas and berthing systems, our award-winning Waterscape, and environmental platforms used for fish farming, reed beds or solar panels.

In addition, our rotational moulding expertise and IP are applied to industrial products like balustrading such as the Edge I, II and III, firehose reels and pit lids that can integrate into any concrete slab.

We were proud to host this diverse group and showcase Australian-designed and made products, using locally sourced raw materials, to ISO-certified best practice standards.

It has been a tremendous experience for everybody – an effective means of sharing knowledge, improving systems, networking and building businesses through innovation.

The theme of this year’s event is “Connect, Collaborate, Differentiate”, which given the rapid pace of change in our industry, are reminders of the importance of developing ties within an industry as well as creating new opportunities for our own businesses to flourish.

Feedback so far has been all positive. Delegates loved everything to do with Australian wildlife, our natural assets such as the beaches, Broadwater and bush culture. More importantly, they took away from the tour a sense that the world isn’t so large that we can’t reach out and exchange information and insight, leading to a renewed energy in business and spirit of cooperation.

Learn more about rotomoulding here http://www.rotationalmoulding.com/

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SuperiorEDGE

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SUPERIOR-EDGE-HAND-RAILS

They say necessity is the mother of invention and so it is in our shop. Last year we were fortunate enough to win a project for 750m of floating walkway to an industrial installation. Once we had finished the high fives routine, somebody said, “do you realise we need to weld up 1.5km of handrails?”. Right then I know we needed a better way. This is because every handrail section was 3m long to match the floating modules and every section was a series of pipes, placed in a jog, them manually TIG welded to achieve the strength and finish required.

Hence the Edge™ was born. This system clips into the dogbones on the UMD system and locks in simply with a coach screw. The rails slip in with end caps cleverly designed to have an inner and outer curve so that they complement each other at joins. Without this, the joins will hit each other or create pinch points, so the design is both functional and aesthetic. To finish off the offering a kick rail is fitted to bolt into each staunchion. The first project with this system was well received and welcomed due to the ease of use and the added benefit of a high visibility yellow colour.

Next came the request for the same functionality on land and not just floating. Buoyed with our recent success, the R&D team produced a concept and we asked our customers how they felt about it. The feedback was incorporated and a mould completed to allow rotomoulded samples to be supplied. The mockup worked perfectly and also allowed a colour choice to be made. The first project is using a dark Monument Grey post with mill finish aluminium railings. The railings are angled to prevent climbing on the structure while still allowing for curves and angles to interlink the system.

The use of Rotomoulding technology in providing a safe system of edge protection makes commercial sense. This process provides strong posts through a deep web design, high numbers of colourful choices without additional painting or coating costs, a corrosion free surface and a much lighter unit that is colour through.

Superior Edge is a new application of a tried and proven technology. We are pretty excited about it and I’m thrilled to share this with our blog readers first. If you would like to try it out sometime, give me a shout and we would love to give a live demo.

John

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ARMA Rotomoulding conference

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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.

Fire Hose Reel Marinas

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Surf Cities inaugural event

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This week we are exhibiting at the inaugural Surf Cities conference that is running in conjunction with the Bleach festival and immediately precedes the QuiksilverPro starting March 2nd. The conference has a number of speakers that focus on the entire surf industry and also about the design, manufacture, recycling and overall sustainability of the surf industry.

Superior is excited to be exhibiting our range of SUPs that have been designed here on the Gold Coast by Dave Verrall. Once “Feral Dave” had shaped and made the original units they were water tested to analyse performance.  Superior then proceeded to adapt this design into a fully polyethylene rotomoulded version. Ram Raghuraman who heads Superior Plastech division, and his team of skilled industrial designers, with finite element analysis, produced a state of the art alumium mould with the help of Mace Engineering in NZ. Ram had to modify the design to suit Rotomolding as this process uses a metal mould in an oven that heats the mould to over 300 degrees centigrade to form a hollow structure. Mace delivered the mould that even survived the earthquake that happened in the middle of manufacture. Mace won the work due to their precision experience as this mould is very high technology for Rotomolding with over 68 kiss offs which are the columns within the unit that hold the top and bottom surfaces rigid and apart.

Once the mould was made, Mace made one in NZ and Ram inspected it. He then talked Virgin Australia into letting him bring it home as baggage! It was exciting to see the product in the flesh.  We then had to program the Reinhardt Rotomolding machine to make the board with a repeatable process that minimises the mass, while maintaining a strong durable performance. The answer lay in using a dual shot process with a specialised foam layer under the external coloured skin. This gave the strength and a wonderful new unit to take to the market.

Our initial tests were done at Leo’s operation at Currumbin Creek opposite the Thrower Drive bike path bridge, also built by Superior for GCCC. Leo showed the product was a solid performer for rental companies where durability is a major consideration. The Superior SUP is not designed to compete with the high end GRP boards, however it allows an affordable way for new people to try the sport with a unit that will perform on the water. While it may be slightly heavier than glass boards, it is strong, will not dent, and has easy cheap repairs. When you add to that a smooth base with a professional fin box and fin that cuts through the water, and 100% recyclability then the Superior SUP really tick all the boxes for this segment.

Superior's Rotomoulding Facility

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