Engineering acquisition: Focus shifts to robotics development
NEW Perth-based technology company SixDe plans to become one of Australia’s leading robotics development and custom engineering firms.
Servicing the mining, oil and gas, construction, fabrication and building industries, the company is the result of Groves Manufacturing & Tooling (GMT) being acquired by equipment specialist Nexxis Limited.
The deal sees SixDe retain existing GMT people and its core offerings of precision machining, custom rollforming design and build as well as metal pressing, while new services will be added along with technical robotics specialists.
SixDe owner Jason De Silveira said the company wants to be at the forefront of industrial robotics development while continuing to deliver GMT’s renowned quality custom design and engineering services.
“The capabilities that SixDe offers the market in terms of robotics technology and custom engineering is unique for Perth and across Australia,” Mr De Silveira said.
“The custom aspect is significant, providing the opportunity for companies to communicate directly with us and be involved throughout the delivery of highly specialised and fit-for-purpose robotics applications.
“That’s a massive step up for industry in Australia, which often has had to rely on international providers for custom applications or make do with equipment that may not have been ideally suited to their needs.
Custom robotics technology is being increasingly utilised to enhance accuracy, safety and frequency of a range of applications, from offshore facility inspections, to confined space and hazardous area entry, to search and rescue operations.
The acquisition is already gaining external support with Managing Director Cameron Henry, from ASX-listed engineering services provider Primero Group, endorsing the robotics aspirations SixDe is targeting.
“We know from our client-based focus that operators and service providers in this region are constantly looking to be more efficient, to reduce downtime and to maintain impeccable safety records, but that’s difficult due to the remote and hazardous environments in which they operate,” Mr Henry said.
“There’s no question that automation and remote operation provide opportunities to overcome many of the obstacles but to date it’s been costly and time-consuming to access custom solutions.
“Bringing those capabilities into the regions in which we operate is sure to provide significant benefits that will ultimately lead to less production downtime, reduced emergency maintenance requirements and, ultimately, lower cost of operation.”
Local mechatronics engineering students will also benefit from the deal, having a new opportunity to establish careers in Perth.
“Our parent company Nexxis has established vocational pathways for mechatronics students with a Memorandum of Understanding in place with a number of Universities across Australia focused on the technology space,” Mr De Silveira said.
“The partnerships, announced last year, are driving an evolution in the way automation and testing are being used across many industry sectors.
“We will aim to expand the current MoU to incorporate SixDe, a move that will see all parties collaborate in multiple areas, from programming and data analysis, to design, fast prototyping and manufacturing of custom components,” Mr De Silveira said.
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