CATEGORY: Manufacturing LOCATION: Dandenong, Melbourne PRODUCT: TRU-SPEC® steel
Glyde Metal Industries, a Dandenong-based company that’s contributing to Melbourne’s Sky Rail project, has been a BlueScope Distribution customer for more than 25 years.
Established in 1965, Glyde Metal Industries is a steel manufacturing fabrication business serving the industrial B2B sector.
“We have customers from the heavy transport, truck and trailer, power distribution, lift and elevator, healthcare sectors, and more,” said Glyde Metal Industries,’ General Manager, Mark Wood.
According to Mark, the company’s decades of experience means it is wellplaced to respond to all these industries’ metal cutting and fabrication needs. Some of its most noteworthy recent work includes component supply contracts for Melbourne’s Sky Rail public transport project and the Australian Defence Force’s Land Program (an armoured vehicle project).
Also, Glyde Metal Industries recently started supplying Melbourne’s Metro Trains with a range of steel products from BlueScope Distribution to upgrade the Passenger Information displays around the metropolitan network.
Though still based in the same Dandenong location where it has been for the past 25 years, Glyde Metal Industries has changed dramatically over the years.
“Since the late 90s, the advent of new technology – particularly laser steel cutting and Computer Assisted Design (CAD) – has changed everything. These days, you can pretty much design any shape you want. You can cut shapes that were previously either very difficult or outright impossible to cut,” said Mark. As he explained, Glyde Metal Industries has three laser cutters of various sizes.
“We’re just commissioning a Prima Power, Italian laser cutting machine. That’s very much at the top of the power curve. It’s a 10-kWatt machine, which means it can cut very thick steel very quickly. Our two other laser cutters, though of a lesser capacity, are still very capable of handling jobs that don’t involve the thickest steels,” said Mark.
According to Mark, Glyde Metal Industries has used steel products supplied by BlueScope Distribution since the current owners purchased the company more than 25 years ago. “We use Rectangular Hollow Section (RHS), Commercial Pipe (round fencing style pipe), Merchant Bar (a flat bar), Flats (round flat tubes of steel), Equal and Unequal Angles, and Channels – basically anything in the merchant bar and plate area,” he said.
“I’m particularly a fan of TRU-SPEC® steel. As the name suggests, the specification stays true even after you apply heat and cut it to various different shapes and sizes. So, what you start with is carried on through the production process. You can predict how it’s going to behave when you cut it, press it and fabricate it.”
Asked why the relationship has lasted so long, Mark pointed to BlueScope’s people.
“Our current BlueScope Distribution Account Manager, Maddie Dharmapala, is doing a terrific job. She’s building on the legacy of her predecessor who was in that role for over 25 years,” he said.
“The relationship is mutually beneficial. BlueScope Distribution gets a reliable customer that consistently purchases a large amount of their products (of all types), while we get the confidence that comes with knowing that we will receive the high-quality steel product we need in the correct quantities.”
Mark also emphasised the importance of BlueScope Distribution reputation. “Just being associated with the brand is a benefit to us. All our customers have the option of using imported products, but we find that, for a quality result, most prefer Australian steel. It’s still very highly regarded,” he said.
“We get people trying to sell us imported material almost weekly, but we’re just not interested. Some of this may be a little cheaper but the quality of the BlueScope product, combined with the brand’s reputation, mean change is just not an option.”
BlueScope Distribution has a broad reach into different markets. This means that, if their stock is running low and needs balancing, they can easily supply what Glyde Metal Industries needs from another territory (for example, NSW).
“That’s a big help to us. We know we’re not dealing with a small supplier who may be good at a handful of products but not very good at the rest. BlueScope Distribution’s broad approach, and the fact that they can supply most things we want, is the advantage. It’s basically onestop shopping,” said Mark.
Coincidentally, Glyde Metal Industries itself is following a similar path; and is on the way to becoming a one-stop steel shop for its own customers.
“We’ve got most processes under one roof and we like the fact that we can get most raw materials from BlueScope Distribution,” said Mark.
“We believe we have an important advantage over offshore competitors. We are able to serve the local market more quickly than they ever could. Quick turnarounds, or the ability to order this week and get your product next week, is one of our key strengths.”
According to Mark, the company has no intention of standing still. It intends to do all it takes to continue to lead the local market.
“I just returned from a Victorian Government delegation to Germany to examine production processes and digitalisation and automation and how it affects the manufacturing sector. We’re dedicated to keeping up to date with all the latest industry developments.”
For more information visit www.glydemetal.com.au
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