Hirotec Project Revs Up

Construction of a A$100 million new automotive manufacturing plant in South Australia is speeding ahead, with the help of local structural steel firm, MWS Engineering, and BlueScope Lysaght.

Japanese automotive company, Hirotec, is developing the body parts manufacturing plant in Elizabeth West, the heart of Adelaide's northern suburbs. The development is expected to create 150 jobs during construction and a further 280 permanent jobs building car components. The components, including bonnets, boot lids and doors will be supplied to the nearby Holden manufacturing plant.

The 15,000 square metre factory is being constructed by South Australian construction company, Built Environs. Built Environs' managing director, Mick O'Connor, says, "We're doing a lot of commercial and industrial buildings in the northern suburbs. Going forward, we've got about 18,000 square metres of building space happening."

Adelaide's northern suburbs account for 70 percent of South Australia's manufacturing output. Leading South Australian structural steel fabrication firm, MWS Engineering, is responsible for the supply and installation of the building's structural steelwork.

"It's a fairly big job for us," says Joel Fudali, Project Coordinator at MWS Engineering. "We are fabricating and installing all the structural steel for the project, which amounts to 800 tonnes." According to Joel, a key factor in MWS Engineering's successful tender for the A$3 million contract was the company's competitive price, and in-house coating facilities. "We have our own state of the art sandblasting and paint facility, which means we can streamline the production process, and get the job done more efficiently," he explains.

MWS Engineering has been in operation since 1972. With 70 employees working from its 47,000 square metre site in Pooraka, MWS Engineering specialises in structural steel fabrication, steel erection, transport and logistics, as well as coatings and blasting.

A strong commitment to engineering excellence and a dedication to customer service has seen MWS Engineering become one of South Australia's largest structural steel fabricators. Over the years, the company has grown and diversified, while still remaining at the forefront of the industry.

"MWS Engineering is one of the top four structural steel companies in South Australia," says Joel. "Major jobs we have worked on recently include the Big W Distribution Centre in Monarto, as well as the refurbishment of Elizabeth City Centre."

With a 6,000 square metre workshop, six overhead cranes and three large fabrication bays, MWS Engineering has the capacity to fabricate 100 tonnes of steel per week, a distinct advantage on the Hirotec project, which is running to a tight schedule.

"The short timeframe of the project has been challenging, but we have the facilities and resources to get the job done on time," says Joel. He says that on site coordination and logistics have also been a significant issue.

"A major challenge on the project has been erecting the steel over the high bay area, which was essentially a large pit, 25 metres wide, 50 metres long, and 7.5 metres deep," says Joel. " We had to coordinate our activities very carefully with the form workers and cement workers down in the pit, to make sure we were not working above them at any time."

MWS Engineering is installing 150 tonnes of LYSAGHT® Zed and Cee purlins and girts on the Hirotec project. "We chose to use BlueScope Lysaght due to their competitive price and good customer support," says Joel.

"We have used LYSAGHT® products on a number of projects before, and we enjoy a good relationship with BlueScope Lysaght. This job has been very successful so far, and lead times and delivery have been very reliable," he adds.

Construction on the Hirotec development commenced in September 2004. The project is due for completion in March 2005.