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Seeley International's new manufacturing cell expected to grow local workforce



Fully automated tube bending cell opened by NSW Premier

With the spotlight firmly on the future of Australian manufacturing, Seeley International has invested heavily in the development of a state-of-the-art tube bending cell at its Albury factory, to secure and grow its local workforce, rather than sending the work off-shore.

Seeley International founder and Executive Chairman, Mr Frank Seeley AM said the fully automated tube bending manufacturing cell located at Seeley’s Albury Factory, believed to be the first of its type in the Nation, was officially opened in early August by NSW Premier the Hon. Mike Baird.

“The concept for this technology was first discussed more than a year ago, and came about because we wanted to support our workforce by manufacturing heat exchanger tubes in-house for our ducted heaters in Australia rather than having to go to overseas for cost-efficient supply,” Mr Seeley said.

“With the support of the Seeley International Board, a project plan was developed and demonstrated that this would be a highly viable investment if it adopted innovative technology to automate the processes as much as practical,” he said.

“I am delighted that after more than 12 month’s hard work and an investment exceeding half a million dollars, we have created this highly automated tube bending cell to complement our existing manufacturing operations.”

The new manufacturing technology has resulted in the process being fully integrated, with two tube benders, one end former and three robots all working in perfect unison to transform pipes of varying lengths and diameters so that they fit perfectly into a premium quality, highly energy-efficient heat exchanger.

“These components were being externally sourced from a supplier that was using imported tube, and escalating production and supply costs meant having to consider sourcing them offshore – but our manufacturing process has reduced costs, taken the quality to an even higher standard, and kept this work in Australia,” Mr Seeley said.

“Bringing this process in-house will create additional jobs as our sales continue to grow, and it is anticipated that our commitment to continuous innovation will result in this technology ultimately producing many other components for our various gas heaters,” he said.

“As the home of Braemar gas heaters and air-conditioners, our Albury-based plant has established a vertically integrated manufacturing and assembly operation that employs more than 120 people, and we are proud to have been a major employer in the area for more than 20 years,” he said.

Mr Seeley said the opening of this new manufacturing cell reinforced the Company’s passionate belief that local manufacturers can effectively offset the higher employment and production costs experienced in Australia by focusing on innovation, using world class technology and embracing high levels of automation.

About Seeley International

Seeley International is Australia’s largest air conditioning manufacturer and is market leader in the design and manufacture of ducted and portable heating and cooling products for the domestic, commercial and industrial markets in Australia.

Renowned for its innovation, Seeley International’s brands include Breezair, Braemar, Coolair, Convair and Climate Wizard. Based in Adelaide’s south - and with factories in Adelaide (evaporative coolers) and Albury (gas heaters and commercial cooling) - the company was founded in 1972 by Frank Seeley AM, who remains Executive Chairman.

Unlike many of its competitors, Seeley International continues to design and manufacture most of the components for its Australian-made products, which it exports to more than 120 countries around the world.  More information about Seeley International and its products can be found at www.seeleyinternational.com