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Andromeda Industries – a business built on strong ties and values

Andromeda Industries is an Australian-owned manufacturer that distributes and supports its product in the market and has the ability to make bespoke products when required.

Andromeda Industries has established itself as an innovator in the Australian wire rope industry specialising in the design and manufacture of plaited and woven steel cables for rigging gear and terminal systems for these cables.

Located in regional NSW on a five-hectare site in the village of Moonbi, 22 km north of Tamworth, Andromeda Industries is a proudly Australian-owned and operated, with its present entity been of a series of businesses created and operated by Raymond McLaren for close to 60 years.

Scott Taylor is the business development manager and explains more about the business and his role.

“I have been making, testing, inspecting, and selling rigging equipment since 1990. I joined Andromeda three years ago in the capacity of business development manager. Prior to that, Raymond would pack his car with samples and ideas, and ‘road trip’ around the country. Now in his 80’s, he has recognised he needs to slow down a little.

The Andromeda Industries’ range of products includes Superflex, a plaited Twelve strand wire rope as opposed to a conventional wire rope with a six strand or eight strand, round strand explains Scott.

“We take the round stranded cable and plait it into what becomes our Superflex Wire Rope. This process makes it a highly flexible, more robust and easier to handle wire rope for, making slings, the plaited design make it ideal for choking around smooth surfaces, and for lifting anything you can imagine wire rope gets used for. In 1975, Raymond built his first Orbital Plaiting Machine which mechanically plaits the cable into its complete form.

Andromeda also manufactures a flat woven steel sling designed to lift objects capable of causing cuts and abrasions to a synthetic sling. It is ideal for lifting steel coils or anything with a sharp edge.

Taylor explains how the manufacturing process works at the Moonbi site. Our Superflex cable starts at 10mm and goes through to 96mm. We buy cable from 2.5mm to 24mm as our feed stock and this gets plaited into a three by four plait, which gives us our 12 strand Superflex finished Product.

The reason it is so flexible is because it incorporates 912 individual wires woven into the wire rope. A standard 6 by 36, which is what would normally be used for a sling is manufactured from 216 wires,” he said.

Taylor explains how Andromeda Industries distributes and supports its product in the market and how it makes bespoke products when required.

“We sell and support our products through a range of distributors. We deal with all the lifting houses nationally, including Bullivants, Nobles and Bunzl Safety. These would be the three largest distributors with a national footprint, and then we have another dedicated group of distributors in each of the states.

“Through this network we offer ‘Slinging Solutions’ and work with the end user to understand their specific requirements what they want to achieve. In the past, we have manufactured 96mm slings at a length of 2.5m which were used to lift the Tunnel Boring Machines in Brisbane.  These were manufactured in conjunction with the engineers on the project and our distributor which enabled us to match their required head heights and working load limits to complete the lifts.

“With our 96mm slings we can manufacture lengths from 3m up to 30m, which is the maximum length that the Horizontal Plaiting Machine will allow. But with the smaller cables, up to 40mm, we can manufacture a sling 100m long if that’s what the client requires,” said Taylor.

Taylor explains how the distributor network supports and services the products operating in the market.

“Andromeda Industries is National Association of Testing Authorities (NATA) accredited and we are full member of the Lifting Equipment Engineers Association (LEEA) so when we manufacture a sling it come fully tested and certified to the relevant Australian standards.

“Our distribution network then provides the inspections, service, and support on the products they sell. Our distributors’ technicians are fully trained on our products but if there are issues which can’t be resolved, we can offer technical support and backup.

“If a customer is having a specific issue with a sling and it’s not performing to their expectations, we will examine the application and discuss with them if they have the right sling for the application or whether they can do something to better protect the sling, or if they could change the way they are using the sling to make it last longer and perform better.

Taylor discusses the range of industries serviced by Andromeda products.

“We have completed a significant amount of project work on the Cross River Rail Project in Brisbane, the Metro project in Melbourne, and been heavily involved in the Project EnergyConnect interconnector powerline project running between Robertson in South Australia and Wagga Wagga in New South Wales, where our slings were used for pulling conductor cable. We are also heavily involved in mining construction projects and work in the aluminium smelting sector where we manufacture a billet strop for lifting aluminium billets,” he said.

The lifting capacities of our SuperFlex product are significant, says Taylor.

“Eighteen months ago, Raymond commissioned a new plaiting machine. The New Horizontal Plaiting Machine was fully designed and constructed onsite at Moonbi by Raymond and his dedicated staff. Prior to this, our SuperFlex product used to stop at a 40mm diameter, but we are now able to make slings up to 96mm in diameter. This diameter has a breaking strain of 434 tonnes and a working load of 84 tonnes in a single leg direct configuration. With the greater diameter we are able to manufacture a couple of different styles of slings, including our Double Ended Strop, which can then take the working load up to 168 tonnes. We would be the only organisation in Australia capable of manufacturing a cable like this,” he said.

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