Australia, Products

Eilbeck Cranes and Bonfiglioli: 25 Years of Infrastructure Success and Beyond

Privately owned, proudly Australian company, Eilbeck Cranes has flourished in the face of fierce competition from other multinational companies. This is because each crane it produces is quality engineered in response to individual needs.

The company’s efficient, flexible approach means that it can deliver customised overhead crane solutions at competitive prices. Today, Eilbeck’s cranes are sought-after in many diverse industries, not just locally, but around the world!

The company specialises in overhead cranes, electric wire rope hoists, jib cranes and chain hoists, and static & dynamic winches to various sectors within Australian market.

Tom Eilbeck, current Managing Director for Eilbeck Cranes, first started in the family business as a welder in the company’s workshop in 1975. Today, Tom not only shares the family name but also an equal drive for innovation and engineering excellence.

Speaking to the early inception of Eilbeck Cranes, Eilbeck explains that the business began in 1907 on the Swan River in Perth, as a trading company. “Now in the fifth generation of our family, Eilbeck comprises over 325 staff and has evolved into the Eilbeck Cranes that we know today,” he said.

In addition to its nine factories and eight service centres operating at full steam in Sydney, Melbourne, Perth and Brisbane, Eilbeck recently bought a new building in Ingleburn, New South Wales, to keep up with ever-growing capacity demands. “Our recently developed factory floor spans 2600 m2 and we are building another facility in Mossvale which spans 5000m2 on a 11000 m2 site.

“Our truly national footprint means that we are within close proximity to every major infrastructure upgrade in Australia. Just about every tunnel you see in and around Brisbane and Melbourne have been through Eilbeck’s hands,” he said.

According to Eilbeck, the company has doubled its sales since last year.

“Infrastructure development has been a high priority of the government for some time, but supply chain issues with China meant that more companies were looking local for their crane requirements. In fact, 2020 was our best financial year and 2022 is set to become the most profitable year in our company’s history to date.”

Eilbeck says the signs are clear, the Australian economy is growing.

“The steel industry is expanding – just recently we were involved in a billion-dollar furnace reline project in Wollongong. We are supplying three slab cranes (65 tons x 36 meters) that are fully automated. New wind farms are going up and the steel industry is upscaling at an incredible pace.”

In addition, Eilbeck sold 25 new cranes for government projects in the NSW region. “Money is being spent across the board. We are in the process of Eilbeck adds.

Eilbeck turns to Bonfiglioli for Reliable, Robust Gearboxes 

Eilbeck has been involved in tunnelling since 1996. “We have been involved in all of the tunnelling projects in and around Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane,” he said.

Tunnelling cranes were provided for projects like the M6. The Sydney Metro West has four tunnels from Sydney CBD to the new Sydney airport with three of the four tunnels under contract. The T48 tunnel between St Mary’s and the airport has three cranes – all featuring Bonfiglioli products.

“Eilbeck developed our own heavy-duty high speed mucking hoist for tunnelling work and invested a considerable amount of money in this development. It is purpose built and needs to be 100% reliable. We chose the HDP series from Bonfiglioli for the hoist,” Eilbeck explains.

“The products are built to work for three years but in those three years, they do what a normal crane would do in 10 years. Bonfiglioli’s robust gearboxes are built to withstand this demanding application – they work tirelessly without fail.”

The relationship between Bonfiglioli and Eilbeck dates back 25 years but Harry Singh, Sales Manager for Bonfiglioli NSW believes that there is always room to improve and grow.

“HDP 100, 110 to 120 sizes all play a key role in Eilbeck’s special crane designs. However, gearboxes like the HDP160 provide output torque capacity of up to 147kNm and can easily accommodate a larger motor size of between 132kW to 500kW – depending on the crane size and speed, while they are working flat out,” Singh said.

Due to the high demand, Singh adds that there is a lot of focus on administration and customer service through Bonfiglioli’s pipeline management for key OE customers.

“Bonfiglioli works ahead on solid opportunities with Eilbeck who require a quick turnaround on designs and technical clarifications when it comes to tenders/ordering. Having product on hand for new orders and spares available is crucial to the company’s uptime demands.”

Eilbeck comments that cranes run 6 days per week. “We are charged penalty performance rates if this isn’t the case, so we rely on hardworking, robust components. The cranes are serviced every fortnight on a Sunday so you can imagine there’s no downtime on these sites.”

The standard hoist is designed around Bonfiglioli’s HDP series. “Price and service come standard but what we really need is a company that can work at our pace” adds Eilbeck.

“We are proud of not just selling to Eilbeck but being part of the collaborative that is building Australian infrastructure. When I’m driving on the M4, M5, the North Connex or West Connex, to name just a few, I feel a strong sense of pride knowing that we work in partnership with a fully owned, Australian company to make these projects a reality” concludes Singh.

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