In the dynamic landscape of manufacturing, innovation and adaptation are crucial for staying competitive. This holds especially true for our fourth generation family owned, 97 year old business. We are committed to Australian manufacturing for generations to come. In this blog post, we delve into the journey of upgrading our Hemscheidt ( affectionately known as the “Hemi”) injection moulding machine, which produced our 3000L tanks for over 30 years. We will work to understand its origins, the need for a replacement, the challenges faced, and the exciting possibilities that lie ahead.

Origins of the Hemscheidt: A Shift to Polymer
The Hemscheidt was a remarkable injection moulding machine. Designed in 1994 in consultation with Sue’s father Selwyn Davis and a Melbourne based German engineer, Arthur Bourne. The machine aimed to produce polymer septic tanks, offering a cost-effective and transport-efficient alternative to traditional concrete tanks. Its unique design allowed stacking multiple tanks for transportation, opening up sales avenues beyond Queensland.

The Decision to Upgrade: A Necessity Arising from Age
Over its 30-year lifecycle, the Hemi became a symbol of innovation, but with time, the need for a replacement became apparent. The original machine, a prototype, faced challenges in maintenance and sourcing spare parts. The decision to upgrade was not just about machinery; it was a strategic move to ensure the continuity of our product range and maintain our position as innovators and key contributors to the Australian manufacturing industry.

Financial Implications and Future-Proofing
The decision to invest in a new machine was not taken lightly. The financial commitment, equalling close to 5 million dollars was substantial, but it was also an investment in the future of our manufacturing capabilities. Aqua Advanced Wastewater Systems, a significant part of our product range, played a pivotal role in this decision. The goal was not merely to replace the Hemi but to future-proof our manufacturing process, securing our supply chain for years to come.

The Journey to a Bigger Machine: Overcoming Challenges
The transition from the Hemi to a new injection moulding machine was not a simple swap. It involved meticulous planning and execution. The decision to go for a larger machine was not arbitrary; it was driven by the unique shot size of the Hemi that proved challenging to replicate. The process, spanning over two and a half to three years, included not only sourcing the new machine but also reinforcing infrastructure, addressing logistical challenges, and manufacturing enough tanks to sustain sales during the transition. In addition to coordinating the transportation of 520 tonnes of machinery, we faced the challenge of organising a suitable vessel to carry the load, which necessitated careful planning to distribute the weight evenly across five containers. This was crucial to prevent any risk of the ship sinking during transit. Moreover, obtaining the necessary police permits for the movement of the machinery from the dock to the site added an extra layer of complexity, resulting in some unavoidable delays to our project timeline. Despite these challenges, our team navigated through the logistical intricacies to ensure a safe and efficient delivery of the machinery to its destination.

Embracing Automation and Safety
The new machine brings more than just increased capacity. It signifies a leap in automation, with the introduction of a purpose-built robot to manage tanks. This investment in automation aligns with our commitment to safety, as the new machine boasts a class four safety rating, a significant upgrade from the Hemi’s class two rating. This not only enhances worker safety but also opens up possibilities for exploring new products with improved efficiency and cycle times.

Looking to the Future: Possibilities and Beyond
With the new injection moulding machine in place, we are not just replacing a piece of equipment; we are unlocking new possibilities. The enhanced capabilities of the machine, coupled with its safety features and automation, create a foundation for innovation. As we look to the future, we are exploring avenues for contract moulding for 3rd parties and developing our range of products. The integration of data analytics also provides insights that were previously inaccessible.

A Family Legacy
We value the legacy of hard work and accomplishments that have paved the way for our current success. We hold in high regard the significant contributions made by Everhard’s founders back in 1926. In particular Sue Boyce’s Father and Gina Boyce-Rowe and Bede Boyce’s grandfather Selwyn Davis. Selwyn Joined Everhard in the 1940s continued his tenure into the early 2000s and was the pioneer in getting the hemi to the Everhard factory. To honour and perpetuate his memory, we’ve chosen to name the machine “Selwyn.” This gesture serves as a tribute to his lasting impact and the indelible mark he left on our organisation and family.

The journey from the Hemi to our new injection moulding machine represents a commitment to innovation, sustainability, and Australian manufacturing. It’s a testament to our resilience in overcoming challenges and embracing the future of manufacturing in Australia. As we step into this new chapter, we anticipate not only increased efficiency and productivity but also a canvas for creating new products that push the boundaries of what is possible in the world of injection moulding.