As an industry-leading manufacturer of innovative climate control solutions in Australia and around the globe, Celmec provides the best-performing HVAC air control equipment on the market. And with over 40 years in the industry, we’re experts at developing products that meet ever-changing market demands.
Our highly skilled, knowledgeable and dedicated personnel have helped us cultivate expertise in a range of areas, including research and development, product simulations and testing, quality control, market research, and more. Continuously keeping up to date with the latest technologies, and improving our manufacturing processes with high-tech CNC operations, CAD programming and purpose-built manufacturing equipment, to name a few.
Whilst we have accomplished a lot as a business, we recognise there is still so much room for development and refinement. In recent years, we have undertaken several changes to improve the way we manufacture our products – striving to make them more technologically advanced, efficient, sustainable, and flexible to our clients’ needs.
To provide insight into how we operate at Celmec, and how we’ve grown as a company, our General Manager, Tim Schilbach, has explained some of the recent changes we’ve undergone to advance our manufacturing processes.
Celmec products are proudly Australian made. What are some of the key benefits that arise from manufacturing them locally and in-house?
Being 100% Australian-owned and operated gives Celmec a number of advantages, such as supporting Australian jobs and industries by working with local supply chains. Knowing our products are proudly produced in Australia helps to create a strong sense of community among our people, clients and stakeholders, both in Australia and overseas.
Our in-house design and engineering capabilities allow us to manage every step of the manufacturing process. It gives us complete control over the quality of our products, and the ability to quickly respond to our clients’ specific requirements and custom requests, and produce made-to-order products. Without the need to import and export products, we can offer short lead times and swift delivery.
This has proved important to our clients. When they trust that we will consistently deliver on their needs, we secure repeat, ongoing business.
You’ve been instrumental in Celmec’s transition toward automation. How have you gone about implementing this transition and why is it so important?
There are many inefficiencies associated with manual processing. It is a gruelling, time-consuming process. Before we introduced automation, each of our items had to be manually measured, marked/scored, guillotined, punched, drilled, notched and hand-folded – which, to put it simply, isn’t feasible in today’s modern competitive world. Shortly after the Global Financial Crisis in 2008, we realised that automation was essential – not just as a means of progressing our business, but for our survival.
A significant portion of our manufacturing is now carried out automatically via Computerised Numerical Control (CNC) equipment. CNC software is programmed into our machinery, sending commands to the machines so they can automatically take on the tasks we need.
This didn’t happen overnight. We had to acquire our own CNC machinery, and then build and educate a team of highly skilled engineers and programmers, which was a steep learning curve.
Every function, process, and step we take at Celmec has been considered from a lean manufacturing and cost accounting perspective, and we have designed and custom-built specialised equipment to meet our specific production needs. Celmec is constantly looking for ways to grow as a business and improve our operations.
What are some of the new technologies that Celmec have introduced recently, and how do they work to benefit clients?
We’ve introduced CNC equipment encompassing turret punching and brake press forming. The turret punch cuts profiles of components and parts from sheet metal, and the brake press forms these components into shapes with tight tolerances.
Using CNC equipment to carry out these tasks helps achieve precision, quality and consistency in our products. Automation is also a more cost-efficient method, and we can offer our clients a broader range of custom solutions that could not be carried out manually.
How has the technical expertise of the team informed the advancement of manufacturing processes at Celmec?
We strive to be as self-sufficient as possible. We get the best results by maintaining control over all our processes and procedures. Our founder Tom and I were responsible for driving advancements in engineering, and then our engineering and design team helped implement the CAD and CAM software to drive the CNC machinery and production processes.
Tom and I have personally analysed each of our products to ensure that we can manufacture them in-house wherever possible. After which, we redesigned our products so that they would be compatible with our specialised CNC machinery and all our general operating equipment.
Prior to introducing our new CNC equipment, most of our components and parts had to be manually produced or outsourced. This process was highly inefficient and costly, and it didn’t allow for much flexibility with our clients. Therefore, it’s important to us that we have full control over manufacturing.
What processes or procedures are in place to ensure the quality of Celmec’s products?
Every product we make is checked thoroughly in-house and held to strict quality-control standards. We aim to ensure everything we produce is of the highest quality, and any shortfalls are promptly corrected. Apart from visual inspection, all products also undergo some form of performance testing – mechanical and/or electronic.
Any components that are supplied to us are also checked carefully. We look for correctness in physical dimensions, material, quality and function to ensure they meet our specified requirements before releasing them to production.
In addition, we closely monitor, maintain, and service our manufacturing equipment to ensure high-quality fabrication, tolerances and safety measures are met.
These quality control procedures are performed during production and prior to product despatch by specific personnel, as well as manufacturing staff and management. All quality control functions and results are documented via comprehensive product reports.
Our open-door policy means we welcome feedback from our clients and industry partners.
How does Celmec’s environmental approach inform how you manufacture?
Through ongoing education and training, our environmental approach is threaded through all aspects of our daily operations.
The materials we use are always selected on the basis that they are recyclable. Some are even made from recycled content. This can include steel, aluminium, insulation and plastics. Additionally, our heating products utilise radiant heating technologies that are highly efficient, designed to concentrate on areas or objects that need to be heated, without wasting energy on empty space.
Our manufacturing processes and waste disposal methods are also carefully considered. We’ve fully converted to LED lighting throughout the office and factory, we select suppliers who share our environmental values, and we utilise clean production techniques and non-polluting processes.
To offset our energy consumption, we invested in a 30kW PV solar system, which can reduce our dependence on electricity by up to 50% in peak times, under full solar load. Over the next few years, we intend to expand our solar network to gain 100% offset for our business and production needs, whilst contributing towards energy exports (back to the grid) during downtime.