Richard Hall & Associates

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Manufacture of Welded Steel Gas Cylinders

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The client had several years previously, with State Government support, built a new facility in a Victorian provincial town to manufacture air receivers and welded steel gas cylinders for the LP Gas industry. As part of his business plan to become the dominant manufacturer of these products in Australia, the client decided to embark on major capital expenditure to reduce manual handling within the plant, eliminate unnecessary materials handling and remove production bottlenecks. At the same time, he wished to set up a new facility that could produce gas cylinders for the leisure market at production costs competitive with imported product, and hence smooth out seasonal labour requirements which were impacting on the skill base of his workforce.

Richard Hall & Associates were engaged to carry out an investigation of current production methods and costs, and propose within the client's notional budget, measures which could be taken to achieve his objectives. Layouts, equipment requirements and production benefits were developed in conjunction with the client's management team until a justifiable master plan was developed. A CAPEX with full costing and justification was prepared for the client.

Once the project received approval, we carried out the management of its implementation. Plant layouts were finalised, equipment specifications prepared, design of specialised equipment completed, and contractors selected and engaged. Manufacture and installation of equipment was supervised, commissioning trials undertaken, and production handover and work up supervised. Where required, new manufacturing and quality procedures were prepared or existing procedures modified.

This project involved automated welding machinery, heat treatment furnaces, metal forming, high pressure testing, component cleaning and powder coating. The major innovation in the project was the use of high pressure (3.5 Mpa) compressed air for pressure testing instead of the traditional method of pressurised water.

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