Somewhat of an institution in the CNC machining industry, Amiga Engineering™ Pty Ltd was founded in 1988 by two brothers – Michael and Dale Bourchier in East Keilor, Victoria.
Back then the company was primarily an outlet for machining pipe flanges, fittings and special components.
But today, Amiga has grown to become a successful, reliable and reputable engineering company servicing the oil and gas, mining, petrochemical, marine, medicine, defence, aerospace and space industries.
Australian Mining Review spoke to Head of Industrial Gearboxes with Amiga, Dee Bourchier, to find out more about the company and its services.
Dee said Amiga Engineering™ moved to its current location, in Tullamarine, in 1995-96.
“More staff were brought to the table, including another Bourchier brother (Guy) for a short time. Over the next few years, the company began to expand through the bringing together of some former employees and customers,” she said.
Amiga later acquired Bradley Technologies, a medical component manufacturer, and in 2009 Amiga acquired Genat and Wood™, one of the last Australian industrial gearbox companies.
“Amiga Engineering™ has been modernising its workshop and intercompany mergers,” Dee said.
“We are now the sole manufacturers of genuine Genat & Wood™ gearboxes, including helical gearboxes, reducers, surface aerators and mixer gearboxes for local and international clients.
“You will find them in almost every refinery, mine site and quarry across Australia: driving pumps, conveyor systems, trommels and much more.
“Amiga also retained the Australian agency for the Italian brands of Varmec, Tramec, Speed Selector and Motomeccanica, which helps provide customers and end-users more versatility for their applications: right angle, bevel helical, worm, planetary and more.
“Amiga Engineering’s survival through the past years has been a direct result of our service and the satisfaction that our customers have appreciated. Quick turnaround, breakdown and emergency situations are part and parcel of our ability to service whenever it is required.”
In recent years Amiga has moved further into innovation by providing additive manufacturing.
Amiga Engineering has a full suite of industrial-sized metal 3D printers and polymer 3D printers.
“Our company is the largest service bureau in Australia for 3D printing,” Dee said.
“Amiga Engineering™ is also the only one of its kind in Australia that can offer both metal and polymer 3D printing, machining and fabrication, and industrial gearboxes all under the one roof – this is to support our customers and offer an all-in-one location for efficiency and faster turnaround time.
“Amiga has spent a great deal of time and effort upgrading its capacity to produce a full and extensive service to the engineering community.
“Stringent control of delivering a quality product on time is the mainstay of our business.”
Amiga Engineering™ has recently purchased additional machinery for this very purpose.
The company is the only company in Australia manufacturing genuine Australian-made industrial gearboxes, the Genat and Wood™ products.
Being a 33+ year-old machine shop, Amiga Engineering boasts complete capabilities of manufacturing/machining specific/custom parts to suit client requirements and applications.
“The quality of our products that we offer is very important to us,” Dee said.
They are accredited to AS9100D for aerospace, space and defence customers and ISO9001 for all other industries, including mining. “We also like to keep the quality of life to a high standard of operation for our customers,” Dee said.
“We endeavour to ensure that the purchased gearbox (whether it be over 30 years old to just recent) is still working to its full potential. “Modern businesses increasingly rely on automated equipment and a failure of that equipment can be a serious problem. This is why Amiga is the only company with a brand of industrial gearheads that have a five-year warranty.
“It can halt production, inhibit processing capability and reduce productivity and profitability.
“A critical element in a lot of industrial machinery is the gearbox. “Should the gearbox fail, the machine will be rendered inoperable and operations will come to a stop.
“It’s important, therefore, that gearboxes are kept in good order and, should they need overhauling or servicing, they receive attention quickly so that interruptions are kept to a minimum.”
Computer Numerical Control has very quickly overtaken traditional production methods.
It allows industrial manufacturers to work with more precision and build structures that have greater complexity.
As with many technological advancements, CNC machining has pioneered in the production of medical and defence systems, but now many other industries are opening up to the possibilities it presents.
“We are an accomplished provider of CNC services with five-axis simultaneous capabilities for complex parts in Australia,” Dee said.
“Since our foundation in 1988, we’ve been operating within some of the most challenging industries in the world.
“What started out primarily as a pipe fittings and flange manufacturing company has grown into one of the world’s most diverse manufacturers, with a huge range of manufacturing capabilities.
“Whether you are looking for components for medicine, mining, oil drilling, marine, or military, we have the capability to build you something usable, durable, and affordable.”
Much of the time those who require manufactured parts will buy it from overseas.
Unfortunately, this often results in poor quality work that needs re-doing. Even worse, products will deteriorate quickly and cost time and money.
“Why take the risk of poor quality when you can work with one of the best provider of manufacturing services in Australia?,” Dee said.
Amiga machines can:
- Turn diameters up to 2800mm
- CNC Mill lengths over 4300mm
- Wash grind up to 1200mm in diameter
Even though the company is based in Victoria, it provides CNC Machining Australia-wide, with its services available in Adelaide, Brisbane, Perth, Sydney and Melbourne.
“We also have one of the largest vertical borers left in the country (2800dia x 1800mm high),” Dee said.
3D Machining is when the tool moves in three directions (the X, Y and Z planes) but stays perpendicular to the machine bed.
The process is perfect for multifaceted and complex shapes because the 3D toolpaths follow the changing surfaces of these organic shapes.
“Amiga Engineering™ has utilised 3D machining for an array of customised parts used in the oil and gas, mining and petrochemical industries for many years” Dee said.
“We are the experts for all 3D machining needs.
“If your part has a complex design, why not try metal 3D printing?
“Amiga is the biggest service bureau in Australia for metal and polymer 3D printing.
“The DMP technology that we use in-house is not just for prototyping, but perfect high quality end-use products.”
The DMP process is just as strong as machining from billet material.
Materials available are 316L Stainless, Titanium Gr23, Alsi10mg Aluminium, H13 Tool Steel, 17-4PH and Inconel718.
Amiga also has available sophisticated 3D printers.
The Mimaki Full Colour 3D printer, for example, has one of the largest print bed sizes available and 15 million colours.
“With a print bed size of 508 x 508 x 305 mm, it is great for production runs or one-off large item builds,” Dee said.
“Colour 3D printing is a perfect idea for architectural models of existing plants looking to upgrade their sites, or for blueprint of future plans.
“Having the model printed in real-life colours can provide clients with a real perspective of how it will look.
“SLS and DLP technologies are also available for polymer parts with a huge range of different materials, from nylon to high temperature, and elastomeric type; we have available some 14 different materials and more under test her at our facility in Australia for the rest of the world.
“When you choose to work with the experts here at Amiga Engineering, you can be entirely confident that you’ll be able to reap the rewards associated with investing in one of the very best colour 3D printing Australia has to offer – and the whole process will be completely seamless and hassle-free.”
Oil and Gas
The oil and gas industry is unique as regards to the challenges it faces and the demands it places on its suppliers.
“That’s largely due to improved technology that enables exploration and drilling in new areas, placing even more demands on engineering companies that provide the equipment,” Dee said.
She said that oil and gas exploration and drilling platforms are often in remote areas, sometimes miles out at sea.
They are not easy to reach, meaning that installation, maintenance and repair tasks are not straightforward.
“This puts great pressure on suppliers to make sure that any equipment they provide works first time and continuously for long periods without interruption,” Dee said.
“All that equipment, therefore, has to be made from tough, high-quality materials and has to be machined precisely. Amiga has been a trusted manufacturer for critical path items since inception.
“The requirements of the oil and gas machining are particularly demanding and technological.
“Equipment used is often unique to the industry, involving drilling equipment, pipework, flowline components and blow-out preventers, some of which are required to operate below sea level or in other difficult to access areas.
“Components have to cope with various environmental factors that include corrosion from salt water, extreme pressure and temperature, tidal surges and high winds. That means they have to be manufactured from tough, high specification materials that include stainless steel and some exotic metals.
“Machining for oil and gas industries has to be undertaken with complex geometries and critical tolerances.
“All machining has to be very precise and, given the remoteness of many sites, component failure cannot be countenanced.“
Amiga’s experience of manufacturing in general, mining and oil and gas machining in particular means it is well placed to serve the industry.
“We understand the need for precision machining, for high quality materials and for excellent surface finishes,” Dee said.
“We also know that everything has to be delivered exactly to each customer’s specification and has to work the first time.
“Aside from the emphasis on quality and reliability of components, time is also a major factor. Industry machining production cannot be interrupted so components have to be supplied on time, every time.
“To serve the oil and gas industry, we adopt the same high standards as we do for all our customers.
“We invest heavily in technology and in our workforce, using the latest equipment and techniques. As a result, our knowledge, skills and overall capabilities deliver what’s needed consistently and reliably.”
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