Mackay celebrates 80 years of Australian manufacturing
01/08/2012 - Mackay Consolidated Industries this year celebrates 80 years in manufacturing. Mackay Consolidated Industries
Founded in 1932 by Edward Mackay Paton, Mackay Spares Pty Limited initially supplied replacement parts for the expanding automotive trade from its warehouse premises in Queensberry Street, Carlton in Melbourne. The products were predominantly suspension components, especially steel/fabric suspension shackles.
In the late 1930s Paton sold his interest in PBR (Paton's Brake Replacements) started by his father and his two brothers (George and Jack), to establish his own company to manufacture rubber auto products, Mackay Silentruba Products Pty Limited.
Its associated engineering company, National Motor Reconditioning Pty Limited (founded in 1928) specialised in automotive engine reconditioning; this later became Mackay Manufacturing Company Pty Limited and became a significant manufacturer of steel suspension components for the automotive trade.
In 1938 Mackay Silentruba Products moved to Richmond and commenced the manufacture of rubber and rubber/metal bonded automotive parts, following obtaining a licence on rubber/metal bonding from Firestone Industrial Rubber Company of Noblesville, Indiana, USA.
Mackay was the only company in Australia at the time that could bond rubber to metal and, as a result, become heavily involved in defence manufacture of aircraft components during the Second World War. This established the company as a significant manufacturer of rubber anti-vibration products using a sophisticated electroplating process.
Following the war, Mackay commenced manufacture of a large range of rubber/metal original equipment products for the Holden vehicle released in 1948, especially engine mountings and rubber suspension components. Mackay expanded into automotive coolant (radiator and heater) hose in 1952. This continues to represent a significant portion of today's automotive business.
Mackay's OE (original equipment) business expanded further in rubber hose and mouldings with the commencement of manufacture by successive automotive companies including Ford (1960), Chrysler (1963), Nissan (1976), Toyota (1976) and Mitsubishi (1980). During this period the bonding process was changed from electroplating to the use of newly developed proprietary bonding agents (adhesives).
In 1989 the Group, which had grown to 10 operating companies, was consolidated into one company, Mackay Consolidated Industries Pty Limited (MCI) based in Moorabbin, sixteen kilometres south-east of Melbourne.
Today, MCI's principal business is the manufacture and distribution of a range of rubber and rubber/steel products to the automotive, trucking, railway, defence, mining, industrial, agricultural, packaging and building industries. Mackay is now the only manufacturer of shaped automotive hoses in Australia, which is manufactured by a world class continuous in-line extrusion/ reinforcing production line, supplying several Australian vehicle manufacturers.
The company has technical consultancy and benchmarking agreements with global manufacturers of automotive coolant hose and moulded anti-vibration products, several technical agreements with DSTO regarding defence products, technical information agreements with Australian companies and research organisations and a manufacturing licence from BAe (United Defence LP) for manufacture of specific tank track. Mackay holds marketing agreements for various imported industrial products.
As a founding member of the Australian Automotive Industry, the company has been exporting automotive components to the US for many years with steady sales increases achieved during this period. More recently, export success has also been found in sales to the European and Middle East markets. Mackay also exports Industrial and Defence products internationally and its export markets include New Zealand, the Pacific, USA, Central America, Singapore, Japan and Indonesia.
Since 1992, Mackay has become heavily involved in the development of defence rubber products in association with DSTO (the Australian Defence Scientific and Technical Organisation), particularly for submarine and land vehicles.
Mackay operates a Research and Development Department utilising Ansys FEA modelling and a Unigraphics II CAD system, together with a well-staffed and equipped NATA accredited laboratory to support its product development program, and is connected on-line to major customers by EDI (Electronic Document Interchange). The company has numerous quality and environmental accreditations & certifications.
Over the last few years Mackay has taken significant steps to modernise its plant and improve efficiency. This includes the installation of new presses, a larger capacity Banbury mixer, knitting machines, high pressure vessels, stamping machines, ovens, washing machines and associated ancillary equipment. The new equipment provides additional capacity, improved production efficiencies and increased output coupled with enhanced levels of quality control.
The recent decision to upgrade to a larger Banbury was driven by both an increase in business over the short term and forecasts of increased work over the next few years, predominantly in the automotive and defence areas. In conjunction with the investment in capital equipment upgrades, Mackay has also taken the opportunity to invest in its staff with training designed to improve overall efficiency.
A strategy of diversification has paid dividends and assisted us in achieving our budgets in what has been a very challenging time since the onset of the GFC. Importantly, it is our diversification that will protect us from any future downturns in the global economy.
Continued growth of both local and export business has been one of the key reasons we have recently completed a number of plant upgrades to improve production efficiencies, increase output and enhance our already high levels of quality control to the benefit of our customers.
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