Australian manufacturing has received a boost with Seeley International making a heavy investment in a new state-of-the-art tube bending cell at its Albury factory. Seeley’s latest investment is expected to secure and grow its local workforce.

Seeley International founder and Executive Chairman, Mr Frank Seeley AM said the fully automated tube bending manufacturing cell was officially opened in early August by NSW Premier the Hon. Mike Baird.

Mr Seeley explains that the technology was first discussed more than a year ago, and came about because the company sought to manufacture heat exchanger tubes in-house for their ducted heaters in Australia rather than offshoring the job to an overseas company. This plan not only supports their workforce but is also expected to be a highly viable investment.

After more than 12 months of hard work and an investment exceeding half a million dollars, Seeley International has created the highly automated tube bending cell to complement their existing manufacturing operations. The new manufacturing technology has resulted in the process being fully integrated with two tube benders, one end former and three robots all working in perfect unison to transform pipes of varying lengths and diameters so that they fit perfectly into a premium quality, highly energy-efficient heat exchanger.

According to Mr Seeley, these components were earlier externally sourced from a supplier that was using imported tube, and escalating production and supply costs meant having to consider sourcing them offshore. However, after the latest investment in the tube bending cell, their manufacturing process has been able to reduce costs, take the quality to an even higher standard, and keep this work in Australia.

By bringing this process in-house, Seeley International will create additional jobs since the growing sales will create opportunities to increase production. The company’s commitment to continuous innovation will result in this technology ultimately producing many other components for various gas heaters.

Seeley International’s Albury plant manufactures Braemar gas heaters and air conditioners in a vertically integrated manufacturing and assembly operation that employs more than 120 people.

A major employer in the area for more than 20 years, Mr Seeley said the opening of this new manufacturing cell reinforces the company’s passionate belief that local manufacturers can effectively offset the higher employment and production costs experienced in Australia by focusing on innovation, using world class technology and embracing high levels of automation.