In the mining industry, you'd often see news stories that hero the materials and machinery or the capabilities of each product. Whether it's the strength, durability or load capacity, or even the people who maintain these precious machines on site whilst they work.
But what you don't often read about is the people who build the trays from the ground up. The people who keep the mine sites running behind the scenes and the people who are often left in the shadows.
Our workshop at Forrestfield is the backbone of Schlam and for good reason! We all know that mining operations never stop so it makes sense that we don't either. Our team currently work 24/6 each week - 24/7 being a common requirement - which leads to a whopping 27,000 per month!
With the high number of man-hours comes a high number of builds. Our General Manager - Manufacturing and Product Delivery, Ryan Archibald, reflects on operations at Forrestfield.
"We are currently producing around 28 builds per month, resulting in over 300 per year. At the moment builds are made to order, although we aim to start storing ahead by 2023 and have options for clients to select some already completed" He said.
Each build is multifaceted so in the interest of keeping this short, Ryan has broken down the steps to give you a quick snapshot of what our workshop is all about.
"The plate is cut to reflect our unique design and from there the floor plates and floor beams (among other parts) are rolled. The floor is then flipped, with the side walls, front wall and canopy being welded on. Our line bore machines come in to ensure everything lines up so the tray can connect to the chassis onsite. The tray is moved on to painting - which can be standard or custom - and decals or accessories are fitted where needed" He explained.
Throughout the build, our trays are regularly quality checked to determine the measurements and dimensions are accurate, the weld sizes are correct and 3rd party NDT (non-destructive testing) is conducted multiple times, to ensure our trays are in line with the strict Australian industry standard.
Manufacturing these mighty pieces of steels takes relentless effort, immaculate precision, and an eye for quality to get the product to the final step - delivering to our client. Thankfully, Schlam's employees are both well trained and passionate about their work.
The Forrestfield workshop consists of over 100 employees with another 9 people in the office. The operations team come from a range of backgrounds, including Chinese, Filipino, South American and Australian.
Having a culturally diverse workforce certainly adds a different flair, one that we are incredibly proud to have! So much so that our ideology (our aspirations that feature heavily in all we do) is written in both Mandarin and English around the workshop.
"Our team consists of mainly Chinese and Filipino workers. We find that they like doing the hours, and they are highly efficient and productive. It is a friendly workplace, with a huge focus on safety, but a hard-working environment. Office staff and trades all work together - we make ourselves laugh but we get the job done." Ryan reflected.
At Schlam, we know that every role is crucial for the success of our company, the many organisation's we supply to, and the mining industry as a whole - so why not shine a light on the team that keeps us moving!