Case Study

Laserbond relocates research and development facility to Northern Adelaide

Establishing a facility in Adelaide’s north made good business sense for advanced surface engineering company Laserbond, who moved their Research and Development (R&D) capability from Sydney to Adelaide’s northern suburb of Cavan in 2015.

The company initially established itself here to provide services to a major oil and gas drilling industry supplier in 2013, but with the dramatic decline of the industry that followed, by 2014 the company faced a daunting decision whether to shut down their Adelaide facility, or keep it.

Chairman Allan Morton said to ensure they made the right decision, the company thoroughly analysed the benefits of the state and it was clear that South Australia, and particularly northern Adelaide, had many benefits to offer LaserBond.

“A big factor in our decision to move the company’s R&D facility to Adelaide’s north was just how close Cavan is to our research partner UniSA, and other like-minded industry partners,” Allan said.

“UniSA’s world class Minerals and Materials Science Building is just four minutes in traffic up the road. Where can you go in four minutes in Sydney?

“Another significant factor in Laserbond’s decision is the region’s strong history and culture of advanced manufacturing technologies, which are core to our business here”.

Laserbond was founded in New South Wales in 1992 by Greg Hooper, a leading technical specialist in welding and Thermal Spray processes, applications and metallurgy, who saw a market for the development and application of innovative surface engineering technologies that would extend plant and machinery life.

Greg has been continually researching, developing and applying new innovative surface engineering technologies to extend the life of equipment rather replacing worn or damaged parts, which comes at a high environmental and financial cost.

“The partnership with UniSA will be pivotal in further developing these technologies and continuing our history of innovation,” Greg said.

“The lifestyle here suits me and I personally feel very settled and less stressed living here, and I am really enjoying  working on the business with talented, committed collaboration partners.

“Manufacturing is part of this state’s culture, and the motor vehicle industry in particular employs a lot of smart people, who know a great deal about robots and who understand lean manufacturing.

“We hope to take advantage of the knowledge and experience based in northern Adelaide to further grow Laserbond’s presence in the region, and will be recruiting additional staff with these attributes, to do so”.

Laserbond’s advanced robotic laser technology applies a material surface, such as tungsten or titanium, to any metal component that wears to make it last longer – such as parts from major machinery and plant in the mining, resources and transport sectors.

The company has many opportunities on the horizon, including the imminent arrival of the highest powered laser used for laser cladding in the southern hemisphere, which is due to be delivered to Cavan in September 2016. The laser will be twice as big as the company’s current lasers, and 60 per cent more energy efficient, which is a major consideration in the purchase of equipment.