Motion Australia discusses custom design and manufacturing solutions


Motion Australia’s workshop and design center in Chullora, New South Wales is an ever-growing enterprise of engineering and ingenuity serving Australia’s industrial hub nationwide. “We get a lot of requests for weird and wonderful things that give us the opportunity to showcase our extensive manufacturing capabilities, both custom in-house solutions and retrofits,” remarks Mark McKiernan, shop manager.

“Advanced machining and surface treatment technology allows us to create more durable and affordable solutions for customers in much shorter lead times. We do a lot of things – bearings, sheaves, pulleys – to name a few. For customers, it is much more efficient to work locally with us to source components than to order from overseas.

Mark began his career with Motion Australia in 1977 as a fitter and turner and has since become familiar with the engineering side of the business.

After 40 years of service, his passion for his work remains clear: “The movement has done me good over the years, and it’s a two-way street,” he smiles. “I love what I do. I work a lot with local industry — growers, manufacturers and heavy industry in all sectors. My clients come from all over Australia and Indonesia — and frankly, there is nothing more satisfying for me in my work than a satisfied customer and a job well done.

In recent years, the Chullora team has become more involved in the reconditioning of bearing housings.

“A lot of older sites use housing they trust and prefer local solutions,” says Mark. “In my role, I have enclosures shipped from the customer site with their requirements. Then I examine the casings for cracks and fractures and send them off to be x-rayed and tested to specification. Once back in the workshop, we clean the cracks or fractures, weld them, machine them and spray them with a mixture of stainless steel with a thin piece of copper. This adheres to the casting and then, depending on the customer’s preference, we spray it with a tungsten carbide thermal spray or a ceramic that bonds to the stainless steel.

“From there, we send it back to the customer and reinstall it on its original equipment, and there it is – a case like new.”

According to Mark, the cost of salvaging an old housing is about two-thirds cheaper than casting a new housing from scratch and delivery times are significantly shorter. Once the Chullora team receives housing for the workshop, they typically give themselves a three to four week window to get the job done. While the manufacturing time for a completely new home can be up to six months.

Recently Mark and the workshop team carried out work for a client in Newcastle a few days before Christmas. The lead time for a new bearing was going to be at least 12 to 14 weeks.

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