Sydney — A truck accessories manufacturer has bought four injection molding machines in advance of an online auction of equipment from former auto manufacturing companies.
Ian McKee, operations manager at Truckmate Australia Pty. Ltd., based in the Sydney suburb of Wetherill Park, said the machines will help the factory lift daily productivity by 25 percent and manufacture new products.
The four machines are among six from three separate plants sold in advance of the online auction, which starts on Sept. 21. McKee will not say how much Truckmate paid, but Logan Fenemor, business development manager with auction house GraysOnline.com, said the six machines together netted A$915,500 (US$735,000).
McKee said the equipment was "well priced" and "ideal for us."
The sale is run by a Dutch company, Amsterdam-based Hilco Industrial Acquisitions BV, in partnership with Grays, headquartered in Lidcombe, Australia. The auto manufacturing equipment is from nine factories in the states of Victoria and South Australia that have closed because motor vehicles are no longer manufactured in Australia.
The factories previously supplied Toyota Motor Corp. Australia Ltd.
Truckmate, a privately held company founded by engineer Bob Hepworth 30 years ago, manufactures injection molded PVC mudflaps, polypropylene mud guards and other truck accessories.
McKee said the two 650 ton, one 850 ton and one 1,300 ton Battenfeld machines will enable Truckmate to manufacture new products, including quarter guards for trailers and tippers that can't fit a full guard underneath and front guards for eight-wheel concrete agitators. The oldest machine was manufactured in 2006; the newest in 2011.
Truckmate currently has nine injection molding machines. The Battenfelds, which are at Denso Automotive Systems Australia Pty. Ltd., in Croyden, will be operational by December.
Hepworth, who died of cancer in May 2016, aged 76, saw a market for injection molded plastic mudguards 30 years ago and imported equipment from Germany to start manufacturing them. Hepworth's widow, Gai, and daughters Neille and Amy, are now the company's directors.
Truckmate has an annual sales of A$12 million (US$9.6 million), which McKee said was a 15 percent increase from last year.