24 Oct
2014

Metal Fabrication – History and Use in Mining Industry

Metal fabrication began in the earliest civilizations when the metals gold, mercury, silver, tin, iron, lead, and copper were discovered. These metals were worked by early artisans into decorative pieces, religious iconography, and jewelry. Items of a practical nature were forged from metal including coinage, tools, and weapons. Using heat and tools, metalworkers began to make functional objects and the industry developed through the years advancing and gaining value from society.

As an industrialised society, the world cannot live without metal; it is essential to almost every industry from mining and heavy industry to agriculture and medical equipment.

Specialist engineers and manufacturers fabricate metal and metal alloys, which are made from a combination of different metals for a staggering number of uses. The pivotal role of metal has been responsible for significant advances in technology, construction, transport, and agri-science. Metal has strength; it is very low maintenance and will last a lifetime and more. Specialist metal fabrication companies are made up of a group of skilled people who all have a role in the process of turning metal into supports for a building, heavy duty mining equipment or boilers and tanks to name a few.

Metal fabrication is a series of processes used to manufacture an object from metal. The specialised equipment involved includes laser cutting machinery, turret punches, machine centers, rollers, welding machinery, water jets, and metal shears. The metals most commonly used for fabrication are aluminium, stainless steel, and carbon steel, which is in the form of sheets, tubing and bars. Most metal objects start life as sheet metal in varying thicknesses depending on the application. Thicker sheets are known as metal plate.

The process starts with the design and then the fabrication begins with the metal sheet being sheared, laser cut or punched into shapes. Once the required basic shape is achieved, the object goes next to the press brake machine to form any bends a process known as forming. Dies are used in the press brake to make the correct accurate shape according to the design plans. The product may be finished at this stage or will be just one component in a series that requires moving on to the next process, which is welding.

Welding is a skilled practice and the artistry of the welder is to take the component parts shaped and formed previously and weld all the pieces together to make the final product in accordance with the design. This final assembly is critical and it is up to the welder to use the welding technique necessary for the job in hand.

Metal fabrication is essential to heavy industry such as mining. The manufacturing of support equipment, skids, conveyor belts, tanks, crushers, drill rigs and hydraulic lifting equipment through to pipe work are all the result of the metal fabrication process. In the mining industry there are very often special requests for one off pieces of equipment that are needed in a hurry and the metal fabrication business that can design and manufacture the product to implementation on site is the company that has the advantage. Metal fabricators may also be called upon to repair equipment or weld a broken object. Mining relies upon rugged, tough machinery often needing custom manufacturing or enhancements making metal fabricators an essential support service to the industry.

Reputable metal fabricators have the ability to design high quality, complex products with precision and manufacture them to full compliance with the specification, which is essential to mining companies who need to be operational at all times. Other metal fabrications for the mining industry include chutes, bins, screen stands, safety guards, stairs, catwalks, platforms and wear plates.

Metal is an essential material for mankind and industry and has the ability to be recycled over and over again which makes it a valuable resource for the global environment. The long working life of all metal fabrications due to its durability means once your product is manufactured, you will not have to worry about it, as it is highly unlikely it will need your attention again.

The mining industry is reliant upon the equipment and the expertise of metal fabricators not only for mine construction but also for ongoing support and maintenance in such rugged environments. For metal fabrication Mackay or metal repairs Mackay, contact 3D Engineering Mackay today.

17 Oct
2014

Roof Repairs Brisbane

A home’s roof tends to be thought of as nothing more than a structure designed to keep the weather (and possums) away from your family and prized possession. Yet, as a focal point to any home, it plays an important role in the overall aesthetics of a property, and therefore the market value of it. Roof restoration should then be seen as a wise investment for anyone considering an overall property maintenance and renovation plan.

Before deciding to restore your roof, you need to first determine whether a roof restoration is a more suitable option in comparison to a roof replacement. When making this decision there are three key factors that need to be considered – condition, cost and disruption.

The condition of the roof will be the main factor in any decision to restore or replace a roof. Roof repairs brisbane experts recommend roof replacements only when the condition of the roof is so bad that the option to restore it is not available to them. This includes cases of a roof pitted or eroded, or when metal tiles are so severely rusted. In all other cases, a rood restoration is recommended.

Restoring a roof is also a cost-effective option to replacing a roof. As it requires only cleaning, replacement of damaged sheets and tiles, and preventative services, rather than a complete overhaul, it is an affordable option if you are seeking extra funds to spend on other areas of your home – or to keep in your wallet!

In terms of disruption, roof restorations provides very little disturbance to the lives within the home. In comparison, a roof replacement can leave a home vulnerable to weather damage and, as a worksite, pose potential danger to family members and pets. In addition, it is also a very noisy process – which is likely to make you enemy number one in the eyes of many neighbours.

If you choose to restore your roof, the following provides a simple guide as to the overall process:

1. Inspection
Before anything can be done your roof will need to be inspected by a licensed roofer to determine its condition. If the roof is found to be in poor condition and therefore not fit for restoration, then a roof replacement will need to be arranged. If, however, it is found to be suitable for roof restoration brisbane, the restoration process can begin.

2. Clean
The roof is cleaned thoroughly using a high pressure wash, designed to remove dirt, grime, moss and additional contaminates in preparation for restoration work. A surface treatment is usually applied to sterilise mould and fungus growth on terracotta and concrete tiling.

3. Re-bedding and Re-tiling
Bedding that is loose is re-bedded using a sand or cement based mortar, and terracotta or concrete tiles that are broken or chipped are removed and replaced with new ones. For metal roofs, sheets that have rusted or have other damage are identified and removed, and new sheeting placed in the area.

4. Full Re-Point
On tiled roofs, all ridge-capping (the “V” shaped area at the top and sloping edges of your roof) are re-pointed. Usually a flexible point is used (acrylic based) which allows the ridge-capping to bind to the tiles so that the tiles remain in place and are not disrupted, or blown off in strong wings.

5. Primer and Membrane Application (Sealed)
The terracotta or concrete tiled roof is then primed and sealed, and specialist corrosion control primers are installed on metal roofs when required. Two coats of a membrane application are applied to the surface of the roof to provide ultimate protection, durability and weather proofing.

6. Painting (if applicable)
The roof is then painted in a colour of your choosing, allowed to dry, and then a second coat is applied. Once this process is completed you will have a beautiful, fully restored roof that will improve the appearance of your property, increase its market value, and provide a lovely focal point for any onlooker for a fraction of the price and disturbance of a roof replacement.

23 Oct
2014

Shrink Wrap Film – Retailers Love It

Manufacturers across the divide continue to produce quality products. We are all too familiar, with the attractive transparent packaging of toys, imported fruits, clothes, pens amongst other things. Unlike the previous times, customers can still have a glimpse into their prospective purchases, carefully examining them without necessarily compromising their state or quality (food).

It is as a result of these demands that the shrink film was developed. In the formative years; we were all accustomed to the brown paper bags which had our tree population on the decline. Subsequent move to the opaque store-name-christened polythene was a further disservice. Then came the perfect solution to all these problems, the shrink film.Initially, the shrink film was exclusively made from PVC (Polyvinylchloride).This is a plastic polymer (third most used plastic in the world) that had the capability of sealing products with a thin layer of plastic sheet. These sheets were often transparent to allow the customer have a view of the product.

The sheet would be wrapped over the product and passed over a heat tunnel or a heat gun. Normally, the length or circumference of the product would be measured, 10% of this value would be added then the sum is divided by two, this would give the size of PVC shrink wrapping to be used. PVC has the ability to shrink by 40% percent giving the packaging a tight grip of the product.

However, with time it was noticed that PVC could release small amounts of hydrogen chloride giving the products a characteristic smell in addition to poisoning. The sealers also would have small carbon deposits. The presence of a plasticizer in PVC had the drawback of hardening and shrinkage during cold weather and extreme stetching with subsequent temperature increases.

These drawbacks meant a suitable shrink film devoid of a plasticizer be developed. Polyolefin was found to have the packaging abilities of PVC but lacked the setbacks that faced the latter. It became a preferred choice of packaging. Offering a stronger seal and fewer odours. Its lack of plasticizer meant no physical changes to the shrink film. It would become the perfect storage solution; all weather .Lack of chlorine in its polymer meant no hydrogen chloride previously characteristic of PVC.

However, while its predecessor PVC enjoys machine compatibility and low cost purchases, polyolefin is the opposite, it remains relatively expensive and hard to use alongside machines.PVC on the other hand remains a suitable choice for manufacturers who don’t deal with edible products. Owing to its cheap price and machine compatibility it is a manufacturers darling.

It is of note that, both polymers are ideal for different packaging purposes. The choice of shrink film is determined by the product, budget and level of technology the producer in question has.

The undeniable fact is, packaging being the cornerstone of branding and advertising can be responsible for high sales volume or the reverse. Manufacturers and producers alike are today faced with the tough task of choosing the ideal packaging material. In the end the functionality of the shrink wrap can only be determined by the manufactures and producers.

22 Oct
2014

Have Cane Will Travel – Disabled Travel in Australia

Award-winning comedy writer, Ian Heydon (Kingswood Country, How Green Was My Cactus, The Samuel Pepys Show, The Year My Country Broke) recently took out an unexpected award – for writing about travelling with a disability.

In 2010 Ian was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis. That led to the question – what does a writer who has a disability and who loves to travel write about? The answer was pretty obvious. Because Ian uses a cane for mobility assistance, he built a website called Cane & Able Travel and that site won the inaugural Business disAbility Award for Business Innovation in 2012.

Back in 2003, Ian had a travel book on Australia published called The Small Guide to A Big Country (Explore) and he subsequently bought a travel agent’s licence (Small Guide Travel). Much of Ian’s research for that book is still valid. As Ian says, “They haven’t moved the Sydney Opera House or most of Australia’s main attractions, so all I really needed to do was update where necessary and add the accessibility and disability facility information. It’s a bonus that the Small Guide Travel consultants can assist with itinerary advice and bookings.”

When Ian travels these days he uses both a cane and a wheelchair for getting around. “Before my diagnosis with MS I guess I felt a bit of pity when I saw other people in wheelchairs. I didn’t realise that wheelchairs give a person with a disability so much freedom. Mine allows me to get around much better at airports, especially when the boarding gate can be a fair distance from check-in, and it makes art galleries, museums and theatre so much more accessible and enjoyable.”

Ian first took his wheelchair on a trip to Dubai, London and Paris in 2012. While there are websites with attractions and disability information for those destinations in the pipeline, Ian’s first priority is writing about Australia. In late 2012 he visited Cairns and road-tested attractions like Skyrail and Quicksilver’s Great Barrier Reef as well as disabled-friendly accommodation. From this came the destination specific website, Cairns Disabled Travel.

The next cab of the rank was Canberra. According to Ian, Canberra is arguably Australia’s most rewarding destination for travellers with a disability. “There are flights from all other major cities and centres, they have an excellent public transport and wheelchair-assisted taxi system and all the major attractions are accessible, with many of them free. There’s excellent accommodation, terrific restaurants and bars and so much to see and do. It really is a fabulous tourist destination. Sure, after a couple of weeks there might be some thumb twiddling but for a few days away it is fabulous.” Ian visited Canberra in 2011 and 2013 to research accessible accommodation and attractions and the Canberra Disabled Travel website is now live.

Ian has a multi-destination itinerary on the drawing board for all Australian capital cities and major regional centres so you could see him soon in your part of the country. But the Kingswood? No, he won’t be taking the Kingswood!

21 Oct
2014

Tips for Kids Parties

Parties for kids have come a long way in recent times due to more options, more expense and more expectation placed on an annual event that runs for 2-3 hours. Being in the children’s party industry for over 15 years, I’ve seen every type of party from the informal backyard gathering to a virtual carnival with a great variety of entertainment hired.

However, a kid’s party doesn’t need a big budget or an event planner to be wonderful. I have some sure-fire pointers to get the party started and the kids having a ball.

1. Keep it traditional. Children enjoy it when predictable elements appear, and if they’re overlooked, it won’t go unnoticed! Definites are: Food, birthday cake, and the all important Party Bag! If you’ve got at least these three things, you’ve got a party.

2. Things for the kids to do. There are literally thousands of options: Party games; hire an entertainer or activity or have the party somewhere that will entertain the kids for you. The Golden Rule is: DON’T OVER-DO IT!

One or two sessions of entertainment are more than enough. The fact is, children are already being directed to eat now, cut the cake now, watch the gifts being opened now, etc etc.. When you add entertainers, activities and games, children may quickly be overwhelmed, and time whizzes by without the kids having the chance to actually play.

3. Play time: This element should be the number one party essential. Factoring time for children to play, run about, laugh and talk with each other is golden. It suits children of all ages and capabilities, and what’s more , it’s free!

4. Age-appropriate entertainment. This suggestion may seem like a no-brainer, however many parties result in children being bored or bewildered. For example, hiring a magician-clown for two-year olds left most of the children terrified. Another example is a bowling party for four-year olds. The children had no interest in being competitive and after just a few bowls, the excitement had definitely worn off. Even Pass-the-Parcel can cause distress when played with kiddies who are too young to realise they haven’t missed out, they just have to wait their turn. For a party for mixed ages and genders, there is a wide range of entertainment that will appeal, such as jumping castles and balloon-twisting.

5. Try to Relax! When planning a party, plan with your child and use your instincts – you know what they’ll enjoy the most. On the day have a mini paper list so you don’t forget anything, like when to put the party pies in the oven or to hand out the party bags.

And lastly, enjoy YOURSELF too…after all -it’s a party!

All the best!

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