Bordex Wine Racks Australia Pty Ltd is an Adelaide based commercial wine rack manufacturer with a strong export focus and a philosophy of continuous improvement in all aspects of manufacturing. The company sells its uniquely designed product to restaurants, bottle shops and hotels in Australia and overseas. Employment at its Dudley Park factory has more than doubled since 1995 to reach 11 in 1998. Current turnover is over $2.5 million, of which 40 percent is derived from exports.
Bordex wine racks are made from hand-oiled recycled and plantation timber mounted on galvanised steel frames, which are coated with an oven baked polyester paint.
The racks are made as standard units for a wide variety of applications or can be custom made to suit any special shape, size or purpose.
To manufacture the ends of wine racks, large coils of steel strips pass via a fully automated system through a powder coating booth and then through infra-red ovens. Fumes are emitted as the powder is heated and cured to the steel to form the coating. Large volumes of water are required to cool the heaters. Once painted the steel is re-coiled prior to cutting.
The ovens are very inefficient in their use of electrical energy, requiring 40kW of energy to run the production line at 1 metre per minute.
Cleaner Production Initiative
To overcome its production line inefficiencies and improve productivity, the company purchased three new machines: a reel to reel press; a pneumatic steel guillotine and a Unipower induction oven and cooling
The cost of the equipment, including installation, totalled $64,300. The investment was partly financed by an interest free loan of $30,000 provided by the South Australian Environment Protection Agency under its Cleaner Industries Demonstration Scheme.
Under the new process, steel is purchased in rolls, run through the press, painted as coils, heated in the induction oven to cure the paint, and then recoiled. In a separate process, the steel is cut into lengths by the computerised pneumatic guillotine.
The new oven enables the production line to run at 2 metres per minute, twice the speed of the previous system. The production line could potentially be run at 2.5 metres per minute, thus further increasing productivity. The press and cutter have the capacity to operate 40 percent faster.