Innovation and tradition drive T.W. Woods’ technology showcase at Greater Hunter Makers’ Festival | Greater Hunter Makers & Technology Festival

Innovation and tradition drive T.W. Woods’ technology showcase at Greater Hunter Makers’ Festival

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One of the Newcastle-Hunter Valley region’s most innovative manufacturers of mining, energy and infrastructure products, T.W. Woods, will be a major exhibitor at this year’s Greater Hunter Makers’ Festival, November 11-12.

The locally and globally focused family company, which prides itself on traditions of loyalty, self-reliance and service, will show a number of its latest innovations and capabilities that have attracted worldwide attention, including from China and the USA.

The innovations – including technology for which the company is a finalist in this year’s Hunter Manufacturing Awards – encompass products designed and built in partnership with trailblazers in their markets, including:

  • A multidirectional rotating underground coal chute system that can be installed in less than a single shift at a typical mine. The cost-saving universal chute – which can rotate output through 160 degrees left or right – is engineered by the Chute Technology partnership to remove completely the need to custom-manufacture individual chute types to fit the confined spaces and particular angles of individual mines.multidirectionalonelr1multidirectionaltwolr1
  • An Australian innovation that automates the hazardous, costly and never-ending task of slashing roadside grass around millions of poles, fences, safety barriers and signposts lining highways and byways.
    Instead of whole teams of roadside workers laboriously manually trimming vegetation around the multitude of safety fence poles and advisory signs involved, the new SlasherTeck innovation uses one man on a tractor to do the job in a fraction of the time. It also uses GPS technology to guide the tractor in its work (storing information about particular stretches of road) and to direct driverless drones before and after the tractor to remove risks from speeding cars to people who usually do the job.

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    SlasherTeck automates a previously hazardous process – and uses GPS-controlled driverless drones to direct motorists

  • Expanded metal rolling and forming capabilities that have helped produce an Australian materials handling innovation that eliminates decades of inefficient ship loading and other conveyor loading practices. Chute Technology’s patented new profit-enhancing diffused buffer bin loader is being introduced worldwide to increase the buffering capacity between reclaiming and shiploading functions by up to 20 per cent. The radically different design for bulk materials conveyor chute systems uses a diffused loader to distribute incoming feed more evenly over a greater area of the surface of stockpiles in the bins, instead of concentrating it onto one large inefficient cone-shaped peak.
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Typical stockpile shape and geometry produced by the diffused buffer bin, which raises volumetric capacity for handling flowing bulk materials including mineral and agribusiness products

“Hunter people are resilient people who just keep re-inventing ourselves to succeed not only locally, but also on world markets,” said T.W. Woods Director Mr Tom Woods, who leads the company with his brother and fellow Director Glenn Woods.

“Not everyone realises the scale and quality of some of the work coming out of the Greater Hunter, so this is a huge opportunity to showcase our capabilities,” said Mr Woods, whose company has under way a continuing multi-million dollar redevelopment to expand sales of the products of its metal fabrication capabilities, including and coal and ore handling technology deployed throughout Australia and internationally.

The T.W. Woods Group – which manufactures materials handling technology including transfer chutes and loading gates to many of Australia’s biggest mining and energy companies – has recently added 1000-ton vertical roll and brake press capabilities to its extensive capabilities to cut, form, blast, paint and finish large and complex shapes. Hunter Makers’ exhibits will include displays of the technology produced by this specialised shaping, fabrication and welding technology for metals including carbon steel, stainless steel and aluminium.

Also on show will be exhibits produced using the company’s 400 sq m plate processing facility, including a 300 amp cad-cam profile plasma cutting bed. These will be complemented by exhibits of large projects handled by T.W. Woods’ 800 sq m paint and blasting facility incorporating a sand blast chamber with 10-metre high ceiling to handle large jobs, feeding directly to a state-of-the-art 720 sq m industrial paint shop with 12m entry door to handle major projects.

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The extensive paint shop can handle major equipment and major projects

The company has also become a valued supplier to the water treatment and materials handling industry because of its expanded capacity to process specialised metals and manufacture complex shapes required for special-purpose tanks, silos and pressure vessels. It can also provide the specialised protective finishes required for water, waste water and chemical processing vessels.

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Director Tom Woods next to a large tank ready to be painted in T.W. Woods’ 800m2 paint booth

“Our big strength expanded over the years is the fact that we have great staff loyalty, great staff skills and are comprehensively equipped to handle complete projects on-site. We don’t have to send work out all over the place, so we can meet tight deadlines and maintain high quality control,” said Mr Woods.

Tom Wood’s son, Jamie, is the third generation of the Woods family to join the company, which employs apprentices every year. The company places a high value on staff training and retention, having 10 staff members (in a workforce of 40) with more than 10 years service and several with 20 or more years’ service.

“We place great emphasis on building up the best team, giving them the best tools and keeping them and the customers satisfied. This has seen us through both the tough times and the good times. People in the Hunter know that good times come and go, but that you are always going to need good people with good technology to complete on the local and world markets. That’s why we have invested several million dollars to upgrade our fabrication and processing facilities,” he said.

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Refurbishment of heavy vehicles

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Elaborately shaped new minerals hood fabrication

Housed in totally new buildings on the company’s two-hectare site with Hunter River frontage, the expanding new facilities complement 4,000 sq m of workshop area in which the company undertakes medium to heavy steel fabrication, plate rolling and pressing and manufacturing of materials handling equipment including chromium carbide clad plate hardened steel products.

T.W. Woods products are used by companies such as Delta Energy, Incitec Pivot, Integra Coal Laing O’Rourke, Xstrata and surface and underground mining companies throughout Australia including iron ore producers in the Pilbara and coal companies in Queensland.

The company designs its own smooth flowing underground and surface transfer chutes that overcome space, spillage and conveyor bulking problems common in coal mining and coal handling facilities. The tough hardened steel design – built to easily outlast conventional types – are based on the group’s experience of more than 45 years accumulated since Mr Thomas William Woods started T.W. Woods in June 1963.

“We value opportunities such as the Greater Hunter Makers Festival because even the most valued customers sometimes may not appreciate how much your capabilities have expanded,” says Mr Woods. “We have found in the past that some who are accustomed to obtaining one product or one service from you can be surprised to see how much other expertise is available on the one site. We want to ensure that everyone is aware of what outstanding capabilities our team possesses, so we can go on building success in the Greater Hunter for another generation.”

For further information, please contact T.W. Woods Group, 521Tomago Road, Tomago, NSW, 2322, ph: 61-2 4964 8300, fax: 61-2 4964 8671, Email: tom@twwoods.com.au, Web: www.twwoods.com.au