Staying ahead of the curve has allowed South Australian precision machining, toolmaking, moulding and fabrication company Axiom Precision Manufacturing to break new ground across industry sectors. An active diversification strategy has the Wingfield-based company now working on some of the largest defence projects in the state. Axiom is currently providing reverse engineered components for submarine engines and has recently begun working with the defence sector to provide tooling and moulding for electronic hardware.
The large contracts are particularly impressive given the defence industry was only a blip on Axiom’s radar screen seven years ago. “At the time, the automotive industry accounted for almost 95 per cent of our business,” recalls Axiom’s Aerospace and Defence Manager Fred Hull. “Now the majority of our work is coming from other growth sectors of the economy.” Those new sectors include defence, aerospace, medical devices and mining while it continues to service the automotive, rail and mining industries.
“Our diversification journey has not been by chance,” Mr Hull said. “It involved dedicated planning and leadership to steer our company into what was for us uncharted territory at the time.
“When identifying these business opportunities we realised our machinery and skills were largely transferable. “ The biggest challenge we faced was instilling confidence among industry leaders that as a newcomer to their sector we could deliver. That came down to forging strong relationships and educating ourselves on their specific requirements.
“We have recently been successful with ASC through the ICN process. Its great ASC are allowing local companies to bid and raise our capability to suit their high standards.
"Axiom employs around 55 staff and its manufacturing facility at Wingfield houses 38 CNC (computer numerical control) machines – making Axiom one of the largest machining companies in Australia. Having built a reputation for high precision CNC machining of intricate components from a wide range of materials in the toolmaking industry, Axiom has adopted all these skills to the defence industry.
Axiom is undertaking further capital expenditure to fully enclose some CNC machinery for even greater production control and is in the process of gaining AS9100 accreditation for aerospace.
“Over the years ICNSA has been a great source of support and provided us with introductions to major projects and other opportunities. The ICNSA team has also been a reliable source of market information. Its communication with industry suppliers and its strong links have been exemplary.
"The company maintains a positive outlook with plans for more growth and further diversification. “For us, diversification has proven to be a sound business growth strategy as well as risk management strategy and if we hadn’t set a course into new industries seven years ago we wouldn’t be in the strong position we are today,” Mr Hull said. For more information about ICN, call your local consultant on 1300 553 309 or visit www.icnsa.org.au