Local metal castings company scores Australian contract through ICN

The advantages of ICN being an Australasian business network were clearly demonstrated when a huge New South Wales rail project required the manufacture of 624 new train carriages. When the multi-national engineering company managing the project, Downer EDI, approached the NSW office of the ICN wanting help to urgently identify companies that could supply them with high-quality cast steel brake components, the ICN network sprung into action.

"We got a call from the NSW ICN office, asking if we knew any local company that could meet the need", says ICN New Zealand Relationships Manager, Bob Murdoch. "The time frame was extremely tight, but we sourced the local companies that could do the job and put them forward."

A&G Price (AGP) was one of those. Established in 1868, the Thames-based company has evolved into a world-leading metal castings company. It employs 130 highly skilled foundry tradesmen, machinists, fitters, welders and engineers. Its foundry is one of the largest and most versatile in New Zealand, equipped to provide high-level castings to a wide range of industries and applications.

AGP has built a long and impressive history in the rail industry. For over 100 years, it has supplied locomotives, wagons, refurbishment services, and component manufacture to New Zealand and international customers.

By any standards, however, the NSW Rail project - a public-private partnership (PPP)  is massive: it is the largest rail infrastructure project of its type in Australian history. The project is not due for completion until 2013.

AGP were keen to get a slice of the action, so once the ICN's Bob Murdoch had passed on the information, the company pulled out all the stops." made several trips to Sydney to meet the client and talk about the project," says AGP's Business Development Manager, Don Blue.

"We were delighted when we won the contract - it's a major breakthrough into the Australian rail market." While he's unwilling to say the exact price of the job, Blue confirms that it is multi-million dollar.

AGP must cast to exacting standards and machine the castings to high tolerances, then carry out rigorous quality assurance on every item before shipment to the assembly plant in China.

"We 're making highly critical components - essentially, what attaches the carriage to the underside of the train", says Blue.

"The trains are high tech and very fast, so our role is crucial". He credits ICN with giving the company the "leg in" to winning the contract.

"They have excellent contacts - without them, we wouldn't have got the job. I make sure we stay close to ICN and keep them in the loop", says Blue.

The client is very happy with AGP, reports Bob Murdoch, and has already increased its order. "This was a good example of a team effort between two parts of the ICN network."

"We were delighted when we won the contract - it's a major breakthrough into the Australian rail market."