South Australian advanced manufacturer Castech is in the thick of the action in the defence sector as it looks to replicate its initial maritime success.
A privately owned company established in 1947, Castech has forged a reputation as a leading supplier of castings to its traditional markets in mining and engineering.
As Castech broadens its scope of supply across industry, it is now in the midst of one of the most exciting growth periods in the company’s history including delivering specialized castings to defence shipbuilding organisation ASC for fitting in the Collins Class submarines at the ASC facility in Osborne.
“Six years ago, the defence sector for us was unexplored territory,” Castech Business Development Manager Jeff Green said.
“The strong partnership with ASC has given us the opportunity to maintain profitable business growth as well as provide our local sub-contractors with ongoing work,” Mr Green said.
“At the same time the rigorous standards required in being a defence industry supplier have allowed us to review and improve our own operations.”
“ASC are a fantastic business partner in this process. They have worked hand-in-hand with our specialised personnel to ensure our final castings meet their strict design and quality standards.”
Mr Green said the resulting technical and process improvements as well as workforce up-skilling would stand Castech in good stead for the future.
“We’re continually lifting the bar in our own operations,” he said.
“This has generated even greater benefits to the business – not just for our defence prospects, but right across target industry sectors.
“We didn’t dip our toe into the defence sector. Instead we were given the opportunity to dive right in with this major submarine contract. But before we took the plunge, we worked closely with ASC to ensure all our processes and systems met the highest possible standards and their specific requirements.”
“It’s been a very thorough process but we’re now on an expansion path that previously was not open to us.”
It’s also not an expansion path on which the company is travelling solo.
Castech has worked closely with ICN in South Australia to identify and broaden its exposure to procurement officers across the defence sector nationally.
“ICN, in particular defence industry Supply Consultant David Land, has been instrumental in opening the right corporate doors for us,” Mr Green said.
“Up until now we’ve been a silent achiever and relatively unknown outside our more traditional sectors.”
“ICN is helping to get us on the radar of major national and international defence companies and there are some very positive developments on the horizon both in maritime and land – they are a critical partner.”
“We’re currently in discussions with other major companies and we see defence becoming a key market for Castech in the coming years.”