KEECH TAKES AUSTRALIA TO THE WORLD STAGE
KEECH Australia, which is based in Bendigo, Victoria, has been designing and manufacturing high integrity steel castings for nearly 80 years for leading companies domestically and globally.
What began as a small family-based business 80 years ago has evolved into an internationally competitive organization that has invested significantly in research and development, IT and world-class engineering talent. Keech now exports to Japan, Russia, Kazakhstan, Canada, the US, Chile, Indonesia, UK and Papua New Guinea.
The company's foundries offer development, design, moulding, heat treatment and steel finishing, SG castings and high alloy castings for the demanding requirements of the mining industry.
The impact of the Global Financial Crisis has led Keech to invest and diversify its operations to insure against future international economic uncertainty. It saw the opportunity to take its business from operating within its existing niche markets to the world stage.
In making this decision it recognized it needed to incorporate innovation into every aspect of its business. Five years ago, workers relied on skill and experience to make a product. Now the workshop floors include multiple kiosks where workers can look up exactly how to make any part or product. Automation technology has streamlined operations and improved productivity and safety.
The company recognized that to be taken seriously on the global stage it needed to give credibility to its philosophy of developing products with the best quality, produced in the safest way without affecting the environment. Keech has invested heavily in gaining ISO 9001 and AS4801 accreditation.
With the appointment of a new CEO, Herbert Hemens, Keech has also invested heavily in R&D where it currently spends 7% of its revenue. Keech has a team of six world-class engineers dedicated to new product development and improving existing products. The company invested $3.5 million on improving technology for one of its foundries and will spend up to $15 million on its other foundry over the next two years to incorporate clean technology into its production.
Keech accepts that as an Australian company it's not possible to be the cheapest foundry in the world but it is certainly one of the most innovative. Keech's strategy is to think and plan big. It believes Chile has the potential to rival Australia's mining boom and now has an office in Santiago, Chile.
Today about 20% of Keech's business is international and it expects exports to continue to grow. With this kind of commitment and investment it's not hard to see why BRW magazine voted Keech one of Australia's most innovative businesses.
Keech will be an exhibitor at IMARC, the International Mining and Resources Conference, in Melbourne from September 22 to 26 and will showcase its technology for the mining industry.