Sutton Tools NZ Rebuild Ramping Up

Rebuild efforts are ramping up and well ahead of schedule.

It has been more than 3 months since the devastating fire at our New Zealand Drill production facility. As well as the purchase of new replacement machinery, a total of 11 machines have been salvaged and recovered from the fire, which the engineering team has aptly coined the ‘Phoenix Machines’, having risen from the ashes and rebuilt better than before. These Phoenix Machines will be deployed at the temporary production facility which has already recommenced drill production. It is expected to be up to 70% prior in production capacity in 4 months, with the balance covered by Sutton’s Australian production facilities.

Before and After shots of the salvage work on the Phoenix Machines

Drill production is well underway at Kaiapoi

Following the fire, the New Zealand Engineering team has built from 10 to 26 staff. This increase through re-deployed production staff has significantly contributed to fast tracking the rebuild process.

In addition, 17 staff from Kaiapoi have relocated temporarily to Australia to help build up local production capacity at both the Thomastown and Maryborough sites. They have been enthusiastically welcomed by their Australian counterparts, providing welcome support in increasing the group’s drill production.

Daljit Singh from the NZ team with Glenn Morgan at the Thomastown facility

Drill Stock Update: D102 Blue Bulk Jobbers and D105 Viper Hang Pack Drills.
The priority of the business following the NZ fire was to focus on the manufacture and supply of our highest selling individual drills to minimise supply disruption to our distribution and enduser customers alike. Specifically individual drill set sizes: Metric 1.0 – 13.0mm x 0.5mm (25 sizes) and Imperial 1/16- ½ x 1/64 (29 sizes) for each range.  D105 Hang pack viper drills for retail and D102 Blue bulk drills for Industrial sectors.

Supply levels are back to 100% in selected ranges.

With 24 hour 6 day per week manufacturing, our Thomastown and Maryborough manufacturing facilities have responded incredibly well. Many of our core ranges, such as Bulk Pack Jobber Drills and Single pack Viper Drills nearing 100% availability. The work in progress and depth of stock in manufacture ensures ongoing continuity of supply and now allows focus on other drill ranges including long series and heavy duty cobalt drills in manufacture.

Furthermore, we have been greatly encouraged by the level of commitment shown by our external suppliers, in supporting our rebuild efforts. They’ve gone over and beyond in ensuring we meet our ambitious rebuild time frame. Local and federal government support has been very encouraging. Glenn Morgan has had the opportunity to meet New Zealands National Party Leader, Mr. Christopher Luxon and Mr. Matt Doocey, MP for Waimakariri, whom he shares regular updates on the rebuild progress.

Mr.Matt Doocey (L) and Mr.Christopher Luxon (R) with Glenn Morgan

Saving the best for last, we are excited to announce that we have secured a site for the new factory rebuild. A total of 3.86 ha land area in Rangiora, just 8.6km from the current site in Kaiapoi. Construction plans have begun and due to start in the coming months. It is expected to take 12-18 months to build the new factory with similar lead times for new machines, purchased from overseas, to be delivered to the new factory.

New site acquired in Rangiora with construction planning underway

We take this opportunity to thank all our distribution and consumer customers for their understanding and support during this period including ongoing support to Australian and NZ manufacturing. We will keep you updated on our progress.