Okuma a key to Australia’s largest crane manufacturer’s success.

With nine manufacturing facilities throughout Australia, Eilbeck Cranes has come a long way from its beginnings as a humble blacksmith shop more than 115 years ago.

This fourth-generation diverse family business, employing some 400 people, is today Australia’s largest and most advanced crane manufacturer with ever-expanding exports extending to South America, Africa, the Middle East, Europe and New Zealand.

Third-generation Tom Eilbeck and fourth-generation Charlie Eilbeck are both active in the company.

In recent years Eilbeck Cranes has also expanded its heavy machining facilities investing two of the largest Okuma CNC machines in Australia to cater for its production and to expand its heavy engineering division with contract and custom work and heavy engineering projects. With the successful business extension and expansion of the heavy machining division into major contract general engineering Eilbeck Machining is now one of the most prominent players in Australian heavy engineering and CNC Machining with contracts in defence, mining, rail, oil & gas and heavy industry. The large Okuma CNC Double Column Model MCR-A5CII with OSP-P300MA control is used for this work with the smaller Okuma machining centres producing almost 100% crane components.

Apart from the first Okuma Double Column machining centre Eilbeck Cranes has invested heavily in a second Okuma Double-column machine, Okuma CNC Lathe Model LB4000EX-II-BMYCx1500; CNC Horizontal Machining Centre Model MB8000H; CNC Vertical Machining Centre Model Genos M560V S15; CNC Lathe Model VTM-100 and CNC Lathe Model Multus B750 c 6000 each with OSP-P300SA-H Controls.

“The high quality, reliability, durability and precision of the Okuma machines has been a major factor in our success and the OEM support from the company within Australia and from Japan has been outstanding,” said Charlie Eilbeck, General Manager. “If we have an issue that cannot be resolved locally we can video link directly with the factory in Japan – such is the close working partnership we have with Okuma,” he said.

As Australia’s largest crane manufacturer, Eilbeck Cranes has been well placed to take advantage of major infrastructure projects on the east coast of Australia with cranes up to 500 tonnes lifting capacity. As the only company in Australia with the capacity to manufacture one of this size, it has required Eilbeck Cranes to have a presence close to the infrastructure projects to provide the high levels of support required.

In the last two years staffing levels within Eilbeck have increased by 120 and the company places a strong emphasis on training, working closely with schools to provide work experience for young people and attract apprentices. Looking to the future the company currently has 30 apprentices under training.

Recent engineering achievements and innovations for this exciting company include the current manufacture of a 550-tonne crane, the manufacture of the first hot metal ladle crane and a project covering the local manufacture of three slab steel-making cranes for the steel industry which will be a major three to four-year development project and another first for Australian manufacturing.

With some of Australia’s largest heavy machining capabilities, new business opportunities continue to expand for Eilbeck Cranes and Machining with strong national support flowing for high-quality precision Australian-made engineering.

Supporting the development of Eilbeck Heavy Machining Centre, is its internal R&D design, fabrication, welding, modern blast and paint facility, mechanical fit-out bays and electrical and commissioning specialists. Throughout production and its operations, the company is accredited to ISO 9001, ISO 140001, AS/NZS 4801 international standards and is also accredited to NATA Technical Competence.

‘Working closely with our customers is a major part of the Okuma business philosophy and it is rewarding to see first-hand the benefits that are achieved through a sound business relationship such as the one we have with Eilbeck,” said Dean McCarroll, Okuma Managing Director Australia and New Zealand. “Eilbeck Engineering Division has established a major heavy precision engineering business in a relatively short period and Okuma is proud to be associated with this success,” he said.