The company’s reputation soared when it developed a machine to produce steel frames for an 11-storeyed student accommodation building in London – before than steel-framed buildings only went three storeys in Britain and Europe.
``We came up with a weight-bearing solution and a structure that could take the whole load of the building,’’ said Nick Coubray. ``The machine’s capability is only limited by the length of the steel coils – they are typically 1-1.5 tonne or 500-800m in length. The machine cuts and rolls the framing sections, punches the holes and comes out like a meccano set .’’
Golden Homes has exclusive use of the technology and six machines in New Zealand, and builds a steel-framed house in 14 weeks rather than the normal 28 weeks. The steel framing is assembled in eight hours, and there’s less than 1 per cent waste on the building site. Because the design and framing is so precise, construction costs are reduced by 20-30 per cent.
Howick Ltd, which employs 32 people, has a target of making 50 FRAMA machines a year and it attends 14 trade shows a year to grow its business. Back home, ATEED has organised speakers and helped promote two successful innovation conferences at Howick Ltd’s own factory, attended by 100 people and half of them potential customers.
``They see the machinery working and it’s a good opportunity to showcase who we are,’’ said Nick Coubray.