Townsville company, TEi Services, have won a significant contract at the Australian Astronomical Observatory in NSW working on the country’s largest telescope. The best part is that they have completely busted open the myth that these high-risk and large scale jobs are reserved for big or national companies.
The project they’re working on will look at refurbishing the telescope’s bogies and chain drive to keep it running smoothly.
To give you an idea of scale, TEi Project Manager Adrian Part, broke it down for us.
“There’s 32 bogies in total. Each one of these bogies holds the telescope dome up, so it’s holding up over 500 tonnes of weight,” says Adrian, as he gestures around the enormous interior of the telescope. “I look after all mechanical high-risk projects and this is one of our biggest projects at the moment.”
A telescope bogie being lifted down for an inspection
One aspect that Adrian nails home is the fact that you have to explore other things you can do outside your core business.
“Just because we’re in Townsville or North Queensland, doesn’t mean we can’t bid for projects like this. It just takes a little bit of creativity and thinking outside of the square,” he says, smiling and adding that after that “everything is possible.”
TEi Project Supervisor, Russel McIntosh, says that when it comes to applying for these projects you have to be “persistent and dogged” whilst offering them something different to everyone else. Noting that if you stick to the same old tricks, “there would be no real point to choosing you”.
As a result of thinking outside the box (and the state lines), TEi have been involved in some seriously inspiring work lately.
“The more exciting stuff we’ve got into recently is exporting trommels into Africa and we also sent a bearing all the way to a NASA site in California,” says TEi General Manager, Richard Parker, who hopes to break into the South American market next.
“It’s like science fiction. If you can imagine something, you can build it. That’s just the attitude you have to have.”
Are you a local company working on a big project?