A RETURN to in-house fabrication at Wilmar's sugar factories is paying dividends for jobs in the region, with the lift of a 68-tonne pan calandria into their Pioneer Mill facility the heaviest item installed to date.
It was the heaviest single item ever lifted into one of Wilmar Sugar Australia’s factories, and part of largest vessel ever built at the company’s Burdekin workshop.
Burdekin Regional Operations Manager Paul Turnbull said the successful fabrication and installation of the 220-tonne capacity pan had taken a lot of skill and planning.
“We’re proud that most of the engineering, drafting, fabrication and installation work for this project was done by our own employees,” Mr Turnbull said.
“Wilmar is absolutely committed to bringing large-scale manufacturing back to regional Queensland, and this project proves that the work we’re doing right here at Pioneer Mill is able to compete on a world stage."
Mr Turnbull said the upgrade would help to sure up reliability in the factory pan stage, which is where sugar crystals are boiled and grown to a size suitable for the world market.
Lifting the 68-tonne calandria took a Universal Cranes’ 400-tonne capacity crawler crane with an additional 220-tonnes in counterweights added to engage the crane’s super-lift function.
“Due to its size and weight, the pan had to be lifted into the factory in three separate segments: the bottom cone, calandria, and top cone and body,” Mr Turnbull said.
“The accuracy of the completed components when they were landed up on the pan stage was brilliant, so the workshop team has done a fantastic job.”
Work Execution Superintendent Glenn Brock said seeing the pan lifted into the factory had been a proud moment for the workshop team.
“Several years ago, Wilmar made the strategic decision to bring our fabrication work back in-house, and this project has been a major milestone for our team,” Mr Brock said.
“This is the largest vessel we’ve ever fabricated in-house and, on top of that, the workshop team has had the added challenge of building a smaller 110-tonne capacity pan in the same year.
“Not only does in-house fabrication give us greater quality control, it also allows us to create more local job opportunities and give our trades team the chance to work on some exciting projects.”