JC Butko Engineering Pty. Ltd., located in Wodonga, was established in 1976 by John and Carolyn Butko. Now employing 128 tradespersons and 30 contractors, the company has experienced continual expansion – particularly over the last ten years.
Recent growth has come about as a result of working on larger projects throughout Australia (mostly the East Coast) and overseas (including the USA, New Zealand and Papua New Guinea).
The company undertakes diverse projects including large structural steel, tanks, pipe spooling, conveyor systems, food/materials handling systems and pressure vessel work in either mild steel or stainless steel. The company’s work is a 50/50 split between mild and stainless steel as well as a 50/50 split between fabrication and site installation.
Butko prides itself on its one-stop-shop service from design through 3D modeling to installation and ongoing maintenance. “This is our bread and butter. We work with clients from the beginning to end of a project, providing a sense of reassurance,” said Butko’s Commercial Manager, Paul Butko.
Due to the need for additional space and the desire to separate its mild and stainless steel operations the company has recently built a new factory dedicated to its mild steel production.
Combined with the existing factory which now focuses entirely on stainless steel production, the entire facility now covers an impressive 7,000 square metres – maintaining its status as the region’s largest general engineering company.
“The new factory has been a big investment for us but splitting the steel operations was something the industry demanded and will ensure we maintain the highest quality and service levels,” Paul added.
This additional space allowed the company to look at purchasing a new Yawei fiber laser – joining the existing Yawei pressbrakes.
The ability to do plate cutting in-house, which had previously been outsourced, was a key reason to look at a fiber laser. Crucially it now allows the company greater control over the production process.
“In conjunction with our Yawei pressbrakes, the new fiber laser allows us to have total quality control of the entire process from start to finish – especially important with our stainless division,” said Paul.
Whilst Yawei’s competitive price and advanced features were factors, it was the excellent relationship that Butko has established with Applied during the pressbrake purchase that was an important consideration to opt for the Yawei.
“We received excellent back-up and support from Applied throughout the purchase and installation process of the pressbrakes; it was this experience that provided us with a high degree of comfort and reassurance that we would be fully supported with the new Yawei fiber laser and why we ultimately chose the Yawei brand,” Paul added.
Installed back in May, the fiber laser is an 8kW HLF model featuring a high cutting speed, extreme accuracy and a large format 2m x 6m cutting bed.
The quality components fitted standard to the HLF include a powerful, yet user-friendly Siemens 840D controller and a Precitec Pro Cutter auto-focus cutting head. Another attraction is that it can cut using filtered, high pressure compressed air which is more economical in the long term due to its lower cost compared to ‘traditional’ assist gases.
“The other major benefit with the new fiber laser is that we can now turn things around very quickly, meaning we’re not reliant on other people. If something urgent develops we can stop what we’re doing and cut immediately. That’s the kind of flexibility we now have,” Paul went on to say.
The company’s list of clients is a who’s who of leading companies in a diverse range of industries. These include Thales, Skog, Fulton Hogan, John Holland, CPB Contractors, MARS, Lend Lease, GrainCorp, Visy, Nestle and Orora Paper, as well as government work such as Transport for NSW.
The company was recently awarded with the Thales Australia Supplier HSE Award, in recognition for the outstanding achievements of the Butko Thales Team, and their collaborative and proactive approach towards improving HSE culture at the Mulwala Facility. In addition, founder John Butko was named 2016 Albury Northside and Wodonga Chambers of Commerce hall of fame recipient.
Paul is optimistic about the future of JC Butko and what it holds: “With significant investment in both our facilities and new hi-tech machinery we are well set for continued growth into the future,” he concluded.