Aus Vekta Automation Improves Its Razer Timber Saw With SMC

SMC ANZ recently has partnered with WA-based manufacturing company, Vekta Automation. Vekta turned to SMC to help improve the functionality and performance of its Razer range – a linear saw developed for the timber construction industry.

In 2007, Mechatronics Engineer (and Vekta Automation Managing Director), Ed Serrano spotted an opportunity in the Razer – a linear saw developed for the timber construction industry. After securing the rights to purchase the Razer and its IP, Ed set up Vekta Automation from an unpowered shed on his Beckenham property. He worked to improve the functionality and performance of the Razer and to reduce the costs associated with its operation.

“We were taking on a failed product with a terrible reputation. Every time one of these machines was built, it was done so at a loss. This was a major challenge for us – to spin that around and change the reputation of our core product, but we did it and it has been a hugely challenging and satisfying process.”

said Ed.

In addition to the constant innovation of products, Vekta Automation prioritizes developments that promote safety.

Today, this family-owned business manufactures a range of automated equipment for the building industry and has over 100 employees around the globe. In addition, the company’s flagship machine, the Razer, enjoys a majority market share in Australia and New Zealand.

Vekta Automation is continuously innovating and developing the Razer, improving the software, and developing the machine’s efficiency and reliability.

Resolving industry challenges with the Razer

The Razer enables automated, accurate and rapid cutting of timber for roofing and walling. This machine improves safety and enhances operations, making it possible to deliver ready-made timber products to construction sites.

Chief among the industry challenges that Vekta Automation and the Razer address, is the current labour shortage and the growing demand for fast turnaround times.

This is where the Razer (and Vekta product line) comes in, carrying out the material handling jobs that might otherwise require the work of many human hands.

“Another challenge for the industry is material shortages. Timber is becoming harder and harder to get, so being able to optimise the available materials and reduce waste, is a major driving factor for our customers.”

said Ed.

Innovation as a core value

Ed’s background as a robotics engineer set the foundation for Vekta Automation’s approach to innovation.

Ed Serrano, Vekta Automation Managing Director

“We approach industry challenges as an engineering problem, and we set about solving those issues. This is what really keeps bringing our customers back. We’re not stagnant and we’re not replicating what others have done. We invest in R&D and innovation, developing solutions for very specific problems and needs within our industry.”

added Ed.

He is very proud of the company culture, pointing out that Vekta Automation is a family-first company, and has built strong relationships with employees as well as suppliers and customers. Despite the company’s rapid growth, Ed and his team are committed to maintaining this distinct culture that puts people first.

A razer-sharp partnership

Key to Vekta Automation’s success has been the company’s partnership with leading global automation specialist, SMC Corporation Australia New Zealand.

Ed explains that Vekta Automation has worked closely with SMC since the beginning.

“We invest in building long term partnerships, not just buyer relationships. ‘Beyond our comprehensive product range, we pride ourselves on the support that we provide to our customers throughout their automation journey. For us, it’s about helping them to solve problems by sharing information and technical insights. Our relationship with Vekta Automation has not been based on selling more products or the latest and greatest in our catalogue, but instead, on identifying the solution that’s right for their business, and ensuring that these products are  widely available and well-supported in Australia, New Zealand, and the USA. As a result, Vekta Automation uses a vast suite of products from SMC, and trusts SMC to select the right products for their needs and applications.”

said Murray Hofstee, SMC Regional Sales Manager.

It’s through a focus on standardization – for example, ensuring a single SMC valve can be used on multiple machines, in multiple applications – that SMC ensures its products deliver simplicity. SMC products are cost-effective, readily available, and easy to maintain or repair.

In addition to supplying standardized solutions, SMC has demonstrated a commitment to customer satisfaction and clear communication, also offering just-in-time delivery of components.

“SMC supported Vekta through the COVID-19 period, carefully managing the price and availability of products, by holding stock in Perth and Sydney. At the time, Vekta occupied a smaller floorspace and couldn’t carry more stock.  We were able to help, by carrying stock locally and providing fast delivery when needed. As manufacturers, Vekta Automation and SMC face the same challenges– logistics, material, staff, price, freight safety. We walk in each other’s shoes.”

added Murray.'
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