My name is Jano Tuchnya. I’m the director of Sonnex. We are involved in manufacturing. I love mechanical engineering and manufacturing and installations. I managed to surround myself with people like myself who were willing to work day and night to pull off the project. We are little bit different in terms of really having heart for customers. I used to be consumer of parts and I realized that there is a need for somebody to supply parts on demand but keep their word. The pressure is huge, but we have a reputation in the marketplace that we deliver. It is very important to be able to deliver reliably in whatever we do. We are the only people in Australia that can manufacture some of these parts. We have a contract cutting for one big company here in Adelaide which exports the part. They came to us for this single capability that we can do intricate parts in 20 millimeters on that Whitney laser. There were about ten laser cutting companies in Adelaide but nobody has the size, so we are the only people that can cut longer than three meters.

The reason we started to explore the possibility of getting the combination machine is because Whitney was promoting that machine is the cheapest way to produce structural steel parts which are not high precision like microns. When I went on a visit to America, I saw some of these machines in operation and then eventually purchased it. Sure enough there is no better or cheaper way to produce them or more efficiently.  I actually initially ordered a different machine which was fit for 1.5 x 3 meters long. The person who was selling this machine mentioned to me that there is Whitney machine which is big and powerful. When I realized that this machine that is bigger and more powerful than the ones that other people in Adelaide have, I was thinking that maybe I should bring a gun to a knife fight and that’s what we did and it paid off very well. This is one of those really major advantages. We had two beds of 3 by 6 meters so we could load four plates on each bed and switch them so we were straight away doing lots of night cutting or lights out cutting with our people and we just come in the morning and collect the part that I give us a huge manufacturing ability to the extent where we started to take work away from other people simply because we could deliver in two or three days what other people could not.

These lasers actually have a huge impact on my business because we had the first one in the country to be able to cut 32 stainless steel. Another thing was, when it comes to the efficiency, when you have a part with lots of holes and the piercing of a 20 gauge plate is only 2 or 3 seconds, that brings the prices down, and very soon we had more customers than we could handle. Just recently, we had one job to cut 6,200 parts and we were doing it in quite a short time.  I still did not know how we going to do it and then we find the way to shear cut and punch plasma for the whole row. We realized that we actually have bigger margins than we would have if we were doing it any other way. But the biggest impression on the customer was that we told him after about five days that the job is finished so we have promised for this job to come back February next year simply because of the packability. Something we didn’t know before, the customer actually didn’t give us the whole order he cut up the job to smaller pieces and gave it to a few people because he had no idea that somebody can enter the whole job in that period of time. He gave us this part [of the order] for six weeks and we delivered all parts in one week.

I can see Whitney is a company that is looking for something new, something that is better. Not everybody else does. They’re always pushing boundaries. I would definitely recommend Whitney. The machines are unique in what they do. The machine is suitable for their part and there is no other machine that would do it so efficiently. And I’m just grateful that they keep going and trying to provide equipment for people like me who always trying to improve their operation.

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