A Vision of Versatility

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-By Robert Hoshowsky

MG Engineering has been offering its varied and versatile engineering solutions since 1996 when it began as a father and son ship building and engineering firm founded by Nick and Anthony Brdar. The company has since grown to offer its services within many industries in Australia, including mining, ship building, and infrastructure. “It was intended that the company be versatile,” states Mr Brdar. “We always intended that the company be able to cater to more than one market, be it maritime, mining, or construction. That was our mission statement.”

Anthony reflects on the company’s founding and evolution, saying, “We started as a small family business, and we’ve grown now into a medium sized company employing 40 people, and we are quite versatile. Our focus is to meet our client’s needs with efficiency and quality, and to do it all on time. That is why we are successful and continue to grow.”

The company’s unique versatility comes in part from its ability to manufacture parts in-house, taking advantage of a state of the art facility which allows the MG team to oversee the engineering and production of custom fabricated steel parts for its clients. This ability, coupled with a high quality workforce has allowed MG Engineering to grow into the multibillion dollar engineering service provider it is today.

Anthony Brdar, MG Engineering’s General Manager and Director, is excited about the company’s placement within the industry and the versatility of the services it can offer clients. What began as a ship building engineering firm has become a company perfectly placed to cater to the changing needs of clients in a variety of sectors and industries. He sees massive growth and change in the future as Australia’s industrial landscape continues to evolve, and he sees MG Engineering as the company that can best meet these demands. The company’s experience in maritime industry, mining and infrastructure has allowed it to develop a wealth of practical experience and a skill base that may be unmatched within the broader industry.

MG’s incredible success and growth over the last fifteen years is evidenced in the sheer massive scale of the projects it has completed. Multimillion dollar projects include engineering 1600 tonnes of steel ship beams for Air Warcraft Destroyer ships, Murray River Vehicle ships, and other infrastructure and mining projects within Australia. “Much of what we are doing is defense work, mining, and construction. They are our three main markets currently,” explained Mr Brdar.

Due to the unique ability to both design and manufacture products in-house, MG Engineering can offer engineering strategies that allow clients to benefit from the company’s high quality processes. The on-site plate fabrication and forming divisions enable the firm to complete large-scale plate projects that other groups would not be able to take on. MG is well versed in the manufacturing process of many steels and alloys, including mild steel, bisalloy, hardox, and stainless steel up to 80 mm in thickness – experience which comes in handy when producing beams for Air Destroyer ships. Cold rolling steel is another process offered by MG, the process of literally bending, or rolling steel to produce curves and shapes in sectional and plate material.

The high quality and high profile projects that the firm has produced are so varied that it is difficult to pin the firm down within the confines of a single industrial focus – MG truly is able to accommodate a wide range of projects. Also, MG Engineering continues to be recognised as a reliable and timely engineering group as it consistently completes projects on time and within budget.

Recent projects include the Port Adelaide Station upgrade, a near three million dollar project for which MG performed extensive work, including repair of both plate and structural steel. The firm was also tasked with raising the platform height to accommodate modern passenger trains, a feat which was completed as scheduled.

For the Murray River crossing, MG Engineering constructed three hydraulically driven vehicle ferries, measuring 25 metres each. The company acted not only as the fabricator for the project, but also as the primary contractor and project management. It was able to oversee the upgrade whilst creating as little disruption to ongoing ferry crossings as possible. The project was completed on budget and on time, with careful attention paid to strict regulatory guidelines for quality and safety.

An excellent example of the massive scale of products and services the company can offer is its commissioned work for the Port Lincoln Marine Services. For this project, MG fabricated a 22 metre long, 110 tonne stern section for a 25 million dollar trawling vessel. The parts were fabricated in-house and the constructed stern section was towed, over a period of 24 hours, to the Port Lincoln shipyard where it was fashioned together with the hind section of the fishing vessel in order to complete construction of the 50 metre trawler.

One of its more illustrious recent projects is the commission to produce twenty 38 metre long, 80 tonne beams for the Air Warfare Destroyer program, beams which were fabricated in sections and welded together to produce single beams. “We’ve done some key work within the defense industry with the Air Warfare Destroyers. We’ve been able to deliver on time and do a quality job. That has been key.”

As it continues to grow, MG Engineering moves ever further into the mining industry, creating custom fabricated steel parts for mining infrastructure, including platforms and other necessities. “We have done projects for the mining industry worth several millions of dollars.”

Looking toward the future, Mr Brdar sees a future of growth in which MG Engineering will be well positioned to meet the changing needs of industry. “MG Engineering is well positioned for the future boom,” he suggests. “We are also well positioned to service any off-shore work. We have a facility where we are based, and have access to the ocean. We are able to barge over-sized sections off-shore.”

Mr Brdar identifies one of the few hurdles to MG’s growth as the procurement and retention of highly skilled engineers and labourers. With the coming boom identified by Mr Brdar will come an increased need for a solid base of employees, and with the country’s ongoing skills crunch, this could well prove challenging. But Mr Brdar is confident: “We plan to retain our current employees as well as expand to take advantage of overseas employees when possible.” Mr Brdar suggests that importing foreign workers is not always possible, and is not necessarily an easy process, but as always, he is well prepared for the future. “We do have a plan in place,” he states.

The growth of MG Engineering as a progressive and capable engineering firm is astounding and a testament to the value of intelligent, enterprising, and hardworking Australian entrepreneurs. From the early days as a father and son business, to the incredible scale of the projects the mid-size company currently completes, the importance of family values, quality workmanship, versatility, and dependability have become the core of its business, and a great draw for clients looking to complete projects on a large scale. The future Mr Brdar predicts bodes well for the company whose versatility, in-house fabrication ability, and quality engineering has placed it perfectly to be able to provide the products and services demanded by Australia’s growing industries.

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May 29, 2020, 5:24 PM AEST