Matrix Composites & Engineering (Matrix) has welcomed Kim Beazley, Governor of Western Australia, to officially open the company’s expanded Henderson facility.
Matrix has invested $2.2 million to upgrade its Henderson facility over the past 18 months through the construction of a new large composite workshop and installation of a roto-moulding machine.
During a tour of Matrix’s facility, Governor Beazley unveiled two plaques to mark the official opening of the workshop and commissioning of the roto-moulding machine. Governor Beazley also visited Matrix’s hydrostatic testing area, which is used to simulate deepwater environments down to 5,300 m and has growing applications in the defense sector.
At the event, Aaron Begley, Matrix Chief Executive Officer, said the new investments would enable Matrix to build further momentum in its expansion into new markets.
“It is only through continuous investment and innovation over 40 years that Matrix has been able to build its position as a world-leading manufacturer and supplier of advanced composite materials and technologies based right here in Western Australia,” Mr Begley said.
“Our 20,000 m2 composite manufacturing facility in Henderson, where we currently employ close to 140 people, is the only facility of its kind in Australasia and exports cutting edge products primarily to global oil and gas markets,” Mr Begley added. “With these new investments, we can build on that position and also continue our push into adjacent growth markets such as transportation, civil and infrastructure, and defense being targeted under our diversification strategy.”
At 1,700 m2, the new composites workshop will enable Matrix to undertake repair of corroded structures, reduce the weight of subsea structures, decrease maintenance requirements by reducing materials susceptible to corrosion, and allow Matrix to design more organic shapes rather than standard angular geometric profiles.
These new capabilities will have applications in defense (e.g. submarine fins, ship masts, acoustic windows), oil and gas composite structures, and in transport where composites can displace heavier metals such as steel, increasing payloads and fuel efficiency.
The roto-moulding machine is the largest of its kind in Western Australia. The high-production, fully automated, four-arm machine will be used to develop arched structures, including the manufacture of ground water management structures for civil applications and LGS shroud covers on underwater pipelines for subsea oil and gas applications.
Matrix will be able to target new industries with this machine installed, and has started using the roto-moulding machine to produce the unique Tunnelwell arch stormwater systems being produced under a five-year manufacturing partnership agreement.
Meanwhile, Matrix’s hydrostatic chamber has been used for years to simulate deepwater environments for Matrix-manufactured oil and gas products.
It is now being expanded to other business areas, including oil and gas customers that are looking to test their own systems, as well as applications in the defense sector.