Home News Howick Celebrates 100th Frame Machine

Howick Celebrates 100th Frame Machine

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Howick Brands Export Success By PJ Taylor

The name Howick is popping up in plenty of construction sectors around the world because of a smart piece of machinery that’s contributing to new house building techniques.

Howick Engineering has just completed assembling its 100th house framing machine, which can mould and fold steel and other metals by simply touching a computer screen.

Howick Engineering general manager Wayne Rowe, right, seated on a bar stool made from steel folded and moulded by the company's most recent innovation, a  house framing machine. Times photo PJ Taylor.
Howick Engineering general manager Wayne Rowe, right, seated on a bar stool made from steel folded and moulded by the company's most recent innovation, a house framing machine. Times photo PJ Taylor.

The Vincent St firm has exported about 90 of them to date and the future outlook for increased overseas sales is bright, says general manager Wayne Rowe.

It’s predominately used in the construction industry, as new modular homes around the world are starting to use ready assembled steel frames.

As he spoke to the Times on Tuesday next to house framer 100, four new machines were being put together by the engineers.

He points out that the machines have the word Howick branded on many of the components. That’s how the name is appearing in many engineering shops and on building sites in such places as the United Kingdom, United States, Middle East, Asia, Russia and Australia.

Brothers Bruce and Alan Coubray have owned Howick Engineering for 26 years and the firm employs 20 staff, all locals.

Bruce Coubray mentions modestly that the biggest modular house building companies in the UK, US and Australia all have a Howick Engineering house framing machine.

The company has confirmed most of its sales through its website, but has now established
a sales office in Yorkshire, England, with two agents, one of whom is Mr Coubray’s son.

Mr Rowe believes the machine is the “best value” of its kind on the world market and the firm is looking to produce more this year than it did in 2006.

Last year, 30 came off the Howick Engineering assembly line and the goal is to raise that to 50 a year, says Mr Rowe. Each machine has an eight-week turnaround from an order being placed.

Over the years, the engineers have produced various steel moulders on route to delivering the present model of the house framing machine. And Mr Rowe sums up the attitude when the engineers decided to have a crack at producing it.

“If you can draw it, you can make it.”

Courtesy Howick and Pakuranga Times

 
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