Founded in 1967 in Zurich, Switzerland, SpanSet commenced operations within Australia in 1987.
Up until 2015, SpanSet Australia had been located in a range of industrial estates in Emu Plains, NSW, each move subsequent to having outgrown the location.
As a premiere maker of height safety, load restraint and lifting equipment, the business was in desperate need of more space for the manufacturing floor, storage, distribution, and training centre where they offer industry training in many different applications including Work Safely at Heights and Confined Space.
The company contacted industrial specialist David Cameron, Director of CTFD Group, for advice and forward direction on a new location for the ever-expanding Western Sydney business.
After a due diligence phase, CTFD Group shortlisted with the SpanSet Management where the new facility’s preferred location would be, which happened to be around the corner from its then headquarters.
The site covered a 6500sqm footprint with a generous offering to the transport corridor of the M4 Motorway at Emu Plains.
Being on the M4 Motorway ramp’s doorstep allowed for access also to the M7, M5 and all major road networks to Sydney and its surrounds.
With the site location now identified, the next step was made to secure the land with an outright purchase.
SpanSet prefers to own as opposed to lease, according to Kristian Pritchett, SpanSet Australia Managing Director, who was a senior executive at the time the process to design and create the purpose-built facility to accommodate SpanSet’s Operations began.
“The facility was to have some significant components integrated into the design, including accommodating the business’s training side with height training tower and classrooms,” he recalls. “Then there is the central part of the SpanSet operation that offers the transport industry safety equipment in all three of their manufacturing divisions, including Height Safety, Synthetic Lifting Products, and Load Restraint systems.”
As a key supplier to the Australian Defence forces, SpanSet must be assured its lifting gear and heavy load restraint requirements meet with Australian standards.
The facility was constructed from concrete tilt-up, a design suited to bolster security and also maximise the height for internal pallet racking, mezzanine and the training centre. With SpanSet being a nationally Registered Training Organisation (RTO), it was crucial the facility needed to fit all parts of the business model.
The current Managing Director, Kristian Pritchett, remembers the process well. CTFD Group, led by David Cameron engaged with SpanSet to put together the team to architecturally design, engineer, and deliver the required facility.
“I can recall CTFD Group were extremely professional in every step of the process. David and the development team worked closely with all the key SpanSet staff to understand our requirements,” he says. “The completed product is serving our business needs exceptionally well from an operational point. However, what was essential to the company was getting the nuts and bolts sorted out in advance, this was the key to achieving what SpanSet needed and expected, and the result speaks for itself.”
SpanSet has something quite unique in their makeup; they are part of a global enterprise that strives to innovate safety and compliance products and manufacture them in Australia.
Around 50 full time employees work in the facility, with 40 of these staffing its three manufacturing divisions including Height Safety, Load Control and Synthetic Lifting Products such as round, flat, boat and gang slings, lifting nets, helicopter nets and lifting mats.
In addition to making bespoke, heavy-duty lashing to secure military vehicles like tanks and ASLAVs to the decks of Navy vessels, the facility also features a dedicated Height Safety drop test tower.
Late last year local federal member for Lyndsay, Melissa McIntosh, invited the Federal Treasurer, Josh Frydenberg, to visit the SpanSet facility at Emu Plains.
Here Frydenberg was able to see first-hand the work that SpanSet is doing in creating jobs for Western Sydney and the full fruition of a project that began with CTFD in 2015.
The occasion also enabled McIntosh to show Frydenberg the outstanding manufacturing business SpanSet has grown within Australia at a time the global pandemic has made all Australian manufacturing businesses more aware of the importance of home-grown manufacturing.
Following a glowing review of the facility, the treasurer discussed Federal Government plans to generate more flexible labour markets as part of building a productive economy that included manufacturing while keeping locals employed
The facility itself also has a large office component of circa 1800sqm with an open plan office, meeting rooms, and kitchens. The warehouse footprint is circa 4000sqm with a 1200sqm engineered mezzanine, an educational training centre at the rear of the facility, a modern atrium entry foyer and parking and hardstand to accommodate the staff and training students.
SpanSet also has a large, covered awning for the loading and unloading of its products for distribution. The building, ultimately, achieved its aims of maximising the space and amplifying the corporate brand of SpanSet while meeting the various requirements within the different divisions.
“The quality of the building and the design has given SpanSet Australia global uniformity,” says Kristian. “This facility also gives us two manufacturing levels with room to expand, unlike the previous building and David Cameron’s involvement in the design process was key for helping us achieve this.”