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Sutton Tools Rebuild – Gaining Momentum

It has been close to 30 weeks since the devastating fire at Kaiapoi’s drill production plant. We are truly amidst our rebuild efforts at Sutton Tools. With each passing week, the service rates and stock depths are steadily improving. To keep up with the momentum, we have been actively expanding our team. In a tight labour market, we encountered challenges in recruitment, however we have successfully added an additional 18 full-time staff in Australia to meet the new demands.

Our amazing New Zealand staff who relocated temporarily to Australia are gradually returning home to assist with the rebuild after providing indispensable assistance to the Australian operations over the past 6 months. We also express our heartfelt thanks to our suppliers – we would not be in this position without their incredible support, from packaging material to machine components.

The incredible machine build team at Kaiapoi

New Zealand Update
We are proud to announce that on 18th July 2022, the first drill was produced following the fire. Less than six months after the fire at Kaiapoi, the old site was cleared, a temporary production facility refitted, two new machines custom built and installed with production in operation 24 hours 6 days per week. Truly an amazing feat! A third machine will be in production in September with an additional 2 machines before year end.

Meanwhile, planning for the new site in Rangiora is well underway. The new factory design is now complete and has been submitted for planning approval. Building works are expected to start early in the new year. We have received great support from the Waimakariri District Council who are just as keen as us to see the new plant up and running ASAP.

Australia Update
Maryborough continues to perform well. Kudos to the fantastic packing team at Thomastown and Maryborough who are doing an outstanding job, hitting new output records with each month. We have also engaged several disability support services in assisting with drill packing. Another new panel drill production line has been established to bolster capacity. At Carbitool headquarters in Moorabbin, additional new skin packing production line is now in operation to boost capacity. While at Thomastown, Cobalt and Long Series production is now back at full capacity.

With our rebuild plan in full motion and continually improving stock levels, the second half of the year has proven to keep us busier than ever. We are grateful for the ongoing support and understanding from all our customers as we strive to keep manufacturing in Australia and New Zealand. As always, we will keep you updated on our progress.