Design Craft

The Parliament house, National Archives and the Australian War Memorial are typical hotspots you would find on a tourist map. However they are also some of the names you would find on an impressive Designcraft reference list. This not only reflects the calibre of work the organisation is engaged in but also the reputation accredited to the name.

Designcraft is a Canberra based manufacturer and retailer of quality residential, corporate, system furniture and detailed joinery. The organisation is also widely regarded as an industry leader in the field of Museum, Gallery and Exhibition furniture and fit out.

Since the inception of the business in 1991, Designcraft has evolved to become one of Australia’s most highly sought after furniture and fit out companies after having successfully undertaken an enormous variety of challenging work in Australia and abroad.

Its trophy cabinet is a true testament to the reputation Designcraft has achieved over the years. In 2008 Designcraft won the Commercial and Retail Fit-out, Refurbishment $1m – $3m award presented by the Master Builders Association. The focal project behind the award was the Post 45 Galleries Australian War Memorial.

The Post 45 Galleries is a significant tribute to our past, displaying powerful stories about Australia’s involvement in conflict and war over six decades. This includes the Vietnam War and Australian peacekeeping efforts since 1947.

Other than actual museum artefacts, everything in the galleries was produced at the Designcraft factory. What made this installation particularly challenging was assembling a complex array of showcases whilst overlapping existing patron traffic and public use of adjacent spaces.

Designcraft also fabricated and installed all of the showcases for the project, from the small custom medal showcases to the largest museum systems, numbering some 75 cases in total.

Despite the cumbersome nature of the task, all the showcases were assembled at the Designcraft factory. This impressive 4500 sq.m facility includes a 3300 sq.m workshop and was officially opened by the ACT Minister for Small Business Mr Ted Quinlan in December 2004.

Setting a new standard for industrial development nationally, the factory showroom incorporates numerous best practices in design and construction such as a 20,000L underground stormwater collection tank for water re-use, laminated Smart Glass and fully insulated factory walls and roof to reduce heating and cooling costs providing a more comfortable working environment for all workshop staff.

Machinery utilised by Designcraft is also reflective of the innovative values adopted throughout the organisation.

An integral pillar of the automated process at Designcraft is the Holz-Her Promaster 7123 Flatbed Matrix CNC centre from Altendorf Asia Pacific, a machine which also played a pivotal role in creating some of the works used in the Post 45 Galleries.

“The Promaster was utilised throughout the whole project. The job involved a lot of customised shaped work, curved components and templates and this is where the machine showed its powerful capabilities” explains Managing Director, Bob Fenderson.

The Promaster’s suitability for the task allowed it to be used on number of materials including timber, aluco bond, composite material, aluminium sheets and acrylic.

When asked about the Promaster’s performance  and how it has affected the business, Bob had this to say:

“It has allowed us to make our workflow processes much more automated with a lot less repetitive work being done by hand. The machine is very accurate which is great for our fitted components and multiples which all come out identically. The Promaster also takes out the guesswork when it comes to challenging tasks”

Automated processes and machinery are a necessity for any growing business wanting to streamline their work flow. They bring benefits of improved accuracy, efficiency and labour saving on repetitive work and can impact profitability exponentially.

Bob Fenderson was happy to provide a few words of advice to businesses wanting to make this transition utilising CNC technology:
“Do your homework. Speak to the right people including suppliers and especially business owners who have the first-hand experience using the machinery. Take the time to make an informed decision that will pay your business dividends”.

Bob also owns a Holz-Her 1321 edgebander and two Altendorf panel saws.