Turning to the future: Berg's top tech a sign of optimism
The type of customers who will benefit from Berg Engineering's latest piece of equipment are a far cry from those serviced in the early days.
A $3 million state-of-the-art titan double column vertical boring and turning mill was unveiled in Gladstone yesterday, and potential clients include defence contractors and hydro-electric power stations.
When Roger and Pam Berg ran the business out of a garage, much of the work centred on machining thousands of axles.
"We were very proud when we were given a contract for the wheelie bin axles," Pam said.
She took care of deliveries and invoicing, while Roger worked the lathe.
The hours were long and weekends off largely non existent, but both said they never imagined what the business would become.
"It's a bit unreal for me," Pam said at the unveiling yesterday. "I'm very proud," Roger said.
With their son Derek now the CEO, Berg Engineering has expanded to the Asia Pacific region and employs about 70 people in Gladstone. Derek said the investment in technology reflected optimism in the market.
In an area such as Gladstone, he said the extent of boom and bust cycles could be overstated, and downtimes were a good opportunity to prepare for what came next.
"If you're not ready for the boom three or four years ahead of when it comes, you've probably missed the boat," he said.
The equipment, produced in Europe, will double Berg Engineering's capacity to support Australian and global operators and large service companies.