Playing To Our Strengths | Q & A With Tony Robertson

Find out from Tony Robertson, Brisbane Tank Manufacturing Managing Director; around what makes a great team, what his favourite piece of kit is (so far) and hear about one of his top favourite projects.

Name: Tony Robertson

Role: Managing Director 

Tony’s job is to: 

My job is to oversee the whole team; from shop floor to final delivery and installation of the tanks.  
I’m the main go-to for our customers to start the ball rolling and many of those customers we’re proud to say we’ve had over a number of years. 
From the first touch point I gather all the necessary information to make sure I give Somesh; our Mechanical Engineer and Milton; our Estimating Manager, a detailed brief both for the tank manufacturing quoting process and the design process.
I think a huge advantage for me is I started on the shop floor, moved into sales then onto sales management, purchasing, stock control and design so as a sheet metal worker by trade I understand all facets of the business. This is very beneficial not only for myself but also for my team. With a qualification in Advanced Diploma of Mechanical Engineering I have both the theory and the practical so to speak. 
My key focus is to make sure we deliver on what is quoted and deliver the desired finished product.  All drawings and designs are passed by me so there is a lot of quality control that goes on behind the scenes to ensure everything is built to standard.  When new people come on board it’s vital they understand our quality standards so there is a very precise process we follow but that doesn’t mean that I’m not open to new ideas as well.  

Favourite project and why?

This is a hard one as there are so many of them but one that does stand out is a project we did for EcoLab. This was a highly technical project that had to be absolutely precise across the entire execution.
In a nutshell it was our job to design and build a reactor for a 15,000 litre tank.  We also had to design and build the tank which is made of duplex stainless steel. Duplex stainless steel is a very hard product that can withstand extremely high temperatures.  The reactors job is to regulate temperature control so the product held in tank didn’t reach such heights it explodes so there is a lot going on in this one project for us to achieve. 
How we manage the temperature control within the reactor was by applying a 250 metre pipe within the tank that pumps through freezing cold water 24/7.  First of all you have to run the steam first so the reactor starts; then the cooling process starts to bring it under control.  
We built and designed the reactor and tank in our factory here and installed on site. This whole process from start to finish took 9 months and it was a very complicated tank project because it’s so volatile as it needs both a double heating and a double cooling capacity.
We’re proud to say the client, myself and the team here are extremely happy with the outcome and potentially we have a new project for EcoLab in the future. 

Favourite piece of kit/tool/machinery and why?

By far my favourite piece of kit is the plasma cutter.  This thing is genius and does the job of 3 - 4 fabricators would of done manually back in the day.  This serious piece of technology is efficient and precisely accurate that I wish I had it back in my day when I first started.  I’m a bit envious the team has it now because it makes life that much easier. Our designer, Somesh creates the design which is then converted by the cutter and it cuts all parts for tank manufacturing. 

My go-to person/exercise etc to seek advice, brainstorm, for personal development is ….

Going to the Night Fitness gym at least 3 times a week. There’s about 30 of us guys who train together and it’s great way to unwind and go hard out at the end of a busy or challenging day. 

Best piece of advice personal/business I have received ….

Back yourself. You have to back yourself 100%. Also put people around you for your weaknesses. You have to be aware of what those are and then you’re on to a winner with everyone playing to their strengths. 

Outside of work my favourite thing to do is?

Going to our magic place; Cotton Tree. We have a caravan and every Easter for the last 18 years my family have headed there to base ourselves by the river on one side and the surf on the other.  Our piece of paradise.