This month at Monkeytoe June 2020

Check out what's been happening at Monkeytoe in June in our latest monthly news feature.

A note from Budd

Welcome to the second half of 2020. We’re steaming through the year, working on some exciting projects with great clients on both sides of the Tasman.

Take, for instance, the recent project for Coles Mt Gambier in South Australia. The new Coles building had been designed to its limits, so they needed a platform solution that could deliver the strength and specific loading points they needed without compromising the integrity of the building. Read on to find out how the customisable, reconfigurable XBeam raised the bar for what’s possible in design solutions.

Ben Halliday, Monkeytoe’s Design Manager, is back, taking us through the custom design process and how we go from architectural drawings to consult to solution with aluminium and the newest XBeam.

Finally, we’re giving away 10 Monkeytoe rugby balls to start kicking about this winter, to the 10 best suggestions for uses of XBeam (outside of a standard portal-mounted platform). So get your thinking cap on, and let’s dive in.

All the best,

Budd Prestidge, General Manager

New XBeam projects

Coles Mount Gambier, South Australia

Originally quoted for aluminium solutions, the new Coles Mount Gambier soon became an opportunity to showcase the span and strength of the XBeam solution. The roof structure had been designed almost to its practical loading limits, and it wasn’t possible to load up the portal, so our client had two options: invest in further costly steel work to improve the load bearing of the roof itself, or go for a lighter platform solution with broader span capabilities. That’s where the XBeam came in.

What Coles needed was a portal mount system that was custom designed to load off specific, wide-set points. We developed an XBeam solution that utilised support legs on the furthest points of the building, achieving a span of over 9m x 9m and loading the relatively light weight of the XBeam platform safely over the strongest points.

When it came to fitting the XBeam, the side of the building where the platform was to sit had limited space. Our solution? Build the platform on the other side where there was more space, and crane it in two parts across the building where it could be easily assembled on the roof. What might have been a three-day job of assembly and fitting was completed in a half day – delivering a fast, efficient and custom solution that saved our client a lot of stress.

Check out the project video on the case study page below.


The custom design process with Ben Halliday

Last month we chatted with Ben Halliday, found out a little about his background and what it means to be Monkeytoe’s Project Design Team Manager. This month, he’s back and talking about engaging the Monkeytoe design team for a custom project. Here’s what he had to say:

The design team are here to help make solutions happen. That means we’re often talking to clients right from initial consult through to the manufacture itself.

Depending on how early we are approaching a project, we might have architects talking to our specification consultants. This is mostly for the early stuff that’s helping to shape the building or project itself. Our consultants are helping to not just come up with design solutions, but also offering good advice as to how and where Monkeytoe can help. They might answer simple queries regarding platforms, or help with complicated engineering questions that ultimately involve coming up with a design or drawing.

If we’re approaching a project a bit later than early design or architecture, then it’s often the case that you’ll be needing an initial consultation with one of our sales specialists.

Step one: Initial consultation

We provide a consultation – either on-site or at your office. From there, we visit the site when required or work directly from plans and sketches.

As with architects, an initial consult could be a quick phone call regarding whether we can provide a solution for XYZ problem or, say, the size allowance for a product.

It’s often more in-depth, and about making sure our client gets a better understanding of what we can do and what our products have to offer. Right now, for example, we’re doing a stairs project with some challenging dimensions. Nothing off the shelf – from us or anyone – would work. So, we had to go down a completely new design path and create something totally unique.

Step two: Concepts & costings

We develop the design concept and supply a cost estimate for approval. This starts the design and documentation process.

When we get to this stage, we’re helping come up with answers and rough estimates for a project. They’re usually estimates because from the early stages to the final build, things change a lot on site. We might see plans a year before anyone’s actually broken the ground, which means there might be 20-30 revisions between architectural design and the final fit-out.

Step three: Design finalised

When the design is finalised, we provide a fixed cost for manufacture and installation – or, if you’re prepared to proceed from the proposal, we will cover any small changes as a variation.

Designs get finalised much, much further down the road than most conceptual work. Sometimes we’re doing it just weeks before install; at most it’s a month or two. It’s one of those facts of the building process that revisions get made the entire time; you can’t always make it work on site to what the architect’s plan is – no matter how good it looks on paper. This is why we’re finalising at the last stage. It helps that we’ve got fast turnarounds and highly configurable products like the XBeam to make those final adjustments really easy.

Step four: Lead times

Our clients place the order, and we then provide accurate lead times for manufacture and installation.

Again, there’s a lot of flexibility with our design process and a high configurability of our products, so we can design a solution and even tweak it on site as needed.

The biggest thing for us is doing what we’ve said we will, and delivering when we’ve said we would – whether that’s for six months’ time or six days. Construction’s all about planning, so getting our part right ensures the whole project comes together as it should. That’s why, throughout the process, we’re always making sure that our clients know what we – and they – can do with us and our solutions.

Grab a Monkeytoe rugby ball

We’ve hit rugby season for 2020 – and although it might look a bit different this year, given the state of things, we reckon it’s time to get your hands on a Monkeytoe rugby ball, invite the mates around, grab a drink and let off some steam.

We’ve got 10 Monkeytoe rugby/AFL balls to give away, and all you need to do is CLICK HERE to submit a possible application where you believe XBeam could be utilised (outside of a standard portal-mount platform application!)

The top 10 suggestions will get a ball sent their way. Usual sort of rules: make sure you include your mailing details with your submission, and only one ball per household, thanks.

In other news

Our latest ebook 9 Better Efficiencies with Monkeytoe and XBeam is available to download from our website.

Efficiency has always been at the heart of engineering and design. It’s the question of How can we do this with less waste – of time, money, space and other resources?

This thinking undergirds all our work at Monkeytoe, and especially our latest product the XBeam, which is longer, lighter and stronger than the steel solutions of the last century. Head to the resources page and see how the XBeam is helping designers, architects and engineers realise some incredible new solutions.

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