Steel fabrication has been an ever-evolving industry since the beginning of human civilisation alongside the consecutive industrial revolutions. We are now at the transition between industry 4.0 & 5.0 technologies where integration is evolving to support the way we work and the way we learn. Watkins Steel does exactly this and has been setting the standard for the industry. This episode features one of the leading minds in technology integration within the bespoke steel fabrication sector – Dr. Vitor Bottazzi (R&D Manager and Robotics Engineer at Watkins Steel). Vitor unravels detailed discussion points stemming from his unique overseas experience and how current technologies such as Mixed Reality (MR), alongside Virtual Reality (VR), Augmented Reality (AR), Drones, Internet of Things (IoT), Robotics, AI, software/CAD, laser scanning etc. have been successfully integrated to unlock more capabilities through a more streamlined, faster and accurate approach towards bespoke steel fabrication. Watch the evolution on Youtube for this video episode and tune into for the future of the advanced manufacturing steel industry!
About Dr. Vitor Bottazzi
Vitor is a robotics engineer with academic experience working in cutting-edge projects encompassing industrial automation, mobile robots and advanced visualisations. Vitor’s portfolio covers 20+ years of experience developing applications in the domains of Building Information Modelling (BIM), enterprise software for the stock exchange market and research. It includes robotics applied to industrial automation and participation in international robotics competitions. His experience was developed over the years working for major financial institutions in Europe, research centres in South America supporting the automotive industry, Government and renewable energies industries in Australia. Vitor is currently leading the R&D department at Watkins Steel Group.
About Watkins Steel
Watkins Steel is a family owned and operated business, specialising in structural steel and metalwork fabrication. Operating since 1968, we service clients in the building, mining, and construction industries throughout Brisbane and Southeast Queensland.
Our services include 3D laser scanning, steel detailing and fabrication, installation, and metal work structures. Specialising in small to mid-size structural steel, metalwork, urban Artscape’s, architectural structures, and refurbishment jobs, we have the experience and technological expertise to complete a vast range of projects with unparalleled accuracy.
We have automated our processing using robotics and 3D laser scanning that has seen a significant shift from labour-based processes to technology-based processes for the company. A major milestone in this direction was the development the Watkins Steel 4-Step Step Process – Digitally Linked process with 100% accuracy.
Our “Watkins Steel Four Step Process” is our unique end-to-end digital workflow for steel processing. We apply our four-step process to mitigate risk early in the project making sure our steel work will be precise from manufacturing to installation.
- 3D Laser Scanning for on-site measurement and surveying
- Steel detailing using Tekla software
- Machine automated robotics
- Installation assisted by robotic layout station.
Since November 2019, we extended our services to include robotic processing technologies and extended reality (virtual, mixed, and augmented reality) into our traditional manufacturing workflows. We have also further strengthened the process to include in-house engineering and risk mitigation. Our extended reality services help clients to complete projects with fewer errors and defects.
This year we have started tapping into international markets for our Steel Fabrication business. Project examples are Cooks Barracks Vanuatu and Angau Hospital Papua New Guinea. We have also been able to displace overseas competition embracing opportunities created by the lengthy lead times imposed by COVID-19.