Australian-first technology opens new pathways for Dalekit

Dalekit is moving from its humble beginnings as a quality awning manufacturer on the outskirts of western Sydney, to a supplier of internal roller blinds and shutters, with a new division offering a cut length service.

The impetus for the new direction came from a visit to R+T Stuttgart in 2018 when Dalekit director Joe Pajeska saw a poster at one of the stands outlining the vision for a new cutting machine.

“The cutting edge European manufacturer hadn’t even finished building the machine at the time of the show, but by September of that year they had the first prototype up and running and I took the opportunity to witness this remarkable machine firsthand.”

On a trip to Greece to negotiate the bringing out of the Pergosystem Retractable Roof Systems to Australia, Pajeska detoured through Switzerland to view the machine in operation. Following this, his dream was to bring the first cutting machine of its kind out of Europe to Australian shores began.

“Roy Scheider’s catch phrase in Jaws of ‘we’re gonna need a bigger boat’ became the saying at Dalekit once the dream of the machine became a reality,” Mr Pajeska said.

“Having only moved to Glendenning in 2018 with plans to stay in the 1800 sq factory for many years it become immediately apparent the site simply wasn’t big enough to house a cutting machine which takes up 120sqmetres and hold up to 800 rolls of fabric.”  

“The search was on for a factory big enough for the growth a cutting machine of this magnitude could produce. So, a new home was found in South Windsor with a 7000 sq factory and there are already plans for further development on the site.”

After 12 months of manufacture in Switzerland, Dalekit took delivery of this engineering masterpiece in November 2021.  

“With Covid restrictions still upon us, the Swiss technicians were unable to fly to Australia to install the machine so Dasec answered the call.”

“Five shipping containers, which were filled with 17 huge wooden crates, packed with the Tetris precision you would expect from the Swiss, took three weeks just to unpack.”

The machine, once commissioned will eliminate the need for any manual heavy lifting by staff to cut skins, saving many square metres of fabric storage. Pajeska said a large mesh awning skin can be cut with precision in less than 30 seconds without any manual lifting.

“We now have the ability to cut over 400 awning skins in a standard shift using a single operator. This cutting number simply grows once we take into account roller blinds are far smaller than the average sized awning!”

“With the new machine boasting five Crush Cutting and/or 5 Ultrasonic Heads the capacity for nested cutting is second to none. Awnings have always been our core business but we now have the machine to cut roller blinds with ease.”

“With this in mind, we have opened the door to new departments for roller blinds and internals, broadening our customer base and also the potential to open a cut length service.”

Pajeska said the driving factor behind such a major investment for the company was the occupational health and safety factors and the skills shortage in the industry.

“The fact that the gantry can lift a 100kg roll of fabric with no issues, we reduce liabilities and fatigue and opens the avenues to cut more skins per day without major increases in staff as well as staff turnover.”

“In the future, manufacturing staff are going to become harder to come by and we saw this as an opportunity to fill a void with time cutting optimisation. We are looking at servicing the industry by allowing customers to grow their businesses without upscaling staffing levels.”

The move into cut length and finished roller blinds saw a change in branding in 2021 with a logo change and a name change from Dalekit Awnings to Dalekit.

“Having many staff members who have previously manufactured internal roller blinds and the ability to more than quadruple the number of skins cut in one day this was a natural progression for the company to take, especially with so many customers asking Dalekit to expand into this sector over the years,” Pajeska said.

“We are also proud to be offering both Acmeda and JAI rollers into our already huge range of 35 outdoor products.”

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