Bay firm opts for purpose-built premises

By David Porter

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Growing demand means 3D metals specialists TiDA/RAM will move into new premises in Tauriko, says chief executive Warwick Downing. Photo / Brad Percy Design Architectual/Vision Design
Growing demand means 3D metals specialists TiDA/RAM will move into new premises in Tauriko, says chief executive Warwick Downing. Photo / Brad Percy Design Architectual/Vision Design

Bay of Plenty hi-tech 3D metals research and development innovator TiDA and its manufacturing arm RAM will move to new purpose-built premises in Tauriko Business Park this year in response to the expanding demand for their services.

"RAM, the production side of the operation, is expanding quite rapidly at the moment, which is great, and we need new premises," said managing director Warwick Downing.

TiDA - originally the Titanium Industry Development Association - developed its business in 400sq m premises at the Bay of Plenty Polytechnic's Windermere campus.

"The poly did a great job for us in providing the facilities that made us seem bigger than we were when we first started," said Mr Downing. "But we've now outgrown the premises."

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Mr Downing said RAM was now very much on a commercial footing, with export work sometimes taking up more than 50 per cent of monthly production. The combined operations have nine staff and are currently seeking a workshop engineer.

The company's work included making parts for the defence force and other industries in titanium, high-strength stainless steel and nickel super alloys. There had also been growing demand, especially from Australia, for its titanium implants, which ranged from human jaw bones to a leg bone for a dog.

TiDA/RAM had been seeking new premises since last May and late last year reached an agreement with Element IMF, which manages Tauriko Business Park.

We expect to complete the building in June and are ready to start on site now but are waiting on building consents.
Rachel Emerson

Element IMF would develop and own a new building designed to TiDA/RAM's specialised requirements and it would lease the premises back.

Mr Downing said the current plan envisaged building a 1000sq m lab/office but there was a possibility they would also take up an option to lease an adjoining 500sq m property.

Tauriko Business Estate commercial manager Rachel Emerson said Iline Construction would build the new premises, which had been designed by Brad Percy Architectural.

"We expect to complete the building in June and are ready to start on site now but are waiting on building consents."

She said there had been an "explosion" of activity at the park over the past year.

"There has been in excess of a dozen buildings under construction at any one time consistently across 2015. We are thrilled with the level of activity, which is a combination of land sales, turn-key design build projects and tenants."

Mr Downing said when it looked at the options for moving, they discovered leasing a new build developed for its purposes by Element IMF had worked out as being more cost-efficient than taking space in an existing building.

TiDA /RAM:

* The biggest 3D metals printing centre in Australasia.

* A partner in the region's technology business incubator WNT Ventures.

* Equipment includes 1 x EOS270, 1 x SLM280, and 3 x Renshaw AM250s.

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