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Bending rules and making waves - Rivet Back to 'Case Studies'


It has come as no surprise to the team at Venture Taranaki however, as they have been working alongside Rivet on innovative projects for the past five years, and have come to expect outstanding results.

Creating the 14 metre high curved panels for the new Len Lye Centre in New Plymouth has been the biggest and most challenging project to date for the team at Rivet.  The project took 18 months to complete, and was not without its challenges.

“Fabricating the curved panels to form and create a seamless appearance was one of the challenges we were faced with,” says owner and company founder Steve Scott.

The team solved this by building their own press tooling in-house to the exact tolerances needed to form each sheet, and were rewarded for their innovative approach with an Excellence in Stainless Steel award at the New Zealand Stainless Steel Development Association awards in Auckland last year.

As well as technical challenges, Rivet has had to face many of the growing pains of any small and expanding business.  Venture Taranaki has provided access to management and leadership training for Rivet’s key team members, as well as arranging funding for training costs through the New Zealand Trade & Enterprise Capability Development programme.

“The training aspect has been invaluable” says Steve.  “It builds competence and belief in individuals for the greater good of the team”.

Venture Taranaki first engaged with Rivet on a slightly rounder project back in 2011; a new water pressure tank for the farming industry.  Existing tanks on the market were too heavy and difficult to repair, so Steve and the team embarked on a research project to develop two new tanks – a lightweight standard tank and an all-new bladder tank.  The R&D process was part funded through a Project Development Grant from the Ministry of Science & Innovation (now Callaghan Innovation), and the tanks have been on the market now for four years.

“The R&D grants we’ve received enabled us to get started earlier, fast-track our project and get it to market sooner,” says Steve.

Since then Rivet has doubled in size, in terms of both turnover and number of employees, and has opened an engineering workshop in Bell Block. 

Steve and wife Mel have also been forthcoming in sharing their knowledge and business experience through the Business Mentors New Zealand, also facilitated by Venture Taranaki.  Both are registered as Business Mentors, and have worked with a number of other local businesspeople over the past five years to help them grow their businesses.

“Being part of the mentoring programme has been a great experience as well”, says Steve.  “It has allowed me to give back as well as receive.”

To learn more about Business Mentors NZ, Callaghan Innovation R&D funding or NZTEs Capability Development Scheme visit www.taranaki.info/business or phone (06) 759 5150.



 
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