A & G Price: New Zealand’s engineering phoenix rises

It was a tragic day for the New Zealand engineering landscape when A &G Price, one of New Zealand’s largest and oldest engineering companies, was put into voluntary liquidation in July 2017.

That could have signalled the end of some 149 years of trading, and for most it would have.

But Gareth Hoole, a liquidator at Ecovis KGA, armed himself with his vision of the operation’s potential. He had a plan that would see the entire plant reopening, and not only to fulfil partially completed orders but to continue to trade by taking on new orders. This, Hoole reasoned, would mean the company could be sold as a going concern.

However, eight months and a dozen or so interested parties later, the sheer scale shadowed such potential – ever so apparent that A&G Price was a much bigger entity than most were willing to take on.

Enter Chris and Jackie Reeve to change the playing field.

The couple could see the potential in the company and its associated benefit to the entire Thames community. They stepped up and purchased it and on April 3 – in its 150th year – A & G Price Ltd officially reopened with a team of 34 loyal staff.

None of the equipment had been removed during the liquidation so the company was immediately in full capability to service the engineering needs of medium and heavy industry.

A & G Price is the only one-stop heavy engineering shop in New Zealand – and arguably Australia – with a fully-integrated engineering works that includes design and project management, ferrous and nonferrous foundry with a melt capacity to 10 tonne, computer-controlled high temperature heat treatment, full machine, fabrication, fitting, NDT, blasting and paint shops all on the one site.

Utilising a library of reference material that would be the envy of most consultancies, and backed by the expertise captured in a work archive of more than 100,000 technical drawings spanning 150 years, A & G Price Ltd has the ability to bring customers concepts to reality, or improve on existing machinery to maximise production.

The foundry has the ability to produce castings from as small as 300 grams in all grades of cast iron, SG iron and steel, most common grades of stainless steel, brass and bronze. All of these grades can be welded in the 104-metre long fabrication shop, with 20-tonne lifting capacity and full complement of presses and plate processing machinery, welding technicians ticketed to ASME IV and a wealth of knowledge spanning three centuries for fabricating exotic materials, weld overlaying worn-out equipment or welding dissimilar grades of material. In short, A & G Price has the ability to undertake all welding requirements to the highest standards.

These components can then be machined in its large machine shop capable of manufacturing complex components a few mm’s in size to CNC milling machines up to 10-metres long and turning capacity to 6.15-metres diameter x 40 tonne. With highly-skilled staff experienced in handling and machining large heavy items or smaller mass-produced components, customers can be assured all their requirements will be delivered in spec and fit for purpose.

The entire works is certified to operate under ISO9001 2015. Its QA department includes fully-qualified NDT technicians for MPI, dye penetrant and ultrasonic inspection, and can offer full traceability and compliance to any standard and acceptance level. This is common-place for the company’s military, rail and hydro-electric customers but is becoming more common-place as other industries realise the cost of down-time and the benefits of receiving quality components.

To talk about your upcoming engineering and manufacturing needs, call A & G Price on +64 7 8686060 or visit www.agprice.co.nz to see more about the company’s capabilities and previous contracts.