Is Parish engineering the oldest remaining repetition engineering business in Victoria? This is the question that was posed to us recently when we visited Parish to talk about their business and their latest acquisition - a vision-based measuring system from Hi-Tech Metrology.

Last week we met with Graeme Sinclair, the director of engineering of Parish Engineering at their Moorabbin facilities in the south-east suburbs of Melbourne, to talk about their business and to see how their latest acquisition - a Micro-Vu video based measuring system was performing after the first six-months of operation.

Graeme told us the very interesting story of how Parish Engineering was established in around 1944 by Mr. Bill Parish, after earlier starting in business in 1932.   The business grew over time through the skills of the owner went on to become one of the icons of the repetition sector in Victoria until in 1968 and with no family to succeed him in the business Bill Parish employed a manager to run the business.

The management style of the new manager was challenging to say the least and when Graeme Sinclair, an engineer ex- the excellent Repco grounding process, joined Parish in 1972 it was to be the start of a forty-year journey.   After leaving and rejoining the company on a number of occasions eventually Graeme and his brother-in-law, the company's solicitor, saw an opportunity to purchase the company and Graeme started running the Company from then on in 1980.

The second CNC machine that Graeme Sinclair purchased for Parish was worth over $450,000 - a massive amount of money at the time, and paradoxically a machine for which they had no work.   This would almost be unheard of in our current turbulent times.   This machine however was so successful that each month it ran it produced enough income to cover the wage costs for the entire business.

The Parish business continued to flourish and found a specialisation and a niche with Swiss-style sliding head-stock machines and the manufacture of small, intricate and long concentric-style components for the Australian manufacturing industry.   Today Parish with 24 CNC machine and of these 9 Citizen Swiss-style machines in their two-factory complex in Moorabbin has 28 employees and an enviable reputation for quality and an ability to manufacture the complex and the difficult products and components where others can't.

The final chapter of the Parish story occurred when Graeme's brother-in-law decided to sell out of the business leaving Graeme to take-over the entire Company, and very-pleasingly through this process was able to bring the first of his two engineering twin-daughters, Nicole Sinclair, into the business as the CEO.   Nicole a bachelor of engineering (mechanical) from Monash University and an MBA has now been successfully running the Parish business for just over 12-months now, with Graeme taking on the technical director's role.

Six-months ago Parish Engineering took delivery of a new Micro-Vu Vertex 310 machine as supplied by Hi-Tech Metrology to measure their extensive range of components manufactured in their facilities.   It was very pleasing and encouraging to see the Micro-Vu machine being used in Parish's quality control department for batch checking of components during production and prior to being dispatched to their customers.

Parish manufacture mainly concentric components from their Swiss-style machines for a major producer of automatic transmissions and they also produce a number of hardware lines for some very well-know hand tool manufacturers in Australia.

The complex components produced by Parish with up to 30 key dimensions to be checked are ideal for the Micro-Vu vision system.   Specially-developed fixtures cut from sheets of acrylic plastic are ready mounted to a fixed position on the X-Y stage of the machine and according to Parish's quality manager - Peter Giarentis, ... " The Micro-Vu machine allows us to check the 20-30 dimensions that require checking in a couple of minutes, this is significantly faster that any other method we have seen, and allows us to check a wide range of parts - often for in-process conformance, and prior to final dispatch to our customers.   The Micro-Vu is a major time-saver for us."

The future for Parish looks very promising, with a full order book and significant investments in the latest technology, the business is now well-positioned and poised for further growth, and with the next generation of the Sinclair family managing the business the Company is in good hands and ready to take on any challenge from the market and the broader economy as a whole.

With customers such as Parish Engineering where the fit between the manufacturing technologies and the measurement systems being employed is so complete, it is little wonder that the team at Hi-Tech - everyone from the sales team to the support and after-sales service team down, feel vindicated in the recommendation and the right use of vision-based measurement technologies for Parish Engineering.

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