Robbie O’Brien has an undeniable passion for machining, and the success of his Dandenong-based CNC machining business FlexiCut Engineering is a true testament to how hard work and being good at your trade can pay off.
After completing a fitting and turning apprenticeship in one of Australia’s leading V8 Supercar race teams, Mr O’Brien worked for John Hart specialising in CNC machining and training before taking the gamble and investing in his own business.
Mr O’Brien is quick to give credit where credit is due and says he has a great deal of respect for the professional training and valuable experienced gained during his time at John Hart,
“John Hart not only taught me the ins-and-outs of the latest in CNC machinery and associated technologies, but also instilled their motto of how experience and technology can equal success which has been the foundation on which we’ve built FlexiCut Engineering.”
Showcasing the latest in CNC machinery with an impressive Mazak machine workshop and many years of experience of CNC machine tooling and CAD/CAM programming, FlexiCut Engineering caters to all CNC machining requirements.
Mr O’Brien states the success of his business is, “as simple as, offering our customers an efficient service of superior quality at a competitive price” – all critical qualities within motorsport.
As a direct result of working within the motorsport industry for many years, Mr O’Brien quickly learnt the importance of his workshop delivering exceptional quality work on time – every time.
Understanding what clients expect of them and that there is no such thing as ‘near enough is good enough’, Mr O’Brien is quick to communicate the responsibility CNC machinists have and why he instils the importance of each part meeting its technical specifications before it leaves the front door.
“Through years of working within motorsport I have learnt how critical it is to deliver quality parts by focusing on cost-effective, technically superior manufacturing techniques, vigilant quality control and short manufacturing lead times,” says Mr O’Brien.
Mr O’Brien has built FlexiCut Engineering with that attitude and always follows three important rules in order to maintain his success explaining, when producing parts, “it’s got to be done fast, the quality has got to be there, and it must be cost effective for everyone involved.
“Race teams can’t afford to waste money on poorly manufactured parts that aren’t delivered on time – there’s no room for error in this sport”.
In motorsport in particular, if the required part is not manufactured to the highest quality and on time, the race car is loaded onto the truck incomplete and that can cost the team time and money. Mr O’Brien goes on to state how there is a direct correlation between how well you achieve in the workshop to how well you perform on the track.
“Having good race results at the end of the day make up the most memorable moments of working within a race team, and even knowing how FlexiCut is contributing to a team’s success today makes all the hard work worthwhile.”
Speaking to Robbie about his company, it’s easy to see why he’s been so successful. His passion for engineering and motorsport is infectious, although he’s quick to point out how hard work has been the biggest factor in growing his business, putting in long hours, working all night in order to complete parts, “CNC machining is an amazing trade that can provide great satisfaction at the end of the day when you see how your components are being used to achieve great things,” says Mr O’Brien.
Mr O’Brien describes how the Australian motorsport industry is cut-throat, and if you want to be running up the front of the pack you need to have state-of-the-art equipment in the workshop and in-house design facilities, “It’s a competitive industry and time and money are critical components in running a successful race team.”
Traditionally teams would buy race components off mainstream suppliers resulting in over 30 cars on the track running identical parts. Whereas today’s advanced CNC technology allows teams to precisely manufacture individual components to perform with perfection.
CNC machining is an essential component in any successful team’s setup. Their ability to convert raw material to a finished component in a single machine set-up, multi-tasking machines provide innovation to 21st century manufacturing industry.