“Improved quality of our end product, improved productivity and time efficiency.”
Craig Vanderstelt started manufacturing trailers in 2001 when a friend asked him to build a transport rig for a sprint car – a high-powered race car designed to compete on short dirt tracks. Vanderstelt took a leave from his job, rented a small shed, designed, and built the trailer. Word got out about Vanderstelt’s creation and Zenith Custom Creations was born.
Seventeen years later, Zenith is a bustling six-person, 800-square-foot, operation in Mount Barker, South Australia, using a MAXIEM® 1530 abrasive waterjet to become the apex of custom transport engineering fabrication in the region. Zenith produces custom semi-trailers, tilt trays, and gooseneck trailers, along with a whole host of wide-ranging transportation solutions. Over the years, the Zenith team has built an excellent reputation for fine craftsmanship leading them to long and prosperous customer relationships.
In 2017, Zenith purchased a MAXIEM 1530 from Headland Machinery. “(I) searched the current market for waterjet machines and kept coming back to the OMAX® product suite,” says Vanderstelt. “It was the only all-round cutter that was not limited to steel and provided a large range of add-on benefits.” Zenith’s new abrasive waterjet joins an already well-equipped shop alongside a sheet metal guillotine, pan brake folder, and hydraulic cropper and punch machine.
Headland Machinery provided additional training and support while the Zenith team was getting to know their new machine, delivering a seamless integration of the innovative abrasive waterjet. Vanderstelt states, “The training and support we’ve received from our supplier, Headland, has been awesome. We chose OMAX due to the high quality, user-friendly controls and variety of upgrade options – and knowing that we’ll have prompt support from Headland if and when we need it only makes our experience better.”
The Zenith team uses their abrasive waterjet to largely cut aluminum from one millimeter plate to half-an-inch stock, for their work building custom trailer internal fit out parts (as well as the occasional part for a sprint car). In addition, the new abrasive waterjet has allowed for other manufacturing avenues. Vanderstelt says, “Having the waterjet has opened up the market of custom cutting and also allowed us to increase productivity by manufacturing in different ways.” Recently the scope of their manufacturing base has grown. Vanderstelt shared that the Zenith team has expanded into Defense Force projects.