Western Australian Kerr Engineering was a small engineering firm with two to three people, formed in the late 1960’s by founder Kevin Kerr. In 2000, the company was purchased by David & Mark Kinsman who have transformed it into a dynamic engineering operation employing more than 90 personnel, introducing and operating the latest technology.
Mark Kinsman, Managing Director (left) and Chris Harris, Engineering Operations Manager (right)
Kerr Engineering is based within the Australian Marine Complex at 27 Alacrity Place Henderson, with land size of 12,500 square metres and a 9,000 square metre building to which it relocated in 2019 to meet continuing growth. Today it can be regarded by all accounts and purposes as a high technology precision Okuma shop, from an initial purchase of a new Okuma GENOS M560 Vertical Machining Centre, Kerr Engineering now has seven Okuma machines in operation with two additional machines on the way to further increase the company’s capability under the banner of their new slogan ‘When Quality Matters’.
A new Okuma LB4000BMYC Turning Centre is being commissioned in April, and the latest Okuma MCR-A5C 5-axis Double Column Machining Centre designed to meet the demand for heavy industries is due to be commissioned in August 2024. 

The introduction of these two new Okuma machines will further expand Kerr Engineering’s offerings to its customers. The new Okuma high speed multi-tasking lathe machine will allow Kerr Engineering to enhance their ability to machine parts in a single process, significantly boosting efficiency to better serve their customers.
Additionally the Okuma Double Column machine is one of the largest machines of its kind in Western Australia. The capacity of this Okuma double column machine will enable Kerr Engineering to work on the largest parts required for many of the industries they serve including mining and oil and gas industries.

There has been significant investment in the latest technology and machinery in the last 5 years with thirty-five operational machines now in service. 

“We have concentrated our development with Okuma machining centres over the last 15 years and this is based on the support we receive from the local West Australian Okuma team, the quality, stability and life of the machines plus the fact they have excellent resale value should we ever wish to sell one,” said Managing Director, Mark Kinsman.
This proud, privately owned and operated Western Australian business specialises in all forms of customised metal work, precision machining and fabrication operating twenty- four hours six days a week.
As David Kinsman commented, “We have built the business around ensuring that we exceed the customers’ expectations through four pillars of excellence being in-house technical expertise, multiple quality inspections, the latest technology and machinery and processes that drive efficiency.” 
The in-house technical expertise is centred on 90 plus personnel with high levels of mechanical and engineering discipline plus extensive field experience and the capability of developing concepts to completion. 

Government assistance goes some way towards apprentice training ensuring that a resource of highly skilled personnel will be available going forward. The company has a strong policy in apprenticeship training programmes bringing in two to three young people each year with a high retention rate following their apprenticeship completion. The on-site training offered by Okuma not only assists qualified trades personnel but also these apprentices.

The in-house technical expertise within Kerr Manufacturing encompasses all mechanical and engineering disciplines which combined with extensive field experience, provides the company with the ability to develop sound practical solutions for its clients. 

The company’s integrated business management systems include certification to international and Australian Standards such as ISO 9001-2015; ISO 14001-2015; OHSAS 18---2007 and AS/NZS 4801-2001. In addition all welding is completed to AS/NZS 1554.16 & ASME 1X welding code specifications and the company is also being accredited to ISO 3834.2:2008 Welding Quality Assurance System. 

The drive for efficiency is paramount at Kerr Engineering with processes that reduce costs and achieve an on-time delivery rate of more than 95%.This is particularly important to clients operating Just-in-Time supply chain sourcing. 

In-house technical expertise not only covers the most capable CNC equipment and the highly trained operators but the ability to efficiently produce a range of machined components from a single unit through to complete assemblies. The range covers CNC Machining; Fitting & Turning; Milling and Threading; Tooling and Mould Manufacturing plus Component and Assembly or Fabrication Manufacturing. 

With a state-of-the-art high definition Kinetic XC5000 Plasma cutting machine and a modern programming approach utilising the most advanced nesting algorithms and CNC programming, the company can provide a fast and reliable service with the highest accuracy profiles in its CNC cutting services. The machine is capable of cutting plates up to 60mm in thickness on plasma and plates of 200mm in thickness on oxy-flame with high quality holes and cut-outs. According to Kerr Engineering the integrated cutting edge nesting software and advanced ERP software results in exceptional quality and value. 

With engineering quality the cornerstone of the business, there is extensive experience developing engineered solutions for a diverse range of clients. 

“We work closely with our clients during the design stage covering all the options to optimise the best outcome in costs and efficiency of manufacture,” said Mark Kinsman. “Our in-house team is supported by advanced CAD design systems and CFD/3D analysis software and designs and calculations undergo thorough checks and independent verification where required as part of our Q&A procedures,” he said. “As design specialists, the engineering team works closely with the production workshop personnel whether it is a one-off solution, batch production, individual component or a complete assembly.” 

Kerr Engineering excels in bending and rolling metalwork having completed projects for mining, general industry and off-shore applications, transforming raw materials into precise components of various shapes and sizes. These can include intricate profiles to cylindrical structures to meet diverse clients’ needs. 

There is a meticulous approach to paint and blast processes which are integral to its engineering services. The blasting process removes all surface contaminants and prepares the surface materials for optimal surface adhesion resulting in a superior finish quality and longevity. The paint application method involves precision and expertise to ensure complete and even application coverage. 

“We prioritise efficiency and quality in every project adhering to strict safety and environmental standards throughout the process,” commented Mark Kinsman. “Our commitment to excellence in paint and blast operations is evident in the lasting quality and performance of our clients’ finished products,” he said. 
Today Kerr Engineering is servicing a diverse range of clients in areas such as defense, Mining, Transportation, Oil & Gas, Marine, Materials Handling plus General Engineering with markets principally in Western Australia with some inter-state. The company sees the market for engineering services remaining buoyant into the future with high levels of demand based on quality, efficiency, service and competitive costs that have become more apparent to customers who experienced supply chain problems and increasing costs from overseas suppliers during COVID and beyond.

There are significant advantages being achieved by the company in keeping up with the latest technology including overall efficiency in the operations, finite and consistent accuracy in components. Engineering operators relish opportunities such as being able to constantly to up-skill on the most modern machine advances in capability and programming and there is an air of excitement whenever a new machining centre is commissioned.
In commenting on the growth on Kerr Engineering Okuma, Western Australian Branch Manager John Dale commented “Innovative technology and complete service and support are part of the Okuma experience for our clients. It is our people however who truly define Okuma with their passion, integrity and experience plus our access to local and global machine tool experts. Our partnership with Kerr Engineering continues to be an exciting and rewarding one with our support in commissioning, programming, training and after sales care and we see continuing growth and development with this well managed company,” he said.