Steel fabricator embraces the modern to win Lord Mayor’s Business Award

Lord Mayor's Business Awards Gala Dinner

A family-owned Brisbane steel fabrication firm established in 1969 has won the ISPT Award for Digital Adoption Strategy in the 2017 Lord Mayor’s Business Awards.

Watkins Steel Pty Ltd has well and truly proven you can teach an old dog new tricks as it adopts modern industry methods, continually invests in new technology including robotics, and branches into new markets.

Lord Mayor Graham Quirk said the company had embraced innovation to ensure future growth and successfully implemented a unique end-to-end digital workflow for steel fabrication and installation.

Watkins Steel has moved further away from traditional processes into the realm of mixed reality, utilising the Microsoft HoloLens in all aspects of the steel manufacturing process.

The company has also commissioned its second line of Voortman Automated Robotics for steel processing, which integrates all three of its robotic machines to run as a single line – a significant improvement to the efficiency of its existing digital workflow.

“Winning a Lord Mayor’s Business Award is recognition for the innovation and research & development we have undertaken over the last 2 years, transforming a traditional business into an advanced manufacturer,” said Watkins Steel Director Des Watkins.

The Lord Mayor’s Business Awards are now in their 12th year and continue to attract record numbers of entries from a vast range of sectors and industries.

Cr Quirk congratulated all winners of the 2017 Lord Mayor’s Business Awards, who were announced at a gala dinner at Brisbane’s City Hall on Friday 27 October.

“Our award winners demonstrate the depth of talent, enterprising optimism and innovative mindset of our business community, who play a vital role in Brisbane’s success at a local and global level,” he said.

The Lord Mayor’s Business Awards are staged by Brisbane Marketing and sponsored by ANZ, Australia Pacific LNG, Australia TradeCoast, BDO, Brisbane City Council, Channel 7, Energex, Epicure, HSBC, ISPT, Optus, Port of Brisbane, Queensland Urban Utilities, Singapore Airlines, Sirromet and Staging Connections.

Visit for more information and the full list of winners of the 2017 Lord Mayor’s Business Awards.