Operations & Maintenance, Plant, Machinery & Equipment, Products & Resources, Rollingstock & Manufacturing, Safety

No compromise on quality for Mackay


MACKAY Australia has established itself as the country’s largest and most trusted designer, manufacturer, and distributor of a diverse range of engineered rubber and rubber composite products. 

That’s certainly not bad going for a company which had humble beginnings in 1932, starting out as just a small, but efficient, supplier of OEM automotive parts.  

Rail Express speaks to Mackay Australia Sales and Marketing Manager Michael Morgan about the Victorian company’s origins and how it delivers standards, quality and reliability for the rail sector. 

Morgan said the company had grown from strength to strength at a rapid rate. 

“Since those early days, Mackay has become a major supplier of a diverse range of engineered rubber and bonded metal/rubber composite products for the automotive, defence, transport, rail, marine, mining and manufacturing industrial markets,” he said. 

The products are made in the company’s 11,650 square metre manufacturing facility, which is located with the head office in Dandenong South. It boasts a rubber compound mixing plant, allowing for high production rates to meet the delivery demands of clients. 

“We are now a tier one supplier to OEMs in the transport, defence, automotive, rail, industrial and the packaging industries in Australia and internationally,” Morgan said. 

“Mackay is a trusted supplier to the Australian defence industry, providing products such as submarine components (internal and external), signature reduction materials for surface warships, tank track systems, road wheels and track pads, ballistic shields, and guided missile components. 

“Our technical expertise, customer responsive service and commitment to continuous improvement, backed with sustained investment, are critical factors that have built our reputation for reliable, high quality, innovative products.” 

A wealth of rail experience 

Mackay is well established as a designer and manufacturer of engineered rubber components for the Australian rail industry for more than 30 years. 

“We design and manufacture critical bogie primary and secondary suspension components as well as engine and transmission raft mounts, and various other resilient elements,” Morgan said. 

“We currently supply all the major companies within the Australian rail industry with a vast variety of world class Australian-made products across freight, passenger, and light rail. 

“In addition to the supply of rail products for rolling stock, we also now provide safety infrastructure products for passenger platform stations, our Platform Gap Fillers. 

“Along with these, we also offer a variety of consulting roles for product life extension research, product engineering redesign work, product and material testing and full product evaluation testing of the suitability of rubber/metal bogie elements to be reinstalled at a major service interval.”  

Mackay offers Australia-wide service and back-up, enabling the company to guarantee customers the peace of mind that local support for all the products will be available for the life of each product and each project. 

Mackay has designed and developed many replacement primary suspension elements for Australian passenger fleets to improve ride and durability.

 The Mackay advantage 

“Dealing with us has several advantages,” Morgan said.  

“Our local presence in Australia allows us to be far more responsive in the local market for both initial build and ongoing provision of replacement parts in the future. 

“Our understanding and experience in the Australian market allows us to manufacture small volume production runs with short lead times. 

“We also offer a complete in-house design and testing service with materials development and production mixing carried out on the one site.” 

Mackay’s experienced engineering team uses Unigraphics CAD and Solid Edge drafting systems and ANSYS finite element analysis to model customer requirements, reducing lead times from concept to prototype and finished product, as well as service intervals, for large train manufacturers. 

The NATA-accredited physical testing laboratory conducts simulated service testing on prototypes, ensuring that products not only perform the tasks for which they are designed, but meet the durability requirements of customers’ applications. 

Rolling stock and rail products 

Mackay’s products include passenger primary suspension elements, locomotive primary suspension elements, secondary suspension elements, engine/transmission/raft mounts and bogie components. 

Passenger, locomotive, and wagon bogies can contain several resilient elements such as bump-stops, bolster springs, spherical and plain bushes, elements for steerable bogies and shock-absorber mounts.  

Mackay has designed and manufactured resilient elements for more than 30 years. For several Australian projects, Mackay provided significantly redesigned components for service life improvements. 

Mackay’s Platform Gap Fillers reduces the risk of passengers falling between the edge of the platform and train entry door when stopped, and also offer wheelchairs unassisted entry and exit from passenger trains.

 Platform Gap Fillers   

Mackay’s Platform Gap Fillers are engineered to endure load, withstands sunlight, ozone, extreme climate, flame-retardant certified to fire safety test BS 6853:1999. 

“Our rubber is chemically bonded to a mounting plate for secure fixing; the design allows ensures that there is no damage to the rolling stock if accidental contact with the trains occur, and will easily support wheelchair access,” Morgan said. 

The fillers are designed and made in Australia to ensure the utmost in quality, made for specific applications and tailored to meet specific requirements. 

They meet and exceed all current requirements in Australia and overseas, and are available in varied colours and styles for various applications. 

A commitment to quality  

Above everything else, Morgan said quality is king at Mackay. 

“We are committed to attaining the highest standards possible from concept through to final product,” he said.  

“This no-compromise approach involves using the best materials available, combined with innovative product and process development. Our management systems ensure customers receive optimal solutions to their needs.” 


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