Engineering, Operations and Maintenance, Plant and Equipment, Projects, Rail industry news (Australia, New Zealand), Rolling Stock

SCG: high quality engineering for the rail industry

sgc engineering


Strategic Connections Group (SCG) has become well-known for providing high quality engineering and business support services, primarily for the rail industry.

Established in Melbourne in 2009, the company is owned and managed by Alan Burns and Raphael Cadars, both of whom have degrees in mechanical engineering.

Now in its 15th year of operations, the business has grown to a staff of 25 people, comprised of 16 engineers and nine professionals from various backgrounds, including procurement, finance, HR, marketing, QHSE, production, manufacturing, construction and systems design.

Managing Director Cadars said SCG was agile and innovative.

“We listen to our clients, get to know them and their operations so that we can become highly effective and valued business partners,” he said.

“Our experience allows us to understand our clients’ needs, and to articulate that in a structured approach, with clear methodology, skills and performance leading to successful outcomes, compliance and risk mitigation at the core of our value offering.”

Cadars said the reality of managing a rolling stock engineering services business in Australia meant it was “very niche”.

“The passenger rail rolling stock market is relatively small in comparison to that of other countries i.e. England, France, China, Japan and others,” he said.

“We have adapted to fluctuating demands – peaks and valleys – as projects come and go, whether they be new build tenders for rolling stock, manufacturing site upgrades and industrialisation readiness, mid-life refurbishment programs, life extensions, as well as the realities of day-to-day- maintenance operations, where reliability studies, investigations, system improvements, obsolescence issues and suitable replacements are always needed.

“The bottom line is our focus is on rolling stock and everything that comes with and revolves around it; our experiences, our passion for rolling stock and our constant proximity to industry and academia that supports our relevance in the services we offer.”

Burns has seen the industry evolve over more than 30 years in the rail sector.

It has become much more people-focused, and this is something he is passionate about.

“SCG cherishes its team of engineering professionals, especially for its mix of hands-on background and ability to operate and deliver within strict governance, compliance and safety requirements,” he said.

“Our team is highly skilled, dedicated and personable. It’s the relationships we create when partnering with clients on projects and assignments that lead to excellent outcomes and a deeper level of collaboration and mutual respect.

“SCG values professional integrity, human qualities, transparency; the total transparency to clients on work performed.

SCG’s approach is carefully planned and structured, supported by their ISO9001:2015 quality management system which is integral to their operations.”

Big supporters of local industry, women-in-rail and collaboration, SCG often partners with other SMEs to deliver a full package to clients by working closely with a wide range of local organisations for specialist services, such as structural engineering, materials science, digital analytics and human factors.

SCG’s core services are broadly grouped into three main categories:

  • Project Management and Engineering
    • Obsolescence, reverse engineering and certification
    • Engineering change processes
    • Maintenance optimisation and planning
    • Scopes of work
    • eBOMs
    • Integration and modifications
    • Drafting and 3D modelling
    • FEA
    • FMEA
    • RAMS
    • CATIA/Solidworks
    • Damage assessments and repair schemes
    • SESA
    • Systems engineering
    • Testing and commissioning planning and support
  • Business Support
    • Quality, safety and risk management
    • Technical, commercial and client requirements support for RFQ responses
    • Preparation of RFQ documentation for suppliers
    • Supplier evaluation and audits
  • Tender Support

Subject matter experts in

  • Local content
  • Workforce development
  • Supply chain development
  • Social procurement
  • Cost modelling
  • Local jobs first compliance
  • Major Project Skills Guarantee (MPSG)
  • Aboriginal engagement and participation