By CASEY NEILL
CHRIS Scott has always loved to tinker with toys.
“I’ve been interested since I was a kid, in all that sort of stuff,” he said.
He set up Advanced Robotics 27 years ago and turned his passion into a growing business, now based in Hallam.
Mr Scott installed early robots back in the 1980s and studied a graduate diploma in robotics.
He’s since seen the industry change and grow.
“We’ve moved into a lot of areas we couldn’t work in years and years and years ago,” he said.
“The robots themselves have changed a little bit but not seriously.
“They’ve got fast and more memory and that sort of stuff, but the basic concept of design is still pretty much exactly the same.”
What’s kept him in the industry?
“Certainly not the money!” he laughed.
“It’s the love. It’s a passion.
“There’s nothing better than stepping back and looking at a machine that works once you’ve designed it and built it.”
Mr Scott works alongside his wife Kylie and his 23-year-old son Andrew, who’s a technician.
They design, build, install and maintain automated systems, from fully-integrated robot systems to special-purpose machinery.
Potato cake cutters, chips packers, conveyor belts and robot tracks are all in a day’s work – it’s all about saving businesses time and money, and improving quality and productivity.
“I do most of the engineering,” Mr Scott said.
Engineering and manufacturing businesses are Advanced Robotics’s main customers.
“We have quite a few customers in Dandenong but we have customers all over Victoria,” Mr Scott said.
“With the dollar down we’ve got a good chance of looking into Asia for supply of automotive equipment.
“There’s a shortage of people in Asia who can supply quality and well-made and well-designed equipment.
“We’ve had a couple of people saying to us that certain places are looking for good automators.”
Advanced Robotics currently employs 10 people.
“I expect that will grow,” Mr Scott said.
As will the workspace the business requires. It recently relocated to a new site in Hallam.
“Everyone was falling over the top of each other,” Mr Scott said.
“We’ve probably got another step at least to take in the near future.
“We’ll probably need to take another step up in size, at least another 50 to 100 per cent again.”
He wants to keep the business within the area.
“This is a good spot,” he said.
Mrs Scott agreed.
“The Casey Cardinia Council have been fantastic for us,” she said.
Advanced Robotics spruiked its capabilities and sold the location in the Casey Cardinia Region stand at this year’s National Manufacturing Week expo.
“The exposure we got from that was fantastic,” she said.
“We got introduced to other manufacturers in the area. We got quite a few jobs out of it.”