About Helix Flight, our Journey...

Who we are?

The Helix Flight Forming Machine team consists of genius mathematicians, designers, engineers and metallurgy people that have a singular and dedicated focus: To provide continual innovation and revolutionising helix formation.

Our Helix Forming Machines allow companies to move away from previously time-consuming, heavy, manual operations to safe, swift and simple, automated production.

Our entities include intergenerational businesses who have been running successfully for over 60 years.

The Helix Flight Forming Machine was judged to rank in the top 4 finalists for the International HERA Innovation Awards.

Helix Flight has also been validated and underwritten by Callaghan Innovation which is the
New Zealand Government Research & Development Agency.

History...

Helix Flight Manufacturing Machines Limited was established by our founder, Daniel Coats, due to needs being identified in the screw piling industry. With over 20 years exposure to helix making both in New Zealand and internationally, Daniel was aware that high quality True Form helices were of paramount importance in enabling the integrity of the weld procedure, improved installation, and higher load capacity per pile as a result. It was extremely clear through research that problems existed in producing quality helices in a safe, effective and efficient manner. And so began the work to improve on the existing technology of that time... something that has now become a success story!

First Machine commissioned in Japan

Research & Development phase...

In 2012, Daniel pulled together a team of New Zealand experts in mathematics, programming, automation, linear motion, engineering, finite and fatigue analysis, hydraulics, and high cycle hydraulic cylinder manufacture. The team had some basic empirical knowledge of how to build durable machines and held over 20 years’ specialist experience in making high quality helices.

However, solutions were needed to the problems seen across the global industry. Most existing machines were managed and operated by highly-paid, highly-skilled, artisan operators with production being highly labour intensive, creating fundamental operational, business and safety issues. These issues include the fracturing of blades, unsafe foot pedal operation, and lengthy training and set-up between each job. These problems needed to be eliminated for the safe and much greater efficiency and safety in functional, operational performance. Ultimately, these machines have high whole-of-life costs per helix, were unsafe in operation, and created unending management issues.

By the end of 2012 Helix Flight had the first HF1 series Medium Diameter machine completed and operational which resulted in a step-change across the helix forming industry. The first machine was placed into an extremely high-quantity, high-demand and quality production situation in Japan in early 2013... and today, that machine is still going strong and exceeding expectations!

Revolutionary phase...

Other models followed to meet a variety of needs and demands, while keeping our R&D team constantly busy in search of new ways to develop, improve and implement technologies and performances. It was an important focus for us to generate safer, lower whole-of-life costs per helix produced.

Targets aimed at leading the world in ensuring safety, reliability and introducing improved simplicity of operation, with additionally advanced online diagnostics, consistent quality in producing True Form helices. It was also important to find ways to make substantial reductions in the necessary training requirements, and make significant reductions in the risks associated with operational error.

At the same time, Helix Flight had also extended the service life of machines through new, and dynamic, technological developments which have become an ongoing and constant focus for enhancements that directly benefit our machine owner's helix forming production lines.

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Custom Built Approach...

By the end of 2014, with experience in transforming global industries, our company’s interest continued to grow in terms of finding solutions to more intense problems. These included creating cold forming helices from a wear plate, and forming larger diameter and thickness helices.

So, Helix Flight made a substantial investment in the Research & Development of a wear plate capable machine, which came to fruition and was released into the market in mid-2015. This machine entered into production in Europe and gained interest from an influential number of companies from around the world.

The simplicity of Helix Flight's technology took a further step in 2020 when the suite of commissioning, safety, training documentation, and visually helpful video tutorials for our new machine owners were released to support our customer's production teams. This allowed those personnel that had little or no previous experience in sectional helix forming to get up and running very quickly from a standing start to completion and full-production within only 2 or three days of simplified training.

The global adoption of Helix Flight's technology has been rapid, we currently have over 60 machines located in over 20 countries, on all 6 populated continents across the globe.

Our largest machine is now operating with the global leader in Archimedes Pumps and Turbines, it can form helices up to 6 metres in diameter, and 7.2 metres in pitch ...Impressive, to say the least!

The Helix Flight Team...

The Helix Flight Manufacturing Machines team is made up of genius mathematicians, designers, engineers and metallurgy specialists that all work with dedication for one specific and key focus: To allow companies to move away from the recognised high-cost of artisan specialists that have previously dominated the industry, and the all-to-often inconsistent qualities experienced by forming precision helices in the previously cost-inefficient, key-staff reliant, and frequently high safety risk ways.

With the immense and constantly dedicated efforts of the Helix Flight Manufacturing Machines team, we have achieved recognition to be selected as one of the Top 4 Finalists in the International HERA Innovation Awards.

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