ARDEX 50 Years of Innovation
In 1966, a new player, Australian Building Adhesives (ABA), entered the construction industry here. It was a big year. Australia replaced the pound with the dollar, built its first satellite communications station and saw the rate of home ownership reach seventy percent. For fifty years, ARDEX Australia has been helping Australians build those homes.
When the company started in 1966, it had four equal shareholders who were all committed to the development of tile adhesives for the Australian market. From the beginning ABA was developing products for tiling systems, introducing new methods for the trade and was rewarded with a following of loyal customers. Some of the early products such as ABA Tileset, Super Tileset, Abaflex and the CTF and Resaflex ranges have maintained a proud reputation over this half-century.
Australia rewarded ABA’s investment in research and the company grew. Whilst shareholders changed, investment continued and the ABA brand remained strong. Development continued to thrive with the introduction of revolutionary under tile waterproofing membranes such as Superflex as well as innovative wall tile adhesives such as Abamastic. By 1996, Norcros Building Products (Australia) who owned 50% of ABA by this stage, bought the remaining 50% making ABA a wholly owned subsidiary of Norcros. The ABA business complemented Norcros’ extensive range of quality-driven products and solutions for the building industry including Shelter (formerly Dunlop) sheet membrane systems and Hydrepoxy coatings.
As ABA succeeded in the Australian market and toughed out recession and periods of uncertainty, the brand also developed a foothold across Asia Pacific in various locations including Taiwan, Hong Kong, Singapore, China and New Zealand. This network would soon be further strengthened through extensive investment by the ARDEX Group in the region.
Fifteen years ago, in December 2001, Norcros was acquired by ARDEX GmbH and the company continued to revolutionise tiling systems. The next year, 2002, Vibro Products Pty Ltd joined the ARDEX family, bringing its expertise in the manufacturing of floor levelling and knowledge of adhesives to the company. There was a natural fit of quality and innovation to then integrate the Norcros, ABA, Shelter, Superflex, Hydrepoxy and Vibro brands under the one ARDEX umbrella.
This was a turning point for ARDEX Australia. ARDEX reached a position with an extensive range of engineered products and a superior level of technical and manufacturing expertise to deliver a complete system solution to the Australian market. Above all, ARDEX recognised the importance of fostering best in class employees and continued to nurture the loyal customer relationships that are key to the company’s innovation and success.
From the new kid on the block in 1966, ABA has grown into ARDEX Australia with a revenue exceeding AUD$100 million today. There are 160 employees who operate and innovate at Headquarters in Sydney as well as five manufacturing facilities and seven warehouses making sure products reach customers when they need them. ARDEX Australia is proud to be part of the international ARDEX Group with 47 subsidiaries in more than fifty countries employing more than 2,500 people around the world.
ARDEX continues to look to the global market, sourcing technical excellence to develop new products for the ARDEX portfolio. When innovation is identified by other ARDEX subsidiaries, the Australian team embrace it and vice versa. ARDEX will deliver the best system solutions to customers tomorrow and into the future by staying alert to what’s happening around the rest of the world.
ARDEX continue to invest in people that are rich in experience and an asset to their many loyal customers. The close relationships, support and invaluable dialogue between ARDEX and its customers over its fifty year history is instrumental to the company’s success today.
ARDEX first employed a technical services team in 1999 to provide another level of support to its growing customer base. This deliberate approach entering the new millennium was to provide the highest of guidance and resource based on decades of experience. This service continues to evolve with a range of digital resources, including instant online specifications, calculators and product information tailored for each client. In 2012, ARDEX built an ARDEX Training Academy in Sydney and will open two new ARDEX Academies in Melbourne in 2016 and Brisbane in 2017 as part of this commitment to providing the best technical support possible. ARDEX Australia is proud of its technical excellence and product innovation. ARDEX has secured a position of market leadership by combining the best of blue sky thinking with continual investment in the business which includes its valued people. The ARDEX team are entrenched in a culture of excellence, where creative, global thinking and local action ensure that new milestones are reached regularly. ARDEX employees created the innovative products and services and they harness the customer relationships that are core to the business. Fifty years of innovation has occurred through a supportive network of those thirsty for excellence and it is these partnerships between employees, customers, suppliers and the global ARDEX community that will ensure the next fifty years of success.
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