A Visit to maXtek Marine's Factory
With the new training centre established at the MaXtek Marine head office, I jumped at the chance to get to South Korea to find out why these systems are proving to be so popular worldwide whilst also learning more about the manufacturing / assembly of this rapidly expanding hydraulic steering company.
Being in operation for over 25 years MaXtek Marine have grown from a small business with only 4 staff to now over 40 in their current capacity. In the past year they have moved in to a brand new premise with 4 factories and a CAD design / sales office.
Upon turning up the first thing to notice was the extremely tidy and efficient set up that was in place. From the CAD design teams offices, to the training facility to the Automatic laser measuring robot which makes sure every product is produced with the strictest quality control. They even go as far as individually assigning each helm and cylinder to a certain staff member who oversees the assembly and testing of every item before dispatch so they can be tracked if there are any issues within the lifetime of each product.
One of the interesting points I learnt whilst there was the fact that 95% of the South Korean market uses the maXtek hydraulic steering. With over 70% of the boats in the water being for commercial use ( mostly fisherman ) the MaXtek hydraulic steering was designed in collaboration with these customers to be able to handle the high wear and long hours these type of operators do ( typically 10-12 hours every day ).
Coming up against established players in the Hydraulic steering market the team at MaXtek Marine realised they needed to produce a product that at a bare minimum matched what was currently available. MaXtek Marine decided to instead produce a much higher quality product that could withstand the highest demands of the commercial market.
When comparing helms for example the Maxtek helm has 3 seals compared to other manufactures 1-2, this is to make sure oil cannot only leak out but also no contaminants can get in. Also on the cylinder end the bullhorns are forged which is able to handle much higher impacts then the competitor’s use of die cast steel. One other great advantage of the MaXtek hydraulic steering system is the hose that is supplied. No more trying to guess the correct sized hoses before ordering, the double sheathed, non rigid, nylon hose of 15 metres is supplied with 2 crimped on Stainless Steel fittings which can then be cut to length at install and installed to the cylinder end, with 2 high quality re-useable couplings supplied for use at the helm end thus saving valuable time for the installer.
Within New Zealand we currently have well over 500 kits in operation and is being used by some of our most well-known boat builders; Southern Boats, Smuggler boats, Buccaneer, KiwiKraft Boats, CSB Huntsman, Fi-Glass Boats, Pinnacle Boats, as well as commercial operators such as DOC.
The MaXtek hydraulic steering system is available in 2 sizes 150hp and under and 350hp and under and available from all reputable workshops and marine stores across New Zealand and Australia. The Maxtek Hydraulic Steering range is proudly distributed by Absolute Marine.