Who would've thought building boxes could be a high tech enterprise?
Well, according to the CEO of K-TIG [ASX:KTG], not only is box building firmly in the sights of the Adelaide based, high-tech welding company, but it could be their way of launching on to the global stage.
K-TIG [ASX:KTG] listed a couple of weeks ago on the Australian Stock Exchange, bringing to market a unique style of welding known as Keyhole Tungsten Inert Gas.
The K-TIG welding process is based on Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation technology.
According to CEO David Williams, the process is significantly faster, cheaper and delivers a higher quality weld than traditional TIG welding.
K-TIG works by firing hot gas into two pieces of metal, fusing them together, to effectively create one piece.
"Our process is a single-pass, full-penetration keyhole welding technology which performs a 6-hour TIG weld in under 3 minutes," David Williams told me.
"That is just 1% of the time normally required and the average cost saving is between 80 and 95 per cent.
K-TIG is using the seven million dollars it raised in its IPO to primarily turn K-TIG into a ‘Welding-as-a-Service’ (WaaS) business.
According to Williams, up until now K-TIGS been manufacturing and selling welding systems.
But under David William's direction, the company has shifted to a concept where the customer pays a small sign on fee, receives the welding machine, the software to run it, and all the support needed to get started. From there the customer starts churning out quicker, cheaper and stronger welds and pays K-TIG a fee per metre of weld.
Of course, it is not exactly that simple, as Lawrence explains in the interview, but the benefits of the WaaS approach are many.
So what about the boxes?
In Great Britain, there are 30 plus nuclear reactors that are entering the decommissioning phase over the coming years.
For each reactor, Lawrence says they will need 70 thousand stainless steel boxes. That's right. 70 thousand! That is to store nuclear waste.
If you make those boxes using traditional welding techniques it'll take a long time, and you face the pesky issue of possible weld degradation. Not something you really want in a box holding nuclear waste. Then of course, there is the cost.
According to David Lawrence, K-TIG has a long-standing relationship with the relevant nuclear regulatory body. The nuclear research division of the organisation has had a K-TIG welding unit for a some time, and according to Lawrence, they are very happy with it.
For K-TIG it only needs to win the one contract with the regulator. They will then give them approval for the K-TIG welding system, and so it will be used on all 30+ reactors.
That would be 2 million-plus stainless steel boxes.
For more on the potential of this "jewel in the crown", as David Lawrence calls it, here's my recent interview.
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