2018 has seen a lot of incredibly exciting developments for the InQuik product, with new products launched, opening up to new markets, and increasing the rate of product adoption in Australia. From making our first InQuik bridge sales in 2017 with just our 12m span product, the 2018 year saw us selling bridge projects with 5 different span lengths, 2 different panel widths, and even our first multi-span bridge! We are very proud of what we have achieved as a small family-run Australian start-up business in such a short amount of time, in introducing a completely new bridge construction methodology in what has traditionally been a highly conservative market space.
The past year has been full of firsts for InQuik.
Being fully cast on-site, the InQuik system is perfect to construct fully integral structures, which are designed to withstand massive flood loadings, and require no long-term maintenance of the bridge structure for its 100 year design life. In 2018 we built our first fully integral InQuik bridge, and every InQuik bridge since then has been fully or semi-integral.
The first InQuik multi-span bridge was installed using our newly-developed headstock system. This double-span project was fully completed on-site (from placing foundations to finishing the deck concrete) in about 3 weeks.
We developed and delivered the first InQuik HM32 bridge, which is a T44 (68t) load rated, 3.2m-wide single-panel bridge for narrow width crossings, and has been specifically designed for private and low traffic volume applications. In its first year on the market we delivered three HM32 bridges, with more in the pipeline for next year.
In 2017 we introduced the InQuik system with our standard 12m deck span. In 2018 we also delivered the first 6, 9 and 13.7m InQuik deck spans which use the same deck cross-section profile as the 12m panel. We also further extended our design range to include 16 and 18.5m deck spans, and fully developed the engineering behind these products, delivering the first 16m InQuik bridge.
One of the biggest advantages of the InQuik system is its transportability, due to the lightweight panel components which aren’t susceptible to damage during transport. This year for the first time we transported all the structural components to build a bridge on a single truck. This included two 12m deck panels and two abutments (lying on their backs), which were all stacked up on each other, and shipped from Newcastle to Bombala (close to the Victorian border, ~630 km).
Within the 2018 year we had our first (and second!) customer place repeat orders for InQuik bridges.
After appointing Brett Reuben as our first Queensland InQuik sales manager, within two months we have received our first two bridge orders for delivery to Queensland. This rapid adoption of the product bodes well for InQuik’s success in the state and across Australia. We have also begun exploring international markets, with multiple bridges quoted for export to New Zealand and the South Pacific, and undertaking a preliminary fact-finding mission to the USA.
In 2018, ARRB and TMR produced the report, In-line Timber Bridge Replacement Options, which compared InQuik and other modular bridge technologies for their suitability for different bridge environments and conditions. Out of all the technologies compared, InQuik was demonstrated to be a highly favourable option.
In addition to our existing product portfolio, we have been listening to our customers, and are exploring the development of a narrow girder culvert replacement bridge (for 4 to 6m spans), a pedestrian bridge product, and high load rated bridges for rail crossings.
Our rapid product adoption has been the result of a lot of hard work from our sales and marketing team, who were present at, and presented at, many conferences over the year including the IPWEA NSW and Queensland state conferences, the ADM Defense Summit, and the Fish Passage 2018 Conference. We were also represented at farm field days including Tocal (Hunter Valley, NSW), Farm World (Gippsland, VIC; we won the 2018 Best Innovation & Technology Exhibit!), and Murrumbateman (Southern Tablelands, NSW). Our Managing Director, Logan Mullaney, also gave an invited presentation at the Concrete Institute of Australia seminar event on meeting specifications for concrete in transport infrastructure.
The Australian Local Government Association (ALGA) has published the 2018 National State of the Assets Report (the first since 2015), which highlighted that over $800 million worth of Australia’s council bridge assets are in poor condition (note this is the value of the asset, not the repair/replacement cost). The country’s bridge infrastructure needs major urgent and on-going investment to get in front of replacing its continuously aging bridge stock. We feel that the product quality, ease and speed of construction, lifetime benefits and overall project cost savings place InQuik in a prime position to help Australia overcome its aging bridge assets crisis.
Finally, we are very grateful for the on-going support we have received from our engineering partner SMEC, and our manufacturing partner ARC, who both believed in our project from the very beginning. Judging from the successes of the past year, we can expect a very exciting 2019 year ahead.