Case Study: Chemical Industry

Case study: Design and Manufacture of 25 Water Based Paint Mixing Tanks

Client:  Dulux Group

Location:  Merrifield, Victoria

Project:  New water-based paint manufacturing facility.

The brief:

Iconic architectural paint brand Dulux has invested $165 million in a new state-of-the-art manufacturing facility in Merrifield, north of Melbourne’s CBD. Currently under construction, the factory will produce the majority of Dulux Australia’s water based decorative paint.

Furphy Engineering was tasked with designing and manufacturing tanks for the new facility. The tanks will enable Dulux to mix water-based paint products in various batch sizes and produce more advanced paint products using evolving technology in resins of quality and consistency.

“These mixers will enable Dulux to have greater control of the production process; it’s a quantum leap in repeatable, consistently high-quality outputs. This technology has been designed for our future manufacturing needs, to cater for emerging technologies.”said David Antcliff, Dulux.

The challenge:

The range of products to be mixed by Dulux consisted of some very high densities which increased loads on agitators far above typical loads for tanks of these sizes.

The project:

We were tasked with producing 25 Mixing tanks for Dulux’s new Merrifield factory. To ensure quality, the tanks were designed to meet AS1210-2010: Pressure Vessels, and utilised technologies of automated strake rolling, automated plasma rolling and automated polishing.

Intense mixing requirements and the design liquid specific gravity of up to 2.0 resulted in increased loads generated by the agitators, far above typical loads for similarly sized tanks. Further design was therefore required to ensure the strength and stiffness of the tanks’ local nozzle components. Furphy’s experienced in-house team of engineers performed a Finite Element Analysis of the relevant tank components impacted by agitator loads to ensure both the stress and stiffness of the area would is to meet the expected agitator loads. “The FEA was crucial to the economics of the project when establishing metal thickness needs”, mentioned David.

The internal weld finish was delivered to a very high specification, akin to levels normally reserved for products manufactured for dairy and food & beverage industries.

The batch production nature of the process required that the surface finish of the internal tank surface be of an extremely high standard to ensure ongoing cleaning and quality of the product. Therefore, a high cleanliness internal weld finish normally reserved for food grade applications was chosen. The internal weld finish ensures excellent cleanability, minimising residual product during each paint batch manufactured and reducing the time required to clean the tank’s internal surfaces after a batch of paint has been made.


The outcome:

Furphy handled the entire project, from design and thorough assessment through to engineering, project management and manufacture. Furphy’s 7,500 m2state-of-the-art facility allowed the company to take on a project of this scale and deliver 25 world class quality mixing tanks on time.

“The benefit of our large state-of-the-art facility is that we were able to schedule the efficient design and manufacture of all tanks and sequence to meet Dulux’s overall construction process and schedule,” Furphy Engineering’s Andrew Spratt said.

As an Australian owned company producing Australian designed and manufactured tanks, Furphy is able to ensure every aspect of a project is perfectly executed, thereby guaranteeing the quality of the final product.

“Other operators don’t have design engineers in-house, however with Furphy, there’s no delay and it’s a completely seamless process as they have design and manufacture under the same roof” added David.  

“Furphy is a safe pair of hands when it comes to vessels & certainly one of the easier contractors we work with. I have a long history with Furphy, they’re always open, honest & professional. Andrew and the guys really understand our needs, they’re proactive and easy to deal with.”

Contact out team on (03) 5832 1400 or via