Our mother company Alfex CNC Australia turned 40 this year, so we decided to interview our longest-standing employee! Andy Banks originally hails from the UK and is our Queensland State Manager. Andy started at Alfex back with the original founders, and has stuck around for over 24 years.

How long have you been at Alfex CNC Australia

24 years and 5 months!

How did you get started with Alfex CNC Australia?

I was living in Melbourne, saw the job advertisement and applied. I met with Tony Boult (original founder of Alfex CNC Australia) in a hotel room in Melbourne and then moved up to Brisbane for the job!

What did you do before joining Alfex?

I’ve always been in the industry… since I was 16! I’ve only ever worked in the machine tool industry.

The biggest change in the industry since you started?

Basically, here’s the scenario. When I moved to Australia a 1m vertical machine center cost $102K. Now, 30 years later, it’s the same price! So what’s happened is, with new innovations and technology the new parts in a machine have come right down from thousands of parts to hundreds of parts.

The development within the industry has made things work more simply. Old CNC controls used to have 30 printed circuit boards now they have about 4. Technology has advanced so much that things have got much smaller and easier.

What’s been your favourite project at Alfex?

I always really enjoy shows. I enjoy getting them set up and working with the team to put it all together and make sure it all comes off.

What has surprised you about working at Alfex?

The diversity of our customers. We have customers from the little guy in his back shed right up to the huge corporations and multinationals. Just the diversity of our customer range amazes me.

What are you passionate about?

Football. English football! What you Aussies call soccer but what I call proper football! I used to play up until 7 years ago, I’ve always played football. And I enjoy motor racing, F1 and supercars. So having our associations with those people makes it much more interesting when watching the racing!

What have you gained from working at Alfex? Why’ve you stuck around?

We have been through a lot and it has always been a family place and good fun to work at. Tony and Linda started Alfex and it was always had that great family business feel. Then when George and Maryanne took over the business, they have continued and grown the same family-business culture.  We all work hard and at the end of the day, we all have a laugh. I do enjoy the lightheartedness.

What would you buy if you won the lotto?

An Aston Martin! I am so passionate about them that I even managed to get the words Aston Martin into my wedding vows! When I married my wife Kim, we didn’t want the traditional wedding vows. So I promised that I would always keep a box of Arnott’s BBQ Shapes biscuits in the house if she kept saving pennies every now and again towards my Aston Martin.

So that is the first thing I would buy if I won a reasonable amount. Kim would probably argue about that! She can have a packet of BBQ shapes!