CEFRANK

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An Interview for The Bridge 2016

CEFRANK Engineering

EXCERPT from the 2016 Christmas Issue of “MOST” (T H E  B R I D G E). 

THE JOURNEY

Franko Cetinić is a successful entrepreneur in Australia and Asia; who has an English address but often resides in Croatia as well. We met up with him in London where he is an active member of the Croatian community. Conversation with Franko is very pleasant, he is rich in experiences and radiates with enthusiasm and innovative reasoning.

FRANKO CETINIĆ

CROATIA IS MY SPIRITUAL FULFILMENT
Korčula-born entrepreneur, Franko Cetinić, transformed his fitting turning skills into a prosperous business in the gas industry, launching products in the Australian, Asian, and European markets. Until recently, he worked up to 16 hours a day, and aeroplanes were often his second home. Franko shared his life-story with us.

KORČULA-BORN ENTREPRENEUR
Franko Cetinić was born on the Island of Korčula, from where he left for Sydney in 1970 as an 18-year-old. Franko is the third generation of Cetinić’s to live in Australia. His grandfather, Antun, was the first from the family to leave for Australia in 1927, where he worked laboriously in the mines. Franko’s father went to join Antun in the mines and became an Australian soldier in World War II. They both returned to Korčula in 1948.

Franko speaks of his Australian beginnings: “I always tried to be a responsible worker, and I changed jobs a lot in order to learn as much as possible – from turner, to machinist, tool-maker, welder, locksmith… I performed all these trades conscientious and diligence. It was nine long years of hard work in preparation for my independence.”

Incisive, hardworking, and innovative, Franko quickly realised that working for others would not give him enough space to move forward. A severe injury to his right hand resulted in the idea to start his own business. He became a successful sub-contractor in the metal industry, and realised quickly that the energy industry brought the most profit. Franko began manufacturing gas equipment, his talent for innovation and perseverance helped him rise to become a global leader in the industry. “The gas business was a coincidence. At first I managed a labour-hire service, which was a great challenge. After that I was involved in various projects which included the relocation of whole factories, overhauling of machines, and other related activities. My beginnings in the gas business started with maintenance services. I saw room for improvement and for profit. We were among the top in this industry, and managed to tackle a demanding market. A particular challenge was manufacturing a safe, high quality product designed to prevent human error. Over time, prospects in China began to emerge, and through China the door to Europe was open. In China I encountered an entirely new way of thinking. Being both good and affordable isn’t always the easiest, but it is possible. Our administration is currently handled out of London, while technical and production facilities are in China. Our products are sold in Australia, America, Africa…”

CEFRANK UK

A LIGHTHOUSE OF COURAGE AND FREEDOM
When asked what Australia gave to him, Mr. Cetinić replies: “The same as I gave her. It was a partnership. I arrived young, full of energy and enthusiasm, ready to build a home and help build my new country. I came for Christmas as a Christmas gift to Australia.

Australia is a gold mine, not only in terms of the valuable metal, but also in terms of the Croatian people on that continent. Religion and sports proved to be quite useful in connecting the Croatian diaspora. The Croatian émigrés, as much as they are physically there, are still connected in spirit with the Homeland. We have a heritage, and it cannot be altered. We need to provide opportunities for second and third generation immigrants – and this is something that a strong and healthy Croatian government could provide.

Besides tourism, Croatia needs production. Croatia needs to develop production and make use of its workforce, which is of an excellent standard, instead of having Croats disperse and work as “servants” around the world. I learned through my own experience why many Croats prosper in the world, while they cannot make it at home. This needs to change, and it can only be done by having the Croatian diaspora invest their capital in the Homeland.”

Franko Cetinić is active in the World Peace Committee Gong, and is Vice-President for Europe. He is friends with people of various profiles and outlooks on life, and always seeks to support artists and artistic events: “I met Charles Bilich in Australia. He creates a unique kind of art. I am also proud to have Meri Cetinić as my cousin. I am good friends with Anton Sardelić – a great artist who is currently engaged in conveying the stories of the suffering that took place in Vukovar. I am honoured that I was able to help with the cultural event Sentimento by Stijepo Gleđ Markos in Dubrovnik.”

 

BACK TO MY ROOTS
Mr. Cetinić regularly resides in Croatia. We note that there are insufficient investments in Croatia and we asked how the country could improve in this area. He responds: “For me it is most important that Croatia starts protecting investors and their money, and that it respects the rules of the game – from top to bottom. This is something so simple that it is surprising it isn’t done already.

In Croatia there is a systematic destruction of production, and the repercussions of this are the loss of independence and a pattern of dependency on everyone. I believe this will change. I have changed over time as well. I had to adapt. The one who works hard needs to be rewarded, while the one who doesn’t ought to be sent home. Croats are a hardworking people, and we have proven this many times.

Croatia is undergoing a necessary schooling. Croatians are intelligent and this too will be acknowledged very soon. Unfortunately though, Croatia was not built on a sound foundation, and so it is understandable that not enough has been done in 25 years. We were inflicted with a war that was dreadful and dissipating. The world did not understand and called us criminals for protecting our homes. Why should we be ashamed of defending our Homeland? I am optimistic regarding Croatia’s future, and when the Croatian people see this, there will be no end to us.”

On what the Croatian diaspora can do for their Homeland, Mr. Cetinić says: “We Croatian expats must adjust to Croatia. Just as we adjusted to Australia once upon a time, so too must we now adapt to Croatia. An emigrant like me who has lived abroad for many years, must bend to the Croatian environment and help instruct and educate our people, sharing our experiences as much as possible. One works best in one’s own milieu. If we want the best for Croatia, we Croatians abroad must try and understand our people; we must not patronise, underestimate, or blackmail them.”

Franko often travels to Croatia. The reason for this lies in going back to the beginning. “I’m going back to my roots. Going to Croatia gives me spiritual fulfilment.”

 

 

 

Gasworld Interview with CEFRANK: Part Three

CEFRANK Interview

Gasworld’s editor in chief Rob Cockerill, asks CEFRANK about the future…

Gasworld: What does the future hold for CEFRANK? Will this be a future that you are involved in yourself, or will your father still be guiding the company onwards and upwards?
CEFRANK: I can’t predict the future of course, but things look bright for us. We’ve had a couple of very strong years and things don’t look like they’re about to slow down. We’ve had some really interesting enquiries and projects quietly developing in a few sideline areas in and around Europe. My father will always be guiding the business. He built it from the ground up and he knows it like no one else ever can, but in the meantime my brother and I have been slowly taking over more of the daily operations.

“We’re leaders in our corner of the market because we’ve designed and produced some of the most state-of-the-art packaged-gas equipment in the world, and we don’t want that to change. So while our goal might not evolve any time soon, our efforts do, constantly.”

Gasworld: What’s the chief growth driver for CEFRANK – and do you see that evolving over time?
CEFRANK: What drives us is a desire to make our product better. We’re leaders in our corner of the market because we’ve designed and produced some of the most state-of-the-art packaged-gas equipment in the world, and we don’t want that to change. So while our goal might not evolve any time soon, our efforts do, constantly.

Gasworld: Where do you see CEFRANK being in five years’ time?
CEFRANK: I hope that in five year’s time more of our bundles and pallets are seen in the field all around the world. We hope to get involved in some innovative partnerships with like-minded businesses who are interested in moving forward and making things better in our unique corner of the market.

Gasworld Interview with CEFRANK: Part Two

CEFRANK UK

Gasworld’s editor in chief Rob Cockerill, asks CEFRANK about innovation in packaged gases…

Gasworld: There is a clear and increasing trend towards innovation in the packaged gases business today, a trend that is arguably long overdue. Do you feel this has previously been lacking in packaged gases? If so, why do you think this is?
CEFRANK: Yes, innovation has been sorely lacking in this sector. I think it’s because ultimately people don’t like change. They don’t want to be the ones who implement something new because they’re afraid of failure. It’s that ‘don’t fix it if it ain’t broke’ attitude that’s held back innovation. Often times, big corporations get stuck in a reactive cycle instead of moving forward with a proactive approach to their packaged gases. That kind of climate makes it hard to welcome new and innovative ideas. However, we’ve noticed a more open-minded approach in recent years, particularly with some of the independent gas companies and I think it’s due to a changing of the guard in the industry in terms of the development of new systems, but also of the people in decision-making roles.

“Our market share in China has been increasing steadily over the last 5-10 years because they can see the value in our innovation.”

Gasworld: Would you agree that such investment is essential if compressed/packaged gases are to remain a core mode of supply (with the rise of MicroBulk delivery in mind, for example)?
CEFRANK: There is a better, more stream-lined way of managing packaged gases. And there is room for all kinds of delivery systems as the industry changes with technology.

Gasworld: What innovation(s) or areas for development do you see going forward? Are there any particular areas of focus for CEFRANK in the near future?
CEFRANK: We’re particularly interested in further developing our modular manifold range and our specialty gas manifolds. Our market share in China has been increasing steadily over the last 5-10 years because they can see the value in our innovation. We’ve been developing some pretty hi-tech manifolds for very expensive mixed gases for the China market.

CEFRANK UK

Gasworld Interview with CEFRANK: Part One

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Gasworld’s editor in chief Rob Cockerill, asks CEFRANK about the company…

Gasworld: Perhaps you could start by giving us a brief history of CEFRANK, its inception and the journey to the company that it is today?

CEFRANK: My father started out as a fitter and turner, as a new immigrant to Australia, and eventually became more of a contractor and trouble-shooter. When something went wrong, people would say “see Frank” because he had a good reputation in the industry for solving problems. That’s how the name of our company CEFRANK came about. CEFRANK opened in 1979 and started out as a simple contracting firm, doing maintenance and working on special projects. But Dad could see that there was a gap in the market for cylinder equipment. He began offering gas companies like BOC and Linde an alternative to their in-house equipment and eventually set his sights on developing his own brand of cylinder equipment. To stay competitive and service our expanding business and global demand, we opened a factory in Changzhou, China in 1996 which still manufactures for us today. We also established a site in 1998 in Croatia that we could use for storage and R&D. Today, the business is still run by the family but instead of operating out of Sydney, Australia we have our HQ in West Wycombe, UK.

Gasworld: You’ve expressed a lot of admiration for your father’s efforts in establishing CEFRANK and continuing to innovate through the years. What is it that you admire most, and what do you think differentiates CEFRANK from many other companies in the industry?

“Always striving to improve our approach to our product and business operations is what differentiates us from most companies, along with our specialist knowledge of compressed gas cylinder equipment.”

 

CEFRANK: I have the utmost respect and admiration for what my father has achieved. Single-handedly and with many obstacles, he has built and maintained a business that has and continues to support our family. I grew up witnessing what it takes to run a business; the hardships, the risk and the triumphs. But what I really admire the most is the way that Dad built his company by doing something no one had done before. He was offering a service that was typically done in-house, and then he developed a universal range of equipment that was intended for use across the industry. A superior range, that would cost less to maintain, less to ship, less to repair. But, as with most things that are different, the idea has been met with a lot of resistance. It’s Dad’s tenacity and belief in himself, his vision and his product that continues to amaze me. Einstein said that “if we always do what we’ve always done, we’ll always get what we’ve always got.” Always striving to improve our approach to our product and business operations is what differentiates us from most companies, along with our specialist knowledge of compressed gas cylinder equipment.

Gasworld: You have previously hinted at CEFRANK’s core belief in challenging compressed gas conventions and treating packaged gases as more than just a mode of supply. Perhaps you could share with us some examples of CEFRANK’s innovations in this field?

CEFRANK: I think it’s safe to say that we’ve challenged convention from time to time. Because we filled a very niche gap in the industry, we were able to devote ourselves entirely to an area of packaged gas equipment that had, I suppose, fallen off the radar. Most gas companies just react to demand, with, understandably, a priority of simply getting their product out there. But we had and still have the unique opportunity of looking at the equipment and asking how can we improve it? How we can better protect the customer’s assets? We’ve spent years refining our products and designs and I still think that the full benefit and impact of our range is yet to hit home.

“We’ve spent years refining our products and designs and I still think that the full benefit and impact of our range is yet to hit home.”

One of our earlier innovations was the development of a modular bundle and pallet frame. The entire frame is bolted together, which means that they can be assembled, repaired and maintained with much less down time, effort and cost. You don’t need welders and special equipment and days for our equipment; you need two guys, a couple of bits of kit and a few hours. Our more recent innovations are related to the manifold. We’ve developed a number of innovations for our acetylene manifold which improve its durability and usability in the field, we’ve designed an upgrade for our standard DC manifold that means that customers can carry out repairs onsite, significantly reducing down time. But our most exciting innovation is the new DC-H2 manifold, which has a unique floating design that can be used for all gases, even flammable gases. This manifold is the first of its kind and our vision is that will become a universal piece of equipment.

Gasworld: What’s different about CEFRANK’s cylinder bundles and products?

CEFRANK: One of the key features of our range is the lightweight construction. This might seem like an insignificant feature, but think about the long-term impact of equipment that weighs almost half of the existing models. Collectively, you get a huge reduction of the impact not only in the manufacturing process, but throughout the lifecycle of the bundle; less wear and tear, less fuel and obviously, less impact on the environment. In markets like China where quantities are huge, this makes a big difference. But of course the main point of difference is our modular design. This has the potential to save our customers up to 80% on the cost of repairs and maintenance for the life of the equipment. And with our new range of modular manifolds, we can offer greater flexibility than ever before, better protection of capital investment (cylinders, gas) and a more durable product.

CEFRANK Interview

The Future of Manifolds

CEFRANK Manifold

Designed to withstand a working pressure of up to 30MPa, our manifolds are compatible and interchangeable for use with all gases. Tailoring our manifold configuration to suit customer requirement is standard at CEFRANK. We’ve got a variety of manifolds to suit all gas applications. Here’s a look at our some of our most exciting developments.

CEFRANK Manifold

DC3 – Quick Repair

The DC3 manifold has been designed with angled pigtails that allow for quick and easy repair on-site. No need to remove or loosen cylinders, no need for special equipment. The broken or damaged part can simply be unscrewed and replaced with a new one, allowing for ultimate convenience both for the gas company and the end-user.

Long-life Acetylene

We have developed a state-of-the-art acetylene manifold of stainless steel construction. CEFRANK’s acetylene manifold is hard-wearing, rust-proof, and long-lasting. The spring-loaded manifold provides convenience for the end user and offers greater flexibility to incorporate disparate cylinder sizes. This manifold benefits from in-built two-way non-return valves, called flash arrestors and features stainless quick connectors for quick and easy installation.

DC-H2 – The Universal Manifold

The DC-H2 manifold is the jewel in the CEFRANK crown. A new product, this manifold has the potential for universal application. The first of its kind in the world, this manifold has a unique floating design, which allows its use on flammable, non-flammable and inert and special mixed gases.

Due to the isolating valves, allowing each cylinder to be cut off from the rest of the battery, this manifold can be used for even flammable gases which require this feature for safety. However, isolation valves are also useful for securing and protecting valuable specialty mixed gases.

CEFRANK: Challenging the Status Quo

CEFRANK Gas Equipment

It’s all too easy to dismiss the impact that industry and transport has on the world. However, many businesses, like ours, are finding ways to reduce our share of this impact. By minimising the bulk that is being moved about and shipped and driven and flown all over the world, companies like CEFRANK are enjoying the bounties of smart design and manufacturing practices. And it’s not only the producer who benefits, it’s the customer and the environment.
CEFRANK Gas Cylinder Equipment

Part of CEFRANK’s design ethos is to strive for simplicity. We reduce and refine when it improves on existing technology and when it means we can make our product with less materials, less weight and less bulk. Sure, this means it costs us less to produce, but it also means less volume is produced. Less volume means less space required in the container or on the truck and it means less weight on the road which equals lower costs –  both to the customer and to the environment.

Einstein said that “if we always do what we’ve always done, we’ll always get what we’ve always got”. This is a painful truism when it comes to engineering and industry. The equipment used for compressed gases remains to this day over-engineered, over-weight and over-bearing. People are afraid to embrace the changes that companies like CEFRANK make. While this is partly forgivable when you consider that most of the time, compressed gas equipment is the result of in-house departments reactive engineering, it also means that the equipment that has proliferated and continues to populate the field is not the best it can be. CEFRANK is different because we aren’t afraid to challenge the status quo. We aren’t afraid because our equipment is the result of intense research, innovative thinking and proactive engineering. Our cylinder bundles and pallets are designed with the confidence that we are improving on the existing conventions.

By designing and manufacturing equipment that is lighter than the standard, accepted models, we are effectively reducing our impact and our customer’s impact on the environment. CEFRANK bundles are up to 50% lighter than other brands in the field. Our flat-pack modular frames ship makes our bundles and pallets up to 80% cheaper to ship to our customer. Let that information sink in as you watch the numbers in the global transport graphic ticking away.

The best part about seeking out alternatives and changing our attitudes towards the way things have always been done, is that the results not only benefit business bottom lines, they benefit everyone.

Supporting Croatian Tenor Stijepo Gled Markos

Cefrank UK

In a recent performance, set in the old city of Croatia’s coastal town of Dubrovnik, tenor Stijepo Gled Markos sang with the famed Brodsky Quartet for the Sentimento Festival 2015. In the concert called Trees, Walls, Cities, Markos was accompanied by the Dubrovnik Symphony Orchestra and mezzo soprano Clare McCaldin, singing a cycle of eight songs that include eight cities surrounded by walls and trees; the music connecting the towns of Dubrovnik, Derry, London, Berlin, Vienna Utrecht, Nicosia and Jerusalem. The world’s leading broadcasters such as the BBC, the Telegraph and the Guardian followed this project in which music crosses barriers in the walls, creating an atmosphere of togetherness.

Great music was not the only result of the Sentimento Festival this year, as it was magnified by the cooperation of Professor Nigel Osborne player, a world-renowned humanitarian, composer, musician, and the world’s leading music educator who will hold an educational program for children with developmental disabilities.

CEFRANK UK

Director and CEO of CEFRANK, Frank Cetinich supported this festival and was in attendance for the September event. “I enjoyed the ambience of the old city” Frank said, and he was also impressed by “the quality of the mezzo soprano Clare McCaldin.” The highlight of the event for Frank was the performance of Vilo Moja, a traditional folk song which was treated to a modern interpretation. Frank has been a supporter of the Markos ever since being introduced to the tenor. “I believe in his talent. He has a wonderful voice, a magnetic personality and a very strong stage presence” said Frank.

Cefrank UK

Soloist Ryland Davies, says that “Markos has a very rare type of voice, dark and warm” and composer Alfi Kabiljo has said that “Markos has an exceptional stage charisma”.

To find out more about Markos, visit his website, www.markos.com or listen to his showreel on Youtube.

 

The Test of Time

CEFRANK Gas Equipment

It’s not easy to stay visible in the marketplace when you are a niche business like CEFRANK. We’ve refined our operations and honed our range over the years, which has resulted in a company that provides a very specific line of products for the compressed gases industry and like the famous Liam Neeson quote from ‘Taken’, we have ‘a very particular set of skills.’  

So while we might not have advertising campaigns and exciting social media outlets, we don’t feel it’s an appropriate path for our business. We have a strong team of people, dedicated to our products who provide an exceptional level of support to all our clients. We have a cutting edge product line that is always being re-assessed and refined to make sure that our equipment is relevant to the changing needs of the industry and our customers, and in line with current standards and guidelines. These are timeless qualities that any good business will have and likewise, any business with these qualities is likely to stand the test of time.

CEFRANK cylinder bundles

CEFRANK has been around for more than 30 years. We have clients that have been with us almost as long. Year after year we enjoy the repeat business of our long-standing customers who know that CEFRANK will have the solution to their particular problem. CEFRANK provides a reliable service. CEFRANK delivers a high quality product. In short, we have stood the test of time in the marketplace and this fact speaks louder than any marketing campaign.

Customers come back to us year after year because they know they can depend on us. In the compressed gases industry, security, assurance and reliability are essential qualities of the products and services that keep our world turning. Whether it’s manifolds, frames, pallets or special projects, CEFRANK has the experience and the know-how to provide the solutions you’re looking for.

Supporting Sculptor Marijan Bekic

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In 2007 Australian-Croatian sculptor and member of the The Sculptor’s Society Marijan Bekic was commissioned to create a sculpture for the small south Australian farming town of Wudinna. Originally proposed back in 1992, the sculpture was intended to be a community memorial to the early settlers of the region. The project was sponsored and financed by the local community. However, due to the drought and the subsequent cut-backs to arts funding, the project was delayed several times before it finally, and sadly got cancelled.

Thanks to a small group of locals however, the project was started up again, but yet again, because of the drought, the future of the project was jeopardised. At this point Marijan enlisted the help of the Croatian community and was shocked at the level of support he received, eventually raising $20,000 towards the project.

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Frank Cetinich, director of CEFRANK UK Ltd is proud to be one of those contributors. Thanks to his and many others’ generous donations and after two years of hard work, The Australian Farmer sculpture was finally realised. To honour the generosity of the many private citizens who invested in this project, Marijan constructed a granite wall around the sculpture that contains the names of the people who contributed.

The Australian Farmer (also known as the Big Farmer) is a statue located in Wudinna, South Australia. Regarded as one of Australia’s Big Things, the granite sculpture stands at 8 metres (26 ft) in height, and weighs in the vicinity of 70 tonnes. It took 17 years to produce from initial proposal to the final unveiling in 2009, and two years for the artist, Marijan Bekic (with the assistance of his son, David), to carve. The stylised work of a farmer represents the early settlers of the region, with carvings symbolising grain and sheep found within the sculpture. While it takes a basic human form, the top represents the sun, while in the body are carved grain crops. Sheep are placed at the foot of the statue, representing the sheep farmers in the district as well as creating the feet of the figure when viewed from a distance.

 

 

 

 

 

Hot Dip Galvanizing

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At CEFRANK, we use hot-dip galvanizing to protect the steel of the frames used in all of our products, from manifolded cylinder packs, cylinder pallets and filling system frames. We choose this method because it provides long life, durability and predictable performance. All of our modular pieces are hot-dipped galvanized inside and out to a thickness of 70 microns. This means that our frames will not rust or age from environmental exposure over many, many years of field service.

Why CEFRANK Chooses Hot-Dip Galvanizing

  • The finish is consistent and durable. It won’t age and chip like paint will, and will ensure the steel frame remains presentable during the life of the product.
  • Hot-dip galvanizing bonds metallurgically to the steel. No other coating process has this feature, and as a result has the greatest resistance to mechanical damage during handling, storage, transport and construction – an important factor where steelwork is to be shipped around the world.
  • All surfaces of the steel are coated – inside, outside, awkward corners, and narrow gaps which would be impossible to protect in any other way.
  • Galvanizing is a once only process, committed to the concept of the maintenance-free use of steel, ensuring long service life and virtually eliminating disruptive maintenance.
  • Galvanizing is more economical to the manufacturing process in both cost of materials and application and this means we can keep our costs low and maintain competitive prices.
  • Galvanizing is one of the few coatings which is completely defined by a British Standard (BS EN ISO 1461). 

     

    Why Galvanizing is better for the environment

    Galvanizing is a zinc coating process which uses no volatile organic compounds. It has been in use for 170 years, basically unchanged. Well documented case studies show that galvanizing vastly extends the useful life of steel goods and structures and reduces the cost of their maintenance. Zinc is endlessly recyclable without any loss of its physical or chemical properties. About 30% of the world’s zinc supply comes from recycled zinc, and about 80% of the zinc available for recycling is indeed recycled. Due to the durability and long life span of most zinc products, which in some cases last maintenance-free for over 100 years, much of the zinc produced in the past is still in use, constituting a valuable and  sustainable resource for future generations. Global reserves of zinc ore, far from depleting, have in fact increased over the past 25 years.

    Published by Department of Environment and Climate Change NSW;

    This is just one of the ways that CEFRANK manifolded cylinder packs and cylinder pallets keep providing for the customer long after the sale is made. We ensure our products last longer and require less maintenance. The extended life-cycle of CEFRANK products is good for the customer and good for the environment.