From eager apprentices to Entrepreneur of the Year award, Rycon team expands into new NSW HQ to service growing markets and a passion for sustainability

Sam Ryan at the new Rycon HQ in Camden

A electrical industry enthusiast who has progressed in 15 years from being an apprentice to heading a team that has earned a “Young Entrepreneur of the Year” Award is now establishing a new base from which to grow further.

The Managing Director of Rycon, Sam Ryan –– with his fellow Director David Connolly – have moved the company from inner-city Marrickville to the vigorously growing Southern Sydney area of Camden to be near where most of the company’s expanding customer base is, where most of Rycon’s staff live, and where the new HQ has expanded facilities to grow Rycon’s engineering and sustainability passions.

These enthusiasms include low-voltage switchboards and automation technology suitable for major industries in the area, including resources and quarries, food and beverage, transport infrastructure and manufacturing, commercial buildings, mechanical services and processing. Customers are spread  over geographical areas extending from Southern Sydney and the Illawarra to broader NSW and as far afield as far North Queensland if the job demands it.

Good staff and teamwork produce strong technology outcomes for Rycon

“David and I are big believers in valuing good staff and teamwork to achieve advanced engineering and sustainability of our product. I learned a lot from my apprenticeship in Wagga with a good company that set me on a strong career course, rewarding effort, training and qualifications,” says Sam Ryan.

“Those attitudes have helped our team drive our reputation further afield, both among our customers here and in the Illawarra and up to as far as North Queensland”

That far-flung project involved trans-shipment of the two-tonne technology package by road and rail in bulk shipping containers adapted to the purpose, up to Airlie Beach, where a container was fitted out before being sent for use at the remote site.

“It is all based on experience, expertise and reputation. We have also gained major rail projects in Western NSW, because we developed expertise and experience with customers who were happy with our work and wanted to deal with us ongoing.

Sam Ryan, who says new switchboard and automation technology compliant with Standard 61349 brings a level playing field in which innovation and sustainability can flourish

“We find customers are very quick to recognise if you have a new and different service to offer, if you will go the extra distances to make sure your knowledge is leading edge and your commitments to service and sustainability are as close to 100 per cent as you can get them,” says Sam, whose efforts were rewarded by the “Young Entrepreneur of the Year “ Award from the US and global Reliable Controls Group, for which Rycon is an Australian agent.

Sam says good automation engineering can help cut out waste of resources in many areas of manufacturing, processing, recycling, transport and maintenance. He also transforms his personal ideals into industry practice, sorting and conserving recyclable packaging and parts.

“I would like to get involved in developing more sustainable packaging for the many parts our industry uses,  because I believe that’s an area of sustainability where the industry can practice what it preaches, on its own factory floors,” says Sam.

“We use a lot of manufactured items – pilot lights are one of dozens of examples – and I believe we have to practice sustainability if we are going to preach sustainability. Why not use less packaging – we are an industry striving for sustainability, after all?”

Sam is a strong advocate of high Standards of production and training, for which he advocates NESMA as the central organisation providing technical support and explanation of the ramifications of important changes such as Standard 61439 to industry groups such as consultants, inspectors, contractors, and switchboard manufacturers.

“We joined Nesma as a brand-new member because we are impressed with their campaign to educate members and bring to them the latest advances in technologies, training and Standards.

“This continuous improvement objectives accord very strongly with our own objectives, and it is important to us that they be shared across our business and across the industry so both suppliers and customers benefit, to everyone’s long-term advantage.

“We also support Nesma in its campaign to ensure all switchboard manufacturers and their customers are aware of their statutory obligations to produce to the new Standards”.

Rycon supports a level playing field on which all producers and customers understand and prepare their tenders in accordance with the higher Standards contained in AS/NZS 61439. This broad Standard is the only Australian Standard  now acceptable by statute for specification and tendering, after the old Standard elapsed last year.