A VIP drops in – Emirates Team New Zealand’s visit at Jackson Industries

A VIP DROPS BY (by Lawrence Schäffler)

The America’s Cup made a brief appearance at our Onehunga CNC machining and composite engineering facility, accompanied by members of Emirates Team New Zealand who’d come to extend a big thank-you.

Jackson Industries and Emirates Team New Zealand’s onsite build team, lead by Paul Quinn, produced the precision carbon-fibre foils for the high-flying catamaran which defeated Oracle Team USA 7 – 1 in Bermuda to bring the Auld Mug back to New Zealand.

“We particularly wanted to bring the Cup to the team at Jackson Industries,” said Emirates Team New Zealand Shore Manager Sean Regan, “as a gesture of appreciation for an incredible job, executed perfectly, against an impossible deadline.”

As one of the most crucial components on the catamaran, he added, manufacturing the foils demanded high-spec moulds and tooling, high-tech composite engineering – and finally, precision machining of the foils.

“All of these parameters came under unrelenting pressure as the design of the foils evolved over the months, requiring tweaks and adjustments. With unswerving commitment, this team delivered – and we look forward to working with them again.”

Regan also acknowledged the significance of Emirates Team New Zealand’s victory for New Zealand industry, and believed it heralded a particular boost for the country’s marine industry.

Managing director Jim Jackson said the company has been involved with Emirates Team New Zealand for some 16 years, and had contributed to the development of the AC72 catamaran for the 2013 event in San Francisco.

“This year’s event with the AC50 was very different – not only because the timeframe was so tight, but also because the design and technology of the boats had advanced enormously. We were forced to up our game and invest in higher-spec machinery – and our composite engineering expertise was pushed into uncharted territory – let’s just call it a fairly steep learning curve!

“But working with Emirates Team New Zealand has been an incredible journey. I like to believe we share a common philosophy – there is no such thing as no.”

Foil Production

Each of the AC50’s foils comprise 400 layers of carbon-fibre. To achieve the right density/structural integrity, the layers are cured in stage in ovens and auto-claves. Each foil took around three months to build, and two processes were involved in achieving the required accuracy, says the Jackson’s project manager, Paul Flett.

“The first is producing the tooling – the female mould – and the second is machining the actual foil’s upper surface.

“The overall length of each foil is about six metres. Machining a one-piece mould not only requires a large ‘bed’, but also a facility with a high degree of accuracy over a very large, three-dimensional space. The job squeezed into our five-axis machining centre with millimetres to spare.”

Machining carbon-fibre, he adds, isn’t easy.

“Carbon is very hard and conventional cutting heads wouldn’t work, particularly on the high-density foils. A conventional cutting head would rip the fibre apart and splinter the surface.

“Instead, we sourced specialist, diamond-coated cutting heads equipped with a unique geometry. They’re used in the aerospace industry, and while they’re not cheap, they leave a superb finish.”

Jackson also machined other carbon-fibre tooling and components for Emirates Team New Zealand’s boat, including the radical pedal-power bikes


America’s Cup 2017

Jackson Industries is proud to support Emirates Team New Zealand’s bid for the America’s Cup.

The relationship between Jackson Industries and Emirates Team New Zealand goes back over 20 years, working together to supply large format CNC machining and Power distribution systems. With ever evolving boat designs, Jackson Industries continues to support Emirates Team New Zealand with high-tech solutions.

The team at Jackson Industries wish Emirates Team New Zealand all the best in Bermuda.

Go New Zealand!!!  Bring it Home.

Jackson Industries’ founder and Managing Director Jim Jackson adds:

“It’s been a highly collaborative relationship – one which saw part of ETNZ’s engineering and construction team move on to our Onehunga site nearly two years ago. Over that period the combined teams have produced dozens of parts including dagger boards, rudders, elevators and other AC50 components. It really has been amazing what’s been achieved by both teams pushing the limits”

Emirates Team New Zealand, CEO Grant Dalton commented:

“Jackson Industries have been yet another of the unsung heroes of this campaign in terms of what they have contributed to the team and the campaign.

They have operated to a fantastically high level of quality over 2 years under constant pressure to deliver what could turn out to be some of the most important components to helping us win the America’s Cup.”


Photo Credit: Hamish Hooper/ Emirates Team New Zealand




The Whittaker’s Big Egg Hunt 2015

The Whittaker’s Big Egg Hunt 2015

The brief from the artist at Cheshire Architects was to create an egg made from a single solid block of swamp Kauri, manufactured in two halves with intricately patterned surfaces, an internally mounted light source and glossed interior surfaces.

Cheshire Architects provided the mesh surfaces which Jackson prepared, and advised on manufacturing and limitations of the 5-axis process. The natural swamp Kauri material was received in a raw state which presented several machining complexities due to split grains. Jackson completed a survey of the material to ensure difficulties were avoided and to safeguard against crack propagation and other defects encountered in natural materials.

In regard to crack propagation and other defects, Jackson have invested significantly in R&D over the past few years developing their trademarked material CaroC which avoids these problems, and substantially reduces any post finishing requirement. As Jackson now work primarily with materials which avoid these exact issues it was a real test of the machining teams’ abilities, and the egg was produced with minimal fuss, no material failure, and in an efficient manner.

The egg was then taken by our craftsman who worked to bring out the deep natural qualities of the swamp Kauri and tidied the natural defects which the CNC team had machined around. Jackson delivered as usual on both a tight turnaround and budget. The egg is currently being displayed as part of the Big Egg Hunt until the 7th April 2015, and will then be auctioned for the Starship Foundation as one of 20 eggs at a gala cocktail event on 31 March 2015.




Another 76 cubic meters of machining capacity!

In recent months Jackson Electrical Industries have moved their hire operation to a larger premises at 6 Selwyn Street, Onehunga. This move was required due to another soon to be arriving – 5-axis 10m x 4m x 2m machining center from Italy. This required doubling the floorspace of our already extensive machining, tool making and concrete moulding division. To give scale to current projects, Jackson is now stocking onsite multiple-ton batches of concrete moulding rubber. We can help you with your project and have the experience for small and large scale works.

We expect this extra capacity to be in operation by late July this year. This will have a dramatic effect on shortening of customer lead times, and has been specified to the highest possible accuracy available from a machine of this type, further reducing post finishing work required for your project.

Get in contact with to discuss how we can help with your project, from small run widgets, to 100m long composite structures and anything in between.


Onehunga’s Taniwha

Local company Jackson Electrical Industries has played a key role in a Kiwi success story. Project Taniwha, a human powered, one person submarine has just achieved a top finish at the European International Submarine Race at Southsea, England.

Held in a huge water tank measuring 120 by 60 metres and 5.5 metres deep, the competing vessels had to negotiate an underwater obstacle course in as fast a time as possible. While the Kiwi team finished 7th best non-propeller vessel. Inspired by sharks’ fins, the Taniwha is driven by four innovative fins which oscillate to move the sub forward.

Built and raced by engineering students from the University of Auckland, the craft’s external hull was made from a mould created at Jackson Electrical in Gloucester Park Rd. The Onehunga connection came about when the Project Taniwha team were building their vessel earlier this year. They needed someone to create a mould for the shark-like, fibreglass outer shell. Jackson Electrical were recommended for their reputation of working with innovative materials.

Jackson Electrical Project Manager Cam Walker, a graduate of Auckland University’s Engineering School, jumped at the chance to help out when Project Taniwha approached the company. They supplied him with a 3D computer design of the hull and he used an ingenious method, making the mould from polystyrene.

This material had two advantages; it could achieve the precision needed to create the final streamlined hull and it was very cheap, which suited the students’ limited budget.

With the success in England, Project Taniwha’s next challenge is the International Submarine Race in the USA in June 2015.

To see the Taniwha in action you can check out their videos at

Taniwha-MK-II-no-hull-titled Taniwha-Fig-4-At-the-startline

Supporting Team New Zealand

Jackson has had a long standing relationship with most Americas cup syndicates. The 2013 Team NZ AC72 campaign saw Jacksons CNC and Composite plants running at full capacity, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, for months on end. The entirety of this work was, and is, under non-disclosure.

A large amount of plant and staff investment was required over this time to cope with this project, along with the usual internal and external workload. This reinforces our reputation as a plant that delivers high quality product on time. Along with this, it illustrates our utmost respect for customer’s intellectual property and non-disclosure requirements.