Founded just five years ago, the development of this young Australian owned family business of Upton Engineering and Manufacturing based in the busy Gladstone region of central Queensland, is soundly based on ‘Performance through Precision’.


Formed in March 2017 by Mitchell Upton, the company has made remarkable growth and now employs 25 people in a smart precision quality engineering shop offering the full suite of services of a modern front line engineering and fabrication company.

Upton Engineering places a strong emphasis on embracing new technologies and processes towards 4.0 manufacturing, specialising in high tolerance precision components to set them apart and it is continually investing in the latest precision equipment.

“My parents where in the precision engineering business for many years and had retired when I commenced the business so their expertise and assistance has been an enormous help to me, particularly in the early stages and this is on-going,” said Mitchell.

“Having operated on Okuma machines during my apprenticeship and early career, I purchased second hand machines when starting out on my own but I have just added to these with the purchase of my very first new Okuma machine, a CNC Lathe Model GENOS L3000-eMYx1000 with OSP-P300LA-e,” advised Mitchell.


Mitchell commented that his personal experience on the Okuma machines proved that they were user friendly, solid, well set up and reliable precision machines. The back up from the company was always professional and highly regarded in the industry so it is something he wanted to stay with in the longer term. The aftermarket support even on the older machines he advised was always excellent and on the odd occasion when parts were required there was always a good quick turnaround on availability and service.

The GENOS L3000-eMY CNC horizontal lathe offers the broadest range of configurations in the GENOS lathe line. The generous Y Axis travel enhances the customer’s potential for even further productivity when machining complex parts. The GENOS lathe range also feature an integral spindle for powerful, high precision CNC machining. These one-saddle lathes are strong with a compact footprint and are ideal for cutting a wide range of materials with ease. Built on a one-piece, cast iron base with a horizontal way system, hand-scraped headstock and tailstock mounting surfaces, this machine provides stability, rigidity and accuracy for a variety of applications.


“With the commissioning of the new machine it provides us with greatly enhanced new capability particularly with the benefit of the longer bed length capacity. The initial weeks training with John Baker from Okuma was fantastic and additionally with Okuma’s 12 months bottomless training package inclusive, we look forward to taking advantage of the ongoing support from John to enhance our employee productivity with our new purchase,” he said.

Components produced on the Okuma machines are very diverse from small items to heavy industrial components with a requirement for each in high precision. Equally diverse is the customer base which includes clients in Defence, Aerospace, Oil & Gas, Mining and Resources, Motor Sport and Energy.

The advantages illustrated by Mitchell with the commissioning of the new machine include quicker processing, increased capacity and capabilities and more processes in one operation with time saving benefits. 3D modelling and rapid prototyping is also integrated into the machining capabilities area of the business.

“Operators on the machines are always excited with the introduction of new advanced machinery and are keen to line up to expand their knowledge and to experience the advances in technology. This also has positive outcomes for job security as they witness the company investing in its long term future,” said Mitchell.

Whilst there has been investment in the CNC machining, investments have also been strong in the fabrication area of the business with a heavy focus on the latest techniques, technologies and training, enabling the company to meet a full range of Australian welding standards: AS1554:1 to 6, AS/NZS 1665, AS/NZS 3992 and ASME IX standards, with ISO in progress. Comprehensive fabrication services offered by this advanced business in this field include medium to heavy fabrication, complex assemblies through to structural and process piping. The company’s experience covers a wide range of exotic materials from Inconel’s to Bisalloy performance steels, stainless steels and higher tensile materials with facilities set up for large scale manufacturing and production.

Now certified to ISO9001 and in the final audit stages of AS9100 accreditation and ISO 3834 just commenced, Upton Engineering and Manufacturing is actively seeking new markets with an emphasis on Defence and Aerospace with the added capability of new materials.

To ensure that skilled tradesmen and women are available in the future, Upton Engineering invests heavily in training and currently has five apprentices under training. Those interested in apprenticeships are sought through close liaison with mechanical engineering students at university, word of mouth and Facebook advertising whilst at the same time establishing contact with High School careers advisors and the introduction of students to opportunities within manufacturing through visits to the machine shop.

Mitchell views the current Queensland and Australian economy as positive, especially for manufacturing with the realisation that Australia cannot and should not rely on overseas suppliers and skills. This particularly applies to heavy industry where more and more enquiries are being received as a result of shipping delays and inconsistency of supply when relying on overseas manufactured components.

Upton Engineering & Manufacturing has some exciting new projects coming up in 2022 and although currently servicing Queensland based customers there is a longer term objective to develop export business in the future.

“Okuma Australia is actively involved in the promotion and support of precision engineering throughout Australia and New Zealand and it is exciting to see the development and energy within such a young and dynamic company such as Upton Engineering and Manufacturing,” said John Baker, Sales-Application Engineer (QLD) Okuma Australia. “Their top priority is to continually exceed customers’ expectations on quality and performance, a philosophy dear to the heart of every Okuma employee and we wish them continued success,” he said.