50 Year Timeline

50 Years

50 Year Timeline

Early Days

Des Watkins Snr began steel fabrication on his off days while working in the QLD Police Force after previously being an apprentice & qualified fitter.


Began work under the house in Hendra, speciliasing in metalwork (predominately handrails) for residential & unit developments.

“There was always pressure to finish jobs. Deliveries from steel merchants arrived by truck who backed through the front gates. What good neighbours we had!”

Des Watkins Snr


Des Watkins Snr left the police force and got stuck straight into it. He rented a shed on Robinson Rd, Nundah – a total of 50m² & cost $50 per month, with 2 employees.

50 Years


Built first factory on Toombul Rd, Northgate at 400m² & became more involved with structural steel.

Toombul Rd Factory


Doubled in size! Moved to a larger site on Kingsford Smith Drive, Eagle Farm.


Doubled in size again! Built 1500m² factory in Northlink Pl, Northgate.

“I was lucky to have worked with some great men & good builders”

Des Watkins Snr


Des Watkins Jnr took over as Managing Director.

Des Watkins Jnr


And again… Relocated to our current 3500m² factory in Banyo.


Commissioned our first Voortman advanced robotic line, which was our introduction to automation.

Automated Robotics


Purchased first 3D Laser Scanner & Realworks Software

Purchased Robotic Total Station

Development of Watkins unique digitally linked 4-Step Process for Steel Fabrication

3D Laser ScannerTotal Station


Purchased second 3D Laser Scanner

Winner YPO Innovation Award for “out-of-the-box innovation”

Winner AFR & PwC’s Private Clients Aspire Awards for Private Business Growth & Transformation ($10m-$50m)

Began dabbling in Mixed Reality with the Microsoft HoloLens

YPO Innovation Week Award Winner


Commissioning of second-line of Voortman Advanced Robotics

Completed 2018 Commonwealth Games Athletes Village Architectural Arbour

Winner National Tekla BIM Awards – Sports & Recreation Category

Winner Lord Mayor’s Business Award for Digital Adoption Strategy


Over 70 employees across estimating, drafting, 3D Solutions, fabrication and installation

Purchased third 3D Laser Scanner

Launch of new company Holovision 3D

Finalist at QLD Training Awards for  Medium Employer of the Year

Winner at Manufacturers’ Monthly Endeavour Awards for Most Innovative Manufacturing Company


  1. What a journey, congratulations, not bad for an ex copper.

  2. Des junior

  3. I have been fortunate to have the team at Watkins Steel supply and erect structural steel works for me since 1991 and in this time have seen the company grow, evolve, expand and change, all for the better. I do not see your team as just another contractor working for RDM Projects but as an intrigal member of our team. Knowing Des Watkins and Tony Dickinson for over 25 years, i consider them both as good friends.

  4. KeeP up the Amazing work!

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