Mentis Australia: innovation and excellence

Part of the Mentis global group, Mentis Australia is a leader in grating, handrail, expanded metal and a diverse range of high quality products for various industries. With over 70 years of experience, Mentis has established a global presence while maintaining agility in its specific domestic markets. From steel grating to handrail, guardrail and cutting edge 3D printing, the company’s continuous global growth is built on strategic partnerships and acquisitions. With a focus on tailored solutions, Mentis Australia provides expertise in engineering and manufacturing, ensuring accurate designs and efficient production. 

Mentis is a world leader in high quality grating, handrail, expanded metal, guardrail, and other light structural steel products. Investing in the latest manufacturing processes and technology, Mentis ensures professionalism, accuracy and efficiency. 

Sheldon Upton, managing director of Mentis Australia and board director of the global group said, “Through continuous research, innovation and over 70 years of experience, together with a genuine commitment to understanding our markets, Mentis has become a great example of a company with a global footprint, while remaining dynamic and nimble at a local level.”

The pursuit of quality, service and innovation

From the moment it opened its doors in 1950 as a precision engineering workshop in Johannesburg, South Africa, the Mentis name has been synonymous with innovation and uncompromising quality. Founder Andrew Mentis grew the company’s reputation, often designing his own bespoke machines to manufacture components for specific industries.

After winning a material contract to design and manufacture a unique steel floor grating system for a new petrochemical plant, Mentis began to focus on the development and manufacture of steel grating.

In the decades that followed, the company went on to supply world-class, innovative, and high quality products to all of the major industries, from power generation, mining and petrochemical to motor, construction, food, paper and steel.

Mentis also expanded its offering to include metal, guardrail, industrial handrail systems, and other light structural steel products. Sheldon explained, “With an increasing international reputation, the company was looking to establish a global footprint. So in 2012, it strategically acquired Australian firm R&R Engineering.”

Established 12 years prior in the hills of Perth, R&R Engineering was already a known as a reputable grating and handrail fabricator to leading construction and project engineering companies in Western Australia.

“The acquisition presented great synergies,” Sheldon said. “The two companies shared a similar passion for innovation, customer service and bespoke solutions.”

To enhance efficiencies and quality, the company installed upgraded automated equipment and designed its own stanchion drilling machine.

In June 2018, Mentis went on to acquire Rhino Grating—a handrail and grating fabricator with facilities in Queensland, Victoria, and China, which operated on similar values of quality, service and unique solutions. Mentis had cemented its commitment to the domestic Australian market.

“The Mentis story is one of continued growth through relationship driven partnerships with all stakeholders.  We believe in the value of human connection and apply this principal in all our dealings and in our endless pursuit of quality, service, and innovation,” Sheldon said.

Product profile: Grating

Engineered to carry loads with minimal dead weight, while maximising air flow and light penetration, grating is a world-renowned economical floor solution with aesthetic appeal. Mentis open-floor grating is manufactured to a quality standard that delivers resilience and craftsmanship.

Mentis Grating can be specified as flooring, stair treads, and trench covers in various industries, such as construction, engineering, oil and gas, mining, and industrial markets. It can also be used for fencing, shelving, barricades, screens, and much more.

The Mentis range of grating products are built to last, with a design that maximises comfort, provides corrosion resistance, and creates the perfect blend of optimal strength and performance. These include:

  • Pressure Lock Grating: a fully unified open-floor grating, locking flat bars and round bars together
  • Fusion Welded Grating: open-floor grating, with flat bars and round bars fusion welded together
  • Heel Guard Grating: redefines pedestrian-friendly grating through tightly spaced bars with the open-style functionality of traditional open-floor grating
  • FRP Grating: combines fibre glass strength with polyester resin, to achieve the chemical resistance demanded from highly corrosive environments
  • Aluminium Grating: utilises aluminium flat bar with a pressure-locked cross rod to offer a light weight and tough open-floor grating.

Delivering tailored solutions

Today, Mentis is a multinational group of diverse businesses, 

bringing together experts in grating, balustrades, handrailing, mesh, screens, platforms, walkways, expanded metal, gates, ladders and cages. Mentis services multiple industrial sectors namely resources, oil and gas, power, utilities, infrastructure, and commercial. 

“We have in-depth knowledge of applications of all our existing products and are committed to adding new and innovative products to our offering in the near future.” Sheldon said. 

This expertise and experience enables the Mentis team to provide solutions tailored to customer requirements, from exports of tons of grating across the world, to the design and fabrication of specific items. 

With locations strategically located across Australia, Mentis’ is readily able to handle multiple large-scale projects at a time, and also assist with light structural steel, ladders, walkways and platforms solutions. 

“We have a significant backing through the scale of the group, but remain extremely strategic, adaptable, decisive, and agile domestically in our regions,” Sheldon said. 

Product profile: Mentis handrail systems

The Mentis handrail system was developed by taking a new quality level through an innovative approach towards manufacturing and fabrication. Through the application of robotic welding technology, advanced manufacturing machinery methods and high standards in fabrication, Mentis handrail is fabricated to meet AS 1657.

As a standard, all ball to rail joints are seal-welded. This provides a quality join that will mitigate moisture ingress, look neat and is extra strong. In addition, all handrail joins are designed to occur at a stanchion ball. If for any reason a join is outside a ball a spigot will be welded inside the pipe for strength.

When fabricating handrail, Mentis keeps the handrail and kneerail to the optimal length through the use of their CNC bender, which can bend 6.5m long pipe to suit the required handrail panel including multiple bends. This reduces welding and spigot joining, providing a stronger and higher quality product.

Mentis’ ball and tube Interlinked handrail system, heavy duty 4 ball handrail and unique self-closing gate systems combine high-end engineering standards and simple economics to deliver an efficient solution for heavy-duty requirements. The stanchions, bends, closures, hand and knee rails, as well as accessories, can be supplied as loose components for easy site installation or as a prefabricated welded unit for fast installation on site.

The Mentis bolted handrail system is completely customisable and provides flexibility combined with strength and simplicity. Designed so that no welding is required, this DIY system is simple to assemble, reducing planning time. Their panelised handrail is designed to eliminate site welding altogether, which in turn keeps the surface treatment completely in tack and makes for rapid installation.

A focus on continued growth

While nationally planned infrastructure spend remains high, with multiple key initiatives in the pipeline such as the 2032 Olympic Games, Sheldon believes there are both opportunities and challenges ahead for the Australian market. 

“We are seeing a complex environment of economic uncertainty, increasing costs of capital and project delivery headwinds with a constrained labour market and increasing offshore threats. However, we will simply keep progressing our strategic growth initiatives,” Sheldon said.

To navigate these challenges, Mentis Australia is maintaining a high growth focus, based around organic and inorganic initiatives, including allocating investment into new initiatives.

But Sheldon remains optimistic about the future of Mentis Australia. “We continue to grow and develop our people capability and strengthen our stakeholder partnerships through relationship driven performance, in line with our medium term strategies. Watch this space,” Sheldon said.


On point

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