Engineer Dr John Blakemore adds to @AuManufacturing’s campaign to crowd source a new deal plan for manufacturing post Covid-19 with lean, agile policy ideas.
The covid-19 pandemic has exposed Australian supply chains and our lack of independent manufacturing capability to a significant extent and clearly demonstrated that the policies of the past need to change.
Our poor manufacturing and industry policies of the past have now created a country that does not value many of the elements of science, engineering and mathematics that are treasured in countries like Japan, Germany, Singapore, and South Korea. As the resultant society is narrower in focus and less sophisticated and less innovative.
Future wealth and prosperity will be based on using, intelligently, all those elements of the latest production and process manufacturing techniques that are appropriate for the large number of small Australian enterprises. Oversea capital will be needed but it must be controlled.
Key policies to encourage Australian owned industries:
• Incentives for companies to develop integrated networks to supply manufactured product in areas where we have a comparative advantage – for example aluminium diecast products for the auto and aerospace industry, value added food products for export.
• Support for business at all levels of turnover to carry out R&D with a strong commercial objective using CSIRO and University based networks.
• Offer incentives and training so that companies can understand how to extract the state of the art from patents and then build on that knowledge like John Lysaght did with Zincalume which became Colorbond. This means we must not favour product development over process innovation.
• Offer incentives for companies to modify overseas purchased equipment so that the real needs of the company can be met. Australian plants require equipment to be much more flexible and agile than those overseas as our production runs are so much shorter.
• Establish a national database of expertise and capabilities.
• Rationalise the activities of the CSIRO so that it meets industry needs.
• Exploit developments where we have the intellectual capability and expertise such as solar photovoltaics.
• Exploit the nuclear industry by controlling the whole of the fuel cycle from mine to waste storage.
• Accept the fact that if the USA and EU subsidise their farmers then we are not operating on a level playing field.
• Adopt new business models that are agile and flexible, taking advantage of lean production, local IP control, and smooth logistical control.
Dr John Blakemore is a leading engineer and company director, and CEO of Blakemore Consulting which focuses on innovation in product and process. He is a former adviser to the federal government on industrial R&D and former president of the Manufacturing Society of Australia.
Picture: John Blakemore
@AuManufacturing’s new deal plan for manufacturing is brought to you with the support of Bosch Australia Manufacturing Solutions
Subscribe to our free @AuManufacturing newsletter here.