Robotics adoption matters: how do we compare internationally, and does that need to change?

Recently-released figures show no improvement in Australian purchases of industrial robots, and other nations seem to be upping their investment as they adapt to the pandemic. Brent Balinski looks at some recent trends in this part of our Robotics adoption matters series.

Looking back, losing the car industry was more of a disaster than thought

By Peter Roberts The news this weekend that GMC has launched the world’s first zero emissions all-electric supertruck, the HUMMER EV is a painful reminder of what might have been, and what a disaster for Australia was the loss of our car industry. The Hummer is the quintessential gas guzzler of America’s oil-driven excesses, an…

Qantas could act to bolster domestic oil refining – by Shane West

The local oil refining sector has shrunk to parlous levels, while national airline Qantas has a need to reduce its carbon emissions. Shane West ponders how both issues could be tackled by a move to refine jet fuel from local crude oil. This is a great opportunity to bolster the Australian refining industry and reduce…

How to build a lean railcar manufacturing supply chain – by Ross Sterland

Last week @AuManufacturing revealed NSW had bought 2,000 railcars and trams in a decade overseas. Here Ross Sterland, explains how the problem could be turned into a lean manufacturing local opportunity. The year is 2050. Australia’s rail rolling stock manufacturing industry is world-leading. At a federal level, the government’s 30-year plan to reinvigorate the industry…

New board to help modernise manufacturing

By Peter Roberts The federal government has reinvigorated the advisory board helping to implement its Modern Manufacturing Strategy with a new name and a number of high-powered business appointments. The newly named Industry Innovation and Science Australia (IISA) adds industry to the name and purpose of the former body and will continue to be led…

Composites competence: Australian leader says it’s about strategy not rivalry

University of Southern Queensland has emerged as a national leader in composites research, with an explicit focus on real-world, industry-based problems. Brent Balinski spoke to the university’s Centre for Future Materials founding director Professor Peter Schubel about some of its recent work, and why it makes sense to work together rather than compete.

Why the NBN might just be the worst thing to happen to business (and consumers)

Comment by Peter Roberts Politicians often get things wrong but Tony Abbott has to take the cake for his dismissal of Labor’s all-fibre National Broadband Network in favour of what he claimed was a better and cheaper mash-up of fibre, copper, satellite etc. Let’s remind ourselves of two things Abbott said at the time. At…

NSW buys 2,000 rail cars from overseas in 10 years

Analysis by Peter Roberts The New South Wales government have ordered close to 2,000 rail carriages and tram cars from overseas in only 10 years, putting the lie to the government’s suggestion that it is forced to buy trains overseas, according to a new analysis by the Australian Manufacturing Forum. According to analysis for @AuManufacturing…

Manufacturing and renewables: Albo’s budget reply

By Denham Sadler Opposition Leader Anthony Albanese has unveiled his alternate vision for Australia’s recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic, with a focus on revitalising local manufacturing through renewable energy and defence industry spending. Mr Albanese delivered his budget response speech on Thursday, criticising Josh Frydenberg’s second budget for its short-term politics and lack of longer-term…

The surge to renewables promises cheaper power for manufacturing – by Ben Waters

Manufacturers have experienced a sudden shift from cheap, fossil fuel electricity to expensive generation. Now the shift to renewables is on, and manufacturers are beginning to free themselves from the grasp of high fossil fuel prices. Here sustainability and cleantech leader Ben Waters discusses the new reality of renewably generated electricity. Manufacturing is key to…