Manufacturing News

Best of the week — the five most popular stories among @AuManufacturing’s readers

Manufacturing News

What were the five biggest stories of the week? Here’s what visitors to this site were reading.

5) Rio Tinto to bring iron ore rail car manufacturing to the Pilbara

Mining company Rio Tinto will partner with Gemco Rail to bring local iron ore rail car manufacturing and bearing maintenance to the Pilbara region in Western Australia in what the company calls an industry-first.

The partnership will enable Gemco Rail to expand its existing operations in Perth and establish the first ever rail ore car manufacturing and maintenance facility in the Pilbara, creating new jobs, increasing spend with local and Indigenous businesses and supporting local economic growth.

Rio Tinto expects to invest approximately $150 million to purchase 100 locally built ore rail cars over six years as well as continued investment in bearing refurbishment over ten years, to support the company’s Pilbara operations.

4) World-first non-Earth imaging camera “manufactured entirely in Australia” gets launched

The Holmes Imager, a telescopic camera made by HEO Robotics for collecting data from satellites in orbit, has been launched aboard a SpaceX rocket.

In a statement on Tuesday morning, the Sydney-based company said Holmes was “the world’s first commercial camera dedicated to non-Earth imaging” and made entirely within Australia.

HEO praised its collaborative partners and called the camera “testament to Australia’s technological prowess and strong supply chain”, citing Additive Engineering, The Australian National Fabrication Facility (ANFF), The Australian National University, Emax Engineering, Infinity Avionics, and Ironbox Engineering for their work on the project.

3) Industry and industry research shine in King’s Birthday 2023 Honours

Business and industrial researchers led by Adelaide defence company leader Jim Whalley featured in the King’s Birthday 2023 Honours List among 1,192 recipients.

Whalley, Deputy Chair of Nova Systems and a former RAAF officer, was among the six appointed to the top category of Companion of the Order for distinguished service to business, particularly the defence capability industry, to the public sector, to aviation history, and to the community.

Whalley co-founded Nova Systems which in recent years has moved from service provision to manufacturing in 2000, and has served as CEO and Chair.

2) Premcar expands its Australian new-car manufacturing

Australian new-vehicle engineering and manufacturing firm Premcar announced the establishment of its newest vehicle assembly plant.

Situated in the Melbourne suburb of Epping, Premcar’s all-new production facility has been established to accommodate growing new-vehicle production demand from global automakers and official new-car importers.

This latest new-vehicle production facility will operate alongside Premcar’s current Engineering and Production Centre, also located in Epping, and doubles the available space for Premcar’s vehicle manufacturing and assembly operations.

1) Picking winners – yes we do this now in Australia, thankfully

I have just been reminded by a former colleague of the bad old days when policy, any policy, favouring manufacturing was seen as protectionism and picking winners, writes Peter Roberts.

Those times lasted for decades, with the Productivity Commission and the Coalition weaponising the words against manufacturers.

My former colleague asked: what government policy is supporting manufacturing’s renaissance, and ‘is it just a return to protectionism in another guise?’.

And in case you missed our podcast…

In episode 63 of @AuManufacturing Conversations with Brent Balinski, Richard Simpson from Furnace Engineering explains his company’s approach to innovation, their place within the advanced manufacturing ecosystem in Australia, their recent work with Deakin, and more.

Picture: Premcar

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