Manufacturing News

Best of the week — the five most popular stories among @AuManufacturing’s readers, October 9 – 13, 2023

Manufacturing News

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

5) What a fast growth manufacturer does to digitise – webinar

Like all manufacturers Ty Hermans is rapidly digitising his businesses, but his task is especially challenging given the very rapid rate of growth of his Venlo Holdings group of companies.

Manufacturing a bewildering array of products from Evolve Group advanced plastics to recycled plastic resin, and from Poolrite swimming pool and BuildTuff building equipment to Plungie prefabricated, precast concrete plunge pools, his Queensland-based companies are growing at 30 percent a year.

Juggling growth over the FY19-22 period from 87 to 330 people and revenues from $24.0 million to this year to date’s runrate of $120 million means Hermans biggest tasks are handling growth and prioritising opportunities.

4) XTEK to shut Adelaide site, move manufacturing to US

Defence contractor XTEK has told shareholders that it will shut its Adelaide site by 2024 and move the factory’s manufacturing and R&D operations to the United States, citing opportunities in that market.

XTEK supplies defence products, such as drones, and develops its own, including composite armour based on its proprietary XTclave process. XTclave is a liquid-based, ultra-high-pressure curing technique able to create strong, lightweight, complex shapes such as combat helmets.

The company said on Thursday that after two years of running XTclave at its Adelaide Manufacturing Centre, the operation would end, with the XTclave equipment disassembled and shipped to Ohio.

3) Economists say ‘yes’ to industry policy (just not in Australia)

Australian economists have long been seen by manufacturers as the enemy as, led by those staffing the Productivity Commission, they have vigorously fought against any form of activist industry policy by government, writes Peter Roberts.

The view is that policing backing even new industry such as green energy technologies, 3D printing or critical metals processing always leads to rent seeking and inefficiency is deeply held.

The PC continues this automatic rejection of such policy to this day, even though the high protection era of the 1970s and 1980s that spawned this economic orthodoxy have long since gone.

2) Christopher Pyne’s belated ‘dismay’ at closure of the car industry

Former coalition minister for defence industry Christopher Pyne has revealed his dismay at the closure of the car industry which came after a challenge from then Treasurer Joe Hockey for GM Holden to leave the country.

Pyne did not express misgivings publicly at the time, but according to an interview in the website of the Australian Strategic Policy Institute his fear was that the closure would have a serious impact on the nation’s skills base.

“I thought to myself, ‘This is bad’,” said Pyne, now a defence industry consultant and head of Pyne & Partners.

1) Amaero to cut remaining ties with Australia, focus on US

Amaero International’s board has decided to end operations in Australia, following the July announcement that it will locate its R&D, corporate headquarters and planned titanium powder factory in Tennessee.

As its ASX statement on Tuesday put it, the company “resolved to commence the cessation of its operations in Australia”, reflecting a “commitment to focus its executive team on flagship operations in the U.S. and to prudently manage operating expenses.”

Amaero said it will terminate leases at South Australian and Victorian sites as well as any remaining commercial contracts in Australia.

Picture: credit Amaero

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