Best of the week — the five most popular stories among @AuManufacturing’s readers, September 11 – 15, 2023

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

5) Incitec Pivot hit by acid production shortfall

Fertiliser and explosives group Incitec Pivot is facing a reduction in fertiliser output from its Phosphate Hill plant in Queensland even as it moves to complete the sale of its Waggaman plant in the United States.

In a FY23 update the company told investors that the supply of sulphuric acid to Phosphate Hill from its operations in Mt Isa would be affected by the faster than expected degradation of a drying tower at the company’s Mt Isa site.

Incitec Pivot said maintenance work on the tower brought forward to FY23 would take three weeks, reducing the supply of acid and hence ammonium phosphate production by around 30kmt.

4) Shortlist released for Indo Pacific 2023 awards

AMDA Foundation, the organiser of the Indo Pacific 2023 Expo in November, has announced a shortlist for the event’s Innovation Awards, including Hypersonix Launch Systems, Advanced Navigation and Steber International.

“Among them are a company manufacturing 3D-printed hypersonic aircraft, designed for rapid re-use, a Young Innovator who co-founded a company building a hydrofoil boat with a patented electric propulsion system, and a company that’s built a 6 Degree of Freedom robotic arm that can perform complex and dangerous tasks under water,” said AMDA in the release.

3) Next stop bus manufacture for Queensland

The Queensland government aims to stimulate bus manufacturing in the state, committing an initial $134 million to build 200 buses as part of a new Queensland built bus fleet.

The sector, disappointed with a decision by Brisbane City Council to build its new Metro bus fleet overseas, is now set for a procurement process run by the Department of Transport and Main Roads.

The government hopes the plan will restore Queensland’s bus manufacturing sector, which has been subject to significant pressures due to low order volumes.

2) Geminder family moves to take PACT Group private

Interests associated with the Chairman of packaging manufacturer and recycler PACT Group Raphael Geminder have moved to take over the ASX listed company and take it private.

Privately owned Kin Group through subsidiary Brennamon Industries today launched an unconditional off market offer to buy all the PACT Group shares it does not own at 68 cents a share.

While the company’s shares closed last night at 67.5 cents, they have underperformed the wider market and fallen in value by 73.7 percent since the beginning of 2023.

1) RMIT student wins James Dyson Award for new electric motor retrofit solution 

RMIT University student Alexander Burton (pictured) has been named national winner of the James Dyson Award competition for his REVR invention, a retrofit allowing the simplified conversion of an internal combustion engine car into hybrid-electric.

According to a statement from the James Dyson Foundation on Wednesday, REVR (Rapid Electric Vehicle Retrofit) “fits easily onto a car wheel, quickly and easily” converting it and addressing the “complex and hard-to-scale” issues that have prevented retrofits from large scale adoption in Australia.

The invention by the 21-year-old student includes a custom-designed, axial flux motor, designed from the ground up, mounted between the wheel and the disc brake of the vehicle, and leaving existing systems in the car fully operational.

And in case you missed our podcast…

In episode 69 of @AuManufacturing Conversations with Brent Balinski, Dr Paul Falzon from Advanced Composite Structures Australia tells us about projects at the pinnacle of composites engineering and manufacturing in Australia.

Picture: supplied


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