Manufacturing News

Best of the week — the five most popular stories among readers, December 4 – 8, 2023

Manufacturing News

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

5) Australian government, Hanwha sign IFV contract

The federal government has signed contracts with Hanwha Defense Australia for 129 locally built Redback infantry fighting vehicles, to be built in Geelong for the Australian Army.

Hanwha was announced as the winning bidder for the LAND 400 Phase 3 program in July, ahead of Rheinmetall’s KF-41 Lynx vehicle.

“This is an important project for the Australian Army that will be delivered by highly skilled workers in Greater Geelong and other centres of Australian manufacturing,” said deputy prime minister Richard Marles in a statement on Friday morning.

4) Queensland to get 200 locally-made diesel buses

The Queensland government has named Scania Australia and Volvo Group Australia as the preferred builders for 200 new rail replacement buses.

In a statement on Thursday morning, the government said an initial $133.8 million would be invested to make these buses locally, with Volgren to build 165 Euro 6 diesel buses on Volvo chassis and BusTech to build 35 Euro 6 diesel buses on Scania chassis.

“This project is a game-changer for Volgren’s Eagle Farm production facility. It will support hundreds of current and new jobs in Brisbane and create and retain essential skills for the upcoming Zero Emission Bus transition from 2025. Volgren is pleased to have been trusted with such an amazing project,” said Volgren CEO, Thiago Deiro.

3) Carbon Revolution wins new wheel contract – but where will they be made

Carbon fibre road wheel manufacturer Carbon Revolution‘s birthplace of Geelong, Victoria, or perhaps Mexico will manufacture a new wheel to be produced in a deal announced by the newly minted American-listed Carbon Revolution PLC, writes Peter Roberts.

The company said it has been awarded a wheel development programme by a premium brand of a major German automaker.

As usual the company did not name the customer at this stage, but will reveal that when they adorn a new model in a few years time.

2) NORSTA awarded five year, $150 million Darwin maritime sustainment contract

NORSTA North has been awarded a five-year, $150 million contract for the Regional Maintenance Centre at Darwin, known as RMC North, the fourth and final addition to a network of maritime sustainment centres around Australia.

According to a statement on Monday from defence industry minister Pat Conroy, the contract is expected to create up to 37 direct jobs, and also support a broader industrial ship repair workforce of approximately 56 in the region.

“This strategically important Regional Maintenance Centre based in Darwin will have positive impacts on the local community and defence industry, creating jobs and increasing economic activity centred around sustainment of our naval fleet,” said Conroy.

1) NIOA calls for defence industry action plan

The Group CEO of the biggest Australian-owned supplier of military munitions has laid out a detailed plan to mobilise the nation’s defence industrial base, emphasising “it’s time for urgency, optimism and action”.

Speaking to the National Press Club in Canberra, NIOA Group CEO Robert Nioa released a report which calls on the Australian Government to implement a ‘national defence industry policy’, including setting aside $500 million in the May 2024 budget to buy from Australian owned companies.

The 60-page report – jointly commissioned by Gilmour Space Technologies, Austal, Macquarie Technology Group, the NIOA Group and the Australian Industry & Defence Network (AIDN) – makes recommendations to fast-track sovereign capability by harnessing the collective power of Australian-owned defence primes and SMEs.

And in case you missed our podcast…

In this episode 77 @AuManufacturing Conversations with Brent Balinski, recorded at Vaxxas’s factory last month, CTO Angus Forster tells us about the vaccine delivery patch company’s progress, the challenges of replacing a 170-year-old technology, and why there’s a surge of interest in biotech but a lack of appreciation for the pace at which it moves.

Picture: Robert Nioa

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