Pens and prospering as a manufacturer

Trajan has been developing a world-first blood sampling device for several years. Brent Balinski spoke to company founder and chairman Stephen Tomisich about the hemaPEN – which is about to gain registration here and overseas – and where Australian companies can be competitive.

Defence radar order shows things really have changed for industry

Analysis by Peter Roberts Defence has signed a multi-million dollar contract to buy new land-based army radars that shows just how much the fortunes of indigenous defence industry really have changed in the past six years. Canberra-based CEA Technologies won a hard-fought battle to win a $137 million contract to supply the army with a…

Steel breakthrough – thyssenkrupp makes steel using hydrogen

By Peter Roberts Steelmaking has always been the one area where even in the most carbon constrained industrial future imaginable, the world might just need to use Australian coking coal. But now, thanks to an industrial breakthrough of truly massive proportions, the world may be left with very few critically important uses for coal. German…

Smaller manufacturers and the big challenge of digitalisation

It’s been said that Australia’s population of enterprises has a “missing middle.”    Within manufacturing, there is certainly a heavy weighting towards the smaller end of town. A count published in the Australian Industry Group’s Australian Manufacturing in 2019 report found that of 47,530 employing companies, 87 per cent were between 1 and 19 employees…

Profiles of success – MtM automotive

By Peter Roberts The loss of Australia’s car industry was not the blow anticipated because of people like Mark Albert of MtM automotive. The Melbourne supplier of doorchecks and other body components foresaw the demise of the sector and set about creating a future for themselves in global markets. Doorchecks may seem like a trivial…

Geelong hemp processing business ramps up machinery exports

Textile & Composite Industries is exporting two of its D8 hemp decorticators to a farm in Pennsylvania.   The units, which retail for roughly $350,000, are the eighth generation of the machine, and are produced by Geelong engineering business Austeng. Founder of TCI, the late inventor Adrian Clarke, made his first machine in 1994.   …

Now NSW sources ferries from overseas, ignores local builder

Comment by Peter Roberts The New South Wales government has confirmed its love affair with importing expensive transport equipment with the purchase of 13 Sydney harbour ferries for a reported $1.3 billion. Writing in MichaelWest.com, maritime commentator Neil Baird said Northern NSW company, Birdon had contracted to build the ferries in China and Indonesia. The…

Adding more layers: plenty of room left to innovate with polymer 3D printers

As the market for additive manufacturing has exploded in recent years, so has the range of solutions available. Driven by a need for answers to various limitations, a proverbial 1,000 flowers have bloomed among machine providers.   Newer techniques inspired by metal injection moulding, jetting with binders, and fast curing of polymers using light and…

Wage underpayment infects the economy – but not manufacturing…

Comment by Peter Roberts This week the seamier side of Australian business was again in the spotlight as supermarket group Woolworths admitted to underpaying staff by as much as $300 million over a decade. There were the usual explanations that this was all the fault of our complex industrial relations system. This is a ridiculous…