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…

Wind and solar cement energy cost advantage even over marginal cost of coal

The cost of generating electricity from onshore wind and solar installations continued its cost advantage over fossil fuel generation in the latest edition of Lazard’s Levelized Cost of Energy Analysis. The well regarded analysis noted onshore wind and utility-scale solar became cost-competitive with conventional generation several years ago on a new-build basis. In its 2019…

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…