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Darwin manufactured roof insulation panel passes muster

Manufacturing News

Insulation panels designed and made in Darwin, Northern Territory have passed wind load test and serviceability tests at a NATA-accredited James Cook University site.

NT manufacturer Arctic Installations is now preparing for volume production of its structural panels designed for demanding tropical environments.

The Darwin manufacturer is part-way through a collaborative project, totalling $2.9 million in value, with JCU, production machinery company MDI Systems and engineering service provider Rapid Engineering NT, supported through $500,000 in co-investment from the Northern Territory’s Advanced Manufacturing Ecosystem Fund (AMEF), administered by the Advanced Manufacturing Growth Centre (AMGC.)

The project’s second milestone of three involved simulated cyclonic-wind testing of insulated panels, performed on steel sheets bonded to both sides of an expanded polystyrene (EPS) foam core provided by Arctic Installations, as well as serviceability tests.

The Managing Director of Arctic Installations Gary Burns said: “This is an important step for us.

“We set up in 2015 and moved into a new East Arm property in 2021 and since then have been laser-focussed on being an NT manufacturer as well as an installer of insulated panels.

“We have been hugely fortunate to have the support of our expert project partners as well as the NT government and AMGC.”

Already being exported to East Timor, the locally manufactured panels eliminate a need for them to be import from interstate or overseas, displacing Chinese imports, while offering a superior product catering to the humidity, heat and cyclonic conditions present in Northern Australia.

Wind load test and serviceability tests were conducted at JCU’s NATA-accredited Cyclone Testing Station laboratory airbox, with success allowing Arctic Installations to be listed as a manufacturer with the Insulated Panel Council Australasia.

The project’s third and final milestone involves upskilling staff, an important factor in bringing a brand-new manufacturing capability to the Territory.

After completion, the project is estimated to result in an additional 25 jobs at Arctic Installations, as well as $15 million in revenues over five years.

AMGC’s Director for the Northern Territory Charmaine Phillips said: “It has been a joy to help another local business commercialise a superior product and lift industrial capability in the NT.

“Arctic Installations’ efforts mean that Territorians now have a locally-made option, made by people who understand the particular challenges of building in the Top End.”

AMEF has assisted nine businesses so far across Darwin, Katherine and Alice Springs, in industries including heavy machinery equipment, construction and carpentry.

Picture: Arctic Installations/Woolworths distribution centre, Adelaide

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