Elexon Electronics invests $4m in industry 4.0

Elexon Electronics has invested nearly $4 million in new design, prototyping and manufacturing equipment with a focus on Industry 4.0 interconnectedness and automation.

The initial procurement round of high-precision automated surface-mount technology (SMT) equipment allowed intelligent material handling, solder paste jetting, vacuum vapour phase soldering and X-Ray inspection.

More recent procurement of intelligent production, inspection and testing machinery has further enhanced the quality standards achievable at the Industry 4.0 facility, now offering 3D automated optical inspection, dual-side flying probe testing, selective soldering, PCB cleaning, and high-precision conformal coating.

The Brendale, Brisbane company was backed by grants from the Made in Queensland grant programme and, more recently, the federal government’s Sovereign Industrial Capability Priority (SICP) grant, focused around bettering Australia’s industrial capability.

Elexon Electronics CEO Frank Faller said the company’s journey began with its de-merger from the Elexon Group in 2018. While it continued to supply group companies, it increasingly sought growth externally.

Faller said: “To be the manufacturer of choice for our sister companies, we needed to invest in new equipment and I took the opportunity to apply for a Made in Queensland (MIQ) grant.

“We were successful and were able to procure state-of-the-art manufacturing equipment which enabled us to target new markets.”

During this time Elexon developed a new business plan and reviewed strategy, which set a direction into the defence sector.

“Defence is similar to Automotive, in that it’s innovative, requires the highest quality standards and in return offers a niche we can carve out with strong commercial value.

“This choice has proven to be a good one with significant revival of manufacturing in Australia and a renewed strategic focus on defence and sovereign capabilities.”

Faller said existing customers benefitted from upgrades needed for defence, including what the company claims are previously unheard of levels of precision and reliability, as well as faster production times.

“Automation and interconnectedness have been the primary goals for us in developing our world-class Industry 4.0 manufacturing facility, offering unparalleled precision and manufacturing standards here in Australia.”

The developments have already resulted in a project with Tier 1 Australian navy supplier, EM Solutions (EMS) also of Brisbane, delivering RF PCB assemblies for their marine Satcom terminals.

Another milestone was being approved as a supplier for Rheinmetall Group after bidding for work on the Land 400 Phase 2 and 3 projects.

Faller said: “Elexon is no stranger to high-precision, high-durability electronics, with its suite of wireless sub-surface mining solutions built to withstand the harshest of environments.

“The latest round of upgrades allows Elexon to produce extremely precise, durable, and meticulously tested electronics faster than ever before.”

Picture: Elexon Electronics

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