Townsville battery materials plant given “prescribed project” status

A project that would process 1.5 million tonnes of ore into battery materials each year at Townsville has been given “prescribed project” status by the Queensland government. The Townsville Energy Chemicals Hub (TECH) proposed by Queensland Pacific Metals (QPM) would be 40 kilometres south of the city, at the Lansdown Eco-Industrial Precinct, and convert ore…

Sun Cable puts the lie to Coalition’s coal and gas jobs claims

By Peter Roberts The Coalition has won federal elections on the basis that coal jobs must be protected and gas jobs developed in any switch to renewable energy. And what was going to replace our fossil fuel energy exports, a fear Labor also exploited in office developing not one, but three LNG gas export plants…

Manufacturing news briefs – stories you might have missed

ARENA to support regional renewable microgrids A new $50 million Australian Renewable Energy Agency fund will support the deployment of microgrids and renewable energy across regional Australia. First announced in the 2020-21 federal budget, the Regional Australia Microgrid Pilots Program (RAMPP) will fund pilot projects that demonstrate the potential for microgrids to benefit regional and…

Cochlear faces another patent battle

Hearing implant manufacturer Cochlear has been informed of a second patent infringement complaint in the United States against the company and its use of technology. The University of Pittsburgh filed a complaint in the US District Court for the western district, Waco division against Cochlear and two US subsidiaries. It covers a patent filed in…

Manufacturing employment back over 1 million for first time since 2009: ABS

The resilience of the manufacturing industry seen through 11 months of positive PMI results has translated into jobs growth, with employment higher now than at the beginning of the pandemic. Acting federal industry minister Angus Taylor said on Thursday that though COVID-19 restrictions were presenting difficulties, a strong result for the quarter had delivered 91,000…

Research and industry sweet spot at Carbon Revolution – video

Carbon Revolution is a poster boy of the global automotive industry with its ability to manufacture a single-piece carbon fibre composite road wheel for performance vehicles made by the likes of Renault, Ferrari and Ford. But it is also showing the benefits of collaboration between industry and cutting edge public sector research and facilitation –…

Micro-X signs $8m stroke detection device contract

Carbon nanotube X-ray technology company Micro-X has signed an $8 million contract with the Australian Stroke Alliance to develop a lightweight CT scanner for pre-hospital stroke diagnosis in air and land ambulances. The grant, part of $40 million funding by the federal government’s Medical Research Future Fund, aims to develop a scanner small and affordable…

Brickworks record year driven by diversification

Building products, property and investment group Brickworks achieved a record net profit after tax in FY21 driven by a 38 per cent rise in its investment in WHSP, property development and stronger building products performance in Australia. Underlying NPAT from continuing operations was up 95 per cent to $285 million and statutory profit down 20…

Xefco, PPK announce antibacterial facemask JV

ASX-listed PPK Group has announced a joint venture with textile technology startup Xefco which will manufacture facemasks with antibacterial and antiviral properties.

Manufacturing news briefs – stories you might have missed

Strategic Elements creates battery that charges itself from air Investment group Strategic Elements has succeeded in producing a milliamp of electrical current from a battery utilising only the humidity in the air. The company’s prototype battery ink cells (pictured) produced 100mAh of electric charge when run over three days, the company reported. Strategic Elements successfully…

TiSpace abandons SA rocket launch attempt

Taiwanese rocket manufacturer TiSpace has abandoned efforts to launch its 10-metre Hapith I rocket from the Whalers Way Orbital Launch Complex near Port Lincoln in South Australia. Launch site operator Southern Launch went on social media to reveal that inspections following a fire on the launch pad last week had led to the decision not…

Regional business lobby welcomes Wellcamp Wingman coup 

Business group the Toowoomba and Surat Basin Enterprise called Wednesday morning’s news that Boeing would establish a new factory at Wellcamp Airport a “game changer” that will bring significant opportunities to the city.

Booster propellant and electronics manufacturing among projects supported through $3 million in Moon to Mars grants

A further $3 million in grants under the Supply Chain Capability part of the federal Moon to Mars initiative have been announced, supporting projects by Gilmour Space Technologies, Crystalaid Manufacture, Black Sky Aerospace, and Inovor Technologies. “Space and manufacturing go hand-in-hand and these projects are leveraging that relationship to drive economic growth and create jobs,”…

UNSW Sydney gets $1 m nuclear engineering boost

The University of New South Wales nuclear engineering course has received a $1 million donation through the Sir William Tyree Foundation, which will support new master’s-level scholarships and industry engagement. UNSW’s is the country’s only nuclear engineering program and was internationally recognised, said the university, which is one of only 20 universities invited to be…

DGL acquires Aquapac for $8 m

Australian and New Zealand-listed chemical supply chain management company DGL Group has announced the acquisition of Aquapac for $8 million, with $2 million of this in shares. Aquapac is a specialty water treatment chemicals business with clients in mining, local government and industry on the east coast, and manufacturing in NSW and at Townsville, Queensland.…

Pawsey Supercomputing boost – video

Perth’s Pawsey Supercomputing Centre has released a timelapse video (below)showing the increase in firepower of Australia’s national digital and data research infrastructure. Phase 1 of a $70 million spend to improve data availability, data transfer speed, and overall storage capacity, the video shows the installation of SetonixHPC with computational power comparable to 150,000 PCs working…

Mars Wrigley invests $30 million onshoring to Ballarat factory

Not content with making only five billion M&M’S and one million PODS confectionery a year, food manufacturer Mars Wrigley has announced a $30 million investment in its Ballarat plant. The investment in 2021/22 will go towards the continued expansion of Mars Wrigley’s local chocolate making capabilities by allowing the manufacturer to introduce more variants to…

How a Brisbane autonomous robot company commercialised its tech

By Joseph Brookes Autonomous robots being used today in dangerous precision blasting work in Chile started in an engineer’s backyard in Brisbane six years ago. But getting to this point – an Australian startup exporting advanced technology – required a level of government support and leadership the founder sayid has disappeared in recent years. In…

Grant applications open for NT manufacturers under $7.5 million Advanced Manufacturing Ecosystem Fund

Manufacturers in the Northern Territory have been invited to apply for grants valued between $25,000 and $500,000 under a new program that hopes to turn the territory from the nation’s “comeback capital” to its “innovation capital.”

Aussie manufacturers dudded by Australia’s submarine flip flop

Canberra’s submarine flip flop has left industry and key manufacturers high and dry with questions raised about the extent of Australian content in an imported nuclear submarine, and manufacturers with existing contracts with the French Naval Group facing an uncertain future. The former head of Australian Submarine Corporation, which built the Collins submarines, Hans Ohff…

Outdoor furniture maker opens new Bundaberg factory

Outdoor recreation infrastructure company Grillex has officially opened a new headquarters in Bundaberg’s Kensington industrial area, and plans to expand by another 25 per cent over the next five years. Grillex was established in 2006 as Unisite and manufactures products such as furniture, bike parking, barbecues, fountains and shelters (pictured) for parks. Around 30 jobs…

Ventilator project lead wants to recreate ‘the model that changed the world’

By Brent Balinski The 1990s to mid-2000s were a dark era for people who wanted to build worthwhile things, believes Jefferson Harcourt. The Executive Chair of Grey Innovation mentions LA Law on TV and a popular “McKinsey way of axing R&D, a race to the bottom on product, price and features” in companies, and contends…

Rio triples solar output at Queensland bauxite operation

Mining company Rio Tinto is to more than triple the local electricity network’s solar generation capacity at its Weipa bauxite operations in Queensland as decarbonisation accelerates in Australia’s mining sector. Announcing a new solar farm and battery storage at Weipa today a Rio general manager Michelle Elvy said: “The new solar farm and battery storage…

Bendigo regional manufacturing hub project gets $2 m federal grant

The federal government has awarded a $2 million grant under the Strategic University Reform Fund (SURF) program to La Trobe University for a regional advanced manufacturing hub at Bendigo.

Reorganisation pays off for Austin with $30m contract wins

The reorganisation and diversification of Perth mining equipment manufacturer Austin Engineering under its new CEO, former shipbuilder and Austal boss David Singleton is paying off with the award of a contract to construct five underground mine chute structures (pictured) for PT Freeport Indonesia The work is part of $30 million in contract wins in August…

Trade tensions will further trash our economy, how did this happen – by David Thomas

Author and China watcher, David Thomas looks at the origins of Australia’s foreign policy stance in opposing China, the damage it has already done to our manufacturers and its implications for the economy. It is not good news. By David Thomas Back in April 2020, the Foreign Minister of Australia, Marise Payne, announced on the…

Ampcontrol and Tritium to compete in worldwide mining decarbonisation challenge

Power and control systems manufacturer Ampcontrol and fast EV charger manufacturer Tritium will compete in the worldwide Charge On – Innovation Challenge for solutions to decarbonise mining operations. BHP, Rio Tinto and Vale have collaborated as founding patrons of the open innovation challenge, facilitated by Austmine, and have announced the 21 companies across the globe…

ANSTO to build space heater for Moon probe

The Australian Nuclear Science and Technology Organisation’s (ANSTO) nandin Innovation Centre will design and build a heating unit to be used to warm critical instruments in space on future Australian space missions. Deep tech startup Ouranos Systems, supported by the NSW Government funded ANSTO FutureNow Scholarships and nandin are backed by a ‘Moon to Mars’…

ACE EV launches X1 Transformer modular vehicles

Australian electric vehicle manufacturer ACE EV Group has launched its new X1 Transformer modular platform sporting a range of electric light commercial vehicles. The Adelaide manufacturer, which had previously focused on a single small van model, launched a range of long and short wheelbase, high and low roof, van and ute options which can be…

QLD export award finalists announced

Finalists from 160 nominations have been announced for Queensland’s Export Awards 2021. According to Queensland premier Annastacia Palaszczuk, there was a total of 160 nominations, more than for any other state’s or territory’s respective exports awards program this year. Queensland’s export awards were cancelled year due to the Covid-19 pandemic.  Finalists in the Manufacturing and Advanced…

AML3D 3D printed Panama Chock receives certification

A 3D printed Panama Chock used in marine engineering has received a verification certificate after being manufactured for a Singapore customer utilising AML3D additive technologies. Keppel Technology & Innovation received verification for the SWL 150Ton Chock from DNV’s Global Additive Manufacturing Technology Centre of Excellence in Singapore. The Chock is the largest 3D-printed shipboard fitting…

EMVision signs $8m agreement with Stroke Alliance

Medical device manufacturer EMVision has signed a five year agreement with the Australian Stroke Alliance and will begin to access $8 million in federal frontier research funding to further develop its electromagnetic microwave imaging stroke detection system. The company’s technology, developed by Professor Amin Abbosh and Professor Stuart Crozier at the University of Queensland, is…

IDT to receive $11.4m readying for mRNA manufacture

Melbourne drug development and manufacturing company IDT Australia has revealed it will be paid $11.44 million by the federal government to make ready its sterile manufacturing facilities at Boronia in Melbourne for the potential production of mRNA vaccines. The company told investors it had already received $7.5 million for the work done so far and…

Rocket catches fire on SA launch pad

A Taiwanese Australian attempt to launch a 10 metre two-stage rocket into orbit has ended in tragedy at the Whalers Way Orbital Launch Complex near Port Lincoln in South Australia. The launch site operator Southern Launch announced that at 4:09 pm (ACST) the company and TiSPACE attempted to launch the Hapith I rocket (pictured) from…

Analytica plans to hire nearly 200 as it brings production to Australia

The Queensland government has announced that Analytica will establish a new $13.8 million factory and headquarters at Maryborough, with nearly 200 jobs created as production of its PeriCoach device ramps up.

Homegrown hydrogen pioneer the newest Australian Made licensee

Hydrogen technology business Star Scientific has become an Australian Made licensee. Star Scientific is a company commercialising HERO (hydrogen energy release optimiser), which offers a way to generate heat and energy using non-polluting catalyst and hydrogen as a fuel. HERO won “Emerging Technology of the Year” at S&P Global Platts’s Global Energy Awards last year,…

Space Machines to deploy Fleet Space nanosatellites

Australian in-space transportation provider, Space Machines Company (SMC) has announced two deals, linking with an Italian satellite services provider and committing to deploy Fleet Space nanosatellites in orbit next year. Space Machines linked up with Italian satellite services provider Leaf Space to support its Optimus-1 satellite launch timed for next year. Optimus-1, the largest commercial…

Manufacturing news briefs – stories you might have missed

SA satellite to be named Kanyini The South Australian government has announced that the state government’s new satellite, now under construction, will be named Kanyini (pictured). Premier Steven Marshall said the $6.6 million satellite would carry the name nominated in a statewide competition by students from Findon High School. Kanyini is a word in the…

Squeeze more innovation out of your existing staff – by Alistair Gordon

Australian manufacturers are typically SMEs with limited leadership, specialist and technical staff. Here, Alistair Gordon, the author of a new book on the subject, explains how you can get more out of your technical specialists, by involving them more in the totality of your operations. It’s a familiar story: a small manufacturing business hires a…

Private SA spacecraft launch left on the pad

A day of anticipation at the Whalers Way Orbital Launch Complex near Port Lincoln in South Australian launch turned to disappointment this afternoon when a 10 metre Taiwanese rocket was halted just before lift off. At 2:18 pm (ACST) launch site operator Southern Launch and Taiwan’s TiSPACE halted the countdown for the Hapith I rocket…

Renewable hydrogen export project at Gladstone gets $2.17 m ARENA boost

Stanwell Corporation has been awarded a grant of $2.17 million from the Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA), which will assist a $10.4 million feasibility study for exporting hydrogen to Japan from Gladstone, Queensland. The project will look at the feasibility of producing and exporting green hydrogen volumes up to 36,500 tonnes annually, beginning in 2026,…

Calix begins to reap low carbon cement dividend

By Peter Roberts Australian decarbonisation technology company Calix has begun to reap the rewards of its efforts to move the critical industries of cement and lime production towards a zero emissions future. The company has accepted an investment of $24.5 million from investment business Carbon Direct to take a seven per cent stake in Calix…

Vanadium flow battery pilot opens doors for manufacturers – by Shay Chalmers

By Shay Chalmers Challenges in global supply chains have highlighted the importance in sovereign capability. Our country is rich in renewable energy resources – solar, geothermal, biomass, wind, and hydro which means that we are on the cusp of a huge opportunity. We have entered a new era for Australia’s developing battery storage industry, thanks…

Govt ‘kicking the can down the road’ on local mRNA manufacturing: Labor

By Denham Sadler The opposition has accused the federal government of ‘kicking the can down the road’ on plans to develop a domestic mRNA vaccine manufacturing capability, following revelations it doesn’t expect this to be operational until at least 2023. The federal government has confirmed that it is unlikely an Australian company will be able…

Cronos to merge, bolstering cannabis distribution

Cronos Australia has agreed to merge with fellow Australian medicinal cannabis business CDA Health to bolster its Australian and international distributional and medical clinic businesses. The two companies announced the joining of their extensive medical clinics businesses which operate here and overseas assessing patients’ suitability for medicinal cannabis products. The merger also brings together numerous…

TGA lists Micro-X X-ray machine

Australia’s Therapeutic Goods Administration has listed on its register the Australian made cold cathode portable X-ray machine, the Micro-X Rover. The listing allows Micro-X to commercially sell all variants of the product for civilian and military use in Australia – an imaging market the company believes to be worth $10 million a year. A sales…

K-TIG to enter UK nuclear waste industry

High speed precision welding developer K-TIG will enter the UK nuclear industry sector, signing an agreement with the Sheffield-based UK Nuclear Advanced Manufacturing Research Centre. Under the agreement K-TIG will develop a turnkey robotic welding cell for the fabrication of nuclear waste containers used in the de-commissioning of UK nuclear power stations. The company’s technology…

Microsoft to build Australian satellite data centres

Technology group Microsoft has wasted no time fleshing out its entry into the Australian space sector, promising to build ‘a couple’ of satellite ground stations in Australia as part of a global satellite data network. Last week Microsoft signed a statement of strategic intent with the Australian Space Agency and set up an office of…

SunDrive Solar produces world-record solar PV cell

Sydney solar cell manufacturing start-up SunDrive Solar has claimed a new world record, producing a solar cell with an efficiency at turning sunlight into electricity for a commercial-size silicon solar cell of 25.54 per cent. This surpasses the most efficient cell known preciously which was produced by Longi Solar. SunDrive’s new cell is doubly important…

Forbidden Foods buys Blue Dinosaur

Sustainable infant, toddler health and plant-based ingredients company Forbidden Foods has raised $5.5 million from a share placement to investors to buy plant-based snack and bar manufacturer Blue Dinosaur and further expand its businesses. Forbidden, which produces the FUNCH and Sensory Mill brand foods, purchased Blue Dinosaur for $4 million. The company had FY21 revenue…

Why can’t Australia make mRNA vaccines? Because we don’t make enough ‘deep technology’ companies

Why can’t Australia make the mRNA vaccines? That’s not actually the right question to ask. The crucial issue is why Australia hasn’t been producing the type of companies that can make mRNA vaccines. Why don’t we produce more start-ups like BioNTech or Moderna – the two companies that developed and brought the mRNA vaccines to market?

Incitec Pivot Waggaman plant faces new downtime

Incitec Pivot’s Waggaman, Louisiana ammonia plant has again been forced to shut with tens of millions of dollars lost – this time through a deliberate closure during the recent Hurricane Ida. Since its opening the plant has failed numerous times with lost production and repair costs exceeding $100 million. Today the company revealed Waggaman had…

Report: manufacturing self-sufficiency levels leave us “precariously dependent”

A new report carried out by Flinders University researchers for the Australian Sovereign Capability Alliance has said the nation lacks a proper national strategy around capability, and recommends a 100-day review of supply chains. The research was carried out by Flinders University’s Australian Industrial Transformation Institute for the ASCA. The latter is led by Martin…

Local space industry is now moving fast, and that’s just as well

By Brent Balinski It’s regular nowadays that you’ll read a report of some milestone Australian bit of space industry news, whether it’s around a satellite deployment, funding round or launch. Just on Friday, the biggest rocket launched from Australia in 40 years — albeit a Taiwanese-made craft — was scheduled to take off from Southern…

Mission takes Aussie space camera into space

By Peter Roberts The RAAF and UNSW Canberra’s M2 satellite mission into low Earth orbit (LEO), reported elsewhere today by @AuManufacturing, is an exciting return to space by Australian space scientists. But it is not only defence and academic scientists that are demonstrating new technological capabilities as Australia re-enters the space domain it all but…

Defence testing satellite tech in space

UNSW Canberra has conducted a controlled separation of the Australian M2 satellites which have been orbiting the globe since being launched in New Zealand by Rocket Lab in March. The mission, a collaboration between the University of New South Wales (UNSW) Canberra Space and the Royal Australian Air Force, conducted the separation phase into two…

VEEM in sea trials of new gyrostabiliser

Perth marine systems manufacturer VEEM has conducted sea trials off the coast of Fremantle, WA of a 60 metre vessel featuring the company’s largest gyrostabilizer, the VEEM Marine Gyrostabilizer VG520SD. The vessel, a Damen YS 5009 exploration vessel the M/Y UMBRA (pictured), had been purchased by an Australian yacht owner to extend and refit for…

Thomas Global exhibits new LED flight display

LED flight instrument manufacturer Thomas Global Systems will demonstrate its latest flight display innovation, the TFD-4000 series flight display, at the 2021 Air Carriers Purchasing Conference (ACPC) beginning next week. The industry-first solution is designed for Bombardier CRJ Series and other Pro Line 4 flight decks. It is a form-fit LCD upgrade for legacy Collins…

Australian Manufacturing Week 2022 to go ahead in June, move to Sydney

Australian Manufacturing Week 2022 has been rescheduled and relocated, with the event now planned for June next year. The event’s organiser, AMTIL, said in a statement on Friday that its board met last week and made its decision to move the event to Sydney in response to the current Covid-19 outbreak in Melbourne. Instead of…

Quantum Brilliance recruits ex-IBM exec as European MD

Australian-German quantum computing hardware company Quantum Brilliance has announced former IBM executive Mark Mattingley-Scott as its new European managing director. Mattingley-Scott was most recently Quantum Ambassador for EMEA and Asia-Pacific team at IBM, where he had a 31-year career. “I joined the Quantum Brilliance team to help fulfill the company’s vision of making quantum computing…

New research shows Australian support for manufacturing climbed since 2019

The last two years have seen an increase in how much Australians appreciate manufacturing, according to new research released on Friday by the Advanced Manufacturing Growth Centre. Comparing the views of a similarly-sized group of respondents in 2019 versus this year, the group’s Perceptions of Australian Manufacturing report found 72 per cent of Australians viewed…

DXN expands with data centre purchase

Modular data centre manufacturer DXN has expanded its services arm with the purchase of a major Darwin data centre with government and telecommunications company customers. The company will purchase the Secure Data Centre (pictured) for $4 million, funded by a $1.64 million share placement and $1.5 million share purchase plan to existing investors. Singapore’s DC…

SPEE3D 3D prints stainless steel components

Additive manufacturing technology group SPEE3D has announced a breakthrough process enabling it to offer for the first time 3D printed stainless-steel parts and components. With funding support from energy and resources sector industry growth centre National Energy Resources Australia (NERA), SPEE3D can now print corrosion resistant, stainless-steel components on site and in remote locations, including…

Southport cannabis factory features in Canadian company’s global expansion

ASX-listed Epsilon Healthcare and Canadian company Valens have announced a partnership that will see the Australian company provide access to its cannabis manufacturing facility. Epsilon (formerly THC Group) runs a TGA and EU Good Manufacturing Practice-accredited facility in Southport, Queensland, the southern hemisphere’s largest cannabis extraction site. Under the partnership, products will be distributed in…

CSIRO launches $150 million food industry missions

CSIRO has launched three of what it calls ‘missions’ that will tackle food production issues, including developing new processed food export opportunities. The three missions will tackle drought, the food export market and growing the protein market. CSIRO Chief Executive Dr Larry Marshall said the three missions together aim to capture a $20 billion opportunity…

Orbital to expand Perth production facilities

Unmanned aircraft engine manufacturer Orbital UAV has begun an expansion of its Balcatta, Perth production facility following award of a defence global competitiveness grant. The company, whose export focus is two types of UAV engine produced for Boeing offshoot Insitu, will receive $195,000 under the recently-released grant. The cash will assist as the company begins…

IDT explains mRNA vaccine related share price rise

Comment by Peter Roberts Melbourne drug development and manufacturing company IDT Australia has again been asked by the stock exchange to explain a totally understandable surge in its share price in recent times. The background to this begins with the Australian government’s approach to market to ascertain potential sites where mRNA vaccine production could take…

Manufacturing news briefs – stories you might have missed

LGP to enter psychedelics market Cannabis producer Little Green Pharma has been granted a Schedule 9 licence by the Western Australian Department of Health to supply the psychedelic psilocybin to treat mental illness. LGB has established a special purpose subsidiary for psychedelic business which is planning to manufacture psilocybin in WA and conduct clinical trials.…

RedEarth receives CEC approval for off-grid energy storage system

Battery energy storage systems (BESS) company RedEarth Energy Storage has announced that its BlackMax product has received Clean Energy Council approval. RedEarth said the product was the first Australian-made, off-grid BESS to be listed with the CEC. “It is the first Australian made; integrated battery energy storage system designed exclusively for the off-grid market,” added…

New Mackay Manufacturing Hub opens

The Queensland government-funded Mackay Manufacturing Hub opened on Wednesday as the latest part of the state’s regional manufacturing hubs network. The hubs program is budgeted at $38.5 million and aims to provide businesses with “expert advice and support to transition to advanced manufacturing,” according to its website. The $4 million Mackay facility was announced in March.…

AML3 breakthrough in aluminium welding

Additive manufacturing technology group AML3D today reported ‘ongoing success of its industry scale welding trials using innovative new (aluminium) alloy compositions’. The company said its project with Deakin University’s Institute for Frontier Materials developing new high strength aluminium-scandium welding wire for use in its wire arc additive manufacturing (WAM) process was progressing strongly. According to…

Hardiman Hockey Field field redeveloped with recycled materials

Recycled materials have featured heavily in the City of Darebin’s redevelopment of KP Hardiman Hockey Field, which the council has called a case study for prioritising the circular economy in construction and demolition work. According to a statement from the council, KP Hardiman features 98 per cent end-of-life tyres in a shock pad layer under…

Apprentice completion rates rise slightly

The completion rate for nationally recognised vocational education and training (VET) qualifications has risen slightly, according to new data released by the National Centre for Vocational Education Research (NCVER). VET qualification completion rates data for 2019 shows 43.4 per cent of all VET qualifications started in 2016 were completed, compared with 42.9% per cent of…

Solar-powered, locally-made sanitiser units installed in WA

Ten touchless, solar-powered hand sanitiser units made by Matrix Composites and Engineering have been installed at Perth and Mandurah locations for a six-month trial. The $1.5 million project was announced early this year, with Matrix responsible for maintaining and refilling the “Solsan” units during the trial. Reaching this phase was the result of the first…

$61.5 million boost for WA’s renewable hydrogen industry

Western Australia has boosted funding to the state’s green hydrogen industries with an additional $61.5 million announced for a series of low-carbon projects. A new $50 million fund, included in the 2021-22 budget, will be used to stimulate local demand for renewable hydrogen in transport and industrial settings and to drive investment into renewable hydrogen.…

Audit office to probe Entrepreneurs’ Programme contracts

By Denham Sadler The national audit office will probe the federal government’s flagship industry program, with an inquiry launched into the $140 million in contracts dished out to the delivery partners of the Entrepreneurs’ Programme. The Australian National Audit Office (ANAO) has commenced an audit into the procurement of delivery partners for the Entrepreneurs’ Programme,…

Hunter biomass-to-hydrogen JV project in the works

Sweetman Renewables has reportedly entered into a joint venture with a Singaporean company to create a green hydrogen facility which will use biomass from timber. The Australian Financial Review reports that Sweetman — formerly owned by the Sweetman family and with a century in sawmilling — would own 20 per cent of a $15 million…

Circular economy program turns feral olives into vineyard biochar

A group of wine industry environmentalists are turning feral olive trees removed from Fleurieu Peninsula national parks into a biochar product to boost the health of McLaren Vale vineyards.

$8.5 m in Global Linkages grants awarded to deep brain stimulation, sanitation chambers and other projects

Federal grants worth $8.5 million have been awarded through round three of the Global Innovation Linkages Program, supporting projects including deep brain stimulation to treat Parkinson’s disease and a sanitising chamber to treat environments at high risk of Covid-19 transmission.

DefendTex – from Gippsland to space

Gippsland, Victoria based DefendTex will use $3 million in Cooperative Research Centre Program funding announced last week to scale up its successful demonstration 3D printing of small-scale rocket motors. The demonstration, funded by an earlier CRC grant, will be scaled in a three year project to produce Australia’s first 3D printed rocket boosters in modular…

Alt-protein company All G Foods completes $16 million seed round

Alternative protein maker All G Foods has closed a $16 million seed round ahead of a rollout this month of its Love Buds Burger product, joining startups such as v2food, Fable and Fenn Foods in the burgeoning local plant-based food market.

Business spending on R&D has flatlined in Australia

By James Riley Total spending by Australian business on research and development remains at 2012 levels, despite small increases in each of the past three financial years. A new Australian Bureau of Statistics report found business expenditure on R&D (BERD) was $18.17 billion in 2019-20, slightly below the $18.32 billion that businesses spent in 2011-12 at today’s prices.…

Covid, cost of living make manufacturing workers consider regional relocation: Mars

Research commissioned by confectioner Mars Wrigley has shown 72 per cent of those in cities and “working or studying in manufacturing, trade, or STEM careers” were open to relocating to a regional centre.

Kookaburra bowls up technology to match its 130 year tradition

By Peter Roberts In a world where sporting goods manufacturing has deserted developed countries in favour of low cost locations there is one company that has managed not only to survive, but dominate the sports with which its name is synonymous. Everyone who has ever wielded a cricket bat knows the superior quality of Kookaburra’s…

Manufacturing news briefs – stories you might have missed

NSW defence innovation boost The NSW government will invest $1.9 million to support the Defence Innovation Network to fund seed and pilot projects to create a collaborative research environment and develop hi-tech solutions for Defence. DIN announced four new pilot projects and two to receive $50,000 seed funding in an initial program costing $700,000. Projects…

WA lithium refinery to bring back battery value chain

Wesfarmers has secured ground for a new lithium refinery in southern Perth as part of its joint venture to control the full value chain of lithium hydroxide, a chemical compound used in electric vehicle and renewable energy batteries. Under a $1.8 billion joint venture with Chilean mining company Sociedad Química y Minera (SQM) known as Covalent…

Hydrogen storage, electric air transport, plant-based protein among $47 m CRC grants

Funding totalling $47 million has been announced to support 22 CRC Projects in the 11th round of the program, including to efforts developing electric air transport, plant-based protein and orthotic products.

Orbital delivers second UAV engine to Singapore

Orbital Corporation has delivered its second unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) engine in a development program for a Singapore defence industry customer. The company, which manufactures UAV engines for Boeing offshoot Insitu, is designing, developing and providing initial low-rate manufacturing of multi-fuel engines with the first units destined for system evaluation and customer acceptance trials. Orbital…

Monash University to make first mRNA vaccine candidate for human trial

Monash University in Melbourne has been revealed as the first in Australia to manufacture a mRNA technology Covid-19 vaccine candidate. The candidate, developed by the University, will be made at a new node of its Parkville laboratory to be located at Clayton, with the expansion made possible by of a $13.8 million grant from the…

Manufacturing news briefs – stories you might have missed

Matrix Composites moves to loss in Covid year Underwater systems composite manufacturer Matrix Composites & Engineering has plunged to an EBITDA loss of $4.4 million in FY 21 as disruption from the Covid-19 pandemic slashed sales to $17.6 million compared to the previous year’s $27.4 million. However the company reported final quarter revenue of $6…

Australian Vanadium advances redox flow battery manufacture

Australian Vanadium (AVL )will receive this month three vanadium redox flow batteries (VRFBs) from its Singapore partner as it advances plans to manufacture vanadium electrolytes and VRFB’s in Western Australia. The batteries from V-Flow Tech destined for WA customers have been sold by AVL’s subsidiary VSUN Energy, which is leading the company’s push into vanadium…

Keytone Dairy expands Sydney plant

Australia and New Zealand dairy manufacturer Keytone Dairy Corporation has announced the completion of a $2.5 million expansion of its state of the art snacking and bar product manufacturing plant in Prestons, Sydney. The upgrade of the plant followed the acquisition of AusConfec’s assets, and will produce multi-layered protein bars, cereal bars and fitness bars,…

Monash Technology Precinct gets $16.1 m boost for manufacturing facilities

Monash University has been awarded $16.12 million from the Victorian government, which will support new facilities for manufacturing-related R&D and commercialisation.

Toshiba shows what Australia loses by undervaluing R&D

Comment by Peter Roberts The first efforts to lift Australia’s chronically low rate of industrial R&D came in the 1980s and 1990s as manufacturing protection was wound back by the Hawke government revealing a generally low-technology sector that preferred to copy others’ ideas rather than develop ones of their own. The original support for research…

Wineries supported to enter US export market

Sixteen South Australian wine producers will be supported to grow their businesses by entering into the US market through Wine Australia’s US Market Entry Program. Supported by the state Department for Trade and Investment, the program gives smaller wineries a chance to replace lost exports to China with another growing market for Australian wine. China’s…

Four GDP graphs that show how well Australia was doing – before Delta hit

Australia’s economy was performing exceptionally well in the lead-up to the Delta variant lockdowns, propped up by a barrage of government spending in the three months to June and impressive household spending.

H2X to launch hydrogen powered fuel cell ute

Hydrogen fuel cell transportation group H2X Global is launching its first vehicle, a modified modified utility vehicle, 14 months after the company launched its ambitious program in @AuManufacturing news. Gone are the multiple passenger and commercial vehicles with unique bodies mooted then by founder Brendan Norman, replaced by a slimmed down but now globally-focused range…

PPK bets big on BN nanotubes

Diversified technology investment group PPK has reported on a year of transition from a manufacturer of mining equipment to a technology investment group with a heavy focus on developing new uses for the material boron nitride nanotubes (BNNTs). The company completed a strategic review in the year and plans to demerge the mining equipment business…

Manufacturing remained resilient in August, achieving 11th straight month of growth

Manufacturing activity waned over August but avoided contraction, according to the Australian Industry Group’s monthly Performance of Manufacturing Index.

Coles will switch to cardboard bread tags nationally, citing consumer demand

Supermarket chain Coles has announced it will phase out plastic tags on its house brand bread, which it says will eventually save 79 tonnes of plastic from landfill annually.

Industry minister doing the ‘bare minimum’: Husic

The Opposition has accused Industry minister Christian Porter of neglecting his portfolio and doing the “bare minimum” after he failed to speak on two pieces of legislation in his portfolio in Parliament this week, including one implementing changes first recommended more than seven years ago.

$1.1 million awarded to solar energy system recycling projects

The NSW government has awarded $1.1 million in funding to two projects under a scheme to encourage recycling of solar energy-related material, an issue that could generate as much as an estimated 71,000 tonnes per annum of waste by 2035.

Manufacturing news briefs – stories you might have missed

Wellnex’s fresh start year Health and wellness products manufacturer Wellnex Life continued its business transformation in the year to June 30 and increased revenue by 29.6 per cent to $1.4 million. Wellnex’s sale of the Corio Bay Dairy Group and acquisition of distributor Brand Solutions Australia gives Wellnex a portfolio of 15 brands distributed through…

Rossi reboots its manufacturing in Adelaide

Rossi Boots has announced that it is once again manufacturing in South Australia, the state it was founded in over a century ago.

Hume Council counts 111 roads resurfaced with recycled materials since 2018

Hume City Council has announced it has so far resurfaced 111 roads using 23,744 tonnes of an Australian-engineered solution that uses repurposed plastic bags, glass, and other recycled materials.

Pandemic’s path of disruption for apprentices

April and May last year were the peaks of a massive shift in Australia’s apprentice system due to the Covid-19 pandemic, however the situation has now all but reversed. New research from the National Centre for Vocational Education Research (NCVER) found that in the first six months of 2020, the number of suspended apprentice and…

EOS in loss as Covid interrupts arms exports

Defence, communications and space manufacturer Electro Optics Systems reported an operating loss of $11.7 million in the June half year on revenues up from $75 million in the previous corresponding period to $97.8 million. EOS has suffered interruptions in the delivery of remote weapons stations (RWS) in its biggest-ever order during the half due to…

WA’s $100m new industries fund

The Western Australian government’s 2021-22 State budget is investing in manufacturing including green steel, green hydrogen and battery metals, with the establishment of a $100 million Investment Attraction and New Industries Fund (IANIF). The fund aims to support economic diversification and find new opportunities in industries that are only just emerging. The fund will support…

Sun Cable brings Australian manufacturing boost

By Peter Roberts Such is the enormous scale of Sun Cable’s proposed Northern Territory solar farm and electricity export cable to Singapore than many have trouble believing that this energy – and soon to be manufacturing – megaproject is really getting underway. Originally envisaged as 14 GW solar farm coupled with 33 GWh of battery…

Praxis Aeronautics pioneering solar powered flight – by Kerryn Caulfield

Decarbonising airplanes and drones is a major challenge as we move towards decarbonising the economy. Here Kerryn Caulfield profiles Praxis Aeronautics, whose novel composite structural systems are making solar-powered flight a possibility. The Adelaide based startup Praxis Aeronautics specialises in the design and manufacture of solar energy harvesting composite structures, using a process that directly…

Manufacturing news briefs – stories you might have missed

SEA Electric to display four truck models at Expo Australian electric vehicle drive manufacturer SEA Electric will display four Ford and Hino-based electric trucks and vans at the Ride & Drive experience scheduled for Long Beach, California in September. The vehicles feature the Melbourne-made electric SEA-Drive Power System (pictured), which are fitted to chassis in…

Coles and Woolworths are moving to robot warehouses and on-demand labour as home deliveries soar

Australia’s supermarket duopoly, Coles and Woolworths, have raced to implement new technology and transform labour arrangements to keep up with the e-grocery boom. Both are investing in “smart” warehousing and distribution systems with various degrees of automation, as well as making extensive use of app-driven gig workers for grocery picking and delivery via platforms such as Uber and Airtasker.

New England Renewable Energy Zone gets 80 expressions of interest

The NSW government has trumpeted the response to a planned Renewable Energy Zone in New England, which has received 80 expressions of interest so far.

Titomic to establish hypersonic space vehicle manufacturing

Large scale metal additive manufacturer Titomic will create a hypersonic space vehicle component manufacturing capability following the award of a $2.3 million federal government Modern Manufacturing Initiative grant. In a $4.65 million project the company will utilise its Titomic Kinetic Fusion additive manufacturing system to manufacture and commercialise low carbon emission ‘green’ titanium space vehicle…

WorldSkills Australia National Championships begin

The WorldSkills Australia National Championships and Skills Show began on Thursday, with over 400 apprentices, trainees and students competing in 45 skills and trades. The competition is being held in Perth Convention and Exhibition Centre, alongside the SkillsWest Careers and Employment Expo. This year WA and Tasmanian teams are competing at Perth.  WSA announced last…

Senate shoots down sovereign capability inquiry

The Senate has shot down the federal government’s attempt to launch an inquiry into Australia’s sovereign capability and critical infrastructure.

Blackmores gains on global markets, efficiency improvements

Vitamin manufacturer Blackmores has reported rising sales and earnings as international sales and efficiency improvements flowed through to the bottom line. The Sydney company today reported underlying earnings before interest and tax up 51 per cent to $47.6 million for the year to June 30 on a 3.2 per cent rise in sales in constant…

Forget gas, its a dope led recovery

By Peter Roberts It turns out those hippies who dropped out to Nimbin in the 1960s and 70s really were on to something. Their pioneering work as guinea pigs living on wisps of pot and mung beans is rapidly turning into a major industry in growing, processing and manufacture of medicinal cannabis products. Although Australia…

Quantum computing manufacturing beckons with QB’s cash raising

Sydney’s Quantum Brilliance has raised a further $13 million in seed investment to pursue its hardware and software which delivers quantum computing capabilities to existing computer systems without resorting to the low temperatures and lasers required by other QC systems. The venture-backed, Australian-German company raised the funds from investors co-led by the QxBranch founders’ and…

Regional councils court food manufacturer investment with new online directory

Rural Councils Victoria has launched an online resource inviting food and beverage industry manufacturers to look outside of regional and metro areas for their expansion plans.

Manufacturing profit results briefs – stories you might have missed

Building resurgence supports Adbri Building products and industrial chemicals group Adbri has reported stronger revenues and profits on the back of buoyant demand from industry and a resurgent building sector. The company saw revenue in the first half rise 7.4 per cent to $752.3 million and net profit after tax up 94.5 per cent to…

Queensland to build first electric bus depot, buy new e-buses

The Queensland government is to build the state’s first electric bus depot and has ordered 16 new e-buses to be built on the Gold Coast. As part of the state’s push to source only renewably powered buses from 2025, Keolis Downer will also create the state’s first 100 per cent electric bus depot in North…

Australia urged to think strategically on battery value chains

Australia needs to secure battery value chains out of China, according to new national security research which warns the superpower controls a “strategic choke point” in global supply chains which could be weaponised for political and economic gain.

Rio Tinto doubles down on hydrogen for processing

Rio Tinto and Sumitomo Corporation today have partnered to study the construction of a hydrogen pilot plant at the Yarwun alumina refinery in Gladstone and explore the potential use of hydrogen at the refinery. The two have signed a letter of intent that focuses on Yarwun as the location for a Gladstone hydrogen plant to…

Manufacturing news briefs – stories you might have missed

Calix’s strong profit during technology expansion Industrial technology company Calix has boosted revenues and margins as it pushes ahead with major expansions of its technology development and commercialisation programs. The company reported 39 per cent growth in product sales led by its US water treatment businesses which is undergoing expansion. Total revenue was up 22…

VET slumps during Covid restrictions

The vocational education sector has slumped further during the Covid-19 pandemic, according to new figures from the National Centre for Vocational Education Research (NCVER). According to NCVER in 2020, 3.9 million students were enrolled in nationally recognised vocational education and training (VET), down 6.4 per cent from 2019. An estimated 21.7 per cent of the…

Austal delivers 19 ships, reports second-higest earnings

Perth international shipbuilder Austal delivered 19 ships in the year to June 30- and achieved its second-highest ever earnings. The company reported a fall in revenue of 24.6 per cent for the year to $1.57 billion from its shipyards in Perth, Vietnam (pictured), the Philippines and Mobile, Alabama. CEO Paddy Gregg said: “Austal has delivered…

Carbon Revolution reports subdued results, strong prospects

Carbon fibre road wheel manufacturer Carbon Revolution’s results for the 2021 financial year were negatively impacted by the Covid-19 pandemic, however armed with a $95 million capital raising the company is investing heavily to expand production for new orders for wheel programs already in hand. The Geelong company reported revenue down 10 per cent to…

ICN’s new gateway aids finding new business – by Warren Jansen

Industry Capability Network’s (ICN) flagship product for online procurement and supply chain system, ICN Gateway, has officially relaunched. The new ICN Gateway will make it even easier for project owners to promote their projects and suppliers to find work and promote their capabilities. By Warren Jansen Industry Capability Network (ICN) is a business network helping…

New resources to boost green hydrogen uptake

Two new government backed resources have been launched to boost the hydrogen industry and link producers of green hydrogen to users of industrial energy. A new hydrogen industry capability finder, HyCapability has been launched to connect Australian hydrogen businesses with a domestic and global market through a free, online, searchable platform. At the same time…

Today’s decisions lock in industry emissions for decades — here’s how to get them right

The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change has made clear there’s little time left to reach net zero emissions and hold the global temperature rise to 1.5C.

@AuManufacturing is now on Google News

There’s a new way to keep up with the latest developments in Australian manufacturing.

Bosch opens manufacturing automation centre

Bosch Australia’s bold experiment in creating a new manufacturing business in Australia out of the ashes of its automotive operations has demonstrated its success with the opening of a new $17 million Manufacturing Automation Centre in Clayton, Victoria. The purpose-built facility (pictured) now houses Bosch Australia Manufacturing Solutions (BAMS) and the Rexroth Drives and Controls…

Ampcontrol and PPK to introduce new battery-electric vehicle

Two innovative Australian manufacturing and technology companies have combined to deliver a range of new battery-electric vehicle (BEV) solutions for underground mining applications. Ampcontrol’s BEV technology will be fitted to PPK Mining Equipment’s (PPKME) existing personnel carrier vehicle range (pictured). They also plan to retrofit a range of other vehicles manufactured by PPKME, including the…

Manufacturing news briefs – stories you might have missed

Cleanaway’s strong result in year of change Waste management group Cleanaway reported an operating profit up 3.8 per cent to $535.1 million in the year to June 30 on revenues up 4.7 per cent to $2.2 billion. Net profit after tax was $153.2 million in a year of progress for the group. Cleanaway emerged from…

Titomic sells TKF 3D printer to the UK

Large-scale metal additive manufacturing company Titomic has sold a a TKF1000 additive manufacturing system valued at $2.3 million to a research and technology organisation based in the United Kingdom. Titomic will ship the machine in May next year to TWI in a purchase funded by the Aerospace Technology Institute. It will form the basis of…

Maggie Beer rides e-commerce wave

A decision to enter the e-commerce field with the purchase of Hampers & Gifts Australia (HGA) is paying off for luxury food producer Maggie Beer Holdings with the company closing in on sales of $100 million a year. The Barossa Valley company today revealed bumper results with sales up 19 per cent in the year…

Geelong’s GT Recycling awarded $3 million to increase capacity

GT Recycling has been awarded a $3 million state/federal grant for a $4.7 million expansion project, which will see the Geelong company able to process an extra 8,000 tonnes of plastic a year.

Thycon to build 40 pole-mounted batteries for demand management project

Power conversion specialist Thycon is involved in an Australian Renewable Energy Agency-backed “virtual power plant” trial, providing 40 pole-mounted batteries for a trial to better integrate solar energy into the electricity system. According to a statement from ARENA on Friday, the $10.98 million project, led by United Energy, will see the 30 kilowatt/66 kilowatt hour…

Sales growth drives Cochlear recovery

Hearing implant technology company Cochlear has emerged from a Covid-19 slowdown stronger than before, today reporting sales revenue up 10 per cent in FY21 compared to last year and six per cent above pre-Covid levels. Market growth, market share gains and the re-scheduling of surgeries postponed at the height of the pandemic saw implant sales…

BusTech delivers hybrid buses

Locally manufactured hybrid school buses will soon be on the roads in South Australia with bus manufacturer BusTech beginning delivery of 20 new school buses, including 17 hybrid-electric, to meet increased demands on school bus routes. With a hybrid chassis provided by Scania and the body manufactured by BusTech at its facility in Adelaide, the…

K-TIG expands again in UK

High speed welding technology manufacturer K-TIG is expanding its United Kingdom footprint through a new distribution agreement with automation supplier Key Plant Automation. Key Plant, which distributes for the company in the United States, will provide additional sales reach into strong growth sectors in the UK, and will soon be complemented by K-TIG’s own UK…

Austin invests $6.5m in mine equipment manufacturing

Perth mining equipment manufacturer Austin Engineering today announced a $6.5 million investment program in its Perth and Batam, Indonesia equipment design and manufacturing facilities. The company, which manufactures mining dump truck bodies, buckets, water tanks, tyre handlers and ancillary equipment, plans to transform its manufacturing facilities through automated processes and systems to deliver significant reductions…

Treasury Wine’s strong year despite China woes

Premium and commercial wine exporter Treasury Wine Estates is showing signs of emerging from the woes inflicted on the Australian wine industry by punitive import tariffs imposed by China. The company today reported an operating profit of $510 million for the year to June 30 despite profits in mainland China declining by $77.3 million, indicating…

If only BHP would add value again

By Peter Roberts Many of us remember when BHP, once called the big Australian, was an active manufacturer of value-added products such as steel, wire and coated and painted building products. Those downstream operations were built on an era where BHP’s Essington Lewis was the centre of Australia’s industrial war effort and the company even…

Manufacturing news briefs – stories you might have missed

Hybrid rail cars for Adelaide Forty-five of the state’s 70 diesel rail cars will be upgraded with hybrid energy storage and recovery systems, as part of a $10 million 2021-22 State Budget initiative. It is aimed at reducing the fleet’s fuel consumption, noise, vibration and diesel emissions. The hybrid vehicles are an important step toward…

CSL profits, revenues up 10%, shares fall

There seems to be no pleasing demanding shareholders with biotechnology giant CSL punished by the market despite announcing a greater than ten per cent rise in both revenues and profits for the year to June 30. The Melbourne company reported net profit after tax of $3.27 billion (US$2.375 billion), up 10 per cent on a…

ATCO gets $2 million WA Renewable Hydrogen Fund grant

The Western Australian government has announced a $1.97 million grant to ATCO, which operates most of the state’s gas network, supporting capital works for injecting renewable hydrogen into the gas grid.

Cathy Foley, uni VCs warn on translation risks

Australia’s chief scientist and university vice-chancellors have urged caution in the latest COVID-19-driven push by governments to commercialise research, warning it must not come at the expense of fundamental research work or international research collaborations.

AMGC announces new NT director

The Advanced Manufacturing Growth Centre has announced the appointment of Charmaine Barrett to the newly-created role of Director for the Northern Territory. AMGC and the NT government announced a five-year, $8.75 million agreement in late-April. This included funding for collaborative projects, establishment of a new AMGC office in the NT, and a permanent director “to…

Tritium, Evie sign deal for 158 new charging stations in Australia

Fast DC electric vehicle charger company Tritium and Evie Networks have announced a deal that will see two new chargers installed at 158 locations around Australia. The chargers will be new RTM 50 kilowatt models made by Brisbane’s Tritium, and the rollout part-funded by an $8.85 million grant through the Australian Renewable Energy Agency announced…

Australian-first FRP rebar manufacturing facility

Queensland’s Beyond Materials group has begun the manufacture of Fibreglass GFRP and Basalt BFRP concrete reinforcement bars on their new, first for Australia manufacturing line. The company completed the first production line at its Yatala, Queensland facility in early 2021 after the development of its Black Bar Fibre-reinforced-polymer (FRP) rebars. According to managing director Dmitry…

Possible east coast gas shortage next year: ACCC

The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission has warned there is “a finely balanced” gas supply outlook for 2022, and a possible 2 petajoule shortage on the east coast market.

Ballarat council announces circular economy programs for local companies

The City of Ballarat has announced three new initiatives in support of its circular economy program. The council said on Monday that these involve: A 12-month subscription to CSIRO’s ASPIRE platform, which provides an online marketplace for users to buy and sell their company’s waste. Local companies with fewer than 100 employees will be able…

How Calix’s process cuts cement production emissions – video

Cement is the safe, affordable bedrock of our civilisation. Yet, it accounts for about eight per cent of total global CO2 emissions. Finding solutions is a matter of urgency, with technology from Australian company Calix now at the forefront. In this video Calix explains its solution now being trialled in a major demonstration plant in…

Boots on ground boosts footwear manufacturer

The trend towards more staff in the WA mining industry leaving their offices for work at the coal face has boosted sales by WA boot manufacturer Steel Blue by more than 20 per cent in the past year. The company, which manufactures work boots in Indonesia and Perth, has just invested $2 million in its…

Export Market Development Grant applications open

Applications opened on Monday for Export Market Development Grants, which are available to companies with revenues up to $20 million and offer a maximum of $150,000 support per year. The recently-reformed EMDG program offers three tiers of support. Tier 1 is for first-time exporters who are ready to export. This has a two-year agreement and…

EOS expands live fire weapon system development

Electro Optic Systems (EOS) Defence Systems today announced the successful live firing of its Titanis counter unmanned aerial system (C-UAS) solution at a private test range in Australia. This marks the conclusion of the first stage of the company’s ambitious plan to expand live fire weapon system development activities in Australia. CEO for EOS Defence…

PET recycling facility to be built by industry partnership

Pact Group, Cleanaway, Asahi Beverages and Coca-Cola Europacific Partners (CCEP) plan to construct and operate a new PET recycling facility in Albury-Wodonga, adding to a number of recent recycling announcements in the packaging sector. The companies are forming a a joint venture that will provide an industry model for recycling solutions in Australia. This will…

CSL bids $800 million in vaccine gamble

By Peter Roberts Australian biotechnology and vaccine giant CSL is betting $800 million in the race to secure federal and state funding to establish mRNA vaccine in Australia. The company, which is the fourth most valuable company at $93 billion on the ASX, has outbid a group of smaller firms which are also seeking a…

Manufacturing news briefs – stories you might have missed

Nufarm’s canola oil recognised by FDA The US Food and Drug Administration has recognised Nufarm’s Nutriterra Total Omega-3 canola oil as a safe, new dietary ingredient. Marketed by Nufarm’s Nuseed Nutritional subsidiary, the announcement opens up new markets for the company, according to CEO Greg Hunt. “The FDA’s acknowledgement along with our recently completed human…

Telemedicine for remote oil and gas operations with ExxonMobil

ExxonMobil has embraced the world of telehealth for remote locations, installing the Australian Visionflex GEIS General Examination HD Cameras across its operations in the Bass Strait. Following a successful trial of the new telemedicine service the subsidiary of ExxonMobil Corporation said the cameras answered one of the biggest challenges in the oil and gas industry…

Developers of devices for “glue ear” treatment and Covid test among innovation voucher winners

A total of 21 startup and small businesses have been awarded funding up to $20,000 through the Western Australian government’s Innovation Vouchers program.

Learning from locals – Australia’s response to global supply chain fragility

COVID-19 has had a disruptive effect on all aspects of life and business, but the supply chain disturbances it has created have dramatically affected every industry. Like many countries, Australia depends on international trade partnerships for goods and services. This includes importing vital goods produced overseas and exporting Australian products that support the success and growth of critical industries.

Most essential supply chains resilient: Productivity Commission

A new report by the Productivity Commission has concluded that, despite disruptions due to Covid-19 and trade tensions, “only a few” traded products are vulnerable to supply chain shocks.

Ford’s new GT launched with Carbon Revolution wheels

Here are the first pictures of the new Ford GT Heritage edition supercar, which is equipped with a new version of the Carbon Revolution road wheels manufactured in Geelong, Victoria. The single-piece carbon fibre composite wheels are structurally stiffer than the standard aluminium wheels offered on the Ford GT, while at the same time save…

Province Resources forges ahead with WA green hydrogen project

Province Resources has spelled out its efforts to push ahead with its proposed HyEnergy green hydrogen project located near Carnarvon in Western Australia’s Gascoyne Region. The project will take advantage of the region’s climate and wind patterns to install a commercial scale wind and/or solar farm to produce green hydrogen for use locally and for…

Senate to probe local manufacturing sector

By Denham Sadler Labor has successfully launched a Senate inquiry into Australia’s domestic advanced manufacturing capability, as support for the sector and sovereign capability shape up to be an election issue. Labor Senator Kimberley Kitching moved a motion in the Senate on Thursday morning calling for the Economics References Committee to conduct an inquiry into…

Battery production advances on multiple fronts

Moves towards the production of novel battery materials and batteries in Australia are gathering pace with announcements from three companies this week. Brisbane battery developer RedEarth has received Clean Energy Council approval for its lithium-iron-phosphate (LIP) battery – the first Australian battery to be added to the list. Metals development company TNG commissioned Perth firm…

Govt blocks release of manufacturing grants briefings

By Denham Sadler The federal government has blocked the release of departmental briefing documents for its billion-dollar manufacturing fund, amid Labor’s accusations that rorting has been “baked-in” to the grant scheme. The Senate this week approved a motion to force the government to table “decision briefs and merit assessment packs prepared by the Department of Industry…with…

Ainsworth improves from Covid year but remains cautions

Poker machine manufacturer Ainsworth Game Technology has reported a loss for the 2021 financial year on revenues that are recovering from the depths of the Covid-19 pandemic last year. The Sydney company released a selection of unaudited results today. Revenue for the second half is expected to be $88 million, up from $72 million in…

Deakin University to build new $6.5 million digital innovation hub for SMEs

The Victorian government has announced $2 million in funding for a new centre at Deakin University’s Burwood campus, which it says will provide support to SMEs involved in healthcare, manufacturing and trades.

Video series gains momentum – by John Hosking

Advertisement By John Hosking, Series Producer How it’s Made – Australia and former Executive Producer, Beyond 2000. The ongoing global success of the international How it’s Made television series is all but unprecedented. The statistics simply defy belief in a medium so often notorious for shallow, ephemeral content – and audiences. Thirty two seasons –…

Mattresses join the circular economy

By Peter Roberts We all know how hard it once was to dispose of an old mattress. Massive and worn maybe, mattresses contain a huge amount of disparate materials from fabrics to foams and steel springs. Who would take them, and each year more than a million are sent to landfill while others are dumped…

EM Solutions commissions new SATCOM system on HMAS Canberra

The Royal Australian Navy’s amphibious assault ship’s communications capabilities have been bolstered following a two-month-long upgrade. Brisbane’s EM Solutions supplied its locally designed and built Cobra Tri-Band Inmarsat GX and WGS X/Ka-band Satellite Communications Terminal on the navy’s Landing Helicopter Dock (LHD) ship, HMAS Canberra. Installation was undertaken in concert with partners including Navantia Australia.…

Applications open for manufacturing “Collaboration” grants worth $20 million to $200 million

Applications opened on Wednesday for the “Collaboration” stream of the federal government’s Modern Manufacturing Initiative, which offers grants between $20 million and $200 million to companies for “large, transformational projects.” 

100 new Future Fellowships awarded, including for quantum technology, antimicrobial research

Funding totalling $93 million has been announced to support researchers through  the Australian Research Council’s Future Fellowships.

Austal receives $32m ferry order

Perth shipbuilder Austal has won a $32.8 million contract to design and build a 66 metre long catamaran ferry for The Degage Group of French Polynesia. Work will begin on the ferry at Austal’s Vietnam yard this month with delivery scheduled for the first half of 2023. Austal CEO Paddy Gregg said Degage was a…

Govt tepid on calls for export, innovation pivot

By Joseph Brookes The federal government has downplayed calls for it to take a larger role in diversifying Australia’s exports, strengthen supply chain resilience, and lead research and industry collaboration, insisting its current measures are adequate despite mounting criticism. The Joint Standing Committee on Trade and Investment Growth, led by the controversial LNP backbencher George…

IMCRC, Allegra back implant technology development

A new industry-led project supported by the Innovative Manufacturing Cooperative Research Centre (IMCRC) will develop a proprietary coating process for orthopaedic implants. Swinburne’s ARC Training Centre for Surface Engineering and Advanced Materials, and RMIT will explore the coasting process which deposits a bioceramic material onto implants. The project, which has been awarded $118,338 by IMCRC…

Micro-X teams up with Liberty for airport security

Security solutions provider Liberty Defense and cold cathode X-Ray machine manufacturer Micro-X have teamed up to develop enhanced people and passenger screening systems for aviation or commercial security. The two companies have signed a technical and marketing collaboration agreement to combine their technologies to help speed up the flow of people through security checkpoints. Micro-X…

WA’s HyEnergy backs green hydrogen export ship

The HyEnergy Project has thrown its weight behind efforts by Global Energy Ventures to develop a compressed hydrogen transport ship to export green hydrogen to Asia. HyEnergy, a project by Province Resources and partner Total Eren, aims to develop a green hydrogen project in the Gascoyne Region of Western Australia. The project partners have signed…

BoQ begins issuing Visa debit cards made of recycled industrial plastic

Bank of Queensland has announced a partnership with manufacturer Placard, which it says will see over half a million debit cards made of recycled plastic issued over the next three years.

EMVision unveils stroke diagnosis device ahead of planned 2023 commercial release

Medical device company EMVision has announced a new version of its brain scanner, which it aims to make commercially available in 2023.

Govt ‘stonewalls’ release of Growth Centres report

By Denham Sadler The federal government has again blocked the release of a report into its Industry Growth Centres after refusing to comply with a Senate order, claiming it is still being considered despite being received more than eight months ago. Labor had moved a Senate motion last week requiring the tabling of the “initial…

Skykraft to launch 300kg satellite on SpaceX mission

Space services company Skykraft has announced it will launch a 300kg satellite on SpaceX’s upcoming Transporter-5 mission. The satellite produced by the UNSW Canberra spin-off company is a carrier for multiple early-phase Skykraft Air Traffic Management satellites These will form a global constellation of 210 satellites that will create a space-based Air Traffic Management system…

BluGlass demonstrates working laser diodes

Semiconductor technology developer BluGlass has successfully demonstrated the manufacture of working tunnel junction laser diodes in a world-first proof of concept utilising its proprietary RPCVD technology. The company is developing equipment for making laser diodes, a type of semiconductor, based on its breakthrough Remote Plasma Chemical Vapour Deposition (RPCVD) technology. The technology utilises advanced materials…

Woolworths home brand exported to China

Rvx Distribution has despatched its first shipment of a newly extended range of Woolworths Group home brand products destined for China. The company said it had been working hard to develop new strategic partnerships and sales channels for its brand partners in Chongqing, China. “Today we see the first shipment of our newly extended range…

$24 million in federal/state grants announced for recycling projects in NSW

Grants totalling $24 million have been announced for recycling projects in NSW, increasing overall recycling capacity in the state by a claimed 120,000 tonnes annually.

Brickworks hit by Covid-lockdowns, curtails production

Brick sales in the eastern states have slumped following Covid-lockdowns of construction, forcing Brickworks to curtail production at kilns in New South Wales and a plant in Brisbane. The building products group said restrictions were having a significant impact on operations with brick despatches slumping 80 per cent during a NSW government pause in the…

Manufacturing news briefs – stories you might have missed

v2food raises $72 million for expansion Plant protein company v2food will continue its rapid expansion with the raising of a further $72 million in capital, giving the company a valuation of $500 million. The company, which supplies plant-based burgers to Hungry Jacks, raised the funds from a group led by European venture fund Astanor. v2food,…

ResMed profits up in pandemic

Sleep disorder company ResMed has announced rising profits and revenues during a pandemic year where its ventilators were called upon to treat Covid-19 sufferers. The US-Australian company announced a 12 per cent rise in operating profit for the year to June 30, on revenues up eight per cent to $4.3 billion (US$3.2 billion). The final…

Marketing for manufacturers: Some thoughts on thought leadership

This is the final day of our editorial series, Marketing for manufacturers. In the second-last article, Tim Kannegieter writes about investing in leadership campaigns for your business.

Australian flexible solar cells head for space

Space transportation provider Space Machines Company (SMC) and CSIRO are partnering to test Australian flexible solar cell technology in space. CSIRO will test its next generation solar cells on SMC’s spacecraft Optimus-1 to be launched next year by Gilmour Space Technologies – a first for CSIRO’s printable solar cells. CSIRO’s Dr Mei Gao said: “We…

Marketing for manufacturers: Manufacturers can unlock opportunities by understanding the value of PR

If you have something newsworthy, a small investment in communications can work wonders, as Tyson Bowens explains in this instalment of Marketing for manufacturers. 

Labor tries to force release of growth centres report

By Denham Sandler Labor is ramping up its efforts to force the release of a secret report on the Industry Growth Centres that the federal government has been sitting on for more than eight months. The industry department paid consultancy firm ACIL Allen nearly $500,000 to conduct an “initial impact evaluation” of the government-funded industry…

We must make bold bets and take risks: Andrew Liveris

Andrew Liveris has urged Australian scientists and engineers to form tighter relationships with industry as part of a long overdue revamp of the national economy and approach to innovation.

Marketing for manufacturers – How Colorbond succeeds, in depth

Our editorial series Marketing for manufacturers looks at a marketing success story – BlueScope steel’s Colorbond. We talk to Antony Schillaci (pictured below), Group Marketing Manager. @AuManufacturing: Colorbond is one of the great success stories of manufacturing marketing. Colorbond is widely seen to be a luxury, high-end product associated with excellent architecture in Australia, whereas…

Marketing for manufacturers: The role of B2B publishing

Today our editorial series, Marketing for manufacturers, looks at business-to-business publications. Jack Mallen-Cooper explains what they want from you, and what you can get in return.

SPC to require staff, contractors to have the Covid jab

In an Australian first, food manufacturer SPC will mandate that all of its staff must be fully vaccinated by the end of November to gain entry to any company location. The measure, sure to be copied widely among firms concerned to limit future Covid disruptions, will ensure the health and well-being of all staff and…

Manufacturing news briefs – stories you might have missed

FYI Resources and Alcoa continue HPA JV agreement Perth materials technology group FYI Resources and Alcoa Australia have agreed to extend their three-month joint venture agreement to allow them to conclude a binding terms sheet jointly to develop a high purity alumina (HPA) processing plant. FYI plans a kaolin mine and processing at Cadoux, WA…

Delays in frigate construction, but innovation fluorishes

BAE Systems Maritime Australia’s much publicised slippage in timetable for the construction of Hunter class frigates is proving a silver lining for innovation. With the $45 billion program delayer by two years the company’s innovation team is seeking Expressions of Interest from industry to: Investigate manufacturing technologies, materials, coatings, and processes with the potential to…

Infantry fighting vehicle contenders face off at Puckapunyal – video

The two infantry fighting vehicles competing for more than $18.1 billion in contracts from the federal government have faced off against each other in a firepower demonstration at Puckapunyal Military Area, showcasing next-level protection, firepower and mobility. The competitors for the army’s LAND 400 Phase 3 project, Rheinmetall Defence Australia’s KF-41 Lynx and Hanwha Defense…

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VSPC gains patent protection over cathode powders

Technology development group VSPC has been granted an Australian patent over the production of nickel and cobalt-free battery powders. The company, a subsidiary of Lithium Australia, covers how the products are manufactured as well as what they are made for. The company said: “VSPC’s nanotechnology processes are simpler, cheaper and more energy-efficient, and deliver products…

NY government joins battery CRC, commits $500,000 in support

The Northern Territory has joined the Future Battery Industries Cooperative Research Centre (FBICRC) and will contribute $500,000 to its research program over four years.

Naval Group’s $1 million submarine work package

The pace of preparations for manufacturing the Attack class submarines is picking up with Naval Group Australia releasing $1 million in new opportunities for local suppliers of manufactured and ready-made items for inclusion in the submarines. Released through the Industry Capability Network’s Naval Group portal, the opportunities include 27 separate work packages that comprise 39…

Companies shun VET sector in Covid recovery

Most adaptions and innovations by Australian companies to the shock of the Covid-19 pandemic did not involve the sort of training provided by the VET sector, according to a new report. A survey of businesses conducted by the National Centre for Vocational Education Research (NCVER) found that where training was required, it tended to be…

CelGro uses extended to treating lymphedema

Tissue regeneration technology developer Orthocell’s CellGro collagen tissue regeneration scaffolds may be useful in treating the limb swelling caused by lymphedema, a condition for which there is no known cure. The company announced research published in proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States (PNAS) which suggests that combining CelGro with lymphatic…

Brickworks to acquire Illinois Brick Company for $70 million, expand reach into US market

Brickworks has announced a binding agreement to acquire parts of Southfield Corporation, including Illinois Brick Company, which will increase the Australian company’s distribution network by 17 stores in the United States’ Midwest region.

EOS and Nova Systems enter missile race

Electro Optic Systems and Nova Systems have announced another domestically owned consortium – the Sovereign Missile Alliance (SMA) – to respond to the federal government’s ambition for a $1 billion Sovereign Guided Weapons and Explosive Ordnance Enterprise (GWEOE). The SMA will be owned equality by the two companies and is well placed to manage Australia’s…

Use federal procurement to build rebuild local supply chains: AWU

The Australian Workers Union has urged the federal government to consider purchasing decisions in strengthening industrial capacity.

Marketing for manufacturers – how AH Beard sells $70,000 mattresses in China

Today our editorial series Marketing for manufacturers celebrates the art of selling ice to Eskimos. Here Peter Roberts profiles the company that sells Australian manufactured mattresses to China. The pictures say it all really. At left, below is an Australian-made AH Beard Signature Series mattress sitting in one of the company’s 50 showrooms in China,…

Marketing for manufacturers — Discover your value and communicate it

In this edition of our Marketing for manufacturers series, Vanessa Katsanevakis discusses getting to know your brand, building on it, and the benefits that can follow. 

MGA Thermal scales up for thermal energy storage

Newcastle clean energy storage manufacturer MGA Thermal today announced it had raised $8 million to expand its manufacturing facilities to cater for rising export demand for its thermal energy storage systems. The company, which has developed small shoe-box sixed modular storage blocks based on Miscibility Gaps Alloy (MGA) technology, raised the funding from existing shareholder…

Austin Engineering to invest in manufacturing facilities

Perth mining equipment manufacturer Austin Engineering has completed a strategic review under its new CEO and will focus investment on innovation and its manufacturing facilities in Perth and Batam Island, Indonesia. The company, now led by former Austal CEO David Singleton, will initially focus on Perth operations, where it has identified significant manufacturing opportunities to…

WA invests in graphite manufacturing facility

The Western Australian government has granted $2 million to young company International Graphite which plans the state’s first micronising and graphite foil manufacturing facility for the former coal mining district of Collie in the south west of the state. The first stage of the project is expected to create around 40 full-time jobs in the…

AMGC and Rosie Barnes reveal manufacturing opportunities

Industry growth centre AMGC and engineer Dr Rosemary Barnes have joined forces to reveal manufacturing opportunities in Australia raised by the federal government’s six National Manufacturing Priorities. The Advanced Manufacturing Growth Centre (AMGC) has expanded its Manufacturing Academy to incorporate a new learning module ‘Manufacturing with Rosie”, a seven-part self-guided video series. In it qualified…

Grant programs assisting equipment, tender writing launched for Tasmanian manufacturers

The Tasmanian government has launched grant programs providing funding for capital equipment purchases and tender writing. In an announcement on Monday, manufacturing minister Jeremy Rockliff said that the Advanced Manufacturing Accelerating Growth Grants program, budgeted at $ 3 million, would provide matched funding of between $10,000 and $100,000 for new equipment. There would be four…

Austal’s pride in delivering 12th Guardian patrol boat

Perth shipbuilder Austal has delivered its 12th Guardian class patrol boat (pictured) to the federal government to be gifted to small Pacific ocean nations. The Guardian-class replaces the 22 Pacific Forum-class patrol boats Australia provided to its allies from 1987 to 1997. The latest vessel, the RVS Takuare has been delivered to the Republic of…

Manufacturing growth continues, despite lockdowns

Manufacturing has proven resilient in July despite lockdowns around the country, with a tenth straight month of expansion, according to the most recent Performance of Manufacturing Index results.

Serco tests amphibious ship design

Serco Australia has completed tank testing for its provisional landing craft design to meet a federal government call for a replacement of its amphibious vessel fleet. A 1/16th scale model of Serco’s design (pictured) underwent extensive testing involving speed and performance trials in the towing tank at Australian Maritime College (AMC) in Launceston. The AMC…

EOS in box seat to supply space electronic warfare capability

By Peter Roberts One of Australia’s few locally-owned defence prime contractors is in the box seat to respond to a federal government initiative to acquire a ground-based Space Electronic Warfare capability. Canberra’s Electro Optic Systems Holdings, which coincidentally announced today that a subsidiary had been selected to demonstrate spacecraft to ground communications for the International…

Fusion energy quest hots up at Deakin and HB11 Energy

By Peter Roberts Fusion energy has long been considered as a way forward for decarbonising energy production, but its vast complexity and expense has made experimentation the plaything of rich nations with extremely deep pockets. While progress has been made at the National Ignition Facility (NIF) in California and ITER in France, the expense is…

Manufacturing news briefs – stories you might have missed

K-TIG passes milestones, books $561k revenue Rapid welding technology company K-TIG achieved significant milestones in the fourth quarter and quarterly sales of $561,000. The company, which is commercialising advanced keyhole welding techniques, entered the UK and Europe markets and strengthened its management team. The company operates a demonstration and support facility in the US. K-TIG…

A COVID ‘ring of steel’ around Sydney would play havoc with Australia’s supply chains

By Flavio Romero Macau, Edith Cowan University If a “ring of steel” was actually placed around Sydney, as suggested by Victorian premier Daniel Andrews, the rest of Australia would suffer in ways that aren’t immediately apparent. Completely sealing a city or a region is not unprecedented. It happened last year in China, India, Italy and…

ARENA funds 400 fast EV charging stations

The Australian Renewable Energy Agency’s (ARENA) Future Fuels Fund has backed five companies who collectively will deliver 403 new fast charging stations, each capable of charging at least two vehicles concurrently at 50 kW or above. Announcing the first round of funding today ARENA said it had been impressed with the strength of applications and…

Has the ‘manufacturing piper’ now been paid? – by Allen Roberts

The need for sovereign manufacturing capability has been made obvious, but for decades Australian manufacturing has been seduced by the siren song of capital ratios, when the real game is sustainable cashflow and the long term development of Intellectual Capital. Allen Roberts asks have we gone too far, and how do we turn the boat…

Q-CTRL in quantum error advance

Researchers at the University of Sydney and the university’s spinoff quantum control technology group Q-CTRL today announced a major advance in the control of errors from cutting edge quantum computers. The groups have developed a new algorithm to identify sources of error in quantum computers through machine learning, providing hardware developers the ability to pinpoint…

Hydrogen power storage partnership launched

A new standalone power supply partnership has been launched between LAVO, Ampcontrol and Boundary Power to develop hydrogen based solutions to regional and remote power users, along with data centres and other energy intensive industries. Hydrogen storage company LAVO, electrical, electronic and control system specialists Ampcontrol and standalone power system company Boundary Power will work…

Manufacturing profits news briefs – stories you might have missed

Advanced Braking Technology continues strong growth Heavy duty brake vehicle manufacturer Advanced Braking Technology has reported record June operating sales of $1.16 million. ABT said sales of its fail-safe braking systems for heavy mining equipment were 17 per cent up in the fourth quarter compared to last year to $2.67 million. Reporting unaudited operating profit…

Victoria bids for federal govt mRNA funding

The Victorian government has made a number of submissions to the federal government’s approach to market for a local mRNA vaccine manufacturing capability, with several other states also vying for Commonwealth support.

Orbital hits $31.2m revenue for the year

Perth drone engine manufacturer Orbital UAV has announced revenues of $31.2 million for FY21 as it ramps up production for global drone manufacturers. The company booked a $1.2 million underlying operating profit for the year and a net loss of $10.8 million. A number of abnormal accounting treatments hit the company, including a US asset…

Quickstep moves into unmanned systems

Leading aerospace composites manufacturer Quickstep has made a move into the drone sector through an investment in unmanned aerial system (UAV) designer and manufacturer Carbonix. The Sydney company has taken an unspecified minority stake in Carbonix which makes the all-electric, fixed wing Volanti drone (pictured) and the Domani VTOL Power Lift drone. The two companies…

Brace yourself for the global electronic component shortage – by Yaser Darban

Electronics manufacturers such as Entech Electronics have had to beef up their supply chain and purchasing teams to meet the challenges of a global shortage of electronic components. Here, Yaser Darban explains what companies can do to weather the shortage. As the world recovers from a pandemic, another threat looms for manufacturers–a global shortage of…

Cookon cooks up a storm in cooking appliances

By Peter Roberts I have often heard people, even manufacturers, lament the destruction of appliance and whitegoods manufacturing in Australia. But there are survivors including Zip Water boilers in Sydney, Seeley and Braemar air coolers and gas heaters in Adelaide and Albury, Rheem in Sydney, and Electrolux’s oven factory, also in Adelaide. The Swedish company’s…

Manufacturing news briefs – stories you might have missed

Australia Post trials Australian made e-trikes Australia Post is trialling Australian made three-wheeled electric delivery vehicles to see if they complement its fleet of electric vehicle types. The company, which ordered 1,000 Swiss-made e-trikes earlier this year, is trialling Stealth Electric Bikes’ OzPods (pictured) in the Melbourne suburb of Lillydale over a variety of terrains.…

Aurora Labs to print naval frigate parts

Additive manufacturing technology group Aurora Labs (A3D) will develop trial marine components for commercial evaluation by BAE Systems Maritime Australia for potential inclusion in the nine Hunter class frigates it is building in Adelaide. BAE is in the prototyping phase of the frigate build and its’ R&D group is investigating large scale metal additive manufacturing…

EV bus maker raises $110 million, to establish NSW factory

Electric vehicle manufacturer Nexport Mobility Group will build a large-scale vehicle manufacturing plant in Moss Vale following today’s announcement by investment group TrueGreen Impact Group which has raised $110 million for the project. Tor Investment Management provided the new funding. As foreshadowed in @AuManufacturing on Monday, Nexport plans to make e-buses utilising technology from China’s…

Grey Innovation calls for investors in new venture fund

Commercialisation business Grey Innovation has announced an Early Stage Venture Capital Limited Partnership (ESVCLP) fund. Grey Innovation Ventures was “decreasing the traditional risk” involved in the ESVCLP model and “by investing in sophisticated start-up companies. With first market access to Grey Innovation Group’s suite of companies in, or approaching early revenue stage, the risk is…

EOS demonstrates RWS system to US military

Electro Optic Systems US defence division has demonstrated the precision and lethality of its Remote Weapon Stations (RWS) to US military observers. EOS Defense Systems USA took part in a live fire and static display at the Crew Served Weapons (CSW) Industry Range Day event on Red Cloud Range, Fort Benning, Georgia (Pictured). EOS displayed…

Maryborough munitions plant construction complete

Construction is complete after 15 months on the new Rheinmetall NIOA Munitions artillery shell forging plant at Maryborough in Queensland. The factory will use state-of-the-art equipment, including a 1200-tonne hot forging press, to produce the world’s most technically advanced 155mm calibre projectiles for Australia and export markets. BADGE Constructions led the building phase for the…

Marketing for manufacturers – how it’s done at Opal Australian Paper

@AuManufacturing’s Marketing for manufacturers series turns today to a manufacturer whose products have become a household name through sustained marketing and innovation. Here Peter Roberts profiles Opal Australian Paper.   Australian shops sometimes seem devoid of genuinely made in Australia brand names, with many famous Australian names such as Kiwi boot polish, Aspro, Sheridan and Speedo…

Amaero to 3D print in the Middle East

Metal additive manufacturing company Amaero International has announced progress in developing its Australian and international busines, including plans to establish an additive manufacturing centre in the Middle East. The company, which produces 3D printers and manufacturers in Australia and California, submitted a draft heads of agreement during the March quarter to establish the centre and…

Greener solvents help get more value out of apple waste

University of Adelaide researchers have found a greener and more effective way to extract beneficial compounds from apple waste.

Silentium secures $7.4 million passive radar order

Adelaide-based Silentium Defence has secured a $7.4 million contract from the Department of Defence to supply its MAVERICK M-series passive radar system to the army for capability development and evaluation. Silentium’s MAVERICK M-series is a soldier-portable, covert radar system for air defence, land, and maritime surveillance. It monitors reflections from battlefield radiation sources such as…

Rising prices boost BlueScope to record

A swing to positive microeconomic conditions has powered steel producer BlueScope to a record result for the second half, with the company today reporting a preliminary operating profit for FY21 of $1.72 billion. The record second half contribution was $1.19 billion, more than $100 million more than previously anticipated. Factors driving the result include rising…

Holden Group A vehicle tipped to break auction record

Lloyds expects a record price to be set when one of only 302 Australian-made Holden HSV VN SS Group A vehicles goes under the hammer at its Classic Car Auction this weekend.

Aquaterro to refurbish defence helmets

Melbourne company Aquaterro has won a $35 million contract to refurbish and upgrade the Australian Defence Force’s combat helmets. The five-year deal follows the construction of a purpose-built 5,000m2 Defence Industry Facility by the company in 2020. Aquaterro supplies every state and federal police force and border security agency with a wide range of imported…

Aurora Labs achieves high power laser 3D printing

Metal additive manufacturing producer Aurora Labs (A3D) has successfully completed the third milestone in the technology development pathway of its 3D printers. The company reported it has achieved 1.5kW laser printing power which is in excess of competitors. Its RMP-1 Beta prototype achieved reliable printing at that power while maintaining part integrity and quality standards…

Record quarter for Lynas Rare Earths

Lynas Rare Earths is benefitting from the critical nature of its products to high technology products, reporting record June quarter sales revenue of $185.9 million and sales receipts of $192 million. The Western Australian producer reported sustained demand for Lynas Neodymium-Praseodymium (NdPr) products and strong market pricing as governments outside China seek to diversify supply…

Australia’s ‘prototype’ for regional transformation

Newcastle’s mission to diversify its economy and capitalise on a rapidly shifting export market through innovation is a “prototype” for the rest of Australia, according to Newcastle Port chair Professor Roy Green.

VEEM to develop Hunter class frigate propeller

Western Australian marine engineering firm VEEM is to develop a prototype propeller to be fitted to the nine Hunter class frigates now under construction in Adelaide. BAE Systems Maritime Australia has let a contract worth about $180,000 to develop a prototype propeller blade, following an initial feasibility study in 2020. VEEM manufactures a wide range…

Pact and Cleanaway to recycle food grade plastics

Packaging group Pact Group and waste processing company Cleanaway today announced they would build Australia’s largest post-consumer polyethylene recycling plant converting locally collected kerbside materials into high quality food grade rHDPE and rPP resin. The $38 million project to be constructed at Laverton, Victoria will accelerate the inclusion of locally processed recycled resin into food,…

Marketing for manufacturers — What makes a good story? Thought starters on what’s worth sharing with the world

Where to begin? In the opening day of Marketing for manufacturers, Jack Mallen-Cooper answers that question for you, with a list of suggestions to get manufacturers thinking on what’s worth sharing about what they do. 

E-bus competition hots up with BYD on the way

By Peter Roberts A number of companies are now lining up in a race to secure major orders for electric buses from states such as New South Wales determined to electrify their fleets. Led by our largest bus maker Volgren, the market includes Bustech, Germilang Australia and Custom Denning all offering various levels of local…

Manufacturing news briefs – stories you might have missed

BHP to supply Tesla with nickel Mining group BHP will supply electric vehicle manufacturer Tesla with nickel from its Nickel West operation in Western Australia. The company has been ramping up production in the west in anticipation of rising demand from EV manufacturers. The company increased output by 11 per cent to 89,000 tonnes in…

Saving through smarter energy use – a future for our coal regions by James Bradley

With @AuManufacturing’s Saving through smarter energy use series coming to an end, we look at the big question for regional Australia – how to replace fossil fuels such as coal. Here James Bradley looks to a future for NSW’s Hunter region. With the largest coal export port in the southern hemisphere, it is no secret…

Saving through smarter energy use – in three steps by Ben Waters

@AuManufacturing’s Saving through smarter energy use series is coming to an end. Here Ben Waters offers three simple steps to reducing your energy costs. Australian manufacturers face the twin challenges of high energy costs and the need to decarbonise their operations and demonstrate a path towards net zero emissions. A ‘Reduce, Displace, Replace’ strategy can…

Quickstep improves operations in year of modest growth

Composites manufacturer Quickstep Holdings significantly improved internal operations during FY21, a year characterised by modest growth and the loss of a major prospective aerospace contract. The Sydney company announced FY21 sales of $85.1 million, up 3.4 per cent on the prior year. Appreciation of the US$ dampened the year on year growth, with an average…

Carbon Revolution grows despite pandemic woes

Single piece carbon fibre road wheel manufacturer Carbon Revolution managed a 2.7 per cent increase in wheel sales in the fourth quarter of FY21 to 3,218 despite Covid-19 and global computer chip shortages slowing automobile production worldwide. The company said in a market update it had progressed key manufacturing and technical improvements at its Geelong…

Federal grants boost key value-added industry developments

Analysis by Peter Roberts More details are emerging of a significant boost to key projects adding value to Australia’s vast mineral resources under the federal government’s modern manufacturing initiative and related industry programs. Today Lynas Rare Earths, the only significant manufacturer of rare earths critical to high technology industry outside China, revealed details of a…

Applications sought for listing in defence export catalogue

The federal government is calling for Australian defence industry businesses to lodge their applications for inclusion in the 2022 Australian Defence Sales Catalogue. With numbers of companies in the catalogue increasing every year, defence industry minister Melissa Price highlighted the benefits of inclusion. Price said: “The catalogue is a powerful reference for Australian defence businesses…

Wine exports drop on China slump, growth elsewhere

Strong growth in wine exports to the United Kingdom and Asian countries failed to make up for a 45 per cent fall in the mainland China trade in FY 21, according to figures from Wine Australia. China’s punitive tariffs on Australian wine saw overall export volumes drop five per cent and their value drop by…

Bisalloy looking as tough as its steels

By Peter Roberts When industry minister John Button in the Hawke government took the first steps to reform Australia’s over-protected and under-performing industries in the 1980s he focused on developing new sunrise sectors and giving the sick men of industry – steelmaking, car manufacture and textiles clothing and footwear – a chance to survive. Since…

Manufacturing news briefs – stories you might have missed

JWA Oilfield Supplies launches Flamingo concentrated solar Composite products developer JWA Oilfield Supplies and its collaborative partners are preparing to transport the first of the company’s Flamingo concentrated solar water treatment units (pictured) to a customer site in South West Queensland. Designed to improve the rates of water recovery and re-use in mining, the water…

Titomic continues 3D part production, reveals issues with a major sale

Additive manufacturing technology group Titomic has notched up a number of significant milestones at its Melbourne production bureau with global companies across high technology industry, however has reported issues with a previously announced sale. In a market update Titomic said it had recently completed defence, aerospace and armoured vehicle projects for a range of customers.…

ASM project launched as our second rare earths producer

Australian Strategic Materials (ASM) has kickstarted its Dubbo, NSW rare earths project with the signing of a $340.7 million ($US250m) framework agreement with a South Korean consortium. A consortium of South Korean Investors will receive 20 per cent of the equity in the holding company owner of the Dubbo project, with the partners planning a…

Australian Made logo now legally protected in Indonesia, Vietnam

The Australian Made, Australian Grown logo is now a registered trademark in Indonesia and Vietnam. The Australian Made Campaign announced on Wednesday that the logo was now protected under the laws of Indonesia and Vietnam, and can only be used by licenced makers and growers. “The iconic green-and-gold kangaroo logo is a valuable marketing tool…

Defence supply chain review launched

The federal government is to review the program that identifies opportunities for Australian manufacturers to enter the global supply chains of eight large multi-national defence prime contractors. The minister for defence industry Melissa Price today announced the independent review of the Global Supply Chain Program which affects companies supplying large systems to defence such as…

Saving through smarter energy use – Seeley evaporative cooling outshines refrigerated systems

@AuManufacturing’s Saving through smarter energy use series turns to a revolution in air conditioning costs now penetrating commercial and industrial markets. Peter Roberts profiles evaporative air cooling manufacturer, Seeley International. Many of us see refrigerated air conditioning systems as the gold standard for hot climates, with our only experience of evaporative systems those portable air…

15 manufacturers awarded $7.16 million in Commercialisation Fund grants

Federal grants of up to $1 million each and worth $7.16 million in total have been announced, supporting 15 manufacturing businesses through the Advanced Manufacturing Growth Centre’s Commercialisation Fund. 

Local mask maker forgotten as buyers go back to imports

One of the examples of local manufacturing resilience highlighted by the Covid-19 pandemic has seen staff numbers and orders dwindle as hospitals return to imported suppliers, according to a report. The ABC reported on Tuesday that Shepparton’s Med-Con went from 150 staff at its peak to 25 now. At the beginning of last year, it…

Queensland, Woolworths invest in manufacturing

The Queensland government and supermarket Woolworths have separately invested in early stage venture and development capital to support manufacturers. Queensland treasurer Cameron Dick announced the state had backed a $61 million capital raising by Gold Coast-based rocket manufacturer Gilmour Space Technologies. He did not reveal the size of the state’s investment, however the capital injection…

Matrix emerges from Covid downturn

Composite manufacturer Matrix Composites & Engineering has pulled through a Covid-19 drop in sales of its traditional buoyancy products for the offshore oil and gas industries. The Perth company, which diversified its traditionally underwater composites manufactures to onshore mining sectors, has seen a rebound in oil prices generate greater activity in the oil and gas…

Manufacturing news briefs – stories you might have missed

AnteoTech signs SEA distributor for EuGeni Nanotechnology company AnteoTech has appointed South East Asian distributors for the Brisbane company’s EuGeni SARS-CoV-2 antigen rapid diagnostic test (pictured). Biomed Global Sdn. Bhd will distribute the EuGeni reader platform and rapid tests in Malaysia. Singapore, Indonesia, Vietnam, Thailand and Myanmar. AnteoTech specialises in surface chemistry, and has core…

EOS achieves $20m sales to Australian defence

Space, communications and defence manufacturer Electro Optic Systems has notched up sales of more than $20 million to the Australian Defence Force over the past month. The company told investors the contracts cover advanced technology research and development activities in electro-optic sensors, Cobra satellite terminals from its EM Solutions subsidiary and sustainment contracts. “The contracts…

Exports and immigrants have masked Australia’s poor R&D record. Here are some simple fixes

Australia’s long run of economic growth from the early 1990s to early 2020 inspired much boasting by incumbent politicians. But behind the hubris and headlines lies a less flattering story — about Australia riding a wave of dumb luck, with exports to China and relatively high levels of immigration masking mundane economic performance.

CRC program stands alone in federal industry backing

Comment by Peter Roberts The cooperative Research Centres (CRC) program has assumed even greater importance to the future of manufacturing with the likely demise of the growth centres initiative, though the CRCs too need further federal commitments in the short term to continue their good works. The CRC’s match federal money with cash and in…

BioCina joins the mRNA vaccine manufacturing race

By Peter Roberts Adelaide pharmaceutical group BioCina has joined the race to manufacture mRNA vaccines in Australia such as those made by Pfizer and Moderna which have proved effective in preventing infection from Covid-19. The Adelaide company, backed by the University of Adelaide, is one of a number of groups who have responded to a…

Manufacturing news briefs – stories you might have missed

DroneShield sells to Australian army, receives US infrastructure order Drone detection and countermeasure company DroneShield has has sold a quantity of its RfOne MKIITM long-range sensors to the Australian Army (pictured). The capability is being delivered immediately to allow the Australian Army to assess its future counter-drone requirements and options. The company has also received…

v2food goes on sale in China

Australian plant-based meat manufacturer v2food has continued its product range and market expansions announcing an entry into the Chinese food market. The company has established an operations team in China to deliver Wodonga-made plant-based foods to consumers there, adding to export markets New Zealand, Japan, Korea, Thailand and the Philippines. v2food was established by the…

Australian Makers series sonnen Australia – video

The Australian Made Campaign’s Australian Makers video series has debuted a new video manufacturer profile – of solar home battery manufacturer sonnen Australia. Housed in the former Holden assembly plant at Elizabeth in Adelaide, the company manufactures the residential sonnenBatterie system, which now boasts more than 60,000 residential installations worldwide. The sonnenBatterie is an intelligent…

Say goodbye to industry growth centres, strap in for government grant rorts

By Peter Roberts All the signs are bad for any small hope we may have had that the six industry growth centres would be replaced by something more like the highly successful UK Catapult centres or German Fraunhofer Institutes. The signs coming from Canberra are that no-one is pushing for an extension of the growth…

Manufacturing news briefs – stories you might have missed

Austin Engineering appoints new CEO Mining equipment manufacturer Austin Engineering has appointed David Singleton (pictured) as CEO and managing director after a period acting in the position. Singleton is credited with internationalising Perth shipbuilder Austal and taking it into new areas of technology including naval shipbuilding and construction using steel instead of its more typical…

Wintermute Covid treatment for further US development

Biopharmaceutical company Wintermute Biomedical has had its novel Covid-19 therapy included in the US Biden administration’s $3 billion whole of government program with a focus on accelerated development of next generation COVID-19 treatments. Melbourne-based Wintermute, which in April revealed a new anti-microbial chemistry now on sale in Australia as a hand sanitiser and surface cleaner…

Launch pad licence means all systems go for Southern Launch

Three test rockets are set to be launched from South Australia within months, after the company behind the launchpad complex secured a licence from the Australian Space Agency.

State government announces $1 million for Central Victorian Advanced Manufacturing alliance

The Victorian government has announced $1 million in support for what it calls a “ground-breaking partnership” between the Bendigo Manufacturing Group, La Trobe University and the City of Greater Bendigo.

Planet Innovation continues expansion, opens second cleanroom

Medical technology commercialisation and manufacturing business Planet Innovation officially opened its second cleanroom on Tuesday.

PFi launches advanced titanium industrial filter

Diversified automation and manufacturing company Products for Industry (PFi) has launched an Australian-first titanium membrane filter (pictured) suitable for use in a wide range of industries. The Darra, Brisbane machine automation products, systems and solutions provider has won its first export orders for the new filter into the UK spirits market. Developed by Gilbert Erskine,…

“Heavy hitter” industrial decarbonisation project awarded $3 million funding from ARENA

Roughly a year after its announcement, the Australian Industry Energy Transitions Initiative (ETI) has received $3 million in support from ARENA

Saving through smarter energy use – Calix revolutionising industrial energy use

@AuManufacturing’s editorial series – Saving through smarter energy use – looks today at the biggest of big picture Australian industrial technologies which is transforming the production of those most products most critical to our future, cement and lime. Here Peter Roberts profiles Calix Ltd. Since building products group Adbri opened its Brighton cement works in…

Inland rail supporting regional manufacturing

The continuing construction of the ambitious Inland Rail project linking Melbourne and Brisbane continues to provide benefits to regional manufacturers, with the letting of a $67 million contract for culverts to be manufactured in Tamworth, NSW. According to the Australian Rail Track Corporation (ARTC) the Narrabri to North Star (N2NS) section of Inland Rail is…

Defence seeks RFI to speed sovereign guided weapons development

The defence department has moved to the next stage of its development of a $1 billion Sovereign Guided Weapons and Explosive Ordnance Enterprise, issuing a Request for Information seeking input from industry and academia interested in participating in the enterprise. Feedback is also being sought on the potential roles that organisations could play to assist…

Gold Coast manufacturing hub opens

Queensland’s Gold Coast Manufacturing Hub was officially opened on Tuesday. The hub is headquartered at Nerang, received $4.5 million in funding from the Queensland government, and was “open and ready to service manufacturers in the areas from Beenleigh to the New South Wales border, and west to the Gold Coast Hinterland,” said state environment minister…

Bisalloy receives first order for Boxer armour

Wear and armour steel manufacturer Bisalloy Steels has received its first significant order from Rheinmetall for specialised armour steel for the Boxer combat reconnaissance vehicle (pictured). Specially developed by Bisalloy to meet the protection level required for the Boxer, the steel has been tested and certified by the German government. It will be used by…

Constellation provides IoT solutions to Fujitsu, QTEQ

Industrial internet of things hardware and software systems provider Constellation Technologies has signed a Master Services Agreement with Fujitsu Australia to develop IoT solutions. Constellation is now accredited to deliver its full suite of services to Fujitsu over the next three years. The company has received an initial purchase order from Fujitsu for a quantity…

K-TIG expands in the UK and Europe

High speed welding technology manufacturer K-TIG is expanding into the United Kingdom and Europe, appointing former KPMG corporate strategist Benjamin Hall to lead its expansion globally. The company’s new subsidiary, Keyhole TIG (UK) follows the company’s successful penetration of the United States market, where it partnered with Key Plant Automation, a manufacturer of welding equipment…

Former car factory deepens tech hub credentials

Adelaide’s Tonsley Innovation Precinct, constructed within the former Mitsubishi Motors vehicle assembly plant, is deepening its credentials as a centre of high technology with smart home technology company Nice Australia relocating to the site. Nice is a leader in smart home automation systems, including intelligent gates, garage doors, awnings, shutters, alarms and lighting that can…

BAE frigate prototyping forges ahead

The first prototype unit to be built up into prototype ship blocks of Australia’s Hunter class frigates has progressed down the ‘pulse line’ at BAE Systems Australia Maritime’s Osborne Naval Shipyard. The pulse line (pictured) is a production line in the Steel and Unit Fabrication Hall at the new purpose-built shipyard where the nine Hunter…

Tradiebot announces new CEO

Automotive and trades-focussed software company Tradiebot Industries has announced a new CEO, with co-founder and former CEO Mario Dimovski shifting his focus to growing the company in North America.

Introducing our new editorial series – Saving through smarter energy use

Today we launch our new editorial series – Saving through smarter energy use. By Brent Balinski.

ICN makes industry collaboration easier

Industry Capability Network (ICN) today relaunches the ICN Gateway after undergoing a comprehensive overhaul making it easier for project owners to promote their projects and suppliers to find work and promote their capabilities. The relaunched gateway, dubbed ‘New Business, Upgraded’, tackles the challenge for small to medium enterprises (SMEs) in breaking into new or expanding…

Hawkei issues resolved, gains operational approval

Defence and Thales Australia have resolved a braking issue identified with the Hawkei protected mobility vehicle identified in late 2020, allowing the approval of Initial Operational Capability. Defence minister Peter Dutton said in a statement that the vehicle had reached a significant milestone with a technical solution to the issue being rolled out across the…

Manufacturing news briefs – stories you might have missed

AML3D to join factory of the future Additive manufacturing equipment manufacturer AML3D will set up a R&D facility as part of the Line Zero factory of the future established by BAE Systems Maritime Australia and Flinders University. The facility, which is developing and testing cutting edge shipbuilding systems to be used constructing Hunter class frigates…

Hydrogen hub gets $7 million federal boost, will feature “Australia’s first large fuel cell manufacturing line”

The federal government has officially announced $7 million in support for the Hycel Technology Hub at Deakin University’s Warrnambool Hub, which it says would help support the national economic goal of ‘H2 under $2’.

Lithium Australia produces advanced cathode materials

Second-generation lithium manganese ferro phosphate (LMFP) battery cathode powder produced by Lithium Australia has met industry performance and physical property specifications. Electric vehicle manufacturers including China’s BYD, VW and Tesla are transitioning to the use of lithium ferro phosphate (LFP) cathode materials in lithium batteries. Both LFP and LMFP batteries are cheaper and safer than…

New RMIT Sars-Cov-2 test promises result in under a minute, with planned commercial release early-2022

RMIT has announced that a rapid Covid-19 test based on R&D at Micro Nano Research Facility will be manufactured in Australia with planned commercial release early next year.

SEA Electric plans stock exchange listing, Volvo delivers E-truck

Australian turned US-based electric drive train manufacturer SEA Electric is planning a public listing as it further accelerates growth, according to a company post on social media. At the same time Volvo has delivered the first Battery Electric Volvo truck in Australia to the Linfox fleet where it will be used to deliver Victoria Bitter…

Evos raises cash to develop EV charger for fleet applications

A new electric vehicle charger company founded by three former employees of Tritium has raised $1.7 million in a seed funding round.

Confidence in clean energy down as government clings to fossil fuels

Grid connection issues and unhelpful and unpredictable government intervention are behind falling clean energy investment confidence by senior business leaders, according to the Clean Energy Council. The industry also rated network capacity and transmission concerns, lack of long-term federal energy policy and future market design uncertainty as major challenges. The council’s bi-annual Clean Energy Outlook…

Five medtech manufacturers awarded total of $36 million in federal grants

Five medical products companies have been awarded a total of $36 million in federal grants, including a developer of rapid Covid-19 tests and a maker of radiopharmaceuticals for disease diagnosis.

Noumed to build Adelaide pharmaceutical plant

Noumed Pharmaceutical is to build an $85 million generic drug manufacturing plant in Adelaide. The company, part of UK’s Noumed Life Sciences, will build its first production plant in Australia at Salsibury following news it would receive $20 million to support construction under the federal government’s Modern Manufacturing Strategy. Noumed is an integrated generics pharmaceutical…

H2X hydrogen vehicles resurface – but future in Australia in doubt

By Peter Roberts In June last year I reported that a new company H2X Australia would begin manufacturing a range of hydrogen fuel cell powered vehicles in Australia, including the exciting Snowy SUV. Today that future looks rather clouded with the company renamed as H2X Global, a new website appearing and CEO Brendan Norman paying…

Our ambition to produce a ‘How it’s made Australia’ video series – by Bill Macartney

ADVERTISING FEATURE Since @AuManufacturing and Cahoots announced their proposal for a How it’s made – Australia video series, we have had great feedback from readers and companies. Here, Bill Macartney of Cahoots explains what we are trying to achieve by putting manufacturing in front of Australian audiences. An ability to envisage and communicate a future…

Manufacturing skills Australia to support innovation skills development

Industry skills council Manufacturing Skills Australia has announced its Industry Development Fund is seeking applications from around Australia for grants to improve innovation skills in the sector. MSA, which develops courses for students in the manufacturing sector, is offering individuals between $1,000 and $10,000 to develop their skills and knowledge through research, education and/or training…

CEFC provides $16.5 million in support to billion-bottle recycling plant in Albury-Wodonga

The Clean Energy Finance Corporation has announced it is providing up to $16.5 million in debt finance for the Cleanaway/Pact Group/Asahi Beverages factory currently being built in Albury-Wodonga. “The project will draw on $16.5 million in debt finance from the Commonwealth Bank of Australia, for a total debt finance package of $33 million, to build…

Govt consults on patent box scheme

The federal government’s patent box scheme will only apply to new inventions created after May, while it is still considering how best to target it at the BioTech and medical sectors and whether to expand the scheme to apply to low emissions technologies as well.

Fortescue delivers on hydrogen and decarbonising technology development

Fortescue metals Group’s future industries division (FFI) has hit the ground running delivering major progress in a series of decarbonisation initiatives committed to by company chairman Andrew Forrest in March this year. FFI CEO Julie Shuttleworth said Forrest had led two major overseas expeditions including 50 experts testing the hypothesis that green hydrogen was a…

Spiral Blue deploys edge computer aboard space satellite

Edge computer developer Spiral Blue has successfully launched the first prototype of its Space Edge Zero (SEZ) computers into orbit as part of two aboard 2 SatRevolution satellites. The satellites were deployed into a 500km altitude sun-synchronous orbit by Virgin Orbit’s air-to-space LauncherOne rocket. Launched from the Mojave Air and Spaceport in California, the satellites…

Calix and Tarmac to cut CO2 emissions in lime production

Industrial technology company Calix is moving ahead on yet another front, announcing an agreement to implement its calcination process to reduce in-process carbon dioxide emissions in the production of lime. The company, which is developing a world-first zero emissions lime kiln with Australian group Adbri, will co-develop a project with construction materials manufacturer Tarmac to…

MMI grants worth $13.8 million announced for space projects

The first tranche of grants under the Modern Manufacturing Initiative’s Integration and Translation streams has been announced, with four companies awarded federal funding for space-related projects.

Australian wine production rebounds in 2021 vintage

Australian wine production has seen a big rebound in the most recent vintage, with a record crop of 2.03 million tonnes, according to Wine Australia’s National Vintage Report 2021.

Big rise in apprenticeships but statisticians unsure why

There was a big rise in apprentice numbers during 2020, but on issuing the boom figures the National Centre for Vocational Education Research warned of the need to interpret the results with care. NCVER reported that there were 297,920 apprentices and trainees in-training as at 31 December 2020, an increase of 13.9 per cent from…

Amaero to build strategic titanium alloy powder plant

Metal additive manufacturing company Amaero International will invest $8 million to build what it calls the world’s most advanced titanium alloy powder manufacturing plant in Victoria. Using proprietary technology the alloy gas atomisation plant will produce aerospace grade titanium powders used in advanced additive manufacturing, and provide an alternative in global markets dominated by China…

Diagnostics company Lumos to debut on ASX today

Point of care test developer and manufacturer Lumos Diagnostics will begin trading on the ASX at 1230 AEDT today, following a $63 million IPO.

Calix and RHI Magnesita to cut CO2 emissions in refractory materials

Industrial technology company Calix has signed another deal to implement its calcination process to reduce in-process carbon dioxide emissions – this time in the production of refractory materials. Calix will work with a global leader in refractories, Vienna-based RHI Magnesita NV to utilise a Calix Flash Calciner in producing refractories, allowing the separation of CO2…

@AuManufacturing can help you access $800m manufacturing grants

Advertisement The guidelines for the collaboration stream of the federal government’s flagship Modern Manufacturing Initiative have been released, with grants of between $20 million and $200 million for transformative projects to be accepted from next month. $800 million in grants will be available under the stream which emphasises collaboration between Australian manufacturers and with universities…

AML3D’s straightforward 3D printer gaining traction

By Peter Roberts Simple ideas are often the best. And in manufacturing, if they are based on one of the world’s best accepted and understood industrial technologies, all the better. This is the path Andy Sales, CEO of additive manufacturing technology company AML3D took when he saw how conventional wire arc welding could be automated…

Manufacturing news briefs – stories you might have missed

Fleet Space satellite deployed The payload of Fleet Space Technologies sixth nanosatellite, Centauri 4, launched on SpaceX Falcon9 mission, has been deployed in space and switched on. CEO Flavia Tata Nardini took to social media and said: “This usually takes weeks if not up to a month, so to achieve this in only a few…

Tasmania to get three new plastic recycling facilities

Three Tasmanian plastic recycling plants that received grant support under the Recycling Modernisation Fund have been announced.

Australia-US in talks on space technology treaty

The Australian government will negotiate a bilateral treaty with the US for protections of space technology, in a bid to attract more American investment and access to sensitive technology and data into the local market.

Equipping Australia’s armed forces – Novafast piping aboard frigate build

Our editorial series – Equipping Australia’s armed forces – ends today where we began two weeks ago – looking at the benefits for SMEs of meeting the stringent demands of defence prime contractors. Here Peter Roberts profiles Novafast International. BAE Systems Maritime Australia is working around the clock to commission one of the world’s first…

Quickstep in herculean aerospace milestone – video

Advanced composites manufacturer Quickstep has notched up a new aerospace milestone, delivering its 200th shipset of wing flaps for the C-130J Super Hercules military transport aircraft (pictured). The Sydney company has a five-year contract with US manufacturer Lockheed Martin to provide wing flaps for the aircraft, which is in service with the RAAF, until 2024.…

It’s a record: Australian manufacturing expanded at fastest pace ever during June according to PMI

The Australian Industry Group’s Performance of Manufacturing Index survey has recorded its best result since its 1992 beginning, with each activity index and each sector in growth.

Govt opens $50m supply chain grants program

Semi-conductors, water treatment chemicals and telecommunications equipment are being considered for the next round of grants, with between $50,000 and $2 million in matched funding on offer.

HILT CRC to decarbonise heavy industry

The federal government has announced $39 million in funding to an ambitious project linking researchers, miners and heavy industry aimed at decarbonising the sector. The Heavy Industry Low-carbon Transition Cooperative Research Centre (HILT CRC) has also attracted $210 million in cash and kind contributions from universities and companies involved. Leading business players include ADBRI cement,…

Guidelines released for collaboration project grants worth up to $200 million each

Guidelines were released on Wednesday for the federal government’s Modern Manufacturing Initiative “collaboration” stream grants, worth between $20 million and $200 million and supporting large-scale Australian manufacturers with “large, transformational projects.” 

Rural R&D Corporations – unsung heroes of collaboration

By Peter Roberts @AuManufacturing has written a lot about the federal government’s industry growth centre initiative, from its undoubted benefits to the companies the six centres touch, to their underfunding and sub-optimal program design. With the growth centres threatened with replacement by grants issued by ministers offices – with the all too-obvious risks of their…

Equipping Australia’s armed forces – Silentium makes it quiet

As our editorial series – Equipping Australia’s armed forces – nears its close @AuManufacturing takes a fresh look at a familiar technology – radar. Peter Roberts profiles passive radar developer, Silentium Defence.

Manufacturing news briefs – stories you might have missed

Line Zero factory of the future architect selected Adelaide-based Das Studio has been selected to design the industrial scale factory of the future project at the Tonsley Innovation District in Adelaide. Stage one of the project is a research and training facility collaboration with BAE Systems Maritime Australia, the Innovative Manufacturing Cooperative Research Centre, Cisco…

Collaboration to develop liquid hydrogen tanks

A collaborative partnership has received Advanced Manufacturing Growth Centre (AMGC) funding to develop two new types of propellant tanks for storing cryogenic liquid fuels for commercial and civil satellite programs. Aerospace giant Lockheed Martin, Australian composites manufacturer Omni Tanker and UNSW Sydney plan a “Type IV” fluoropolymer-lined carbon fibre composite tank and a “Type V”…

Industry growing but suffering worst skills shortage in 14 years: survey

Despite clear momentum, manufacturers are currently dealing with materials disruptions comparable to the 1970’s oil shock and skills shortages “not seen in 14 years” according to research from the quarterly Australian Chamber-Westpac Survey of Industrial Trends.

Marine bioproducts, heavy industry decarbonisation R&D get backing in CRC round 22

Three new CRCs have earned funding under the Cooperative Research Centre Program’s round 22, with a total federal government investment of $158 million and estimated total investment of $664.6 million over their lifespans.

Equipping Australia’s armed forces – Strength from Bisalloy steel

Our editorial series – Equipping Australia’s armed forces – continues today with a look at the interaction between defence and civilian industrial sectors. Here Peter Roberts reports on wear and armour steel producer Bisalloy Steel. Bisalloy is one of those companies that operates in Australia in a niche of one – in this case as…

Super funds back Gilmour Space Technologies

Australian superannuation funds HESTA, Hostplus, and NGS Super have backed the latest capital raising for Gold Coast rocket manufacturer Gilmour Space Technologies in good news for high-tech manufacturing. The funds joined Australian and global venture capital firms pledging $61 million to Gilmour in what is the biggest capital raising ever by an Australian space business.…

Calix and CSL in Victorian biotechnology developments

Industrial technology company Calix has been awarded $1 million in federal funding to develop its biotechnology manufacturing operations at Bacchus Marsh in Victoria. At the same time pharmaceutical giant CSL has set aside several floors at its new 18-storey headquarters building in Melbourne’s Parkville (pictured) for a new biotechnology incubator. Calix, best known for its…

Manufacturing news briefs – stories you might have missed

Atomo Diagnostics gets FDA clearance Medical device company Atomo Diagnostics has received Emergency Use Authorisation from the US Food and Drug Administration for its one of its rapid COVID-19 tests developed with Korea’s Access Bio. The company’s CareStart EZ COVID-19 IgM/IgG test detects recent or previous Covid-19 infection. The rapid antibody test combines Atomo’s rapid…

Austin Engineering rationalises Mackay operations

Mining equipment manufacturer Austin Engineering is continuing its strategic review, announcing the consolidation of two sites at Mackay in Queensland to a single location. The company, which recently moved its headquarters from Brisbane to co-locate with its largest factory at Kewdale in Perth, will close its repair and maintenance workshop and consolidate at its Progress…

Barrett Releases the HF Radio Mailbox

HF radio manufacturer Barrett Communications has released its new 4020 HF Radio Mailbox. Part of Barrett’s HF Fax and Data System used worldwide for the past 15 years, the new Radio Mailbox delivers IMAP synchronised email over HF Radio and onto users’ smart devices. A feature previously unavailable to the HF radio user, it allows…

Queensland machinery maker achieves first Chilean export

Phibion, a former Queensland Export Award Winner, will ship the first of its machines bound for Chile this week.

Liveris calls for innovation policy overhaul

Australia needs a fundamental change in its approach to innovation and exports to capitalise on the government’s $1.5 billion Modern Manufacturing Initiative, according to the scheme’s chief architect Andrew Liveris, who says the federal policy should guide an overhaul of the national economy.

Can manufacturing escape new Covid strains?

By Peter Roberts Sitting in my hotel room in Melbourne I am beginning to feel anxious at being away from home with the onset of a Sydney lockdown that bodes ill for this latest round of Covid-19. With just over three per cent of our population vaccinated fully, and government and citizens in Sydney clearly…

Manufacturing news briefs – stories you might have missed

CardieX prepares for blood monitor sales Health care monitoring company CardieX has split into two divisions as it moves to commercialise five products in development (pictured). The company has developed PPG sensors to allow blood pressure monitoring with a touch, and a home blood pressure monitor and wristband for vascular patients. CardieX has a new…

It’s official – Saputo’s Coon cheese becomes Cheer

The much anticipated disappearance of Coon brand cheese is underway, with Saputo Dairy announcing the renamed brand range has begun rolling out across major and independent Australian supermarkets, with more products appearing on shelves nationally over the coming weeks. Saputo commercial director Cam Bruce said: “We are excited to confirm that shoppers can now purchase…

US university invests in Australian-made Spee3D metal printer

Australian metal additive manufacturing company Spee3D has achieved another export, with the installation of a LightSpee3D machine at Penn State University’s Applied Research Laboratory in the United States.

Austal primed for swell of autonomous vessels – by Paddy Gregg

Our editorial series – Equipping Australia’s armed forces – looks today at the trend towards autonomous naval vessels, part of a wider move to autonomous systems. Here Austal CEO Paddy Gregg outlines the Australian prime contractor’s leadership position. Austal’s recent US$44 million autonomous capability contract with the United States Navy is just the tip of…

Killing growth centres will enable ‘rorts’: Labor

Labor has accused the government of trying to kill off the Industry Growth Centres to gain control of their grant programs for political purposes as the Opposition ramps up attacks on the industry portfolio.

Gupta holds off court action during Whyalla steelworks refinancing

Sanjeev Gupta’s GFG Alliance says it has negotiated a six-week standstill agreement with Credit Suisse while it finalises the refinancing of its Australian operations, which include the Whyalla steelworks.

Townsville company awarded state government support to make water treatment chemicals

Cleveland Bay Chemical Company (CBCC) has earned support under the Essential Goods and Supply Chain Program to begin production of a chemical used in water treatment. The industrial chemical manufacturer was awarded an unspecified amount, according a statement from the Queensland government on Wednesday, to begin producing aluminium chlorohydrate (ACH) at its Townsville factory. The…

Covid brings Victorian vaccine and pharmaceutical innovation

By Peter Roberts The pieces are beginning to fall into place for the production of mRNA vaccines in Victoria, and possibly Queensland. Driven by the success of the first vaccine’s developed using the novel technology by Pfizer and Moderna, both states are backing local mRNA technology development, with Victoria in April committing $50 million. A…

Manufacturing news briefs – stories you might have missed

Senate rejects ARENA fossil fuel plans The Senate took advantage of the absence of Senator Pauline Hanson to reject government plans to extend the remit of the Australian Renewable Energy Agency to allow it to invest in so-called ‘low-emissions technologies’. The opposition, greens and cross-benchers feared this would divert funds set aside for investment in…

Austal snares third US Navy contract

Perth shipbuilder Austal has snared its third contract from the US Navy in less than one month, announcing it will develop a preliminary design under the USN’s light amphibious warship (LAW) program. The navy envisages a fleet of between 28 and 30 LAW warships to support the Marine Corps from 2023. The requirement is for…

Seaweed cattle feed to be used at new $90m plant in South Australia

Construction of the first processing plant to use a seaweed-based feed supplement for cows to reduce their methane production by 90 per cent will begin near Port Pirie towards the end of this year.

Three QLD companies awarded $840,000 under Manufacturing Hubs Grant program

Three north Queensland companies have earned a total of $840,000 in state government grants under the Manufacturing Hubs Grant Program.

Investment NSW gets an innovation war chest

The New South Wales government’s newest agency has been allocated more than $400 million to attract investment and foster innovation in the state, less than three months after being set up.

ADN infant formula plant nears completion

Australian Dairy Nutritionals Group has announced that installation of infant formula production equipment will be completed by the end of the month at its new $6 million plant nearing completion at the Camperdown dairy park in south-west Victoria. Commissioning works will then begin along with the installation of the final section of roofing. Operations are…

Connecting Australian manufacturers – by Alexander May

By Alexander May Over the past few years, the ongoing effects of globalisation have changed the manufacturing landscape in Australia, resulting in increased offshoring and importing. This has led to Australia ranking near the bottom in the OECD for manufacturing self-sufficiency, due to a significant amount of manufactured equipment and goods being sourced from overseas.…

Manufacturing recovery is here, it’s just not very evenly distributed

A report by the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO) has tracked a recovery in global manufacturing output, but with pronounced differences across countries and industries. UNIDO’s World Manufacturing Report found overall year-on-year growth for manufacturing at 12 per cent for the first quarter of 2021.  Different countries experienced different rates of recovery, which UNIDO…

Queensland’s Inside Advanced Manufacturing tour to run July 12 – 16

The state government-run Inside Advanced Manufacturing tour will resume this year and run between July 12 to 16, with 20 companies hosting “behind-the-scenes” tours at their factories. The week would “showcase the new design and innovative technologies, processes and practices” transforming the sector, according to a statement from Queensland manufacturing minister Glenn Butcher, providing insights…

NSW to unveil $480m EV package

By Joseph Brookes The New South Wales government will commit nearly half a billion dollars in today’s budget to the uptake of electric vehicles, including limited $3,000 rebates and the removal of stamp duty on some new cars. The reforms will bring down the cost of a new electric vehicle by as much as $5,500…

Equipping Australia’s armed forces – the minnow and the defence prime

Our series – Equipping Australia’s armed forces – continues today with a focus on deepening relationships between defence prime contractors and relatively small Australian SMEs. Peter Roberts profiles Lockheed Martin Australia and Varley Group. It is easy to trace back the increasing complexity of relationships between foreign prime contractors and local SME suppliers to a…

Reshoring solar cell production – by Shane West

Achieving net zero carbon emissions by 2050 is a credible target, but if it is to be achieved with local manufactured solar PV cells we need to mobilise the research and manufacturing sector as never before. Here Shane West us of the early history of solar cell production in Australia and the future demand to…

Equipping Australia’s armed forces – Xtek switches into higher (more protective) gear

Our series – Equipping Australia’s armed forces – continues today with a focus on new materials and technologies for the battlefield. Here Peter Roberts interviews Philippe Odouard. Polyethylene seems a rather mundane word coming from Philippe Odouard who has long been associated with advanced materials, first leading composites manufacturer Quickstep and now as managing director…

Manufacturing news briefs – stories you might have missed

Skykraft completes first spacecraft Smallsat manufacturer SkyKraft has released a picture (below) of its first spacecraft nearing completion and preparing to move to AITC, Mt Stromlo, for testing. SkyKraft, a spin-off from the University of New South Wales Canberra, plans a satellite constellation for space-based Air Traffic Management services with operations commencing in 2023. Meanwhile…

Childbirth monitor, battery tech companies among winners in $3.2 million Accelerating Commercialisation round

Eight companies have been awarded Accelerating Commercialisation grants totalling $3.2 million.

Lunar rover and space thruster supported with Moon to Mars grants

Twenty organisations have shared $4 million in Moon to Mars Demonstrator Feasibility grants supporting projects ranging from university testing facilities to the development of a Lunar Construction Rover and an in-space chemical thruster. The grants will help transform concepts into space products and services, building an ecosystem of companies supporting the Australian Space Agency’s $150…

Record number of nominations in Good Design Awards

The Australian Good Design Awards are now showcasing this year’s finalist, with winners to be named at the Good Design Awards Ceremony on September 17 in Sydney.

Fleet Space to progress its nanosatellite wide area network

IIot nanosatellite communications services provider Fleet Space Technologies will improve the capabilities of its hybrid satellite low-powered wide area network (LPWAN) following the award of a Mars Supply Chain Capability Improvement grant. Part of the Australian Space Agency’s $150 million Moon to Mars initiative, the grant will boost collaboration to miniaturise and ruggedise sensors in…

Australia needs construction waste recycling plants — but locals first need to be won over

Strong community opposition to a proposed waste facility in regional New South Wales made headlines earlier this year. The A$3.9 million facility would occupy 2.7 hectares of Gunnedah’s industrial estate. It’s intended to process up to 250,000 tonnes a year of waste materials from Sydney.

Australian made composite masts bound for Tokyo Olympics

Filament-wound tubing specialist CST has displayed a collection of boat masts bound for the Tokyo Olympics.

National Space Qualification Network launched

A National Space Qualification Network (USQN), a new system of certification for satellites and other systems destined for space, has been launched with backing from the federal government. The University of Wollongong (UOW), the Australian National University (ANU), Australian Nuclear Science and Technology Organisation (ANSTO), Steritech, Nova Systems and Saber Astronautics will contribute to a…

Green hydrogen production and vehicle refilling station for SW Melbourne

Modular hydrogen production developer Hydrogen Fuels Australia (H2FA) has launched Australia’s first integrated hydrogen production and refuelling station to be built at a greenfields site in Truganina near Laverton, south-west of Melbourne. Rainwater and renewable power will be used along with Green Hydrogen Systems of Denmark electrolysis equipment, with the site’s micro-grid managed by Sweden’s…

Alstom, CAF and Downer Rail shortlisted for next phase of QLD rolling stock program

Alstom, CAF and Downer Rail have been shortlisted for a $600 million project to build 20 six-car trains at Maryborough. The Queensland government made the announcement on Wednesday, following an expression of interest process led by the Department of Transport and Main Roads (TMR.)  The winner of the contract will be named next year.  The…

Manufacturing news briefs – stories you might have missed

LAVO to deploy hydrogen storage for vineyards Hydrogen storage device manufacturer LAVO is to collaborate with wine producer Duxton Vineyards Group on the use of LAVO hydrogen storage solutions at its vineyards in the Mildura and Sunraysia region of New South Wales. DV owns and operates over 2,400 hectares of vineyards, as well as a…

Swinburne’s Professor Bronwyn Fox named as incoming CSIRO Chief Scientist

Swinburne University’s Professor Bronwyn Fox will be CSIRO’s next Chief Scientist, the university announced on Wednesday afternoon. Fox joined Swinburne in 2015 — as the head of its Factory of the Future — from Deakin University. Following a Directorship of its Manufacturing Futures Research Institute, Fox has been Deputy Vice-Chancellor, Research and Enterprise since February…

Coal to urea plant closer at Leigh Creek

Leigh Creek Energy has raised $18 million to progress the first stage of its energy and urea project in the mid-north of South Australia. The capital injection will be used to progress the production of commercial syngas and power generation from lignite resources at the former Leigh Creek coal field. The placement was supported by…

Great Wrap, Voronoi, Good360 among winners at first Circle Awards

The first Circle Awards were held on Tuesday night, with winners announced from circular economy leaders in Australia and New Zealand.

ARENA and Rio study hydrogen to refine alumina

Rio Tinto will study whether hydrogen can replace natural gas in alumina refineries to reduce emissions with a $1.2 million feasibility study. Equally funded by the Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA), the study will use clean hydrogen to replace natural gas in the calcination process of refining at the Yarwun alumina refinery in Gladstone. The…

Australian Missile Corporation Announces More Signings

The Australian Missile Corporation (AMC) has signed up two new SME partners in its collaboration developing an indigenous consortium to develop a sovereign guided weapons enterprise. AMC, a subsidiary of Queensland munitions manufacturer NIOA, has added Milspec Manufacturing and Thomas Global Systems to its partners. They join a collaboration that includes Quickstep, Black Sky Aerospace,…

Reimagining Regional Manufacturing Innovation – by Robert Masters

The growing dynamism of Australia’s regional cities has not been well recognised or appreciated. Here Robert Masters suggests linking regional manufacturing growth to the Modern Manufacturing Strategy through a campaign to highlight the regions. Regional Australian manufacturers often underappreciated – yet they must play a key role in future if Australia is to be recognised…

Applications for $43 million industrial energy study grants to open next month

Grants will open on July 6 for an Australian Renewable Energy Agency-administered program aimed at identifying opportunities to reduce industrial greenhouse gas emissions. The $43 million Industrial Energy Transformation Studies Program was announced in the May federal budget, and its first round — budgeted at $25 million — will support feasibility and engineering studies for…

Patriot Hydrogen production units for Port Anthony, Victoria

Hydrogen technology company Patriot Hydrogen is to supply two modular hydrogen production units to Port Anthony Renewables which is developing a green energy and green hydrogen hub at the port, 180 kilometres south-east of Melbourne. Patriot will supply two P2H hydrogen units (pictured), each with a capacity to produce one tonne of hydrogen a day…

Australia’s submarine comedy of errors

By Peter Roberts It is getting harder by the day to continue thinking that Australia is not making a hash of our most expensive and complex defence program – building 12 Attack class submarines at a cost of $90 billion. The government has finally given clarity whether three or all six of our Collins boats…

The next step for industry growth centres – by Paul Hodgson

A secret report into the future of industry growth centres has pointed to design weaknesses in the growth centre model and inadequate funding to affect outcomes at a sectoral level. With the federal government believed to favour abolishing the centres, Paul Hodgson points the way ahead.

Manufacturing news briefs – stories you might have missed

Archer progresses biochip design Archer Materials has established chip testing and measurement operations (pictured) to support its development of a graphene-based biochip for point-of-care medical diagnostics. The capability has been established at a cleanroom at the University of Sydney’s semiconductor research and prototype foundry. The establishment of the facility allows Archer to progress to the…

QLD unveils $2b renewables and hydrogen boost

By Joseph Brookes The Queensland government has announced a $2 billion renewables and hydrogen fund, quadrupling its previous clean energy commitment in a bid to attract more industries to the state and create jobs as part of the Covid-19 recovery. The boost comes as the Queensland Labor government begins work on its own 10-year energy…

Three FNQ manufacturers awarded $930,000 in Manufacturing Hubs grants

Three far north Queensland businesses have been awarded a total of $930,000 in grants through the state government’s Manufacturing Hubs Grant Program. The funding will help create a claimed 142 new jobs at the three companies, which produce cleaning chemicals, high-tech signage, and steel products. Northern Chemicals was awarded $127,590 for a new 2000-litre ribbon…

Applications sought for grants of up to $150,000 through Activate program

The Innovative Manufacturing CRC is inviting applications for its Activate program, which offers grants between $50,000 and $150,000 to support SME projects running between six and 12 months.

Stawell Gold and Gekko Systems prove novel technologies

A Victorian gold mine and a regionally based mining equipment manufacturer have collaborated to develop sophisticated technologies to automate gold processing plants. Since 2018 Stawell Gold Mine and Gekko Systems of Ballarat have installed new equipment and developed new processes to optimise processing. SGM, owned by private equity group Arete Capital Partners, first installed a…

Manufacturing news briefs – stories you might have missed

Probiotec grows as suppliers onshore production Pharmaceutical manufacturer and packing company company Probiotec has increased its sales and earnings guidance for FY21 following its acquisition of packing business Multipack-LJM and interest from customers in onshoring their production. The company expects to make an underlying operating profit (EBITDA) up 75 per cent to more than $29…

South Australian craft producers toast $47 million pay day

Melbourne-based drinks business Mighty Craft has announced plans to buy South Australian producers Adelaide Hills Distillery, Mismatch Brewing and Hills Cider in a deal worth $47 million.

Austal faces civil case over alleged disclosure breach

The Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) has begun civil penalty proceedings in the Federal Court of Australia against Perth shipbuilder Austal and its former CEO David Singleton (pictured). Austal revealed it had been notified this morning of the case, which follows an investigation by ASIC of the company’s disclosures to the stockmarket regarding its…

Pelican Products gains quality tick

Specialty case manufacturer Pelican Products has gained ISO 9001:2015 certification for its Erina, NSW manufacturing facility. The company, which manufactures more than 500 standard sizes of cases used by aerospace companies, military personnel, first responders and outdoor enthusiasts, joins eight other Pelican sites globally with the certification. Pelican’s Australian managing director Christian Nyman said: “In…

Finally, venture capital wakes up to innovation in manufacturing

Analysis by Peter Roberts For a very long time now in Australia it has been possible to get venture capital for a yet-another gold mine or some fintech app. But when manufacturing innovators go looking for capital, other than a few angel investors, the cupboard has been bare – this despite us sitting on one…

Manufacturing news briefs – stories you might have missed

New Cellmid hair growth products to be launched Bio-technology developer Cellmid will collaborate with Pump Haircare for the supply of its FGF5 inhibitor hair growth products which will be sold under the Pump brand. Cellmid subsidiary Advangen will manufacture and supply Pump branded hair lotions including the company’s hair loss prevention and hair growth technologies.…

NERA plan to boost SME success in energy and resources supply chain

The energy and resources industry growth centre is to launch GeneratER, a new open innovation challenge aiming to boost SME manufacturers in the energy resources supply chain. With similar programs successful in a wide range of industries, National Energy Resources Australia will launch GeneratER next week in Perth, offering SMEs the opportunity to capture a…

Covid disruptions spark boost to beleaguered TCF sector

Australia’s textile clothing and footwear industries, one of the principal victims of unfettered and often unfair import competition from China, has been the surprise beneficiary of Covid-19 disruptions, according to new figures from industry analysts IBISWorld. With Chinese exports disrupted Australia’s knitted product manufacturing industry achieved a 13.2 per cent increase in revenue to $90.6…

Carbon capture and use given go ahead

The federal government has awarded six companies a share in the Government’s $50 million Carbon Capture, Use and Storage (CCUS) Development Fund. Part of a $1.9 billion new energy technologies package announced in the 2020-21 Budget, the government aims to accelerate the development of the technology in Australia, reducing emissions and supporting new economic opportunities.…

Darling Downs business group in regional manufacturing hub push

A local business lobby group is making the case for the Darling Downs as a regional manufacturing hub, citing existing strength in machinery production and positive sentiment around reshoring.

QLD govt commits $20m to vaccine manufacturer

A new vaccine manufacturing facility could be built in Brisbane next year after the Queensland government committed to investing up to $20 million into a “bench to bedside” medical innovation organisation eying a manufacturing and testing expansion in Brisbane.

BluGlass focuses on manufacturing improvement, raises cash

Semiconductor technology developer BluGlass has announced an $8 million capital raising to further develop its first direct-to-market commercial laser diode product. The company, which is commercialising its Remote Plasma Chemical Vapour Deposition (RPCVD) production technology, plans a non-renounceable rights issue to current shareholders. The raising comes as the company revealed it was experiencing reliability issues…

Locals EOS and Nioa combine in weapons development

Two of Australia’s leading local defence businesses have joined to further opportunities in remotely operated weapons systems (RWS) and ordinance. Weapons and munitions prime contractor NIOA and Canberra RWS manufacturer Electro Optic Systems (EOS) have signed a Memorandum of Understanding to jointly pursue opportunities to enhance and support EOS Remote Weapon Stations and weapon systems.…

Manufacturers awarded $3.7 million in grants through commercialisation fund

A tranche of grant funding worth $3.7 million has been awarded to six manufacturers through the Advanced Manufacturing Growth Centre Commercialisation Fund.

Council trials asphalt using recycled plastic bags, toner, glass

Lake Macquarie City Council has announced a trial road resurfacing using Reconophalt, manufactured at Downer’s Teralba plant. Engineering firm Downer uses recycled products including soft plastics from plastic bags and packaging, glass, printer toner cartridges, crumbed tyre rubber and reclaimed asphalt in Reconophalt. The council said the chip packaging and plastic bags provided a glue…

Bellevue railcar facility officially opened

The Bellevue Metronet Railcar Facility was officially opened on Monday, with the first train built there expected to be delivered in 2022. Work began in March last year on the $46 million facility, built by Firm Contractors. It was opened by Western Australia premier Mark McGowan and transport minister Rita Saffioti, coinciding with WA Day.…

Solar PV and wind still the cheapest – CSIRO

Solar photovoltaics (PV) and wind continue to be the cheapest sources of new electricity generation capacity in Australia, even when the integration costs of renewables are included, according to a report released today by CSIRO and the Australian Energy Market Operator (AEMO). Their final 2020-21 GenCost Report, released today estimates the cost to generate electricity…

Endua to make hydrogen storage bank

Australian clean energy storage startup Endua launches today an ambitious plan to manufacture hydrogen-powered energy storage systems to deliver sustainable, reliable and affordable power. Backed by $5 million from CSIRO’s venture division Main Sequence and Ampol, Endua will build modular hydrogen power banks that can drive power loads of up to 150kW in a single…

SafeWork announces research on welding fume exposure

The NSW government’s Centre for Work Health and Safety is conducting new research with the University of Sydney and Curtin University on exposure to welding fumes.

Trade in Trajan shares begins today

Life science and analytical device company Trajan Scientific and Medical will list on the ASX today. Trajan was established in 2011 by husband-and-wife team Stephen and Angela Tomisich, who began by acquiring a pathology industry consumables business. It has made six acquisitions since, and develops and manufactures devices and solutions, mainly for the medical sector.…

SEA Electric lifts truck production in US

Electric truck drivetrain manufacturer SEA Electric has wasted no time expanding its assembly operations in the United States where it has the potential to assemble more than 60,000 electric trucks a year, according to media reports. A report in truckinginfo.com said the company has upfitting facilities in Illinois, Michigan, North Carolina, Indiana and California. California…

Growth centres on their own from 2022, likely face extinction

By Peter Roberts The federal government has all but confirmed that the six industry growth centres will be on their own and receive no government funding after June 2022, at which time they are expected to transition to be ‘self-sufficient’. This is a proposition considered to be highly unlikely according to a secret report on…

Want to buy a brewery, going cheap?

Lion beverages has appointed plant closure specialists Hilco Global APAC to begin selling the major assets of South Australia’s West End Brewery, following Lion’s decision to cease beer manufacturing in the state. Hilco in a joint venture with FA Maker will sell off significant food and beverage and brewing related equipment in a process to…

Manufacturing news briefs – stories you might have missed

Lithium Australia gains patent cover Lithium Australia has been granted a patent by IP Australia covering its SiLeach process for recovering lithium from clays and mica. The SiLeach process produces lithium carbonate and lithium phosphate which can be used to produce lithium ferro phosphate (LFP) battery anodes. LFP batteries will power the Tesla 3 in…

Labor skewers industry portfolio’s ‘revolving door’

By Denham Sadler Labor has questioned whether the government is taking the industry department seriously amid a “revolving door” of ministers and machinery of government changes. At a Senate Estimates hearing on Thursday morning, Labor Senator Murray Watt pointed to the fact there has been seven industry ministers under the Coalition government in the last eight…

Wagners CFT to open first US factory in October

Building products company Wagners Composite Fiber Technologies (CFT) announced this week that it will open its first US site, at Parker County in north Texas, employing 304.

NanoGel announced as AMGC’s 3,000th member

The Advanced Manufacturing Growth Centre has announced its 3,000th member, a nanotechnology enterprise founded by four female ex-CSIRO scientists.

Australian in-orbit satellite demonstration of AI

The UNSW Canberra Space M2 cubesat mission has taken a significant step on a path to developing intelligent, networked satellite constellation technologies. Last week the satellite successfully performed on-board artificial intelligence inferencing by correctly recognising hand-written characters on pre-loaded images. The experiment, an Australian first in space, tested the functionality of the AI environment and…

RENK to assemble armed vehicle transmissions

Tracked vehicle transmission manufacturer RENK has signalled local assembly of its transmission systems should the Rheinmetall Lynx infantry fighting vehicle be selected in a competition to supply the Australian army. German-based RENK would assemble and test transmissions in Brisbane should Rheinmetall be successful in its Land 400 Phase 3 bid. RENK’s facility would supply Lynx…

ECT to turn brown coal into char

Reduced-emission technology company Environmental Clean Technologies has signed a five year deal for the supply of lignite from deposits at Yallourn in Victoria to supply its Coldry ‘low and zero emission’ char project. The deal will involve the recommissioning of lignite delivery infrastructure including the outfeed conveyor at the former Yallourn power station (pictured) to…

Bickfords used Covid to expand exports

Diversified beverage company Bickford’s broke the trend away from globalisation during the Covid-19 pandemic, inaugurating exports to eight new countries in the past 12 months. The company, well known for its cordials, has just annnounced its latest new market – Texas. The 175 year old company has begun exporting its new plant-based milk products and…

Cyber Security and digital twins, a concern – by Michael Haines

Digital twins are the big new thing – design and build a product digitally from a single digital master plan, then operate it and maintain it using the same digital twin. What could possibly go wrong, asks Michael Haines. While it rarely seems to be discussed in the context of ‘Digital Twins’, if we are…

K-Tig leads a group of Australian industrial technologies

By Peter Roberts It is fair to say that Australia is a country that has not always valued its manufacturing sector, yet we seem nowadays to be producing more than our fair share of innovative industrial technologies. A few recent examples to mind: Calix and its low emissions cement and lime production PPK Group and…

Manufacturing news briefs – stories you might have missed

Superyacht MY Bold out of the water Perth shipbuilder Silver Yachts has released pictures of its super-yacht MY Bold on the slipway at its Henderson yard south of Perth. The MY Bold was lifted out of the water for service at the yard where it was built in 2019. Silver Yacht boasts a team of…

ANCA’s surprise move into defence

Australian machine tool manufacturer ANCA Group could make a surprise foray into the defence sector thanks to Hanwha Defense Australia’s bid to supply armoured vehicles to the army. The Korean company revealed the signing of a memorandum of understanding between Korean company Mottrol and ANCA Engineering Solutions of Bayswater in Melbourne. Hanwha will partner with…

Orbital UAV delivers first engine to Singapore customer

Unmanned aircraft engine manufacturer Orbital UAV has delivered the first unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) engine in a development program for a Singapore defence defence industry customer. The company, which manufactures engines for Boeing offshoot Insitu, is designing, developing and providing initial low-rate manufacturing of multi-fuel engines with the first unit destined for system evaluation and…

Industry growth centre policy insanity – by Tim Mazzarol

On Monday @AuManufacturing revealed an initial evaluation report of the six Industry Growth Centres had highlighted inadequate funding and the centres’ inability to change the fortunes of the sectors in which they operate. Here Tim Mazzarol looks into the history of growth centre policy in Australia. Albert Einstein’s definition of insanity is continuing to do…

Bisalloy steel launches customer branding initiative

Australia’s only manufacturer of quenched and tempered steel plate, Unanderra’s Bisalloy has launched a Bisalloy Built customer branding initiative aimed at users of wear steel. The brand will be available to customers to use as a stamp of quality on their products, including truck bodies and earthmoving attachments, indicating they are made of genuine Bisalloy…

Manufacturing surge continues, growth hits highest rate since 2018

Manufacturing continued to grow at a rapid rate in May, with the Australian Industry Group’s Performance of Manufacturing Index recording its eighth consecutive expansionary result.

Manufacturing news briefs – stories you might have missed

Sparc granted graphene use patent Sparc Technologies has been granted a patent for the use of graphene in the removal of contaniments such as mercury and arscenic. The patent covers graphene’s abilty to act as a porous matrix to remove heavy metal ions in liquids or gas. The company has already undertaken studies of graphene’s…

NSW launches new US-inspired SBIR program

The NSW government will today announce a two-year, $24 million program to encourage small businesses and researchers to develop and commercialise solutions, based on the United States’ Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) scheme.

SPC announces new SPC Care business, focussing on food for aged care

Food Group SPC has announced a new nutritional health care business in response to the Royal Commission into aged care.

Arnott’s shares recycling, net-zero goals

Food manufacturer Arnott’s Group has shared its sustainability goals, described by its transformation officer as stretching but eminently achievable.

Secret report backs industry growth centres, points to under-funding

By Peter Roberts An initial evaluation report of the six Industry Growth Centres – which has been considered in secret by the federal industry department for seven months or more – has highlighted inadequate funding and the centres’ inability to change the fortunes of the sectors in which they operate. The key findings of the…

Australian Manufacturing Forum passes 8,000 members, plus Allen Roberts reader survey winner

@AuManufacturing’s social media discussion and networking group, the Australian Manufacturing Forum on Linkedin, has passed an important membership milestone. On Sunday we approved 63 new members for the Forum, Australia’s largest social media group of Australian manufacturers, bringing total membership to 8,042. Membership only passed 7,000 in late January, with a record five new members…

Manufacturing news briefs – stories you might have missed

Covid-19 hits Cann Group’s outlook Medicinal cannabis manufacturer Cann Group has been hit by Covid-19 interruptions to supply chains, forcing the company to downgrade its earnings outlook for the year. International regulatory timelines for approval have blown out and third-party manufacturing and supply issues have caused temporary delays in shipments to local and export customers.…

CSIRO study calculates freight cost savings from Inland Rail

An early release of calculations from a CSIRO supply chain analysis report has suggested $171 million in transport costs could be saved annually through use of the Inland Rail, expected to be operational by 2024-25.

Vital Signs: a bounce-back in investment holds open the possibility of very good news

Thursday’s capital expenditure figures released by the Bureau of Statistics are important not only because they tell us what private firms have been spending on plant and equipment and buildings and structures, but also what they are planning to spend in the months and years ahead.

Review of patent system for SMEs tabled

Industry minister Christian Porter has released a review of the patent system for small and medium-sized businesses, conducted by Emeritus Professor Raoul Mortley. The Patents Accessibility Review, announced in May 2020 and completed in February this year, made 12 recommendations. It was, wrote Mortley, written in the light of the federal government’s plan to create…

Custom Denning Element E-bus now available

Australian battery electric bus manufacturer Custom Denning has announced that it is now taking orders for its much-anticipated Element electric bus (pictured). Transport for NSW procurement panel approved, and available for delivery from Q3, 2021, the first full production models are currently on the production line at the company’s St Marys, Sydney manufacturing plant. According…

Murray Engineering and Siemens partner on EV

Siemens and Western Australian partner Murray Engineering have unveiled a new light electric vehicle (eLV, pictured) designed and built in Australia. The vehicle was unveiled at the Austmine 2021 conference taking place in Perth, and follows the announcement of a new underground electric charging station for mines last year. The eLV, along with Siemens’ underground…

Celebrating Australian Made – Kingspan Insulation is cool (or warm)

Australian Made Week comes to a close this weekend. Here @AuManufacturing’s editorial series – Celebrating Australian Made – profiles the company you turn to when you want thermally high performance buildings – Kingspan Insulation. Australia is rightly seen as a laggard globally when it comes to national policy to drive a zero-emissions future. But in…

Hanhwa and Rheinmetall partner with SMEs

Hanwha Defense Australia and Rheinmetall Australia have both revealed new partnerships involving Australian SMEs for their competing bids to produce infantry fighting vehicles under for LAND 400 Phase 3. Hanwha announced an expanded partnership with CBG Systems as part of the Redback and Huntsman it is offering under the bid. And Rheinmetall has chosen Cook…

Seabin and Coke to collect data and rubbish from Sydney Harbour through pilot project

The Seabin Project and Coca-Cola Australia have announced a partnership they believe will see 28