Iron Road plans ‘green’ manufacturing in SA hydrogen zone

The first hydrogen powered industrial plant in the nascent green hydrogen production zone taking shape in South Australia has been announced with iron ore miner Iron Road revealing a green hydrogen powered pelletising plant. Iron Road told investors today that master planning had begun for a green hydrogen manufacturing precinct at its proposed Cape Hardy…

Rossi Boots to remain Australian made

One of a tiny handful of surviving Australian shoemakers, Rossi Boots is to remain Australian manufactured following a rescue by its owners of its Adelaide factory. The company, owned since April, 2020 by apparel group Propel Group and GP Securities, purchased the South Australian based factory and assets of its contract manufacturer Adaptive Industries, according…

Foton and True Green Mobility Group announce partnership on hydrogen buses

Foton Bus Australia and True Green Mobility have formed a partnership and plan to manufacture hydrogen-powered buses in NSW by Q1 2022.

Less than a week left to apply for Manufacturing Modernisation Fund grants

Companies have until January 21 to apply for grants under the second round of the federal Manufacturing Modernisation Fund, budgeted at $52.8 million.

SciDev’s record quarter in water treatment chemicals

Wastewater treatment technology company SciDev has revealed the December quarter was a record for the company with sales of $8.9 million booked and total cash receipts of $10.2 million. The company’s chemistry and technology for solids/liquid separation experienced strong demand in the oil and gas sector which saw sales of $4 million, as well as…

Global companies set to supply South Australia’s next ‘Big Battery

Electricity generator and retailer AGL has short listed two major global energy storage companies to supply a huge battery system at a South Australian power station that will be more than twice the size of Tesla’s original 100 megawatt ‘Big Battery’ commissioned in the state’s Mid North in 2017.

Orthocell receives first US product approval

Tissue regeneration technology developer Orthocell has received Food and Drug Administration approval to market its first product in the US, its CelGro Dental collagen device which aids dental bone and tissue regeneration. The Perth company announced the approval and a new brand name for the products, Striate+. Managing director Paul Anderson said CelGro would now…

Cannabis oil manufacturing license will address local shortages, says ANTG

Australian Natural Therapeutics Group has announced it has received a license to manufacture cannabis oil in large quantities at its Armidale site, which it says will help address local supply issues. Most of Australia’s medical cannabis is currently sourced from Canada, and there are only three other local companies besides ANTG producing medical-grade cannabis oil.…

Sprout to launch plant-based infant formula

Gold Coast infant and toddler food manufacturer Sprout Organic is to launch what is claimed to be the world’s first organic, plant-based infant formula product. The company confirmed the second quarter, 2021 launch of its toddler and infant formula products in a media release detailing a new distribution agreement with Global by Nature in New…

BluGlass’ laser diodes a step towards semiconductor industry

Analysis by Peter Roberts Semiconductor technology developer BluGlass is one of the few bright sparks in what should be a foundation technology and industry for a nation like Australia that aspires to be advanced and industrialised – semiconductor manufacture. Semiconductor technology is at the heart of every complex manufactured product, be they simple diodes used…

ABT awarded defence global competitiveness grant

Fail-safe vehicle braking systems manufacturer Advanced Braking Technology has been awarded a $240,000 Defence Global Competitiveness grant to further its plans in supplying the defence sector. The company, best known for its sealed braked used in demanding conditions in mining, developed braking systems to be used on the Thales Hawkei armoured vehicle. The grant, from…

Manufacturing news briefs – stories you might have missed

Bisllloy banks dividend, furthers relationship with China partner Wear-resistant and armour steel manufacturer Bisalloy Steel Group has banked a $1.1 million dividend payout from its Chinese joint venture partner, Shandong Steel. The companies operate Bisalloy Shangang (Shandong), the second largest premium quench and tempered brand in China for wear and structural steel markets. Bisalloy confirmed…

Wave Swell Energy deployed at King Island

Wave Swell Energy has successfully deployed its UniWave200 wave energy power generator at King Island, Tasmania. The company’s 200KW wave energy converter has been transported to Grassy Harbour where it will demonstrate the integration of wave energy into the King Island microgrid. With $4 million in funding from the Australian Renewable Energy Agency, the $12.3…

Net-zero, carbon-neutral, carbon-negative … confused by all the carbon jargon? Then read this

Countries around the world are taking steps to tackle climate change and become net-zero emitters of carbon dioxide (CO₂) by 2050. Most recently, Joe Biden’s presidential election win means the US is the latest nation to adopt the goal.

Patent application for waste-to-fibre production process

ASX-listed biotechnology company Nanollose and Grasim Industries have filed a joint patent application for a novel process for environmentally-friendly fibres.

BHP backs emissions-free steelmaking startup

Mining company BHP is one of the investors in a $US 50 million Series B round for Boston Metal, a US startup developing an emissions-free steelmaking technology.

SA aims to become spirit industry leader

South Australia already the number one wine producing state in the country is making a bid to corner the growing market for locally-made spirits. The state government is developing a South Australian Spirit Industry Blueprint which will help map out future growth of the local industry, supporting production, marketing and value adding. The state has…

Saputo says goodbye to Coon, hello to Cheer

A much loved cheese brand name with decidedly racist overtones has been dumped for a new name. Saputo Dairy Australia announced today that it has renamed its venerable Coon brand to the new name of Cheer. The company said the name change came after ‘careful and diligent review to honour the brand-affinity’ felt by consumers…

JAT presses ahead with Shanghai retail store

Dairy manufacturer and specialist China exporter JAT is pressing ahead with the fit-out of its first Chinese retail store in Shanghai. The store, to be branded JAT Maternity & Infant Boutique, was to have opened in March but was delayed by the Covid-19 pandemic. The company said the store fit-out was now underway with opening…

Luerssen and Civmec begin fourth patrol boat construction

Luerssen Australia and Civmec have begun welding steel for the fourth Arafura class offshore patrol vessel (OPV) they are constructing for the Royal Australian Navy. The first two OPVs are already under construction by ASC at the Osborne naval shipyard in Adelaide, with the remaining 10 OPVs to be built at marine engineer Civmec’s Henderson…

Victoria backs Hanwha military vehicle bid

The Victorian government has swung its weight behind Korean company Hanwha Defence’s bid to construct military vehicles in Geelong should it win a major defence contract. The government has signed a Memorandum of Understanding with Hanwha to forge a long-term partnership which will support the establishment of Hanwha’s defence manufacturing operations in Victoria. Hanwha is…

Agricultural residue-to-hydrogen among projects sharing $2.27 m in BRII grants

Twenty-three businesses have been awarded a total of $2.27 million under the Business Research and Innovation Initiative (BRII) to support feasibility studies on ideas addressing current challenges for government.

GaardTech robotic targets sold to Britain

Robotic vehicle target manufacturer GaardTech has secured a large export order for its silhouette targets from the British army. The battle group size formation of target tanks, AFVs and anti-aircraft vehicles will be used in a planned on target live fire training event. GaardTech’s steel targets are built as exact replicas of a military force’s…

$59 million laminated timber plant for Tarpeena

By Andrew Spence A small forestry town in South Australia has beaten metropolitan Melbourne to be chosen as the site of a hi-tech laminated timber plant. Timberlink will begin construction of the $59 million plant alongside its recently upgraded softwood sawmill at Tarpeena, South Australia next year with completion due in 2023. The company said…

Australian startup begins production of world’s “first affordable 3D glass printer”

Maple Glass Printing has begun production of what it says is the world’s first affordable 3D printer able to create objects out of glass.

New recycling plant earns $1.34 million grant ahead of planned 2024 opening

Remondis Australia has been awarded a $1.34 million grant under the Recycling Victoria Infrastructure Fund, supporting a $9 million solvent recycling facility at the company’s Dandenong precinct. 

Big changes for @AuManufacturing for 2021

2020 was a big year for the Australian Manufacturing Forum Linkedin group and its @AuManufacturing news and analysis website, but 2021 promises to be even bigger. Riding on a wave of renewed enthusiasm for local manufacturing the Forum, the largest on social media, passed 6,000 members, and is fast heading towards 7,000. And @AuManufacturing, propelled…

Defence industry news briefs – stories you might have missed

F-35A Lightning joint strike fighter achieves operational status Initial Operational Capability (IOC) has been declared for for Australia’s F-35A joint strike fighter fleet. Built by Lockheed Martin, the aircraft will play a crucial role in national security. The F-35 programme was a catalyst for evolving the capabilities of numerous SME manufacturers whch are now part…

Vale Holden – the all Australian car now dead and buried

The Holden name was officially buried by its GM parent company on December 1, ending its 60 year reign as Australian own car. Most of the company’s widespread dealer network have converted their showrooms to other brands and all Holden branded cars were deemed to have been sold at year’s end. It was a dismal…

Manufacturing news briefs – stories you might have missed

iKAD Engineering buts AML3D’s Arcemy additive manufacturing system Perth structural engineering business iKAD Engineering (pictured) has purchased AML3D’s Arcemy robotic Wire Arc Manufacturing (WAM) system to rapidly manufacture large scale structures of multiple length and diameter dimensions. The robotic, dual wire feed Arcemy module will initially manufacture pipes with elbows and flanges between four and…

A hydrogen hero? Star Scientific to hire 30 next year as it commercialises award-winning Australian breakthrough

Star Scientific is receiving international interest for its hydrogen-fuelled power generation technology, and plans to move into production next year. Brent Balinski spoke to founder Andrew Horvath about what comes next. 

Adelaide’s Fleet Space announces lunar satellite mission

Adelaide’s Fleet Space Technologies has announced Seven Sisters, a venture to send nanosatellites and sensors to the Moon to search for water and resources. The mission, under secret development for a year, involves OZ Minerals, The University of Adelaide, UNSW, Unearthed, Tyvak Nano-Satellite Systems, Inc. and Fugro and supports NASA’s Artemis Programme. Fleet Space’s Centauri…

RPC to build massive GRP wastewater shafts

RPC Technologies has been awarded a contract to supply seven large glass reinforced composite (GRP) çascade shafts’for New Zaland’s largest-ever wastewater project. The company won the contract from the Ghella Abergeldie Joint Venture (GAJV) which is constructing Watercare’s Central Interceptor project under a $1.2 billion contract. A tunnel will stretch 14.7km from Grey Lynn to…

Merry Australian made Christmas 2020

Merry Australian Made Christmas to all at the Australian Manufacturing Forum Linkedin group and readers, partners and clients of @AuManufacturing news. It has been one hell of year where Australia dodged the worst of a terrible pandemic, but one which had a silver lining of focusing on the strategic nature of manufacturing in protecting and…

PPK turns to new partners for technology commercialisation

Mining equipment and materials technology group PPK Group has broadened its commercialisation focus from Geelong’s Deakin University, entering into a new commercialisation partnership with a group of universities led by the University of Queensland. PPK, which has been developing a number of new materials ventures with Deakin, will invest $1.5 million in Advanced Mobility Analytics…

Adbri to invest $199 million at Kwinana

Building materials group Adbri and Cockburn Cement Limited (CCL) have announced the go ahead for their $199 million Kwinana Upgrade Project. The investment in a state-of-the-art facility will consolidate Adbri’s two existing cement production sites at Munster and Kwinana into a single operation servicing the Western Australia market. Adbri was formerly known as Adelaide Brighton.…

Manufacturing news briefs – stories you might have missed

K-TIG achieves $400,000 sales in second quarter Welding technology developer K-TIG has begun to achieve sales traction with news that it expects to book sales of $400,000 in the current quarter. The company, which is commercialising a disruptive, high-speed welding technology, is seeing the first sales from its venture with Key Plant Automation in the…

Micro-X sells X-ray equipment to Defence

Medical equipment manufacturer Micro-X has sold Rover portable X-ray machines to Saab Australia for use in deployable hospitals being supplied to the Australian defence force. The deal, worth $1.3 million, is for the company’s revolutionary cold cathode X-ray machines where X-rays are generated at the tip of an array of carbon nanotubes – a world…

Austeng helps create new Monash Uni civil engineering research facility

Geelong engineering firm Austeng was a key project partner in Monash University’s new National Drop Weight Impact Testing Facility at its Department of Civil Engineering.

Sparc Technologies to develop graphene biosensors

Newly listed graphene technology company Sparc Technologies has moved quickly to launch a bio-medical project to develop non-invasive sensing devices for detection of disease via graphene-based breath sensors. Last month Sparc debuted on the stock market with its shares immediately rising by more than 50 per cent. The company sees potential global applications through identification…

Short space mission to provide long-term solutions

Based in Adelaide, South Australia, ResearchSat conducts microgravity research for the life sciences industry with its custom-designed payloads for CubeSats.

2020 additive manufacturing Aussie highlights

For the fourth year in a row now I give you the annual Additive Manufacturing highlights from Down Under. Despite the challenges, 2020 was marked by a year of positively healthy industry growth!

Policy re-set needed to accelerate innovative manufacturing – by Samih Nabulsi

Australia ends 2020 with a new focus on manufacturing. But here Dr Samih Nabulsi, of major medtech exporter Cook Medical Australia, questions the priority of federal industry policy and a lack of focus, and calls for greater innovation to drive a manufacturing revival.

DroneShield anti-drone system installed in Swiss airport

DroneShield has deployed its multi-sensor counter unmanned aerial system (C-UAS) DroneSentry system at the Altenrhein Airport in Switzerland on a no revenue basis as a demonstration facility for potential European customers. The deployment came as the company reported a record $2.8 million in new customer purchase orders for the December 2020 quarter to date, as…

Rio Tinto and TAFE pioneer course in automation

Mining giant Rio Tinto’s partnership with South Metropolitan TAFE (SM TAFE) in Western Australia has been recognised at the World Federation of Colleges and Polytechnics 2020 Awards of Excellence. The partnership won Gold in the ‘Partnership with Industry’ category for its work in developing and deploying the first nationally recognised vocational qualifications in automation. The…

SPEE3D aims for additive oil and gas sector

High speed 3D printer manufacturer SPEE3D is working with Australia’s energy industries growth centre, NERA, to bring additive manufacturing to the oil and gas sector. National Energy Resources Australia, SPEE3D, Charles Darwin University and Santos are working on a project to spread a technology already taking hold in other sectors. SPEE3D printers are already proving…

Australian space startup cluster launched

The SmartSat Cooperative Research Centre (CRC) has established an organisation to represent space startup companies in Australia.

Industry growth centres show their worth as AMGC shines

Analysis by Peter Roberts Industry growth centres have contributed enormously to the development of innovative Australian companies, with the Advanced Manufacturing Growth Centre (AMGC) the latest to analyse the performance of projects in which it has co-invested federal government money. AMGC’s 2020 Project Impact Report, which showcases 78 projects, including the economic impact of the…

Australia’s waste export ban becomes law, but the crisis is far from over

Last week, Australia took an important step towards addressing the ongoing effects of the 2018 waste crisis. The federal parliament passed legislation banning the export of unprocessed waste overseas via the Recycling and Waste Reduction Act 2020.

The one that quietly got away?

Battery-powered passenger flight offers hope for affordable, zero-emission transport, over short distances to begin with. Brent Balinski spoke to Roei Ganzarski, CEO of Gold Coast-born propulsion pioneer MagniX.     

Action plan to eliminate single-use packaging

The Australian Packaging Covenant Organisation (APCO) has published an action plan designed to help Australia’s packaging supply chain phase out problematic and unnecessary single-use plastic packaging The not-for-profit organisation leading the development of a circular economy for packaging released its APCO Action Plan for Problematic and Unnecessary Single-Use Plastic Packaging. Approximately 50,700 tonnes of single-use…

Xtek wins approvals for export of armour to Mexico

Ballistic armour manufacturer XTEK has secured approval from US authorities for permanent export licenses for ballistic products to Mexico City. The company’s US subsidiary, HighCom Armor Solutions has export orders worth a total of US$2.1 million for hard armour plate and helmet products. This follows the approval of a Warehousing Distribution Agreement (WDA) with strategic…

Ellume wins FDA approval for breakthrough Covid test

Brisbane diagnostics company Ellume has won an emergency use authorisation (EUA) from the US Food and Drug Administration for the first over-the-counter (OTC) fully at-home diagnostic test for Covid-19. According to an FDA statement the Ellume Covid-19 test is a rapid, lateral flow antigen test, a type of test that runs a liquid sample along…

Cellmid signs Asian distributor for hair loss products

Bio-technology developer Cellmid has signed a distribution agreement for Asia for its Jo-Ju and Lexilis branded anti-ageing hair care and skin products. Hong Kong based Ourui Health Management will distribute the products outside Japan for a period of 10 years, utilising and omnichannel approach primarily focused on social commerce. Ourui was founded by Steven Ko,…

Methane busting cow feed wins $1 million global prize

CSIRO’s development of a livestock feed made from seaweed that reduces methane emissions in beef and dairy cattle by more than 80 per cent has won the world’s largest monetary reward on the global food arena worth $1 million. The Food Planet Prize which went to CSIRO’s FutureFeed recognises initiatives, organisations and individuals working to…

US Supreme Court’s final blow to Cochlear patent hopes

The United States Supreme Court has denied a petition from bionic ear manufacturer Cochlear for a review of court decisions to enforce a payment of US$280 million in a patent infringement case against the company. The Sydney company announced today that the court had upheld a decision in the US District Court which awarded US$268…

Fertiliser factory gets EPA Victoria Works Approval

A works approval has been granted by the Environmental Protection Authority Victoria for a factory at Lethbridge processing up to 33,750 tonnes of animal waste a year into a slow release fertiliser. The Australian Bio Fert factory will treat organic poultry waste with a novel thermal process. The company first approached the EPA in 2016, the…

Austin Engineering’s $35 million in new orders

Mining equipment manufacturer Austin Engineering has received orders for more than 100 large pieces of equipment valued at more than $35 million ‘in the past few weeks’. The Queensland company told investors the orders included truck bodies, water tanks and buckets, confirming profit forecasts of more than $9 million for the year. Notable orders include:…

Glaciem’s unique heat pump cooling systems – virtual tour

Glaciem Cooling Technologies has begun deploying its solar powered heat pump and thermal energy storage cooling systems. Its refrigeration, thermal energy storage and heat transfer technologies integrated with solar PV electricity cut greenhouse gas emissions by more than two thirds. Ideal for hot climates, one of the company’s largest installations is at the giant Pernod…

Altrad to provide frigate blast and paint services

The West Australian arm of French company Altrad Services has been contracted to provide blast and paint services for the Hunter class frigate build. ASC Shipbuilding, a subsidiary of BAE Systems Australia, signed the contract with Altrad after a competitive tender process. Altrad Services will prepare the steel supplied by BlueScope Steel AIS by blasting…

Covid manufacturing register open to international buyers

Australian companies are set to gain new export opportunities with the COVID-19 Manufacturer Response Register opening to potential international buyers. The Advanced Manufacturing Growth Centre (AMGC) introduced the online register in March, so local manufacturers and suppliers of crucial products such as Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) could support the national response to the pandemic. AMGC…

BlueScope steel delivered for Hunter frigate build

BAE Systems Australia subsidiary, ASC Shipbuilding has begun taking delivery of the first Australian steel to be used in the construction of Australia’s new Hunter class frigates. Having just taken over the new all digital shipyard from government-owned Australian Naval Infrastructure, ASC Shipbuilding will receive more than 1,500 tonnes of steel plate from BlueScope Steel…

BusTech Group formed from Precision Buses and BusTech

National bus manufacturers Precision Buses and BusTech have announced a rebrand to one integrated entity to be known as BusTech Group. Building on a foundation as leading independent bus manufacturers in Queensland and South Australia, BusTech Group launched a new logo, an updated corporate website, and a focus on designing, building and delivering low-emission diesel…

Sustainability needs concrete examples, says precast company

Using non-virgin materials has gained in importance as the number of places to dump our waste has shrunk, presenting challenges and opportunities for manufacturers. Brent Balinski spoke to XL Precast’s Danys Betancur about using glass in concrete. 

C4 Edge program to receive further $35 million in funding

The federal government says it will provide up to $35 million in funding for the final stage of the Command, Control, Communications and Computing Evolutionary Digital Ground Environment (C4 EDGE) program.

After four years of industry focus, defence really is generating SME innovation

Comment by Peter Roberts Canberra has only been pursuing its focus on defence industry since 2016, but after four years it is clear that increased defence spending really is generating significant, fundamental innovation by our SME manufacturers. The latest example, and there have been many reported in @AuManufacturing, comes from Ron and Yvette Allum of…

Indigenous supplier for Hunter frigate project

Highly respected Sydney Swans football star Adam Goodes is leading the first indigenous supplier contracted for the Hunter-class frigate programme’s prototyping phase.

Solar PV and wind continue to be cheapest energy option – CSIRO

A new report from CSIRO has found that solar and wind continue to be the cheapest source of energy in Australia. The GenCost report, produced in partnership with the Australian Energy Market Operator (AEMO), more accurately calculated the integration costs of renewables in electricity generation. This year the report used a more accurate system for…

Manufacturing news briefs – stories you might have missed

Wattle Health signs agreement with Verdure Nutrition Supplements Infant formula manufacturer Wattle Health Australia has signed an agreement with Verdure Nutrition Supplements to provide the company’s organic infant formula to the Middle Eastern market. The 10 year agreement will see Wattle’s Uganic range (pictured) produced by contract manufacturer Blend and Pack from product supplied from…

Australian hydrogen technology company wins at Global Energy Awards

Star Scientific has won “Emerging Technology of the Year” at the Global Energy Awards for its Hydrogen Energy Release Optimiser (HERO.)

CSL and University of Queensland drop vaccine project

Biotechnology group CSL and its partner the University of Queensland have dropped their project developing what had been a highly promising approach to develop a vaccine against the virus behind the Covid-19 pandemic which is sweeping the world. CSL announced today that Phase 1 trials of the UQ-CSL v451 vaccine had elicited a robust response…

TRITEV EV shown to underground mining industry

The TRITEV underground mine electric vehicle (EV) has been showcased at an event in Newcastle in New South Wales’ Hunter Valley The vehicle, revealed in @AuManufacturing in October, is believed to be the first fully battery electric retrofit 20 tonne loader suitable for deployment into underground hard rock mines. It was developed by battery technology…

Volgren Malaga site marks 2,000th bus

The 2,000th bus built at Volgren Australia’s Malaga, Western Australia site will begin service next week. Volgren has been making buses for Transperth, the city’s public transport system, since 1999. Chassis are built by Volvo in Sweden, with the Volgren Malaga site building the bus bodies and fitout, using 85 per cent Australian content. Volgren…

Canadian space robotics company to settle in South Australia

Lux Aerobot is set to permanently settle in Adelaide as its gains new projects in the defence and mining sectors.

Ellume factory to expand to produce Covid-19 diagnostic tests

Brisbane diagnostics company Ellume will expand its manufacturing facility following a strategic investment from the state government’s Essential Goods and Supply Chain Programme. The company, which has developed a suite of COVID-19 tests that give results in less than 15 minutes, will back installation of multiple state-of-the-art automated production lines to speed up and enhance…

Australian Made logo registered in EU, UK, UAE

The Australian Made, Australian Grown logo has been formally registered in the European Union, United Kingdom and United Arab Emirates.

Alan Finkel: how a late-night phonecall in 2016 triggered ‘incredible progress’ on clean energy

Like so much of what I have done as Australia’s Chief Scientist, the electricity market review of 2017 was unexpected.

$1.75 m grant will support 144 new jobs, says Central Coast beverage company

Beverage manufacturer ABC Filling has received a $1.755 million NSW government grant, which it says will support expansion at its Lisarow site and as many as 144 new jobs.

Australia’s STEM education report card a bare pass

Comment by Peter Roberts Australian industry is rightly focused on education and STEM education in particular as a determinant of future competitiveness, but the problem is we are not quite sure whether our young people are getting better, or worse compared to international peers. This week saw the release of comparisons for 2019 in Trends…

1414 Degrees continues solar thermal storage plan

Energy storage development company 1414 Degrees has accelerated development of its long-awaited Aurora Solar Energy Project at Port Augusta in South Australia. Following an oversubscribed share purchase plan which raised $3.1 million, the company announced project managers and engineering firms were proceeding with design of a substation and advancing a transmission connection agreement for a…

JSF sustainment grants announced

Grants totalling up to $4 million over four years have been announced to assist companies become established in the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter sustainment phase.

Thomas Global Systems to supply more Boeing aircraft types

Aircraft flight deck equipment manufacturer Thomas Global Systems has received European Union Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) approval for its TFD-7000 Series plug-and-play LCD flight displays (pictured), to replace cathode ray tube (CRT) equipment in Boeing 737 aircraft. This latest certification adds to the Sydney company’s TFD-7000 Series approvals for Boeing 757-200/300 and 767-200/300 aircraft, and…

Cortical Dynamics scores brain monitor approvals

Medical device manufacturer has won regulatory approval to market its Brain Anaesthesia Response Monitor (BARM, pictured) in South Korea, building on its existing approvals in Europe and through Australia’s Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA). The Perth company won approval from Korea’s Ministry for Food and Drug Safety (KMFDS). The company’s overseas distributors are Globaluck in South…

Quickstep produces 10,000th JSF part

Quickstep Holdings Australia has announced the milestone of 10,000 parts produced for the F-35 Lightning Joint Strike Fighter program.

AML3D testing additive production for mining sector

Additive manufacturing technology company AML3D has begun a testing programme which could see its technology used in making high wear and fatigue loaded parts for the mining sector. The testing of parts made using AML3D’s wire arc additive manufacturing (WAM) process is being carried out for AdditiveNow, a joint venture between Advisian Digital and Aurora…

Frigate prototyping to begin two weeks

Australia’s biggest surface shipbuilding project, the construction of nine Hunter class frigates for the navy, will get underway in two weeks time with ASC Shipbuilding now in full control of Adelaide’s Osborne Naval Shipyard – South. Built by Commonwealth-owned Australian Naval Infrastructure, the shipbuilding subsidiary of BAE Systems Australia plans to build the vessels in…

South Aussie town wins race for $59 million laminated timber plant

A small forestry town in South Australia has beaten metropolitan Melbourne to be chosen as the site of a hi-tech laminated timber plant.

New startup hub for western Sydney

By James Rilly The New South Wales government is to fund the creation of a second Startup Hub located in the western Sydney suburb of Parramatta in an investment designed to put technology and innovation at the centre of the state’s post-Covid economic recovery strategy. The so-called Western Sydney Startup Hub at the Parramatta North…

Arnott’s to expand Shepperton plant, exports

Arnott’s Group today announced it will invest $8 million to expand the Campbell’s soup factory at Lemnos, Shepparton in Victoria as part of plans to increase domestic food production across the group. The investment will increase output by 30 per cent in the next 12 months and exports will rise by 400 per cent. The…

Technology reflections in the time of COVID-19

It goes without saying that navigating one lockdown is hard, but trying to keep both business up when you’re faced with more than one – and with a different set of rules in each country you’re operating in – certainly takes a team effort.

AML3D receives order for additive manufactured titanium armour parts

Adelaide-based wire arc additive manufacturing business AML3D has received a purchase order for prototype titanium parts, which will be used in repeatability ballistics testing by armour company Lightforce Australia.

Austal delivers fourth ship to US Navy for 2020

Austal’s US subsidiary has delivered an Independence Class littoral combat ship (LCS) to the US Navy.

The art of the seal

Despite the market growth for obstructive sleep apnea treatments, a high number of patients end these due to discomfort. Brent Balinski spoke to Phil Kwok of ApneaSeal about their answer to the issue.

50,000th Volvo truck made at Wacol site

Volvo Group Australia has celebrated the build of the 50,000th Volvo truck at its Wacol, Queensland plant.   VGA handed over the FH16 XXL vehicle to its customer Nolan’s Interstate Transport on Friday at an event at the site, attended by federal assistant minister for road safety and freight transport Scott Buchholz. “Back in 1970 Volvo…

Manufacturing modernisation grants applications open

The Department of Industry Science, Energy and Resources had opened applications for round two of the $52.8 million Manufacturing Modernisation Fund (MMF). Businesses will be able to apply for grants of between $100,000 and $1 million before 21 January 2021, with the grant covering 25 per cent of the project cost. Assessment criteria are general,…

Matrix to develop technology for Woodside

Oil and gas focused composites group Matrix Composites & Engineering will provide engineering and technology development services to Woodside Energy Technologies. Under a just-signed three-year agreement the Perth company will provide technology in advanced materials, composites and advanced manufacturing to the subsidiary of Woodside Petroleum. Matrix’s services will range from conception to commercialisation and include…

Sage and BusTech take the hassle out of travel

Technology development group SAGE Automation and bus manufacturer BusTech have partnered to deliver internet of things (IoT) connectivity to Australia’s new and existing bus fleets. The companies have developed intelligent connected buses and transport infrastructure solutions to benefit passengers and transport operators. Real-time traffic condition updates, event notifications and bus seat availability will be delivered…

Planet Innovation raises $9.8 million to support expansion

Planet Innovation has announced an oversubscribed $9.8 million capital raise, backed by institutional funds such as Perennial Value, SG Hiscock and Australian Unity, and sophisticated investors.

Terms of reference released for Defence procurement review

Terms of reference have been released for the Department of Defence review of procurement.

PPK and Deakin to develop thin-film white graphene

Geelong and the PPK group have cemented their position as leaders in new materials development with the announcement PPK will develop novel white graphene sheets in partnership with Deakin University. They have established White Graphene Limited which will develop boron nitride nanosheets a single molecule thick which share similar strength and electrically conductive properties as…

VSPC develops advanced LFP battery cathode powders

Materials technology group VSPC has successfully produced battery cathode powders and battery cells from lithium ferro phosphate (LFP), and demonstrated improved performance over traditional battery materials. According to an announcement by parent company Lithium Australia, LEP materials are relatively cheap compared to nickel cobalt manganese and nickel cobalt aluminum which are most commonly used in…

Manufacturing news briefs – stories you might have missed

New Chairman announced for the Australian Made Campaign The Board of Australian Made Campaign has appointed a new Chairman in Allyn Beard (pictured), director of Sydney-based mattress manufacturer A.H. Beard. Beard succeeds outgoing Chairman, Glenn Cooper of Coopers Brewery in leading the body which licenses the Australian made logo. The Beard family has guided one…

Amaero gets Boeing order for metal 3D printed evaluation parts

Metal additive manufacturing specialist Amaero International has announced both a purchase order from Boeing and a raising to support this.

Thales signs contract on design, local partnering for submarine flank array

A contract has been signed with Thales UK to design the “eyes and ears” of the Attack Class submarine fleet and on partnering arrangements with Australian suppliers.

Britton Maritime wins $9 million boat contract

Sydney’s Britton Maritime Systems will supply 12 Gemini inflatable sea boats (pictured) for Australia’s new ‘evolved’ Cape Class patrol boats as part of a $9 million defence contract. The Gemini originates with Gemini Marine South Africa, however defence industry minister Melissa Price said $6 million would be spent locally. She said: “This project will have…

SMEs benefit from big defence purchases – Lockheed Martin

By Peter Roberts SME defence manufacturers and employment are among flow on beneficiaries of major defence purchases such as global defence supplier Lockheed Martin’s F-35 Lightning joint strike fighter, according to an economic analysis commissioned by the company. Lockheed Martin’s Economic Impact in Australia, by advisory firm Alpha Beta, now part of Accenture, found that…

Manufacturing news briefs – stories you might have missed

Keytone Dairies reports record first half sales Branded and contract dairy manufacturer Keytone Dairies saw continued sales growth in the first half of FY21 reporting sales of $24.5 million, a figure that exceeded full-year sales in the previous 12 months. The company’s Australian division recorded sales of $19.2 million while New Zealand sales were $$5.3…

EM Solutions supplies satellite transceivers to L3 Harris

Brisbane manufacturer EM Solutions received a second order to supply its Ka-band transceivers for incorporation into defence supplier L3Harris Technologies’ Panther II Very Small Aperture Satellite Terminals (VSAT). EM Solutions, a subsidiary of defence, communications and space manufacturer Electro Optic Systems will deliver over 100 Ka-band transceivers to L3Harris across the first half of 2021…

Gilmour Space in ‘final-mile’ delivery partnership

Home-grown rocket startup Gilmour Space Technologies has signed a multi-million dollar partnership with US-based Momentus to jointly offer launch and “orbital transport services” from an Australian site.

New study of ASX companies shows four places to start to become more innovative

A new study of ASX-listed companies by CSIRO and University of Queensland has identified “four innovation factors which drive success”.

Export Market Grant reform gets green light

By Denham Sadler Significant reforms to the popular Export Market Development Grant programme have been given the green light by a Senate committee, but further details on the new rules won’t be released until after the legislation is passed. The Export Market Development Grant (EMDG) scheme offers reimbursements of up to 50 per cent of…

Methane-busting seaweed farms on track for 2021 production

Construction of the first farm and processing plant to turn red seaweed into a feed supplement for cows to reduce their methane production by 90 per cent is expected to begin mid next year in South Australia.

MYOB/@AuManufacturing Manufacturing Modernisation virtual event. Video now available

Video is now available from the MYOB/@AuManufacturing event, Manufacturing Modernisation and critical role of technology, held on November 25.

Three manufacturing challenges, retain, adapt, trust – by Juliana Queiroz

It is been a hell of a year in manufacturing as elsewhere. Here Juliana Queiroz discusses her three top cultural challenges for building stronger manufacturers – to retain, adapt, and trust. Covid-19 changed forever the way we have been working but one thing is still true for manufacturing firms: we need to put our people…

Fleet Space’s third satellite nears completion

Fleet Space Technologies’s sixth nanosatellite providing internet of things connectivity to manufacturers, Centauri 4 (pictured), is nearing completion, with a launch date expected to be mid 2021. The Centauri 4 Core-2 payload has an increased number of channels and hence a higher data capacity than the Core-1 payload on Centauri 3 which was launched into…

Seeley International cools Treasury Wine’s Barossa expansion

South Australian air conditioning and heating systems manufacturer Seeley International has completed its largest-ever installation of its innovative indirect evaporative air conditioning system, the Climate Wizard. Seeley took to social media to reveal the completion of the project which cools a massive 30,000 square metre wine barrel hall just opened by Barossa Valley producer Treasury…

Australian manufacturing “broadly stable” over November

The final Australian Industry Group Performance of Manufacturing Index result released for 2020 has seen the industry stable over November, though with a downturn in the food and beverage sector.

SPC launches new logo as it expands in agri-business

Food and beverage manufacturer SPC today launched a new corporate brand and vision, It’s Time For Better, in line with the company’s strategy to become a global foods business. The new corporate logo (pictured) represents a dynamic sun symbolising the hope for a better tomorrow. The 100-year company, now under the ownership of Shepparton Partners…

Australia’s states have been forced to go it alone on renewable energy, but it’s a risky strategy

Several Australian states are going it alone on the the energy transition. The policies adopted by New South Wales, Victoria, Queensland and others represent major departures from the existing national approach, and run counter to the neoliberal principles underpinning the current system.

US, Australia to sign SCIFiRE hypersonics agreement

Australia and the United States will today sign an agreement on the development of hypersonic cruise missiles, which could eventually be fitted to aircraft.

Penfolds girds itself for China tariff damage

Treasury Wine Estates, the manufacturer of the iconic Penfolds Grange Hermitage, has announced a raft of changes in response to China’s imposition of harsh tariffs on Australian wine exports to China. The Penfolds, Grant Burge and Lindemans wines amongst a host of others admitted that the tariff, between 107 per cent and 212 per cent…

Zip’s Covid pivot pays off with big orders for its HydroTap

Sydney water systems manufacturer Zip Water has scored big with its rapid pivot to new, safer boiling, chilled and sparkling water dispensers following the outbreak of Covid-19. The company’s HydroTap Touch Free Wave, revealed by @AuManufacturing in October, has won an unprecedented 1,200 orders even before its public launch as companies embrace its hands-free operation.…

Micro-X reveals secrets of carbon nanotube X-ray – video

X-ray machine manufacturer Micro-X has revealed a little of the secret behind its ability to manufacture a carbon nanotube X-ray emitter. The company opened a You Tube account and posted a video taking viewers inside its high tech manufacturing plant at the Tonsley innovation precinct in southern Adelaide. The company is the only one in…

Sydney team splits water, creates hydrogen the easy way

Sydney researchers have announced a much more efficient means of turning water into pure hydrogen which is increasingly looking like the gaseous fuel likely to displace fossil fuel LNG in Australia’s export mix. The University of Sydney researchers, in a paper published in the journal Nature Energy, have created an efficient water-splitting catalyst that requires…

New Austrade CEO named

Xavier Simonet has been announced as the next head of Austrade, taking over from interim CEO Tim Beresford.

Six reasons why there has never been a better time to export for Australian companies

There are good reasons why it’s time to look to export markets. Christelle Damiens presents a half-dozen of them.

Manufacturing Modernisation and the critical role of technology – keynote speech by Goran Roos

Where are we going in this world? Well, if you look at this scenario, we have everybody going digital, and generally looking at what’s happened over the last year, we can say that we have gotten five years digitalisation in about five months.  There’s a dramatic increase in the digitalisation of general manufacturing activities. The…

Backing hopeful, high-tech, high-growth manufacturers

What are the brilliant Australian ideas that will create the next wave of growth? Brent Balinski spoke to Mike Zimmerman of Main Sequence Ventures about where they’re looking.

Manufacturing is becoming more attractive to venture capital investors – by Neil Bourne

Traditionally manufacturing has failed to gain a share of venture and even development capital. But the development of ‘capital light’ manufacturing utilising robotics and digital design is changing thinking. Here, Neil Bourne discusses how manufacturers can become investment-ready. The business press is full of stories about new SaaS and Fintech companies receiving venture finance and…

Manufacturing news briefs – stories you might have missed

PPK Group to demerge, raises $15.4 million Diversified mining equipment and materials technology business PPK Group is to demerge its mining group. Announcing a $15.4 capital raising, PPK will spend the funds to accelerate projects applying its boron nitride nanotube (BNNT) technologies. Chairman Robin Levison and director Dale McNamara sold down shares in PPK to…

Going public helps Mayfield bring manufacturing home

An 84-year-old company has listed on the Australian stock exchange as part of a bid to boost its manufacturing in South Australia and grow its business.

Gloves off – China hits Australian wine with tariffs

By Peter Roberts Years of deteriorating relations between Beijing and Canberra have led to the imposition of tariffs of up to 200 per cent on Chinese imports of Australian wine. Following an anti-dumping inquiry, China’s Ministry of Commerce today imposed temporary tariffs with no end date, forcing prestige winemaker Treasury Wine Estates into a stockmarket…

MEET maker opens new factory

Plant-based meat company ProForm Foods officially opened its $11 million Mount Kuring-Gai factory on Thursday, with a capacity of 5,000 tons annually and plans to grow exports.

Digitisation and the renaissance of Australian manufacturing – by Robert Giles

By Robert Giles, CEO SPC Ardmona At SPC, we are always focussed on our customers and how we can best serve them. Australian taste palettes are ever-changing, in the 1970s the humble avocado was considered the height of sophistication, today our tables are filled with foods and flavours from around the world with everything from…

Bega buys Lion dairy and drinks business

Bega Cheese has greatly expanded its manufacturing and brand footprint in the food and beverage sector with the purchase of Lion Dairy & Drinks for $534 million. Bega will take over the business at the end of January 2021, adding to its cheese and spreads businesses numerous milk drinks, yoghurt, cream, and fresh juice brands.…

Nova Eye Medical reports strong sales of glaucoma device

Ophthalmic treatment device manufacturer Nova Eye Medical has reported strong sales for its glaucoma surgical device business in the four months to 31 October. The company sold iTrack and Molteno3 devices worth $4.4 million, up from $2.6 million in the four months to 30 June when sales were affected by Covid-19 lockdowns. iTrack is a…

ARENA, WA government back green hydrogen demonstrator project in Denham

Construction will begin by August on Australia’s first remote microgrid using renewable-generated hydrogen, producing 526 MWh of dispatchable renewable electricity, enough for 100 residential homes. The demonstrator plant will be built in Denham, Western Australia — on the state’s coast and 830 kilometres north of Perth — and be connected to Denham’s hybrid power station.…

Not just hot air: turning Sydney’s wastewater into green gas could be a climate boon

Biomethane technology is no longer on the backburner in Australia after an announcement this week that gas from Sydney’s Malabar wastewater plant will be used to power up to 24,000 homes.

Lynas identifies further rare earths resource at Mt Weld

Rare earths producer Lynas Corp has identified further light and heavy rare earths resources at depths previously not investigated below the main orebody at its Mt Weld mine in Western Australia. Lynas has successfully established two new bores to a depth of 100 and 106 metres below the current pit floor where it encountered ‘significant…

Mitsubishi commits to Australian green hydrogen

Mitsubishi Heavy Industries will invest capital in green hydrogen developer H2U Investments and deliver the front end engineering and design study for the company’s Eyre Peninsula Gateway project in South Australia. The $240 million project, which includes a 75MW electrolyser near the regional city of Whyalla capable of producing enough hydrogen to create 40,000 tonnes…

JUC Surf wins prestigious composites start-up competition

Innovative Australian company, JUC Surf, this week took out the popular award as one of six finalists in the world’s largest global startup booster competition for composites and advanced materials.

No time for autopilot on tech policy: O’Neil

There needs to be a return to Australia’s “reformist zeal” around tech and innovation and a move away from the current hands-off approach, according to shadow innovation minister Clare O’Neil.

Yara Pilbara mulls ammonia production from green hydrogen

Yara Pilbara Fertilisers which controls 20 per cent of the global ammonium trade is considering switching feedstock for its Burrup Peninsula production facility in in Western Australia from natural gas to green hydrogen. The Australian Renewable Energy Agency has published details of Yara’s $3.8 million feasibility study into production and export of renewable hydrogen and…

Leigh Creek Energy progresses towards production

South Australian coal gasification company Leigh Creek Energy has made progress towards the production of urea fertilisers with the issue of a petroleum production licence by the South Australian Government. The licence envisages that commercial syngas production from the former Leigh Creek brown coal reserve in the state’s north could begin within 24 months. Leigh…

Five SMEs join Lockheed Martin in communications system development

Five Australian small to medium enterprises (SMEs) have joined with defence contractor Lockheed Martin Australia (LMA) to develop a communications system that will interconnect the many disparate platforms, systems and sensors utilised by Australia’s defence forces. The Joint Air Battle Management System (JABMS) being developed for defence’s AIR6500 project, will integrate electromagnetic and cyber domains…

Goran Roos shatters Australian complacency with damning look at our third world economy

By Peter Roberts We have heard a lot about bubbles travel and otherwise in recent times but few bubbles are as permanent as the complacent view most of have of the strength of the Australian economy. Yesterday at the MYOB/@AuManufacturing Manufacturing Modernisation virtual event Professor Goran Roos painted a picture not of the advanced nation…

XTEK delivers composites for Finnish military

Advanced composites manufacturer XTEK has completed the delivery of the first tranche of personal armour plates under contract to CPE Production OY in Finland, for use by the Finnish Defence Force (FDF). The ballistic plates, produced using the company’s XTclave production system, represent the delivery of one third of a $2 million order with the…

Manufacturing news briefs – stories you might have missed

UNSW Canberra Space successfully tests cubesats UNSW Canberra space researchers have successfully completed thermal vacuum testing at ANU’s AITC test facilities of a pair of 6U cubesats (pictured) for its M2 mission being launched by Rocket Lab early next year. The spacecraft include capabilities in Earth observations (optical and RF), on-board processing, formation flying and…

Thales and Ocius develop Blue Sentry autonomous marine system

Thales Australia has received $3.8 million from the Defence Innovation Hub to develop its Australian engineered and built Blue Sentry autonomous marine system. Part of $28 million in defence hub grants, Blue Sentry is a group of unmanned surface vehicles (USVs) equipped for anti-submarine warfare (ASW) and surveillance missions. The system incorporates a Thales Remote…

Australian flying car company launches electric air ambulance, plans 2023 commercial service [VIDEO]

A Bankstown Airport-headquartered startup, AMSL Aero, has officially launched its electric air ambulance, the Vertiia.

2020 Eureka Prizes go to a ‘milkshake for malaria’, ABC’s Coronacast and an energy-making sewerage system

From potential new diabetes therapies, to an environmentally friendly sewage treatment system, this year’s Eureka Prizes have acknowledged a diverse group of brilliant minds tackling pressing global problems.

Gilmour, Grumman to team up on tanks and more

Northrop Grumman Corporation and Australian rocketry startup Gilmour Space have signed a memorandum of understanding, with the aerospace giant to join a previously-announced and Gilmour-led CRC-P project to build composite cryotanks for space. Chris Deeble, chief executive of Northrop Grumman Australia, said his company “aims to lead industry support in developing Australian sovereign space capabilities…

Queensland Gaskets to supply infantry fighting vehicle

Queensland Gaskets has partnered with Rheinmetall Defence Australia to work on the delivery of three LYNX KF41 Infantry Fighting Vehicles to the Australian Defence Force for Risk Mitigation Activity trials over the next 12 months. Risk mitigation is a key step in defence procurement involving trailing and refining design and manufacturing to suit the needs…

BAE Systems reveals hypersonic research – video

BAE Systems Australia has revealed it is involved in research into the young field of hypersonic vehicles capable of travelling at greater than Mach 5. The company took to social media to reveal that its newly established Red Ochre Labs would research hypersonics, which BAE Systems described as ‘a challenging and extremely fast area of…

Sicona Battery Technologies aims to produce unique anodes

Sicona Battery Technologies aims to use a federal government Accelerating Commercialisation grant announced on Monday to become the first local producer of anode materials with a focus on next-generation, silicon composite batteries. 

Banana waste technology begins to bear fruit for Aussie company

A publicly-listed company that has spent more than two decades perfecting its system of turning banana plantation waste into wood and paper products says it has proven the profitability of the technology and is preparing for a global expansion.

Circular Experts directory launched

NSW Circular has released a directory of 200-plus circular economy experts, in an effort to link their expertise with business, government and the public. “These world-leading experts are solving problems and removing barriers to a circular economy,” said NSW Circular CEO Lisa McLean in a statement about the launch of Circular Experts on Monday.  “Transitioning…

Property buoys Brickworks as it invests in new facilities

Property development and building products company Brickworks today reported it was emerging from the Covid-19 pandemic with trading conditions strengthening in Australia, but remaining uncertain in the United States where the company makes bricks in the north-eastern states.

New initiative announced partnering industry and defence on AI

The federal government has released a request for proposal, with companies to receive support delivering an artificial intelligence-based demonstrator technology to defence.

Orica and Epiroc automate underground mine blasting

Australian explosives group Orica and Swedish equipment supplier Epiroc have combined to develop the world’s first semi-automated explosives delivery system for underground mining. Their new Avatel system (main picture and below) will remove people from the blasting face – the most dangerous place underground – providing a safer, more efficient and productive blasting environment when…

Sparc Technologies lights up graphene investment

A new graphene technology Sparc Technologies Limited debuted on the stock market yesterday with its shares immediately rising by more than 50 per cent. The South Australian company, which has licenced graphene-based technologies from the University of Adelaide, rose quickly from its 20 cent listing price to 31 cents. The university, a cornerstone shareholder in…

Manufacturing for green hydrogen’s Soft Grid – by Stan Thompson

A green hydrogen economy looks more likely to develop every day. Here Stan Thompson, Co-founder of the Mooresville Hydrail Initiative, compares the advent of hydrogen to that of electricity, and asks who will manufacture all the components, tools, test gear, safety apparatus and as yet unanticipated ancillary hardware needed for the new soft grid? While…

Australian Space Forum to strengthen ties with Japan

The 10th Australian Space Forum will discuss how the Australian and Japanese space industries will work together in the future, and promote local space organisations and companies.

Spin to win: turbine tech company proving itself to telco customers

Australian engineering research has cracked the problem of diffuser design, allowing a doubling of efficiency for wind turbines, according to Diffuse Energy. Brent Balinski spoke to the company’s CTO and co-founder, James Bradley.

Manufacturers partner with BizRebuild on new hub at Cobargo

An Australian metal bending technology will be applied for the first time in a commercial property, with FormFlow and Bluescope’s Lysaght division partnering with BizRebuild to deliver a new business and community hub in bushfire-affected Cobargo.

Hypersonic engine, battery manufacturing get support

The federal government has announced $8 million in grants to 14 Australian businesses to support commercialisation. The latest Accelerating Commercialisation grants go to a range of manufacturing companies including Queensland firm Hypersonix, which will use its $952,575 to develop an Australian manufactured hydrogen fuelled scramjet engine, designed to put small satellites into low-level orbit. Scramjets…

NSW to get green gas trial at Malabar wastewater plant

The Australian Renewable Energy Agency has awarded a $5.9 million grant for a project that will see biomethane injected into the gas network for the first time in Australia.

Arrowes launches robotic road cone truck

Brisbane road safety systems manufacturer Arrowes has developed an automated cone truck which places and retrieves road cones from highways, reducing costs and the dangers faced by employees manually laying cones in high speed traffic. The Bendale company has completed and tested a prototype robotic truck (main picture, and below) and is in the production…

A.H. Beard shows how Australia should market its products in China

Comment by Peter Roberts Bed manufacturer A.H. Beard is an object lesson in clever marketing and manufacturing excellence that should be a wake up call for Australia’s broader manufacturing sector. Some years ago the company, one of three large local manufacturing firms that dominate the business of making beds, decided it would not go down…

Mesoblast scores a Covid-19 goal

Pharmaceutical developer Mesoblast has announced a breakthrough after more than a decade attempting to commercialise its lead drug – and it has taken the Covid-19 pandemic to make it happen. The company, which has operations in Australia, Singapore and the United States is awaiting a decision by the US Food and Drug Administration on the…

Manufacturing news briefs – stories you might have missed

DevelopmentWA seeks interest in robotics and automation zone DevelopmentWA is seeking Expression of Interest (EOI) from businesses looking to be involved or have access to the test beds and future facilities of an automation and robotics precinct being developed at a site 40 kilometres north of Perth. The 51 hectare site, which is adjacent to…

Australian affordable dialysis device wins global innovation competition

Sydney’s Ellen Medical has beat over 500 entries from 22 countries to win top prize with its Affordable Dialysis System at the World Innovation Summit for Health 2020 Innovation Booster competition.

Orica takes Covid profit hit and vows to cut greenhouse gases

Chemicals and explosives company Orica was hit hard by a slowdown in the mining sector through the Covid-19 pandemic, today announcing net profit after tax for the year to 30 September, down 31 per cent on the previous corresponding period. The Melbourne company revealed an underlying EBIT of $605 million, down nine per cent, as…

Advanced Fibre Cluster to develop AI for composites testing

The Advanced Fibre Cluster Geelong has been awarded a Defence Science Institute (DSI) Smart Ideas Grant to help develop Artificial Intelligence (AI) solutions for composite materials integrity testing. The award, made to the cluster in collaboration with carbon fibre road wheel manufacturer, Carbon Revolution, and Deakin University, will use machine learning to improve quality assurance…

New CRC Association CEO announced, will begin in January

Jane O’Dwyer has been announced as the new CEO of the Cooperative Research Centres Association, beginning in the role in January.

Integra TransForm launches industry 4.0 workplace kiosk

Broadmeadows, Melbourne manufacturer Integra TransForm has quietly launched the extraordinary K4.0 Kiosk (main picture and below) aimed at facilitating the industry 4.0 and digitisation journey of Australian manufacturers. The kiosk has been turning up in factories across the country with the pictured version spotted and photographed by Australian Manufacturing Forum member Steve Zanon. Zanon, director…

Micro-X takes back control of Nano distribtion

Carbon fibre nanotube X-ray machine manufacturer Micro-X has taken back a measure of control over the distribution of its Nano portable X-ray machine. Until now the Nano has been distributed and branded exclusively by global group Carestream Health Inc as the Carestream DRX Revolution Nano. Such exclusive distribution arrangements are often used by start-up technology…

Working smarter with data – how BAE Systems is creating the world’s first fully digital shipyard

@AuManufacturing‘s editorial series, ‘Working smarter with data‘, concludes today with a profile of the most ambitious digitisation programme underway in Australia – the creation of a unique, fully digital shipyard in Adelaide to construct naval vessels. By Peter Roberts. A broad stretch of Adelaide’s Port River sweeps past what is Australia’s most advanced programme of…

We created diamonds in mere minutes, without heat — by mimicking the force of an asteroid collision

There are many well-known forms of carbon with graphite-like bonding, including graphene, the thinnest material ever measured. But did you know there’s also more than one type of carbon-based material with diamond-like bonding?

Husic to bring his tech focus to shadow cabinet

By Denham Sadler The government needs to set its ambitions for tech and innovation much higher and encourage creation rather than just adoption, newly appointed shadow minister for agriculture and resources Ed Husic says. Husic was appointed to the position last week after Joel Fitzgibbons stood down from the role. Earlier this year Husic pushed…

ARENA announces $342,000 support for small wind turbine installations

The Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA) has announced $341,990 in funding to startup Diffuse Energy, which will support installation of micro wind turbines at ten off-grid telecommunications towers to demonstrate the company’s technology. Diffuse was founded by University of Newcastle engineering researchers in 2018. One of its potential markets is remote telecommunications centres. These are…

McNeall Plastics onshores nylon products

Engineering plastics manufacturer McNeall Plastics has onshored key capabilities and is now the only company in Australia with capacity to pour large and complex Nylon products up to a size of 3000mm x 3000mm. McNeall’s Sydney and Brisbane plants produce Nylons, Acetals, Polyethylene UHMW, Polypropylene, and Polycarbonate. Managing director Josh Budd said: “The COVID-19 pandemic,…

Working smarter with data: Can recommender systems help find business partners?

In the second-last day of @AuManufacturing‘s ‘Working smarter with data’ editorial series, Qian Zhang and Jie Lu explain recommender systems and their usefulness to small and medium businesses.

Planning for defence industry puts manufacturing modernisation in the shade

Comment by Peter Roberts The federal government continues to impress with its continuing rollout of policies and plans to support the creation of defence industry that can help secure Australia in times of trouble. There is already a suite of policies supporting building industry capabilities, identifying critical sovereign capabilities, assisting SMEs into global supply chains,…

Zip Water launches new micro boiling water appliance

Sydney appliance manufacturer Zip Water has launched a new, smaller version of its flagship HydroTap which delivers cold and boiling water on demand in homes and offices. The Zip Micro (pictured) is designed to fit under almost any bench, and is suited for small workplaces with up to 10 people. Zip Micro is 37 per…

Manufacturing news briefs – stories you might have missed

Eden Innovations awarded R&D grant to develop nanotube composites Materials technology company Eden Innovations and the University of Queensland have been awarded a $376,518 grant to help fund the development of new production methods for carbon nanotube (CNT) enriched thermoplastic composites. The grant, the fifth Australian Research Council linkage grant received by Eden, will help…

South Australian manufacturing closes as Covid hits

Manufacturing industry in South Australis will close from midnight tonight other than for essential services as the state heads into an initial 6-day total shutdown to halt the spread of Covid-19. Health officials and Premier Steven Marshall, worried about a sudden outbreak of an apparently virulent strain of Covid-19, announced the circuit-breaker lockdown shortly after…

Three Tasmanian hydrogen projects get $2.6 million for feasibility studies

The Tasmanian government has announced $2.6 million in support for three feasibility studies on large-scale hydrogen projects.

Covid hits Aristocrat’s gaming profits, but digital shines

The Covid-19 pandemic hit sales and profits of Australia’s largest gaming machine manufacturer, Aristocrat Leisure during the 2020 financial year. The Sydney company saw revenue from physical gaming venues drop by a third as the pandemic halted some operations, while its digital gaming sales rose by 29 per cent. However Aristocrat Digital, which has been…

The Pivot: Lessons from the biotech frontline

By backing the team, not the project, a business can recover from a project failure, move on to another project and ultimately be successful. And then repeat the success on further projects.

Australia needs waste avoidance and well as recycling to meet goals: report

A new report argues Australia will not meet its waste reduction targets through recycling alone, and must appreciate waste as a design flaw in goods and services.

Working smarter with data: reasoning with machine learning

While machine learning is very good at pattern recognition, it is relatively ‘dumb’ at solving new problems. A combination of machine learning and machine reasoning is already creating powerful new technologies that are much more flexible and capable than traditional forms of machine learning or AI.

Tritium launches modular EV charging hardware

Fast electric vehicle charger manufacturer Tritium has launched a new hardware platform aimed at creating the world’s first truly scalable electric vehicle charging networks. The Brisbane company’s MSC hardware platform – for Modular Scalable Charging – provides customers with the flexibility to increase the power level of their charger as EV charging capabilities advance. Charger…

Defence minister praises Collins class subs – so why did we go overseas for a new design?

Comment by Peter Roberts Defence minister Linda Reynolds has praised the capabilities of the Collins Class submarines once derided by a former Coalition defence minister. It went down in history that then minister David Johnston warned in 2014 he would not trust the government-owned defence builder, the Australian Submarine Corporation (ASC), to build a canoe.…

Being a female leader in medtech manufacturing – by Serena Ross

Female CEOs and senior executives are more common in manufacturing than in the past, but still enough of a rarity for Serena Ross to have to reach out overseas for someone to mentor her when she became CEO of her family business. Here she writes about what it is like being a woman leader in…

Titomic completes major leadership overhaul with new CEO

Additive manufacturing technology developer Titomic has named industrial veteran Norbert Schulze as interim chief executive officer and begun a search for a permanent CEO. He succeeds Titomic’s founder Jeff Lang, who assumes the role of executive director and chief technology officer as well as board director. Schulze owns a consulting company advising global defence companies…

Austal’s China JV delivers third ferry

Shipbuilder Austal’s Chinese joint venture shipyard has constructed and delivered its third Austal-designed high-speed catamaran passenger ferry. The joint venture company, Aulong Shipbuilding has delivered the 42-metre aluminium ferry capable of carrying 272 passengers over two decks (pictured), to repeat customer Blue Sea Jet of China. The ferry, christened the Hin Hai Chi , will…

124 companies apply for $900 million submarine work package

One-hundred and twenty-four Australian companies have applied to be tier one partners and 1,964 have made expressions of interest to be a part of the broader supply chain for the $90 billion Attack Class submarine program.

HackHunter launches portable WiFi tracker

Melbourne cyber security IoT provider HackHunter today launches its locally engineered and manufactured device to detect and locate the source of unauthorised and potentially malicious WiFi systems. HackHunter has just won the Australian Information Security Association (AISA) 2020 Award for Cyber Security Start Up of the year for product innovation around cyber security. HackHunter CEO,…

Austin Engineering adds four new export markets

Mining equipment manufacturer Austin Engineering has announced their first orders from four new export markets as the company continues to expand its sales focus. The Queensland manufacturer, which makes customised dump truck bodies, buckets, water tanks, tyre handlers and products utilised in the mining industry, has made its first ever sales to Egypt, the Ukraine,…

Working smarter with data – wearables cut workplace injury by Scott Coleman

@AuManufacturing‘s editorial series, ‘Working smarter with data‘, continues today with a look at how data can tackle worker injuries in key manufacturing industries. Here Scott Coleman looks at wearables and data driven technologies and how they can reduce risks. In recent weeks we’ve seen a number of workplace injury cases making headlines and reviving conversations…

Cross-sector technology opportunities for manufacturing – by Adrian Beer

Australia has begun to develop its manufacturing industries following supply chain disruption from the Covid-19 pandemic. Here Adrian Beer, CEO of mining equipment, technology and services industry growth centre, METS Ignited, highlights cross-sector opportunities for manufacturers in Australia’s leadership in mining and minerals processing. Whilst 2020 has brought significant challenges, we have seen the manufacturing…

We’ve just signed the world’s biggest trade deal, but what exactly is the RCEP?

The giant Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership between Australia, China, Japan, South Korea, New Zealand and the ten members of ASEAN (Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Myanmar, The Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam) was signed online on Sunday, November 15.

BAE Systems launches Red Ochre labs to support frigate innovation

Defence contractor BAE Systems Australia today launched a hub for collaboration with industry, Defence and academia to develop technologies to support the construction of Australia’s new Hunter class frigates. Headquartered in Victoria, the company’s Red Ochre Labs aims to develop new, disruptive technologies in autonomous systems, hypersonics, High Frequency Systems, electronic warfare and Anti-Submarine Warfare…

Six ways manufacturers can use data to streamline operations

You want to harness all the data your business produces, but where to start? Robert Jurcec gives some suggestions. Manufacturers have more data available to them than ever before, however, many companies and their finance teams struggle with knowing how to use it. Big data describes the large volume of data that inundates a business…

Things picking up for Sydney sensor business

UNSW spin-out Contactile won the Advanced Manufacturing category at last month’s Australian Technologies Competition. Brent Balinski spoke to co-founder Heba Khamis about making robots feel like we do. 

Plenty of gas, it just gets used by LNG exporters: report

The Australia Institute has questioned the importance of gas to a manufacturing recovery, saying there was no shortage, and increasing production would just benefit LNG exporters.

CSL to build $800 million Melbourne vaccine plant

Biotechnology giant CSL will spend more than $800 million building a new vaccine manufacturing plant at the Melbourne Airport Business Park, with operations expected to start in 2026. The plant, which will utilise cell-based mass production techniques, complements the company’s existing vaccine production capabilities which are based on growing vaccines in chicken eggs – a…

Sage Group launches shopping trolley sanitiser

Automation and industrial company SAGE Group has launched a new automated machine to be installed in supermarkets and capable of sanitising entire shopping trolleys. SAGE CEO Adrian Fahey took to social media to reveal the new ‘Sanitizit’, featured on Channel 7, which the company will manufacture and support. A first of its kind, Sanitizit replaces…

About time Canberra did something about local battery production

Comment by Peter Roberts It is about time the federal government got serious about backing lithium-ion battery manufacture in Australia. The plethora of grid-scale storage batteries under construction, booming solar PV plus home battery installations, and the nascent market for electric vehicles mean we are consuming more and more batteries. But while we produce the…

ANSTO develops new radiation sensing device

A team at the Australian Nuclear Science and Technology Organisation (ANSTO) has created a new portable device that can pinpoint the location of radiation sources, faster and more accurately than ever before. The new technology has potential in a range of fields including national security, customs, decommissioning of old reactors and nuclear operations. ANSTO’s CORIS360…

Builder chosen for major Australian meatworks project

Thomas Foods International has appointed Adelaide-based construction company BADGE to build its state-of-the-art meat processing facility near Murray Bridge in South Australia.

Quickstep buys Boeing maintenance facility

Aerospace giant Boeing has agreed to sell its Tullamarine, Melbourne maintenance, repair and overhaul operation to Sydney advanced composites manufacturer Quickstep as part of discussions the two companies are holding to develop a broader business relationship. Quickstep will pay $2.64 million in cash to purchase Boeing Australia Component Repairs (BACR) which is equipped with extensive…

Wesfarmers defends imports at AGM

Wesfarmers’ leadership has fielded questions about sourcing of imported products during a virtual AGM on Thursday.

Virgin Galactic executive will return home to head Australian Space Agency

The chief operating officer of Virgin Galactic and President of its subsidiary The Spaceship company will return home to head the Australian Space Agency.

H2X Marine extends hydrogen push to ships

H2X Marine, the new boat building arm of hydrogen fuel cell Vehicle manufacturer H2X, has begun building water craft powered by green renewable energy. The company will initially produce a range of zero emission passenger ferries for industrial and commercial use, and prototype hulls (pictured) have already been produced. CEO of H2X Marine, Sam Blackadder…

Working smarter with data – digital transformation for food & beverage industry

@AuManufacturing‘s editorial series, ‘Working smarter with data‘, continues today with the potential of digitisation in food and beverage industries. Here Siemens outlines the opportunities and potential. Food and beverage producers need to recognise that when it comes to digitalisation, it is not a question of whether they can afford it – it is a question…

SPEE3D 3D printer installed by the navy

A SPEE3D Cold Spray 3D printer (pictured) has been delivered and installed by the Royal Australian Navy. The WarpSPEE3D additive manufacturing system complements a similar printer supplied to the army which has been undergoing trials at remote locations in the outback. The navy deal is part of a $1.5 million contract for the Darwin-based company…

Waste reduction efforts gain $10.5 million through National Product Stewardship Investment Fund

Grants totalling $10.5 million and going to 15 organisations through the National Product Stewardship Investment Fund have been announced.

Boeing and Clearbox to develop satellite communications system

Boeing Defence Australia and Sydney technology company Clearbox Systems will collaborate to develop a next generation satellite communication (SATCOM) system for the defence department project known as Joint Project 9102. JP9102 aims to deliver a system which will enable the joint command and control of deployed Joint Task Forces beyond the range and capacity of…

Miner moves to use green hydrogen, support steel production

Resources and chemicals group Australian Vanadium has moved to incorporate green hydrogen throughout its proposed vanadium mining and value-added processing operations in Western Australia. The company, which is developing a vanadium, iron and titanium resource at Gabanintha south of Meekatharra, where it will undertake crushing, milling and benefaction of the magnetite ores, is also seeking…

UNSW recycling researchers recover aluminium from tricky packaging

Researchers at University of NSW have developed a new technique to recover aluminium out of challenging-to-recycle polymer-laminated aluminium packaging materials.

CEFC invests in Chinese solar venture, but why?

Comment by Peter Roberts Australia’s Clean Energy Finance Corporation has been one of the big successes of federal government efforts to kick-start enterprise and innovation in the renewable energy space. Its great strength is the corporation, which the coalition tried to abolish completely when it first came to office, is that it is run by…

Working smarter with data – AI gives agriculture the competitive edge

@AuManufacturing‘s editorial series, ‘Working smarter with data‘, continues today with agriculture, where hardware, software and data are driving massive change. Here, Tony Blackie profiles Green Atlas and its use of Artificial Intelligence. Artificial Intelligence is becoming an essential tool for Australian farmers with increasing numbers embracing new technology to gain a competitive edge. University researchers…

Can sales drive Coopers Brewery profits

South Australian brewer Coopers is crediting a national consumer-led push towards trusted, locally-made beer brands and a move to more canned products for a 3.9 per cent rise in sales in the 2019-20 financial year.

Frigate project sparks $10 million manufacturing accelerator plan

The construction of Hunter class frigates in Adelaide in a new all-digital shipyard has sparked the creation of a first-of-its-kind advanced manufacturing accelerator located at the Tonsley Innovation District. Tonsley, already a thriving advanced education and industrial zone, will host the development of the Line Zero – Factory of the Future, a collaboration between the…

Pfizer’s ultra-cold vaccine could be difficult to distribute

If the final results show anything like the numbers quoted in the press release, then the world can indeed be pleased and the scientists behind the scenes very proud of themselves.

Working smarter with data: Manufacturing the next generation of smart materials 

In today’s addition to our ‘Working smarter with data‘ series, Dr Nishar Hameed explains Australian work on smart sensing, and future applications for a new class of materials enabling this.

First commercial project using local recycled soft-plastic-in-aggregate product

The redevelopment of Coles Horsham has featured the first commercial application of PolyRok, a product by Australian company Replas using soft plastic in place of aggregate minerals.

Hope for Immuron anti-diarrhoea vaccine

Biotechnology company Immuron has announced positive results for its anti-diarrhoea vaccine in targeting the main bacteria responsible for sickness that besets international travellers and personnel stationed overseas such as the military. The United States Naval Research Centre (NMRC) has completed analysis of cows vaccinated against Campylobacter and Entereotoxigenic Escherichia coli, noting a ‘robust immune response’.…

Altech Chemicals raises cash, moves to develop battery anode material

Altech Chemicals is deepening its involvement in the battery metals business, announcing a collaboration agreement with a leading silicon metal producer to develop a high capacity, long cycle life silicon battery anode material. At the same time Altech launched a $14.5 million partially underwritten pro-rata share entitlement offer. Major shareholders have taken up or underwritten…

$150,000 grant for Australian rapid Covid test

An Australian team developing a rapid Covid-19 test has received a $150,000 grant to bring the product from proof of concept to Good Manufacturing Practice Readiness within four months.

Pharma group Probiotec buys Multipack packaging operation

Prescription and over the counter pharmaceuticals manufacturer Probiotec has purchased co-packing services provider Multipack-LJM, positioning itself as one of the country’s largest contract manufacturing and product packing businesses. Probiotec is paying $52.5 million for Multipack, which provides an extensive range of co-packing services for food and beverage, personal care and household and pharmaceutical companies. The…

Incitec Pivot recovers from plant outages, floods and accidents

Chemicals and explosives business Incitec Pivot made a strong return to profits for the year ended 30 September, growing profits 23 per cent as it recovered from plant outages, floods and industrial accidents. The international fertilizer and explosives business grew earnings before interest and tax (EBIT) by 23 per cent to $374.5 million and reduced…

Australian world-leading camera techniques being developed for underwater use

Western Sydney University researchers are developing world-first “event-based camera” applications with Defence.

What does a contemporary manufacturing executive look like?

By Peter Tulau The thing about reality checks is that they tend to be thrust upon businesses at the most inconvenient moments, and as reality-checks go, this current one is large. What happens over the next period is critical to business success and leadership will play a critical role in that. Savvy manufacturing businesses are…

Working smarter with data – digital transformation in a traditional SME manufacturer

@AuManufacturing‘s editorial series, ‘Working smarter with data‘, continues today with a look at digital implementation at 94-year old company Everhard Industries. Here Peter Roberts talks to IT leader Steve Dobe who made the transformation happen. It is hard to imagine a more traditional business than Geebung, Queensland’s Everhard Industries. From its roots in the 1920s…

Amaero international, PPK and Deakin collaborate to develop super alloys

Advanced materials group PPK, additive manufacturing technology company Amaero International and Deakin University have joined forces to develop new, super strong aluminium alloys. The three have established a joint venture research company, Strategic Alloys Pty Ltd, to formulate the new alloys which will be reinforced by boron nitride nanotubes (BNNT) which act as a nano-reinforcement…

Rowlands buys AML3D robotic additive manufacturing module

Sheet metal fabricator Rowlands Metalworks has become the second company to purchase an AML3D 3D Arcemy Robotic Welding Cell. The purchase, which gives important third party validation to AML3D’s 3D Wire Additive Manufacturing technologies, will boost Rowlands’ move into higher value defence and agricultural technology products. AML3D delivered the first Arcemy 3D printer to aerospace…

Luck or leverage? How Australian manufacturers can use innovation and incentives to make local products more attractive to export markets

We have long been internationally admired for our low levels of debt, high standards of living and a consistently safe and stable environments in which to live and work. We are indeed the lucky country but if we hope to retain that title, we face a choice: to continue safely along this well-worn path or to strike out and forge a new path.

Working smarter with data: Why leveraging data is the manufacturer’s key to success in a post-COVID-19 world

In this instalment of @AuManufacturing’s ‘Working smarter with data‘ series, Kamal Prasad gives some tips on being prepared for the digitally-driven future.

Dr Cathy Foley appointed as new Chief Scientist

Dr Cathy Foley has been named as Australia’s Chief Scientist and will begin a three-year term in January 2021.

CSL begins Covid vaccine manufacture in Melbourne today

CSL will begin manufacturing the University of Oxford/AstraZeneca AZD1222 Covid-19 vaccine candidate at its advanced manufacturing facility in Broadmeadows in northern Melbourne today. The high-tech biotechnology plant (pictured) is contracted to AstraZeneca and the Australian Government to manufacture approximately 30 million doses of the AZD1222 vaccine candidate. In a statement the company said first doses…

Biden win highlights areas of Australia’s energy leadership

Analysis by Peter Roberts It is easy to look back over over the past decade and see a lost opportunity to transition our energy supplies – one that is exposed by the election of Joe Biden as US President with his vow to embrace low emissions and abide by the Paris climate agreement. Australia’s climate…

Working smarter with data – leadership and skills for digitisation by Richard Jenkins and Kerrie Clarke

@AuManufacturing‘s editorial series, ‘Working smarter with data‘, continues today with insight into the skills leaders, companies, and Australia needs to develop. Here manufacturing skills specialists Richard Jenkins and Kerrie Clarke suggest a wider lens for SMEs and their leaders and managers when looking to embrace new digital technologies. COVID-19 has pushed enterprises to pivot, reinvent,…

Manufacturing news briefs – stories you might have missed

Digital health venture fund established A $100 million fund, Health Innovation Ventures, has been established in Adelaide to back new technologies, start-ups and establish healthcare businesses. The fund, headed by former IBM Health executive Dr Terry Sweeney will also partner with governments to solve health problems. The fund is backed by the South Australian Health…

Austal’s Vietnam yard delivers first ship

Perth international shipbuilder Austal has delivered the first ship fully built at its shipyard at Vung Tau in Vietnam. The 94 metre highspeed catamaran ferry, A.P.T. James, was built for the National Infrastructure Development Company of Trinidad and Tobago and will operate the ‘sea bridge’ between the two main islands. Austal CEO David Singleton said…

HeliMods receives second defence grant in less than a year

Sunshine Coast manufacturer HeliMods has received $150,000 under the Defence Global Competitiveness Grants programme, its second grant awarded in less than a year. The Caloundra company has used its funding to purchase plant and equipment to manufacture large machined components used in the modification and upgrade of military and paramilitary helicopters, according to defence industry…

Working smarter with data – is this the end of our focus on lean manufacturing?

@AuManufacturing’s new series, ‘Working smarter with data‘, continues today with a look at data driven businesses adopting industry 4.0 technologies. Here Tim McLean (pictured below) asks whether the new world of manufacturing means an end to a focus on lean? Industry 4.0 is a term developed by German government to describe its high technology strategy…

Business R&D has tanked, what of the reformed Tax Incentive – by Kris Gale

By Kris Gale The recent passing of the Bill that preserved and, in some ways, extended the value of the R&D Tax Incentive (the RDTI) has been warmly received by the market. It follows the improved understanding of the programme requirements contained in the Moreton Resources and Bogiatto cases, along with the noticeable improvement in…

After 110 years Eilbeck makes its 10,000th crane – pictures

Australia’s leading crane builder Eilbeck Cranes has installed its 10,000 crane after 110 years in operation. The company’s own heavy machining factory now under construction (pictured) houses a massive 100 tonne crane. The machine shop will have machines capable of handling up to 80 tons of material, making it the highest capacity Australia wide. Eilbeck…

Penfolds ‘respectfully’ acknowledges China dumping inquiries

Treasury Estate Wines which has been exporting its Penfolds prestige wines to China since 1995 has ‘respectfully’ acknowledged anti-dumping and countervailing duty investigations into Australian wine exports by China’s Ministry of Commerce. Chairman Paul Rayner told shareholders at the company’s annual general meeting that the investigations did not change the company’s long-term commitment to China…

Cash boost for big South Australian green ammonia project

A project to build the world’s largest green ammonia plant in South Australia has been launched.

Govt releases ‘plain English’ R&D tax guide

By Denham Sadler New “plain English” guidance for the research and development tax incentive has been released, providing new definitions for “hypothesis” and “new knowledge” and further information on the record keeping required under the scheme. The new Guide to Interpretation, an update on the document first published in 2016, comes just weeks after the federal…

GMG completes oversubscribed Series C round ahead of planned Canadian listing

Graphene manufacturer and solutions provider Graphene Manufacturing Group has announced completion of a $3 million Series C raise, with just over $1.7 million from TSXV-listed capital pool company Cuspis Capital of Canada.

Air Fab gets $1.3 million Boeing Defence Australia contract to build work platforms

Air Fab has been awarded a $1.3 million contract with Boeing Defence Australia to design, fabricate and supply safety stands used in maintaining the Air Force’s Air Force’s F/A-18F Super Hornets and EA-18G Growler planes.

Working smarter with data – seizing the opportunity by Sercan Altun

@AuManufacturing’s new series, ‘Working smarter with data‘, continues today with electronics engineer Sercan Altun, who maps out the digital transformation challenges on offer in Australia’s transition to an industry 4.0 economy. Manufacturing has always been the essential driver of the wealth and prosperity of nations since the first industrial revolution in the late 18th century…

High-tech nanotube payoff for Micro-X

Comment by Peter Roberts Things don’t get much better in the tech field than a technology company that has mastered carbon fibre nanotubes to make a step-change in a technology around for more than a century. But for Micro-X, the Adelaide company that has developed the world’s only nanotube X-ray emitter, that mastery is the…

Manufacturing news briefs – stories you might have missed

Green Distillation Technologies doubles size of Warren tyre recycling plant Australian tyre recycler Green Distillation Technologies will double the production capacity of their plant at Warren in Western New South Wales with the installation of an additional processing module. Construction of the module, which turns end-of-life tyres into high value oil, carbon and steel, is…

THG enters vanadium redox flow battery business

Strategic metals company TNG Ltd has launched a new vanadium redox flow battery (VRFB) business unit as part of the vertical integration of its flagship Mount Peake vanadium-titanium-iron project in the Northern Territory. The strategy further diversifies the company’s green energy interests and will capitalise on the planned production of high-purity vanadium pentoxide from Mount…

Lynas takes delivery of industrial dryer

Rare earths producer Lynas Corp has taken delivery of a 14-metre long, industrial scale dryer which will process ores at its Mt Weld mining and concentrating operations in Western Australia. The indirect fired rotary dryer will reduce the moisture content prior to transportation to the company’s advanced material plant in Malaysia and the proposed Lynas…

New German-Australian minesite electric vehicle charging station

West Australian mining services supplier Murray Engineering and Siemens have collaborated to develop a high-powered electric vehicle charging station (pictured) for use at mines both below and above ground. The vehicle agnostic charging stations will first be used to power a new light electric vehicle (eLV) being designed and manufactured by Murray Engineering to handle…

Australia may miss out on several COVID vaccines if it can’t make mRNA ones locally

The Australian government is in talks with pharmaceutical company Pfizer about potentially supplying its COVID-19 vaccine. The company has also secured preliminary clearance to apply for a type of fast-tracked regulatory approval for this vaccine.

Wysiwyg 3D Joins the GoProto Group

Australian 3D scanning and printing businesses Wysiwyg and the GoProto Group have merged to offer a unified laser scanning, 3D printing, prototyping and manufacturing service bureau. The introduction of scanning and digitising expertise into GoProto’s advanced manufacturing network enables a streamlined solution at every stage of the product development cycle, according to the companies. GoProto…

Defence, Tasmanian manufacturer partner on food tech

A Tasmanian food processing business is partnering with Defence, transferring food technology into the private sector.

Working smarter with data – Orica gives miners the digital edge

@AuManufacturing’s new series, ‘Working smarter with data‘, continues today with a look at chemicals and explosives company, Orica that is digitising its products. Rajkumar Mathiravedu tells Peter Roberts how using data is bringing benefits for the company and its customers. For chemical and explosives company, Orica, digitising the deceptively simple task of packing explosives into…

Working smarter with data – Australia’s first digital apprenticeship

@AuManufacturing’s new series, ‘Working smarter with data‘, continues today with the launch of Australia’s first digital apprenticeship. With COVID-19 casting a long shadow on the plans of the nation’s school leavers, industry has teamed up with Skills Lab to launch Australia’s first Digital Engineering Apprenticeship as a pathway to an in-demand career. The new apprenticeship,…

Incitec Pivot closer to producing gas for its own use

Fertiliser and industrial chemicals manufacturer Incitec Pivot is closer to its ambition of producing gas for its own needs with the restart of its 50:50 joint venture drilling programme with Central Peroleum. The company has been working with Central Petroleum to develop coal seam gas opportunities in a 77 square kilometre site at Project Range…

Industry grants open the way from the moon to mars

The second programme in the Australian Government’s $150 million Moon to Mars initiative – Demonstrator Feasibility grants – is now open. The $3.7 million grants provide opportunities for businesses and researchers to scope out projects which have the potential to operate or support operations in space. This includes activities related to NASA’s Moon to Mars…

Nova Eye creates subsidiary to look beyond glaucoma

An Australian-based medical company that sold its name and a major chunk of its business to a French multi-national earlier this year has launched a subsidiary to develop a treatment for age-related macular degeneration.

Making sense of industry research collaboration

To extract the best value from Australia’s world-class universities, research funding should go to research; there should be direct support for marketing the research; and industry should be provided with the backing to commercialise it.

Titomic creates demonstration parts in year of progress for Australian 3D printing

Industrial scale additive manufacturing company Titomic has begun producing demonstration parts to satisfy its breakthrough sale of two massive production machines valued at $25.5 million. Titomic told investors that it had completed the technical research and development phase for its sale to Composite Technology, an Australian R&D and commercialisation division of a global defence product…

Melbourne SME announces goal to become carbon neutral by 2023

Family-owned tapware manufacturer Sussex Taps has set a goal to become carbon neutral over the next two years.

Tekt Industries announces new engineering boss

Product design and engineering company Tekt Industries has announced that Andy Atkinson has joined s Head of Engineering.

What does an Industry 4.0 manufacturer look like?

What digital capabilities do defence contractors expect to see from their SME partners? We spoke to SAGE Automation’s general manager for defence, Paul Johnson, (pictured below) to gain some insight around Industry 4.0 initiatives. Question: For those who may be unsure, can you explain what an industry 4.0 defence manufacturer looks like? Johnson: As you…

Working smarter with data – SMEs join gold plant data analysis project

@AuManufacturing’s new series, ‘Working smarter with data‘, continues today with the SME-led effort that is using data to automate gold processing. A consortium has come together to commercialise a complete solution package for collecting and analysing and acting on gold mine processing plant data in real-time. SME manufacturer of gold processing equipment Gekko Systems leads…

SEA Electric raises $20 million

Drive system technology company SEA Electric has announced it closed $20 million of its $30 million series A round last week, led by San Francisco-based investment bank GCA Global.

Australian manufacturing growing again

The Australian Industry Group’s Performance of Manufacturing Index has suggested a strong recovery for the country’s manufacturing sector in October.

Robotics adoption matters: series conclusion

@AuManufacturing’s Robotics adoption matters series has concluded. Brent Balinski recaps some of what was discussed and hears from a few different voices on the importance of teamwork.  

Working smarter with data – what is digital manufacturing?

In launching our new series, ‘Working smarter with data‘, Karen Queen asks the question – what exactly is digital manufacturing? Digital manufacturing is a term that is used in abundance nowadays. But what is digital manufacturing, and how are companies harnessing it to their advantage? In a nutshell, digital manufacturing is when a company leverages…

Working smarter with data – introduction to our new editorial series

Today @AuManufacturing launches working smarter with data – our new editorial series. In the first of our series we ask the question – what is digital manufacturing – and you can read that story here. But first, Peter Roberts sets the scene. 2020 was the year when the penny dropped for Australia’s manufacturing competitiveness. Despite…

Advanced is great, but what about traditional manufacturing – by Daen Simmat

Industrial designer Daen Simmat (pictured below) takes a look at policies supporting a transition to advanced manufacturing in Australia with approval, but also asks ‘what about traditional manufacturing’ and making it smarter? In the mid-1960s, manufacturing was separated into two categories “advanced” and “traditional.” Traditional manufacturing was hard product industries such as automotive, steel and…

Australian Plant Proteins produces bean protein

This week marked a major milestone for Australian Plant Proteins’ recently commissioned state-of-the-art fractionation facility in Horsham, Victoria. Director of Australian Plant proteins and EAT Group, Brendan McKeegan took to social media to celebrate the first production of faba bean protein isolate (pictured). McKeegan said: “For the first time Australia has a large-scale commercial plant-protein…

EOS inaugurates production at US factory

Defence, space and communications manufacturer Electro Optic Systems has celebrated the production of its first R400 remote weapon station (RWS) (pictured) at its facility at Huntsville, Alabama. EOS Defense Systems USA unveiled a R400S-Mk2-D-HD mounted on the Polaris DAGOR and produced at Huntsville, which has been operating since 2018, before a live and virtual VIP…

Manufacturing news briefs – stories you might have missed

Bosch and Ellume to automate together for Covid-19 detection Automation equipment manufacturer Bosch Australia Manufacturing Solutions (BAMS) will work with digital diagnostics company, Ellume to automate the high volume production of its COVID-19 diagnostic tests. Brisbane based Ellume has developed a suite of COVID-19 tests that give results in less than 15 minutes, with the…

BP to shut Australia’s biggest oil refinery

BP has announced it will shut down Australia’s largest oil refinery at Kwinana in Western Australia and turn it into – yet another – oil import terminal. The company said in a statement: “Having explored multiple possibilities for the refinery’s future, BP has concluded that conversion to an import terminal is the best option.” The…

When machinery meets mindset: how Ideal Stone progressed to success

When Lee Coles and Dougald Prentice met over a decade ago, they knew they had the makings of an ideal partnership.

Rather than recalling unsafe products, why not ensure they’re safe in the first place?

In 2019 a total of about 780 Australians were killed by consumer products, and a further 52,000 injured, according to the consumer watchdog.

Robotics adoption matters: combining artificial and natural intelligence

In the last day of our Robotics adoption matters series, Dr Alexander Hadjiivanov discusses the case for AI in human-robot collaboration.

Amaero additive wins rocket parts, automotive orders

Additive manufacturing technology company Amaero International has booked new orders for 3D printed parts for the space industry and automotive sectors. The company announced a purchase order from Queenalsnd manufacturer Gilmour Space Technologies for the manufacture of two rocket motor components for the company’s Eris rockets which are capable of payloads up to 305 kilograms…

Robots in action for Perth’s MSS Engineering – video

Precision sheet metal fabrication business MSS Engineering has been investing in robotic technologies which are now getting increased use as the economy exits the Covid-19 pandemic. Managing director Mark Allison took to social media to celebrate cranking up a ‘Fanuc CNC and robot 24/7 to help out our customer that needed to meet a very…

Ventilators’ help grow ResMed during Covid-19

Sleep apnoea technology manufacturer ResMed has reported strong revenue growth to $1.07 billion in the September quarter, up 10 per cent on the previous corresponding period. The San Diego and Sydney company reported net operating profit increased 27 per cent in the period to $308.8 million as gross margins widened to 59.9 per cent. ResMed’s…

AML3D additive manufacturing evaluated for frigate build

Additive manufacturing company AML3D has begun a Manufacturing Evaluation Programme in the use of its proprietary automated 3D printing systems in the manufacture of parts for the Navy’s new Hunter-class frigates. The programme, with BAE Systems Australia subsidiary, ASC Shipbuilding, brings together two Adelaide companies in the construction of nine frigates at Osborne on Adelaide’s…

GEOFABRICS PARTNERS WITH VISY TO DRIVE CIRCULAR ECONOMY FOR PET

Two Australian manufacturing companies Visy and Geofabrics are partnering to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and waste to landfill by integrating recycled PET plastics into new end-products. PET plastic bottles recycled by packaging giant Visy will be re-used by Geofabrics to manufacture its bidim Green nonwoven geotextiles which get used in a range of major Australian…

BluGlass announced as supplier to DARPA LUMOS program

ASX-listed semiconductor technology company BluGlass will supply Yale University with laser diodes and laser epitaxial wafers for a United States Defence Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) project to develop combined photonic integrated circuits and lasers.

Robotics adoption matters: even niche manufacturing should use robots

In the second-last day of our Robotics adoption matters series, Professor Jonathan Roberts dives into the possibilities for manufacturers with robotic assistance and integration. 

Surging Australian wine exports defy pandemic slump

Australia’s wine exports have defied the coronavirus pandemic economic slowdown to reach their highest value since 2007.

Chemist wins PM’s prize for battery, recycling innovations

The founder of two companies, one in plastics recycling and the other in battery storage, has won the $250,000 Prime Minister’s Prize for Innovation.

Going, going, gone with Canberra’s more generous defence grants

The federal government has decided to vastly increase the share it will pay of projects to improve the capabilities of defence industries and develop sovereign capabilities. From 12 November the government will increase its contribution towards projects under three key grants schemes which today are shared 50:50 by government and by industry itself. Co-contributions will…

Austal profits slightly down from record levels

Perth international shipbuilder Austal now expects its revenues and profits for this year will be slightly down on the records it set in FY 2020. The company, which builds ships in Perth, the Philippines, Vietnam and at Mobile, Alabama in the US, has continued to perform well during the Covid-19 pandemic however throughput is down…

Australia-China relations and Australia’s manufacturing industry – by Katie Howe

The Australia-China political and economic relationship has been under strain with attitudes toughening in Beijing and Canberra. Here China specialist Katie Howe explores what the deteriorating relationship means for Australian manufacturing. “Australia and the People’s Republic of China, inspired by their longstanding friendship and growing economic and trade relationship since the establishment of diplomatic relations…

Why James Bennett’s Australian Made Products are taking Facebook by storm

Comment by Peter Roberts I only just heard about the extraordinary James Bennett’s Australian Made Products Facebook page. In six years James’s various Facebook groups – all passionate about Australian manufacturing – have amassed more than 3.5 million followers on Facebook. That is one in every eight Australians follows James. He has a number of…

Manufacturing news briefs – stories you might have missed

Oventus extends markets during Covid-19 pandemic Sleep apnoea device manufacturer Oventus sales have returned to the pre-Covid-19 pandemic trajectory, with its devices now being fitted at 15 ‘lab in lab’ sites across the global sleep market. Revenue in the latest quarter was up 192 per cent on the previous corresponding period to $248,000. With the…

Robotics adoption matters: removing danger and cost from green infrastructure maintenance

Our Robotics adoption matters series heads away from the factory floor and outside for this instalment. Researchers Marc Carmichael and Sara Wilkinson discuss their Wallbot project.

SEA Electric assembly line in full swing – pictures

Electric truck drive train manufacturer SEA Electric’s Dandenong, Melbourne assembly line is in full swing as technicians fit its locally-made drive systems to imported truck chassis. The company released these new pictures of brisk business at the Melbourne company, which recently announced a joint venture with Toyota offshoot Hino to develop a new medium-sized electric…

Input sought for manufacturing roadmaps

The federal government is seeking input in the development of roadmaps for priority areas identified in its Modern Manufacturing Strategy. The Department of Industry, Science, Energy and Resources is seeking views on what the key strengths, opportunities and solutions are to grow manufacturing in in the following areas: resources technology and critical minerals processing food…

SunDrive in funding overdrive on way to making solar cells

Technology billionaire Mike Cannon-Brookes has joined the Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA) in backing solar cell manufacturing start-up SunDrive Solar which is aiming to make a new breed of cheaper, more efficient solar cells. Cannon-Brookes’ Grok Ventures and Blackbird Ventures have invested $5 million into Wollongong, NSW based SunDrive which was founded by UNSW graduates…

Industry cadetships: a good but small step to tap the talents of women in STEM

An overarching criticism of the recent federal budget is that it overlooked the workers hit hardest by the COVID-19 pandemic, namely women. However, the budget includes one promising, albeit small, initiative that focuses on this group. The government announced a cadetship program to help women to upskill in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM), or to build a STEM career.

Perth robotics company builds two-storey house [VIDEO]

Construction robotics company FBR has announced that it has built its first two-storey house.

High purity alumina produced in WA pilot plant

Perth materials technology group FYI Resources has successfully completed the operation of its pilot plant at Welshpool in Western Australia, producing high purity alumina (HPA) tailored to end users in the LED and lithium-ion battery markets. The company, which plans a kaolin mine at Cadoux, WA and a processing plant at Kwinana south of Perth,…

Battery science developments win NSW Premiers Prize

Two University of Wollongong (UOW) academics have been named as recipients of New South Wales Premier’s Prizes for Science and Engineering in recognition of their pioneering research work. Distinguished Professor Zaiping Guo will receive the Prize for Excellence in Engineering or Information and Communications Technology and Distinguished Professor Antoine van Oijen will receive the Prize…

Gonski calls for focus on research translation

The federal boost to university research and CSIRO funding “is a good beginning” that must be followed by a new focus on working with industry to translate institutional research “into tangible things”, according to ANZ bank chairman and University of NSW chancellor David Gonski.

Blackmores sells off Chinese medicine brands

Vitamin producer Blackmores has simplified its product offerings around the Blackmores name with the sale of its China-oriented Global Therapeutics businesses to McPherson’s Limited for $27 million. McPherson’s, a once well-known Australian manufacturer with roots dating back to 1860, has been rebuilding itself in the health, wellness and beauty products fields and takes on Global’s…

Boral sells crown jewel as it fights off North American worries

Building products giant Boral has agreed to sell its half of the key USG Boral joint venture for $1.43 billion as it fights to regain credibility following its underperforming venture into the US market. The company will book a pre-tax profit of $540 million on the sale. Boral is also looking at ways to offload…

Consultations open for potential federal gas reservation scheme

The federal government is seeking submissions from stakeholders on a prospective gas reservation scheme.

Employees and business benefit from Corporate Partners training

It’s graduation for employees at Enware this week, an event which not only added to an improvement in job satisfaction and work culture but also resulted in an 11% increase in the business with improved communications within and between teams.

Reimagining the laser: new ideas from quantum theory could herald a revolution

By Howard Wiseman, Griffith University Lasers were created 60 years ago this year, when three different laser devices were unveiled by independent laboratories in the United States. A few years later, one of these inventors called the unusual light sources “a solution seeking a problem”. Today, the laser has been applied to countless problems in…

Robotics adoption matters: identifying opportunities for implementing cobots

Collaborative robots represent an increasing share of all industrial robots sold. In this part of @AuManufacturing’s Robotics adoption matters series, Vikram Sachdeva suggests some places to look to see if they could improve your factory’s operations.

Westlab moves to automate medical gown manufacture

Laboratory and hospital supplier Westlab has moved to automate manufacture of hospital gowns as it extends its range of locally-made personal protection equipment (PPE). The company, which is also planning for continued competitiveness with imports in a post-Covid-19 business environment, is working on a number of fronts to develop automated production facilities to manufacture isolation…

Quickstep gains sales despite Covid risk to aerospace sector

Composites manufacturer Quickstep continued its expansion in the latest quarter, reporting sales up 16 per cent to $22.6 million over the previous corresponding period. During the quarter volumes from existing products ramped up and final qualification parts were produced for its newest product, the flare housings for the MJU-68 being developed by Chemring Australia for…

Furnishing industries call for reform of Victorian procurement policies

A storm is brewing over government procurement policies within the furnishing sector, with members of Australia’s peak industry body, the Australasian Furnishing Association (AFA), pushing for reform. It seems that the AFA may have ‘hit a nerve’, with the issue spilling over into other areas of manufacturing. The AFA Membership has called for a review…

Robotics adoption matters: how do we compare internationally, and does that need to change?

Recently-released figures show no improvement in Australian purchases of industrial robots, and other nations seem to be upping their investment as they adapt to the pandemic. Brent Balinski looks at some recent trends in this part of our Robotics adoption matters series.

Swinburne: new Amazon degree builds on training collaborations with manufacturers

Swinburne University has credited training developed with manufacturers as leading to a new cloud technologies course with Amazon Web Services to begin next year.

Nova Eye Medical adds focus on macular degeneration

Ophthalmic treatment device manufacturer Nova Eye Medical has established a new subsidiary, AlphaRET, to commercialise its laser technology for the treatment of intermediate age-related macular degeneration (iAMD). The new company will be the focus for developing the company’s 2RT minimally invasive nano-pulse ophthalmic laser therapy, and delineates the project from the company’s core business centred…

Most plastic recycling produces low-value materials – but we’ve found a way to turn a common plastic into high-value molecules

If you thought those flimsy disposable plastic grocery bags represented most of our plastic waste problem, think again. The volume of plastic the world throws away every year could rebuild the Ming Dynasty’s Great Wall of China – about 3,700 miles long.

Looking back, losing the car industry was more of a disaster than thought

By Peter Roberts The news this weekend that GMC has launched the world’s first zero emissions all-electric supertruck, the HUMMER EV is a painful reminder of what might have been, and what a disaster for Australia was the loss of our car industry. The Hummer is the quintessential gas guzzler of America’s oil-driven excesses, an…

Austal expands in services with Cairns shipyard purchase

Perth international shipbuilder Austal has built on its growing global marine support business with the purchase of ship repair and support business BSE Maritime Solutions for $27.5 million. BSE has customers in defence, commercial, tourism, and luxury vessel sectors and services customers including Australian Border Force, BAE Systems, Thales and Svitzer in Cairns and Brisbane.…

Hydrogen and electric buses near completion at Custom Denning

National bus manufacturer Custom Denning is completing the build of Australia’s first locally designed and built electric and hydrogen/electric buses at their St Marys, Sydney facility. Available for delivery from March 2021, the first of five prototypes have begun production with completion due in November and December 2020, when they will be trialled with a…

Manufacturing news briefs – stories you might have missed

Government opens consultation period for six manufacturing priority areas On Friday the Commonwealth government announced it was seeking input to develop ten-year road maps for each of the six manufacturing sectors identified in its recent policy launch — resource technology and critical minerals processing, food and beverage, medical products, recycling and clean energy, defence, and…

Proposed “world’s largest green hydrogen and ammonia production facility” gets Major Project Status

The proposed Asian Renewable Energy Hub in East Pilbara has been awarded Major Project Status by the federal government.

Robotics adoption matters: The design capability you didn’t know you needed

To round out the first week of @AuManufacturing’s Robotics adoption matters series, Associate Professor Glenda Amayo Caldwell discusses the link between design and robotics.

RMIT engineers 3D print custom bone implant for injured dog

University of Queensland and RMIT researchers have teamed up to provide an old dog with a new bone, 3D printed out of titanium alloy. 

BlueScope foreshadows solid growth this half year

Steelmaker BlueScope has told investors that it expects underlying earnings before interest and tax (EBIT) of around $340 million for the current half year, a 30 per cent increase over the first six months of 2020. Managing director Mark Vassella said: “Despite the global disruption caused by Covid-19, we’ve had a solid performance from all…

Austal acknowledges ongoing corruption inquiry

Perth shipbuilder Austal has sensationally ‘updated’ its own stockmarket statement and now acknowledges that an inquiry is underway ‘with respect to payment of an outstanding milestone payment/s by Australian Border Force for the Cape Class programme in 2015’. The company had earlier strongly refuted claims made in the media that an investigation into $39 million…

Carbon Revolution continues to grow despite Covid-19

Carbon fibre composite road wheel manufacturer Carbon Revolution continued to grow in the March quarter despite the Covid-19 pandemic. The company announced revenue of $11.8 million, up 26.3 per cent from the previous corresponding quarter, and 45.9 per cent up on the fourth quarter of FY20. The company sold 4,425 road wheels in the quarter,…

Titomic enters UK and Europe tooling market

Industrial scale additive manufacturing company Titomic will supply tooling carbon fibre parts produced using its Titomic Kinetic Fusion process to UK-based Hockley Pattern & Tool. The companies see the deal as a foundation for future opportunities, as they will work collaboratively to deliver Titomic managing director, Jeff Lang said: “TKF for tooling has been proven…

Loyal Wingman prototype passes another milestone [VIDEO]

The Boeing Loyal Wingman has moved under its own power for the first time, ahead of planned flight by the year’s end. The prototype aircraft achieved a maximum speed of 14 knots (26 kilometres per hour) and demonstrated several activities while maneuvering and stopping on command, according to a statement from Boeing. Boeing is developing…

Robotics adoption matters: why smart factories and robotics are the future of Australian manufacturing

Today @AuManufacturing’s Robotics adoption matters series turns to the collection and use of manufacturers’ data and the improvements this can bring. Jakes Mantle explains.

Austal strongly denies media ‘corruption’ report

Shipbuilder Austal has been forced to respond to claims in Channel 9 media that the ‘Australian Border Force is the target of a corruption investigation over allegations that it improperly funnelled $39 million’ to the Perth company. The sensational claims were said to involve payments associated with the construction of patrol boats for the force.…

Energy Renaissance announce new chair ahead of planned 2021 factory opening

Energy Renaissance has announced Dr Bruce Godfrey as its new chair, replacing Su McCluskey, as it prepares to begin production of lithium ion batteries at its Tomago site. Godfrey’s roles include Fellow of Australian Academy of Technology and Engineering and Director at the Future Battery Industries Cooperative Research Centre Limited (FBI CRC.) McCluskey will stay…

BAE gets first order to export Australian-developed RF sensors to Norway  

BAE Systems Australia has announced it will begin supplying passive radio frequency sensors to Norway’s Kongsberg Defence and Aerospace for use in the fifth-generation Joint Strike Missile. The purchase order was placed for an initial batch of the sensors was the “first Full Rate Production order and is part of a broader co-operation agreement” between…

$540m Business Growth Fund is officially launched

The $540 million Australian Business Growth Fund has been officially launched, despite legislation unlocking $100 million in Commonwealth funding still languishing in Parliament.

ANSTO reactor production interruption affects medical tests

The Australian Nuclear Science and Technology Organisation has suffered a second incident at the Lucas Heights reactor which has interrupted supply of a critical isotope used in nuclear medicine. The Guardian reported a fresh incident at the reactor had interrupted supply of molybdenum-99. Mo-99 is the parent isotope of Technetium-99m, which is used in hospitals…

Qantas could act to bolster domestic oil refining – by Shane West

The local oil refining sector has shrunk to parlous levels, while national airline Qantas has a need to reduce its carbon emissions. Shane West ponders how both issues could be tackled by a move to refine jet fuel from local crude oil. This is a great opportunity to bolster the Australian refining industry and reduce…

Manufacturing news briefs – stories you might have missed

Anti depression drug developer Bionomics completes equity raising Bionomics has successfully completed an over-subscribed equity raising from current shareholders, raising $2.2 million before costs. The raising will accelerate the commercialisation of the company’s drug candidate, BNC210 for the treatment of post traumatic stress disorder. The company is also developing drugs for the treatment of pain,…

How to build a lean railcar manufacturing supply chain – by Ross Sterland

Last week @AuManufacturing revealed NSW had bought 2,000 railcars and trams in a decade overseas. Here Ross Sterland, explains how the problem could be turned into a lean manufacturing local opportunity. The year is 2050. Australia’s rail rolling stock manufacturing industry is world-leading. At a federal level, the government’s 30-year plan to reinvigorate the industry…

Robotics adoption matters: collaborating with robots

In day three of @AuManufacturing’s Robotics adoption matters series Matthew Adams discusses collaborative robots and where they can help SME manufacturers.

Lynas sales recover from Covid-19 shutdowns as government assistance beckons

Rare earths producer Lynas Corp has reported its processing operations and sales are recovering from Covid-19 pandemic levels, and foreshadowed the possibility that governments in Australia and elsewhere may provide assistance to extend its strategic processing operations. The Perth company, which mines rare earths at Mt Weld in Western Australia and operates a controversial processing…

Australian Vanadium secures land for value-added metals production

Resources and chemicals group Australian Vanadium has extended its option to purchase land for a value-adding metals processing facility close to the port of Geraldton in Western Australia. The company is developing a vanadium, iron and titanium resource at Gabanintha south of Meekatharra, where it will undertake crushing, milling and benefaction of the magnetite ores.…

Opportunities in critical mineral projects highlighted in new report

The Australian Critical Minerals Prospectus 2020 has been launched, aiming to attract foreign investment to help value-add to raw materials.

CEFC continues renewables focus, skirts around coal and gas

The Clean Energy Finance Corporation has emphasised its focus on renewable energy and made scant reference in its future plans to so-called transitional technologies such as carbon capture and storage and gas which are favoured by the federal government.

Robotics adoption matters: going where no robot has gone before

In Australia, we are seeing traditional industrial robots utilised in a growing number of areas that they had not really been designed or imagined for, as Greg Sale explains in the second instalment of @AuManufacturing’s Robotics adoption matters series.  

EPA charges Benalla particle board maker over emission breaches

The owner of a particle board factory in Benalla has had an additional 11 charges laid against it by Victoria’s EPA, bringing the number of charges to 18.

Cochlear sales recover but Covid-19 risks remain high

Hearing implant manufacturer Cochlear has regained some of the massive slump in business as implant surgeries were cancelled due to the Covid-19 pandemic, but the company cautions business risks remain high. In a first quarter trading update, Cochlear told investors that cochlear implant or bionic ear revenue in the quarter was 94 per cent of…

Kord Defence wins $3.4 million defence contract

Wireless control company Kord Defence has earned a $3.4 million contract through the Defence Innovation Hub.

v2food brings venture funding to $113 million with $77 million series B

Australian plant-based meat manufacturer v2food has announced a series B funding round of $77 million featuring new and existing investors, which it aims to use in completing its Wodonga factory, building its workforce, and launching new products.

New board to help modernise manufacturing

By Peter Roberts The federal government has reinvigorated the advisory board helping to implement its Modern Manufacturing Strategy with a new name and a number of high-powered business appointments. The newly named Industry Innovation and Science Australia (IISA) adds industry to the name and purpose of the former body and will continue to be led…

Woodside Energy gets serious about green hydrogen

Oil and gas producer Woodside Energy has begun searching for a contractor to design and build a renewable hydrogen power plant in Tasmania, one of two green hydrogen projects it has been pursuing that may lead to bulk export. Global oil and gas sector website Upstream reported Woodside had hosted an expressions of interest briefing…

TCF’s commitment to ethical local manufacturing and jobs

Textile, clothing and footwear manufacturers remain committed to local manufacturing and retaining jobs in the industry post COVID-19, according to a survey by Ethical Clothing Australia. The survey of 34 Australian textile, clothing and footwear manufacturers was conducted in the lead up to Ethical Clothing Australia Week which runs from 18-24 October. One hundred per…

Cimic sells 50 per cent of Thiess to funds manager

Diversified engineering company Cimic Group will reap between $1.7 billion and $1.9 billion on completion of the sale of 50 per cent of the world’s largest mining services contractor, Thiess to UK-based fund manager Elliott Advisors. As foreshadowed in @AuManufactzuring the sale frees up capital for Cimic and brings in blue-chip investors managed by Elliott.…

Lightweight military grade X-rays begin deployment

South Australian hi-tech manufacturer Micro-X has announced the first sales of its lightweight x-ray machine designed for use by military in rugged conditions.

Solpod onshores solar roof mounting systems

Solar PV rooftop mountings manufacturer Solpod Pty Ltd has signed has signed an OEM agreement with German-based Schletter to onshore production of its innovative redeployable rooftop system for large-scale commercial solar installations. Known in the market as the Solpod Mini, the company is manufacturing the system in its Dandenong, Melbourne plant, with sales to customers…

Robotics adoption matters: Australia’s brightest focus on advanced manufacturing

@AuManufacturing’s latest editorial series, Robotics adoption matters, begins today. In the first article, Dr Cori Stewart, CEO of series sponsor Advanced Robotics for Manufacturing (ARM) Hub, outlines the purpose of this new independent not-for-profit company that assembles expert teams and resources to help manufacturers digitally transform.

Composites competence: Australian leader says it’s about strategy not rivalry

University of Southern Queensland has emerged as a national leader in composites research, with an explicit focus on real-world, industry-based problems. Brent Balinski spoke to the university’s Centre for Future Materials founding director Professor Peter Schubel about some of its recent work, and why it makes sense to work together rather than compete.

Andrew Forrest buys bootmaker R.M. Williams

Iconic Australian bootmaker R.M. Williams has been brought back to Australian ownership with its purchase from a private equity firm by Western Australian iron ore mining couple Andrew and Nicola Forrest. The couple’s Tattarang investment arm bought the firm bought the business for a reported $190 million from the world’s largest consumer-focused private equity firm,…

Why the NBN might just be the worst thing to happen to business (and consumers)

Comment by Peter Roberts Politicians often get things wrong but Tony Abbott has to take the cake for his dismissal of Labor’s all-fibre National Broadband Network in favour of what he claimed was a better and cheaper mash-up of fibre, copper, satellite etc. Let’s remind ourselves of two things Abbott said at the time. At…

Vital Signs: yes, we need to make things in Australia, but not like in the past

Much of the focus of Opposition Leader Anthony Albanese’s budget reply speech was around Labor’s proposal to expand childcare subsidies – a policy with some flaws but which moves in the right direction.

First local manufacturing package issued in Attack Class submarine milestone

The first local manufacturing package’ for specialised submarine parts has been issued to Australian manufacturers by France’s Naval Group, the builder of Australia’s new Attack class submarines. The package, an expression of Interest (EOI) is a major milestone for Naval Group and Australian defence industry, and came the same day the company’s new Port Adelaide…

Apple releases fast 5G iPhones, but not for Australia. And we’re lagging behind in getting there

Following in the footsteps of Samsung, Apple has released its first high-spectrum 5G smartphone, the iPhone 12. But only US customers will benefit.

Behind the machine: VIKAL International’s Sleek Superyacht Tender Powerhouse

Lynden Vikingur is a third generation boat builder. Stemming from a family of Icelandic shipwrights, his father, Gunnar, carried the boat building lineage into Australia when he arrived on it’s shores at the age of 16. After working as a boat builder in Western Australia for several years, Gunnar Vikingur founded what is now VIKAL International, a bespoke superyacht tender powerhouse catering to the world’s most affluent and wealthy.

Three SMEs join in Hunter class frigate build

Three new SMEs have signed up with Adelaide’s ASC Shipbuilding and will join in the important prototype phase of the construction of Australia’s new Hunter class frigates. Adelaide Profile Services, Intertek’s Adelaide Inspection Services and NSW-based Sofraco will work with Osborne-based ASC Shipbuilding, which is owned by prime contractor BAE Systems Australia. Adelaide Profile will…

Maggie Beer achieves turnaround with sales and profit boost

The food company that bears celebrity foodie Maggie Beer’s name has achieved the goals it set when she rejoined the company she founded with a big boost in sales and profits and positive contributions from its three luxury foods and dairy divisions. The Barossa Valley company posted earnings before interest tax depreciation and amortisation for…

New manufacturing facility for medtech startups opened in Brisbane

The T3 Cleanrooms at Brisbane’s Translational Research Institute were officially launched on Wednesday.

Navi device aims to help ill newborns

Navi Medical Technologies will use an NHMRC Development Grant worth $879,000 to progress commercialisation of its innovative instrument which gives ill newborn infants the chance of better treatments. The National Health and Medical Research Council grant will take research on improving the care of vulnerable neonates to the proof-of-concept stage, a critical step on the…

Uni of Adelaide, BAE Systems, Defence to establish Centre for High Frequency Technologies

BAE Systems Australia, Defence and University of Adelaide have signed a memorandum of understanding to collaborate on HF radar, including establishment of a new Centre for High Frequency Technologies.

NSW buys 2,000 rail cars from overseas in 10 years

Analysis by Peter Roberts The New South Wales government have ordered close to 2,000 rail carriages and tram cars from overseas in only 10 years, putting the lie to the government’s suggestion that it is forced to buy trains overseas, according to a new analysis by the Australian Manufacturing Forum. According to analysis for @AuManufacturing…

Manufacturing news briefs – stories you might have missed

Next Science raise $15 million cash from investors Anti-microbial drug development company Next Science has completed a $15 million capital raising, with the closure of a $5 million share purchase plan. The raising was $4.2 million over-subscribed. This follows an earlier raising from institutional investors. The cash will help fund the commercial release in the…

BAE completes upgrades of HMAS Warramunga

HMAS Warramunga has been relaunched from the BAE Systems Australia Henderson shipyard in Western Australia, the third Anzac class frigate to receive a full ANZAC Mid Life Capability Assurance Program (AMCAP) upgrade at the yard. (AMCAP) is an ongoing upgrade which focuses on updating ageing platform systems, communications, installation of Long Range Air Search Radar…

Queensland joins WA in move to boost train manufacturing

The Queensland premier Annastacia Palaszczuk has promised a $1 billion railcar construction pipeline for the regional city of Maryborough, joining WA which this week provided the first tranche of funds towards its own local railcar manufacturing programme. The promise, which would apply should Labor be re-elected at the coming state election, includes $600 million for…

New funding boost for space traffic radar project

Silentium Defence has secured a $3.2m contract from the Australian Department of Defence to advance, deploy and demonstrate its passive radar system for monitoring traffic in space.

Lion to close Adelaide’s iconic Westend Brewery

Brewer Lion has announced that it will close the Westend Brewery in Adelaide in June next year and supply the once-iconic beer from its interstate operations. The brand has a 160 year history but sales have been fading in recent years. However the decision by Lion, part of Japan’s Kirin, to close the Port Road…

CSIRO and Amaero develop better cooling for die cast tooling

CSIRO and Amaero International have announced the results of a project to add conformal cooling channels to additively manufactured die cast tooling.

Tomago to get lithium ion battery factory

Energy Renaissance has announced that construction will begin at Tomago, NSW at a site it hopes will reach “gigafactory” volumes within the decade. Renew Economy and others report that Energy Renaissance has announced a $28 million factory at the site of the Tomago smelter. Construction is scheduled to begin within weeks, and the company plans…

Shoalhaven selected as site for ‘copter manufacturing

Three SMEs and aerospace and defence company Raytheon Australia will manufacture a rotary wing unmanned aerial system in the Shoalhaven should the group will an army contract. With ten SMEs involved in the overall bid to provide the UAS, based on Schiebel Pacific Limited’s CAMCOPTER S-100 UAS (pictured), three will be involved in manufacturing and…

De.mem wins seawater desalination contract

Water and wastewater treatment company De.mem has won a $2.6 million contract to provide a seawater desalination plant for innovative fruit and vegetable grower Sundrop Farms. The plant, which will utilise ultrafiltration and reverse osmosis membranes, will be manufactured at De.mem’s Brisbane plant. Sundrop, a world leader in the use of solar concentrator electricity generation…

Western Australia commits to local train manufacture

The Western Australian budget includes a record $5.7 billion investment in Perth’s METRONET rail services, including the first tranche of funding for local pasasenger train construction. The budget includes spending of $1.7 billion on rail projects in 2020-21 for the the Forrestfield-Airport Link and the Thornlie-Cockburn link now under construction. Three other rail line extensions…

Efficiency drive saps Orica profit

Explosives manufacturer Orica has outlined the short-term costs of an efficiency drive and investment programme which has been underway for several years. The Melbourne company has delayed its reporting of full year results by two weeks and told investors that underlying earnings before interest and tax (EBIT) would be ‘slightly above $600 million.’ Chief executive…

USQ composites research recognised with top Australian ranking

The University of Southern Queensland has topped a national ranking of institutes for composites research.

Austal’s USS Mobile completes acceptance trials

The future USS Mobile (LCS 26) has successfully completed acceptance trials in the Gulf of Mexico ahead of delivery to the United States Navy (USN). The 13th Independence-class Littoral Combat Ship built by Austal USA in Mobile, Alabama, The vessel is a high-speed, shallow-draft surface combatant with an aluminium trimaran hull. Austal Chief Executive Officer…

Manufacturing and renewables: Albo’s budget reply

By Denham Sadler Opposition Leader Anthony Albanese has unveiled his alternate vision for Australia’s recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic, with a focus on revitalising local manufacturing through renewable energy and defence industry spending. Mr Albanese delivered his budget response speech on Thursday, criticising Josh Frydenberg’s second budget for its short-term politics and lack of longer-term…

Australian-made Warfighter platform passes another milestone

The team developing the Warfighter UGV (unmanned ground vehicle) has passed another milestone, demonstrating “the lightest combat UGV able to achieve effective fire from a 50cal at 1km range.”

Zip introduces contactless hot and cold water tap

Sydney appliance manufacturing icon Zip Industries has launches a first-of-its kind contactless hot, cold and sparkling domestic and commercial water tap in response to the Covid-19 pandemic. The company, which pioneered instant boiling water taps for homes and offices, has created the HydroTap Touch-Free Wave (pictured), a contactless version of its flagship HydroTap that will…

The surge to renewables promises cheaper power for manufacturing – by Ben Waters

Manufacturers have experienced a sudden shift from cheap, fossil fuel electricity to expensive generation. Now the shift to renewables is on, and manufacturers are beginning to free themselves from the grasp of high fossil fuel prices. Here sustainability and cleantech leader Ben Waters discusses the new reality of renewably generated electricity. Manufacturing is key to…

$28 million for defence innovation goes to nine new contracts

The Defence Innovation Hub has announced its latest round of grants to industry worth $28 million, with grant funds going to nine new contracts and two existing projects. Two of the recipients, BlueZone Group and QinetiQ, were awarded contracts to further develop promising technologies that have previously received grant funding support. BlueZone Group won a…

New Logan waste-to-energy plant creating three truckloads of biochar a day

Logan City Council has claimed an Australian first, implementing a process to turn sewage into energy and biochar at Loganholme Wastewater Treatment Plant. 

Startup sees a crab bag of potential in seafood shell waste

Brent Balinski spoke to Kimberly Bolton, the CEO of Carapac, about their plans to turn an abundant waste source — crustacean shells from seafood processors — into biodegradable films and containers.

VEEM launches superyacht propellers

Marine systems manufacturer VEEM has launched a range of innovative propellers (pictured) designed for the luxury superyacht market. The Perth company, best known for its vessel stabiliser systems, has added its patented Interceptor technology which allows users to quickly change the relative pitch of the propellers. The technology is already used in other VEEM propellers.…

Renewables projects ramp up Down Under

By Andrew Spence Construction work has begun on two major renewable energy projects in South Australia. DP Energy and Spanish energy company Iberdrola are spending $500 million on a hybrid wind and solar plant at Port Augusta Renewable Energy Park in South Australia, while Singapore-based Nexif Energy has already begun the $170 million stage two…

Rio Tinto’s greener beer can could be the future

Analysis by Peter Roberts Aluminium refiner Rio Tinto could be pointing a way for its aluminium smelters to survive with a move to develop low-carbon aluminium for use in making beer cans. Rio Tinto already makes RenewAl, a low CO2 primary aluminium brand. Now the company and the world’s largest brewer Anheuser-Busch InBev (AB InBev)…

Manufacturing news briefs – stories you might have missed

Cimic returns to growth after Covid disruption Diversified engineering company Cimic Group has seen sales return to growth in the third quarter after the Covid-19 pandemic affected sales in early 2020. The engineering and mining services business reported revenue for the first nine months of the year of $9.3 billion, down from $10.7 billion, and…

Sage Automation proves bag-drop units at Singapore’s Changi airport

Following success of bag-drop units and screens at Singapore’s Changi Airport, Adelaide’s Sage Automation has seen success penetrating other global aviation markets. The company was approached by ICM Airport Technics, an Amadeus company, to identify improvements to the self-service bag drop solutions in provides for airports and airlines all over the world. The units are…

SEA Electric and Toyota team up for electric trucks

Toyota’s Hino truck division has announced a major foray into electric and hydrogen powered trucks, with Melbourne’s SEA Electric set to partner in the development of a new medium sized truck. SEA Electric manufactures electric vehicle drive trains in Melbourne and has been converting Hino truck models to electric here and in the United States.…

A few further thoughts on industry policy

Peter Rowland contributes to the discussion around “picking winners” in the wake of the federal government’s industry policy release.

EOS to deliver weapon system to US Army

The US subsidiary of defence manufacturer Electro Optic Systems is delivering one of its R400S Mk2D Remote Weapons Stations (pictured) to the US Army which will assess its capabilities. The system, fitted to armoured vehicles in the armies of a number of countries as well as Australia’s Bushmaster, will be delivered to the army Combat…

NT awards first industrial hemp licence

The Northern Territory’s first commerce licence for growing industrial hemp has been awarded.

3ME Technology launches battery-powered mining vehicle

Advanced battery technologies developer 3ME Technology has launched its latest vehicle – the TRITEV underground mining vehicle. The prototype vehicle, a collaborative project between 3ME, Batt Mobile Equipment (BME) and Tritton Underground (Aeris Resources), is a 20 tonne diesel powered vehicle retrofitted to battery electric. The TRITEV is a loader/integrated tool-carrier suitable for deployment into…

Repurpose It converts glass waste into manufacturing feedstock

After an eight month operation led by the Victorian Environment Protection Authority, the last truckload of contaminated glass waste from Glass Recovery Services (GRS) has been removed from a site in Melbourne for recycling. Here, Aristos Karavias of waste to resources business Repurpose It takes up the story. According to the Environment Protection Authority (EPA)…

Bridgewest to expand pharma manufacturing facility

Investment group Bridgewest Group has bought the Adelaide biologics manufacturing plant operated by pharmaceutical group Pfizer and will develop it into a contract drug and vaccine manufacturer. Pfizer, which operates four Australian factories employing 1,000, sold the Thebarton plant for an undisclosed sum to the tightly-held investment group which founded the BioDuro drug manufacturing operations…

Budget’s $1bn research boost is a welcome first step. Billions more, plus policy reforms, will be needed

The extra A$1 billion funding from January 2021 provides a critical stop-gap. It will help recover some of the lost research momentum. But what will happen after 2021?

CSL signs agreement to deliver Covid vaccine

Biotechnology giant CSL has signed a final agreement with the federal government to supply 51 million doses of a University of Queensland-CSL vaccine should the drug be proven effective and safe in clinical trials. CSL’s vaccine subsidiary, Seqirus signed the agreement covering the vaccine candidate V451 and will receive an upfront payment from Canberra. The…

New $20 m research centre hopes to “make computers more capable of understanding us”

A new national research centre at Adelaide will be established with $20 million in initial funding, and is geared to helping Australia capture some of the benefits of the current artificial intelligence revolution.   

ACE-EV gets electric vehicle supercharge in federal budget

Electric delivery vehicle developer ACE-EV has been given a $5 million boost in the federal budget and will move to initial production of its three models of small vehicles in Adelaide. The company, which launched its first locally-assembled vehicle with fanfare in August, received the grant from the Future Fuels Fund administered by the Australian…

Australian farm robot business among shortlist for international startup competition

Five Australian startups — including a field robotics company and a maker of sustainable packaging based on crustacean shells — have made the shortlist for Rabobank’s international food and agri FoodBytes program.

New Australian Made campaign supports manufacturers

The Australian Made Campaign Ltd (AMCL) has launched a new ‘Buy Australian Now and support Aussie jobs’ campaign as use of the green and gold Australian Made logo spreads. An extension of its ‘It’s never been more important to Buy Australian than right now’ initiative launched in June, the campaign encourages Australians to exercise their…

JAT launches new products, boosts China distribution

China-focused dairy and healthy products specialist Jatcorp has boosted its Chinese distribution and launched two new China-destined Australian products. The manufacturer and exporter reported reduced sales of milk formula in China which contributed to a $10 million fall in sales in the first six months of 2020 to $30.1 million, compared to the prior corresponding…

Infinite Blue Energy progresses Perth green hydrogen plant

Infinite Blue Energy has partnered with Petrofac for the engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) of its $350 million Arrowsmith Hydrogen Project to be constructed north of Perth, according to reports. Petrofac, an international energy services firm, will progress the Arrowsmith project to support a final investment decision in early 2021. Destined to become Australia’s largest…

Govt abandons controversial RDTI reforms

Highly controversial reforms to the research and development tax incentive have been officially scrapped in a “huge win” for the tech sector, with the federal government backing down from its plan to cut $1.8 billion from the scheme.

“Big spending budget” suits the times: Ai Group

The Australian Industry Group has welcomed Tuesday night’s federal budget as suitable for the worst economic downturn since the Great Depression in the 1930s, describing it as “stimulatory, inclusive, confidence-building and forward-looking.”

Federal budget includes “promising endorsement” of clean economic recovery

Climate change think tank Beyond Zero Emissions has welcomed yesterday’s federal budget, saying it contains “promising endorsement” of a clean economic recovery.

Boeing selects Queensland for Loyal Wingman production

Boeing Australia will build on its existing presence in Queensland with a decision to produce the Loyal Wingman unmanned jet being developed for the RAAF in the state. Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk announced a partnership with Boeing to assemble the first military aircraft to be designed, engineered and manufactured in Australia in more than 50 years.…

AML3D raises $7 million to speed commercialisation

Metal additive manufacturing group AML3D has received firm commitments from investors to raise $7 million to speed expansion of the company’s 3D printing operations. The Adelaide company will use the funds from institutional and private investors to buy and commission additional production modules to increase contract manufacturing capacity, enabling AML3D to service new customers. AML3D…

Tekt Industries to develop AR quality control device for PCBs

Product design and engineering group Tekt Industries has won backing to develop an augmented reality (AR) based quality control and inspection system, initially for use in printed circuit board manufacturing. The company has received a $250,000 grant from the Advanced Manufacturing Growth Centre (AMGC) to lead the development of an AI Camera based compact vision…

Vaulta to use graphene in new battery casing

Brisbane start-up Vaulta will utilise graphene in a new lithium-ion battery casing it is developing following a successful capital raising. The company, which is commercialising a simpler method for manufacturing the casings, has raised $320,000 from ACAC Innovation, Artesian and Brisbane angel investors. One of its first actions was to hire four new staff, including…

The 2020-21 budget falls short of the reset for manufacturing we need

Budget analysis by Peter Roberts The 2020-21 federal budget has been packaged and sold as many things, from one for jobs, to a reset for manufacturing. There are certainly a multitude of initiatives, but this is certainly not a budget that will ‘galvanise investment in Australian manufacturing’ to quote industry minister Karen Andrews. The problem…

$9 million in studies announced for AMC development

Studies on the development needs of the Henderson shipyard have been announced by the federal government.

Commercialisation funding a key to recovery

Leading industry groups and universities have called on the federal government to make a targeted effort to address Australia’s commercialisation woes in this week’s federal budget, with new funds and an R&D collaboration premium.

Fonterra sells its Chinese dairy farms

Trans-Tasman dairy giant Fonterra has sold its Chinese dairy farms for a total ofg $555 million after developing them with local partners. The group, which produces brands such as Western Star in Australia, sold its Ying and Yutian farming hubs to Inner Mongolia Natural Dairy and its Hangu farm to Beijing Sanyuan Venture Capital. Fonterra…

Picking winners: what is it, are we doing it, and does that matter?

Brent Balinski gathers some reactions to last week’s industry policy announcement, and to the notion of picking winners. 

Epi-Minder device tracks epilepsy seizures

Medical device developer Epi-Minder has successfully completed an $18 million Series A funding round. The company is commercialising its implanted Minder electroencephalography (EEG) monitoring device for those suffering from epilepsy. Existing shareholders Cochlear, the Bionics Institute, Melbourne’s St Vincent’s Hospital and the University of Melbourne took part in the capital raising. Bionics Institute researchers and…

How Synroc’s science-push failed as the panacea for nuclear waste

Comment by Peter Roberts CSIRO’s Synroc synthetic rock method for safely storing radioactive waste is making headlines again (more on that later), but as someone who has been around for a while it all just demonstrates yet again the topsy turvy way we see innovation in Australia. Synroc was unveiled in 1978 by a team…

Schneider Electric recognised for clean energy leadership

Schneider Electric has been named the 2020 Clean Energy Trailblazer by The Climate Group’s RE100, recognising its commitment to carbon neutrality in its operations by 2025. The Climate Group is a global member body of companies committed to 100 per cent renewable power. Schneider Electric, which has Clipsal electrical products manufacturing operations in Adelaide and…

Manufacturing news briefs – stories you might have missed

Covid-19 treatment tests begin for Noxopharm’s Veyonda Drug developer Noxopharm’s Veyonda drug has been tested as a treatment for Covid-19 on its first human patients. The Phase 1 clinical trials of Veyonda, an experimental anti-cancer formulation of the drug idronoxi, is being conducted in a number of hospitals in Eastern Europe. This came after research…

R&D underway for wave energy generator mooring

The Blue Economy CRC and Perth-based Carnegie Clean Energy are working to develop a new mooring tensioner, a key component of the company’s wave energy generators (pictured below). The project, led by Carnegie CTO Alexandre Pichard, aims to support the use of rotary power take-off systems, bringing down the cost of wave energy conversion. The…

Micro-X sells first Rover X-ray machines

Lightweight portable X-Ray equipment manufacturer Micro-X has inked its first sales contract for its latest product, the Rover militarised X-Ray machine. The World Health Organisation has facilitated a $1.4 million buy of the Adelaide-made machines for delivery to Pacific Island nations, as part of the global fight against the Covid-19 virus. Originally developed under contract…

Titomic and RMIT to 3D print satellite parts

Additive manufacturing company, Titomic has entered into a commercial research and development agreement with RMIT University to assess the capabilities of its Titomic Kinetic Fusion (TKF) 3D printing process to create structural satellite parts. The research, being conducted on behalf of global aerospace and defence company Lockheed Martin, will develop parts from high-performance metals, analysing…

SPC expands into frozen and prepared meals with purchase of The Kuisine Company

SPC Ardmona has taken a majority equity stake in Australian manufacturer of frozen ready meals and finger foods The Kuisine Company, as the iconic fruit and vegetable processor continues its transition into a global agribusiness. SPC, now under the ownership of Shepparton Partners Collective who bought the ailing business from Coca Cola Amatil, will grow…

SunDrive to develop solar cell manufacture with ARENA funds

The Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA) is backing startup business SunDrive in a $9 million effort to commerialise its low cost, high efficiency solar photovoltaic (PV) cell manufacturing process in Australia. ARENA’s $3 million in funding will also scale the technology up from an industrial sized cell to a commercial size module that could be…

Budget to subsidise 100,000 apprentices

News reports on the weekend of another pre-budget leak affecting industry – this time a $1.2 billion subsidy for companies taking on new apprentices. Treasurer Josh Frydenberg told Channel 9 the budget would include $1.2 billion which would pay half the wages of new apprentices taken on over the next year, with the aim of…

Omni Tanker’s carbon tanks mobilise in North America

Australian advanced composite manufacturer Omni Tanker and its US partner MAC Liquid Tank Trailer have launched their carbon composite tank trailer into the North American market with first operator to be All Chemical Transport and Brenntag North America. The tanker, also known as a CTMV or road tanker, was designed for use in the transport…

PM flags fresh changes to R&D tax scheme

Prime Minister Scott Morrison has flagged that fresh changes to the government’s controversial plan to cut $1.8 billion from the research and development tax incentive will be included in next week’s budget.

Where the new industry plan could do better

As mentioned in an earlier wrap-up of responses to the federal Coalition’s Modern Manufacturing Strategy, the amount allocated — $1.5 billion — has been described as too small, especially given the monumental challenge it addresses.

Industry plan is ‘a start’ but there is far more we need to do – by Roy Green

In June Professor Roy Green kicked off @AuManufacturing’s crowd sourcing campaign to create a new deal plan for manufacturing. Here he gives an initial response to Canberra’s industry policy announcement.

Positive responses across manufacturing to Canberra’s industry plan

There has been mostly positive response to the federal government’s plan for industry outlined by the Prime Minister, Scott Morrison yesterday, however there is some confusion over the spending amount. Crikey.com pointed to the very modest additional funding being offered the sector – $1.4 billion over 10 years, or a modest $140 million a year.…

ShawX builds the tip truck for when you don’t want a tip truck

A focus on new ways to solve old problems has seen Queensland-based ShawX Manufacturing develop an alternative to the conventional tipper truck. The manufacturer of custom earthmoving equipment, truck bodies and trailers looked at what was available and designed and built EjectX (pictured), an ejector body that is able to eject material without the safety…

Hadrian-X robot used to build Mexican-style houses – video

Robotics developer FBR and its partners have constructed four Mexican-style houses as the company widens adoption of its Hadrian X bricklaying robot systems. As part of a pilot programme agreement with Mexico’s GP Vivienda, FBR constructed four Mexican-style two-bedroom, one-bathroom house structures (pictured) using the Hadrian X at FBR’s Perth premises, with each structure taking…

Manufacturing down for second straight month in September

The Australian Industry Group’s Performance of Manufacturing Index has shown the sector record a second consecutive month of contraction, with lockdown-affected Victoria contributing to the negative result.

K-TIG sets up in the United States

Welding technology developer K-TIG has established its operations in the United States through a partnership with Key Plant Automation, a manufacturer of welding equipment and robotic production cells. Under the agreement Key Plant will establish a demonstration facility in Houston for K-TIG’s keyhole-TIG welding systems and K-TIG will set up an in-country technical capability. K-TIG…

Manufacturing news briefs – stories you might have missed

Elsight ships first Halo units Wireless video and data transmission technology company group Elsight has shipped its first Halo communications platform units to fulfil an order from Alrena Technologies. The order, worth US$300,000 initially, provides communications to Alrena’s Medibag product which connects nurses and doctors in real-time. Meanwhile Alrena has received EC certification for Halo…

GaardTech preparing to ship first export

Military training systems manufacturer GaardTech is preparing to ship its first export for trials by the British Army.

Alcoa secures long term gas supplies for WA refineries

Bauxite producer and alumina refiner Alcoa of Australia has signed long term gas sales agreements with Warrego Energy which is developing the West Erregulla gas field in Western Australia. Alcoa, which operates three alumina refineries in the state’s south-west, has contracted for 155 Pj of gas with supply to commence in 2024. The contract is…

Climate explained: are consumers willing to pay more for climate-friendly products?

Shoppers once selected grocery products based simply on price or brand, but now attributes such as “climate-friendly” or “eco-friendly” are part of the consideration.

August a boom month for Visy

Visy has reported a big jump in August revenues, following its acquisition of Owens-Illinois Glass for $947 million the previous month.

EOS wins $94 million weapons contract

Canberra’s Electro Optic Systems (EOS) has been awarded a $94 million contract to supply 251 Remote Weapon Stations to equip the army’s Bushmaster and Hawkei armoured vehicles. Delivery, which will run from December this year for a year, is part of a weapons standardisation project and will provide increased lethality to the army’s protected mobility…

NSW PPE grants program for manufacturers now open

Applications are now open for NSW government grants to assist companies in PPE production.

De.mem wins order from Australian power station

Water and wastewater treatment company De.mem has won its first-ever order for a membrane water purification system from the electric power generation sector. The $400,000 order will see the Australian and Singaporean company deliver equipment for the generation of pure de-ionised water required for the power generation process. CEO Andreas Kroell said: “This new contract…

Australia ratifies SKA Observatory Convention

Australia has become the fourth country to ratify the Square Kilometre Array Observatory Convention, with the construction phase of the local component of the world’s largest radio telescope scheduled for mid-2021.

First fibre-reinforced geopolymer bridge for Geelong to be in use in early-2021

Load testing has finished and a bridge made out of fibre-reinforced geopolymer in Geelong is expected to be operational in the first quarter of next year.

SA connected vehicle technology begins Queensland trial

A South Australian-based V2X technology company has today begun a connected vehicle trial in Queensland which will help explore the future of co-operative intelligent transport systems.

Perth to get refinery for spherical battery graphite

Graphite miner and processor EcoGraf has signed options to lease land in the Rockingham Strategic Industrial Area south of Perth for the construction of a $98 million graphite processing plant. The plant will be the first outside China to produce plus 99.95 per cent pure spherical graphite which is used to produce the anodes for…

The great internal combustion engine scam – we are being had big time

Comment by Peter Roberts The sooner Australia takes real action to move towards an electric vehicle future, the better. This is clear now with two pieces of news – the UK will ban diesel and petrol cars from 2030, and the revelation of the lie we are living clinging onto fossil fuelled vehicles. While Australia’s…