SA government announces $20 million purpose-built space manufacturing hub

The South Australian government has announced a partnership with four companies and $20 million in funding for “the first dedicated space manufacturing hub – the Australian Space Park.”

Patent box: Wait continues but govt commits to 2022 launch

The federal government has maintained it will launch a limited patent box scheme next year despite not yet releasing draft legislation and there only being 10 more sitting days until the upcoming election.

Fortescue and AGL to repurpose Hunter power stations

Fortescue Future Industries (FFI) and AGL Energy (AGL) will undertake a feasibility study to repurpose infrastructure at the Hunter Valley’s Liddell and Bayswater coal-fired power stations to generate green hydrogen from water, using renewable energy. The companies said the announcement reinforced Australia’s potential to become a global green hydrogen superpower, in the process creating jobs…

RapidAIM IoT sensors destined for the orchard

Agribusiness FMC Corporation and CSIRO-backed start up RapidAIM are to deploy internet of things sensing to monitor insect pests on Australian farms. The companies will deploy RapidAID’s digital surveillance system linked to FMC analytics in orchards in the Shepparton region of Victoria. While RapidAIM has focused initially on fruit fly, the collaboration aims ultimately to…

Compumedics to bring manufacturing of wearables to Australia, hire 33

ASX-listed medtech company Compumedics will reshore production of its Somfit device after a decade, leading to 33 new jobs, according to the Victorian government.

Leadership in factory automation – Evolve Group

Today in our editorial series, Leadership in factory automation, we turn to a dynamic Queensland contract manufacturer that is automating the production of lead acid battery components. Here Peter Roberts profiles the Evolve Group. Like most busy contract plastics manufacturing firms, Brisbane’s Evolve Group has had to get very good at flexibility. Switching from one…

Austin Engineering signs global supply deal with Rio Tinto

Perth mining equipment business Austin Engineering has signed an equipment supply and maintenance deal covering all of miner Rio Tinto’s global operations. The company will supply dump bodies, lightweight trays for ore trucks, heavy machinery buckets, water bodies and other fabricated products from its facilities in Australia, Indonesia and North and South America. Austin will…

Solar success story 5B to bring manufacturing in-house with IXL acquisition

Fast-growing modular solar energy system provider 5B will acquire its manufacturing partner, Adelaide-based IXL Solar.

New additive manufacturing centre at Uni Sydney opens

A $25 million facility focussed on additive manufacturing R&D by companies and researchers, and located at University of Sydney’s Darlington campus, was officially opened on Monday. The Sydney Manufacturing Hub would enable “concept-to-production demonstration capabilities” for faculty and students, as well as private businesses. It hosts equipment and software for design and topological optimisation of…

Steel Blue releases trendy tradie boots

Safety footwear manufacturer Steel Blue has announced a new line of Slate coloured boots targeted at the next generation of ‘trendy tradies’ and ‘lady tradies’. The Western Australian manufacturer said its new Slate boot incorporates all the technology and fit from current boot designs in a ‘fashionable new colour that appeals to all genders’. Steel…

Osteopore gains China product approval

Bone reconstruction technology company Osteopore has broken into the China market with its regenerative bone scaffold implants used to speed healing in craniofacial surgery. The Singapore and Australian company has won approval from the Hong Kong regulatory authority, allowing it to market its bioresorbable polymer implants in the Greater Bay Area, a region covering 11…

Government funding backed VET in 2020 – NCVER

Government funding for the VET sector jumped during 2020 the first Covid-19 year, according to new figures from the National Centre for Vocational Education Research (NCVER). In 2020, government funding provided through VET appropriations and VET intergovernmental funding arrangements totalled $7.7 billion, an increase in nominal terms of $1.3 billion or 20.8 per cent from…

$33 million in grants announced for biopharma, ag chemical projects under supply chain program

Twenty-seven projects have shared in a combined $33 million in grants under round one of the federal government’s Supply Chain Resilience Initiative.

Venlo accelerates circularity ambitions through Resitech acquisition

Queensland’s Venlo Holdings has announced the acquisition of plastic recycling business Resitech, which it says aligns with the company’s mission to improve Australia’s low rates of plastic recovery and recycling.

Evos launches home EV charger system

Brisbane EV start up Evos has launched a simple, easy to install home electric vehicle charger, the EVOS Fleet Home22 (pictured). The charger is aimed at fleet customers, giving employees a simple system that has be easily installed as a single or three phaser power unit. According to the company: “By maximising the benefits of…

Boral to sell US fly ash business

Building products group Boral has entered into agreement to sell its US fly ash businesses as the company continues to deal with fallout from its troubled venture into the North American market. Boral said today it would sell the business for $1 billion to Eco Material Technologies Inc, completing its ‘portfolio realignment and strategic focus…

Online tools to track circular economy progress launched

NSW Circular has released two new online tools, aimed at helping companies, councils and communities measure their progress towards zero waste. Two dashboards (linked) were launched on Monday: Australian Circularity Benchmarks and My Circular Community. Respectively, they are described as: A new portal by NSW Circular where business, government and communities can track Australia’s progress to…

Thales to make 155mm artillery shells at Benalla

Thales Australia is on schedule to begin production of the 155mm M795 Artillery Projectile at its Benalla, Victoria manufacturing facility in early 2022. The development closely follows Thales Australia’s recent US Department of Defense qualification of its Australian-made TNT to military specifications. Production in Australia will include the filling of steel projectile bodies with high…

Leadership in factory automation – Tindo Solar

Today our editorial series, Leadership in factory automation, turns to a greenfields site where Tindo Solar is more than doubling production of solar photo voltaic panels in a totally new factory – and installing as much automation as it can squeeze in. By Peter Roberts Shayne Jaenisch guides me around the masses of ultra high-tech…

Manufacturing news briefs – stories you might have missed

JAT receives $10m dairy export order, opens Shanghai boutique China export specialist JAT has received a major order for packaged milk products to be produced at its recently enlarge ANMA manufacturing facility in Victoria. The order, worth $10 million over the next 12 months, is for Oceania Supply Chain Management Pty Ltd, which has previously…

Fleet Space to 3D print new generation Alpha satellites

Internet of things satellite connectivity developer Fleet Space Technologies is to develop a new generation of 3D-printed small satellites named Alpha, with the first satellites ready for launch in 12 months. Hot on the heels of its recent US$26.4m Series B capital raising, the Adelaide company has expanded its research and development arm to create…

Reclaim PV, Tindo begin panel partnership on recycling

Adelaide companies Tindo Solar and Reclaim PV have announced a partnership that aims to increase the number of solar panels recycled and reused in new products.

DEWC Systems partners with REDARC

DEWC Systems and REDARC Defence Systems will partner in a multi-year, multi-million dollar agreement in which REDARC will provide the defence Electronic Warfare solutions company with design and manufacturing capabilities. DEWC Systems CEO Ian Spencer said: “The combined strengths of REDARC and DEWC Systems, we will be able to deliver the latest sovereign electronic warfare…

Li-S Energy battery to power Boeing drone

Lithium sulphur battery developer Li-S Energy will collaborate with Boeing’s Insitu Pacific unmanned aircraft systems company to test the company’s high energy density batteries. The companies signed a MoU to integrate, test and evaluate and eventually put into service Li-S’s innovative battery systems (pictured below) in a range of Insitu uncrewed aircraft systems. Should this…

CSIRO brings the Moon to Brisbane

Researchers and businesses preparing to head to the Moon can test their technologies in a new facility established by Australia’s national science agency, CSIRO. The purpose-built facility in Brisbane provides a Moon-like environment for testing and evaluating rovers and related equipment with an initial focus of exploring lunar terrain and resources. The dust chamber can…

QLD economy to grow an extra 7 per cent to 2050 if clean economy shift managed well: Deloitte

A new report commissioned by the Climate Council has predicted a benefit for Queensland if it handles the decarbonisation shift correctly, adding an extra 7 per cent to economic growth by 2050 to be worth $780 billion.

Leadership in factory automation – Carbon Revolution

Today our editorial series, Leadership in factory automation, turns to one of the most advanced automation projects underway in Australia – the development of the first Mega-line by Carbon Revolution to manufacture its unique one-piece carbon fibre road wheels at scale. By Peter Roberts. Geelong one-piece carbon fibre road wheel manufacturer Carbon Revolution is pressing…

Phoenix99 Bionic Eye heading for human trials

Having already revolutionised the world of hearing implants, could Australia be on the way to another ground-breaking commercial product – a vision implant? This is the potential raised by an announcement that a bionic eye being developed by a team of biomedical researchers at the University of Sydney and UNSW has shown to be safe…

Biripi Capital ‘closes the gap’ for aboriginal business investment

Aboriginal-owned private equity firm Biripi Capital has secured a $20 million investment from Hudson Food Group to back the growth ambitions of indigenous food manufacturer The Dreaming Food Group. This breakthrough investment in an indigenous owned and led business comes after negotiations between Biripi, Melbourne-based Hudson Food and Dreaming Food Group founders, Aboriginal business leaders…

Manufacturing news briefs – stories you might have missed

Gekko Systems to build King Island mineral processor Mining equipment developer Gekko Systems will design, procure build and commission a mineral processing plant for Group 6 Metals Limited’s Dolphin Mine, located on King Island. The Contract, which has a value of approximately $49 million, anticipates the commissioning of the facilities in the first calendar quarter…

Guidelines released for Mission grants of up to $10 million for space companies

Guidelines have been released for Round Two Demonstrator “Mission” program grants, part of the Moon to Mars initiative, with applications to open next year and support between $750,000 and $10 million available.

Titomic buys European cold spray technology company

Large-scale metal additive manufacturing company Titomic has ventured into the European market, buying a cold spray technology company with products complementary to its own 3D printers. Titomic will pay $2.1 million to acquire Dycomet Europe BV, a company with turnover of $1.6 million and customers including Rolls Royce, Mercedes, Airbus, Siemens and VW. Dycomet provides…

Manufacturing sees a jump in activity after restrictions ease: PMI

There was a jump in manufacturing activity in November as restrictions eased, according to the Australian Industry Group, with its Performance of Manufacturing Index up 4.4 points for the month.

Q-CTRL raises $35 million for quantum control

Sydney company Q-CTRL has raised $35 million (US$25 Million) in a Series B financing round Led by Airbus Ventures. The company, whose software and hardware reduces noise and error in nascent quantum computing systems, will use the funds to develop new data-as-a-service markets powered by quantum sensing for acceleration, gravity, and magnetic fields. Airbus Ventures…

Leadership in factory automation – Electrolux Home Products

Today our editorial series, Leadership in factory automation, looks at the quintessential dilemma, and opportunity for Australian manufacturing – flexible mass manufacturing for the large number of product types needed to satisfy Australia’s diverse local markets. Here Peter Roberts profiles Electrolux Home Products. Electrolux Home Products single Australian factory is what Australian manufacturing has been…

Leigh Creek Energy clears way for urea project

In situ goal gasification developer Leigh Creek Energy has signed an offtake agreement that will allow it to proceed to finance its coal to gas to urea plant at the former Leigh Creek coal field in South Australia. The company’s executives travelled to Korea to sign a heads of agreement with Daelim which plans to…

BOC, Optimal to build waste to fuel bioLNG facility

Bulk gases, chemicals and equipment supplier BOC and Optimal Group are to explore the development of Australia’s first waste to fuel bioLNG facility. The companies have signed an MOU and will investigate the potential for Optimal’s subsidiary, Optimal Renewable Gas to build a $55 million, 2.4 TJ/day waste to biogas plant adjacent to BOC’s micro-LNG…

Advanced Manufacturing Research for Sydney aerotropolis

The NUW Alliance of four leading Australian universities, with the University of Technology Sydney have launched a vision for an Advanced Manufacturing Research Facility to be established within the new Western Sydney International Airport and Aerotropolis CBD. The facility, to be funded partially by the NSW Government, will house a research collaboration of the University…

Matrix raises cash, will expand composites production

Perth advanced composite systems manufacturer Matrix Composites & Engineering has successfully raised $7 million from a share placement to support expansion to service emerging opportunities. The company, best known for its buoyancy systems for offshore pipelines and oil and gas installations, said the raise reflected its positive outlook and pipeline of tender opportunities. It would…

Austin Engineering delivers 1,000th iron ore truck to Rio

Heavy engineering company Austin Engineering has passed a milestone of 1,000 iron ore truck bodies delivered to mining company Rio Tinto. According to a statement from the Western Australian government celebrating local content in projects in the state — Austin’s truck bodies use 100 per cent local suppliers — the partnership between Austin and Rio…

Hunter frigate apprentices sail to next stage of their career

BAE Systems Australia has announced that the first 16 apprentices employed on the Hunter Class Frigate Program in Adelaide have graduated high school, and are now approaching the next step in their apprenticeship journey. From next year, they’ll be working full-time in a shipyard purpose-built for the project by the federal government. The apprentices, at…

Leadership in factory automation – David Singleton of Austin Engineering

We launch our new editorial series, Leadership in factory automation, today with an interview with a titan of Australian advanced manufacturing – David Singleton. As CEO of Perth shipbuilder, Austal he took that company global, breaking into the US Navy defence market. Now he is driving mining equipment manufacturer Austin Engineering into the industry 4.0…

Leadership in factory automation – introduction to our new editorial series

Manufacturing has entered a fourth industrial revolution, presenting once in a lifetime opportunities for Australia to escape its recent past and once again build a viable, competitive manufacturing sector. Recognising that technology and automation has never been more important, today @AuManufacturing launches its latest editorial series – Leadership in factory automation. Here Peter Roberts surveys…

Manufacturing news briefs – stories you might have missed

Traffic Technologies awarded $9 million contract Road management and traffic signal company Traffic Technologies has been awarded a contract with the Queensland Department of Transport and Main Roads expiring in 2032 that is worth up to $9 million. The contract, effectively giving the company access to the Queensland market, is for the supply of hardware…

Calytrix and EM Solutions join satellite comms development

Lockheed Martin Australia (LMA) has announced the addition of two leading Australian technology providers to its team developing a Military Satellite Communication (MILSATCOM) capability for defence, Calytrix Technologies and EM Solutions. The companies join a growing network of Australian SMEs including Av-Comm, Shoal Group, Clearbox Systems, STEM Punks and Ronson Gears, that are developing a…

Pallet shortage for manufacturers means Xmas shoppers should get in early: AFGC 

The Australian Food and Grocery Council has said that global and national supply chain problems such as a wooden pallet shortage have forced manufacturers to slow down or stop production, and that Christmas shoppers were encouraged to shop early to avoid the worst impacts.

A.W. Bell, Riviera Australia named joint manufacturing winners in Australian Export Awards

Winners of the 59th Australian Export Awards have been named, with Northern Territory-based aquarium products specialist Monsoon Aquatics the overall winner in 2021. The 13 category winners and overall winner — selected from among the winners in each category — were named on Thursday.  Precision metal engineering company A.W. Bell and luxury motor yacht builder…

Nestle leads push to recycle soft plastics

A group of major companies, supported by Australia’s largest food manufacturer Nestlé, have released a report as part of their push to establish soft plastics recycling in Australia. Soft plastics such as bags and wrappings are difficult to recycle, and collection poses massive problems, with the only collection service involving consumers bringing their wrappers to…

IMCRC backs manufacture of impact absorbing traffic light

A new research collaboration backed by the Innovative Manufacturing Cooperative Research Centre is developing traffic lights that absorb kinetic energy during a collision. With $100,000 in funding from IMCRC, road safety manufacturing company Impact Absorbing Systems (IAS) is collaborating with University of South Australia (UniSA) STEM to re-engineer the ubiquitous traffic light. The $640,000 project…

SA technologists press for active industry plan

Sixty-six of South Australia’s leading technologists, scientists and engineers have tabled a technology and industry policy-based plan that will foster innovation, economic growth. The plan, released in advance of the state election in 2022, highlights vital fields that will supercharge SA’s economic recovery from COVID-19 and power the state’s transition to a low-carbon future. It…

Sovereign material can take the heat of a rocket

An advanced high-temperature material developed by Australian defence scientists could be destined for space thanks to an ongoing partnership between defence and Gold Coast rocket company, Gilmour Space Technologies. Capable of withstanding temperatures of 3,200 degrees Celsius, the innovative composite material is a promising candidate for use in Gilmour’s rocket motor casings and is soon…

WA govt applies for Pilbara and Mid-West hydrogen hub funding

The Western Australian government has announced two applications under the federal Clean Hydrogen Industrial Hubs program, pledging to invest up to $117.5 million to attract matched Commonwealth money.

Morrison says universities should shift focus from ‘publish or perish’ towards commercialising research

Announcing $242.7 million for a yet-to-be-selected small group of “trailblazer” universities, the government wants to encourage those that are “early adopters of intellectual property, industrial relations and skills practices to lift collaboration and commercialisation outcomes”.
Four universities, including one regional institution, will be funded under the program. They will work with industry partners to drive commercialisation across the government’s six manufacturing priorities.

Industry policy lacks clarity – David Thodey

By James Riley Former CSIRO chair David Thodey says the growth and development of Australia’s innovation ecosystem since 2015 had been exciting – remarkable even – but a lack of clarity in long-term national industry strategy had been limiting, nonetheless. Just weeks after stepping down from the board of the national science agency which he…

Eight Tasmanian manufacturers awarded grants under Accelerating Growth program

The Tasmanian government has announced successful applicants in round one of the Accelerating Growth Grant Program, with roughly $700,000 awarded to eight of the state’s manufacturers.

Lavo to manufacture hydrogen fuel cells in Qld

Australian energy technology company LAVO Hydrogen Technology will establish a $15 million factory to manufacture hydrogen fuel cells. Greater Springfield, a private sector-developed CBD south-west of Brisbane, will be the site for the facility, backed by the state government’s Invested in Queensland program and Queensland Jobs Fund. Treasurer Cameron Dick said construction of the new…

Eddie Kocwa is a man with a plan to build an Australian electric utility vehicle

By Peter Roberts Boss Capital Holdings director Eddie Kocwa (pictured below) is a man on mission to restart Australian automotive manufacturing, starting with plans to partly build a electric utility vehicle sourced from US start-up Atlis Motor Vehicles in 2023, then growing capability to produce a full electric ute by 2026. While many others have…

Manufacturing news briefs – stories you might have missed

Proteomics International enters UK market. Perth biotechnology group Proteomics International Laboratories has secured United Kingdom distribution for its PromarkerD test system to predict the onset of diabetic kidney disease. Apacor Ltd will become the exclusive distributor for PromarkerD covering an estimated 4.8 million people who live with diabetes, making them vulnerable to kidney disease. The…

Volgren to hire 66 to help deliver new buses for Kinetic

Bus maker Volgren will add an extra 50 new jobs and 16 traineeships as it begins delivery of zero- and low-emissions buses for Kinetic, which was recently awarded the contract for the Metropolitan Bus Franchise.

Seven fuel cell trucks to be built in Australia

Clean energy company Pure Hydrogen Ltd has announced that its new Pure X Mobility division will assemble seven hydrogen trucks equipped with hydrogen fuel cell drive trains supplied by hydrogen vehicle developer H2X Global. Pure Hydrogen recently bought a 24 per cent share in H2X, which will manufacture hydrogen fuel cell vehicles in Gippsland, Victoria…

SEA Electric wins heavy vehicle industry innovation award

Electric truck drive train manufacturer SEA Electric has won Heavy Vehicle Industry Australia’s Product Innovation award for 2021. The Australian-born and Los Angeles-headquartered company won the award for its battery electric powered truck range, including the SEA 300 EV and SEA 500 EV models, which were launched in 2021 and are “the first comprehensive battery…

Barrett Communications HF radios for WA mines

Barrett Communications has deployed multiple High Frequency (HF) radio communications solutions for the West Australian Department of Mines, Industry Regulation and Safety (DMIRS). The systems include base station and mobile vehicle stations to ensure that all personnel of the Geological Survey and Resources Division can communicate, no matter their location. DMIRS operates across Western Australia,…

We help you access Fed’s $5 million SMERL3 Covid recovery loans

ADVERTISEMENT It is third time lucky for the federal government and for SME manufacturers with the banks finally prepared to lend cash to Covid-affected SMEs that need it. SMERL3 is the government’s third go at designing an SME recovery loan scheme which the banks would get onboard with, as distinct from their usual ‘bugger off’…

Support for alternative apprenticeship models – NCVER report

Apprenticeships play an important role in skills development, however there are a number of long-term issues which has seen rising support for new models of apprenticeship, according to a report from the National Centre for Vocational Education Research (NCVER). The report, Issues in apprenticeships and traineeships – a research synthesis identifies five enduring issues in…

Townsville common-user vanadium processing demo facility to open 2023: govt

The Queensland government announced “at least $10 million” in funding for a government-owned, multi-user, multi-purpose critical minerals processing plant, with vanadium processing planned for 2023.

Li-S Energy to supply novel batteries for Janus Electric trucks

Lithium sulphur battery developer Li-S Energy is to collaborate with Australian E-truck developer Janus Electric to provide its novel battery cells to power Janus’s vehicles. The two companies have entered into a collaborative agreement to develop and supply lithium sulphur and/or lithium metal battery cells for use in Janus prime mover battery packs. Janus has…

Bosch to manufacture 3D scanners for Bodd

Bosch Australia Manufacturing Solutions (BAMS) will provide manufacturing services to support the globalisation of Australian software and data technology firm Bodd. Bodd, which featured in the recent @AuManufacturing/MYOB webinar Game Changers – manufacturers redefining their sectors, has developed an innovative 3D body scanner for the apparel industry. Melbourne-based Bodd’s scanner captures large amounts of body…

AML3D prints world’s largest metal O&G pipe component

AML3D 3D has printed what it claims to be the world’s largest metal Oil & Gas high-pressure piping component vessel to have been verified by Lloyd’s Register. The company used its wire added manufacturing (WAM) technology equipment to print and high-pressure test the component to the new global API 20S Standard for Additively Manufactured Metallic…

$25 million for modern equipment at WA TAFE colleges

The Western Australian government has made a $25 million committment to purchase state-of-the-art TAFE equipment to meet current and emerging industry training needs. All five WA TAFE colleges to receive new training equipment as part of a four-year program to upgrade and modernise their equipment to contemporary industry standards. Purchases include automation equipment, heavy vehicle…

Thales makes second big investment in Australian factories

French defence contractor Thales has announced its second major investment in its Australian manufacturing facilities in a month, committing a $6 million investment in state-of-the-art advanced manufacturing equipment at the Commonwealth owned Mulwala facility in regional New South Wales. The investment, to accelerate sovereign guided weapons manufacturing capability, follows close on a $6.5 million commitment…

Australia, UK and US sign nuclear tech sharing agreement

Australia, the United Kingdom and the United States today signed an Exchange of Naval Nuclear Propulsion Information Agreement, a key step in advancing the review into the potential for Australia to acquire conventionally armed, nuclear submarines and technology. The agreement, foreshadowed in the AUKUS arrangement between the nations, allows the US and the UK to…

How to make roads with recycled waste, and pave the way to a circular economy

Changing this equation and moving to a circular economy, in which materials are reused and recycled rather than discarded in landfill, is a key goal to reduce the impact of building and construction on the environment, including its contribution to climate change.

Collie, WA future attracts new grants

The Western Australian government has committed an additional $2 million to the Collie Futures Small Grant Program. The program, which supports economic diversification in the former coal-mining and coal power generation town, provides for grants of up to $100,000 for businesses and not-for-profits in Collie to drive local jobs. In total, 28 businesses and not-for-profits…

Tritium opens one of the world’s largest EV charger testing chambers

Tritium opened a new testing facility for its fast DC electric vehicle chargers at its Brisbane headquarters on Monday.

Nanosonics to add “over 100 new direct jobs” by June 2024

IInfection prevention specialist Nanosonics is on track to more than double its manufacturing capacity and add a significant number of employees over the next three years, according to a statement from the NSW government.

Textile Recyclers Australia, Karie Soehardi Consultancy announce two 2022 recycling pilots

A partnership between Textile Recyclers Australia and Karie Soehardi Consultancy, named TRAKS, has announced two trial programs for 2022 attempting to address the unmet need for repurposing discarded rugs and soft furnishing industry waste. According to the Australian Bureau of Statistics, roughly 800,000 tonnes of textile, leather and rubber waste was thrown out in 2018/19,…

Trajan completes acquisition of German detector manufacturer

Analytical and life sciences instrument manufacturer Trajan Group has completed the purchase of the German private businesses of Axel Semrau for a total of $26.5 million. Trajan purchased Axel Semrau GmbH and Semrau Immobilien GmbH which develop and manufacture laboratory automation and chromatography software and detection systems. The German companies had a turnover in the…

BAE Systems turns M113 personnel carriers autonomous

By Peter Roberts BAE Systems Australia has installed locally-developed autonomous operation hardware and software in twenty M113 AS4 Optionally Crewed Combat Vehicles (OCCVs) and delivered them to the Australian Army. Each M113 AS4 was fitted with a Vehicle Management System, derived from BAE Systems’ domain agnostic autonomy technologies which enables it to operate autonomously. At…

Manufacturing news briefs – stories you might have missed

Construction of battery gigafactory accelerates Energy Renaissance is pressing ahead with construction of Renaissance One, the company’s lithium battery production plant in Tomago, NSW. The company said work at the site (pictured) was picking up pace, with development partner ATB Morton now erecting steelwork. “Over the next few weeks the facility will start to take…

Treasury extends luxury wine portfolio in US

Treasury Wine Estates has furthered its strategy of premiumising its US wine businesses with the $433 million purchase of Frank Family Vineyards. The maker of Penfolds wines bought the Napa Valley, California business on an EBITDAS multiple of 13.2, which TWE said was favourable compared to the company’s current luxury wine transactions. FFV’s portfolio is…

“First of its kind” national roadmap acknowledges urgency of growing sector: Bioenergy Australia 

Industry group Bioenergy Australia has praised the Bioenergy Roadmap, released by the Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA) today.

Great Wrap launches compostable catering wrap

Compostable stretch kitchen wrap business Great Wrap has launched its Australian-made compostable catering wrap for businesses across the country. Made from food waste, Great Wrap initially launched a domestic Compostable Cling Wrap, but now provides a solution for commercial waste challenges that is suitable for restaurants, grocers, delis, bakers and more. The company also takes…

Packaging awards honour sustainability excellence

Leading businesses were celebrated this week for their work towards improving packaging sustainability as part of the Australian Packaging Covenant Organisation’s (APCO) Annual Awards ceremony. Businesses including Kellogg, Nestlé, Coles, BioPak, and CHEP were among the big winners, each taking home multiple accolades. In total, 22 awards were handed out to businesses in industry sectors…

Federal government awards $44 million to six recycling and clean energy manufacturers

Pact Group, Toshiba International and 1414 Degrees were among six companies awarded a combined $44 million under the federal government’s Modern Manufacturing Initiative on Thursday. The round of funding was for companies in the Recycling and Clean Energy sector, one of six identified as “National Manufacturing Priorities” by the government. Assistance between $1 million and…

Missing blue/green distinction in hydrogen means missing methane danger: researchers

Research from the Australian National University has found that the nation’s lack of distinction between so-called “blue” and “green” hydrogen could lead to a new industry that just adds to greenhouse gas emissions. Australia’s hydrogen strategy discusses “clean hydrogen” but does not separate green (from renewable energy-powered electrolysis) and blue (derived from coal or natural…

Aristocrat rebounds from Covid-19 a stronger company

Pokie machine manufacturer and and online gamming business Aristocrat Leisure has rebounded from a nadir during the Covid-19 pandemic a stronger, more diverse and resilient business, according to the company’s FY21 report. The Sydney company saw an 81 per cent growth in net profit after tax to $865 million, up 102 per cent on the…

Lyre’s shows the $ to be made innovating in manufacturing

By Peter Roberts Most of us have probably seen Lyre’s non-alcoholic spirits at the supermarket and reeled at the price – starting from around $45 a bottle for a, well, fake gin, whiskey or rum. But this UK company – which also manufactures in Australia – shows that innovation, timing and product quality in manufacturing…

We’ve smelted a billion tonnes of recyclable aluminium. Do we need to make more?

By Guy Keulemans, UNSW Aluminium is light and versatile, but massively energy-intensive to produce, requiring 10% of Australia’s entire electricity output . Recycling it uses just a fraction of the energy. Why aren’t we closing the loop? This metal – the most abundant in the Earth’s crust – is used in everything from kitchen utensils…

$10 million to build defence AI technologies

The federal government has announced Defence Innovation Hub grants of $10 million ti support development of artificial intelligence (AI) technologies and defence industry. The investment supports the government’s new Blueprint for Critical Technologies and Action Plan, released by the Prime Minister yesterday, which included AI as one of nine listed critical technologies of national interest.…

Manufacturing news briefs – stories you might have missed

SRJ Technologies Black Sky Aerospace blasts off Solid rocket fuel manufacturer Black Sky Aerospace has launched its Sighter 150 rocket from the company’s test and launch site near Goondiwindi, Queensland. The rocket a height of 30,000 feet in 30 seconds carrying software for a cyber security customer. This, the third in a series of test…

Fortescue gets planning approval, will begin construction on $114 m hydrogen equipment factory in Feb

Fortescue’s renewable energy business has gained planning approval at a site in Aldoga in the Gladstone State Development Area, where it plans to open the world’s biggest electrolyser factory in 2023.

Vitasoy to invest another $40 m, hire up to 40 as plant-based demand grows

Vitasoy is capitalising on rising demand for plant-based food and drink, and plans to hire another 35 – 40 workers at its Wodonga factory over the next ten years as exports rise. According to a profile published by Austrade, Vitasoy began exporting to Saudi Arabia through distributor World Premium Products this year, following an introduction…

Baraja launches automotive LiDAR sensing system

Australian autonomous vehicle technology manufacturer Baraja has announced a breakthrough high-performance autonomous vehicle sensing system which works at range, utilising per-point Doppler capabilities. The system, which is available to manufacturers to test in 2022 and is designed for volume production, is the first such system to be available for less than US$1000 per unit, according…

Nanosatellite company Fleet Space Technologies raises $35.8 million

Nanosatellite developer Fleet Space Technologies today announced it had raised $35.8 million (US$26.4 million) in Series B funding, allowing the company to pursue its advanced nanosatellite technology for use in industrial Internet of Things (IoT) applications. The Adelaide company, now valued at $170 million, raised cash from existing shareholders Artesian Venture Partners, Blackbird Ventures, Grok,…

@AuManufacturing’s new value-added service – accessing SMERL3 Covid recovery loans

ADVERTISEMENT The Australian Manufacturing Forum and @AuManufacturing have launched a new value-added service for manufacturers, assisting companies access loans guaranteed by the federal government under its SMERL3, SME Covid-19 recovery scheme. The federal government in conjunction with banking and lending institutions have been providing government backed loans of between 50 per cent and 80 per…

Traffic Technologies raises cash to expand in hardware and software

Roadway signage and traffic systems company Traffic Technologies is to raise $10.3 million from investors through a non-renounceable rights issue which is underway. The company has previously raised $2.17 million from sophisticated investors including $1 million from First Samuel. The company, which manufactures traffic hardware and provides software for end to end traffic management, IoT…

Recycling innovator named NSW Australian of the Year

University of NSW recycling expert Professor Veena Sahajwalla was named NSW Australian of the Year at a ceremony on Monday night.

Rising costs hit Hazer hydrogen plant

Inflation from increasing costs of materials, labour and services have forced Hazer Group to increase estimates of the likely cost of its demonstration plant to produce hydrogen from biogas in Perth. The project at the Western Australian Water Board’s Woodman Point wastewater treatment plant was originally costed at $16.7 million and this was later raised…

Yarra council orders new Australian made biochar plant for woody waste

Yarra Ranges Council has announced the purchase of a biochar plant from Earth Systems, which the council says will help it meet its net zero by 2040 and 100 per cent renewable power by 2030 targets.

Immuron anti-diarrhoea treatment moves to US clinical trials

Immuron’s Travelan anti-diarrhoea product has moved to the human clinical trial phase in a program led by the Uniformed Services University in the United States. Travelan, which is made in Melbourne and on sale through Chemist Warehouse, is a non-absorbable, safe product which is composed of anti-bacterial antibodies that work on the gut immune system.…

Products from Micro-X, QPE Machining and AML3D go on public display

Three innovative Australian manufacturers are revealing their products to the public this week – X-ray emitter manufacturer Micro-X, QPE Advanced Machining and additive manufacturing group AML3D. Micro-X is displaying its prototype self-service security screening station for airport passengers (pictured) at the RSNA 2021 conference in Chicago which features the latest innovations in radiology. And QPE…

Government releases DRAT, a ten-minute digital maturity quiz for SMEs

The federal government has released a new ten-minute online test designed for SMEs, which aims to benchmark their digital maturity against their peers and provides advice on accessing support.

Incitec Pivot bounces back even as Brisbane plant to close

Fertiliser and explosives manufacturer Incitec Pivot has bounced back in the second half with operating profit for FY 21 up 51 per cent on the previous corresponding period on strengthened demand. There was strong growth in advanced technologies offered by its Dyno Nobel explosives business, with American electronic detonator sales up 18 per cent, while…

N-subs – the rebirth of ASC as BAE Systems Adelaide

By Peter Roberts It was back in 2014 that Coalition defence minister David Johnston said he would not trust the government-owned submarine builder, the Australian Submarine Corporation, to build a canoe. What is now ASC Pty Ltd just might be on the way to a resurrection, but this time as an addition to BAE Systems…

MoorPower wave power project gets underway

Advanced Composite Structures Australia has officially launched the $3.4 million MoorPower Project in partnership with Carnegie Clean Energy, the Blue Economy CRC, universities and leading aquaculture firms. ACS Australia has begun prototyping of composite components and developing material processes in what will be a two-year development of a wave power facility for offshore aquaculture industries.…

Manufacturing news briefs – stories you might have missed

Defence trailer manufacturer reveals new product Specialty off road vehicle manufacturer Land Force Defence & Mobility has shared on social media ‘some of the exciting products we are developing at the moment’. The company makes a wide range of special purpose trailers, mission modules and remote area support vehicles for defence forces. Design manager Nathan…

Slow wage growth for engineers despite infrastructure boom

Australian engineers are seeing slowing wages growth despite a lack of migrant engineers affecting employers and booms underway in infrastructure and defence procurement sectors, according to a new report. The report released by Professionals Australia also found that more action is required to strengthen gender equity and diversity in the male dominated industry. The Professional…

$5.7 million in grants awarded to Victorian recycling businesses

The Victorian government has announced $5.7 million in grants through its Recycling Victoria Infrastructure Fund, which it says will help create 75 new jobs and add capacity to process an extra 436,000 tonnes of organics, 20,000 tonnes of glass and 40,000 tonnes of textiles per year. Six projects received funding (see below) and would involve…

Coopers expands, beer sales up

The largest locally owned brewery group Coopers Brewery has announced plans to invest in expansion and the results of a Covid-19 year in which beer sales rose 2.8 per cent. Our largest independent family-owned brewery recorded total beer sales, excluding non- alcoholic beers, of 82.3 million litres in the 12 months to June 30, 2021.…

Seven food manufacturers awarded $33 million in Commonwealth grants

A grant round totalling $33 million of assistance to seven food manufacturers has been announced. The funding is the latest tranche of the Modern Manufacturing Initiative’s integration and translation streams, following announcements since February covering the Space, Resources Technology & Critical Minerals Processing, and Medical Products sectors. Assistance worth between $1 million and $20 million…

Keytone Dairy rebrands and expands to China milk powder market

Australia and New Zealand manufacturer Keytone Dairy has announced a corporate rebranding to become Halo Food Co and revealed a $54.3 million strategic partnership giving it entry into the China market. Halo’s subsidiary Keytone Enterprises has signed a Memorandum of Strategic Cooperation with Theland New Cloud (Shanghai) Digimart Limited, majority owned by the Alibaba Group.…

Orica in losses in horror year

Chemicals and explosives manufacturer Orica has revealed a statutory net loss after tax for the year ended September 30 of $174 million in a horror market that the company described as ‘challenging’. However directors reported an underlying earnings before interest and tax (EBIT) of $427 million, which was countered by a big $382 million write-down.…

C6 Group develops air filtration system that kills viruses

Regional Corio, Victoria-based industrial service business C6 Group is making a name for itself with a new locally-made system called Katharsis which filters the majority of viral, bacterial and fungal fine aerosols from air in buildings. Katharsis uses a combination of protective technologies for maximum effect, which C6 says is equivalent to applying a P2/N95…

Fenn Foods gets distribution through Coles

Sunshine Coast, Queensland-headquartered plant-based meat company Fenn Foods has announced distribution of its new Veef product range in Coles.

Donald McGurk showed how to lead Australian hi-tech

By Peter Roberts The board of Australian defence communications and technology company Codan has announced a new CEO to replace Donald McGurk (pictured) who is retiring after 21 years at the helm. Alf Ianniello has big shoes to fill, with the company’s share price plunging on the announcement of McGurk’s departure in August from $17.64,…

Monash team wins $US250,000 in Elon Musk-backed XPRIZE for CO2 removal

A Monash University team has been awarded $US 250,000 in the XPRIZE Carbon Removal Student Competition, which is part of the global, four-year $US 100 million carbon removal competition. The Monash Carbon Capture and Conversion (MC3) team was one of 23 winners in the $US 5 million round, said Xprize, with 18 teams awarded $US…

SEA La Trobe Valley promise flounders as did automotive sector – by Shane West

Electric drive train and truck producer SEA Electric has decided not to go ahead with a planned factory in Victoria’s La Trobe Valley. Here Shane West laments the decision, made after the company won an order to build 1,500 electric trucks in the United States. SEA Electric began life as an all-Australian technology and manufacturing…

Manufacturing news briefs – stories you might have missed

Maggie Beer’s stellar growth Luxury food manufacturer Maggie Beer Holdings announced group revenues for Q1 FY22 up 84.1 per cent over the previous corresponding period as its three food brands made progress and the company increased online turnover during the Covid-19 pandemic. E-commerce sales were up 154 per cent, and now make up 44 per…

Cyclotek and ANSTO to manufacture new radiopharmaceuticals

Cyclotek and ANSTO have announced the launch of a Joint Venture to establish Australia’s first GMP (Good Manufacturing Practice) theranostics production facility which will produce radiopharmaceuticals for both the diagnosis and treatment of cancer. The new company Applied Molecular Therapies Pty Ltd (AMT) will aim to establish a Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) approved, GMP manufacturing…

CSIRO offers free program to space SMEs

The national science agency will support up to 25 small to medium businesses working in the Australian space sector with a new program that offers training, mentorship, and access to research facilities.

Manufacturing company monthly turnovers went up slightly in latest ABS data 

A new Monthly Business Turnover Indicator released by the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) on Wednesday showed turnovers at manufacturing companies up slightly, rising 0.7 per cent over September. In the second release of the experimental monthly economic indicator — following August figures released last month — it showed turnovers fell for most industries. “Electricity,…

Ampcontrol and LeoLabs to develop space radar

Electrical engineer Ampcontrol has partnered with space tracking firm LeoLabs Australia on an ambitious $240 million project to construct new factories and upgrade others to build and maintain sophisticated radar systems. Dubbed the Aussie Space Radar Projct (ASRP), the project comes with a direct $160 million investment by LeoLabs Inc – the largest investment by…

Feds announce $500 million to address ‘gap in the market’ for green tech startups

Prime minister Scott Morrison has announced $500 million for a new public-private fund to invest in emerging low-carbon technologies, with legislation for this to be introduced before the end of the parliamentary term.

Orica to decarbonise Kooragang Island manufacturing plant

Chemicals and explosives business Orica is to invest $37 million to reduce greenhouse gas emissions at its Kooragang Island, Newcastle manufacturing operation by 48 per cent. The facility includes an ammonia plant, three nitric acid plants, two ammonium nitrate plants and a product dispatch facility and is one of Orica’s key manufacturing sites. The company…

Turkish machine builder makes $2.5 million strategic investment in Titomic

Turkey-based metal forming machine specialist Repkon Makina ve Kalip has become a strategic investor in Titomic, acquiring a $2.5 million stake in the Australian large-scale additive manufacturing business. Repkon would be issued 9,615,384 ordinary fully shares at 26 cents a share, according to a statement to the ASX by Titomic on Tuesday. The two companies…

$7 million grant round opens for NSW recycling projects

Applications are open for grants assisting new recycling projects in regional and remote NSW, with between $10,000 and $1,000,000 available in state-federal funding per project.

Verton to test innovative lifting for strong winds

An industry research project to develop new systems for precision handling of heavy loads such as the installation of giant wind turbine blades in strong winds has progressed to proof of concept testing. Backed by $178,000 in commercialisation funding from the Advanced Manufacturing Growth Centre (AMGC), lifting and load orientation products manufacturer Verton’s Windmaster is…

Incitec Pivot fails to secure gas supplies, to close Gibson Island

Fertiliser and explosives manufacturer Incitec Pivot has failed after a long search to secure an economically viable long-term gas supply to its Gibson Island, Brisbane fertiliser plant. As a result the company has announced the closure of the plant after 50 years of operation when the current gas contract runs out in December, 2022. The…

H2X, Thales to make green ammonia in Borneo

Hydrogen fuel cell vehicle manufacturer H2X Global has joined with French group Thales New Energy to deliver GW-scale green ammonia and hydrogen for export from Sarawak, Malaysia The partners and the Sarawak Economic Development Corporation (SEDC) will build GigaWatt-scale green hydrogen and ammonia generation facilities at the Samalaju Industrial Park and Port. The facility will…

$3 million Port of Newcastle green hydrogen feasibility study announced

The Australian Renewable Energy Agency has awarded $1.5 million in support for a feasibility study into a green hydrogen hub at Newcastle, the east coast’s biggest port.

Alpha buys Gladstone site for $300 million alumina project

Alpha HPA has purchased a 9.2 hectare site at Gladstone in the Queensland government’s State Development Area, where it plans to build its 10,000 tonne-per-annum high-purity alumina plant. According to a statement from the state government on Monday, the plant would support 120 new jobs, and Alpha was attracted to Gladstone due to the industrial…

Quantum computing – our science to industry moment?

By Peter Roberts History shows that while we have some areas of scientific brilliance, few of our ideas translate into anything other than niche businesses – and this is especially true when looking at seminal global scientific development such as quantum computing. Some big players such as Google and IBM have successfully built quantum computers…

Forget federal politicians, let’s act on emissions – by John Sheridan

John Sheridan believes there is a way forward for Australia to zero emissions given the leadership being shown by the states and industry. There is no point expecting federal politicians to fix the climate crisis, we need to stop passively watching and act. Last week I sat in a small room on Lady Elliot Island…

Manufacturing news briefs – stories you might have missed

Santos and CSIRO back carbon capture and storage Oil and gas producer Santos has announced a $220 million Moomba, South Australia carbon capture and storage project to store 1.7 million tonnes of carbon dioxide a year from 2024, making it one of the largest in the world with the lowest unit costs, according to the…

CSIRO study pumps brakes on EV led critical mineral demand

By Joseph Brookes The expected surge in sustained demand for critical metals for the electric vehicle revolution may be shorter lived than many are predicting, but repurposing the batteries could transform Australia’s energy grid and economy, according to the national science agency. CSIRO this week released a report modelling various electric vehicle (EV) uptake scenarios with…

H2X to make hydrogen vehicles in Malaysia

Australian hydrogen vehicle developer H2X Global is to manufacture hydrogen fuel cell vehicles in Sarawak, Malaysia. The company, which recently announced plans to convert utility vehicles to hydrogen power in Australia, will initially build fuel cell electric buses for the Sarawak Transport System. The company will also create a training Centre of Excellence to help…

Will Tesla build a Gigafactory in Australia?

By Giles Parkinson of The Driven Could Australia be one of the next destinations for a Tesla Giga-factory? It is an idea raised in a recent piece of analysis by Morgan Stanley analysts, citing the growing complexity of doing business in China, including that country’s rising electricity prices. And it turns out that Australian billionaire…

Australia’s Food Manufacturing Opportunity – by Derek Lulham

The Australian food industry is an advanced sector with a wide range of competitive advantages. Here Derek Lulham explores our advantages and opportunities in the Australian and global marketplace. Australia continues to be a solid platform to launch brands and products targeted to consumers across Asia. This mature sector has conversations on a broad range…

Hypersonix announces software partner to design planned launch vehicle

Hypersonix Launch Systems has announced it is using modelling software from Siemens to design its planned hypersonic launch vehicle, ahead of a minimum viable product of the Delta-Velos craft scheduled to be ready in 23 months.

Adbri splashes $58m buying concrete plants

Building products group Adbri has bolstered its position in Queensland markets, spending $58 million to buy Zanow’s Concrete And Quarries. Zanow’s owns two concrete plants and sand, gravel and hard rock quarries in western Brisbane, and comes with approvals for further expansion. The purchase is being made at an EBITDA multiple of 8.5 times and…

Fortescue to investigate renewable hydrogen, ammonia in Jordan

Fortescue Future Industries has continued its recent stream of green hydrogen announcements with the signing of a framework agreement with the Kingdom of Jordan to investigate large-scale production and export.

Sea Electric goes greener than green

Electric truck drive train manufacturer SEA Electric has gone green in its own operations, installing rooftop solar power for its Melbourne assembly facility, with the installation of a 100kW solar power system (pictured). The company, which also assembles electric trucks here and in the United States from CKD kits, has installed an array of 250…

Australia’s exports at risk – study

Australia’s economic resilience is at risk not so much because of a focus on China as a market, but because of the small number of commodities that we sell, according to a new study. The study, by UTS, Sydney Professors James Laurenceson and Roy Green, and Dr Phillip Toner of Sydney University compared Australia’s exports…

Sacre Bleu! Defence’s new blow to France over Sydney dockyard.

The Department of Defence is canvassing views on the future management of the Captain Cook graving dock at the Garden Island Defence Precinct in Sydney – a move which could see French-owned Thales dumped as facility manager. Thales has had responsibility for ongoing operations and services of the dock and facilities at Garden Island Naval…

Hadrian X robot to build 5,000 homes in Mexico

Robotic bricklaying company FBR has executed a term sheet with GP Vivienda to supply its Wall as a Service (WaaS) robotic construction system to build between 2,000 and 5,000 homes in Mexico. The company will also supply all associated retaining walls and other brick and block structures to a greenfield residential development sites. Construction will…

Grants totalling $450,000 awarded to five WA medtech companies

Five Western Australian companies have been awarded a total of $450,000 in grants through the WA Medical Technology and Pharmaceutical (MTP) Manufacturing Voucher Program. The program aims to accelerate the development and manufacturing of medical technology and pharmaceutical products in the state. “We have an enormous opportunity to capitalise on home-grown medical technology to help…

Employers increase use of VET system

With Australia exiting the Covid-19 pandemic and manufacturing growing, there is evidence manufacturers are increasing their reliance on the VET training system. A new report shows an increase in the proportion of employers using the VET system, increasing 5.7 percentage points from 2019 to 2021, with 56.6 per cent of Australian employers engaged with accredited…

Are we planning to be a buyer or a maker – by Barry Hendy

Robotics and automation leader Barry Hendy is scratching his head about why Australia is investing in outdated, often overseas submarine and heavy rail technologies when technological change offers ways for Australian industry to leapfrog ahead, and become an exporter rather than an importer. We have long lamented the demise of the Australian car industry and…

Pressure on Space Agency to show fees are competitive

By Joseph Brookes The Australian Space Agency is confident its processing time on launch and facility licences will come down after bringing on more staff and completing a full cycle of its regulatory framework. But the agency is still under pressure to justify the controversial launch fees it will charge local space companies for applying. At…

Business sunk $35m into failed submarine deal

South Australian businesses spent at least $35 million in preparation for the now-abandoned construction of Attack-class submarines. Up to 350 small and medium SA businesses made investments and an estimated 175 SA companies had qualified as suppliers for the submarines according to the Australian Industry & Defence Network. Network head Brent Clark said each company…

Hub grants open to Mackay, Gold Coast manufacturers

Round two of the Queensland government’s Manufacturing Hub Grants Program is open, but only to those in the Mackay and Gold Coast regions. Manufacturers can apply for matched funding worth between $10,000 and $200,000. Mackay MP Julieanne Gilbert said grants would help “to implement world-leading technologies, improve processes and practices, and increase workforce development and training.”…

Sprintex announces orders for supercharger systems

Automotive engine and industrial supercharger manufacturer Sprintex has announced two major deals which increase its involvement with the hydrogen economy and the Chinese wastewater market. Perth-based Sprintex designs and manufactures superchargers for use in a wide variety of combustion engines, industrial and hydrogen fuel cell applications. Its equipment is used in production and processing, for…

Australia delivers critical subsystem for VISTA telescope

A major sub-system destined for one of the most sophisticated visual and infra-red optical telescopes ever built has arrived in Germany from its Australian makers. The sub-system for the European Southern Observatory’s 4MOST instrument has arrived at the Leibniz Institute for Astrophysics Potsdam (AIP) ready for testing and installation on the four-metre VISTA telescope located…

Contractor Relocation: Dos & Don’ts Of Working Away From Your Shop

ADVERTISING FEATURE By Renee Wainwright Working away from your shop can sometimes be more trouble than it’s worth: the expenses pile up, travel can be a hassle, and navigating reimbursement and tax deduction policies is stressful. If you don’t approach travel work strategically, you’ll end up with headaches and a hole in your wallet. However,…

ClearVue solar PV glass to be made in US

Solar PV glazing technology company ClearVue Technologies will have its products manufactured in the United States under a five-year manufacturing and distribution agreement signed with a Philadelphia company. Commercial glazing manufacturer Graboyes Commercial Windows and Glass Solutions will be ClearVue’s sole distributor in the Pennsylvania and non-exclusive distributor throughout the US. ClearVue is commercialising clear,…

World-first industrial IoT trial underway at Berri Estates

Industrial IoT company Movus and winemaker Accolade Wines have announced they are trialling Movus’s sensors at the South Australian Berri Estates site.

Aurora Labs completes 3D printer development

Perth additive manufacturing group Aurora Labs (A3D) has announced the completion of its four-stage technology development pathway for its metal 3D printer. The Perth company declared the printer was now ‘commercial ready’, and would plug a gap in the market for a high productivity, mid-range, mid-cost machine. The printer had been independently validated and products…

Manufacturing narrowly achieved growth in October: PMI

Growth in manufacturing slowed for the fourth straight month according to the Australian Industry Group’s Performance of Manufacturing Index results for October. The overall result of 50.4 was characterised as “treading water” by the Ai Group, and was down 0.8 points on September.  A score of 50 in the PMI survey indicates no change, above…

Fortescue to ship green hydrogen to the United Kingdom

Andrew Forrest has announced yet another step towards creating a global green hydrogen business – a deal to become the United Kingdom’s largest supplier of green, renewable hydrogen. Fortescue Future Industries has signed a multi-billion dollar agreement with with construction giant J C Bamford Excavators (JCB) and Ryze Hydrogen (Ryze) who will purchase 10 per…

Frigate prototyping morphing into Catapult-style centre

By Peter Roberts The construction of nine Hunter-class frigates in Adelaide by BAE Systems Maritime is known for its pioneering work on digital manufacturing on a giant – $35 billion – scale. But it is less well known for its part in demonstrating and leading efforts for Australia to finally develop the type of government…

Orbital UAV signs up new engine customer

Drone engine manufacturer Orbital UAV has signed up a new customer for its drone engines – US Navy supplier Skyways. Under a MOU, Perth-based Orbital will deliver pre-production, heavy fuel engines to Skyways for integration into next-generation cargo-carrying UAV’s for flight testing. Skyways has been selected by the US Navy’s Naval Air Warfare Center Aircraft…

Manufacturing news briefs – stories you might have missed

RM Williams expands Australian manufacturing Iconic bootmaker RM Williams has increased local manufacturing since the takeover of the company by interests associated with Perth billionaire Andrew Forrest, according to media reports. The company told afr.com that about 70 per cent production by revenue is now manufactured onshore, up from about 60 per cent two and…

Exiting Covid-19 brings ResMed 20% growth

Sleep apnoea treatment company ResMed had a bumper first quarter of FY22 announcing quarterly revenue up 20 per cent on the previous corresponding quarter and operating profit up 21 per cent. The company announced revenue for the quarter of US$904 million and net income of US$203.6 million. ResMed, founded in and with major operations in…

New report shows “great potential” for shipping green hydrogen to Germany: Taylor

New research supports the possibility of Australia competitively exporting green hydrogen to Germany, even against nations that are geographically closer, according to the federal government.

Fortescue buys energy and industry company, forms FFI Ionix

Fortescue Future Industries (FFI) has acquired the commercial assets of green hydrogen technology companies Xergy Inc and Xergy One Ltd to form FFI Ionix Inc. Based in the United States, FFI Ionix will commercialise hydrogen production technologies, including ion exchange membranes for water electrolysis, electrochemical compression, water transmission and fuel cells. FFI Chief Executive Officer,…

Rio Tinto and BlueScope combine for low-carbon steelmaking

Miner Rio Tinto and steel producer BlueScope will work together to explore low-carbon steelmaking pathways using Pilbara iron ores, including the use of clean hydrogen to replace coking coal at BlueScope’s Port Kembla Steelworks. The two companies have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) to research and design low-emissions processes for the steel value chain,…

‘Political trivia’: Coalition, department shrug off minister turnover

The steady rotation of ministers through the industry portfolio has caused only “minimal disruption” to the Industry department, officials fronting Senate Estimates have said, alongside a government minister who described the turnover as “political trivia”.

Entech Electronics in long production run manufacturing breakthrough

Contract manufacturing group Entech Electronics and Brisbane diagnostic company Ellume have shown that when it comes to long production run electronics manufacturing, the old prejudice that Australian manufacturers have to offshore production to compete no longer holds true. Ellume, which automated its factory in Brisbane to make the company’s Covid-19 rapid antigen test with the…

Conflux Technology raises $8.5m to expand

Metal additive manufacturer Conflux Technologies has raised $8.5 million to boost capabilities and buy new equipment in a series A investment round. Investors Germany’s AM ventures and Australia’s Acorn Capital backed Conflux which uses metal additive manufacturing (AM) to improve heat exchangers for automotive, aerospace, energy and defence use. AM Ventures provided initial seed funding…

ZIMI ramps up IoT device sales

Consumer IoT device manufacturer Zimi Ltd has reported on its best-ever quarter to the end of September when it booked $521,000 in customer receipts for its devices. The company sells a cloud connected dimmable light switch, fan controller, garage door opener, and power points, all connected and operated via its Zimi app (pictured). The company…

Hypersonix places order with Amiga, says additive engineering will disrupt cost of scramjets

Hydrogen-powered aerospace company Hypersonix Launch Systems has announced that it has placed an order with Amiga Engineering for a claimed world-first: a 3D printed, fixed-geometry scramjet engine.

H2X selects Gippsland for hydrogen vehicle retrofits, aims to make its own vehicles in 2023

By Brent Balinski After initial plans to begin manufacturing vehicles at Port Kembla, NSW, hydrogen fuel cell hopeful H2X Global announced Gippsland as the home of its assembly operation on Wednesday. NSW hydrogen bus trials didn’t pan out as hoped and the company’s activities slowed in the state, H2X’s CEO and founder Brendan Norman explains.…

$50bn decommissioning costs face oil and gas facilities

Australia’s ageing offshore oil and gas infrastructure faces $50 billion in costs with a high powered advisory committee established by the Centre of Decommissioning Australia (CODA) to address the challenges and maximise business opportunities involved. Six industry leaders have been appointed to an advisory panel including experts from ExxonMobil, Santos, Baker Hughes, IAS Group and…

FlipFarm system boosts Coffin Bay oyster production

A novel oyster farming system developed by New Zealand manufacturer FlipFarm Systems has helped Coffin Bay oyster farmer Angel Seafood report record revenue in the September quarter. Reporting sales of Pacific oysters of $2.7 million CEO Zac Halman said stock levels had improved, mortality rates had fallen and sales were up with prices rising. This…

EOS receives contract payments, cuts profit outlook

Defence, space and telecommunications manufacturer Electro Optic Systems has clawed back most of the customer payments for its biggest defence contract delayed due to Covid-19, but nonetheless been forced to slash profit outlook for the current financial year. The Canberra company cut guidance for underlying operating profit (EBIT) for FY22, excluding costs associated with its…

Recycled plastic tram stop project awarded $300,000 Victorian government grant

A project to create modular tram stops out of recycled plastic involving Monash University, Advanced Circular Polymers, Integrated Recycling and Yarra Trams has been awarded a $300,000 grant from Sustainability Victoria. According to a statement from Monash — which is a long-time collaborator with Integrated Recycling on Duratrack railway sleepers, which incorporate recycled plastic —…

Australian manufactures dodge China trade woes – mostly

Since Beijing moved to curtail Australian exports to China in May last year – not of course our coking coal and iron ore on which China depends – manufactured exports have mostly managed to avoid much of the pain. In the three categories – wine, meat and copper – that are manufactured or substantially transformed…

The magical land of Oz – where net zero means doing nothing new

By Peter Roberts The federal government’s plan to achieve net zero emissions by 2050 has been officially launched. But my job in analysing the outcome of agonising negotiations within the Coalition – where perhaps a quarter to a third of MPs are open climate denialists – is not made easy because there is absolutely no…

Manufacturing news briefs – stories you might have missed

Universal Biosensors executes US distribution deal Electrochemical test developer Universal Biosensors has signed another distribution deal in the United States for the company’s Sentia wine testing platform device. Vinmetrica (USA) will be non-exclusive distributor for a three year term for Sentia, which tests wine for sulphur dioxide, glucose, malic acid and other components of wine.…

Construction begins at NT’s Finniss lithium mine

Initial construction work is underway at Core Lithium’s Finniss Lithium Project, which is expected to begin mining activity before the end of the year and which will see the Northern Territory capture more of the lithium ion battery value chain.

$2.8 m awarded to 15 research partnerships including for biomaterials, minerals processing

Grants totalling $2.8 million and awarded through the Victorian government’s Study Melbourne Research Partnerships program will support 15 projects — including in biomaterials, mineral processing and energy storage — linking Victorian institutes with international partners.

Monash University researchers part of promising new immunotherapeutic development

Monash University researchers are part of a team developing an antibiotic breakthrough against “superbugs” which has seen the university take out a patent on a new immunotherapeutic.

Woodside to build $1bn Perth hydrogen plant

Energy and LNG export group Woodside has announced plans to spend an initial $1 billion constructing a hydrogen and ammonia production plant at Kwinana south of Perth with output destined for export. However – bucking the recent trend – the plant will not be totally ‘green’. Woodside said that its H2Perth project (pictured) would produce…

GMG planning Graphene Aluminium Ion Battery manufacturing plant

Industrial automation group Robert Bosch Australia and Brisbane’s Graphene Manufacturing Group Ltd are negotiating terms over the design and delivery of a Graphene Aluminium Ion Battery (G+AI Battery) manufacturing plant. GMG and Bosch have signed a non-binding Letter of Intent, with the aim to agree on binding terms for the development of an automated battery…

Micro-X to launch second generation mobile X-ray machine

Carbon fibre nanotube X-ray emitter manufacturer Micro-X is to launch a second generation – Gen 11 – mobile X-ray machine which features a new emitter and Australian-made power source. The company told investors that the quarter ended 30 September had marked significant expansion of its mobile X-ray team and the execution of $13 of government…

Amaero International hit by project delays

Additive manufacturing technology company Amaero International has issued a generally positive quarterly report on business activities that notes delays affecting many of the company’s major projects. While good progress was reported on the company’s titanium powder project, Covid-19 supply chain issues have delayed the company’s developments with Fletcher Insulation and Rio Tinto. Amaero’s Middle Eastern…

Jeffries spruiks Australia’s biggest biochar plant

Green waste recycling company Jeffries has taken to social media to spruik the company’s new Biochar plant, which is claimed to be the largest in the Southern Hemisphere. The South Australia plant (pictured) produces biochar from green waste collected from household kerbside bins and enough energy as a byproduct to power itself, Jeffries’ Buckland park…

Building a marketing funnel that drives valuable action

A marketing funnel is commonly known as the process of converting a visitor or browser into a paying, loyal customer – easy, right? Not so much. The marketing funnel is a widely used and respected gold-standard inclusion in any thorough marketing strategy. It’s a sophisticated resource that requires persistent effort and close attention to achieve successful return on investment and profit. Let us explain. 

First Australian SEA Electric truck rolls out

The first Australian-made SEA 300-85 electric truck has rolled off the production line in south-eastern Melbourne. The truck – complete with the Australian developed and manufactured SEA Electric drive train – has been delivered to leading Western Australian mining company Mineral Resources. Rated to 8.5-tonnes, the truck is specified with a 138kWh battery driving a…

Hunter frigates to get ‘ Capability Life Cycle Manager’

The federal government is to appoint a Capability Life Cycle Manager for the nine Hunter class frigates which are to be built at the Osborne Naval Shipyard in Adelaide. The role, which defence industry minister Melissa Price dubbed the sustainment ‘steward’ of the vessels, will manage an expected $5.1 billion in contracts through the service…

Quickstep Aerospace Services expands at Tullamarine

Composites and aerospace manufacturer Quickstep is to invest $4 million expanding its Quickstep Aerospace Services maintenance business at Melbourne’s Tullamarine Airport. The company, which bought the maintenance, repair and overhaul (MRO) operation from Boeing Australia, is to invest $4 million with the support of the Victorian government. Sixty three full-time jobs, including 51 jobs in…

K-Tig positioned in global markets, looks to disrupt Australian welding

By Peter Roberts In the past the model for Australian industrial technology companies was to first establish themselves in the local market before venturing overseas which ultimately represents 95 per cent of the potential market. Few Australian companies manage that jump without being taken over or swamped by international competition, partly because an initial technological…

Manufacturing news briefs – stories you might have missed

Cochlear implant company Hemideina raises $10 million. A second Australian cochlear implant player Hemideina has emerged to compete with Cochlear Ltd, with the technology company closing a $10 million capital raising, managed by Henslow. Founded in 2017 by research scientists Dr Kate Lomas and Dr Elizabeth Williams, the company has designed a new type of…

Definium Technologies expands to build Coates IoT devices

Invermay, Tasmania IoT device company Definium Technologies has completed shipment of its largest-ever device order to leading equipment hire company Coates. The order more than doubled staff numbers at the company and involved the installation and upgrading of surface mount technology and machinery, according to CEO Mike Cruse. Cruse said Coates engaged Definium to design…

R&D tax incentive is ‘counterintuitive to innovation’

By Joseph Brookes The government’s research and development tax incentive is “counterintuitive” to innovation because it fails to focus work into Australia’s areas of strength and provides support only after the work is completed, according Advanced Manufacturing Growth Centre head Dr Jens Goennemann. Speaking at a Capability event this week organised by InnovationAus, Dr Goennemann…

Uni Qld buys AML3D 3D printing system

The University of Queensland has purchased an Arcemy metal additive manufacturing system from AML3D. The $400,000 3D printing unit will be used across a range of existing and new initiatives at UQ. The Arcemy unit destined for Brisbane is a wire additive manufacturing (WAM) machine that can 3D print across a variety of metal alloys…

Quickstep signs $1.5 m deal to manufacture for drone delivery company

Composites specialist Quickstep Holdings has announced a manufacturing partnership with UAV logistics company Swoop Aero and a stake in Swoop’s parent company, Kookaburra Aerospace. Quickstep said in a statement that a contract with an initial order value of $1.5 million would see them provide engineering and manufacturing services, as well as an initial production run…

Whyalla GREENSTEEL plant could be Morrison’s Cop26 get out of jail card – exclusive

By Peter Roberts The refinancing of Sanjeev Gupta’s GFG Alliance two weeks ago has kick started work on plans for a massive, world-scale GREENSTEEL investment by the company which would transform its Australian operations centred on the Whyalla steelworks on upper Spencer Gulf in South Australia. @AuManufacturing understands negotiations have been underway in recent days…

Four more businesses join maiden Australian commercial orbital launch

Four more startups have signed up to be on the first commercial orbital rocket launch from Australia, scheduled for next year, aboard Space Machines Company’s Optimus-1 craft.

$7.1 billion for new trains the first Olympics-related “local procurement” announcement: Qld govt

The Queensland government has announced it will spend $7.1 billion on 65 new trains to be built near Maryborough, calling it the first “local procurement” announcement related to the 2032 Brisbane Olympics. The trains would be built at Torbanlea, north-west of Maryborough, and add 800 new jobs in the Wide Bay-Burnett region, according to the…

SEA Electric’s massive order for 1,150 trucks

Electric truck and van drive train manufacturer SEA Electric has made a major breakthrough in the key United States market winning its biggest-ever order to supply 1,150 new trucks. The company, which make its SEA Electric drive trains in Melbourne and fits them to trucks in Australia and internationally, received confirmation of the order for…

Cochlear rebound – sounds of success

By Peter Roberts Hearing implant manufacturer Cochlear has been the standout leader in Australian technology manufacturing for so long that sometimes it is easy to take it for granted as just another piece of the background of Australian life. But the way it has rebounded, with renewed vigour and direction, from twin hits from the…

Manufacturing news briefs – stories you might have missed

Winery offers entire vintage virtually A Barossa Valley winery has become the first wine brand to offer parts of or its entire vintage for sale through a NFT digital marketplace. Torbreck and Powell & Son’s Dave Powell has put his 2021 vintage wines under his brand Neldner Road (winery, pictured) up for auction on Opensea,…

Townsville engineering company’s expansion sees them relocate

Indigenous-owned Australian Engineering Professionals has moved into a bigger site at Townsville, increasing their ability to serve customers in mining equipment, defence and other sectors.

Anti-science threatens society and why we need science more than ever – by Dr Katherine Woodthorpe

Dr Katherine Woodthorpe AO today gave the 2021 Ralph Slatyer Address on Science and Society, marking the 30th Anniversary of the Cooperative Research Centres Program which has been central to industry/science collaboration in Australia. After outlining the benefits of collaboration, she went on to decry the rise of anti-science, and the harm it is doing…

Contractor announced for WA’s biggest battery

The Western Australian government has announced a $155 million contract has been signed with New Horizons Ahead (NHOA) Australia to deliver the state’s biggest lithium-ion battery. Perth business GenusPlus Group has also been appointed subcontractor for the 100 megawatt battery, to be built at the decommissioned Kwinana Power Station (pictured), which will have the capacity…

Boeing boosts Australian industry additive manufacturing expertise

Boeing is building Australian industry knowledge about how to commercialise additive manufacturing technologies through a series of virtual events commencing on 21 October. Spurred by feedback from a series last year, the two-hour webinars will focus on certification, qualification, innovation, and opportunities for growth and collaboration in the additive manufacturing field. Boeing Additive Manufacturing vice…

Envirostream gains approval for battery recycling plant

Lithium ion battery metals manufacturing and recycling company Lithium Australia has announced that its Envirostream Australia subsidiary has received planning approval from Hume City Council for the construction of a lithium ion battery recycling facility in Campbellfield, Victoria. The permit allows for a change in land use for the site in Berwick Road to house…

Hazer demo delayed, plans commercial facilities

Perth’s Hazer Group has revealed that construction of its $16.7 million demonstration plant to produce hydrogen from biogas in Perth has been delayed due to fabrication and materials issues. However the company, which is commercialising a technology to produce fuel cell grade hydrogen at the Western Australian Water Board’s Woodman Point wastewater treatment plant at…

Australia’s climate policies could push NSW into a debt spiral – report

Australia’s failure to commit to net zero targets or any credible climate policy is a growing economic threat to New South Wales and other states, argues a new report by the Institute of Energy Economics and Financial Analysis (IEEFA). The Reserve Bank of Australia’s deputy governor Guy Debelle last week urged Australia to begin planning…

Alexium says upward sales trend to continue

Chemistry technology company Alexium International believes FY22 is a pivotal year for the company with the technical and commercial developments instituted by new management since 2018 now bearing fruit. Releasing the company activities report for the quarter ended 30 September CEO Dr Bob Brookins said sales reached US$2.6 million in the quarter, an 80 per…

Orbital to raise cash to fund engine development

Perth unmanned aerial vehicle engine manufacturer Orbital UAV is to raise $6.5 million from investors to support the development of new engines for global drone manufacturers. The company yesterday announced it would upgrade the engines on United States-based Textron Systems’ existing fleet of Aerosonde tactical UAV’s, with the company also developing completely new engines for…

Apprentice and trainee numbers grow, completions fall

The most recent data on apprentice and trainee training activity show a strong increase in commencements in the March quarter 2021, an increase which is in line with the growth in manufacturing activity and employment reported elsewhere. The figures, from the National Centre for Vocational Education Research (NCVER) show that compared with the March quarter…

Cement and concrete sector releases report on decarbonisation by 2050

A report commissioned by the cement and concrete industry and released on Tuesday concludes that reaching net zero emissions by 2050 for the $15 billion sector is possible, though will require significant investment through technology development and market pull.

VSPC produces lithium ion battery anode powders

Lithium ion battery cathode manufacturer VSPC today announced it had begun production of commercial-quality lithium titanium oxide (LTO) battery anode powders. The company, which previously manufactured lithium ferro phosphate (LFP) and lithium manganese ferro phosphate (LMFP) cathode powders, has produced the anode materials at its electro-chemistry laboratory and pilot production facility in Brisbane (pictured). VSPC,…

‘Buy Australian Now’ launched to support makers

A new ‘Buy Australian Now’ campaign was launched today by the Australian Made Campaign, the licensor of the green and gold Australian kangaroo logo of origin. According to Australian Made Chief Executive, Ben Lazzaro, this campaign builds on those deployed by the organisation over the past 12 months with the message never more resonant with…

Leidos Australia and Terra15 to develop surveillance sensors

US defence technology company Leidos Australia and Perth’s Terra15 will together develop an easily deployable underwater sensor that will strengthen Australia’s maritime security. The partners and the University of Melbourne’s School of Engineering have received a $1.6 million Defence Innovation Hub contract to develop the technology. Announcing the grant defence industry minister Melissa Price said…

‘Don’t stop’ at 2050 net zero: Andrew Liveris

By Joseph Brookes Net zero emissions by 2050 is the minimum target Australia needs to improve its economy, according to Andrew Liveris, who has urged the federal government to commit to the long-term target and a 2030 mark as soon as possible. Liveris, a former chief executive of Dow Chemical, helped architect the $1.5 billion…

AML3D and Deakin to develop 3D print alloys

Wire additive manufacturing (WAM) technology group AML3D and Deakin University are to jointly develop optimised technology for high strength alloys, such as wire feedstock for 3D printing and welding markets. Following earlier success in a welding wire composition project with support from IMCRC, the company and Deakin’s Institute for Frontier Materials (IFM) will focus on…

Orbital to upgrade Textron Systems drone engines

Unmanned Aerial Vehicle engine manufacturer Orbital UAV is to upgrade the engines on United States-based Textron Systems’ existing fleet of tactical UAV’s which include the Shadow, Aerosonde and Aerosonde HQ drones. The contract will see the development of upgrades of the UAV engines of the Aerosonde program, targeting increased take-off power and improved real-timed engine…

Aristocrat makes $5bn play in online gambling

Pokie machine manufacturer and online game developer Aristocrat Leisure is making a massive $5 billion play to expand its booming online gambling businesses. The Sydney company is to raise $1.3 billion in new capital to acquire leading online gambling software and content supplier Playtech for $5 billion. The move vastly accelerates its global growth strategy…

Lark Distilling to spend $40m expanding whisky production

Tasmania’s Lark Distilling Co. is to buy Pontville Distillery and Estate for $40 million, construct a new 1 million litre distillery and accelerate its single malt whisky export operations. The company is raising $53 million through a fully underwritten share placement of $46.5 million and a further non-underwritten conditional placement of $6.4 million. It will…

Ampcontrol, Steber win Hunter Manufacturing Awards

Ampcontrol has been awarded twice for ‘Excellence in Product Design’ and ‘Collaboration Partnership’ at the 2021 Hunter Manufacturing Awards. The Boundary Power Solar Cube (main picture), a rapidly deployable Stand-Alone Power System (SAPS) received the accolade for Excellence in Product Design. And Ampcontrol’s collaboration with Steber International and The University of Newcastle to develop a…

Nuclear submarines look more and more like a mirage

Analysis by Peter Roberts The more time passes since the Prime Minister’s sudden cancelling of our order for French submarines in favour of US or British nuclear ones, the more obvious it is that Australia will never actually acquire them. Not only that, the more time passes the more obvious it is that even if…

Manufacturing news briefs – the Polly Waffle is coming soon

2022 is going to be the year of Polly Waffle Chocolate manufacturer Robern Menz is to reintroduce the Polly Waffle chocolate bar to the market in 2022, following on from their success with the relaunching of the Violet Crumble honeycomb bar. Backed by a $1 million Modernising Manufacturing grant, the Adelaide company is spending $5.2…

Penfolds shrugs off China woes

Leading prestige winemaker Treasury Wine Estates has all but moved on from the disruptions caused to its businesses by Covid-19 and punitive Chinese trade attacks against Australia. At the company’s annual general meeting this morning chairman Paul Rayner and CEO Tim Ford paid more attention to progress achieved in their new strategy of premiumisation of…

CRC Association to host science and business leaders at virtual event next week

The Cooperative Research Centres Association will host its Collaborate Innovate 2021 Conference at Parliament House, Canberra next week, examining collaborative innovation and the impact of “covid, climate change, digital transformation and geo-economic volatility.”

Titomic raises $9 m to support commercialisation of TKF

Large-scale additive manufacturing business Titomic has raised $9 million and intends to raise a further $2 million, using the funding to support commercialisation via joint ventures, investing in offshore sales and facilities, and working capital.

Olympic Dam goes for green power

BHP is planning to enter into renewable energy supply arrangements to enable the giant Olympic Dam copper, gold and uranium mine in South Australia to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions to zero for 50 per cent of its electricity consumption by 2025. Energy will be supplied by clean energy supplier Iberdrola Australia, including from the…

Austin Engineering strengthens North America operations

A new partnership between mining equipment manufacturer Austin Engineering and a Mexican manufacturer is set to strengthen the company’s market position in the United States and central and northern South American markets. The partnership, part of a new ‘hub-and-spoke’ market strategy adopted by Austin after a strategic review, will see Mexico’s Melter manufacture Austin heavy-haul…

How the industry department agencies and programs will be split up

By Denham Sadler Defence Industry Minister Melissa Price will take control of the CSIRO and the Australian Space Agency while Energy Minister Angus Taylor will oversee the $1.3 billion Modern Manufacturing Initiative under their new roles following this month’s reshuffle. Last week, Prime Minister Scott Morrison announced that the position of Minister for Industry, Science and…

More ambitious Orica aims for net zero – video

Fertiliser, chemicals and explosives group Orica today announced its ambition to achieve net zero emissions by 2050, eclipsing its previously announced medium-term target to reduce scope 1 and 2 operational emissions by at least 40 per cent by 2030. The new ambition covers the company’s scope 1 and 2 greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and its…

CSL to complete contracted manufacture of AstraZeneca vaccines in 2022

CSL has confirmed it will continue manufacturing AstraZeneca’s Covid-19 vaccine into next year, following reports it would cease production early due to local preferences for the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines. The full contract with the federal government to produce approximately 50 million doses of Vaxzevria will be met, with any unused doses donated to countries…

Manufacturing news briefs – stories you might have missed

Bubs booms on China infant formula sales Infant formula and children’s nutrition product manufacturer Bubs Australia has gross revenue of $18.5 million for the first quarter of FY22, nearly double the prior year and up 45 per cent on the previous quarter. Bubs achieved market share gains of 35 per cent for Bubs Infant Formula…

Seeley wins major meat works air con project

Australia’s largest air-conditioning manufacturer, Seeley International, will utilise its unique indirect evaporative cooling products to provide the HVAC system for Thomas Foods International’s new Murray Bridge meat-processing facility in South Australia which will replace one destroyed by fire. Seeley will provide its Climate Wizard indirect evaporative cooling systems (IEC, below) for the project which are…

Gilmour: We can take Australian made rover to moon

The Australian-made rover expected to land on the moon later this decade should get there on an Australian-made rocket, according to a local space company which says it could build the spacecraft and help inspire the next generation of Australian aeronautical engineers.

EOS to launch first four optical relay satellites

Space, communications and defence systems manufacturer Electro Optic Systems has selected a manufacturer to produce the first four of a planned global system of linked optical relay communications satellites. The Canberra company’s US subsidiary, SpaceLink Corporation has selected leading satellite manufacturer OHB Systems AG as the preferred tenderer for the initial constellation of four high…

Monash University and IDT to enter mRNA manufacturing

IDT Australia will go ahead with manufacturing an mRNA vaccine developed by Monash University as the long awaited technology finally reaches Australian shores. The basic technology behind the Pfizer and Moderna Covid-19 vaccines will be used by the Melbourne pharmaceutical manufacturer to make a vaccine candidate developed by the university’s Institute of Pharmaceutical Sciences (MIPS).…

CleanSpace HALO mask snares Design Award

CleanSpace Technology’s healthcare respirator, CleanSpace HALO, has received a prestigious Good Design Award Winner Accolade in the Product Design category in recognition of outstanding design and innovation. The Good Design Awards Jury said of the HALO: “An important innovation in the current climate, the design’s adaptability to full and half face mask is a clever…

WA stumps up $103m to match JobTrainer funds

The Western Australian Government is to pump $103.5 million into local training, announcing it would match the federal government’s second round of JobTrainer funding. JobTrainer, first announced in July 2020, funds free or low-fee training for job seekers and young people, including school leavers, to upskill or reskill in areas of identified skills need. With…

Australia to develop small Moon rover – video

The Australian Space Agency and NASA have agreed that a consortium of Australian businesses and researchers will build a small rover that could be taken to the Moon and operate on the lunar surface within five years. The agreement signed under NASA’s Artemis program will further support human and robotic lunar operations for both countries.…

Gold Coast company exports race simulators

Professional drivers and elite race teams are turning to simulators to stay on track and in peak racing condition as Covid continues to disrupt global motorsports events from Formula One grand prix to the latest Supercar event cancellations at Phillip Island and the 2021 GC500. So strong is the demand for simulators that it is…

Kogan Creek demo hydrogen plant to begin operations in 2023: Queensland government

The Queensland government has announced a demonstration green hydrogen plant will be built at CS Energy’s Kogan Creek Power Station, with a capacity of 50,000 kilograms annually and coming online in 2023.

What is Australian manufacturing – by Tim McLean

With renewed focus on growing the manufacturing sector, Tim McLean takes a hard look at what constitutes Australian manufacturing and the realities of its recent track record. His conclusions include that we should focus effort on where we can compete. The past three months have provided a welcome focus on Australian manufacturing. However, as I…

RedEarth battery manufacturing raises $12 million

Solar battery system manufacturer RedEarth Energy Storage has raised $12 million from investors in preparation for a stock exchange listing planned for next year. The capital raising for the Brisbane company was led by Ord Minnett Private Capital, Perennial Value and Thorney Investments and will be used for R&D and to boost manufacturing capacity. RedEarth…

Fortescue and Incitec Pivot study green ammonia production

Global renewable energy company Fortescue Future Industries (FFI) has announced yet another green business venture – a joint feasibility study with fertiliser and explosives manufacturer Incitec Pivot for the conversion of ammonia production to utilise green hydrogen. The study, announced after a week in which FFI revealed plans for a $1 billion green equipment manufacturing…

Debt restructured for high performing Whyalla steelworks

The GFG Alliance has agreed to a debt restructuring for Liberty Primary Metals Australia with Credit Suisse Asset Management, ending uncertainty over the future of the Whyalla steelworks. The company said Whyalla had ‘registered record-breaking performances following its operational efficiency drive, continuous improvement initiatives and favourable market conditions underpinned by strong investment in infrastructure.’ LPMA’s…

New Wine Australia CEO named

Dr Martin Cole has been named the incoming CEO of Wine Australia, beginning on November 15, in a statement from federal agriculture minister David Littleproud “Under Dr Cole’s leadership, Wine Australia will continue to deliver on its mission to support a competitive wine sector, growing domestic and international markets and protecting the reputation of Australian wine,”…

Fortescue to build ‘$1bn’ green equipment manufacturing plant

Andrew Forrest’s Fortescue Future Industries is to construct the world’s largest electrolyser, renewable industry and equipment factory at Gladstone, Queensland FFI, which only last week announced it was designing a 1Gw solar PV factory to be sited in Australia, made the announcement of the first stage on Sunday. FFI said total investment could add up…

Applied EV autonomous vehicle shows the futility of Australia’s car plans

By Peter Roberts For several decades Australia has a series of ‘car plans’ that succeeded in reducing model proliferation in what was once a highly protected industry, creating a sector which was technologically advanced and, with the subsidy of the plan, profitable for the surviving companies Ford GM and Totoya. It made an important contribution…

Labor’s 10 point Buy Australian plan

Opposition leader Anthony Albanese outlined a 10 point Buy Australian vision at a NSW Labor conference on the weekend – in this excerpt from his speech, he outlines his plan.

Manufacturing news briefs – stories you might have missed

Namoi Cotton grows Northern Australia footprint Namoi Cotton plans to build and operate a new cotton gin with KCC Kimberley Cotton Company to service the Ord River Irrigation Area in Western Australia. The two companies have been developing plans for the gin since 2020, according to Namoi CEO John Stevenson, and was part of the…

Australian Business Growth Fund makes first investment

Battery and electric vehicle technology company 3ME technology has been revealed as the first investment of the Australian Business Growth Fund, a joint partnership between the federal government and Australia’s major financial institutions. Based in the Hunter region, 3ME Technology will receive $15 million from the fund, which was established in 2020 and provided an…

Going Dutch – Fortescue planning Australian solar PV factory

Andrew Forrest’s Fortescue Future Industries has purchased a Dutch green hydrogen and solar PV business and announced a major expansion including plans to build a solar PV manufacturing plant in Australia. FFI has purchased a 60 per cent stake in Dutch-based High yield Energy Technologies (HyET) Group and provided the majority share of financing for…

New hope for kidney patients with Australian dialysis device

Sydney-based start-up Ellen Medical Devices plans to utilise a federal commercialisation grant to manufacture a revolutionary new dialysis machine costing a fraction of traditional machines to build and just a few dollars a day to run. Such a machine would be a literal lifesaver for the millions around the world who are unable to afford…

Boxer introduced with live fire exercises

The army has successfully completed two Boxer turret conversion courses in Queensland as it begins introducing the Boxer Combat Reconnaissance Vehicle to service. Live fire exercises at the Townsville Field Training Area, Queensland have qualified 35 armoured cavalry crew on new digital sensors, next generation thermal sights and mission systems in the Boxer’s turret. The…

WA export winners for this year announced

The annual Export Awards have been celebrated in Western Australia, a state that contributes just over half of the country’s merchandise exports.

Bordertown’s bioenergy breakthrough

By Gabrielle Duykers Cereal oat supplier Blue Lake Milling completed construction of its $8.1 million biogas plant in Bordertown last week. Commercial projects manager Jeremy Neale said the plant would generate enough bioenergy to power both the plant and nearby homes. “Two-thirds of it will go to the mill, and the remaining third will be…

Calix low-carbon cement costs lowest of competing technologies

By Peter Roberts A European Union funded consortium has released the final project report that the entire construction sector is waiting for – official confirmation that the technology developed by Australian company Calix offers the cheapest way yet discovered to de-carbonise the cement industry. Cement, along with steel, are seen as the most vital yet…

Green steel, e-motorcycle manufacturers among winners of AMGC grants totalling $6.1 million

Tranche 4 and 5 of Advanced Manufacturing Growth Centre Commercialisation Fund grants have been announced, with $6.1 million awarded to ten companies.

BioCina takes over Pfizer site, will add mRNA vaccine capabilities

Adelaide pharmaceutical group BioCina has announced the final transfer to it of ownership of the microbial-based pharmaceutical manufacturing facility formally operated by Hospira Adelaide, an affiliate of Pfizer Inc. The former-Pfizer site in Adelaide will now be operated by the company as a contract development and biologics manufacturing organization (CDMO) specialising in process development and…

Manufacturing news briefs – stories you might have missed

Universal Biosensors appoints French distributor Electrochemical test developer Universal Biosensors has signed Vivelys SAS (France), part of the Oeneo Group, to be its French distributor for the company’s Sentia wine testing platform device. Vivelys will be non-exclusive distributor for a three year term for Sentia, which tests wine for sulphur dioxide, glucose, malic acid and…

Austal contracted to build first steel vessels for US Navy

Perth international shipbuilder Austal has made a major breakthrough, winning its first contracts to build steel ships for the US Navy. Austal USA has won a $198.5 million contract to construct two new Navajo class Towing, Salvage and Rescue Ship (T-ATS, pictured) for the USN at its shipyard in Mobile Alabama. The contract establishes options…

Hadrian X robot to build multi-unit dwellings

Perth construction robotics company FBR has announced its has won a $500,000 contract for its first multi-home construction project as part of its Wall as a Service (WaaS) construction system. The Hadrian X bricklaying robot will construct eight two-storey townhouses at a development site in St James, Perth, with the robot constructing the slab, footings,…

Hypersonix to develop reusable hypersonic space vehicle

Aerospace engineering company Hypersonix Launch Systems has teamed up with the University of Southern Queensland to create a re-usable hypersonic UAV (unmanned aerial vehicle) to be named Delta Velos. The launch vehicle is to be a technology demonstrator for key aspects of a re-usable small satellite launch system to support Hypersonix first launch due in…

Brabham Automotive launches second racing car

Australian supercar manufacturer Brabham Automotive is continuing to kick goals internationally with its BT62 vehicle securing the GTO class title in the British GT Cup and its latest model, the BT63 GT2 Concept (pictured) debuting at the Circuit Paul Ricard, in France. The company is manufacturing 100 BT62’s in a factory in northern Adelaide with…

Clean hydrogen from biomass for Bundaberg

A multimillion-dollar renewable energy venture is to produce green hydrogen and ammonia for export and domestic use in Bundaberg, Queensland, adding to a growing network of regional production sites. A joint venture between Clean Holdings Pty Ltd and Singapore based CAC-H2 Pte Ltd plans long term investment in excess of $400 million in Bundaberg for…

Geofabrics acquires Plascorp

Civil engineering supplier Geofabrics Australasia has acquired industrial products business Plascorp Holdings, creating what Geofabrics says is one of the largest private manufacturers and sellers of highly engineered industrial products in Australia and New Zealand.

Mixed reception as PM splits Industry responsibilities

By James Riley The Prime Minister’s decision to split responsibility for Christian Porter’s former Industry, Science and Technology portfolio between two existing cabinet ministers has been given a broadly positive reception from the industry. The caveat, as always with this portfolio in recent years, is the generally expressed desire for greater stability within Industry. And there…

Stryker to establish Queensland medical technology innovation centre

A partnership between the Innovative Manufacturing Cooperative Research Centre, research institutions, the Queensland government and global medtech firm Stryker will establish a new medical technology innovation centre in Queensland. The new R&D facility grew from work carried out in an $18 million Australian medtech manufacturing research project that is set to transform the way physicians…

Another WA battery metals venture moves forward

A second Western Australian battery metals project in a matter of days has moved forward with the completion of a joint venture agreement between Alcoa Australia and FYI Resources to jointly develop a high purity aluminium project in the state. Only last week BHP Nickel West entered the battery supply chain for electric vehicles, opening…

Another ministerial reshuffle confirms our seventh industry minister

The merry go round of ministers in the industry portfolio continues with the confirmation of Minister for Energy and Emissions Reduction Angus Taylor as replacement for disgraced former minister Christian Porter. Taylor had been in the acting role since Porter resigned over his acceptance of an anonymous donation said to be of $1 million, with…

Australian Manufacturing Forum passes 9,000 members

@AuManufacturing’s social media discussion and networking group, the Australian Manufacturing Forum on Linkedin, has passed an important membership milestone. The Forum, Australia’s largest social media group of Australian manufacturers, passed 9,023 members on the long weekend. The Forum has grown steadily since its founding in 2013, with the the group reaching 7,000 members in January…

Manufacturing news briefs – stories you might have missed

Aurora Labs delivers maritime 3D print parts Additive manufacturing technology group Aurora Labs (A3D) has completed and delivered an order of evaluation parts to BAE Systems Australia Maritime Australia produced on its high-power RMP-1Beta porotype additive manufacturing printer. The parts for the naval shipbuilding group were delivered with a comprehensive print report and were analysed…

BHP Nickel West opens Australia’s first nickel sulphate plant

BHP Nickel West has opened Australia’s first nickel sulphate refinery, adding value to the company’s metals business and entering the battery supply chain for electric vehicles. The nickel sulphate plant has been operating since September at its Kwinana refinery and has the potential to exceed 100,000 tonnes of nickel sulphate per year at 99.99 per…

Manufacturing narrowly achieves a year of month-on-month growth in PMI

Manufacturing narrowly achieved its 12th straight month of growth in September, according to the Australian Industry Group’s Performance of Manufacturing Index, with the industry hopeful it will see an uplift after pandemic-related restrictions ease.

UGL wins $297 million locomotive contract

UGL has been awarded a contract to design, manufacture and supply new fuel-efficient diesel electric locomotives for long standing client Pacific National The company, part of the CIMIC engineering group, will earn $297 million over seven years, reinforcing its position as the country’s only freight locomotive manufacturer. It will build the C44 Evolution locomotive in…

IDT approved to manufacture mRNA vaccines

Melbourne drug development and manufacturing company IDT Australia has received extensions to its manufacturing licence from the Therapeutic Goods Administration effectively completing its program to bring the company’s sterile manufacturing facility into a state of readiness to manufacture Covid-19 mRNA technology vaccines. The new approvals allow the company to manufacture sterile injection and sterile solution…

Lucas Heights will get new $30 million nuclear medicine factory, says federal government

The federal government has announced a $30 million project to design a new radiopharmaceutical manufacturing facility at Lucas Heights in NSW, where 80 per cent of the country’s nuclear medicine needs are currently produced.

Micro-X – the genuinely world leading Australian technology

By Peter Roberts The phrase world-leading is bandied round often to describe Australian technology taking on global markets – but in the case of X-ray machine manufacturer Micro-X the phrase is actually true. The company, which has just won two US Department of Homeland Security contracts to design and in one case manufacture a prototype…

Manufacturing news briefs – stories you might have missed

State of the art bionic device prototyping centre opens in Melbourne Neo-Bionica, a Bionics Institute and the University of Melbourne joint venture lab, was officially opened this week by Victorian innovation minister Jaala Pulford. Located at St Vincent’s, the new facility aims to give researchers and engineers the tools to create medical-grade devices rather than…

Micro-X signs two US Department of Homeland Security contracts

Cold cathode X-ray machine manufacturer Micro-X has signed two technology contracts with the US Department of Homeland Security to develop its small, lightweight, low power consumption X-ray emitter for passenger screening at airports. The two contracts, worth a total of $5.5 million (US$4 million), will see the company design and manufacture a prototype miniature CT…

Research looks at additive manufacturing opportunity for Australian agriculture

A new report has found agricultural industries could benefit by adopting 3D printing, though there are limitations such as a lack of well-known examples and concerns about the strength and durability of printed parts.  Additive manufacturing opportunities for Australia’s agriculture, fisheries and forestry sectors was released by AgriFutures Australia on Wednesday. It found that on-demand…

Going global but keeping it local- by Bill Gillespie

SEA Electric developed and manufactures it electric truck drive trains in Melbourne, assembling e-trucks in Dandenong. But now the company has gone global with the major focus in bigger markets such as the US, how does it keep the business local? – Bill Gillespie explains It’s an exciting time to be involved in the zero-emissions…

Defence to use Myriota’s IoT data network

The defence department will utilise Myriota’s nanosatellite and IoT communications networks to retrieve data from hundreds of defence sites globally under a $5.5 million defence innovation contract. The Defence Innovation Hub contract will see the Adelaide company expand its cutting-edge satellite communications network and provide defence with an alternative global, space-enabled communications network. The contract…

LI-S battery producer booms on ASX listing

Advanced lithium sulphur battery developer Li-S Energy debuted on the stock market yesterday immediately more than doubling in value as investors sought the promising alternative to lithium ion battery technology. Li-S, which is commercialising the batteries developed at Deakin University’s Institute for Frontier Materials, ended the day’s trading up 174.1 per cent or $1.48 to…

New $4 million food and pharma centre opens at Parkville Biomedical Precinct

The $4 million Faster, Smarter Pharma and Food Manufacturing Project was launched at Parkville on Tuesday, aimed at stimulating innovation in the pharmaceutical and food manufacturing sectors.

Manufacturers resilient, hopeful about vaccination “ticket out of lockdown,” but still suffering supply shortages

September quarter results of a long-running industrial survey have pointed to manufacturers facing the worst labour shortages in 21 years among other difficulties, but optimistic the economy will rebound as vaccination levels increase.

Quad commitment on semiconductor supply chain, tech principles

By Joseph Brookes The Australian government has agreed to map the supply chains of critical technologies and materials, including semiconductors, as part of an agreement with fellow Quad nations on technology development, governance and use. 5G, artificial intelligence, cybersecurity and space access were also highlighted as areas of cooperation in the first in-person meeting by leaders…

Volvo launches new BZL electric bus chassis

Volvo has launched its new Volvo BZL Electric chassis fitted with an Australian made Volgren Optimus body and tailored to meet demanding Australian operating conditions and asset life expectancy. At a virtual global launch event mirrored at the company’s Brisbane headquarters this morning, Volvo Bus Australia (VBA) displayed one of two locally made e-busses destined…

Silex raises $40m for uranium, silicon enrichment technology

Technology developer Silex Systems has raised $33 million from investors and launched a share purchase plan to raise a further $7 million to progress its uranium enrichment pilot plant and develop manufacturing technology for zero-spin silicon likely to be used in making quantum computing chips. The company raised the funds from domestic, international and uranium…

Townsville battery materials plant given “prescribed project” status

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

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

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

Manufacturing news briefs – stories you might have missed

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

Cochlear faces another patent battle

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

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

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

Research and industry sweet spot at Carbon Revolution – video

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

Micro-X signs $8m stroke detection device contract

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

Brickworks record year driven by diversification

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

Xefco, PPK announce antibacterial facemask JV

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

Manufacturing news briefs – stories you might have missed

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

TiSpace abandons SA rocket launch attempt

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

Regional business lobby welcomes Wellcamp Wingman coup 

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

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

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

UNSW Sydney gets $1 m nuclear engineering boost

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

DGL acquires Aquapac for $8 m

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

Pawsey Supercomputing boost – video

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

Mars Wrigley invests $30 million onshoring to Ballarat factory

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

How a Brisbane autonomous robot company commercialised its tech

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

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

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

Aussie manufacturers dudded by Australia’s submarine flip flop

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

Outdoor furniture maker opens new Bundaberg factory

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

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

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

Rio triples solar output at Queensland bauxite operation

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

Bendigo regional manufacturing hub project gets $2 m federal grant

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

Reorganisation pays off for Austin with $30m contract wins

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

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

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

Ampcontrol and Tritium to compete in worldwide mining decarbonisation challenge

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

ANSTO to build space heater for Moon probe

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

ACE EV launches X1 Transformer modular vehicles

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

QLD export award finalists announced

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

AML3D 3D printed Panama Chock receives certification

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

EMVision signs $8m agreement with Stroke Alliance

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

IDT to receive $11.4m readying for mRNA manufacture

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

Rocket catches fire on SA launch pad

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

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

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

Homegrown hydrogen pioneer the newest Australian Made licensee

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

Space Machines to deploy Fleet Space nanosatellites

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

Manufacturing news briefs – stories you might have missed

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

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

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

Private SA spacecraft launch left on the pad

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

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

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

Calix begins to reap low carbon cement dividend

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

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

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

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

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

Cronos to merge, bolstering cannabis distribution

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

TGA lists Micro-X X-ray machine

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

K-TIG to enter UK nuclear waste industry

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

Microsoft to build Australian satellite data centres

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

SunDrive Solar produces world-record solar PV cell

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

Forbidden Foods buys Blue Dinosaur

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

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

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

Incitec Pivot Waggaman plant faces new downtime

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

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

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

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

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

Mission takes Aussie space camera into space

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

Defence testing satellite tech in space

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

VEEM in sea trials of new gyrostabiliser

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

Thomas Global exhibits new LED flight display

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

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

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

Quantum Brilliance recruits ex-IBM exec as European MD

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

New research shows Australian support for manufacturing climbed since 2019

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

DXN expands with data centre purchase

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

SPEE3D 3D prints stainless steel components

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

Southport cannabis factory features in Canadian company’s global expansion

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

CSIRO launches $150 million food industry missions

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

Orbital to expand Perth production facilities

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

IDT explains mRNA vaccine related share price rise

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

Manufacturing news briefs – stories you might have missed

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

RedEarth receives CEC approval for off-grid energy storage system

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

New Mackay Manufacturing Hub opens

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

AML3 breakthrough in aluminium welding

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

Hardiman Hockey Field field redeveloped with recycled materials

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

Apprentice completion rates rise slightly

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

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

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

$61.5 million boost for WA’s renewable hydrogen industry

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

Audit office to probe Entrepreneurs’ Programme contracts

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

Hunter biomass-to-hydrogen JV project in the works

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

Circular economy program turns feral olives into vineyard biochar

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

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

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

DefendTex – from Gippsland to space

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

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

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

Business spending on R&D has flatlined in Australia

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

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

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

Kookaburra bowls up technology to match its 130 year tradition

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

Manufacturing news briefs – stories you might have missed

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

WA lithium refinery to bring back battery value chain

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

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

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

Orbital delivers second UAV engine to Singapore

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

Monash University to make first mRNA vaccine candidate for human trial

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

Manufacturing news briefs – stories you might have missed

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

Australian Vanadium advances redox flow battery manufacture

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

Keytone Dairy expands Sydney plant

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

Monash Technology Precinct gets $16.1 m boost for manufacturing facilities

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

Toshiba shows what Australia loses by undervaluing R&D

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

Wineries supported to enter US export market

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

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

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

H2X to launch hydrogen powered fuel cell ute

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

PPK bets big on BN nanotubes

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

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

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

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

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

Industry minister doing the ‘bare minimum’: Husic

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

$1.1 million awarded to solar energy system recycling projects

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

Manufacturing news briefs – stories you might have missed

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

Rossi reboots its manufacturing in Adelaide

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

Hume Council counts 111 roads resurfaced with recycled materials since 2018

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

Pandemic’s path of disruption for apprentices

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

EOS in loss as Covid interrupts arms exports

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

WA’s $100m new industries fund

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

Sun Cable brings Australian manufacturing boost

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

Praxis Aeronautics pioneering solar powered flight – by Kerryn Caulfield

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

Manufacturing news briefs – stories you might have missed

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

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

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

New England Renewable Energy Zone gets 80 expressions of interest

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

Titomic to establish hypersonic space vehicle manufacturing

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

WorldSkills Australia National Championships begin

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

Senate shoots down sovereign capability inquiry

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

Blackmores gains on global markets, efficiency improvements

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

Forget gas, its a dope led recovery

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

Quantum computing manufacturing beckons with QB’s cash raising

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

Regional councils court food manufacturer investment with new online directory

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

Manufacturing profit results briefs – stories you might have missed

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

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

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

Australia urged to think strategically on battery value chains

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

Rio Tinto doubles down on hydrogen for processing

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

Manufacturing news briefs – stories you might have missed

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

VET slumps during Covid restrictions

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

Austal delivers 19 ships, reports second-higest earnings

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

Carbon Revolution reports subdued results, strong prospects

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

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

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

New resources to boost green hydrogen uptake

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

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

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

@AuManufacturing is now on Google News

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

Bosch opens manufacturing automation centre

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

Ampcontrol and PPK to introduce new battery-electric vehicle

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

Manufacturing news briefs – stories you might have missed

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

Titomic sells TKF 3D printer to the UK

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

Maggie Beer rides e-commerce wave

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

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

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

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

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

Sales growth drives Cochlear recovery

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

BusTech delivers hybrid buses

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

K-TIG expands again in UK

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

Austin invests $6.5m in mine equipment manufacturing

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

Treasury Wine’s strong year despite China woes

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

If only BHP would add value again

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

Manufacturing news briefs – stories you might have missed

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

CSL profits, revenues up 10%, shares fall

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

ATCO gets $2 million WA Renewable Hydrogen Fund grant

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

Cathy Foley, uni VCs warn on translation risks

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

AMGC announces new NT director

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

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

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

Australian-first FRP rebar manufacturing facility

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

Possible east coast gas shortage next year: ACCC

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

Ballarat council announces circular economy programs for local companies

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

How Calix’s process cuts cement production emissions – video

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

Boots on ground boosts footwear manufacturer

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

Export Market Development Grant applications open

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

EOS expands live fire weapon system development

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

PET recycling facility to be built by industry partnership

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

CSL bids $800 million in vaccine gamble

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

Manufacturing news briefs – stories you might have missed

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