Green light for green industries in tectonic election shift

By Peter Roberts The result of Saturday’s election is not notable so much for the return of a Labor government after nine years, but for a tectonic shift towards progressive candidates with massive implications for a transition from fossil fuels to green industry such as hydrogen and ammonia export. Climate conservative politicians were swept from…

Tianqi produces Australia’s first battery-grade lithium hydroxide

Tianqi Lithium Energy Australia has become the first in Australia and one of a few outside China to produce battery-grade lithium hydroxide at its plant in Kwinana south of Perth. The company, a joint venture between IGO and Tianqi Lithium, announced the breakthrough today, sparking congratulations from the Western Australian state government. IGO told investors…

George Weston plans new Ballarat flour mill

George Weston Foods is investing $132.9 million building a new flour mill at Ballarat in regional Victoria as part of expansions in the state, which will create 220 jobs. The investment, backed by the Victorian government, is part of a major expansion by the Australia and New Zealand business. George Weston Foods’ new investments across…

Tyre resource recovery plant for Bacchus Marsh

Environmental Clean Technologies and Green Distillation Technologies have signed a MoU to collaborate on a project which could see GDT’s proprietary tyre recycling technology deployed at ECT’s site an Bacchus Marsh, Victoria.

Manufacturing news briefs – stories you might have missed

Sprout takes plant-based infant formula to Saudi Arabia Vegan infant formula start up Sprout Organic is debuting its products at the Saudi Food Expo this week, the largest food, beverage and hospitality trade fair in Saudi Arabia. The plant-based dairy market in the Middle East and Africa is estimated to reach US$2.16 billion by 2026,…

Haigh’s buys land to double chocolate production

Luxury chocolate maker Haigh’s Chocolates has purchased land at a new industrial estate in northern Adelaide for a major expansion of its manufacturing and warehousing operation. The company, the oldest family owned chocolate maker, joins high-profile food and drink manufacturing businesses in Salisbury South, buying 3.6 hectares at the Nexus North development next to the…

Calix – another firm getting election-time grants for numerous of its projects

By Peter Roberts When the dust settles on this federal election someone had better do a stocktake of the hundreds of grants that have been sprayed around the manufacturing sector – public money shovelled out the door at a rate never before seen – all with no transparency, little process and no accountability whatsoever. The…

Titomic gets into glass with sale to Austria’s Vetropack

Additive manufacturing business Titomic has entered the glass packaging market with the sale of a machine for mould coatings to the International Partners in Glass Research (IPGR) network.

USQ-led sustainable regional manufacturing hub awarded $3.35 million funding

A new regional manufacturing-focussed research hub led by University of Southern Queensland has been announced, with $3.35 million in federal government awarded to the initiative on Wednesday.

Packaging, process and progress: Investing in a strong service culture

Today in our Packaging, process and progress series, we hear from HMPS on its recent expansion in Victoria.

Space Machines to launch its Optimus in-space orbital transfer vehicle

Australian in-space transportation provider, Space Machines Company (SMC) has secured the support of SpaceX as a launch partner to carry its Optimus Orbital Transfer Vehicle (OTV) to space as part of its April 2023 mission. SMC’s Optimus OTV is one of the largest commercial spacecraft designed and manufactured in Australia. The 2023 mission will demonstrate…

Election 22 the real issues – the industry policy dog that didn’t bark by Roy Green

@AuManufacturing’s occasional editorial series on the real issues in the 2022 federal election concludes today with a return to industry and innovation policy – largely missing in action in the election campaign. By Professor Roy Green. When it comes to research and innovation, the current election campaign recalls the Sherlock Holmes story featuring the dog…

SPC Goulburn Valley rebrands with Taste the Good Life

Goulburn Valley, part of the SPC family, has unveiled a complete rebrand, including new logo, across the Goulburn Valley range – the first major consumer based campaign delivered by the SPC house of brands in three years. The new look encapsulates how in the Goulburn Valley, the life of fruit is so good, you can…

Thomas Global Systems to supply tank trainer

Defence electronics contractor Thomas Global Systems will be Prime System Integrator for the Australian Army’s M1A2 Abrams battle tank Immersive Tactical Trainer (ITT). With Australia buying 75 M1A2 Abrams Main Battle Tanks (MBT), Thomas Global will establish a new advanced manufacturing facility in Newington, NSW, to deliver 16 Immersive Tactical Trainers. Thomas Global Systems will…

Forrest upgrades Fortescue Future Industries, appoints new CEO

Andrew Forrest’s Fortescue Metals Group has announced a reorganisation which upgrades its Fortescue Future Industries offshoot within the group, at the same time announcing the appointment of senior global executives and a new executive who will become FFI’s future CEO. The company said the reorganisation would transition the company to a truly global company. In…

The road to green growth within manufacturing

As our world continues to transform, major manufacturing projects – and the professionals who manage them – will be more important than ever. By Ben Breen. Projects have the power to shape a better world – to create new jobs, provide essential infrastructure, enhance education, advance diversity and equality and improve quality of life.  Project…

US drives improved earnings guidance for Bluescope

Bluescope has increased its guidance for earnings before interest, tax for the second half of FY2022 from between $1.2 billion and $1.35 billion to between $1.375 and $1.475 billion, credited to improved performance among its US businesses.

Monitum launches world-first asset displacement monitoring service

Monitoring solutions business Monitum has launched a new asset management system, developed in collaboration with Queensland University of Technology geospatial specialists.

Manufacturing news briefs – stories you might have missed

From landfill to useful rail infrastructure The Victorian Government will invest $1.6 million to install a new production line that will process used plastic bags into durable railway sleepers as part of its Recycling Modernisation Fund. The Integrated Recycling facility in Mildura, where Duratrack railway sleepers made from 85 per cent recycled plastic will be…

Industry backing for large satellite manufacturing

A $71 million investment will go ahead to establish a genuinely Australian-owned Satellite Manufacturing Hub in New South Wales. The facility will be Australia’s first commercial hub for larger satellites up to 500kg in weight, able to carry advanced optical instruments, and focused on building Earth observation satellites. A collaborative venture with government and leading…

ASM’s rare earth project moves to staged foreign investment

Australian Strategic Materials (ASM) which is developing a rare earths mine at Dubbo in New South Wales and value-added metal manufacturing plant in South Korea has moved to a staged investment approach to to match development work underway for the project. The company announced that Korean KCF Energy Co. Ltd (KCF), a company owned by…

Matrix to establish deep water hyperbaric test chamber

Buoyancy materials producer Matrix Composites & Engineering will establish the first deep water hyperbaric test chamber in Perth for subsea control modules. The chamber, to be an upgrade of Matrix’s existing Subsea Test Facility, will be capable of testing equipment the oil & gas industry. The Western Australian government and industry participants will each contribute…

Tasmanian manufacturers awarded $865,000 in grants

Twelve Tasmanian businesses have been awarded a total of $865,000 under the state government’s Advanced Manufacturing Accelerating Growth Grants program.

Gilmour unveils its third-stage rocket engine, Phoenix (VIDEO)

Gilmour Space announced its new rocket engine, Phoenix, on Tuesday morning, as well as news that it had recently put the liquid-fuelled third-stage engine through a successful 190-second mission duty cycle test firing.

Tekt Industries funded to support semiconductor supply chain

Product development, manufacturing and commercialisation specialist Tekt Industries has won a federal government Supply Chain Resilience Grant to improve local support for the semiconductor and printed circuit board sectors. The grant supports an investment in over $1.4 million in new equipment at the company’s Abbotsford, Melbourne facility, including 100 nanometre level high resolution X-Ray inspection…

Business involvement to the fore in new Trailblazer programme

While the university sector has dominated news of those to benefit from the federal government’s Trailblazer Universities Program, industry involvement is becoming increasingly obvious and transformational. iLAUNCH hub, involving the University of Southern Queensland (USQ), the Australian National University (ANU) and UniSA, has now revealed details of industry research partnerships to be funded under the…

Wrightbus and Volgren to produce hydrogen-electric buses

Australia’s largest bus body manufacturer Volgren has signed a technology deal to bring the UK’s Wrightbus’s hydrogen fuel cell powertrain to Australia. The two companies will manufacture two zero-emission hydrogen single deck buses which will be the first European-Australian hydrogen combination in the country. They hope the vehicles will demonstrative an alternative to battery electric…

Three businesses from a single entrepreneurial company get federal grants

The federal government has simultaneously given grants to three start up companies that are subsidiaries of a single publicly listed company. PPK Group announced today that three of its subsidiaries had secured grants under the government’s Trailblazer University Program as part of Geelong’s Deakin University Renewable Energy Commercialisation Hub (REACH): Lithium sulphur battery technology company…

Austal could build modules for US, Australian nuclear submarines

By Peter Roberts Perth international shipbuilder Austal could build modules for future nuclear-powered submarines in a move to speed up construction of the US nuclear fleet, and at the same time enabling Australia to access N-subs earlier than previously expected under the Aukus pact. According to a report in the authoritative janes.com, to maintain a…

Election 22 the real issues – industry policy by bureaucrats or consultants

@AuManufacturing’s occasional editorial series on the real issues in the 2022 federal election continues today with a critical assessment of industry policy, and the role of multi-national company consultants. Here Lance Worrall and Glenn Downey look at the policy advice challenge Whichever coloured ties and scarves (blue or red) forms the majority of the House…

Manufacturing news briefs – stories you might have missed

Clinical trials begin for Australian developed Covid-19 vaccines Clinical human trials have begun on subjects in Melbourne to test the effectiveness and safety of two Melbourne-developed Covid-19 vaccines. The traditional protein-based vaccine was developed by the Doherty Institute, while a mRNA vaccine was developed by Monash Institute of Pharmaceutical Sciences. Melbourne’s IDT Australia manufactured the…

Fortescue to investigate repurposing coal infrastructure for hydrogen energy in Washington

Fortescue Future Industries has announced it will investigate the feasibility of converting a former coal mine in Washington into a green hydrogen plant.

Maggie Beer looks to offload dairy businesses

Luxury foods manufacturer Maggie Beer Holdings will consider selling its two dairy businesses which have underperformed due to Covid-19 impacts, Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and staff and supply chain problems. The company’s Maggie Beer Products and Hampers and Gifts Australia continue to perform well with sales up 19.3 per cent and 25.6 percent respectively compared…

Orica recovers from Covid lows

Fertilizer, chemicals and explosives business Orica has largely recovered from the disruptions of recent years posting an improved first half result driven by better market conditions and a refreshed strategy. The Melbourne company reported a net loss after tax of $85 million for the first half held back by significant items, and an underlying EBIT…

Zip ANZ appoints new Managing Director

Manufacturer of instant boiling, chilled and sparkling filtered water machines, Zip Water, has announced the promotion of Mike Abbott to Managing Director of Zip ANZ.

Optimal Group and BOC plan Tasmanian bioLNG production

Optimal Group and industrial gas producer BOC have signed a MoU to jointly explore the development of Australia’s first bioLNG facility at the BOC Westbury micro-LNG plant in Tasmania. The agreement will allow the companies to investigate the potential of Optimal’s subsidiary, Optimal Renewable Gas (ORG), to build a $55 million, 2.4 terajoules per day…

Non-dairy baby formula sprouts a world-beater

It was with the aim to disrupt the infant formula industry that Gold Coast company Sprout Organic launched the world’s first organic plant-based infant formula 12 months ago. Within a year, the company has been awarded the World Food Innovation Award for ‘Best Children’s Product’ and positioned itself at the forefront of the blooming plant-based…

Election 22 the real issues – bring manufacturing back by Senator Rex Patrick

@AuManufacturing’s occasional editorial series on the real issues in the 2022 federal election continues today with a call by Senator Rex Patrick to rebuild manufacturing. Over the past 50 years manufacturing in Australia has steadily declined, ensuring we have an economy that’s now over-reliant on raw materials and commodities. Over those five decades there’s been…

Federal government awards $50 million to new clean tech and recycling Trailblazer hub

A third university-led consortium has been awarded $50 million through the Trailblazer program during the current federal election campaign.

Strong building activity buoys CSR

Building products and aluminium group CSR has been buoyed by strong residential construction activity, announcing a 20 per cent increase in net profit after tax for the year to 31 March. The company’s statutory NPAT of $271 million compares to the previous year’s $146 million, and includes $86 million in carry forward capital tax losses.…

New sovereign composites manufacturing CRC awarded $70 million in federal funding

Funding has been secured for a new Sovereign Manufacturing Automation for Composites Cooperative Research Centre (SoMAC) CRC through round 23 of the CRC Program. The success of the CRC’s bid was announced on Wednesday, with SoMAC awarded $69.9 million in Commonwealth support and $189.3 million in cash and in-kind contributions provided by its 36 bid…

BAE Systems Australia secures $50m guided weapons export contract

BAE Systems Australia has announced it has secured a $50 million export contract to deliver critical hardware and software sub-assemblies into the global Evolved Sea Sparrow Missile (ESSM) programme. BAE Systems provides critical elements of Nato’s ESSM including locally developed launch sequence software and systems, with this contract a fillip to a network of Australian…

Orbital to deliver drone test engine to Anduril

Perth drone engine manufacturer Orbital UAV is to deliver a test engine to autonomous technology and drone manufacturer Anduril which recently won a contract from Australian defence forces. The development is part of a MoU signed by the two companies announced today to work on concepts, products and technical solutions in the uncrewed domain. Orbital…

Nominations open for this year’s Victorian Manufacturing Hall of Fame Awards

The state’s manufacturers are being invited to apply for the 20th anniversary edition of the Victorian Manufacturing Hall of Fame Awards. In a statement on Wednesday, the Victorian government said the awards – which will be held for the first time since 2019 – would feature three new categories: Leader in low carbon economy, Outstanding…

Labor shows its love for Adelaide’s factory of the future

The federal Labor party has again shown its support for the ‘factory of the future’ concept being developed by Flinders University in Adelaide’s Tonsley innovation precinct with a renewed pledge of funding support. Labor has long supported efforts by Flinders’ Australian Industrial Transformation Institute which has established a campus amongst the innovative businesses housed in…

Manufacturing news briefs – stories you might have missed

CSIRO provides $1 million to new manufacturing cybersecurity program A Swinburne-led program has received more than $1 million from CSIRO’s Data 61 to build cybersecurity and digital transformation skills in the next generation of manufacturing professionals. The CSIRO funding came through its Building National Cybersecurity Capabilities for Digital Transformation in Manufacturing program, which is designed…

Australia could rapidly shift to clean transport – if we had a strategy. So we put this plan together

Shifting to clean transport is a win-win-win – we can slash emissions, cut costs to commuters and boost Australia’s fuel security in a very uncertain geopolitical time.

Election 22 the real issues – towards a circular economy by Göran Roos

@AuManufacturing’s occasional editorial series on the real issues in the 2022 federal election turns to a circular economy. In this excerpt from a paper by Professor Göran Roos, he outlines the challenges ahead as we make the desirable move towards a more sustainable future. The desirable move towards a more sustainable future has recently taken…

NERA plans ocean-energy innovation hub

A visionary ocean-energy market innovation hub will be unveiled today to achieve a step-change to accelerate the adoption of integrated, ocean power as an energy solution. To be announced at the Australian Ocean Energy Group’s Market Summit in Hobart, a feasibility study is underway on developing a two stage integrated ocean energy marketplace (IOEM) for…

Carbon revolution grant shows the absurdity in Canberra’s daily cash giveaways

Comment by Peter Roberts I hate to say this, but a $12 million Modern Manufacturing Initiative grant to help carbon fibre wheel manufacturer Carbon Revolution build its first Mega production line just announced has shown the absurdity, and the needless cost of federal government grant schemes. I hate to say this because I am a…

Seven SA companies awarded $48 million in MMI grants

Bickford’s, Mayne Pharmaceuticals and Inovor Technologies are among South Australian companies awarded a total of $48 million in grants through the Modern Manufacturing Initiative this week.

UK-based business scores frigate valve contract

Perth engineering firm Score Australasia has been selected by BAE Systems Australia to manufacture, assemble and supply thousands of valves for the first batch of three Hunter class frigates being built in Adelaide. The Uk-owned company, which makes valves, fuel systems and accessories, has made a commitment that ‘a significant amount’ of the $26 million…

Excellence in maritime manufacturing – sustaining maritime systems

Today @AuManufacturing’s editorial series Excellence in maritime manufacturing coinciding with the Indo Pacific 2022 International Maritime Exposition turns to the sustainment task. With the federal government confirming the purchase of a further 12 MH-60R Seahawk helicopters, Peter Roberts profiles industry spin-offs in Australia. The federal government yesterday announced the $8 billion purchase of 41 new…

ABT completes brake delivery for Hawkeye

Fail-safe vehicle braking systems manufacturer Advanced Braking Technology has delivered all 1,100 hill hold brake systems to cover the initial requirements for the Hawkei protected mobility vehicles that Thales is building for the army under the LAND 121 project. The milestones marks the completion of the Perth company’s first major defence project, giving it the…

Manufacturing news briefs – stories you might have missed

WA government makes renewable hydrogen target announcement The Western Australian government has said it will investigate implementation of a Renewable Hydrogen Target. According to a statement made on Friday, the approach would set targets for retailers in the South West Interconnected System (WA’s main electricity grid) to procure a certain percentage of electricity fuelled by…

Aurecon employs robots in timber building construction

Engineering group Aurecon is reimagining mass timber construction with the use of robotics technology to build Western Australia’s largest mass-engineered-timber (MET) building. Building 360 at Perth’s Murdoch University, which will accommodate up to 60 per cent of the university’s teaching requirements, will be built using robots built by the University of Technology Sydney (UTS) in…

Call for help to design Australian Space park

Feedback is being sought from potential users and operators of the Common User Facility within Australia’s first dedicated space manufacturing hub, Australian Space Park, to ensure it meets the future needs of the Australian space industry. The Australian Space Park – to be built at a site at Adelaide airport – will accelerate Australia’s sovereign…

Election 22 the real issues – more support for manufacturing by Leigh Rust

@AuManufacturing’s occasional editorial series on the real issues in the 2022 federal election continues today with a call for further support for manufacturing. By Leigh Rust. With the federal election fast approaching, discussions on the issues facing Australia are on the table, but it’s also important to champion and be vocal about the issues that…

Manufacturing news briefs – stories you might have missed

Manildra gets $85 million CEFC investment to help exit coal The nation’s biggest ethanol manufacturer, Manildra Group, will draw on an $85 million CEFC investment to exit coal at its primary production site at Nowra, NSW. The investment on behalf of the Australian Government will see factory eliminate coal from its energy mix, replacing this…

Fresenius opens new dialysis bag plant in Western Sydney

Fresenius Medical Care has officially opened a new plant in Smithfield, Western Sydney, capable of producing 2.4 million dialysis fluid bags a year, which will be used in the Australian, New Zealand and Hong Kong markets. The plant will create 100 per cent PVC-free fluid bags in recyclable pouches. Dialysis fluid is used by patients…

Arnott’s returns to NZ manufacturing scene

Arnott’s Group is returning to manufacturing in New Zealand following the acquisition a year ago of cracker manufacturer 180degrees. The maker of Tim Tams and Tiny Teddies is constructing a new factory at Avondale, West Auckland, as part of a growth strategy through category expansion and acquisition. Chief executive George Zoghbi said the new site,…

CS Energy and Senex Energy announce JV on Kogan hydrogen demo plant

Queensland government-owned CS Energy and natural gas producer Senex Energy have announced a joint venture to develop the Kogan Renewable Hydrogen Demonstration Plant near Chinchilla, which will fuel the latest planned stop on the tri-state Hydrogen Superhighway.

Excellence in maritime manufacturing – AIDN’s Brent Clark on defence/SME engagement

Today @AuManufacturing’s editorial series Excellence in maritime manufacturing turns to the involvement of Australian owned SMEs in defence contracts. Here Peter Roberts interviews Brent Clark, CEO of our largest SME defence body, the Australian Industry & Defence Network. @AuManufacturing: The appointment of a defence industry minister in 2016 began a more public effort by the…

Hypersonix successfully builds, tests prototype scramjet engine and fuel system

Hypersonix Launch Systems has announced successfully completed benchtop testing of an additively manufactured prototype scramjet engine and its hydrogen fuel system.

Why you should be thinking about customer retention – not just acquisition

ADVERTISING FEATURE. By PIER Marketing It goes without saying that customer acquisition is an essential aspect of any business’s marketing strategy. But customer retention — the art of holding onto the customers you already have — is equally important. In fact, depending on where your business is at in its journey, customer retention might even be more important than acquisition.…

Victorian budget to add to industry investment fund

The Victorian Budget 2022/23 to be delivered today includes a number of industry initiatives, including $40 million over two years to help fast-growing companies expand further through the Victorian Industry Investment Fund. The fund supports companies in health, food production, technology, advanced manufacturing and business services to develop more products, create jobs and boost sales,…

USYD students test launches Bluewren rocket

Students of the University of Sydney’s rocketry society, the USYD Rocketry Team, are aiming for gold after successfully launching the Bluewren rocket (pictured) destined for international competition this year. Last week, the student team’s rocket, Bluewren, soared to a target height of 30,000 feet – roughly nine kilometres – over the Menindee Lakes in far…

Nominations open for WA innovation awards program

Nominations opened on Tuesday for the Western Australia Innovator of the Year Awards, a program running since 2006 and recognising the state’s “brightest talent for creating emerging new products, technology or services in the early stages of development.”

Swoop Aero drone logistics serving Singapore Straits

Urban aviation infrastructure company Skyports is leveraging Australian Swoop Aero’s technology-based drone logistics system, successfully completing ship to shore landings in the Singapore Straits (pictured). The feat represents a significant milestone for both organisations, who are pushing the boundaries of drone innovation, creativity and technological ingenuity, according to Swoop. “Over the coming months, Swoop Aero…

FFI and Firstgas to investigate hydrogen projects in NZ

Fortescue Metals Group’s green energy business, Fortescue Future Industries, has announced a non-binding memorandum of understanding with New Zealand gas network operator First Gas to explore the commercial potential of green hydrogen.

Adbri aims for net zero, tests breakthrough cement technologies

Cement and lime manufacturer Adbri has launched an ambitious plan to decarbonise its emissions intensive processes and operations and has announced a goal of net zero emissions by 2050. The company’s detailed net zero emissions roadmap released today calls for action on reducing emissions, developing new products and collaborating with Australian low emissions technology company…

Manufacturing records best PMI in seven years despite cost, skill pressures

Manufacturing’s expansion gained pace over April to grow at the fastest rate since July 2015, according to the Australian Industry Group’s monthly Performance of Manufacturing Index.

Federal dollars for Maryvale, Whyalla and Port Augusta

By Peter Roberts Major announcements of federal grants and financing support are coming thick and fast with the news over the weekend of cash and support for industrial developments in regional cities Maryvale, Whyalla and Port Augusta. Opal Australian Paper is getting cash to support its energy from waste project at its Maryvale mill in…

Manufacturing news briefs – stories you might have missed

Labor pledges to build electric buses in Perth The federal opposition and Western Australian government have joined together to pledge a facility will be built to manufacture electric buses in the state should Labor win the upcoming national election. The pledge, which follows the recent inauguration of railcar manufacture in WA, would see Canberra contribute…

Election 22 the real issues – by Allen Roberts

@AuManufacturing’s occasional editorial series on the real issues in the 2022 federal election continues today with this article by Allan Roberts. What is blindingly absent from this election campaign, and politics, in this country is any recognition that an economy is a system. Each part of the economy has an impact on every other part,…

Week-long Queensland manufacturing showcase to run again next month

Registrations of interest are being sought for this year’s week-long Inside Advanced Manufacturing Tour, running over May 16 – 20 in Queensland. The showcase coordinated by the state government will see a collection of manufacturing businesses open their doors, sharing “their innovative manufacturing techniques and technologies to other manufacturers.” On the schedule (see here) are…

Titomic pursues diversified revenue streams

Cold spray metal additive manufacturing group Titomic is progressing its development away from selling machines towards a more diverse business model. The company told investors that during the latest quarter it has integrated initiatives including its recent acquisition of Dycomet, now named Titomic Europe, the arrival of Repkon as a strategic investor and an agreement…

Nyrstar to build new $400 million electrolysis plant at Hobart site

Nyrstar Australia has committed to a project budgeted at $400 million and running for approximately 28 months to upgrade its century-old Hobart smelter.

Lava Blue in Critical Minerals Accelerator Grant

Battery minerals company Lava Blue has received a $5.2 million grant under the federal Government’s Critical Minerals Accelerator Initiative to develop processes for refining critical minerals used in the lithium-ion battery supply chain. Managing Director of Lava Blue Michael McCann said the grant would contribute to a $12 million Queensland project over the next two…

Manufacturing news briefs – stories you might have missed

Green Industries SA sees future in lithium ion battery waste Green Industries SA has funded a report by The McKell Institute outlining a vision for South Australia to emerge as an Australian lithium ion battery waste resource management hub. The report finds that the state is in a strong position given existing refining and metals…

ECT plans Victorian hydrogen from lignite demonstration plant

Industrial technology groups Environmental Clean Technologies and GrapheneX will jointly develop Australia’s largest lignite (or brown coal) syngas into hydrogen and low emission electricity demonstration project at ECT’s site at Bacchus Marsh in Victoria. The companies have signed a joint venture agreement to rollout phase 2 of ECT’s Baccus March Coldry technology demonstrator which will…

Grants up to $750,000 available to food manufacturers to expand in or relocate to WA

Western Australian food and beverage manufacturers have been invited to apply for the $7 million second round of the state’s Value Add Investment Grants program. Grants under the WA Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development (DPIRD) program offer matched funding for agriculture, food and beverage companies under two project streams: Feasibility stream grants are…

Election 22 the real issues – political leadership by Lance Worrall

@AuManufacturing’s occasional editorial series on the real issues in the 2022 federal election continues today. Here Lance Worrall outlines the policy challenge if we are to achieve significant reindustrialisation. If ever a federal election needed to be fought on a future economic vision and strategy it is this one. Four powerful factors confirm this: the…

Cochlear buys hearing implant rival Oticon Medical

Hearing implant manufacturer Cochlear will buy competitor Oticon Medical for $170 million following a decision by its parent company Demant to exit hearing implants business activities. Cochlear has committed to providing ongoing support for Oticon Medical’s base of more than 75,000 hearing implant recipients, which includes cochlear and acoustic implants. Cochlear CEO Dig Howitt said:…

Linfox to field electric truck for Coles

Australian supply chain and transport group Linfox Logistics has introduced its first electric truck for major Australian retailer, Coles. The Fuso eCanter is servicing several Coles stores in New South Wales, loading products from the Eastern Creek Distribution Centre in Sydney for delivery to Coles supermarkets and new format Coles Local stores. Based on anticipated…

Nioa extends its presence in New Zealand

Australian munitions and armaments manufacturer Nioa has expanded its presence in New Zealand with the acquisition of firearms and ammunition wholesale distributor Sportways Distributors. Nioa has bought 100 per cent of the company which will be renamed Nioa New Zealand, building on relationships that already include Nioa supplying the New Zealand Defence Force and New…

Election 22 the real issues – entrepreneurial Australia by Carl E Germanos

@AuManufacturing’s occasional editorial series on the real issues in the 2022 federal election continues today. Here Carl E Germanos looks at the ecosystem supporting entrepreneurship in Australia. What is the key to entrepreneurial success – is it ambition, dedication, motivation, money, or the capabilities of an individual? It is all of this and more. In…

Nufarm hit by Moscow’s invasion of Ukraine

Agricultural chemical manufacturer Nufarm has been doubly hit by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine with doubts over the future of its business in both countries. The company told investors its had provisioned for losses in the conflict of between $30 million and $40 million, though it said its Russian and Ukrainian businesses were nascent and ‘not…

Industry tackles our mountains of furniture waste – by Patrizia Torelli

In the recent floods in eastern Australia the footpaths of recovering cities were quickly piled high with waste furniture and furnishings. With little of this waste recyclable or recycled and ending up in landfill, Patrizia Torelli explores what industry is doing to create a more sustainable Australian furniture and furnishings sector. Bushfire and flood emergencies…

Uni R&D boosts the economy – Universities Australia

Australia’s universities have told the Productivity Commission that the economy could be $24 billion bigger over 10 years if investment in higher education research and development was lifted by just one per cent. Their submission outlines a range of drivers to improve Australia’s productivity growth and highlights the vital role universities play in finding the…

WHSP to acquire Ampcontrol, citing decarbonisation potential

Washington H. Soul Pattinson will go from majority to 100 per cent ownership of the nation’s largest privately-held electrical engineering firm, Ampcontrol.

Two-year, $5.2 m project will apply Australian sensors and AI to aged care delivery

A team that was recently awarded $1.48 million in support through the federal Cooperative Research Centres Projects (CRC-P) program has shared more details about their project, which aims to use Australian-made sensors and artificial intelligence to support better decision-making by aged care professionals.

Volgren makes first two electric buses for Kinetic order

The first two electric buses have come off the line at Volgren’s Dandenong South factory, with these to be delivered under a contract scheduled to bring 36 battery electric buses (BEBs) and over 100 hybrid buses into service in Melbourne by mid-2025.

Africa faces hard knocks as rich countries take manufacturing back home

By Jonathan Munemo, Salisbury University The global economic crisis triggered by the outbreak of the COVID pandemic in 2020 and Russia’s invasion of Ukraine in February this year has intensified the risk of declining trade integration between countries. A process referred to as the deglobalisation of trade. The pandemic sent shocks through supply chains across…

Posco and Hancock plan hydrogen fuelled HBI plant

Korean steelmaker Posco and the Hancock iron ore group are studying the feasibility of a Hot Briquetted Iron (HBI) plant in Australia fuelled by green hydrogen to provide iron for Posco’s Korean steel operations. The company revealed the two companies had signed a heads of agreement (HOA) to study the construction of iron ore mines,…

Election 22 the real issues – adding value by Professor Danny Samson

@AuManufacturing’s occasional editorial series on the real issues in the 2022 federal election continues today. Here Danny Samson asks why doesn’t Australia add more value through manufacturing, and can we ever hope to?

Manufacturing news briefs – stories you might have missed

Victoria backs SME digitalisation The Victorian government has announced $5 million in rebates for the latest round of the Small Business Digital Adaptation Program. The programme has so far supported over 10,000 Victorian businesses to build their digital presence, streamline services and reach new customers. Small businesses can apply for $1,200 rebates to access a…

Tindo Solar inaugurates new solar PV factory with new Karra panel

Tindo Solar has begun production of its latest High-Efficiency Rooftop Panel at its new Adelaide factory – Australia’s only solar panel manufacturing facility. Having had its new new 405w Karra panel certified by the Clean Energy Council, the 405w Karra is registered for rebates under the Small-scale Technology Certificate (STC) scheme, reducing the cost of…

Boundary Power to install first unit in NSW

Standalone power systems (SAPS) maker Boundary Power has announced its first east coast sale, with the company to deploy and hand over one of its units to an unnamed NSW utility company next month. Boundary said on Friday that it had had “significant success” in Western Australia since launching in 2020, and was “elated” to…

Ellume test kits roll off new US production line – video

Instant Covid-19 test kits from Australian manufacturer Ellume are rolling off the assembly line at a diagnostics manufacturing facility in Maryland in the United States, representing a major milestone for Australian manufacturing. While the Brisbane company is rapidly increasing production to meet a $US230 million contract from the United States Department of Defense, the US…

Manufacturing news briefs – stories you might have missed

Vaxxas appoints ex-Ellume exec as new COO Syringe-free vaccine delivery company Vaxxas has announced Dr Scott Fry as its new chief operating officer, leading its engineering and manufacturing activities. Fry was most recently COO at Ellume, also based in Brisbane, which manufactures Covid-19 test kits. Vaxxas said in a statement on Thursday that Fry’s experience…

More grants to Boeing for Ghost Bat jet manufacture

$58.6 million in grants for nine projects under the defence industry priority for the Modern Manufacturing Initiative have been announced which will further support Boeing Australia’s manufacture of its MQ-28A Ghost Bat autonomous jet aircraft, formerly known as Loyal Wingman. Campaigning in Queensland the Prime Minister Scott Morrison announced that $34 million under the initiative’s…

Barrett Communications launches HF Antenna Tuner

Barrett Communications has announced a new range of Automatic HF Antenna Tuners (ATUs) designed to interface with Barrett 4000 series transceivers. The 4045 Automatic HF Antenna Tuner, the 4049 Automatic Tuning Mobile HF Antenna and the 411 Automatic HF Antenna Tuner are suitable for land-mobile, marine and base station installations. All Barrett ATUs provide continuous…

Coopers Brewery plans $50 million whiskey distillery and visitors centre

The largest Australian owned brewery Coopers Brewery has announced plans to enter the whiskey market and will build a $50 million visitor centre, microbrewery and whisky distillery at its Regency Park site in Adelaide (pictured). In its 160th year, privately-owned Coopers has its eyes on domestic and international tourists with the investment which brings total…

First grant awarded under new NT Advanced Manufacturing Ecosystem Fund

The first grant under the Northern Territory Advanced Manufacturing Ecosystem Fund (AMEF) has been awarded, supporting expansion by Corrosion Instruments (CI), a designer and manufacturer of cathodic protection, monitoring and measurement equipment. CI will receive $110,000 in co-investment from the AMEF for a project budgeted at $220,000, and which will help develop the company’s next…

Victoria announces Australia’s biggest-ever local tram order

Victoria has announced the biggest-ever contract to build trams ever let in Australia with Bombardier Transportation Australia to build 100 new and accessible trams for the Melbourne network. Part of the government’s $1.85 billion Next Generation Trams Project, French owned Bombardier will build G class trams (pictured) with a local content quota of 65 per…

Over 70 per cent of company directors back federal anti-corruption watchdog

A Roy Morgan survey for the Australian Institute of Company Directors has found the economy and economic management the major vote-deciding issue for directors, narrowly ahead of climate change, and that over 70 per cent of respondents supported the establishment of a federal anti-corruption watchdog.

Maggie Beer’s dairy business goes 100 per cent carbon neutral

Cattle have long been associated with a high carbon footprint thanks to their emissions of methane generated in the gut. But Maggie Beer’s Paris Creek Farms, one of two dairy business owned by the group, has turned that on its head with news its products are now 100 per cent carbon neutral. Paris Creek has…

Timber buildings reach for the skies in Perth

Timber buildings have become increasingly large and tall in recent years, however all are eclipsed by a new residential tower planned for the City of South Perth that aims to become the world’s tallest timber building. While a 39-storey mixed-use timber tower planned to house technology company Atlassian at Tech Central in Haymarket, Sydney is…

Liquid fuel security increasingly dire, standards, EV policy needed: report

According to progressive think tank The Australia Institute, its new research shows the nation has only become more dependent on imported transport fuels since the federal government released a “dire” interim report on the subject three years ago.

Manufacturing news briefs – stories you might have missed

Seed Terminator reaps benefits of non-chemical weed control Seed Terminator’s non-chemical weed control equipment is making waves on farms with its technology that destroys weed seeds during harvesting. The Seed Terminator (pictured) is attached to a combine harvester and processes material before it is returned to the soil. Seed Terminator’s Mark Ashenden said: “It basically…

Comfort Delgro trials electric and hydrogen powered buses

Public transport operator ComfortDelGro Corporation Australia (CDC) is to trial eight zero-emission buses on Melbourne roads in partnership with the Victorian Department of Transport. The Singapore company will operate the vehicles in Melbourne’s eastern suburbs and CBD as part of the state’s three-year Zero Emission Bus Trial, a part of meeting the state’s commitment to…

BlueScope’s Port Kembla steel upgrade – video

Primary steel maker BlueScope is fast approaching its 100th anniversary of steel making at Port Kembla in New South Wales. And according to the company: “We are planning to give our number 6 blast furnace a billion dollar birthday by relining and upgrading this asset to be best in class ironmaking facility. “This includes over…

Bega cheese suffers a $40 million Covid hit

Bega Cheese is likely to suffer a $40 million hit this financial year from Covid-19 costs, Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and floods in Central Australia. The diverse food producer told investors that though Covid impacts were now easing, lockdowns in Shanghai were disrupting product deliveries into China The company forecast an EBITDA for the year…

Federal government awards $140 million to two WA hydrogen hubs

The federal government has announced grants of up to $70 million each to two projects establishing hydrogen hubs in Western Australia.

Dutton refuses to detail local N-sub content, announces Collins upgrade

Defence minister Peter Dutton has refused to detail what portion of the government’s planned nuclear submarine fleet will be built in Australia. On a visit to Adelaide’s Osborne shipyard to announce an upgrade to the ageing Collins class submarines, the first questions asked of Dutton were about future shipbuilding jobs in South Australia. In a…

Industrial resilience needs to be enshrined in law – Senator Patrick

Independent Senator Rex Patrick will present an Industry (Resilience and National Security) Bill into the next parliament if re-elected, putting into law the need to identify and support Australia’s critical industry capabilities. The South Australian senator will outline the proposal which calls for the establishment of an Australian Industry Capability Commission at a meeting of…

Election 22 the real issues – Productivity growth by Narelle Kennedy

@AuManufacturing’s occasional editorial series on the real issues in the 2022 federal election continues today. Here Narelle Kennedy looks at Australia’s industry and innovation policies and productivity. Blind spots in Australia’s industry and innovation policies are hampering productivity gains and here two particular causes of concern stand out. Firstly, innovation policies have an almost exclusive…

Government reneges on local shipbuilding promise, buys ship offshore

The federal government has backtracked on a promise by former minister Christopher Pyne to build an offshore supply vessel in Perth for use in Pacific operations and has instead bought a second hand vessel from Canada. The decision to buy the Horizon Star from Horizon Maritime of St Johns, Newfoundland and rename it Australian Defence…

Food manufacturers starting to pass on rising costs: AFGC

The nation’s main food and grocery industry group has warned that its members are having to pass on their rising costs, which will lead to increased prices for supermarket customers.

Plant-based patties, lab-grown meat and insects: how the protein industry is innovating to meet demand

By Katherine Wynn, CSIRO and Michelle Colgrave, CSIRO As demand for alternative protein sources grows, Australians are increasingly looking for options that are healthy, sustainable and ethically made. At CSIRO, we have produced a “protein roadmap” to guide investments in a diverse range of new products and ingredients. We believe plant-based patties, lab-made meat and…

Dyno Nobel DigiShot used for world’s biggest blast by BHP – video

Explosives manufacturer Dyno Nobel’s DigiShot electronic blasting technology has been used by BHP Mitsubishi Alliance’s (BMA) Caval Ridge Mine in the Bowen Basin to create the world’s largest electronic blast (main picture and video, below). The DigiShot electronic initiation system is an easy-to-use, reliable accurate electronic initiation system primarily for use in large surface blasting…

Adelaide’s Ping sells ice detection system to the Nordics

We have all heard of the proverbial selling of ice cream to Eskimos, well, now Adelaide acoustics monitoring company Ping is poised to sell ice monitoring systems to Nordic countries. The company’s Ice Detection System monitors (pictured) are designed to help wind turbine operators conserve energy and save money by listening in for the tell…

Election 22 the real issues – company R&D by Peter Roberts

@AuManufacturing will publish an occasional editorial series leading up to the election of the real issues that face Australia. Today Peter Roberts looks at company R&D. A week ago I showed how Australia’s innovation effort – which has direct implications for our productivity – has fallen every year since the Coalition came to office, but…

Manufacturing news briefs – stories you might have missed

Skykraft successfully tests aviation monitoring small satellites Skykraft has successfully completed vibration and thermal testing of one of its Block II constellation spacecraft (pictured) at Vipac Engineers & Scientists. The Australian developed and manufactured smallsats will replace ground-based infrastructure for Air Traffic Management with space-based systems, for both surveillance and communication services. Built in Skykraft’s…

H2X and KTM Technologies to develop novel hydrogen vehicle chassis

Hydrogen Fuel Cell Electric Vehicle manufacturer H2X Global will work with mobility technology group KTM Technologies to develop a modular, lightweight vehicle chassis system for hydrogen fuel cell powered vehicles including electric cars, trucks and buses. H2X recently announced it will build its long awaited hydrogen fuel cell vehicles in Gippsland, Victoria while KTM Technologies…

Deakin offers $10,000 voucher for manufacturing and design startups

Deakin University is hosting a free 12-week workshop and mentoring program at its ManuFutures innovation hub, with successful applicants receiving a free $10,000 voucher for services.

High-achieving SMEs celebrated at Telstra Best of Business Awards

National winners of the SME-focussed Telstra Best of Business Awards were named in Sydney on Wednesday night, with manufacturers Pakko, Sea Forest and Complete Home Filtration winning their categories. According to Telstra, over 24,000 companies nominated in the inaugural awards program. Telstra’s Consumer and Small Business Group Executive, Michael Ackland, said in a statement that…

How to find and follow @AuManufacturing news stories

A reminder to members of the Australian Manufacturing Forum and readers of @AuManufacturing news and media. Our daily news stories and features and group discussions can now be followed via: The Australian Manufacturing Forum Linkedin group @AuManufacturing news website and three-times weekly newsletter The @AuManufacturing Linkedin company page @AuManufacturing on Twitter And Google news feed…

Pure Hydrogen partners for hydrogen waste truck bodies

Hydrogen, gas and mobility business Pure Hydrogen has entered into a preferred supplier agreement with Bucher Municipal Pty Ltd for the supply of waste collection truck bodies for fitting to its hydrogen powered vehicles. The vehicles are planned for a trial underway with domestic waste collector JJ’s Waste & Recycling of Australia’s first-ever hydrogen fuelled…

BAE Systems – Hunter frigate construction – video

BAE Systems Australia has given us a sneak peek at the progress it has made during the prototyping phase of the construction of nine Hunter class frigates in Adelaide (video below). In the time-lapse video shipbuilders at Osborne naval shipyard are putting their skills to the test consolidating elements to create a structure destined to…

Austal opens US$100 million steel shipbuilding yard

Perth international shipbuilder Austal has opened the company’s new state-of-the-art steel shipbuilding facility in Mobile, Alabama (pictured), enabling the simultaneous production of both aluminium and steel hulled ships. The first vessels to be built in the new steel facility will be two Navajo-class Towing, Salvage, and Rescue Ships (T-ATS) for the United States Navy, which…

Trailer business Maxi-CUBE turns 50

Maxi-CUBE, which makes trailers for refrigerated and dry freight at two Victorian sites, marked its 50th anniversary on Monday. Commenting on the anniversary, the company’s general manager of sales and marketing Kevin Manfield said in a statement that, “Maxi-CUBE’s proud and long history is testament to the support of our loyal customers. “Our customers play…

Manufacturing news briefs – stories you might have missed

Adelaide lighting manufacturer expands VALO, a maker of premium stadium lighting, has opened a carbon-neutral $8 million research, development and production hub at Kent Town, Adelaide. The company said it had increased its local headcount from four to 15 in the last 12 months, and had invested in state-of-the-art facilities, including in surface mount technology…

The cost of offshoring now being paid – by John Broadbent

By John Broadbent Do you remember when some Australian manufacturers off-shored their production to lower-cost labour countries, mostly in SE Asia? In most cases, the labour issue was because the equipment on which they worked was ancient history, a relic, fully-depreciated and being sweated so much, it was dripping. Rather than use the depreciation tax…

BAE Systems, Ai Group back degree apprenticeships

BAE Systems Australia and the employer association Ai Group will launch the nation’s first degree apprenticeship programme at the start of the 2023 academic year. The degree apprentice programme, to be delivered by Victoria University, aims to increase skilled participation in major defence projects and has already received the endorsement of major employers in the…

BlueScope expands in US with coatings business buy

Australian steelmaker BlueScope has expanded its United States business footprint, agreeing to buy the steel coil coatings business of Cornerstone Building Brands Inc for US$500 million. Coil Coatings is the second largest metal painter in the US, with a total capacity of around 900,000 tonnes per annum across seven facilities, predominantly serving commercial and industrial…

Emissions from electricity down, from gas and petroleum up

Australian energy emissions have fallen by 12 per cent since their peak emissions in 2012, with all the fall attributable to a 29 per cent fall in electricity generation emissions since 2008, according to the latest energy emissions monitor from the Australian National University. Emissions from petroleum products and gas have both increased in all…

Orica and H2U team up for Gladstone green ammonia

Chemicals and explosives group Orica and H2U Group have announced a strategic partnership to initiate the first phase of the proposed H2-Hub Gladstone green ammonia project in Queensland. The project has the potential to create 140 operational jobs and approximately 1,900 indirect jobs, and attract a $4.7 billion investment during its phased construction.. Orica said…

Bee-inspired biopolymer project will develop new textile coatings

Wellington, New Zealand-based biotech company Humble Bee Bio has been awarded a $70,000 grant to help develop a nature-inspired, water-repellent coating for textiles through a seven-month project with Deakin University.

Lynas makes record quarter for rare earths

Australia’s biggest producer of rare earths Lynas rare earths has reported record sales revenue of $327.2 million in the quarter to March 31 as the company benefitted from high prices and recovered from Covid related production interruptions. Both its Western Australian mine and Malaysian rare earths production facility increased production in the quarter and sales…

Traffic Technologies to equip Qatar 2022

Roadway signage and IoT traffic systems company Traffic Technologies will provide software and hardware systems to boost the efficiency of traffic management at the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022. It will supply its Smart City traffic controllers and software for Qatar’s road network. The FIFA World Cup runs from November 21 to December 18, and…

Manufacturing news briefs – stories you might have missed

RPFC acquires pet supplement startup Real Pet Food Company (RPFC) has announced the acquisition of pet supplement business People for Pets, which was founded in 2021 and “built by a team of former Blackmores and P&G executives.” RPFC is investing alongside founder/shareholder/employee Gabriel Perera, who said, “This is an exciting partnership for People for Pets…

Manufacturing news briefs – stories you might have missed

ARENA offers cash for low cost solar The Australian Renewable Energy Agency is allocating up to $40 million to support the research and commercialisation of Ultra Low Cost Solar PV (ULCS) technologies. “We are seeking proposals for Research & Development (R&D) projects to accelerate cost reductions and help meet the Australian Government’s solar stretch goal.…

Innovation and productivity forgotten in a wasted decade

By Peter Roberts I have lost count how many from prime minister’s down have claimed to be working to make Australia a clever country, a maker of innovative things. Well guess what, it has all been hot air and good intentions – we have become less innovative year on year throughout the duration of this…

$2.5 million in mining technology grants awarded

The METS Ignited industry growth centre has awarded over $2.5 million of matched funding to support accelerating commercialisation in the Mining Equipment, Technology and Services (METS) sector. The grants bring to more than $13 million invested in in 26 commercialising projects in the centre’s six years of operation as an Industry Growth Centre METS Ignited…

Sunshine coast manufacturer powers ADF

A Sunshine Coast generator set manufacturing business has won a$47.4 million federal government contract to manufacture and supply 1,350 field power generator systems for the Australian Defence Forces. The generator systems will be delivered over the next four years under the Land8140 Tranche 1 acquisition programme, with the first scheduled for delivery in January 2023.…

Electro Optic Systems buys kiwi telescope lens manufacturer

Space and defence systems manufacturer Electro Optic Systems has entered into an agreement with Callaghan Innovation to acquire the assets and hire the personnel of KiwiStar Optics (KSO). KSO produces precision optics including telescope lenses more than one metre in diameter and spectrographs. Other optics produced include mirrors, prisms, filters, cameras, image slicers and turn-key…

Emerging tech in the food, transport and energy sector can help counter the effects of climate change

Here are some emerging technologies in the food, transport and energy sectors with great potential to address the climate challenge.

Nestlé Purina unveils $90m expansion of Blayney factory

Australia’s largest food manufacturer Nestlé today unveiled a $90 million upgrade to its Blayney site which will significantly expand Nestlé Purina PetCare pet food production. With the last two years seeing more people adopting pets, the Purina factory is now set to meet growing demand for wet cat food thanks to newly installed state of…

Bridgeman a standout among indigenous supply chains

Building success on the basis of an indigenous social consciousness is synonymous with the efforts of indigenous company Bridgeman in areas of Queensland metal manufacturing, construction and defence infrastructure. An indigenous owned and operated company, Bridgeman prides itself on its commitment to the community, as well as its highly experienced staff and leading-edge capability. Leading…

Three manufacturers awarded grants in Northern Australia Development Program round

Four companies have been awarded a total of $18 million in grants for expansion projects through the federal government’s Northern Australia Development Program.

Manufacturing news briefs – stories you might have missed

Space agency signs up with NASA The Australian Space Agency has set to work with the US on enhancing Earth observation from space. The agency signed a Joint Statement with NASA in Colorado after $1.2 billion was included in last week’s Budget for the National Space Mission for Earth Observation. “Our Mission is a true…

Why a WA engineering company built an autonomous hybrid vehicle

By Brent Balinski A couple of weeks ago this website shared news of an autonomous hydrogen/electric vehicle launched by East Fremantle engineering company Lycaon Group. There was no information released on the application or customer for the vehicle, labelled AHV-001, apparently entering the field trial phase.  It turns out the self-driving car – with its…

Gupta begins Whyalla expansion readying for green steel

Steel and aluminium magnate Sanjeev Gupta has made an impassioned call for Australia to use its natural resources to produce green hydrogen for export but also to embrace green steel manufacture and export. Speaking at an AmCham meeting in Adelaide today Gupta, chairman of GFG Alliance, announced investment to boost the company’s output of magnetite…

Apprentice numbers show further rise

The latest data shows apprentice and trainee commencements continue to grow as the economy recovers from Covid-19 lockdowns and supply disruptions. Data from the National Centre for Vocational Education Research (NCVER) shows that commencements grew nationally by 84.1 to 48,750 in the September quarter 2021 compared with the same quarter in 2020. Over the last…

Patrick attacks subs construction backflip

Independent Senator Rex Patrick has criticised an apparent backflip by the federal government in their plans to build nuclear powered submarines in Adelaide. According to a report in The Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison said that the nuclear submarines being acquired by Australia under the Aukus pact may be imported. Morrison appeared to say that…

Vanadium project moves a step closer

Resources and chemicals group Australian Vanadium has advanced its proposed Western Australian project to produce critical battery metals and electrolyte for vanadium redox storage batteries with the completion of a bankable feasibility. The company told investors it had completed technical studies including three years of pilot testing which had de-risked the company’s vanadium, iron and…

Manufacturing news briefs – stories you might have missed

Li-S Energy expands production footprint at Deakin Novel battery technology developer LiS Energy has grown with the addition of more facility space to increase production at Deakin University, Geelong’s Institute for Frontier Materials. Li-S has signed a lease to take an additional 1,000 square metres of space at the Waurn Ponds campus for the installation…

Australian 5G semiconductor innovator launches

Semiconductor startup milliBeam has announced a $750,000 seed investment round, which it says will help it accelerate development of its technology to improve mmWave 5G communications and build its design team, ahead of establishing an R&D centre in Sydney.

Aukus accelerates hypersonic missile development

The three nations in the Aukus pact Australia, the US and the UK have extended the scope of their collaboration from nuclear submarines to include hypersonic missile development. Australia and the US already have a collaboration to develop hypersonic missiles known as the Southern Cross Integrated Flight Research Experiment (SCIFiRE). However following a virtual meeting…

Schneider Electric buys transformer monitoring start up

French manufacturer Schneider Electric has bought a Brisbane startup company founded on University of Queensland technology to monitor the health of electricity network transformers. Schneider Electric, which manufactures Clipsal electrical equipment in Adelaide, has bought Aurtra which develops remote industrial sensors to monitor ageing transformers using technology designed at the university’s School of Information Technology…

SMEs team up to deliver Earth observation microsatellites

Rocket manufacturer Gilmour Space Technologies and Perth Earth observation and data fusion specialist LatConnect 60 (LC60) have teamed up to build and launch the first microsatellite in a planned high-resolution hyperspectral imaging constellation. The smart satellites making up the HyperSight 60 constellation will be placed in 30-degree inclined orbits to provide ‘frequent revisit data capture’…

Toolcraft and Mitchell & Cheesman merge for defence

Two South Australian defence suppliers are joining forces to offer a comprehensive suite of integrated design and engineering services for a range of customers, including defence. Complex mechanical system integration specialist Toolcraft Australia and flexible manufacturing solutions provider Mitchell & Cheesman have merged to deliver significantly expanded advanced manufacturing and technology development capabilities. Established in…

Let’s start EV manufacturing with the Nissan Leaf – by Shane West

Nissan Australia’s Dandenong South casting plant in Victoria recently won a series of manufacturing contracts with Nissan Japan to produce castings for the new Nissan LEAF mass-market all-electric car. Here Shane West outlines how Nissan’s footprint in Australia and Nissan’s overseas manufacture of the Leaf can kick-start EV manufacturing in Australia. The Nissan Leaf casting…

NeuRizer signs up carbon capture for Leigh Creek urea project

NeuRizer (formerly Leigh Creek Energy) has entered into an agreement which will see carbon capture and storage capabilities incorporated into its Leigh Creek coal to urea project in outback South Australia. The company signed a front end engineering and design (FEED) agreement with DL E&C for a CCS facility for its stage one urea production…

Biomedical company awarded $200,000 grant to manufacture pearl-based bone substitute

A medtech company using pearl to create a promising bone substitute product is among seven companies awarded funding through the Western Australian government’s Regional Economic Development program.

Australia has committed $1.6 billion to help research projects become commercialised. Here’s what the money will do

By Rajat Roy, Bond University and Vik Naidoo, University of Sydney The federal government is investing $2.2 billion for university research commercialisation which would place “university innovation and industry collaboration front and centre of Australia’s economic recovery.” Part of this funding includes $1.6 billion over ten years for Australia’s Economic Accelerator – a new competitive…

Canberra puts foreign companies at head of multi-billion missile programme

By Peter Roberts The federal government has selected foreign defence contractors and allocated a supporting role to two genuinely Australian consortia in accelerating the rollout of ‘sovereign’ guided weapons capabilities. Minister for defence Peter Dutton announced a $3.5 billion investment in speeding delivery of new missile capabilities for the Royal Australian Air Force and the…

Quickstep wins Jetstar maintenance contract expected to net up to $35 million

Quickstep has been awarded a three-year Asia-Pacific maintenance contract with Jetstar Airways, worth an expected $30 – $35 million and with services expected to begin in April. ASX-listed Quickstep and Triumph Aviation Services Asia led the tender response for the MRO contract, covering Jetstar’s Airbus A320 fleet’s V2500 engine nacelles. Quickstep and TASA announced a…

Line Hydrogen unveils Tasmania green hydrogen plant

Queensland-based Line Hydrogen has announced their first commercial-scale green hydrogen plant in Tasmania set to begin construction by the middle of 2022. The company has executed a terms sheet with Climate Capital’s Bell Bay Solar Farm to construct up to a 5MW ground-mounted solar farm in George Town, Northern Tasmania. This will supply behind-the-meter renewable…

Canberra’s $1.25 billion backing for rare earths production

By Peter Roberts The federal government has made an unprecedented intervention in private business funding with the approval of a $1.25 billion loan through the Critical Minerals Facility to Australian company Iluka Resources. The massive loan – picking winners on a grand scale – will fund the development of Australis’s first integrated rare earths refinery…

Advanced Fibre Cluster Geelong announces new CEO

The Advanced Fibre Cluster Geelong has announced the appointment of David Buchanan as its new CEO, replacing Jennifer Conley.

Australia plans to be a big green hydrogen exporter to Asian markets – but they don’t need it

The government aims to create a major green hydrogen export industry, particularly to Japan, for which Australia signed an export deal in January. But as our latest research suggests, the likely scale may well be overstated. We show Japan has more than enough solar and wind energy to be self-sufficient in energy, and does not need to import either fossil fuels or Australian green hydrogen. Indeed, Australia as a “renewable energy superpower” is far from a sure thing.

Wine industry body awarded $1.8 million grant to build exports

Australian Grape & Wine has been awarded a $1.82 million grant to help “improve market access, tackle trade barriers and generate growth in key target export markets” for wine makers, the federal agriculture minister has announced.

Let’s not waste this emergency – secure our critical mineral supply chains

By Peter Roberts If covid-19 has taught us anything it is that Australia needs to be more self sufficient in what we manufacture onshore and depend less on globalised supply chains that are easily interrupted by accident or design. For advanced nations there is a range of rare earths that are essential to high tech…

SkyGuardian scrapped to fund cyber warfare upgrade

The federal government has announced the cancellation of the planned purchase of the SkyGuardian long endurance armed unmanned aerial system (UAS) to allow for a boost to the Australian Defence Force’s cyber capabilities. Defence associate secretary Matt Yannopoulos told Senate estimates that the purchase of the General Atomics MQ-9B SkyGuardian (pictured) under project AIR 7003…

Manufacturing news briefs – stories you might have missed

Frucor Suntory to build $400m factory Beverage manufacturer Frucor Suntory is to build a $400 million facility in Swanbank, Queensland with support from the Queensland government. Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk said: “The value of attracting this investment to Queensland will have significant benefits for our economic recovery and most importantly, it will create new jobs for…

Calix and Pilbara Minerals to form lithium JV

Industrial process technology company Calix and Pilbara Minerals will establish a joint venture to potentially develop a demonstration plant to produce lithium phosphate salt to supply battery chemicals manufacturing. This follows positive results from their joint scoping study for a lithium salt production facility using Calix technology at Pilbara’s existing spodumene concentrate plant (pictured) at…

The Morrison government’s $50 million gas handout undermines climate targets and does nothing to improve energy security

Tuesday night’s federal budget confirmed the Morrison government will spend A$50.3 million on gas projects in the Northern Territory, South Australia and the east coast.

Manufacturing news briefs – stories you might have missed

CEC delists Msquare Energy – no longer eligible for solar rebate Tindo Solar, Australia’s only manufacturer of solar panels, has praised the renewables regulator for delisting solar products that do not live up to their claims. The Clean Energy Council announced last week that “all PV modules of Msquare Energy Pty Ltd will be delisted…

Australian Bushmasters bound for Ukraine

Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison has agreed to send Australian-made Bushmaster vehicles to Ukraine, after a plea from the nation’s wartime President. Earlier Ukraine’s president, Volodymyr Zelenskiy made a speech to federal parliament calling for Australia to send the country weapons systems including the Bushmaster. Speaking through an interpreter the khaki-clad president said some of…

Feasibility study for green hydrogen hub, giant battery at Collie gets funding

The Western Australian government has announced that Sunshot Energy will be awarded “up to $1 million” through the Collie Futures Industry Development Fund to begin a feasibility study into a new green energy hub.

Ampcontrol expands in Gladstone

Electrical engineering group Ampcontrol has expanded its footprint in Queensland, establishing a new site in Gladstone (pictured). Opening in Gladstone is a strategic move for the company which services the resources, infrastructure, industrial and energy sectors. From its foundations supporting the coal mining sector in the Hunter Valley, Ampcontrol has diversified through innovation in recent…

Manufacturing strengthened last month to best result since July 2021: PMI

Manufacturing continues to recover following a dip over the holiday months, with March’s Australian Industry Group Performance of Manufacturing Index strengthening to an overall result of 55.7.

Australia asked to send Bushmasters to Ukraine

The Australian developed and built Bushmaster protected mobility vehicle may be on its way to Ukranian forces following a plea from Ukraine’s president, Volodymyr Zelenskiy made direct in a speech to federal parliament. Speaking through an interpreter the khaki-clad president said some of the more than 1,000 Bushmasters serving in Australia would ‘do much more…

CEFC notches up $10 billion investments in clean energy

Almost 10 years after being established to increase investment in clean energy, the Clean Energy Finance Corporation has now committed more than $10 billion to the task. CEFC CEO Ian Learmonth went on social media top express his pride in the achievement and its contribution to pushing Australia to net zero emissions by 2050. Learmonth…

Applications open for Tasmanian space grants worth up to $100,000

The Tasmanian government has launched a program offering matched funding between $25,000 and $100,000 for businesses working in the space economy.

Capral and Tomago Aluminium agreement to local aluminium remelting

Capral Aluminium and Tomago Aluminium have signed an agreement that will see approximately 550 tonnes of manufacturing production scrap annually returned for remelting and reuse. Capral manufactures semi-fabricated aluminium products used in residential, commercial and industrial applications, while Tomago operates Australia’s largest aluminium smelter in the Hunter Valley of New South Wales. This industry leading…

Tindo Solar and sonnen team up for Victorian virtual power plant

Australian solar PV manufacturer Tindo Solar and battery maker sonnen will work together to make Tindo’s PV panels available to sonnen customers who sign up for the Solar Victoria Virtual Power Plant Pilot Program. The VPP pilot provides a $4,174 rebate for the sale and installation of an approved battery, which is connected to a…

Q-CTRL in R&D to scale-up of quantum computers

Quantum technology developer Q-CTRL is partnering with Swiss research institute for natural and engineering sciences The Paul Scherrer Institute (PSI) to pioneer R&D in the scale-up of quantum computers. Q-CTRL’s software and hardware systems reduce noise and error in nascent quantum computing systems, which store information at the sub-atomic level. The strategic partnership will leverage…

Fortescue partners to replace Russian gas with hydrogen

Australian renewable green energy development company Fortescue Future Industries and European energy networks and energy infrastructure provider E.ON have partnered to deliver up to five million tonnes per annum of green (GH2) to Europe by 2030. Five million tonnes per annum (mtpa) of renewable GH2 is equal to approximately one third of the calorific energy…

Frucor plans to hire 160 at new Ipswich factory opening in 2024

Frucor Suntory intends to open a new multi-beverage factory at a greenfield site in Ipswich’s New-Gen Business Park (NGBP) in 2024, and expects it to create 160 operational jobs and have capacity to produce 20 million cases of drinks annually.

Plant-based meat and dairy product consumption up 14 per cent in 2020/21: ABS

Both investment in and consumption of plant-based products are on the up, with Australian Bureau of Statistics figures showing the nation is eating and drinking its way through more and more meat and dairy substitutes every year. 

Russell Mineral Equipment builds 500th machine

Queensland’s Russell Mineral Equipment has celebrated manufacturing its 500th RUSSELL Mill Relining Machine (MRM, pictured) for Australian gold producer Northern Star Resources. In a major milestone for the 37 year old company, RME designed and completed production of the custom-made machine which was accepted by Northern Star at a ceremony at RME’s headquarters in Toowoomba.…

Utilising AI and robotics to cut textile waste

Queensland’s ARM Hub is leading a partnership focused on developing a plan to assist the sorting of waste textiles using artificial intelligent systems and robotic equipment. Textile waste is a major cause of landfill in Australia with up to 679,000 tons of waste released each year . With accumulating waste, and a keen focus on…

Election budget focus on voters, not the economy and industry

Comment by Peter Roberts This budget was always going to be about saving the federal government’s bacon in an election it looks likely to lose, and Treasurer Josh Frydenberg did not disappoint with cash giveaways to all and sundry with little regard to managing the economy and the budget. For consumers there was a six-month…

Nissan to invest in Victorian castings factory, make 41 new hires

Nissan Casting Australia is making a $15.5 million investment in its Dandenong South aluminium casting facility, which exports vehicle components around the world, assisted by an unspecified amount of support from the Victorian government.

Andrew Forrest snaps up five per cent of shipbuilder Austal

Mining and green energy magnate Andrew Forrest today snapped up five per cent of Perth international shipbuilder Austal. The company told investors that Forrest’s Tattarang Ventures had bought 17,731,049 shares in the company in a cash-settled equity swap transaction – the equivalent of 4.9 per cent of the company. The company has also been buying…

EOS SpaceLink satellite network a step closer

Space, defence and communications manufacturer Electro Optic Systems is a step closer to launching its ambitious SpaceLink global satellite network following export finance backing from the federal government. Export Finance Australia will provide conditional finance for up to US$80 million of debt funding for the initial satellite communications constellation to be launched by EOS subsidiary…

Avecho cannabis product effective for arthritis

Drug delivery company Avecho has announced positive results from its Phase 2a studying its topical cannabinoid gel for the management of pain associated with osteoarthritis of the hand. The study dosed patients over a four-week period, with the study demonstrating statistically significant daily improvements in hand pain, hand functionality, grip strength, finger stiffness and anxiety.…

Manufacturing projects lead in $32 million ARC Linkage grant round

Australian Research Council Linkage grants have been announced, totalling $32 million over six years, with 12 of the supported projects categorised as “advanced manufacturing”.

Manufacturing news briefs – stories you might have missed

3D Metalforge in new capital raising Additive manufacturing production bureau 3D Metalforge has raised $2.12 million before costs via a single tranche share placement. The placement, strongly supported by new institutional and sophisticated investors, also came with the issue of free attaching options which expire in five years time. The funds will be used to…

DroneShield achieves UK defence compliance

Drone detection and countermeasure company DroneShield has reached compliance with the UK Ministry of Defence SAPIENT format which is the standard counter drone communication system in the UK. Sensing for Asset Protection with Integrated Electronic Networked Technology or SAPIENT is a common operating format for defence devices. It offers a standard approach for AI and…

First C-Series railcar moves on to tests at Bellevue facility

The first C-Series carriage, part of the first train manufactured in Western Australia since 1994, is currently being tested at the Bellevue Railcar Manufacturing and Assembly Facility ahead of on-track trials later this year. The first railcar is undergoing tests at the site’s High Voltage Testing and Commissioning Facility, to be followed by a fitout,…

NSW government: Hydrogen Hubs show “Market has spoken”

The first two planned hydrogen hubs have received expressions of interest representing $4 billion in investment and 5,900 megawatts of electrolyser capacity, according to the NSW government. The government has allocated $70 million to its Hydrogen Hubs program – with the first two planned for the Hunter and Illawarra regions – as part of its…

H2X to supply hydrogen fuel cell vehicles to Sweden

Australian hydrogen fuel cell vehicle manufacturer H2X Global has announced it has signed an agreement with one of Sweden’s major municipal waste companies to provide hydrogen fuel cell powered trucks and light vehicles. Renova, which is owned by 10 municipalities across the Gothenburg region in western Sweden, and H2X Global have signed a memorandum of…

Let’s build submarine drones and an evolved Collins class

Comment by Peter Roberts The news that the federal government is moving to vastly enlarge the size of the Osborne naval shipyard in Adelaide should refocus attention on the immense scale of efforts to build nuclear submarines in Australia perhaps costing as much as $171 billion over their lifetime. It should also focus attention on…

Kim Carr bows out a tireless warrior for manufacturing and innovation

Comment by Peter Roberts Victorian senator Kim Carr has announced he will not be re-contesting his seat in the senate in the upcoming election, with his departure a sad loss to Australian public life and especially to the battle to value innovation and manufacturing in national policy. Carr has been rather unfairly characterised by his…

Manufacturing news briefs – stories you might have missed

Savic motorcycle wins Victorian Premier’s design award Australian designed electric motorcycle, the Savic C-Series (pictured), has won the 2021 Victorian Premier’s Design Award of the Year. Designers Dennis Savic of Savic Motorcycles and David Hendroff’s mission was to design a head-turning motorcycle that combined the power and handling of a traditional cafe racer with the…

Massive expansion planned for Adelaide shipyard

By Peter Roberts Hot on the tail of a $4.3 billion promise to expand the Henderson maritime precinct in Perth, Adelaide has been offered a similar carrot with the federal government leasing a massive area for the expansion of the Osborne naval shipyard. The government has revealed it will lease an additional 45 hectares of…

SA’s new focus on manufacturing in Cabinet

By Peter Roberts South Australia’s new Labor government has emphatically refocussed on the manufacturing sector with the choice of Deputy Premier Susan Close to serve as the state’s industry and science minister in the new Cabinet. Premier Peter Malinauskas announced his Cabinet on Thursday morning with Close, who has been the Deputy Labor leader since…

Manufacturing news briefs – stories you might have missed

VEEM completes Australia’s largest propeller Perth marine engineering firm VEEM has completed casting and machining of the largest propeller ever produced by the company – and also the largest ever made in Australia (picture). Weighing in at around 1,500kg and manufactured with very high tolerances, the Controllable Pitch Propellor was commissioned by Norwegian company Kongsberg…

Billion-dollar mRNA vaccine manufacturing deal secured with Moderna

By Denham Sadler A multi-billion-dollar deal between the Commonwealth, Victorian government and Moderna has been inked, with an mRNA vaccine manufacturing facility to be up and running by 2024. After signing an in-principle agreement with Moderna in mid-December, Prime Minister Scott Morrison on Thursday morning announced there had now been a final agreement, with construction on the…

Backing for clean hydrogen, mRNA, hypersonic drone projects in round 12 of CRC-P grants

Funding for 13 Cooperative Research Centre Projects has been announced, with a total of $32 million in grants awarded to projects including for green hydrogen storage and use, hypersonic drones, and mRNA formulation and manufacturing.

Vaxxas to begin Covid booster trials in Adelaide this year

Syringe-free vaccination technology company Vaxxas has announced it will recruit participants for a Phase 1 clinical trials combining its delivery patch and a Covid-19 vaccine.

Albanese pledges Labor focus on tech industry jobs

By James Riley Federal Labor has adopted the Technology Council of Australia’s target of increasing the number of Australians employed in tech-related jobs by 340,000 to 1.2 million by the end of the decade. Labor leader Anthony Albanese will on Thursday unveil plans to work with the tech sector on an industry plan to strengthen…

ANFF focus on building nanotech manufacturing workforce

Australia is ready to train the workforce necessary to meet the needs of nanotechnology industries, according to analysis conducted by the Australian National Fabrication Facility (ANFF) and TAFE SA. The joint research shows that Australia can leverage a foundation of resources and infrastructure to build a nanotech manufacturing workforce with only a few tweaks to…

Austal suffers setback in the Philippines

Perth international shipbuilder Austal has suffered a rare setback with the Philippines Navy (PN) overlooking the company’s Cebu, Philippines shipyard for the construction of offshore patrol vessels. The company told investors it has been informed by the navy that it would sole-source the purchase of foreign-built OPVs rather than buying Austal vessels built locally. Austal…

Skykraft opens factory to build 200 satellites

Skykraft has officially opened its new manufacturing facility in the centre of Canberra at the UNSW Canberra City campus. The new facility is enabling the development of the largest ever Australian manufactured space payload, weighing 300kg, which is confirmed for launch this year with SpaceX from Florida. The new facility plans to have produced five…

Calix low emissions cement technology gets green light

Technology development firm Calix’s lead LEILAC-2 project has passed its financial investment decision and will move on to building a plant capable of capturing 20 per cent of an existing cement plant’s CO2 emissions at low cost. The company, which is commercialising new kiln technology enabling the capture of CO2 in the manufacture of cement…

Australian moon rover challenge to get underway

IoT satellite communications manufacturer Fleet Space Technologies will demonstrate the company’s communications modem operating two student-built Moon rovers at an event in Adelaide this week. This is the first time satellite connectivity capability will been demonstrated with a rover as part of Australian efforts to operate a rover on the surface of the Moon. Fleet…

Australia wants a space industry. So why won’t we pay for the basic research to drive it?

By Phil Bland, Curtin University In the past few years, Australia has formed its own space agency and launched a defence “space command”. Billions of dollars for defence, and hundreds of millions for civilian space, have been allocated from the public purse to develop capability in this growing sector. This funding covers the Moon-to-Mars Program,…

Indigenous alliance to drive shipbuilding recruitment

BAE Systems Maritime Australia has selected an indigenous alliance to drive shipbuilding recruitment which is constructing nine Hunter class frigates at its Osborne south shipyard in Adelaide. BAESMA has selected Careers Centre Alliance following a highly competitive evaluation process to manage trade recruitment for the Hunter Class Frigate Program. The selection of Careers Centre Alliance…

Brabham set to enter European racing circuit

Adelaide supercar manufacturer Brabham Automotive has formed Brabham Automotive Factory Racing and will join High Class Racing’s team competing in the Fanatec GT2 European Series 2022. High Class Racing are last year’s European GT2 champions and a seasoned international racing team. The Brabham BT63 GT2 sports car (pictured), which has been competing in various European…

Manufacturing news briefs – stories you might have missed

Boral hit by east coast floods Building products group Boral has seen its earnings hit adversely by lower sales following the recent floods in New South Eales and Queensland. The company now expects operating profit (EBIT) to fall to between $145 million and $155 million for FY22. CEO Zlatko Todorcevski said the impact to earnings…

Critical minerals manufacturing opportunity – by Shannon O’Rourke

Australia has vast resources of battery minerals and the beginnings of a battery metals value chain, but little in the way of value-added manufacturing. According to Shannon O’Rourke, the time for action to seize the opportunity is now. The Australian mining industry saved Australia from recession in the GFC and again during the Covid-19 pandemic.…

Molycop acquires mill monitoring company DCL

Grinding media specialist Molycop has announced the acquisition of mill monitoring company Digital Control Labs.

New plaster is faster, lighter and stronger, say USQ researchers

A new “smart plaster” developed at the University of Southern Queensland is being promoted as a potential new standard for treating bone fractures, with the team seeking industrial partners to take the invention forward.

Pure Hydrogen debuts hydrogen powered waste truck

Hydrogen, gas and mobility business Pure Hydrogen has partnered with domestic waste collector JJ’s Waste & Recycling to trial Australia’s first-ever hydrogen fuelled garbage truck (pictured). The trial with JJ’s Waste & Recycling, Australia’s largest privately-owned waste management company, will begin at the end of 2022 in South East Queensland and opens the way to…

Manufacturing news briefs – stories you might have missed

DXN signs fourth undersea cable contract Prefabricated modular data centre manufacturer DXN has signed its fourth contract received for additional work on the Oman Australia Cable System. The company has signed a $1.2 million contract to supply additional fibre and civil works to the cable system owner SUB.CO. The Oman Australia Cable is a 9,800km…

Federal government announces program to link METS suppliers with Indian market

The federal government has announced a new $1.5 million program aimed at linking Australian mining equipment, technology and services (METS) companies with Indian miners.

Corban & Blair onshores to make by hand

By Peter Roberts One of the truisms that come from the forces ranged against Australian manufacturing is that local labour costs are too high to compete with countries where labour is cheap and labour laws are lax. Of course this was never true, otherwise why would high-cost Germany etc be seen as powerful and competitive…

Austin Engineering doubles order book in 1 year

Perth mining equipment manufacturer Austin Engineering has more than doubled its order book over the past year on the back of a renewed focus on manufacturing efficiency and a recovery in the mining market. The company announced today that it has received $81 million in new orders across the business in the three months to…

Manufacturing news briefs – stories you might have missed

IDT misses out on MMI grant for mRNA vaccines Drug manufacturer IDT Australia has missed out on a Modern Manufacturing Initiative collaboration stream grant from the federal government to further development of mRNA vaccine manufacturing capabilities. The company, which is manufacturing the vaccine components for clinical trials of a mRNA vaccine developed by Monash University,…

New SA government aims for hydrogen leadership

By Peter Roberts Having previously led the world with the installation of the world-first Hornsdale big battery, the incoming Labor government in South Australia plans to do the same with the construction of a state-owned hydrogen electrolyser and green hydrogen-fired power station at Whyalla. Costed at $593 million, the 250 MWe electrolysers, 200MW power station…

Chief Scientist renews call for innovation metrics overhaul

By James Riley The data and systems used to measure innovation and commercialisation in Australia are no longer working for us, according to chief scientist Cathy Foley, who says our innovation metrics are in need of an overhaul. The same can be said of the data we use to measure university rankings and the success…

$16 million waste-to-value R&D cooperative launched at Deakin University

A new circular economy research project based at Deakin University’s Waurn Ponds campus has been launched, in collaboration with Monash University, RMIT, and 20 industry partners.

Black Sky develops Australian missile capabilities

Australian rocket company Black Sky Aerospace has achieved a major milestone which could lead to the development of an Australian precision guided missile. The company, working with partners including Crystalaid, achieved initial integration of guidance and control on a missile fired in Queensland. Black Sky aims to develop a next generation missile system and ensure…

Micro-X sends x-ray machines to Ukraine

Adelaide x-ray machine manufacturer Micro-X has partnered with US charity Revived Soldiers Ukraine to provide its rugged, lightweight Rover X-ray devices to the beleaguered country. Revived Soldiers Ukraine has purchased four Rover devices which are on their way to be used in Ukrainian hospitals. The Micro-X Rover is the military version of the company’s Nano…

Qld EV strategy gets $55m jumpstart

By Brandon How The Queensland government has unveiled $55 million worth of electric vehicle incentives and charging infrastructure to support its 10-year plan for zero emission vehicles uptake. The first $45 million will be available to anybody in $3,000 subsidies for the purchase of electric vehicles (EV) up to the value of $58,000. This is…

Manufacturing news briefs – stories you might have missed

LBT Innovations receives APAS instrument orders Laboratory device manufacturer LBT Innovations has received an order for multiple APAS instruments from its US distributor Remel Inc, a division of Thermo Fisher Scientific. The company has been commercialising its APAS Independence laboratory instrument, an imaging, interpretation, sorting and reporting machine that automatically examines culture plates for the…

New report shows Australia set renewables records in 2021

The Clean Energy Regulator’s December quarter report has included new records for the adoption of renewables and carbon offsets during 2021.

The coalition has well and truly embraced ‘picking winners’

By Peter Roberts Ahh the good old days – the days when the coalition was dead against ‘picking winners’. Remember them? It is hard to believe that only a decade ago, any mention by Labor of an activist industry policy that identified industry sectors that Australia should focus on was met with a chorus of…

Australian Vanadium backed to produce critical battery materials

Resources and chemicals group Australian Vanadium Limited (AVL) will receive a $49 million grant from the federal government to support a major project in Western Australia to produce critical battery metals and electrolyte for vanadium redox storage batteries. The grant, under the federal government’s Modern Manufacturing Initiative Collaboration Stream, will fund development of the company’s…

Help Australian manufacturers fightback from floods

The Australian Made Campaign is encouraging consumers to help local businesses fight back across flood devastated Queensland and New South Wales through its new ‘Flood Fightback‘ product page. While rain is finally easing Australian Made is featuring almost 900 businesses across flood-affected communities, providing consumers with a way to discover new and exciting Australian Made…

ANSTO to manufacture skin cancer treatment

Nuclear science and technology organisation ANSTO has been licensed as the Australian manufacturing partner of a new non-invasive treatment for non-melanoma skin cancer (NMSC). Radioisotope developer OncoBeta and ANSTO will establish local manufacturing of the company’s epidermal radioisotope therapy, Rhenium-SCT (Skin Cancer Therapy) for the treatment of non-melanoma skin cancer. ANSTO operates the OPAL nuclear…

GREP gets CEFC, Hostplus backing

The Clean Energy Finance Corporation will provide up to $8.5 million in finance in a joint venture with Octopus Australia for the Gippsland Renewable Energy Park (GREP.)

Perth to get $4.3 billion dry dock

By Peter Roberts The federal government has announced funding will be earmarked in the upcoming Budget for a $4.3 billion dry dock to be located at the Henderaon marine precinct (pictured) in Western Australia. Prime Minister Scott Morrison made the announcement today in Perth, saying the new dry dock would turn Henderson into a world-class…

Manufacturing news briefs – stories you might have missed

Amaero International to review strategic alternatives Additive manufacturing technology company Amaero International has commissioned investment and advisory firm Guggenheim Securities to evaluate strategic alternatives for the company. The study was aimed at ensuring it was ‘taking every step possible to maximise value for shareholders’, according to an announcement. Amaero said no decisions had been made…

Canberra backs steelworks, hints at further MMI investment

BlueScope Steel will invest $217 updating the Port Kembla steelworks with the assistance of a federal government Modern Manufacturing Initiative grant. Canberra will provide $55.4 million to the project which will ‘shore up the supply of Australian steel to support renewable energy projects and our local defence sector’, according to the government. Steel plate produced…

Flinders in R&D partnership with WA asparagopsis startup

SeaStock, which recently became the sixth company with a licence to produce asparagopsis extract-based livestock feed, will undertake a project on “production and processing techniques” with Flinders University. Asparagopsis is a red seaweed native to Australia and New Zealand, and the subject of years of research led by CSIRO and James Cook University investigating the…

Pure Hydrogen plans a ‘turquoise’ hydrogen pilot plant

Pure Hydrogen plans to produce ‘turquoise’ hydrogen from methane feedstock in a Brisbane pilot plant utilising technology from French company Plenesys. Pure Hydrogen has built up ‘considerable’ expertise in methane pyrolysis hydrogen production and will combine it with Plenesys’s A/C Plasma Torch to convert methane into hydrogen and solid carbon products including graphene. The two…

Singular Health’s AI-based cranial implants

CSIRO and Singular Health have announced the creation of an AI-based model for designing bespoke cranial implants. Crainiotomy CT scans were used to train a convolutional neural network AI model to generate a cranial implant design. Made possible with the support of CSIRO Kick-Start, the AI model is capable of generating a cranial implant within…

Labor pledges $22 million for Townsville industrial hub if it wins election

Federal opposition leader Anthony Albanese will pledge an extra $22 million on infrastructure for the Lansdown Eco-Industrial Precinct, should Labor win the upcoming federal election.

Schneider Electric completes acquisition of Australian IoT company

French multinational Schneider Electric has announced the completed acquisition of Aurtra, a University of Queensland spinout specialising in power asset management solutions. The acquisition was announced last year, with Aurtra’s HealthSense – a multi-function sensor solution – now part of Schneider Electric’s services offer portfolio. Aurtra was founded in 2016, following a decade of industry/university…

Australia edges closer to being electricity exporter

A new export industry for Australia – sending green electricity offshore via cable – has moved a step closer with news that the giant Sun Cable export project has raised new capital. Billionaires Mike Cannon-Brookes and Andrew Forrest led a $210 million Series B capital raising from existing shareholders announced on Sunday night. The fund…

Insitu Pacific to deliver Integrator UAS

Unmanned aerial system (UAS) manufacturer Insitu Pacific has been announced as preferred supplier by the Australian Government to provide the new Tactical Uncrewed Aerial System (UAS) to the Australian Army under the LAND129 Phase 3 programme. Insitu, a division of the Boeing company, will initially deliver and provide support of its Integrator UAS (pictured) as…

How to reindustrialise Australia – by Lance Worrall

In March @AuManufacturing analysed the failings of Australian industry policy and its outcome – our fragile and narrowly based commodity economy. Here Lance Worrall looks forward to the elements of the reindustrialisation policy we need to reverse Australia’s economic decline. We need a strategy for reindustrialisation. Without it Australia is the loser. We need a…

Manufacturing news briefs – stories you might have missed

Austal delivers 14th Guardian patrol boat Shipbuilder Austal has delivered the 14th Guardian class patrol boat (GCPB) to the Australian Department of Defence. The vessel, FSS Tosiwo Nakayama, was then gifted to the Federated States of Micronesia at a certificate signing ceremony held at Austal’s shipyard in Henderson, Western Australia. The ceremony was attended by…

Breville buys LELIT to expand coffee maker range

International consumer product group Breville has purchased Italian coffee machine, grinder and barista tool manufacturer LELIT, expanding its range of offerings to the home coffee maker market. The Sydney company will pay $201 million to acquire 100 per cent of LELIT – half will be paid in cash with the remainder paid in Breville shares,…

Woman leaders in composites – Nicola Stanistreet, Pacific Resins

Today our special editorial series celebrating International Women’s Week profiling women leaders in composites, talks to Nicola Stanistreet, Sales Director, Pacific Resins. By Kerryn Caulfield.

Fleet Space Technologies reveals Moon rover design

Iot satellite company Fleet Space Technologies has revealed a preliminary design for an Australian Moon rover vehicle. The design, part of the Seven Sisters consortium of leading space companies bid to be part of NASA’s ground-breaking Moon and Mars missions, was developed ‘courtesy of Hassel Studios’. Fleet Space’s CEO Flavia Tata Nardini said her company…

Labor pledges funds for ‘factory of the future’

Labor should it be elected at the upcoming South Australian state election has pledged $4 million to bring together up to 100 South Australian companies with university students and researchers to develop new manufacturing processes and products. Labor plans a Manufacturing Growth Accelerator program (MGA) at Flinders University’s Factory of the Future facility which will…

Industry dept pays consultants $15m for help with grants

By Denham Sadler The Industry department has paid consultants more than $15 million in the last 18 months across a number of contracts for assistance in delivering its grants programs, including with the assessment of applications. Since November 2020, the department has handed Canberra consultancy Synergy more than $10 million in contracts marked as being for…

USQ space manufacturing hub shortlisted for expansion

The University of Southern Queensland’s space manufacturing hub has been shortlisted to receive a share of the federal government’s $242 million Trailblazer Universities Program. The four-year Trailblazer Program will help universities to fast-track commercialisation of research with industry partners across the six National Manufacturing Priorities (NMP). The University of Southern Queensland’s Innovative Launch, Automation, Novel…

Sea Electric launches step van in the US

Australian founded and US-based electric truck drive train manufacturer SEA Electric has revealed its SV6 EV Step Van developed for the electric delivery van segment in the United States. At the heart of the Class 6 SV6 EV is the proprietary SEA-Drive power-system, which leads the industry in terms of range, driving performance, and environmental…

Stronger buy local procurement policy proposed for South Australia

The Labor opposition has promised a ‘powerful’ new procurement policy aimed at shaping ‘the economy and the labour market’ should it win government at the state election due on March 19. Opposition Leader Peter Malinauskas (pictured) choose a vist to 75 year old knitting mill Silver Fleece to announce: “It simply makes sense for the…

Victorian Medtech Manufacturing Capability Program opens for applications

Applications are open for grants worth between $100,000 and $500,000 under the Victorian government’s Medtech Manufacturing Capability Program. The program is open to companies with operations in the state making an eligible medtech product, and at the “prototype stage and/or the scale up stage” of product development.  Grants are paid on a 1:1 basis for…

Woman leaders in composites – Krystyna Nikolas

Today our special editorial series celebrating International Women’s Week profiling women leaders in composites, turns to Krystyna Nikolas, Financial Controller, Marky Industries. From hand laminating, polishing plugs, grinding and trimming, there are few jobs that Krystyna hasn’t done in the company’s journey from a $50 start-up to employing over 70 people. By Kerryn Caulfield. Krystyna…

Quantum Brilliance in German Quantum Computing Research

German-Australian manufacturer of quantum computing hardware, Quantum Brilliance has announced it is to be the commercialisation partner in a $17.5 million research project funded by the German government to develop a compact, scalable quantum computer demonstrator with spin-photon qubits leveraging synthetic diamonds. Led by the Fraunhofer Institute for Applied Solid State Physics IAF, the goal…

Timber from Russia/Belarus declared ‘conflict timber’.

The federal Department of Agriculture, Water and the Environment (DAWE) has advised furniture manufacturers that timber from Russia and Belarus will not be banned from import into Australia despite concerns raised over Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. However DAWE is planning to notify users of Russian and Belarusian timbers of an announcement by PEFC International and…

Woman leaders in composites – Genelle Coghlan of Colan Australia

Today, our special editorial series celebrating International Women’s Week profiling women leaders in composites, turns to Genelle Coghlan, a ‘materials geek’. She loves the art of engineering purpose and performance into roll goods, tapes and braids, and pushing the limits of fibre compositions. By Kerryn Caulfield. Genelle Coghlan is a successful serial entrepreneur with many…

Manufacturing news briefs – stories you might have missed

Hexagon plans huge WA ‘blue’ hydrogen with CCS Hexagon Energy Materials has reported on its plans to develop a massive ‘blue’ hydrogen plus carbon capture and storage production hub in Western Australia’s north west. The company has progressed plans to produce as much as 800,000 tonnes of hydrogen a year from natural gas feedstock for…

PM wants to shore up seven sectors of manufacturing for “just in case” era

Prime minister Scott Morrison has outlined seven supply chain priorities in a speech this morning ahead of the March 29 budget. The seven sectors of manufactured goods that Australia needed to focus on, “in the national interest”, were given as semiconductors, agricultural chemicals, water treatment chemicals, telecommunications equipment, plastics, pharmaceuticals, and personal protective equipment. Supply…

Taskforce set to reinvigorate NSW modern manufacturing

The New South Wales government has announced a new taskforce designed to renew NSW’s manufacturing sector, with the aim of accelerating adoption and development of modern manufacturing capabilities across industry sectors in Australia’s largest state. Minister for enterprise, investment and trade Stuart Ayres said NSW’s Modern Manufacturing Taskforce brings together research, academia and industry experts…

Project applications open for German-Australian green hydrogen incubator program

The German-Australian Hydrogen Innovation and Technology Incubator has opened grant applications for green hydrogen projects

International Women’s Day: Insights from four women in STEM

Across Australia, women are delivering ground-breaking research and innovation within science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM). In celebration of International Women’s Day, the Innovative Manufacturing Cooperative Research Centre (IMCRC) spoke to four women involved in IMCRC’s manufacturing research projects about their careers, why gender equality matters and what we can do to inspire more girls…

Women leaders in composites – Lynley Papineau of Aquatic Leisure Technologies

Today our special editorial series celebrating International Women’s Week profiling women leaders in composites, turns to Aquatic Leisure Technologies (ALT), Australia’s largest swimming pool manufacturer. At the helm of this extraordinary company is Lynley Papineau. By Kerryn Caulfield. The backyard pool is the ultimate Aussie playground – a private oasis for fitness and relaxation, and…

New report looks at opportunities and costs of decarbonising energy-hungry manufacturing

Manufacturing Australia released a report on Monday concluding that a move to net zero emissions by 2050 could boost manufacturing and add 100,000 new jobs, though there would need to be significant investment to “more than double… total electricity generation” required by energy-intensive manufacturing.

Latrobe manufacturing cooperative awarded grant for solar-battery systems

Morwell’s Earthworker Energy Manufacturing Cooperative has been awarded just under $240,000 under the state government’s Latrobe Valley Energy and Growth Program to develop portable solar-battery systems for use in extreme weather events.

Defence’s industry programs ‘simply not good enough’

By Joseph Brookes Fewer than five per cent of projects funded by federal government’s flagship Defence innovation programme have gone on to export success, and just seven per cent have been close to acquisition by Australian defence forces in the past six years. The low translation rates are despite $441 million being poured into the…

Improve your customer acquisition

Customer acquisition is art of adding new clients to your business. In other words, growth. Whether your business is brand new or established, the shifting sands of the marketplace mean that gaining new customers is an ongoing endeavour. Naturally, the financial success of your business depends on your ability to acquire customers.

Manufacturing news briefs – stories you might have missed

Second evolved Cape class patrol vessel launched The second of six Evolved Cape Class Patrol Boats launched on Saturday at the Austal Ships shipyard in Henderson, Western Australia. Following its official launch, the second patrol vessel in the $344 million build programme will receive finishing touches and undergo sea trials before being delivered to the…

FBR and Liebherr to ‘commercialise’ the Hadrian X robot

Robotic technology company FBR has entered into a MOU with global pumping systems manufacturer Liebherr-Mischtechnik GmbH to ‘industrialise and commercialise’ the next generation FBR’s Hadrian X automated bricklaying robot. The two plan to develop the Australian-developed system which has successfully built houses, apartments and commercial buildings for the global construction market. However it is not…

Women leaders in composites – Leona Reif FDP Composites

Introducing our special editorial series to celebrate International Women’s Week profiling women leaders in composites, today we talk to Leona Reif, Director of FDP Composites and president, Composites Australia. Here’s how Leona took over and drove forward her father’s business, by Kerryn Caulfield. For many, a dramatic career change from public to private sector would…

Carbon Revolution celebrates 50,000th wheel

One-piece composite wheel manufacturer Carbon Revolution has marked the sale of its 50,000th wheel at the company’s Waurn Ponds factory.

Starpharma’s Covid-killer needs action not bureaucracy from TGA

By Peter Roberts I have nothing but the deepest respect for Australia’s Therapeutic Goods Administration, but a certain lack of initiative on the part of the TGA seems to be preventing Australians from getting access to the latest Australian-developed tools to fight Covid-19. Make no mistake the TGA has an exemplary record in regulating Australians’…

Australian team is developing new IoT sensors to monitor highway health

Geoinventions Consulting Services is leading a project to develop new geotechnical sensors to monitor the health of roadways, enabled by micro-electro-mechanical systems technology.

Manufacturing news briefs – stories you might have missed

Lynas extends knowledge of critical rare earths resource Lynas Rare Earths will begin a new exploration programme following the identification of major extensions to its Mt Weld rare earths resource in Western Australia. The company has successfully completed a one kilometre deep exploration hole drilled in fresh carbonatite below the current Mt Weld ore reserve.…

Women @ Work in Australian regional manufacturing

Advertisement On the eve of International Women’s Day @AuManufacturing and our partner Hargraves Institute have launched a special programme for female team leaders and managers in regional manufacturing. We are offering readers and members an educational programme focussed on equity and equality in manufacturing firms in the regions. This interactive learning program (two sessions per…

Brace yourself to be trickle fed grant awards right up to the election

By Peter Roberts The announcement of $113 million of federal support for plant protein factories and another $20 million for satellite manufacturing in South Australia is all well and good. But it means the process for assessing the Modern Manufacturing Initiative Round 1 applications is complete. It is shameful that the federal government looks like…

Australia could get to net zero emissions much quicker than 2050 – if our politics was a force for change. Here’s how

Our current goal is net zero by 2050. But we could do it much faster. Our modelling shows we could get there by 2035. That’s just 13 years away.

Federal government awards $20 million grant for Adelaide satellite manufacturing hub

A second South Australian consortium this week has been awarded support through the federal government’s Modern Manufacturing Initiative, with a $20 million grant announced to help establish a space manufacturing hub at Adelaide Airport. On Thursday the federal government said it would contribute $20 million to the new park through the collaboration stream of its…

Liberty awarded $292 million rail contract

Liberty Primary Steel has been awarded a $292 million contract to make 147,000 tonnes of steel for the Australian Rail Track Corporation (ARTC), much of which will be used in the Inland Rail.

Eight SMEs unite in space and defence

Eight leading Australian-owned space and defence companies have joined together to offer solutions to Australia’s space and defence industry priorities. The companies, a who’s who of young, innovative Australian firms, have formed Australian Defence Industry Space Capability Alliance (ADISCA) to tackle defence’s Sovereign Industry Capability Priorities for space. The alliance was revealed at the 13th…

BlueScope welcomes NSW renewable manufacturing fund

BlueScope Steel has welcomed the announcement by the NSW Government of a $250 million Renewable Manufacturing Fund. CEO Mark Vassella welcomed the state’s commitment to create opportunities for local industry in this and other sectors. Vassella said: “The potential opportunity for local manufacturers in relation to NSW’s Renewable Energy Zones is enormous – several hundred…

Sea Electric pumps out electric trucks in Melbourne – pictures

The main focus for Melbourne electric vehicle drive train manufacturer Sea Electric has shifted to the United States – after all, you have to be close to your biggest markets. But its Melbourne plant is busy pumping out electric trucks as these pictures show. According to the company: “Our Melbourne factory is in full swing.…

Broken Hill Cobalt awarded major project status

The federal government has awarded Major Project Status to the Broken Hill Cobalt Project, which will produce an estimated 16,700 tonnes annually of high purity cobalt sulphate, a critical material used in lithium ion batteries.

My (improbable) faith in Australian manufacturing – by Ed Husic

Ed Husic spoke to the Sydney Institute last night and outlined his vision for industry and innovation should Labor be successful at the coming federal election. Here is a full transcript. Good industry policy isn’t just about economics – it helps build a sense of security as well. In tough, challenging times it’s as much…

Dassault joins “Team Albatross” effort to create aerospace manufacturing hub in Darwin

French engineering software company Dassault Systemes has joined Darwin’s Amphibian Aerospace Industries in its plan to build Albatross amphibious aircraft. Dassault announced on Tuesday that it was joining “Team Albatross” with AAI, which announced  plans in December to rebuild an upgraded version of the Albatross G-111 and to create an aviation manufacturing sector in the…

Manufacturing news briefs – stories you might have missed

Chemist Warehouse ranges organic infant formula Future Gradulac Gentle and Organic A2 infant formula produced by Australian Dairy Nutritionals are to be sold through pharmacy retailer Chemist Warehouse. Initial orders have been received with the full range available in what is Australia’s largest infant formula retailer in early March. ADN reported it had improved its…

Fortescue plans zero emission Infinity Train

Fortescue Future Industries and its newly acquired, UK-based arm Williams Advanced Engineering (WAE) today announced the development of a world first, zero emission Infinity Train. The regenerating battery electric iron ore train project will use gravitational energy to fully recharge its battery electric systems without any additional charging requirements for the return trip to reload.…

Wednesday National Press Club address to focus on “bench to boardroom” science

Professor Mark Hutchinson of the University of Adelaide will address the enduring topic of improving research commercialisation at the National Press Club on Wednesday.

Close The Loop announces half-year results

Close The Loop has announced positive half-year results, including earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation growth of 51 per cent versus the year before. Among results for the half-year ending December 31, were pro forma revenue of $40.7 million, pro forma EBITDA of $7.4 million and pro forma net profit before tax of $4.97…

Manufacturing bounces back after worst of Omicron

Manufacturing recovered after a difficult holiday period, according to the Australian Industry Group’s Australian Performance of Manufacturing Index survey. The PMI result for February was 53.2, up 4.8 points from December-January.  Any result above indicates expansion, below it contraction, and 50 indicating no change. According to a summary of the results, these indicated “mild improvements…

Meat giant TFI’s $378m move on plant-based food

Meat processing giant Thomas Foods International is planning a massive $378 million foray into the plant-based protein sector, promising to create more than 8,500 full-time jobs, according to media reports The Adelaide based meat processor, which has meat and seafood processing operations and feedlots in Australia, the United States, Canada and Europe, has joined with…

A vision where innovative Australian-made displaces plastic – by Julia Kay

An architect by profession, Julia Kay and husband Jordy have grown from a standing start to be Australia’s only manufacturer of compostable stretch wrap, first for consumer and soon for industrial uses. @AuManufacturing asked her to tell her story, in her own words. There was a materials revolution happening around us. Everything was changing rapidly;…

Demand for skills drives improved outcomes for apprentices

A higher proportion of apprentices and trainees are being employed after completing their training as demand for skilled workers rose during 2021, according to a new report. The report from the National Centre for Vocational Education Research (NCVER) shows 94.0 per cent of apprentices and trainees who completed their training in a trade occupation were…

AML3D releases half-year results, announces progress on alloy development

Wire arc additive manufacturing technology company AML3D has announced its best quarterly result in terms of customer receipts since listing on the ASX, and expects the next quarter to be a further improvement.

Govt’s ‘AI Action Plan’ is lacking action

By Joseph Brookes Funding for the federal government’s ‘AI Action Plan’ remains locked up in the industry department nearly a year after it was announced, with a key business group pressing the government to release the $124 million promised in last year’s budget. Despite being budgeted more than $22 million this financial year to initiate…

Stock market investors look to Micro-X to lift sales

By Peter Roberts Technology shares especially for start-ups have been shunned by investors for months now, but until the past week Adelaide cold cathode X-ray machine manufacturer Micro-X had weathered the storm better than most. However in the past week the market marked down the company’s shares, delivering a warning that it is becoming impatient…

Manufacturing news briefs – stories you might have missed

Austal’s record half year profit Perth international shipbuilder Austal has posted a record half year profit to December despite revenue slipping 14 per cent to $722.4 million. Operating profit or EBIT of $71.1 million was up one per cent on the previous corresponding period to $70.5m. The record result was driven by a combination of…

AUSTRALIAN MANUFACTURING FORUM PASSES 10,000 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 10,041 members late last night with the admission of 56 people. The Forum has grown steadily since its founding in 2013, and a year ago…

Fortescue begins building electrolyser factory

Fortescue Future Industries has begun construction on what is planned to be the world’s largest electrolyser manufacturing facility at Gladstone, Queensland, the first stage of a 100 hectare Green Energy Manufacturing Centre (GEM). The GEM will be powered by green energy and become a major new pollution free green manufacturing hub, with the stage one…

EOS slashes cost of planned satellite system

Defence, space and communications manufacturer Electro Optic Systems has managed to squeeze down the cost of its SpaceLink global system of an initial four, linked optical relay communications satellites. The low Earth orbit satellites, which will provide operational connectivity to commercial and government space missions using both RF and optical links, will be built to…

Another day, another breakdown for Incitec Pivot

By Peter Roberts How many breakdowns does a company have to suffer before the question is asked – what is going on in its United States manufacturing plants? This comes to mind with the news that fertiliser and explosives manufacturer Incitec Pivot has suffered yet another breakdown at its troubled Waggaman, Louisiana ammonia plant. This,…

$65 million in funding announced for federal space programs

The federal government has announced $65 million in funding to support new launch sites and space flights for the space sector.

Promised more industry focused PhDs, but the reality is different – by Dr John Howard

Australia was promised a new research focus for PhDs on the needs of industry. Here Dr John Howard forensically examines the national innovation and research system and asks whether, when the money runs out, will we have a more robust research infrastructure and research workforce? On 31 January 2022, the Prime Minister announced that the…

Manufacturing news briefs – stories you might have missed

IDT Australia’s strong year as it develops mRNA technologies Independent pharmaceutical manufacturer IDT Australia has reported revenues up 74 per cent in the first half FY 22 to $8.56 million as its developed its capabilities in sterile manufacturing. Profit after tax was $1.21 million, up slightly from $1.12 million in the previous corresponding period. During…

Applications open for six-month circular economy accelerator

Sydney’s Boomerang Labs is taking applications for its free six-month accelerator program for circular economy entrepreneurs. Between six and ten applicants will be selected for the accelerator, which is sponsored by EY, Bingo Industries and the NSW Environment Protection Authority. The program is split into Foundations, Partnerships, and Capital Raising modules. Applications are open until…

No substitute for the Australian Made kangaroo

The famous Australian Made logo is not changing or being replaced, despite the release by Austrade of a kangaroo-based Nation Brand. That latest release follows the dumping of the first iteration of the Nation Brand – the infamous gold ‘Wattle mark’ – that drew unfavourable comparisons to images of the coronavirus. The Wattle mark has…

Tindo Solar builds Australia’s first utility-scale solar panel

Australia’s only manufacturer of solar panels, Tindo Solar has revealed its first utility-scale solar PV panel with claims of unrivalled energy efficiency and longevity. The company, which is commissioning a new production line at Mawson Lakes, Adelaide, had its utility-scale solar PV panel tested by independent tester of electrical equipment TUV SUD Korea. They found…

Blueprint for a national industrialisation strategy

By Peter Roberts A blueprint for a new National Industrialisation Strategy has been issued in the runup to the federal election that could guide a reindustrialisation of Australia. The blueprint, High Value Manufacturing for the 21st Century – is a new report from the Australian Industrial Transformation Institute, Flinders University and its director Professor John…

Kilcoy Global’s new Sunshine Coast factory

Premium beef producer Kilcoy Global Foods Australia is to invest $50 million in a new food production facility on Queensland’s Sunshine Coast according to media reports. The Chinese-owned company, which distributes six beef brands to local and international food service and retail customers, will open the factory by the end of 2022 and create 300…

Canberra backs future fuels deployment

The federal government is rolling out an expanded $250 million Future Fuels Fund to support uptake of low and zero emissions vehicles in commercial fleets over the next four years. Businesses will be able to apply for grants under the second round of the fund to support the uptake of low and zero emissions vehicles,…

Carbon Revolution to inaugurate Mega-line in 2022

Carbon fibre road wheel manufacturer Carbon Revolution is to inaugurate its Mega-line wheel manufacturing line at its Geelong factory this calendar year, the company has revealed. Carbon Revolution told investors in its rep[ort for the first half year that construction of the Mega-line which will substantially increase output is on time and on budget. CEO…

Manufacturing news briefs – stories you might have missed

Cochlear’s strong sales growth Growth in services offered by hearing implant manufacturer Cochlear has driven sales revenue for the half year ended December 12 per cent higher in constant currency terms to $1,135 million. While sales of Cochlear implants rose seven per cent to 18,598 in the half, services revenues such as sound processor upgrades…

Engineering products company to build new factory at Avon

The Reinforced Earth Company, a civil engineering products business, will establish a new site at Avon Industrial Park, near Northam in Western Australia.

CSIRO’S SWIRLFLOW technology’s 25 year’s operation

CSIRO’s SWIRLFLOW industrial mixing technology developed in partnership with Queensland Alumina Limited has marked a 25-year milestone of operations in alumina processing in Australia. Looking like a supercharged stick blender, SWIRLFLOW sits at the top of a mixing tank and generates a tornado-like swirl throughout the fluid, which delivers superior mixing and dispersion of solids…

“Productivity needs to improve,” but is that the real problem – by John Sheridan

“Productivity needs to improve,” says the RBA, BCA, CEDA, Treasury and the Banks. But that is not the real problem argues John Sheridan The RBA, the BCA, government ministers and others are all back on the bandwagon again – “Australia’s productivity needs to improve before people can expect wage rises”. One of the measures of…

Microgrid testing facility opened in Cairns

Ergon Energy has opened a new $6 million energy R&D facility in Cairns, described by the Queensland government as one of the most sophisticated of its kind in the nation.

How Australia’s geology gave us an abundance of coal – and a wealth of greentech minerals to switch to

Two recent announcements hint at a seismic shift about to hit Australia’s coal industry.

Australian tech billionaire Mike Cannon-Brookes and Canada’s Brookfield put forward an extraordinary joint bid to takeover AGL Energy, Australia’s biggest emitting company, over the weekend. If successful, it would see AGL’s coal-fired power stations shut down early. And last week, Origin Energy announced that the country’s largest coal plant, Eraring, will close seven years early.

BlueScope moves to reline blast furnace

BlueScope steel is rapidly refining its plans for decarbonising its steel making and today announced the likely $1 billion relining of its currently mothballed No. 6 blast furnace (6BF) at Port Kembla in New South Wales. The company told investors that it now expects significant takeup of low emissions steel technology into the 2040s. “Given…

K-TIG raises cash, accelerates expansion

Australian high-tech welding manufacturer K-TIG will accelerate its global expansion, announcing it had raised $4 million in a share placement and revealing three new distribution deals. The TIG welding technology developer announced new distributors in Turkey, Spain, Portugal, and the successful placement of $4 million to investors including existing directors. Chairman Stuart Carmichael said the…

Rio Tinto to examine investment in Bell Bay

Rio Tinto and the Tasmanian Government are to work together to boost employment and growth outcomes for the company’s Bell Bay smelter, including examining the possibility of new investment in the smelter. They have signed a MoU to jointly investigate how the smelter’s manufacturing capability and electricity demand can help support the development of new…

Profits down slightly as supply challenges force RWC to increase prices

Plumbing supplies company Reliance Worldwide Corporation announced a 12.4 per cent increase in revenues for the half-year to December to $US 522 million. The ASX-listed manufacturer reported its half-year results on Monday, with pre-tax profit $US 92 million (down 3.1 per cent on the corresponding period) and net profit $US 63.7 million (down 3.3 per…

AGL rejects green takeover bid

The board of energy company AGL Energy has rejected a takeover bid aimed at accelerating both the closure of the company’s coal-fired power stations and its investment in renewables. The company issued a statement to the ASX this morning saying that it rejected an ‘unsolicited, non-binding indication of interest’ from a consortium including tech billionaire…

Modern Manufacturing programme struggles to get money out the door

By Joseph Brookes Just $85 million has been released from the federal government’s flagship $1.5 billion Modern Manufacturing Strategy (MMS) program since it was announced in 2020. The biggest grants are currently being held up by government ministers’ input on independent recommendations, and await a final decision by the Prime Minister, Scott Morrison to be…

Logos, logos, more national logos

By Peter Roberts Am I the only one who wonders what the purpose could possibly be of the new Australian Nation Brand developed at the cost of $10 million for the federal government (pictured). The new logo replaces an earlier brand which was launched in 2020 to much derision – it was not instantly recognisable…

Manufacturing news briefs – stories you might have missed

First Graphene’s low-carbon cement grant A consortium led by First Graphene has secured a GBP190,000 UK government grant to develop graphene-enhanced, low carbon cement. The company and Breedon Cement, Morgan Sindall Construction & Infrastructure and the University of Manchester aim to achieve a 25 per cent reduction in CO2 emissions in cement production. The grant,…

Nexport dumps electric bus factory plan – report

A company planning to build a $700 million electric bus manufacturing plant in the Southern Highlands of New South Wales has abandoned its plan following unsatisfactory negotiations with the state government, ABC reported that Nexport had failed to secure certainty about the project from the state government and scrapped the plans. In 2020, Nexport announced…

Graphic proof of Australia’s dirty electricity (Tassie and SA excluded)

By Peter Roberts The news this week that Origin Energy is seeking approval to shut Australia’s largest coal-fired power plant seven years early, is just the beginning of what should be a rapid phase out of coal power in Australia. The Eraring station in the NSW Hunter region and the largest of 16 remaining coal-fired…

Manufacturing news briefs – stories you might have missed

Farm robot company changes course University of Sydney spinout company Agerris has announced that it is pursuing “alternative pathways” for its agricultural robot technology. Agerris officially launched in April 2019, following a $6.5 million seed round, to commercialise research at the Australian Centre for Field Robotics. It counted 14 of its robot carts in deployment…

Non animal-based food start ups raise cash

Start up businesses making anything from non-milk cheese to fake meats have been busy raising cash from investors this week. In just one week: Fenn Foods raised $3 million to expand into exports of its vEEF brand plant-based ‘meats’ All G Foods won backing from Woolworths venture capital arm to expand its Love Buds alternative…

Grants open to WA companies wanting to export to Asia

The Western Australian government is inviting grant applications from SMEs and business associations for grants worth $25,000 to assist them in accessing Asian markets.

Businesses ‘blindsided’ as export grants slashed

By Denham Sadler The long-running Export Market Development Grant scheme is in crisis, with reforms quietly introduced two days before Christmas ‘blindsiding’ local businesses and leading to the value of grants being cut by as much as 80 per cent, according to expert advisors. On 23 December last year, a press release from trade minister…

Six agtech projects awarded $4 million on novel feeds for methane reduction

Six grants totalling $4 million have been awarded for projects investing novel feeds to reduce methane emissions from livestock, based on seaweeds, tropical legumes and the chemical 3-NOP.

Manufacturer first half profit briefs – stories you might have missed

CSL profit dips on Covid disruptions Disruptions to the collection of blood plasma have impacted biotechnology giant CSL in the first half FY22, with EBITDA operating profits down eight per cent to $3.4 billion on sales up three per cent to $8.05 billion. CEO Paul Perreault said the company had responded with multiple initiatives in…

Labor’s national reconstruction fund: a path to reindustrialisation?

The shadow of COVID and the associated policy failures of the federal government hang heavy over the coming election, with the campaign certain to be chaotic and full of distractions. Here Lance Worrall looks at the biggest policy idea launched to date – Labor’s National Reconstruction Fund. Many voters were shocked to discover early in…

Demand slowed in second half of 2021, but engineer shortage at ten-year high

Engineers Australia has reported that job vacancies were up 50 per cent for 2021 compared to the year before, with demand for engineers at a ten-year high.

Fortescue invests 10% of profits into green hydrogen sector

Andrew Forrest’s Fortescue metals group has confirmed it will continue to invest ten per cent of net profits after tax into developing its green hydrogen offshoot, Fortescue Future Industries. Announcing the group’s results for the half year to December, the company said FFI’s FY22 anticipated expenditure was in the range of US$400 – US$600 million.…

Just add water – study to boost Whyalla water supply

State and federal governments and major mining companies are backing a $15 million feasibility study to solve one of the major constraints of industrial and mining development in the state – a lack of water. With the Whyalla steelworks and existing copper mines supplied by pipeline from the Murray or underground, planned massive expansions of…

Be less ‘dogmatic’ on picking Industry winners: Husic

By Joseph Brookes As industry policy is reconsidered around the world, Australia’s federal Opposition says it is time to move on from ‘dogmatic’ notions of not picking winners, promising to direct a $15 billion Reconstruction Fund to areas of strength and national priority. Shadow minister for industry and innovation Ed Husic this week told Parliament…

@AuManufacturing welcomes Sarah McPhail

@AuManufacturing news and media welcomes a new team member – Sarah McPhail. Ms McPhail takes up a new project-based post of partnerships manager, a role that will see her liaise on a regular basis with our advertisers and sponsors. With news that @AuManufacturing has grown to become the country’s number one manufacturing news website, she…

Manufacturing news briefs – stories you might have missed

K-TIG raises new capital for growth K-TIG has announced that it has received binding commitments to raise $4 million (before costs) in new equity via a fully committed share placement to institutional and sophisticated investors. The Placement was completed at an issue price of $0.35 per share, with 11,428,571 new fully paid ordinary shares anticipated…

RMIT gets $5.2 million grant for new EV research centre

RMIT will get a new electric vehicle research facility, which the university says will be the first of its kind in the southern hemisphere, with a $5.2 million grant from the state government announced on Tuesday.

UNSW researchers develop building materials that adjust to both heat and cold

UNSW researchers are developing new materials that improve on conventional supercooling materials used on buildings to combat the heat. The work is led by Scientia Professor Mat Santamouris of the university’s School of Built Environment, and the new-generation materials were recently tested in Kolkata, India in a collaboration with two international universities. According to a…

NSW Premier vows to buy trains locally

By Peter Roberts NSW Premier Dominic Perrottet has signalled an end to the New South Wales government’s fraught policy of buying ‘cheap and low’ priced public transport rolling stock from overseas. Announcing a new order for locally made electric buses from Custom Denning, Perrottet conceded NSW has long missed onshore manufacturing opportunities in an effort…

Australian steel suppliers ‘didn’t pass’ the Snowy Hydro 2.0 test

By Joseph Brookes The head of Snowy Hydro and independent Senator Rex Patrick clashed in Senate Estimates on Monday over the use of foreign-manufactured steel and a lack of transparency within the “nation building” 2.0 project, after it was revealed much of the material is coming from Italy. @AuManufacturing last week reported that the $5.1…

Swoop Aero expands operations in Africa

Drone services company Swoop Aero has expanded its African operations with the delivery of vaccinations and medical supplies to distant locations in central Africa’s Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). The company’s drones replaced small aircraft in its efforts to extend access to healthcare to the remote and largely inaccessible places. Authorities in the Équateur region…

Govt spends another $30 million on imported RATs

By Denham Sadler The federal government has spent a further $30 million buying imported rapid antigen tests for the aged care sector, as several Australian companies continue to wait to get local manufacturing off the ground. The Commonwealth has now spent more than $90 million this year on purchasing rapid antigen tests (RATs) manufactured overseas. These…

$70 million electric bus order for Custom Denning

National bus maker Custom Denning has been awarded a $70 million contract to design, manufacture and assemble 79 new electric buses for the Sydney government bus network. Premier Dominic Perrottet and transport minister David Elliott toured the company’s St Mary’s factory today to inspect the production line where the Element e-buses (pictured) will be built…

Halo Foods eyes acquisition – report

Australia and New Zealand manufacturer Halo Food is seeking new capital and plans an acquisition according to media reports. afr.com.au reported that a term sheet sent to investors stated that existing shareholder Bergen Special Opportunity Fund LP was to quit its holding in the company which planned a $3 million share placement and a $3…

Engine blowback from Boeing hits Orbital UAV

Perth unmanned aerial vehicle manufacturer Orbital UAV has been hit by the cancellation of a new UAV engine it was developing for Boeing subsidiary Insitu. The company said today it had received confirmation from Insitu of the termination of its third engine program under its long term supply agreement with Insitu. Production volumes for the…

Lack of innovation hurting productivity growth: Treasury

By Joseph Brookes The productivity gap between the most innovative companies in the world and Australian firms is growing, according to new analysis by economists at the federal Treasury, who found local companies are now slower to catch up to the “global frontier” than they were in the mid-2000s. The findings from a technical paper…

Manufacturing news briefs – stories you might have missed

Adbri extends supply agreement with Oz Minerals Construction and industrial materials group Adbri has signed an agreement to supply copper miner Oz Minerals with cementitious material for its Carrapateena mine in South Australia. The agreement is worth $10 million over three years. Adbri, formerly Adelaide Brighton Cement, will also supply aggregate and sand from its…

AMWU attacks Snowy Hydro purchase of imported steel

The revelation by @AuManufacturing news that the majority of the steel components for the Snowy 2.0 scheme will be built using imported steel shows that the federal government has no commitment to growing the Australian manufacturing industry, according to the Australian Manufacturing Workers’ Union NSW & ACT branch. The AMWU has long called for local…

Deakin calls for startups to join new mentoring program at Manufutures

The Deakin University’s Waurn Ponds campus-based startup hub, Manufutures, launched a new program for regional startups and entrepreneurs this week.

First Graphene gets UK patent for process for potentially better battery anodes

First Graphene has secured a UK patent protecting its process to coat silicon with graphene, which it believes will be an advantage in the fast-growing market for silicon battery anodes.

Change procurement rules to stop ‘race to the bottom’ for manufacturing

There are fresh calls for more strategic government procurement policies after a manufacturing inquiry heard the current rules and international trade deals are undermining the Australian industry.

Patent box policy still the answer – medtech sector

Medicines Australia has backed the introduction of patent box legislation, Treasury Laws Amendment (Tax Concession for Australian Medical Innovations) Bill 2022, in the Australian Parliament. In the 2021-22 Budget, the government announced that it would introduce a patent box regime for eligible corporate income associated with patented inventions in the medical and biotechnology sectors. The…

Frigate project rigged for smoother sailing

By Peter Roberts The $45 billion Hunter Class frigate programme has reached a milestone in its development with the completion of a year-long System Definition Review (SDR) which studied how the special requirements of Australia’s defence department can be fitted into the ship’s baseline design. This review is crucial as the inclusion of the Aegis…

Australian companies now eligible to tender for contracts on ESO astronomy program

Australian companies will be able to bid for work on the European Southern Observatory (ESO) Technology Development Program, the federal government has said.

Recycler group raises concerns about lack of plastic processing capacity

The National Waste and Recycling Industry Council has called 2021 a “foundational year” for reusing recovered resources, as well as a test for its industry, which is “particularly concerned” by pressures caused by a lack of plastic processing capacity.

K-TIG to develop nuclear vessel robotic welding

High speed welding developer K-TIG has signed a formal agreement with the UK Nuclear Advanced Manufacturing Research Centre (Nuclear AMRC) to develop a turnkey robotic welding cell. The aim of the agreement is to produce nuclear storage containers, each holding three cubic metres of intermediate level nuclear waste (ILW). Up to 17,000 stainless-steel containers are…

Lighting specialist to get new Netherlands-based owner

Gerard Lighting Group has announced that it will sell lighting technology company Pierlite to Netherlands-headquartered Signify, with the sale expected to conclude in the first half of the year.

Govt told to put green steel and hydrogen at heart of manufacturing rebuild

A Cooperative Research Centre for sustainable manufacturing should be established to support new domestic green metal and green hydrogen industries, a Labor-led Senate inquiry into Australian manufacturing has recommended.

Tritium announces Tennessee as site for US factory

DC fast electric vehicle charger manufacturer Tritium DCFC has announced Lebanon, Tennessee as the site for its new US production line, adding to its original Brisbane factory. Fresh from its listing on the US NASDAQ exchange, Tritium announced the location was expected to house up to six production lines for its chargers, including the company’s…

Use budget to boost manufacturing initiative, encourage reshoring: AFGC

Industry association the Australian Food and Grocery Council has proposed additional incentives to expand and grow local production in its 2022-23 federal budget submission.

Reactions to sourcing of steel for Snowy 2.0 from Italy

Elsewhere today @AuManufacturing has reported on the letting of contracts for steel fabrication for Snowy 2.0 to an Italian company, contrary to the original tender requirement for Australian steel to be used. We sought comment from many sources which are published here, along with extracts from questioning in Senate estimates. @AuManufacturing contacted numerous stakeholders in…

Snowy 2.0 – the nation building project that won’t be using all Australian steel

By Peter Roberts The Snowy Scheme from 1949 saw 100,000 men and women from over 30 countries define what Australians and Australian industry are capable of. Fast forward to today and the Snowy 2.0 pumped hydro scheme now under construction in the Snowy Mountains was meant to be nation building, and part of a plan…

ICN and Connecting Industry join to boost procurement

Opportunities to connect Australian suppliers with major project supply chains have become more accessible with Industry Capability Network Limited (ICNL) and Connecting Industry entering into a strategic alliance, as event partners. The strategic alliance is designed to assist the resource and construction industry and all tiers of the supply chain, from SME’s through to large…

New lotus-inspired bioplastic repels water and dirt, is ready for industrialisation: RMIT researchers

RMIT researchers have developed a new bioplastic, inspired by lotus leaves, which they say is compostable, strong, suitable for food packaging applications, as well as possible to produce in industrial volumes. The material repels water and dirt, according to a statement from the university, and uses starch and cellulose as its base materials. (See video…

Gilmour Space, SENER Aeroespacial collaborate for Eris rocket

Rocket manufacturer Gilmour Space Technologies and engineering group SENER Aeroespacial will; work together to develop an Autonomous Flight Termination System (AFTS) for Gilmour’s Eris launch vehicle. The AFTS is a smart hardware and software unit with autonomous decision-making capacity. It is a critical system which is responsible for aborting a flight if any anomalies are…

Mega hydrogen production, electric vehicle manufacture touted for Australia

As voters contemplate a looming federal election plans are emerging for mega re-industrialising projects – not from federal politicians, but from elsewhere in the community. Over in the west the WA government plans to create five hydrogen hubs that electrolyse water using green solar pv and wind power in the Pilbara region by 2030. A…

@AuManufacturing’s new deal plan for manufacturing – summary and recommendations

The @AuManufacturing new deal plan for manufacturing was crowd sourced from more than 60 substantial submissions from readers and members of the Australian Manufacturing Forum Linkedin group in 2020. With an election in the air and industry policy again in the news this week, we present again the plan’s executive summary and core recommendations as…

Senate report sets manufacturing battle lines for the election

The federal Opposition has backed the creation of a manufacturing industry fund, regular reviews of R&D incentives, as well as changes to procurement rules to encourage the development of sovereign capability in a Senate report which sets the manufacturing battle lines for the upcoming election.

BHP extends ironmaking R&D program with University of Newcastle

BHP has announced an extension of its support for University of Newcastle’s  Centre for Ironmaking Materials Research (CIMR) over the next five years, with a focus on on low- carbon iron and steelmaking and using the resources company’s iron ore and coking coal. According to a statement from BHP on Monday, it would provide $10…

Survivors of Australia’s automotive retreat soldier on, even prosper

By Peter Roberts The brand new $17 million factory of automation and systems integrator Bosch Australia Manufacturing Solutions (BAMS, pictured) is silent when I visit the factory located at Clayton in south-eastern suburban Melbourne. Workers have gone home for the day, allowing this journalist a Covid-safe tour of a production floor full to capacity with…

Can-Do Capitalism and a Do-Nothing Government

Prime Minister Scott Morrison talks of ‘can-do capitalism’ and last week offered a $2 billion sweetener to industrial research, while others talk of a ‘do-nothing government’. Here Lance Worrall looks at the policy changes forced on the nation by a pandemic, and what it means for a new industrial policy as not just sectoral support,…

Manufacturing news briefs – stories you might have missed

Applications open for Securing Raw Materials Program (SRMP). Round two of the federal government’s Securing Raw Materials Program (SRMP) will invest $29 million into businesses looking to undertake R&D on locally sourced raw material supplies. The government is anticipating applications from manufacturing businesses looking to innovate with Australian materials, importantly through linking with public sector…

Xtek and Skykraft test space payload launch system

Space services company Skykraft and composite materials manufacturer XTEK Limited have successfully completed the mechanical and vibration testing of a 500kg Payload Launch Stack which housed 24 representative Skykraft developed small satellites. Funded by a grant from the Australian Space Agency the stack is capable of supporting and deploying 24 small satellites and was tested…

Manufacturing news briefs – stories you might have missed

Electro Optic Systems’ record deliveries Defence, space and communications manufacturer Electro Optic Systems delivered a record number of its key products – remote weapons systems and satellite terminals – in the December quarter. The Canberra company expects orders delayed during the Covbid-19 pandemic to be let over the next year and has been investing in…

Infrastructure loans back Pilbara urea project

The Northern Australia Infrastructure Facility (NAIF) has announced it will invest $255 million in infrastructure supporting the proposed $4.3 billion Perdaman Urea Project at Karratha in Western Australia. The investment in the form of loans will upgrade common-user infrastructure that will support the project, which will convert liquefied natural gas into about two million tonnes…

Wine sales slump as China tariffs take their toll

Australian wine exports dropped 30 per cent in value to $2.03 billion and in volume by 17 per cent to 619 million litres in the year ended December 2021, according to Wine Australia’s latest Export Report. The decline reflects tough market conditions with deposit tariffs imposed on bottled Australian wine imported to China, the impact…

Still room for applicants under food and beverage grants

The federal government has revealed there is still scope for food and beverage manufacturers to apply for grants of up to $25,000 each to save money on energy bills, improve energy efficiency and adopt new energy technologies under the latest $19.9 million round of the Energy Efficient Communities (EEC) program. The grants can be used…

Airservices and Skykraft to develop space-based communication

Airservices Australia and space services company, Skykraft have partnered in the development of a space-based communication and surveillance air traffic management capability. Under the collaboration, Airservices will share its air navigation, technical engineering and air traffic management expertise to support design, development, and validation of the system, as well as support Skykraft to conduct space-based…

Australian-made solar system installed at remote Telstra tower

A claimed Australian-first launch took place north-east of Esperance, Western Australia on Thursday, with a remote telco tower powered by a standalone power system (SAPS) delivered by Horizon Power and Boundary Power.

Govt’s $2b uni research funding stretched over 11 years

The $2 billion the federal government will inject to align university research commercialisation with its hand-picked manufacturing priorities will be stretched across the next 11 years.

New Melbourne rapid test facility expected to create 70 full-time jobs

Planet Innovation and ASX-listed Lumos Diagnostics will open a new Covid-19 rapid antigen test (RAT) production facility, with full capacity of 50 million tests per year.

Yangibana rare earths project to be WA’s second

Hastings Technology Metals’ Yangibana rare earths project is set to join Lynas Rare Earths as Western Australia’s second major producer of critical metals markets currently dominated by China. The Yangibana project 250 kilometres east of Carnarvon has been granted a $140 million loan from the Northern Australia Infrastructure Facility making it the first Australian rare…

24 manufacturers awarded $ 9 million in commercialisation grants

The latest round of grants under the Advanced Manufacturing Growth Centre’s Commercialisation Fund has been announced, with 24 manufacturers sharing in $9.03 million in assistance to commercialise products including a super-fast Covid-19 test, quality hardwood from timber waste, and “smart shoes”. Private investment was roughly four times the value of grants, according to a statement…

Gekko launches updated gold processing system

Ballarat, Victoria gold processing equipment manufacturer Gekko Systems has announced the release of its next-generation Mark 6 Carbon Scout sampling and measurement system. The Carbon Scout is a self-contained sampling system that measures the pH, dissolved oxygen (DO), slurry density and gold concentration in carbon-in-leach (CIL) and carbon-in-pulp (CIP) mineral processing circuits. Carbon-in-pulp is the…

Fleet Space expands to the United States

Internet of things satellite connectivity developer Fleet Space Technologies has announced its first international expansion, opening a US headquarters office in Houston, Texas. The expansion follows the company’s oversubscribed Series B funding round which raised $26.4 million in November 2021. US investors InQtel, Alumni Ventures and Momenta Ventures backed the capital raising. CEO Flavia Tata…

Quickstep leaps ahead on parental leave for manufacturing staff

Defence and aerospace composites manufacturer Quickstep has announced an improved parental leave package for all employees including parental leave of up to 16 weeks for all primary carers, an increase from today’s four weeks. Under the industry-leading arrangements employees will be able to access leave at half-pay, extending the paid period of leave to one…

Lithgow Arms steps up sporting rifle exports

Sporting rifle manufacturer Lithgow Arms is stepping up its global marketing efforts with a new partnership with Fuller Global and Outdoor Sporting Agencies (OSA). Lithgow Arms, part of the global Thales defence group, already exports its CrossOver and Woomera firearms to 14 countries and anticipates growth in export markets and Australia of 300 per cent…

Energy Renaissance nabs new CTO from CSIRO

Dr Howard Lovatt, a research collaborator with Energy Renaissance and head of CSIRO’s Electrical Machines team, has left the scientific organisation to join the Tomago-based lithium ion battery business as CTO. Lovatt (pictured) had been at CSIRO for three decades, and a researcher on projects including electric and hybrid vehicles, solar car racing, and battery…

Manufacturing news briefs – stories you might have missed

Nova Systems rebrands, repositions as integrated company Engineering and technology solutions business Nova Systems has brought together its four business divisions — Nova Systems, Geoplex, GVH Aerospace and two10degrees — and unveiled a refreshed brand, to be rolled out over the next few months. Nova explained that its refreshed brand  acknowledged its heritage, with an…

Govt research commercialisation focus is ‘too narrow’

The government’s $2 billion effort to improve Australia’s commercialisation efforts is welcome, but the approach is too narrow and risks undervaluing basic research, UTS special innovation advisor Professor Roy Green says.

Fortescue pounces on Sparc ultra-green hydrogen

Fortescue Future Industries has pounced on an Australian technology that produces green hydrogen through the use of a thermo-photocatalyst and solar radiation, avoiding more traditional and costly electrolysis. FFI today announced it had bought a stake in South Australian company Sparc Hydrogen, an offshoot of graphene technology company Sparc Technologies that is developing next-generation green…

More questions than answers in new commercialisation funding

Comment by Peter Roberts The university sector has has been sadly neglected by the federal government in the past decade, and yesterday Prime Minister Scott Morrison signaled that academic research would continue to come second to a national priority on research that leads to manufacturing and other economic outcomes. The neglect of science is unforgiveable…

Lynas receives ministerial approval for Kalgoorlie plant

Australia’s largest producer of minerals used to manufacture high technology products, Lynas Rare Earths has received ministerial approval for the rare earths processing facility it is constructing at Kalgoorlie in Western Australia. The company announced that a ministerial statement had been issued under the Environmental Protection Act 1986 (WA), one of a number of approvals…

Silex plans first production of silicon for quantum computers

Technology developer Silex Systems hopes to produce initial commercial quantities of zero-spin silicon (ZS-Si) used to make computer chips for cutting edge quantum computers from 2023 onwards. The company announced that it had completed the second stage of its ZS-Si project and successfully demonstrated silicon enrichment at a prototype scale. ZS-Si is a unique form…

$1.2 million in space supply chain grants awarded to Australian companies

Federal assistance totalling $1.2 million has been awarded to Industrial Sciences Group, Infinity Avionics and Blueprint Lab in round four of the Moon to Mars Supply Chain Capability Improvement Grants.

Boral to return $3bn to shareholders after US exit

Building products group Boral will return $3 billion in ‘surplus capital’ to shareholders marking the end of a sales spree of key business forced on it by a disastrous foray into the North American market. CEO Zlatko Todorcevski, who replaced Mike Kane in the top job following its US troubles, characterised the return as a…

Manufacturing down during summer holiday months: PMI

Manufacturing contracted over the December and January period as the Omicron phase of the pandemic ended a period of growth, according to the Australian Industry Group’s Performance of Manufacturing Index. The PMI of 48.4 was down from November’s 54.8. Any results under 50 indicates contraction, and above it growth. The November result (released on December 1)…

Environment minister tours green steel development

The federal environment minister Sussan Ley has toured Waratah-based steel maker Molycop’s facilities in NSW to view in person efforts to decarbonise steel production. Ley joined UNSW SMaRT Centre Director, Professor Veena Sahajwalla at the Newcastle steel works to see up close SMaRT’s Green Steel technology that uses waste to replace coke and coal in…

Record quarter for high speed welder K-TIG

High speed precision welding developer K-TIG has experienced record cash receipts in the December quarter of $1.5 million as uptake of its equipment accelerates. Revenue was 44 per cent higher than the first quarter, and 157 per cent up on the previous corresponding period. Growth was achieved with only one distributor selling its products, with…

Labor to convert Kurri Kurri gas plant to hydrogen

By Peter Roberts Labor has found a way to both support the construction of a gas-fired power station at Kurri Kurri in New South Wales and burnish its green credentials, according to media reports. Channel 9 media has reported Labor leader Anthony Albanese and climate and energy spokesman Chris Bowen will travel to Kurri Kurri…

Forced labour issues and Covid again hit Ansell

The covid-19 pandemic has again forced closures of manufacturing facilities operated by global rubber glove manufacturer Ansell and one of its suppliers has been penalised, apparently for potential forced labour issues. Nonetheless a company update of first half sales of surgical and examination and protective work gloves showed a rise on the previous corresponding period…

Valiant Space heads for June orbital launch

Australian rocket motor developer Valiant Space has secured a June Orbital launch with space services company Skykraft. Valiant Space, which has developed a chemical thruster designed to help satellites manoeuvre in orbit and in space, will launch a payload into orbit onboard a SpaceX Falcon 9 mission. The company will utilise Skykraft’s Skyride rideshare service…

Cannatrek leads the way on sustainability by embracing innovation and the environment

ADVERTISING FEATURE With the Commonwealth Government’s policy targeting net zero emissions by 2050, the pressure is on Australian business to adjust and adapt to survive. Companies which are open to positive change and innovation with a focus on a circular economy will do more than survive, they will thrive — together with stakeholders and communities.…

Energy transition investment passes one trillion

Investment in a transition in the energy market to low-carbon alternatives has passed $1,000 billion for the first time, according to new figures from BloombergNEF. Their Energy Transition Investment Trends 2022 report found that global investment in renewable energy, energy storage, electrified transport, electrified heat, nuclear, hydrogen and sustainable materials hit $1.1 trillion (US$755 billion)…

Manufacturing news briefs – stories you might have missed

AnteoTech asked for further information for Covid-19 test application Surface chemical company AnteoTech has been asked by Australia’s Therapeutic Goods Administration to supply further information on its EuGeni test reader and SARS CoV-2 Rapid Diagnostic Test (RDT). The company is one of three Australian manufacturers of RDT tests awaiting approval to sell their tests locally.…

SPC emerges with $111 million to fund manufacturing growth

Diverse food producer SPC Global has completed a capitalisation program which resulted in the injection of $111 million earmarked for its next phase of growth. The capital is a combination of equity investments by The Australian Meat Industry Superannuation Trust (AMIST), the family office of Khalil (‘Charlie’) Shahin AO, and the sale and leaseback of…

Eight university-based innovation hubs shortlisted for $242.7 m research commercialisation program