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

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

Manufacturing news briefs – stories you might have missed

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

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

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

Lunar rover and space thruster supported with Moon to Mars grants

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

Record number of nominations in Good Design Awards

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

Fleet Space to progress its nanosatellite wide area network

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

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

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

Australian made composite masts bound for Tokyo Olympics

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

National Space Qualification Network launched

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

Green hydrogen production and vehicle refilling station for SW Melbourne

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

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

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

Manufacturing news briefs – stories you might have missed

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

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

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

Coal to urea plant closer at Leigh Creek

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

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

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

ARENA and Rio study hydrogen to refine alumina

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

Australian Missile Corporation Announces More Signings

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

Reimagining Regional Manufacturing Innovation – by Robert Masters

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

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

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

Patriot Hydrogen production units for Port Anthony, Victoria

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

Australia’s submarine comedy of errors

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

The next step for industry growth centres – by Paul Hodgson

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

Manufacturing news briefs – stories you might have missed

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

QLD unveils $2b renewables and hydrogen boost

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

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

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

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

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

Stawell Gold and Gekko Systems prove novel technologies

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

Manufacturing news briefs – stories you might have missed

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

South Australian craft producers toast $47 million pay day

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

Austal faces civil case over alleged disclosure breach

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

Pelican Products gains quality tick

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

Finally, venture capital wakes up to innovation in manufacturing

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

Manufacturing news briefs – stories you might have missed

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

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

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

Covid disruptions spark boost to beleaguered TCF sector

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

Carbon capture and use given go ahead

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

Darling Downs business group in regional manufacturing hub push

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

QLD govt commits $20m to vaccine manufacturer

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

BluGlass focuses on manufacturing improvement, raises cash

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

Locals EOS and Nioa combine in weapons development

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

Manufacturers awarded $3.7 million in grants through commercialisation fund

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

Council trials asphalt using recycled plastic bags, toner, glass

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

Bellevue railcar facility officially opened

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

Solar PV and wind still the cheapest – CSIRO

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

Endua to make hydrogen storage bank

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

SafeWork announces research on welding fume exposure

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

Trade in Trajan shares begins today

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

SEA Electric lifts truck production in US

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

Growth centres on their own from 2022, likely face extinction

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

Want to buy a brewery, going cheap?

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

Manufacturing news briefs – stories you might have missed

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

Labor skewers industry portfolio’s ‘revolving door’

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

Wagners CFT to open first US factory in October

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

NanoGel announced as AMGC’s 3,000th member

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

Australian in-orbit satellite demonstration of AI

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

RENK to assemble armed vehicle transmissions

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

ECT to turn brown coal into char

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

Bickfords used Covid to expand exports

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

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

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

K-Tig leads a group of Australian industrial technologies

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

Manufacturing news briefs – stories you might have missed

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

ANCA’s surprise move into defence

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

Orbital UAV delivers first engine to Singapore customer

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

Industry growth centre policy insanity – by Tim Mazzarol

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

Bisalloy steel launches customer branding initiative

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

Manufacturing surge continues, growth hits highest rate since 2018

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

Manufacturing news briefs – stories you might have missed

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

NSW launches new US-inspired SBIR program

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

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

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

Arnott’s shares recycling, net-zero goals

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

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

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

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

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

Manufacturing news briefs – stories you might have missed

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

CSIRO study calculates freight cost savings from Inland Rail

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

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

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

Review of patent system for SMEs tabled

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

Custom Denning Element E-bus now available

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

Murray Engineering and Siemens partner on EV

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

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

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

Hanhwa and Rheinmetall partner with SMEs

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

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

The Seabin Project and Coca-Cola Australia have announced a partnership they believe will see 28 tonnes of litter cleaned from Sydney Harbour by the end of July next year.

EV charger group Tritium lists on NASDAQ

Electric vehicle fast-charger manufacturer Tritium is to list on the NASDAQ exchange in a bold corporate play that will gross the company $520 million to accelerate growth for the company. The Brisbane company will go public through a merger with Decarbonization Plus Acquisition Corporation II, a special purpose acquisition company based in Menlo Park, California.…

Celebrating Australian Made – how AlphaFit represents made in Australia today

With Australian Made Week reaching its climax, @AuManufacturing’s editorial series – Celebrating Australian Made – looks at a product Australians turned to during the Covid-19 pandemic – fitness equipment by AlphaFit. When Covid-19 hit the first products to run out in local shops were staples such as pasta and toilet paper, but consumers forced to…

Huge reaction to @AuManufacturing’s How It’s Made – Australia video series

(Advertisement) @AuManufacturing has seen a huge response to our announcement that we are launching How It’s Made – Australia – a multi-media video series showcasing the best Australian manufacturing has to offer. Presented in association with Cahoots and AusBiz, manufacturers can work with us on video presentations of their operations that will reach a qualified…

Celebrating Australian made, Mumme Tools – video

With Australian Made Week well underway, @AuManufacturing’s editorial series – Celebrating Australian Made – introduces Jonasz Marek, General Manager of Mumme Tools, Australia’s leading manufacturer of hand forged tools used in mining and building applications. Established in 1936 from founder Bill Mumme’s backyard, Mumme Tools has a long history in Australia that originates from humble…

Manufacturing news briefs – stories you might have missed

VEEM receives $3 million Collins order Marine engineering and stabiliser manufacturer VEEM has received an initial order worth $3 million for work relating to the next full cycle docking for the Collins class submarines. The Perth company will provide precision engineering services for the next submarine refit, with further orders likely to take the total…

Gladstone Engineering Alliance, and Toowoomba and Surat Basin Enterprise awarded $50,000 each for hydrogen hubs

Two new hydrogen clusters will be officially announced at the 2021 Australian Hydrogen Conference today. Gladstone Engineering Alliance (GEA) and Toowoomba and Surat Basin Enterprise (TSBE) have been awarded $50,000 each by the Queensland government “to progress their cluster strategies.” These will join the national network of 13 clusters announced in February and led by…

Women research engineers’ network to close gender gap

Women researchers at the University of Wollongong’s Faculty of Engineering and Information Sciences (EIS) have taken a look at the male engineer top-heavy structure of their department – and decided to do something about it. Even though there has been a lot of effort to reduce gender gaps in academia – UOW is a recipient…

Celebrating Australian made, Prysmian ANZ – video

With Australian Made Week well underway, @AuManufacturing’s editorial series – Celebrating Australian Made – features Hamavand Shroff, CEO of cable manufacturer Prysmian Australia and New Zealand (ANZ). The company manufactures electrical and fibre optic cables, employing 550, in two factories in Sydney. Prysmian’s cables form the backbone of telecommunications, construction and mining projects, with the…

Council looks to textile recycling trials

MidCoast Council in NSW says it will begin a focus on textile recycling, and will seek grant funding and partnerships for trials.

First Covid shutdowns, now chip shortage hits Carbon Revolution

Carbon fibre composite road wheel manufacturer Carbon Revolution has taken a new hit from the Covid-19 pandemic. Last year the company suffered as vehicle assembly plants closed overseas during Covid-19 lockdowns. Now the knock on effect of computer chip shortages resulting from lockdowns has hit the company’s market outlook, according to a statement. Carbon Revolution…

We could be a superpower: 3 ways Australia can take advantage of the changing geopolitics of energy

Australia should embrace the opportunity to become a renewable energy power. If we don’t act now, with the global energy transition gathering pace, Australia could be exposed to a hostile international energy environment with profound economic, security and diplomatic consequences.

Celebrating Australian made, Armstrong Flooring – video

With Australian Made Week now underway, @AuManufacturing’s editorial series – Celebrating Australian Made presents Armstrong Flooring Australia, Australia’s most respected and only manufacturer of commercial vinyl flooring. Here general manager Rob McLorian explains why Australian manufacturing is so important to our future. @AuManufacturing’s editorial series – Celebrating Australian Made – leading up to Australian Made…

Furnishing industry mobilises to phase out chemicals of concern

Australia’s furnishing industry is mobilising to identify and phase out chemicals of concern in textiles, leather, foams, coatings and other materials. The Australasian Furnishing Association, supported by the Department of Agriculture, Water and the Environment (DAWE), are embarking on an industry engagement project to identify the chemicals and the opportunity for industry-led action. AFA CEO…

Industry dept mulls Growth Centres’ future

The Department of Industry is weighing a 2020 review of its Industry Growth Centres to determine their future, but the program looks set to continue until at least 2024.

AnteoTech to manufacture test strips in Brisbane

Surface chemical company AnteoTech will procure a test strip manufacturing line allowing it to begin production of its EuGeni SARS-CoV-2 antigen rapid diagnostic test (pictured) in Brisbane in early 2022. The new facility will provide an extra 12 million test strips pert annum capacity, bringing total strip production capacity for the Anteo Group to 32…

52 per cent of Australians believe Australian made/sourced products now more important: survey

Results from a new consumer survey, released to coincide with Australian Made Week (24-30 May), has found over half “want to buy locally sourced and produced products.”

Aluminium council announces new boss ahead of challenging decade for industry

Alcoa’s Michael Gollschewski has been announced as the new President of the Australian Aluminium Council, coinciding with what he says is an exciting and challenging decade ahead for his industry. 

@AuManufacturing and Cahoots to make videos, aim for television series

(Advertisement) @AuManufacturing news today launches a dedicated video channel, and along with its partners an ambitious venture aimed at developing a television program showcasing Australia’s manufacturers. How It’s Made – Australia is a new multi-media video series showcasing the very best Australian manufacturing has to offer. Presented in association with producers Cahoots and business news…

30% hydrogen used in steel forging as Australian industries decarbonise

By Peter Roberts Progress in utilising green hydrogen to power industrial process is being made rapidly, with the latest development the world’s first test with a 30 per cent hydrogen/natural gas blend steel forging processes. The mix was used to power furnaces at the Rho, Italian forged products plant of Forgiatura A. Vienna (pictured), part…

Manufacturing news briefs – stories you might have missed

Finally an emoji featuring an Australian made product It has been a long tie coming, but Apple has announced the creation of its first emoji to feature an Australian made product. The emoji (pictured), to go live soon, features a character fitted with a cochlear implant. Professor Graeme Clark invented the multichannel cochlear implant 40…

Closed borders portend labour shortages, poaching

Closed boarders have dried up the supply of workers arriving in Australia, suggesting we are heading to a period of labour poaching and outright shortages. Well known commentator Bernard Salt (pictured) of The Demographics Group took to social media to highlight the massive contribution of foreign workers in our workforce. He wrote that between the…

Adbri cement aims for net zero carbon by 2050

Construction materials and industrial mineral manufacturing company Adbri has announced its aspiration to achieve net zero carbon emissions by 2050 with implications for the ongoing future for what is one of Australia’s most carbon-intensive industries. The leading cement, concrete and building products producer told investors its board and management were accessing medium and long term…

Nufarm recovers with markets and performance improvement

Agricultural chemical manufacturer Nufarm has reported sharply better conditions in the first half FY21 as markets recovered across the globe and the company benefitted from its ongoing performance improvement program. The Melbourne company reported revenues up 20 per cent on the previous corresponding period to $1.65 billion, reflecting revenue growth in Australia, Asia Pacific and…

Secrets in spider silk “could herald a revolution in manufacturing”

A multidisciplinary team has been awarded a grant to replicate spider silk, which has high strength and potential use in new products.

Queensland government evaluating possible launch sites

Abbot Point in Mackay is being considered as one of several possible launch facilities for private space businesses, the Queensland government said on Thursday.

Australian first: railway sleepers made of recycled plastic get type approval by Victorian operators

Duratrack Railway Sleepers has announced what it says is an Australian first: type approval of its composite recycled railway sleepers by mainline rail operators V/Line and Metro Trains Melbourne.

Celebrating Australian Made – sustaining and growing Opal Australian Paper

Today @AuManufacturing’s editorial series – Celebrating Australian Made – steps up a gear. With Australian Made week getting underway on Monday, Peter Roberts looks at the benefits an overseas owner can bring to manufacturing, in this case to Opal Australian Paper, makers of Reflex copy paper. Often when an overseas company buys an Australian manufacturer…

Manufacturing news briefs -stories you might have missed

Pandemic led to poor outcomes for VET students The VET Student Outcomes 2020: impact of COVID-19 on domestic students report compiled by the National Centre for Vocational Education Research, has found the Covid-19 pandemic led to a decrease in the proportion of male qualification VET completers employed full time, down 9.1 percentage points from the…

Ainsworth profits as gaming recovers from Codid-19 pandemic

Gaming machine manufacturer Ainsworth Game Technology is experiencing improved conditions in its slot machine and online businesses, with the company reporting net profit before tax of $1 million for the second half of the financial year. In line with improved business conditions reported by Aristocrat Leisure, as gaming emerges from the Covid-19 pandemic, Ainsworth now…

James Bradley from Diffuse Energy is our latest 2021 READERS SURVEY PRIZE WINNER

James Bradley is another lucky winner drawn from readers who have replied to our 2021 @AuManufacturing reader survey (see here). James, from Diffuse Energy in Newcastle, wins a beautiful Australian-made A5 journal (pictured) from local designers and manufacturers Corban & Blair. Corban & Blair recently onshored the manufacture of its A5 journals, which are made…

Australia’s minerals key to renewable energy – CSIRO

Australia’s mining and manufacturing sectors working together is key to unlocking our potential as a renewable energy powerhouse according to a report released today by CSIRO. CSIRO’s Critical Energy Minerals Roadmap highlights the potential to reshape mining to turn resources such as lithium and silicon into products for renewable energy, like electric vehicles, solar panels…

SA Premier lauds Lockheed Martin economic contribution

Lockheed Martin Australia’s significant contribution to the South Australian economy has been lauded by South Australian Premier, Steven Marshall. Marshall said the company was key employer in South Australia with its contribution growing as the Federal Government’s defence projects ramp up. “I particularly commend Lockheed Martin for the great work they do for young South…

Graphene Manufacturing Group plans aluminium-ion batteries

Brisbane’s Graphene Manufacturing Group is using graphene to produce aluminium-ion batteries utilising a patent-pending surface perforation technology developed by the University of Queensland. The company, which is listed on the Canadian TSX Venture Exchange following its’ merger with Cuspis Capital, is focusing on producing aluminium-ion coin cell battery prototypes for customer testing later this year.…

Li-S energy plans lithium sulphur battery production in Geelong

Deakin University and battery start up Li-S Energy have revealed that Geelong will be the site of initial production of their novel lithium sulphur battery technology which the university said would give electric cars a 1,000 kilometre range. The two companies have been researching lithium sulphur battery chemistry for 10 years, with Deakin announcing today…

The Treasurer says his ‘patent box’ will boost innovation. The evidence says it won’t

By Isaac Gross, Monash University On budget night federal Treasurer Josh Frydenberg announced Australia is getting its own “patent box”. What is a patent box? Despite its odd name, it is a relatively straightforward concept. It means lowering the tax rate on all income derived from patents registered in a nation. About half the members…

Govt looks in the mirror with a policy reheat

By Denham Sadler When Industry Minister Christian Porter rose in question time to mock the Opposition for “reheating” a policy from six years ago, it’s unclear whether he knew the government had done exactly the same thing just days earlier. Yes, Labor had ‘re-adopted’ an innovation-focused policy it announced in late 2015 and took to…

GMH Fishermans Bend reborn as industrial innovation precinct

The Victorian government will allocate $179.4 million in the upcoming state budget to begin work converting the historic Fishermans Bend site once occupied by GMH into an advanced manufacturing, engineering and design precinct. The first stage will see remediation of the 32 hectare site – where Australia’s first Holden rolled off the production line in…

Celebrating Australian Made – advanced manufacturing is not rocket science – by Bll Ellerton

Today @AuManufacturing’s editorial series – Celebrating Australian Made – looks at the issues that manufacturers should focus on to survive and prosper in a fast-changing world. Here Bill Ellerton says we should focus less on the latest sexy buzz words, and more on solutions suited to our SME manufacturing structure. Many are affordable and accessible.…

Austin Engineering to undertake strategic review

Mining equipment manufacturer Austin Engineering is moving its headquarters from Brisbane to Perth, recruitiing a new CEO and embarking on a strategic review of its multi-national manufacturing operations. The company told investors the move to co-locate with its largest factory at Kewdale in Perth recognised to significance of its Western Australian and Asian operations which…

How Australia rates a zero on electric vehicle adoption

Australia’s antagonistic policies towards electric vehicles has left us in the dust as the rest of the world transitions to less polluting vehicles, according to figures compiled for Visual Capitalist, Global sales of electric vehicles (EVs) and plug-in hybrids (PHEV) surpassed three million for the first time in 2020, despite the economic headwinds imposed by…

Incitec Pivot profit hit by plant outrages, eyes zero emissions goal

Fertiliser and explosives manufacturer Incitec Pivot profit for the half year ending March 31 have been hit hard by planned outages and continuing breakdowns at its Waggaman ammonium plant in the US. Earnings before interest and tax (EBIT) was down 32 per cent from the previous corresponding period to $110 million, with the impact from…

Aristocrat Leisure grows again post Covid

Gaming machine manufacturer Aristocrat Leisure has boosted profits for the second half ending 31 March as it emerges from a Covid-19 hit to the global gambling and gaming industry. The Sydney company increased earnings before interest, tax depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) o $750 million, a six per cent rise on the previous corresponding period. It…

New report identifies modern manufacturing skills development priorities

Not-for-profit VET organisation IBSA Group will present its new report — Scaling Up. Developing Modern Manufacturing Through a Skilled Workforce — to the federal government this week, which includes suggestions to deal with skills shortages that stand in the way of a local manufacturing renaissance.

manufacturing news briefs – stories you might have missed

Treasury Wine grows profits again after China hit At an investor information day Treasury Wine Estates, the maker of Penfolds wines, revealed its profits were recovering following a period affected by the Covid-19 pandemic and the imposition of punitive import tariffs by China. The company told investors its second half operating profit in FY21 would…

Aussie craft brewers and distillers raise a glass to excise bonus

South Australia’s growing ranks of craft brewers and distillers say that a dramatic increase in excise rebates that will put an extra $250,000 a year in their pockets is a “game-changer” that will boost jobs, production and focus on exports.

Video: Prysmian Australia // Cables

Video: Mumme Tools // Tools and hardware

Video: Armstrong Flooring

Video: Flexco Australia // Conveyor Belt Fasteners

Video: Nectre // Wood Heaters

 

Decision expected on Lytton refinery soon as Ampol completes review

A decision on the future of Ampol’s Lytton refinery is expected within weeks, as the company negotiates details of a support package for the fuel industry.

MTPConnect Manufacturing Voucher Program launched 

A program providing a total of $400,000 in vouchers to WA-based medical product SMEs is now accepting applications.

Orica profit down in challenging times

Chemicals and explosives business Orica has revealed a sharp drop in net profit after tax for the six months to 31 March as it faced headwinds from Covid-19, geopolitical issues and foreign exchange movements. The company’s NPAT was 54 per cent down to $77 million for the period according to a statement. CEO Sanjeev Gandhi…

Steve of Romar Engineering is our first 2021 readers survey prize winner

Today we announce our first winner drawn from readers who have replied to our 2021 @AuManufacturing reader survey (see here). Steve from Romar Engineering wins a beautiful Australian-made A5 journal (pictured) from local designers and manufacturers Corban & Blair. Corban & Blair recently onshored the manufacture of its A5 journals, which are made from leather…

Celebrating Australian Made – a resurgence in industry-building policy by Phillip Toner

@AuManufacturing continues our editorial series – Celebrating Australian Made – with a look at industry policy. Here Phillip Toner of the University of Sydney examines the legacy of the policies which have created today’s hollowed out industrial structure. During the past four decades the economies of advanced and developing nations have been radically transformed by…

Albanese promises support for young entrepreneurs to develop startups

A Labor government would provide support for aspiring young entrepreneurs to spend a business-focused year working with a university or private sector incubator to develop their startup enterprise or idea.

Manufacturing news briefs – stories you might have missed

Electro Optic Systems sees the cash flow in Defence contractor Electro Optics Systems has reported cash flowing into the company on its biggest-ever contract which experienced delivery interruptions during the Covid-19 pandemic. The company maintained production rates of its order for weapons systems for the Middle East during Covid, which saw its inventory of finished…

Consumers warm to Celebrating Australian Made

@AuManufacturing continues our editorial series – Celebrating Australian Made – with some good news about public sentiment to making locally. New consumer research from Roy Morgan shows the preference for Australian-made goods continued to increase in 2020, with the huge majority of 93% of Australians stating they are more likely to buy products made in…

Patent boxes, skills, going from recovery to investment: Industry responds to Budget 2021

Patent box a win for IP development, jobs: Cochlear and CSL Local biotechnology leaders Cochlear and CSL have both praised the patent box incentive, which their sector has lobbied for for a decade. The measure will see revenue from locally-created IP taxed at 17 per cent, rather than at the 30 per cent corporate tax…

CSR prospers despite covid headwinds

Building products group CSR has boosted sales and profits across diverse construction markets, announcing full year ended March 31 net profit after tax up 17 per cent to $146.1 million. A slowdown in residential construction was more than made up through strong cost control and operational efficiency increases, with the company’s building products segment reporting…

Crumbs for industry, funds for dead-end fossil fuels in 2021-22 budget

By Peter Roberts Last year’s $1.4 billion Manufacturing Modernisation fund – that is a paltry few hundred million a year – is essentially the sum total of the federal government’s response to the question marks raised over the role of manufacturing by Covid-19 supply chain disruptions. There was almost nothing not previously announced, and only…

Budget’s patent box scheme and an RDTI review

By Denham Sadler A limited patent box scheme will be launched by the federal government, offering tax breaks for medical and biotech innovations in an effort to boost commercialisation and retain IP in Australia. The federal budget, handed down by Treasurer Josh Frydenberg on Tuesday night, included the establishment of a patent box scheme targeted…

Budget to fund local mRNA vaccine manufacturing

By Denham Sadler The federal government has said it will develop an onshore mRNA vaccine manufacturing capability in Australia, but the actual amount of funding allocated to the significant task has been kept secret. In the 2021-22 federal budget, unveiled by Treasurer Josh Frydenberg on Tuesday night, the government confirmed that the industry department would…

Australian Good Design Awards nominations close on Friday

There are only a few days left to nominate for the 2021 Australian Good Design Awards, with entries closing on Friday May 14. The awards have been running since 1958, making them one of the longest-running international design awards, and are recognised by the World Design Organization (WDO) as Australia’s peak international design endorsement and…

Quickstep announces alliance targeting post-pandemic airline bounce

ASX-listed composites business Quickstep has signed a non-binding MoU with Triumph Aviation Services Asia (TASA) covering Australasian aftermarket airline and other MRO customers. TASA and Quickstep’s Aerospace Services division (QAS) intend to form a “strategic alliance” with a broad scope including “services such as MRO, spares pooling and repair development for the aero structures market…

Ellume establishes US diagnostics plant

Brisbane medtech company Ellume has established a diagnostics manufacturing facility in Maryland in the United States, even as it ramps up production of its rapid Covid-19 test kits at its Richlands plant in Queensland. The company is rapidly increasing production to meet a $US230 million contract from the United States Department of Defense to make…

Wine Australia launches new “Interactive Insights” resource

Wine Australia has launched a new information portal for growers and makers, presenting the latest production, export and other data.

Boral fights off Seven Group takeover

Building products group Boral has rejected a formal takeover offer from Seven Group which values the company at $8 billion. The company, which has been struggling to sell assets following a disastrous foray into the North American market, rejected the $6.50 a share offer which offered shareholders no premium over the latest market price. Seven…

Celebrating Australian Made – BusTech bets on e-mobility and automotive skills

Today @AuManufacturing’s editorial series – Celebrating Australian Made – looks at BusTech Group which saw opportunity where others hesitated, investing in human capital to create a new national automotive manufacturing group. It is not every day that you hear about a capital company that sees opportunity in investing in Australian manufacturing. And it is even…

@AuManufacturing 2021 reader survey – with great prizes from Corban & Blair

The Australian Manufacturing Forum and @AuManufacturing would like to know a little more about our readers and members.
Today we launch the 2021 @AuManufacturing reader survey which over the next two weeks will collect basic information about you, so we can better understand our manufacturer community audience.

Baker & Provan turns 75

St Marys-based Baker & Provan will celebrate its 75th anniversary on Saturday. The Western Sydney company specialises in heavy fabrication, machining and on-site support, with customers including in the defence, rail and heavy industry sectors. It employs over 50 at three sites, including six apprentices. Madeline Baker, granddaughter of co-founder Arthur Baker, said in a…

Incitec Pivot plant fails yet again, this time twice

Fertiliser and explosives group Incitec Pivot’s trouble-plagued Waggaman ammonia plant in the US (pictured) has failed yet again, this time twice in only a matter of weeks. Last month @AuManufacturing reported that the plant broke down on March 17 ‘as a result of a dry gas seal failure and vibrations in the turbine on the…

Why Australia’s manufacturing future lies not with China

By Peter Roberts It is fairly common nowadays to hear in a dinner table discussion a phrase that goes something like this: “Of course, China will soon be the world’s biggest economy…” Thus ensues a discussion of how the future will be a China, rather than American-led one, with the US seen as past its…

Celebrating Australian Made – electronics at risk because of Covid-19 shortages – by Serena Ross

Today @AuManufacturing’s editorial series – Celebrating Australian Made – looks at a dramatic shortage of electronic components stemming from the Covid-19 pandemic. Here Serena Ross, asks whether this ‘black swan event’ which is hitting companies in Australia and globally, heralds the end of just-in-time for electronics manufacturing. Blackswan events are so-called after the surprise caused…

Manufacturing news briefs – stories you might have missed

FIAL offers clustering grants The Food and Agribusiness Growth Centre (FIAL), is offering matched funding of $150,000 to eligible clusters of small companies in the food and agribusiness sector through its Cluster Grant Program 2021. The funding helps businesses, government and researchers unite to tackle challenges in regions and/or cities. By working together for the…

Site works begin at country’s first remote green hydrogen microgrid project

Work began on Friday at a project at Denham, 830 kilometres north of Perth, which will be Australia’s first green hydrogen plant powering a community microgrid.

Neo-Bionica medical device centre launched in Melbourne

The Bionics Institute and the University of Melbourne have launched Australia’s first medical device development and manufacturing facility to fast-track new treatments for people with diseases such as epilepsy, Parkinson’s disease, hearing loss, stroke and diabetes. Named Neo-Bionica, is a highly specialised laboratory, purpose-built with the latest cleanroom technology, cutting edge robotic equipment, enhanced 3D…

Ferrari 812 debuts with Carbon Revolution road wheels

Prestige Italian automaker Ferrari has shown its new Ferrari 812 model (pictured) for the first time complete with one-piece carbon fibre road wheels manufactured in Geelong by Carbon Revolution. The Ferrari 812 was shown publicly at an event at Club Competizione Ferrari’s test track, with a video of the launch available here. Ferrari’s Enrico Galliera…

GFG looks to sell Cultana, big battery, says plan is still to make green steel at Whyalla

Sanjeev Gupta’s GFG Alliance said on Thursday it is looking to divest some of its renewable energy assets in South Australia, though says it remains committed to the vision of making “green steel” at the Whyalla steelworks.

Maggie Beer aims for sales of $85 million

Luxury food group Maggie Beer Holdings rapid growth continued in the latest quarter, with the company revealing it expected sales of $85 million for the full year. In a business update the Barossa Valley company said the business was expected to make earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation of $11 million in the full…

Austal no closer to buying new shipyard

Perth international shipbuilder Austal has been forced to deny reports it is close to purchasing a second shipyard in the Philippines, this time at the former US naval base at Subic Bay. ABC reported this week comments by Australia’s ambassador to the Philippines, Steven Robinson who said Austal was closing in on a takeover of…

Australia’s states are forging ahead with ambitious emissions reductions. Imagine if they worked together

The ambitious new commitments of state governments go some way to filling the void left by the lack of a national climate policy. So let’s look at how they can best coordinate their efforts to deliver a more efficient, lower-cost outcome — and a national approach to reducing emissions.

Deakin hydrogen hub announces feasibility study for Australia/Uruguay dairy industries

Deakin University’s Hycel centre will undertake a feasibility study for hydrogen use in the dairy industries in Australia and Uruguay, in partnership with Food and Fibre Great South Coast.

Manufacturing news briefs – stories you might have missed

Holmwood Highgate to manufacture fuel and water storage modules Queensland bulk liquid storage manufacturer Holmwood Highgate has signed a $30 million contract with Rheinmetall MAN Military Vehicles to deliver fuel and water modules. The modules will be fitted to defence’s fleet of logistics trucks. The Loganholme company has previously secured more than $108 million worth…

Celebrating Australian Made – the one and only Tindo Solar

Today @AuManufacturing’s editorial series – Celebrating Australian Made – looks at local manufacturers supporting the switch to renewable energies. Here Peter Roberts profiles Australia’s one and only manufacturer of solar PV panels – Tindo Solar. One of the lessons of the Covid-19 pandemic is the danger of over-reliance on extended global supply chains and the…

@AuManufacturing launches new value-added services

Advertisement The Australian Manufacturing Forum and @AuManufacturing news today announce two additions to the value-added services services we offer to manufacturers. We have teamed up with trusted sector partners to provide assistance to companies wanting to maximise their return under the R&D tax incentive scheme, and those who want to save cash and go green…

Whyalla steelworks safe as GFG Alliance secures new lenders

GFG Alliance’s Sanjeev Gupta has refinanced debt for the Whyalla steelworks ending speculation the collapse of a financier to the company threatened the closure of the works. The company has secured a $430 million refinancing of the steelworks and his Tahmoor Coal operations to replace funds provided by the collapsed group Greensill Capital. GFG Alliance…

Perdaman’s WA project snares Incitec Pivot as urea customer

A $4.5 billion project to turn natural gas into urea on Western Australia’s Burrup Peninsula has taken a step closer to reality with the signing of an off-take agreement with fertiliser producer, Incitec Pivot Fertilizers. Incitec Pivot has entered into a 20 year agreement to take up to 2.3 million tonnes a year of granular…

Softmed onshores production of surgical wrap

Australia’s largest personal protective equipment (PPE) manufacturer, Softmed, has begun producing one million sterilisation wraps per month which are used to wrap and seal surgical trays and instruments prior to surgical procedures. The company, which in August invested $30 million in a new Victorian factory, began local production in response to a critical worldwide shortage…

Canberra prevails with new gas power plant announced

Federal goovernment pressure on the energy industry to construct new gas-fired power plants or face government-funded competition has resulted in EnergyAustralia announcing a new gas-fired peaking power station. The company said it would build a 300+ megawatt Tallawarra B power station in New South Wales and open it in time for summer following the retirement…

Our unis are far behind the world’s best at commercialising research. Here are 3 ways to catch up

Australia’s public universities are world-class research bodies. But, unlike many universities in places like Europe and the United States, they are not good at building on that research for commercial returns. Australia’s level of research commercialisation is one of the worst in the developed world.

ARENA announces $103 million in grant funding for three large-scale green hydrogen projects

The Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA) has announced conditional approval of $103.3 million grant support for three large-scale green hydrogen projects through its Renewable Hydrogen Deployment Funding Round. The successful projects: Engie Renewables Australia Pty Ltd (Engie): ARENA will provide up to $42.5 million towards a 10 MW electrolyser project to produce renewable hydrogen in…

Leigh Creek progresses urea plant with new contracts

Leigh Creek Energy Limited has kick-started the construction of a urea fertilizer plant based on the Leigh Creek coal deposits in South Australia. The company told investors it had entered into a binding heads of agreement with South Korean engineering and construction firm DL E&C Co. Ltd for a feasibility study, engineering design and procurement…

Deloitte delivers supply chain resilience reports to govt

Deloitte has delivered a series of reports to the federal government on supply chain resilience, as money continues to pour into manufacturing and building Australia’s sovereign capability.

Circuitwise announces two leadership appointments

Sydney-based SME contract electronics manufacturer Circuitwise has announced two appointments, Dimitrije Grasar as Operations Leader and Sean Ross as CTO.

New NSW gas-fired power plant to use 5 per cent hydrogen from 2025

The NSW government has announced an $83 million funding agreement for a “dual fuel capable” gas/hydrogen power plant in the Illawarra, which will see the operator use a minimum of 5 per cent green hydrogen from 2025.

SEA Electric displays badged EV range at Brisbane Truck Show

Electric truck drive train manufacturer SEA Electric is to display five of its truck models assembled in Australia from kits for the first time at the upcoming Brisbane Truck Show. The company’s first range as an OEM supplier includes the its’ latest – the SEA 300-45 EV and SEA 300-85 EV. All are powered by…

Are we doing enough to keep Celebrating Australian Made – by Alexander Gosman

As @AuManufacturing continues our editorial series – Celebrating Australian Made – Alexander Gosman gives us a sobering review of national industry policy, and poses the question whether we are doing enough to reverse what has been a long-term decline in the sector. Disruptions to supply chains through Covid-19 pandemic have highlighted major gaps in Australia’s…

Wrapping it compostable with Great Wrap

Husband and wife couple Jordy and Julia Kay began manufacturing what is Australia’s first and only certified home compostable cling wrap overseas, but have since onshored production to a Melbourne factory the couple are proud to say is fully solar powered. Their Great Wrap product, which is essentially indistinguishable from the carbon-intensive original, is manufactured…

Paying Australia’s coal-fired power stations to stay open longer is bad for consumers and the planet

Australian governments are busy designing the nation’s transition to a clean energy future. Unfortunately, in a misguided effort to ensure electricity supplies remain affordable and reliable, governments are considering a move that would effectively pay Australia’s old, polluting coal-fired power stations to stay open longer.

Manufacturing booming, sees best PMI result in three years

Manufacturing achieved its seventh straight month of growth in April, and its quickest rate of expansion in three years according to the Australian Industry Group’s Performance of Manufacturing Index.

Celebrating Australian Made – by Jake Dingle of Carbon Revolution

Today @AuManufacturing kicks off our new editorial series – Celebrating Australian Made – leading up to Australian Made Week (24 to 30 May). Here Jake Dingle, CEO of carbon fibre road wheel manufacturer Carbon Revolution, explains how his company’s factory investment shows that Australian advanced manufacturing is not dead, but just getting started. There is…

Launching our editorial series – Celebrating Australian Made

Today @AuManufacturing launches our latest editorial series – Celebrating Australian Made – leading up to Australian Made Week (24 May to 30 May). Here Peter Roberts looks at the value of Australian Made. When my family arrived in Australia as migrants from the United Kingdom I remember our taxi driver tapping the dashboard of his…

Manufacturing news briefs – stories you might have missed

ResMed sends thousands of ventilators to India Sleep apnoea treatment company ResMed is sending 28 pallets of the company’s hospital ventilators to India (pictured). CEO Mick Farrell said the thousands of devices would help with the latest Covid case surge in the country. “Thanks to our teams in Atlanta, Sydney, and Singapore for stepping up…

NT government, Advanced Manufacturing Growth Centre announce $8.75 million “Kickstarter on steroids”

The federally-funded Advanced Manufacturing Growth Centre and the Northern Territory government have announced a partnership, which will see the NT government invest $8.75 million over five years to back commercialisation projects.

Applications open for WA Innovation Voucher grants

Applications are open for the Innovation Vouchers program in Western Australia, which provides up to $20,000 in support to local startups and small to medium enterprises.

Renewed calls for change to research investment

By James Riley The nation’s peak science lobby has renewed calls for a realignment of the R&D Tax Incentive that creates a premium to reward research collaboration as a way to improve outcomes in translating university research into commercial products and services. In its submission to the government’s University Research Commercialisation consultation, Science and Technology Australia also…

Australia’s only solar panel manufacturer resumes exports

Tindo Solar has announced the resumption of exports and the release of its next-generation module.

4 reasons insects could be a staple in Aussie diets, from zesty tree ants to peanut-buttery bogong moths

Today, we’ve taken a leap towards bringing insects into mainstream Australian diets, with the launch of CSIRO’s Edible Insects Industry Roadmap. It carves out a comprehensive plan exploring the challenges and opportunities for Australia to become a player in a global industry worth A$1.4 billion by 2023.

Manufacturing news briefs – stories you might have missed

Anteotech to raise $16 million to fund Covid test Surface chemistry group Anteotech has received commitments from sophisticated investors to raise $12 million in new capital, and now plans a $4 million share purchase plan from existing shareholders. The company, best known for its nano-coating technology for battery lithium, will use the proceeds to scale…

Australian Biotherapeutics begins production at new factory

Australian Biotherapeutics has begun production at a new $10.4 million factory at Coolum’s Suncoast Business Park.

Swinburne and Sutton Tools join forces for smart manufacturing

Swinburne University of Technology and Sutton Tools have established a joint Smart Manufacturing Centre to work on projects in advanced manufacturing over the next five years in a model for industry/SME collaboration. A research agreement establishing the new centre, which will be based at Sutton Tools in Thomastown, Victoria, was signed by Swinburne’s Deputy Vice-Chancellor,…

Starpharma in strong position as R&D gathers pace

Pharmaceutical developer Starpharma has reported its strong financial position and progress on numerous R&D fronts over the March quarter as it accelerates research and commercialisation of its drug portfolio. The Melbourne company spent $4.3 million on R&D in the quarter as well as manufacturing expenses, ending with a closing cash balance of $64.3 million. Net…

Genetic Signatures sales rise on increases Covid-19 testing

Molecular diagnostic company Genetic Signatures has reported year to date sales of $23 million for the nine months to March 31, more than double its full year revenue in the previous financial year. Third quarter sales were $4.3 million including instrument sales of $300,000, up 136 per cent on the previous corresponding period. The company…

QLD govt funds 10 manufacturers’ pandemic pivot

The Queensland government diverted up to a third of its industry attraction program to support existing local manufacturers to pivot to COVID-19 supplies, including ventilators, masks and testing kits in the state.

Victoria launches new innovation and capability grants scheme

The Victorian government today announced a new $20 million scheme offering companies up to $500,000 to support manufacturing innovation and capability development. The new Business Competitiveness Program is a plank in the government’s $60 million Manufacturing and Industry Development Fund, launched today by Minister for Industry Support and Recovery Martin Pakula (pictured). The program will…

Amaero gets orders from Nissan Casting and Raytheon

Additive technology company Amaero International is to supply production and sample products to Nissan Casting and Raytheon Intelligence and Space to be produced on its own 3D printing machines. In a quarterly update Amaero said it had received an order for production dies from Nissan for a 3D tool steel insert for die-casting automotive components.…

Main Sequence raises $250 m “Fund II,” announces focus on decarbonisation tech

The CSIRO-founded “venture science” firm Main Sequence Ventures has announced a successful raise for “Fund II” which will continue a focus on companies solving “the world’s biggest problems” but with an increased focus on decarbonisation technologies.

NSW government awards 1,000-school contract to lighting and controls company Pierlite

Pierlite has earned a contract to provide LED lighting solutions, upgrading as many as 1,000 NSW public schools. The company was awarded the tender as part of Schools Infrastructure NSW’s Lighting Upgrade Program, which was part of the state’s Covid-19 stimulus measures.  The solutions would be focussed on Pierlite’s Vandalux and Unilux EP upgrade kits,…

Manufacturing news briefs – stories you might have missed

Federal Government invests in Whiskey Alpha watercraft company The federal government has invested $7.35 million in watercraft builder the Whiskey Alpha Project’s development of its next-generation, high-performance watercraft. The investment will support the veteran-owned company’s naval design and manufacturing know-how, which utilises composite material technology and a novel ‘sea blade’ hull to enhance stability and…

Info session to be held for Regional Advanced Manufacturing CRC

An information session will be held next Thursday for a proposed Regional Advanced Manufacturing CRC.

Carbon Revolution to rise $95 million, invest in mega production line

One-piece carbon fibre road wheel manufacturer Carbon Revolution is to raise $95 million and invest in a mega production line to vastly increase production of its automotive road wheels. The maker of wheels for Ferrari, Ford Mustang and Renault Megane models told investors it would begin construction of Phase 1 of its first mega-line production…

Yabby and Myriota launch IoT dam sensing solition

Satellite communications company Myriota and water management company Yabby Sensors and Consulting have launched a nanosatellite Internet of Things (IoT) solution for the mining and agricultural sector. Their system provides dam operators and owners with an automatic dam and water storage monitoring solution, allowing them to identify and manage safety, regulatory and water use issues.…

Creating Australian sovereign vaccine capability – by Julie Phillips

Julie Phillips leads a group attempting to save from closure one of Australia’s largest pharmaceutical plants and repurpose it to produce Covid-19 vaccines. Here she explains that with Covid-19 not going away anytime soon, now is the time to act and create new capabilities. GSK‘s largest southern hemisphere pharmaceutical and vaccine manufacturing plant in Boronia,…

Molycop acquires recycling business JLW

Molycop has announced the purchase of JLW Services, a waste management company specialising in hard-to-recycle recyclables such as mattresses and tyres.

Manufacturing news briefs – stories you might have missed

Traffic Technologies wins $1.7 million export order Roadway signage and traffic systems company Traffic Technologies has won contracts worth $1.7 million from Quick Turn Circuits to supply its systems to China, Singapore, Chile and Qatar. The company will supply more than 300 of its Urban traffic controllers which feature the intelligent, adaptive traffic control system…

Companies awarded $8.4 m in commercialisation grants

Twelve companies have been awarded a total of $8.4 million under the federal Accelerating Commercialisation program.

Victoria commits $50 million to vaccine manufacturing

The Victorian government has committed $50 million to support the manufacture of mRNA vaccines in the state because of global vaccine supply insecurity. Pfizer and Moderna vaccines are the first globally to have been made with this technology which is not presently available in Australia. Acting Premier James Merlino told a media conference: “It is…

Keytone Dairy booms as revenue jumps

ANZ dairy manufacturer and exporter Keytone Dairy Corporation grew revenues 125 per cent in the financial year to March 31 defying hits from the Covid-19 pandemic. While Covid affected global logistics and daigou channels – in which individuals purchase Keytone products locally and export them to China – Keytone boosted revenues to $50.7 million, up…

Sage to export Sanitizit shopping trolley sanitising systems

Sage Automation is to export its Sanitizit shopping trolley sanitisers (pictured) to South America, with the first units shipping to Chile at the end of the month. Launched in November, the Sanitizit replaces the need for employees to wipe down supermarket and luggage trolleys, wheelchairs and hospital gurneys. It sprays a fine, fast drying mist…

AusBiotech names new director

Dr James Campbell, CEO of Patrys, has been named as a director of biotechnology organisation AusBiotech.

Rare earth markets recover, Lynas progesses processing projects

Rare earths producer Lynas Rare Earths global markets are recovering with the world economy as the Perth company progresses major processing investments in Western Australia and the United States. The company, which has been hit by Covid-19 economic slowdowns and environmental concerns at its Malaysian advanced metals plant, reported sales of $110 million for the…

AMGC spurs Klinger to embrace industry 4.0

Industrial sealing and fluid control manufacturer Klinger Australia has revealed how a local event held by the Advanced Manufacturing Growth Centre spurred it to take the first steps in implementing an Industry 4.0 strategy in their production facility in Western Australia. The company introduced Industrial IoT technology in three phases ‘in a matter of weeks’…

Covid home baking boom brings new flour products from McKenzie’s

Cooking and baking ingredients manufacturer Ward McKenzie Pty Ltd has responded to a Covid-19 surge in home baking with the launch this month of a range of seven new flours including special purpose flour blends. The company, best known for its McKenzie’s baking powder and bi-carbonate of soda seen in almost every pantry, is now…

Titomic buys Silicon Valley company, establishes US subsidiary

Additive manufacturing technology company Titomic is to buy a Silicon Valley-based advanced manufacturing group and form a new subsidiary Titomic USA to access the North American market. The company told investors today it had agreed to buy Tri-D Dynamics Inc, a manufacturing technology company focusing on smart pipeline manufacture. The US business was established by…

Question? Is the industry department talking to the industry minister?

By Peter Roberts Is the industry department talking to the industry minister? I ask this question because my article last week on options for evolving Australia’s industry growth centres failed to mention an important point. Former industry minister Karen Andrews had been widely canvassing options, including making the centres more like UK Catapult centres, for…

Manufacturing news briefs – stories you might have missed

Ampcontrol and Lavo show off solar and hydrogen remote power systems Ampcontrol and Lavo have demonstrated a number of innovations to a visiting delegation of European diplomats (pictured), including Lavo’s world’s first domestic hydrogen battery capable of storing enough electricity to power the average Australian home for two days. Visiting the Hunter region the 14…

Bosch’s 10 year pivot to industry 4.0

Diversified global manufacturer Bosch is celebrating 10 years of pioneering work in the area of industry 4.0, including a successful pivot of its own operations overseas and in Australia to embrace game-changing manufacturing technologies. The company, which generated revenues of 700 million euros in industry 4.0 sales, has been systematically investing in its own factories…

Trajan Scientific expands services offering

Analytical technology company Trajan Scientific and Medical has further extended its services offerings with the completion of the acquisition of the MyHealthTest blood testing service for an undisclosed sum. The acquisition boosts Trajan’s ability to deliver analytical measurement services which complement the Melbourne company’s global technology, manufacturing and services offerings. Trajan provides analytical and life…

Manufacturers – the economy is getting back to normal

Manufacturers marking time waiting for the economy to recover can start to think of expansion again with movement around our capital cities close to pre-Covid-19 levels in some cases. An analysis of movement data in Australia’s capital city CBDs by Roy Morgan and UberMedia shows people are moving round at their highest levels in over…

Boral moves to unload more assets

Building products group Boral is to examine the future of its US fly ash businesses as the company continues to deal with fallout from its troubled venture into the North American market. The company told investors it was reviewing the businesses and would either retain control or enter into a joint venture, strategic alliance or…

Cairns begins testing recycled concrete and glass in roads

Cairns Regional Council has begun testing a blend of crushed concrete and glass for use in road bases.

The disappointment of overseas production – Lithium Australia

By Peter Roberts It is so disappointing when you have covered an emerging technology and manufacturing story for years when suddenly you find out that the company you have been covering decides to site actual production overseas. It must be equally disappointing to readers. One of the earliest examples of this in @AuManufacturing’s two and…

Manufacturing news briefs – stories you might have missed

DroneShield discussing massive $60 million plus order Drone detection and countermeasure company DroneShield has revealed it is discussing an order potentially worth more than $60 million with a Middle Eastern Ministry of Defence. The company said it had received the remaining payment of $2.3 million for a previous order from the customer. CEO Oleg Vornik…

New Austrade CEO begins role

Former Kathmandu Holdings boss Xavier Simonet began as CEO of Austrade on Wednesday.

Wattle Health expands distribution capabilities

Nutritional dairy product manufacturer Wattle Health Australia has expanded its distribution capabilities with the purchase of pharmacy product developer and distributors Brand Solutions Australia and Pharma Solutions Australia (BSA). Wattle will pay $4.75 million in cash and shares for the business, which distributes Wattle’s Wattle Health, Uganic and Little Innoscents ranges, including through Chemist Warehouse…

Not wiped out. Even after the collapse of Greensill, there’s time to save Whyalla

The withdrawal of finance has once more thrown into doubt the future of South Australia’s fourth-biggest town and its 22,0000 residents, including the 1,800 directly employed in the steelworks and the thousands more who depend on it.

Circular economy awards announced for ANZ

The first Circle Awards are being launched this week, with entries opening on Thursday for those making an impact in the circular economy movement in Australia and New Zealand.

France Inc squeezes Cleanaway out of massive expansion

By Peter Roberts They say that France does not give up its own companies, nor their global assets very easily, mobilising its forces to stop foreign takeovers. Just such a thing – perhaps called France Inc – seems to have happened to Australia’s waste management and recycling company Cleanaway’s agreement to buy the recycling and…

More than half of Australian manufacturers intending to reshore: survey

Survey results collected late-last year for e-commerce company PROS show over half of respondents intending to reshore over the next three years.

SA government shells out for oyster manufacturer

The South Australian government is shelling out $107,550 in export development grants including to a manufacturer of oyster production systems. SEAPA Group, which has been making smart oyster farming systems since 1998, is one of seven companies to share funding as part of the South Australia Export Accelerator Program. The funding will see the SA-owned…

Should Australia catapult its industry growth centres?

By Peter Roberts Christian Porter has had a lot of stick in recent weeks, but there is no doubt the new industry minister needs to quickly put recent controversies behind him and get on top of critical decisions that must be made in the portfolio. Not only must he implement the modern manufacturing initiative of…

Manufacturing news briefs – stories you might have missed

AnteoTech joins Future Battery Industries CRC Surface chemistry company AnteoTech has joined industry and academic participants in the super anode project under development at the Future Battery Industries Cooperative Research Centre. AnteoTech will provide silicon composite materials to the project, based on its AnteoCoat nano-film binder technology. The binders aim to increase storage capacity and…

Sanjeev Gupta expresses confidence in steelworks future

GFG Alliance’s Sanjeev Gupta has expressed confidence in the future of the Whyalla steelworks and reassured locals of his ability to refinance his global businesses. Following moves by Citibank to wind up Liberty Primary Steel, owner of the mill, and Tahmoor coal, Gupta wrote an open letter to South Australians published today in Adelaide’s Sunday…

Duratray chooses Victoria for global HQ, new plant

A leading Latin American international designer and manufacturer of mining equipment Conymet Duratray International has chosen Victoria for its new state-of-the-art manufacturing facility and global headquarters (pictured). The company, which makes dump truck bodies and steel and rubber components for haulage in the mining industry will grow its current Victorian footprint by onshoring overseas manufacturing…

FYI updates value of alumina project to US$1 billion

Perth materials technology group FYI Resources has increased estimates of the net present value of its Western Australian high purity alumina (HPA) projects by 87 per cent to $1.33 billion (US$1.014 billion) The company plans a kaolin mine and processing at Cadoux, WA and an HPA production plant at Kwinana south of Perth. FYI said…

Doxall releases first of kind new antimicrobial technology

More than a decade of research spurred on by the Covid-19 pandemic has resulted in the release of Doxall, a range of products based on a totally new kind of anti-microbial chemistry that offers significant benefits over existing technologies. Wintermute Biomedical’s Doxall range includes a Hand Sanitiser, a Surface Cleaner & Sanitiser, and a Therapeutic…

Trouble at mill but too early to write off Whyalla steelworks

By Peter Roberts It is amazing how people are always quick to expect the worst about the future of Australia’s steel industry, just as they have in recent days with news of trouble in the financial network that support’s metals entrepreneur Sanjeev Gupta’s GFG Alliance businesses. People are expecting the worst for his Whyalla steelworks,…

Manufacturing news briefs – stories you might have missed

DroneShield’s new orders from US and Five Eyes customers Drone detection and countermeasure company DroneShield has announced two new orders, one from an existing customer. The company has received a second order worth $1.1 million from a high profile Government customer from a Five Eyes country which shares intelligence with Australia. DroneShield has also received…

Solving business problems using production performance data – by Will Purcell

Advertising feature By Will Purcell, Pact Group Sometimes, we know we’ve got something to fix, but one thing or another gets in the way and we put it on the backburner. We know the issue is there in the background, but it doesn’t appear to have a lasting impact and we’re all good without addressing…

Applications open for Recycling and Clean Energy grants worth $1 million to $20 million

Grant applications opened on Wednesday for Recycling and Clean Energy projects under the federal Modern Manufacturing Initiative.

Food manufacturing’s growth moment

Australia’s food and agribusiness growth centre has welcomed commitments from both the government and Labor to provide additional support to Australia’s largest single manufacturing sector as it aims to double in value in a decade.

Credit Suisse seeking to wind up Whyalla

Citibank filed for “winding up in insolvency” in the NSW Supreme Court on Tuesday against two businesses owned by Sanjeev Gupta’s GFG Alliance.

Perception versus the reality of manufacturing – by Shay Chalmers

Shay Chalmers takes a look at community perceptions of manufacturing. Often seen as dirty and unattractive, Shay believes the sector’s response to the Covid-19 pandemic is changing the face of manufacturing – and offering a way forward for Australian Made. The challenge is real. Manufacturing tends to conjure up some unfortunate mental images for people,…

Cleanaway to buy Suez recycling operations for $2.5 billion

Cleanaway Waste Management has agreed to buy the recycling and recovery businesses of Suez Groupe in Australia for $2.52 billion, subject to various conditions. The waste management and recycling company will buy what is a high quality, nationally vertically integrated waste management and environmental solutions business employing 2,000 people, according to Cleanaway. It includes six…

Incitec Pivot reveals new costs in ammonia plant failure

Chemicals and explosives business Incitec Pivot’s shares plunged 9.4 per cent this morning with news of further problems at its trouble-plagued Waggaman ammonia plant in the US (pictured). The plant, one of a number of plant failures and natural disasters that have hit the company, was under repair until March 6 and started up through…

Covid hits apprenticeships hard, threatens renewed decline

The Covid-19 pandemic year of 2020 was a shocker for apprentices in Australia, with the pandemic hitting apprenticeship starts and completions hard. Commencements plunged 18.8 per cent to 126,665 as at 30 September, 2020 while completions were down 14 per cent to 73,205. There are now 264,425 Australians in apprenticeship training according to new figures…

Gender discrimination and disadvantage rife in manufacturing

By Peter Roberts The story of the moment is not so much the Covid-19 pandemic, but the discrimination, disadvantage and in some cases abuse that women suffer every day in Australian workplaces. This situation is disgracefully endemic in what should be Australia’s model workplace – the federal Parliament. Lack of opportunity, bullying, belittlement, unwanted sexual…

Manufacturing news briefs – stories you might have missed

Supashock to produce missile launcher for Rheinmetall Defence contractor Supashock will design and manufacture a missile launcher capability for the Rheinmetall BOXER 8×8 Combat Reconnaissance Vehicle (pictured). Under a $10 million contract the Adelaide company will deliver the capability for Boxers being built for the Australian army under the LAND 400 Phase 2 program. Under…

Manufacturing recovery gathered pace over March: PMI 

Australian manufacturing’s strong start to 2021 has continued according to the Australian Industry Group’s Performance of Manufacturing Index, which recorded its best result since March 2018 and the sixth straight month of strong recovery since the lows of the pandemic.

Maggie Beer buys hamper business for $40 million, goes digital

Prestige food producer Maggie Beer Holdings is to further its move into digital and e-commerce businesses through the purchase of a leading hampers and gifts business for $40 million. The Barossa Valley company, which grew its e-commerce sales by 167 per cent during the Covid-19 pandemic, is purchasing 100 per cent of Hampers & Gifts…

@AuManufacturing adds new value-added services

Advertisement The Australian Manufacturing Forum and @AuManufacturing news today announces an addition to the value-added services services we offer to manufacturers. We have teamed up with trusted sector partners to provide assistance to companies wishing to access the federal government’s modern manufacturing initiative grants. We have done this as, like all government grant schemes, the…

Albanese doubles up on manufacturing intervention – report

Opposition leader Anthony Albanese will up the ante in the debate about the future of manufacturing, promising to establish a $15 billion reconstruction fund should it be returned at the next election. This comes mid-way through the rollout of the federal government’s manufacturing modernisation initiative – a tenth the value of Labor’s promise. At the…

Titomic to manufacture gun barrels in Australia

Metal additive manufacturing company Titomic has teamed up with a Turkish supplier of manufacturing systems to establish gun barrel production in Australia. Titomic and Repkon Machine and Tool Industry and Trade Inc have formed a joint venture to build a production facility in Australia at an un-named location. It will manufacture ‘weapons systems barrels’ designed…

Treasury wines loses China dumping case, hit with massive import tariffs

Leading wine producer Treasury Wine Estates, the maker of Penfolds wines, has lost its anti-dumping case brought by the Chinese government which has confirmed crippling import duties will apply to the company. The Chinese ministry of commerce issued a final determination in its anti-dumping and countervailing investigations into Australian wine exports to China, including Treasury.…

Modern Manufacturing Initiative grants open for food and beverage companies

The federal government has opened grant applications for a fourth priority sector under the Modern Manufacturing Initiative, the Food and Beverage industry.

Manufacturing news briefs – stories you might have missed

SEA Electric buys big in batteries to cut costs Truck and van electric vehicle drive train manufacturer SEA Electric has put in a massive order from Soundon New Energy Technology for 1,000 EV battery sets. Soundon has been supplying SEA Electric since 2012, with the new purchase cutting kilowatt hour costs by 36 per cent.…

Property, Australian recovery buoys Brickworks

A strong performance in its property portfolio and investments, and a recovering Australian economy has held up Brickworks profits in the first half of the 2021 financial year. The company reported net profit after tax up 22 per cent to $71 million for the six months. However, underlying earnings before interest and tax (EBIT) was…

Starpharma launches Viraleze in the UK

Pharmaceutical developer Starpharma has secured United Kingdom distribution for its Viraleze antiviral nasal spray. The Melbourne company has signed a sales and distribution agreement with LloydsPharmacy which operates 1,400 pharmacy stores in the UK and is part of international pharma distributor group McKesson. McKesson supplies more than 14,000 pharmacies across the UK. Viraleze spray, which…

Australian team wins international prize for sustainable packaging invention

A Monash University team has won a prize for innovation at the global WorldStar Student Awards, developing a fibreboard packaging product using 30 per cent peanut husks. 

Gold mine turns into pumped hydro electricity storage

The disused open cut Kidston gold mine in Queensland is to be repurposed into a massive pumped hydro electricity storage system. The Australian Reneawable Energy Agency (ARENA) has announced $47 million in funding for Genex to construct a pumped hydro system to store energy from a 50 MW solar farm that is already operating and…

Plans approved for Western Sydney Startup Hub

The NSW Government’s proposed Western Sydney Startup Hub has been given planning approval, paving the way for heritage buildings in North Parramatta to be “sensitively restored” for entrepreneurs.

ADDE delivers key machines for Covid injector production

Automation system builder Andrew Donald Design Engineering have shipped the second of three specialist inspection machines (pictured) to a US manufacturer building systems to accelerate the delivery of COVID-19 vaccines. Part of the US Trump administration’s Operation Warp Speed program, the systems are designed to overcome significant constraints in the supply and filling of vials…

Manufacturing newsbriefs – stories you might have missed

Quickstep unsuccessful in flare housing manufacturing bid Composites manufacturer Quickstep Holdings has been informed its bid to manufacture MJU-6B flare housing for the F-35 Lightning II Joint Strike Fighter for Chemring in the next two financial years has been unsuccessful. Quickstep said the grounds for Chemring’s decision are contestable, with the company initiating a formal…

AGL begins grid-scale battery network rollout

AGL has today announced construction will get underway this year on its planned nationwide network of grid-scale storage batteries. The company announced a start to a 250-megawatt (MW), one-hour duration grid-scale battery at Torrens Island power station in Adelaide (pictured), following AGL’s final investment decision (FID) on the project. AGL CEO Brett Redman said South…

Air Liquide to build CO2 production plant

Air Liquide is to build and operate a new CO2 purification and production plant to supply industry in Gippsland Victoria. The company has come to an agreement with the Gippsland Basin Joint Venture, made up of BHP and Esso, to build the facility alongside the Longford Gas Conditioning plant which processes Bass Strait’s oil and…

Dutch agreement is bridge to local manufacturing for Australian firm

Sustainable Infrastructure Systems has signed a deal with a Dutch firm to manufacture lightweight fibreglass bridges and jetties for the Oceania region from Adelaide, South Australia.

Manufacturing Excellence Forum Sunshine Coast launches

A new group supporting the development of manufacturing in the Sunshine Coast has been launched, and will hold its first event this week.

Planet Innovation opens new medical manufacturing facility, plans to achieve $1 billion in exports in five years

Commercialisation and engineering firm Planet Innovation has continued its rapid expansion, officially opening a new medical technology manufacturing wing at its Melbourne site and describing a vision to make hundreds of new hires and grow export revenues to $1 billion  within five years.

USQ develops static rocket test site

Australia’s first privately-owned, static rocket testing site has been developed in a partnership between Rocket Technologies International and the University of Southern Queensland. The Helidon Rocket Test Site has been inaugurated in a sandstone quarry to test rockets that are secured to the ground in a controlled environment. Executive Director of USQ’s Institute for Advanced…

Australian company launches high-tech sleep monitoring product

Sleeptite has announced REMi, a system with sensors, data analytics and user interface enabling non-invasive monitoring of health and other data in aged care settings.

FormFlow judged as top innovator in Australia By Design series

Building products technology company FormFlow has been selected as the winner of the Australia By Design series.

TGA gives CSL local vaccine manufacturing approval

The Therapeutic Goods Administration on Sunday approved manufacture of the AstraZeneca COVID-19 Vaccine (ChAdOx1-S) in Australia by CSL’s Seqirus vaccine division. This follows on from the 16 February 2021 approval by TGA of the overseas-manufactured AstraZeneca vaccine. The delay in both approvals is part of criticism of the federal government’s vaccine rollout – see separate…

Sparc deveops anti-microbial graphene

Advanced materials company Sparc Technologies has demonstrated bactericidal properties of its graphene based additives in an epoxy coating system. The company commissioned Flinders University, Adelaide to evaluate the coatings using an internationally recognised standard ISO 22196. The bactericidal activity was demonstrated in relation to Escherichia Coli, a commonly found and harmful bacteria. Graphene when added…

NSW net zero plan can be a ‘nation building’ win

The NSW government’s latest tilt at reducing the state’s emissions to net zero has the potential to become a grand scale nation building program. But without appropriate oversight, hundreds of millions of taxpayer dollars could simply “perpetuate business as usual”.

SPC lunches into Tasmanian home-delivered meals market

Agribusiness SPC’s The Good Meal Company subsidiary has launched its home delivery service of home-style cooked meals in the Tasmanian market. The Company has over two decades supplying public hospitals and will now offer home meal delivery service to Tasmanians in need including NDIS participants and Home Care clients. The Good Meal Company, acquired by…

Segula plans to hire another 100 in Victoria

France-headquartered engineering firm Segula Technologies will expand its presence in Victoria.

Wearables maker gets a Queensland govt boost

By Joseph Brookes Brisbane-based MedTech manufacturer WearOptimo, which is backed by the Australian National University (ANU), will produce devices in Australia after getting support from the Queensland government. The company makes small sticker like devices (pictured) that can detect dehydration in patients. According to tWearOptimo, the ‘microwearables’ provide accurate results in real time and may…

Manufacturing news briefs – stories you might have missed

ACS manufactures carbon fibre composite faraday shields Advanced Composite Structures has manufactured a batch of carbon fibre composite faraday shields (pictured) for electromagnetic sensors. The cylindrical housings will be used in a mining industry application, with the carbon fibre shielding electromagnetic radiation. Twenty five carbon fibre housings were made with a cylindrical tool for batch…

Superyacht builders choose VEEM gyrostabilisers

Perth marine-engineering manufacturer VEEM have won their first orders for vessel gyrostabilisers from two highly prestigious Italian superyacht builders, Rossinavi and Overmarine. Overmarine, the builder of the Mangusta range of superyachts, has ordered two gyros for a new design the Mangusta 165, which is 50 metres in length. Rossinavi has ordered a Veem Gyro, which…

Fonterra dairy booms on China’s recovery

Trans-Tasman dairy giant Fonterra has boosted strongly rising profits in the six months to January 31 driven by a resurgent Chinese economy. The company reported earnings before interest and tax (EBIT) up 17 per cent to $634.9 million (NZ$684 million) on total revenue down five per cent to $9.2 billion. EBIT in Greater China was…

De.mem to expand with WA chemicals business buy

Singapore and Australian water and waste water treatment business De.mem has agreed to acquired another company, this time a Western Australian specialty chemicals business that gives it access to a big mining industry client base. The company will pay $5.1 million to buy Capic, a supplier of high margin specialty chemicals to companies including BHP…

How to advance Australian manufacturing – by Ishan Galapathy

Ishan Galapathy spent 2020 looking at the fundamental issues facing Australian manufacturing and our elusive pathway to operational excellence (OpEx). Here he gives a taste, from his latest book, of what he learned. One key thing the year 2020 highlighted was the importance of global supply chains and local manufacturing. The solution for Australia is…

Second round of shipbuilding scholarships announced

Forty new scholarships have been awarded under the National Naval Shipbuilding Pipeline Scholarship program.

Manufacturing growth “firmly positive,” Australian survey finds

Further evidence that manufacturing has started 2021 strongly has emerged, with the Australian Chamber – Westpac Survey of Industrial Trends showing the sector leading the nation’s economic recovery.

CHEP’s stretch wrapping portfolio going to Fromm

Fromm Packaging Australia announced on Monday that it will acquire CHEP’s local stretch wrapping portfolio.

Audit Office to scrutinise R&D Tax Incentive

The Australian National Audit Office (ANAO) is conducting an audit into the effectiveness of the Industry department and Australian Taxation Office’s administration of the research and development tax incentive (RDTI) program and is expected to table its report in October.

Titomic signs with Indian distributor

Metal additive manufacturing company Titomic has secured a major Indian distributor for its Titomic Kinetic Fusion metal 3D printers. Titomic has ‘formed a relationship’ with Shree Rapid Technologies (SRT) to sell printers and promote the TKF technology in India, which has a large high technology manufacturing sector. Interim CEO of Titomic, Norbert Schulze said: “Banking…

FFW CRC appoints new head of food waste upcycling program

The Fight Food Waste Cooperative Research Centre has announced upcycling expert Francesca Goodman-Smith as the head of its “Transform” research theme.

La Trobe Bundoora to get $23 million Digital and Bio Innovation Hub

Construction will begin in May on a new hub at La Trobe Univeristy’s Bundoora campus, to accommodate “students, start-ups and Victorian businesses.”

Think strategically about operations and supply chains- by Mohsen Varsei

Mohsen Varsei takes a look at the parlous state of Australian manufacturing. He argues the answer is to refocus on operations and supply chain excellence. This sets new business horizons and becomes the manufacturing firm’s advantage. The government recently acknowledged that ‘manufacturing in Australia has stagnated. Not enough manufacturers are scaling-up’. Its ‘vision is for…

JobKeeper job losses should bring focus on management skills – by Glen Casey

Glen Casey looks at the future of support for manufacturing once JobKeeper finishes at the end of March. He argues that large job losses are inevitable when JobKeeper is removed, suggesting a policy focus for SME manufacturers of job retention, and providing support to management to navigate a path in the new post COVID world.…

Austal Philippines delivers its largest vehicle ferry – video

Austal Philippines has farewelled Fjord Line AS’ FSTR (pictured), the largest high speed aluminium ferry ever constructed in the Philippines The vessel, an Austal Auto Express 109 designed in Australia and constructed in Balamban, Cebu, capable of transporting 1,200 passengers at speeds up to 40 knots. It features Austal’s largest ever vehicle-carrying capacity to date,…

Queensland company to expand PPE production for medical imaging, hire 15

Imaging Solutions has announced that it will expand its production of personal protective equipment for imaging diagnostic procedures, which have risen due to Covid-19.

Custom Denning to launch electric bus in the UK – report

Australian battery electric bus manufacturer Custom Denning is to launch its zero-emission Element battery electric bus in the United Kingdom followed by a hydrogen fuel cell version, according to media reports in the UK motoring press. Route One reported the first demonstrator was likely to arrive in the UK in 2022. In October the company,…

SEA Electric raises $54 million equity to accelerate expansion

Electric vehicle drive manufacturer SEA Electric Holdings has raised $54 million (US$42 million) to supercharge its market expansion as a global player in the rapid switch to electric powered trucks and vans. In November the company announced it had closed the first $20 million of a proposed $30 million series A funding round led by…

Geelong to get a ManuFutures sequel

The Waurn Ponds startup hub, Manufutures, will get an expansion, with construction on a second building scheduled to begin in September.

Qld: $5m grants for renewable hydrogen projects

By Joseph Brookes The Queensland government has opened a second round of its Hydrogen Industry Development Fund, offering up to $5 million in financial assistance for renewable hydrogen projects. “We have an opportunity to position Queensland as a world leading exporter of renewable hydrogen in the future. That’s what this initiative is all about,” Premier Annastacia…

$30 million in grants to be available for manufacturing commercialisation projects

The federal government has announced $30 million in funding to help manufacturers commercialise their ideas. The new $30 million commercialisation fund will provide grants smaller than and complementary to the Modern Manufacturing Initiative program, with applications for the latter opening weekly and by “manufacturing priority” sectors. Grant applications for three MMI sectors have been opened…

Treasury begins switch to premium US wine portfolio

Treasury Wine Estates, the maker of Penfolds wines, has moved towards a premium brand model for its extensive American multi-brand wine portfolio. The company, which is wrestling with the fallout of China’s punitive tariffs against Australian wine imports, has reached a long-term licensing agreement with The Wine Group to take over several of TWE’s commercial…

$540m Business Growth Fund ready to flow

By Denham Sadler The $540 million Australian Business Growth Fund is about to turn on the taps, with its first investment of “patient capital” expected to be made by the end of the financial year. First announced by the Coalition as part of the 2019 election campaign, the Australian Business Growth Fund (ABGF) will make…

GHD Group becomes cornerstone investor in Lavo

Professional services firm GHD Group is to become a cornerstone investor in hydrogen electrolyser and storage system manufacturer Lavo. The equity investment is part of LAVO’s $50 million Series A capital raise now underway, with the firm joining Providence Asset Group, UNSW, and Gowings Bros as investors. In addition to holding an equity stake in…

‘Biodegradable’ plastic will soon be banned in Australia. That’s a big win for the environment

To start dealing with Australia’s mounting plastic crisis, the federal government last week launched its first National Plastics Plan.

Zip Water releases redesigned HydroTap Classic Plus

Appliance company Zip Water has announced a redesign of its HydroTap Classic Plus and a “strong pipeline of innovation” for the rest of the year. The HydroTap delivers instant boiled, chilled and sparkling water, and comes with the new command centre — which the company calls G5 — with a redesigned user interface and iconography…

Noxcovid trial advances to final stage

Drug development company Noxopharm has reported positive results for use in its drug Veyonda in preventing septic shock in seriously ill patients infected by the Covid-19 virus. The Sydney company tested 26 patients with varying doses of Veyonda, a product based on an existing anti-cancer drug. The patients with moderately severe disease had very poor…

NSW to announce $750 million support for “clean industrial revolution”

The NSW government will announce a $750 million program to run over the decade, aimed at cutting the state’s greenhouse gas emissions by a third.

Onshoring is happening, but how extensive is it?

By Peter Roberts The anecdotal evidence is out here – onshoring and reshoring of manufacturing to Australia is occurring. The problem is, it is all but impossible to get a handle on how widespread it is, and whether it will really be significant in the long run. We all know the reasons why some manufacturing…

Manufacturing news briefs – stories you might have missed

Electrolux manufactures 6.5 millionth oven Adelaide whitegoods manufacturer Electrolux has celebrated building its 6.5 millionth oven at its factory in Simpson Avenue, Dudley Park. Head of commercial Tony Hinchco said: “Congratulations to everyone involved from the Australian based designers and product development team who dream up our products to the engineers and manufacturing teams who…

Ministers visit Energy Renaissance battery project

The Prime Minister Scott Morrison and industry minister Karen Andrews have visited the site of Australia’s first lithium ion battery manufacturing plant at Tomago in New South Wales. The pair inspected the site where Energy Renaissance is investing $28 million to construct a 4,000 sqm facility with an initial battery production capacity of 66MWh per…

‘Aussie Amazon’ launches new tick of approval for 100 per cent Australian made and owned products

Federal treasurer Josh Frydenberg will be a part of the official launch of the Buy Aussie Now marketplace, to take place today at Melbourne confectioner Ministry of Chocolate.

RPC to manufacture rail toilet modules

Composites manufacturer RPC Technologies is to fabricate Sanitary Toilet Modules for inclusion in new Metronet trains being produced for the Western Australian regional rail network. The company has been awarded the design, manufacture and supply contract for the modules including associated tank systems for Alstom’s Perth Metronet DMU trains being built for the Public Transport…

VEEM makes waves in propeller market

Perth marine-engineering manufacturer VEEM has begun the year with record-breaking production, shipping a record number of VEEM Propellers in February. The company has been investing to boost capacity and improve delivery times, including buying two new CNC machines and further automation. Managing director Mark Miocevich said: “VEEM is globally the only commercial volume producer of…

Manufacturing news briefs – stories you might have missed

Magnis Energy Technologies furthers battery development Magnis Energy Technologies has progressed its development of fast-charging electric vehicle batteries. The company and Charge CCCV have had initial successful results using commercial optimised 1.6 Ah cells, After 600 cycles the battery retained 93 per cent capacity with 30 minute charges and discharges. The company is now testing…

De.mem’s focus on buying from Australian suppliers

Water and wastewater treatment company De.mem switched its focus to buying from Australian suppliers during a 2020 calendar year which saw the company deliver an inaugural positive cash flow of $544,000. The switch was made to avoid global supply chain risks exposed by the Covid-19 pandemic. The Singapore/Australian company saw strong sales growth of 41…

AML3D to supply 3D manufactured components

Additive manufacturing technology company AML3D will supply a series of industrial components for evaluation and testing by Japanese-based 3D printing solutions firm 3D Printing Corporation (DPC). The company will utilise its its wire arc additive manufacturing (WAM) process to manufacture high wear and fatigue loaded parts for the mining sector. 3DPC is a Japanese company…

Think all your plastic is being recycled? New research shows it can end up in the ocean

We all know it’s wrong to toss your rubbish into the ocean or another natural place. But it might surprise you to learn some plastic waste ends up in the environment, even when we thought it was being recycled.

AML3D appoints new CFO

ASX-listed additive manufacturing technology company AML3D has announced the appointment of Hamish McEwin as its new chief financial officer.

Geelong uses recycled glass in new roads

Roads in Leopold and Lara were recently reopened after being repaved, using up 50 tonnes of recycled crushed glass. The glass was crushed to the fineness of sand by Fulton Hogan at its Lara site. This replaces around 3 per cent of the road mix, which was used in the road’s base layer, around 4…

Calix electric reactor to heat salts in energy storage pilot

Industrial process technology company Calix has joined with Sweden’s SaltX and Sumitomo SHI FW to further develop a salt based energy storage system with potential to speed decarbonisation of the economy. Calix’s novel kiln technology will be added to SaltX’s energy storage system in a 200kW pilot plant to be built in Sweden. The pilot…

XTEK in loss as R&D and commercialising phase gather pace

Advanced composites manufacturer XTEK has reported a gross loss of $3.2 million in the six months to December 31 as it continued to invest in product and market development and in production facilities for its defence industry products. The loss, made on turnover down $3.6 million on the previous corresponding period to $12.4 million, came…

Softmed to expand and onshore manufacture of surgical gloves

Australia’s first producer of surgical and examination gloves critical to medicine and surgery is to be Softmed, the country’s largest manufacturer of personal protection equipment. The company has beaten the giant Ansell medical and industrial gloves group, which is Australian based but manufactures only overseas, to the punch. Fresh from investing $30 million at a…

PMI shows manufacturing’s strong start to the year continues

The strong start to 2021 has continued for the industry, with the Australian Industry Group Performance of Manufacturing Index recording an overall result of 58.8 in February. The PMI result is up from 55.3 in December/January. Any score above 50 indicates growth, below it contraction, and a score of 50 indicates no change. Five of…

Olympian manufacturing opportunities in store for Brisbane

Comment by Peter Roberts With Brisbane now in the box seat to secure the 2032 Olympic Games the usual whinges have been aired about cost and the priorities of the Queensland government. But there is more than just once-off television rights to be earned, with Sydney 2000 creating numerous ongoing business opportunities from making venue…

Manufacturing news briefs – stories you might have missed

Bisalloy’s armour plated half year Wear and armour steel producer Bisalloy boosted its earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation by 42 per cent in the half year to December 31 to $6.7 million. Margins were boosted with the positive result of anti-dumping measures against its main import competitor, however that company has been working…

Orica impacted by China trade sanctions, Covid

China’s punitive trade action against Australia is starting to impact manufacturing with its ban on importing Australian thermal coal cutting sales for explosives and chemical group Orica. The company said in a market update that diminished coal mining activity was flowing through to its explosives business, which will suffer losses between $70 million and $80…

Lynas’ record sales drives profit growth

Australia’s largest producer of minerals used to manufacture high technology products, Lynas Rare Earths shrugged off the Covid-19 pandemic in the first half to December one, recording record sales on the back of rising prices. Despite operating at 75 per cent capacity, the Perth company boosted revenue from the previous corresponding period’s $180 million to…

Working from home in a pandemic by Juliana Queiroz

Working from home has become the norm for many especially white collar workers in manufacturing. But there need to be changes if you are going to get the most out of remote employees, and they are going to get the most out of their work, writes Juliana Queiroz One year after the coronavirus outbreak, we…

Austal’s profits up, sales sink

The world’s largest aluminium shipbuilder Austal today reported earnings before interest and tax of $70.5 million in the half year to December 31, well up on the previous corresponding period’s $59.9 million. However first half revenue actually fell from $1 billion to $840 million due to a higher A$, lower throughput in the United States,…

Grant applications open for medical products under MMI

Grant applications have opened for medical products manufacturers under the Modern Manufacturing Initiative, with funding between $1 million and $20 million available for successful applications.

Manufacturing news briefs – stories you might have missed

Austin Engineering rebuilds with mining Mining equipment manufacturer Austin Engineering recovered from the effects on investment in mining of the Covid-19 pandemic in the first half year to December 31 reporting total revenue in line with expectations of $87.9 million. Normalised earnings before interest, tax, interest, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) was 32 per cent up…

V2Food plant based burger on sale in Korea

This week marks another milestone in the penetration of Asia Pacific markets of the plant-based burger first developed for the Australian Hungry Jack’s chain. South Korea has become the fifth country in the region where Burger King restaurants are offering offering the Plant Whopper developed by CSIRO offshoot v2Food. Burger King Korea customers will be…

ATP Science expects to create 33 new jobs through $3.2 million upgrade

Health food company ATP Science says it will boost staff and reach new markets through a $3.2 million investment in new factory equipment.

a2 milk profit sours on Covid disruption

Specialised milk producer a2 Milk has seen its turnover and profits plunge as the Covid-19 pandemic interrupted its supply chains into the China market. The company announced today earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) down 32.2 per cent for the half year to December 31 to $166.7 million (NZ$178.5 million). Revenues were down…

Relectrify gives second life to EV batteries

Melbourne battery control technology company Relectrify today announced the release of its commercial & industrial (C&I) energy storage systems based on its BMS+Inverter technology. The modular 120kWh systems are made from second-life electric vehicle (EV) batteries – cells that have been retired after use in electric vehicles. Relectrify’s life-extending BMS+Inverter technology results in up to…

Manufacturing news briefs – stories you might have missed

Cochlear clear to sell new sound processor products Hearing technology company Cochlear has received US Food and Drug Administration and CE Mark approval for its new Cochlear Baha 6 Max Sound Processor. With increased power without increasing in size, the bone conduction processor improves hearing outcomes for people with single-sided deafness, conductive or mixed hearing…

Manufacturing company profit newsbriefs

Calix moves from loss to profit Industrial chemicals and process technology company Calix today reported strong sales and profit growth in water treatment business which underpins commercialisation in processing, biotechnology, battery materials and CO2 mitigation. The company moved from a loss to a profit of $3.06 million in the half year to December 31 on…

Carbon Revolution looks to massive wheel output

Geelong carbon fibre road wheel manufacturer Carbon Revolution has given new details of its plans to raise output through the construction of new mega-line production equipment. The company announced revenue down 14.1 per cent in the first half but said it expected growth in existing wheel programs and the award of new wheel contracts for…

Blackmores accelerates growth in Asia vitamins markets

Vitamin manufacturer Blackmores is achieving positive results from a three-year turnaround enabling it to increase sales and market penetration in fast-growing Asian markets and build a new business in pet supplements. The Sydney company today reported underlying earnings before interest and tax up 15 per cent to $30.8 million in the half year to December…

Hydrogen steel making closer with Liberty move

Both Australia’s primary steel makers are moving closer towards making steel using green hydrogen following a move by Liberty Steel which operates the Whyalla steek works in South Australia. On Monday @AuManufacturing reported BlueScope Steel was considering the future of the Port Kembla works in New South Wales after its number five blast furnace reached…

PC to investigate supply chain vulnerabilty

The federal government has given the Productivity Commission the task of reviewing Australia’s supply chain vulnerabilities and risks following the shocks of the Covid-19 pandemic. The Productivity Commission will look at Australia’s supply chains, as well as longer term trends in relation to Australia’s linkages and dependencies on international trade and assess whether vulnerabilities or…

Quickstep grows but currency change mars profit

Aerospace composites manufacturer Quickstep has reported steady growth in sales for the first half of FY21 with sales up eight per cent to $41.5 million, the rise attributable to the company’s involvement in making tail sections for the F-35 Lightning jet fighter. However the rising Australian dollar hit EBITDA margin as did the end of…

Adbri’s earnings boost despite Covid challenges

Lower residential construction in Australia has seen turnover for construction materials group Adbri fall marginally in the full year to 31 December, only partially offset by increased lime sales. The company, the renamed Adelaide Brighton, reported net profit after tax of $93.7 million, up from $47.3 million in the previous corresponding period on revenue down…

Gale Pacific EBITDA up 332 per cent

ASX-listed fabric company Gale Pacific has reported improved revenues and profitability in the first half of the financial year.

The Canberra bubble and Australia’s manufacturing dialogue – by Greg Whiteley

Greg Whiteley ferrets out the facts about Australia’s company structure – and it turns out there are a tiny number of large businesses dominated by 99 per cent of companies with less than 200 employees. Yet the policy focus is all about big businesses. Time to change and develop policy suited to our SME business…

Manufacturing news briefs – stories you might have missed

Cann Group’s sales pass $1 million Medicinal cannabis producer Cann Group has reported sales of $1.1 million in the first half to December 31, at the same time giving further details of a previously announced cyber attack. The company reported an operating loss of $9.4 million despite dispatching initial orders to a number of international…

$2.6 m in grants for Victorian infrastructure projects using recycled products

Nineteen projects by Victorian local councils and alpine resort management boards have been awarded a total of $2.6 million in state funding to support infrastructure projects using recycled material. According to a statement by the state government, the projects supported under the Sustainable Infrastructure Fund would cumulatively create 388 new jobs and recycle over 2,000…

K-TIG to enter carbon steel market

Welding technology company K-TIG has successfully developed welding procedures for high strength carbon steels in addition to its stainless steel capabilities, opening up access to a new market worth billions of dollars a year. The company, which manufactures patented, high productivity welding equipment and offers welding as a service, has proven welding of A516 Grade…

BlueScope’s profit surge amid sharper focus on climate change

BlueScope Steel’s profits have surged in the first half of the financial year with steel volumes and spreads in its major markets at their highest level in a decade. The company reported underlying earnings before interest and tax (EBIT) up 75 per cent on the previous corresponding period to $530.6 million. Australian earnings were up…

Fortescue commits big $ to renewable hydrogen

Twiggy Forrest’s Fortescue Metals has followed through on support for new industries based on renewable hydrogen by earmarking up to $400 million dollars for investment in the sector. The iron ore miner told investors as part of its half year profit statement that 10 per cent of profits swelled by strong demand from China would…

Manufacturing news briefs – stories you might have missed

Cell Therapies to manufacture Kymriah Melbourne contract manufacturer Cell Therapies has been given Therapeutic Goods Administration approval to manufacture Novartis’ chimeric antigen receptor T-cell at its facility at the Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre. The one-off treatment for blood cancers involves removing cells from the patient, reprogramming them and infuysing them back into the body. The…

Applications open for space industry grants

Space is the first of six targeted sectors eligible for funding under the federal government’s Modern Manufacturing Initiative, with applications now open for grants under the program.

Recycling science innovator to feature on Monday’s Australian Story

Professor Veena Sahajwalla, an internationally-renowned engineer working in recycling science, will be the subject on Monday’s Australian Story.

Ellume scales-up production of Covid-19 test kits

Brisbane medtech company Ellume has hosted the US Consul-General Sharon Hudson-Dean and US Embassy officials to its Richlands plant as it scales up production of its rapid Covid-19 test kits. The officials inspected facilities which are being rapidly expanded to meet a $US230 million contract from the United States Department of Defense to provide its…

Cochlear recovers as hospital surgeries resume

Hearing implant manufacturer Cochlear is recovering from the effects of the Covid-19 pandemic which interrupted surgical procedures, reporting today half-year earnings before interest and tax (EBIT) down only four per cent on the previous corresponding period. The Sydney company reported EBIT of $175.6 million with 17,377 implant units sold in the half compared to 18,894…

R&D tax concession promoter hit by $22 million penalty

The Federal Court has handed down a massive penalty against a research and development tax adviser who lodged overstated and unsubstantiated claims on behalf of clients. Thhe Australian Taxation Office revealed that judgement had been made against Paul Enzo Bogiatto who was ordered to pay $22.68 million in penalties. Bogiatto was ordered to pay $6.51…

Nominations open for 2021 Good Design Awards

Entries are now open for the Good Design Awards, now in their 63rd year.

CSL’s massive profit increase as vaccines, new products star

Australia’s largest company by market capitalisation, biotechnology manufacturer CSL has powered ahead in the first half of the financial year reporting a net profit after tax up 44 per cent on the previous corresponding period. The company, which is in the final stages of manufacturing the AstraZeneca Covid-19 vaccine, reported a NPAT of $1.8 billion…

Manufacturing news briefs – stories you might have missed

Noxopharm’s loss on R&D activities Clinical stage drug development company Noxopharm has reported a loss of $6.7 million before tax for the first half of the financial year. The company, which is commercialising its drug Veyonda (pictured) for the treatment of advanced prostate cancer, spent $3 million on R&D and received a R&D tax refund…

Goanna Ag and Myriota combine for farm sensor solutions

Farm sensor manufacturer Goanna Ag and IoT nanosatellite operator Myriota have combined to launch two innovative products to help farmers manage water resources, Go Rain and GoTank. GoRain allows farmers to monitor rainfall at remote locations, providing information on rainfall variability that enables data driven decision-making. GoTank updates livestock farmers via the industrial IoT on…

PPK Group looks to divest mining equipment business, focus on technology

Technology commercialisation business and mining equipment manufacturer PPK Group has suffered a drop in profit as the company continues to aggressively expand its portfolio of businesses. The company reported today earnings before interest tax amortisation and depreciation of $924,000 in the first half year, down from a profit of $3.1 million. Total revenues were hit…

Treasury Wine Estates profit slumps as it exits China

Treasury Wine Estates, the maker of Penfolds wines, today reported earnings before interest and taxes (EBITS) down 23 per cent in the first half year to $284 million as it was hit by China’s punishing tariffs against Australian products. The slump, which was widely expected, was driven by the company’s exit from the premium China…

Dimplex buys majority stake in Thermofilm

Glen Dimplex Australia has acquired a majority stake in Dandenong South-based Thermofilm.

New Environex plastics recycling plant at Toowoomba will create 30 new jobs

Environex has been awarded a $1.3 million grant under the Queensland government’s Resource Recovery Industry Development Program, which will contribute to a new recycling facility at Toowoomba’s Wellcamp Airport.

Massive Covid boost for Ansell

Global latex and protective glove manufacturer Ansell has reported a massive sales boost from the Covid-19 pandemic. The Melbourne company reported sales for the first half year up 24.5 per cent to $1.2 billion (US$937.8 million) driven by rising healthcare and industrial sales. Healthcare sales were up 37 per cent on the previous corresponding period…

Lavo to make hydrogen electrolysers in Queensland

Low-price domestic hydrogen electrolyser and storage system manufacturer Lavo has committed to building a new factory in Queensland reported to cost $20 million. The company and its JV partner Nedstack said in a statement they would develop a fuel cell and LAVO unit (pictured) manufacturing facility in Springfield City, a private sector CBD development near…

Fleet Space to launch fifth satellite

IIot communications services provider Fleet Space Technologies will launch its fifth nanosatellite, Centauri 3 in March aboard Rocket Lab’s They Go Up So Fast mission. The locally manufactured Commercial Nanosatellite will head for Low Earth Orbit (LEO) at 550 km from Launch Complex 1 on New Zealand’s Māhia Peninsula. Centauri 3 is part of the…

Saber Astronautics developing space operations centre

Saber Astronautics is promising that the new space mission control centre being developed for the Australian Space Agency will be the first professional control centre in the world to use machine learning in the day-to-day operation of spacecraft. Saber will also incorporate innovative 3D gaming technology in the new centre. The company, which spans space…

Fortescue deploys autonomous light vehicles at Chichester Hub

Iron ore miner Fortescue Metals Group has created and deployed a fleet of autonomous light vehicles (ALV’s, pictured) at the company’s mining operations in the Chichester Hub in the Pilbara. Developed by Fortescue’s Technology and Autonomy team with the assistance of Ford Australia, the vehicles aim to improve the efficiency of the Christmas Creek mobile…

Biochar: an ancient waste-to-value product

A miracle all-in-one soil improver, waste disposer and planet saviour, or a biomassive waste of time? Brent Balinski spoke to manufacturers and others about the place of charred organic matter in our future.

Incitec Pivot plagued by even more plant outages

Chemicals and explosives business Incitec Pivot long plagued by unplanned facility shutdowns has been hit yet again with new problems that will cost the company $35 million (US$26 million) to fix. The company, only just recovering from a series of disasters, today announced that a discovery phase of works required at its Waggaman ammonia plant…

$16.5 million grant round launched for EV charger sites

The first round of the Future Fuels Fund has been launched, with the federal government saying the $16.5 million grant round would support electric vehicle uptake and lessen concerns “about their capacity to travel longer distances in regional Australia.”

Manufacturing news briefs – stories you might have missed

CSL to begin Covid-19 vaccine bottling this week Biotechnology giant CSL is to begin bottling its first doses of the AstraZeneca developed Covid-19 vaccine this week, according to reports. Channel 9 media reported that a six-week process of testing and filling vaccine would begin this week. CSL began manufacturing the vaccine at its advanced manufacturing…

Spectur to provide emergency surf lifesaving beacons

Internet of things security solutions provider Spectur has announced its largest sales contract to date for an emergency response beacon network for Surf Lifesaving New South Wales. The contract will see the company provide emergency response beacons over the next five months to improve safety at a number of beaches in the state. The contract…

Pact completes acquisition of NZ plastic recycler

Pact Group has announced the completed acquisition of Flight Plastics, adding the ability to produce up to 5,000 tonnes a year of recycled PET trays and containers a year.

Alcoa/FYI produce high purity alumina

A joint venture pilot plant by Perth materials technology group FYI Resources and Alcoa of Australia has successfully produced 99.9986 per cent purity alumina (Al2O3). The companies said the high purity alumina (HPA) achieved in the plant was an outstanding outcome and validation of FYI’s HPA refining process and flowsheet design. FYI plans a kaolin…

Gladstone to get $300 million high-purity alumina factory

Gladstone has secured a high-purity alumina plant with a predicted output of 10,000 tonnes annually, with planning approval from the Queensland government announced on Thursday and an opening scheduled for 2023.

CRC-P round 11 grant applications open

Applications opened on Thursday morning for Round 11 of CRC-P grants of between  $100,000 and $3 million.

NSW targets translation in industrial drive

By James Riley A startup and SME-focused procurement reform and a plan to plug R&D linkages directly into precincts like TechCentral in Sydney are at the core of NSW government’s industrial policy zeal. There is an ambition to the NSW government plans for accelerating research and development outcomes in the state that only comes from…

Manufacturing news briefs – stories you might have missed

Ainsworth gaming making slow recovery Gaming machine manufacturer Ainsworth Game Technology is slowly recovering from the slump in the gambling industry forced by the Covid-19 pandemic. The Sydney company reported a loss before tax of $14 million for the first half year, excluding a currency loss of the same size caused by the strengthening of…

Refining – Canberra dithers while we lose yet another industry

Comment by Peter Roberts We are witnessing the demise of yet another manufacturing industry – oil refining and downstream chemicals. The news that Exxon Mobil will shut its Altona refinery will mean that five of Australia’s seven oil refineries have shut since 2010. So when you hear responses like that of energy minister Angus Taylor…

Rheem and Solahart launch water heating to stabilise networks, save energy

Water heater manufacturer Rheem Australia and its renewables brand, Solahart have launched an innovative project in South Australia that boosts local sales while saving consumers cash on their power bills. The companies have been funded by the Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA) and the South Australian Government to launch the Rheem Active Hot Water Control…

It might look like China is winning the trade war, but its import bans are a diplomacy fail

As Australian producers scramble to find markets for goods hit by Chinese import restrictions, it might look as though China is winning the diplomatic war.

But the current situation is a diplomacy fail for China as much as for Australia.

ExxonMobil to announce Altona closure today: report

An announcement that ExxonMobil will shut its Altona refinery is expected today.

Manufacturing news briefs – stories you might have missed

Noxopharm reports new treatment for prostate cancer Pharmaceutical developer Noxopharm has claimed a combination of two existing drugs has emerged as a major new treatment for prostate cancer. The company said its Veyonda treatment for late-stage cancers combined with Novartis’ Lu-PSMA-617 resulted in half of patients suffering end stage (Stage 4) disease surviving at least…

No Women In Manufacturing? Think Again by Daen Simmat

Industrial designer Daen Simmat takes a look at the women working in manufacturing. Many women are deterred from participation in some of Australia’s most thriving and essential businesses, particularly in male-dominated industries such as manufacturing. This is due to organisations struggling to attract women to consider and apply for jobs. However, a recent focus on…

Arnott’s Group expands with Diver Foods buy

The Arnott’s Group has signalled a plan to expand its Australian food business with the purchase of Melbourne snack and breakfast cereal manufacturer Diver Foods. Diver, the manufacturer of Carman’s muesli and muesli bars, will form the basis of a new a new business division at Arnott’s to be known as Good Food Partners. While…

Treasury Wine Estates to retain Penfolds brand

Multi-brand winemaker Treasury Wine Estates has been forced to deny persistent rumours it is still planning to demerge its luxury Penfolds brand from its value and mid-market wine brands. The company announced in April it was considering building shareholder value through a demerger, however in November it told the company’s annual general meeting that it…

Boral restructure paying off after downsizing

Building products group Boral today reported earnings before interest and tax of $254 million for the half year ended 31 December, up one per cent on the previous year as its selloff of businesses and company restructuring took effect. The company, which sold off its USG Boral plasterboard businesses and troubled Meridian Brick venture in…

Thomas Foods lets automation contract to PFI

Industrial automation firm Products for Industry has won a multi-million contract to install product handling systems at Thomas Foods International’s greenfields meat processing site being constructed at Murray Bridge in South Australia. The contract for robotic palletising and container load out systems for the $300 million meat plant will form an important part of the…

Trailer company opens new Ipswich factory, plans to hire 70 over next five years

Australia and New Zealand’s biggest maker of heavy-duty transport trailers, MaxiTrans, has opened a new factory in Ipswich, with plans to double its workforce of 70 over the next five years.

Rare earths producer attracts Chinese interest

By Peter Roberts Australia’s ability to produce rare earths have been boosted in a controversial way with the news that a Chinese producer is allying itself with the company developing the Cummins Range Rare Earths Project in the East Kimberly region of Western Australia. China’s Shenghe Resources has signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with…

Manufacturing news briefs – stories you might have missed

Tindo Solar expansion nears completion A major expansion of Australia’s only factory producing rooftop solar PV panels is nearing completion. Tindo Solar took to social media to release photographs of its new plant, being built alongside its existing factory at Mawson Lakes in Adelaide (pictured). The company recently launched a range of premium modules which…

CelGro Dental recommended for prosthesis list

Tissue regeneration technology developer Orthocell’s CelGro Dental product has been recommended for inclusion on the Australian Prosthesis List, opening opportunities for Australian and international sales. The list defines the benefit to be paid by private health insurers for the CelGro product. The Perth company is commercialising products to facilitate the regeneration of severed peripheral nerves…

Albury to get $32 million hydro-powered battery

The NSW government has announced approval for the country’s first hydro-powered battery project, with construction expected to begin later this year.

Matrix to develop bulk hand sanitiser stations

Oil and gas industry composites manufacturer Matrix Composites & Engineering has won a contract from the Western Australian state government to develop solar-powered bulk hand sanitiser dispensers for use in public spaces in the state, The dispensers, dubbed Solsan, are completely touchless in their operation, and were developed in response to the Covid-19 pandemic. The…

Dale Elphinstone makes it yet again in Burnie

By Peter Roberts Dale Elphinstone is living proof of the old adage that you can’t keep a good man down – in his case, a good manufacturer. Elphinstone’s (pictured below) story is one of those that begins in a garage, this time in the small mining, industrial and port town of Burnie on the north-west…

@AuManufacturing launches new value-added services

The Australian Manufacturing Forum and @AuManufacturing news today launch the first of a series of value-added services to manufacturers. We have teamed up with a small group of trusted partners to provide access to services, with those wishing to sell their businesses or build capability to meet defence orders the first to benefit. The Australian…

Manufacturing news briefs – stories you might have missed

Lithium Australia gains patent protection for SiLeach Lithium Australia has been granted patent protection in the United States and Australia for its SiLeach process which unlocks the value in lithium-bearing clays and micas. The process can produce lithium hydroxide, lithium carbonate and lithium phosphate which is used to produce lithium-ion batteries. The process is also…

Horizon Power and Ampcontrol launch Boundary Power

Power and control systems manufacturer Ampcontrol and Western Australian utility Horizon Power have joined forces to market standalone power systems for remote communities and mining sites. The companies, who have installed 17 systems in WA, will market a range of SPS systems including Ampcontrol’s renewably-powered and relocatable SPS Gen 2 Solar Cube (pictured) revealed by…

IHI Corporation and CS Energy partner on green hydrogen feasibility study for Kogan Creek

Queensland government-owned CS Energy and Japan’s IHI Corporation have announced a feasibility study into a green hydrogen demonstration plant near Chinchilla.

Western Water builds waste to energy plant

Victoria’s Western Water utility has begun construction of a Waste to Energy Facility to convert fats, grease, cooking oils and other commercial liquid food waste into renewable methane biogas. The area is home to large food and beverage manufacturing and hospitality industries which generate liquid organic wastes. The $3.3 million installation, at the Melton Recycled…

Manufacturing news briefs – stories you might have missed

Constellation Technologies in new China sales Industrial internet of things hardware and software systems provider Constellation Systems has entered into a number of new sales contracts incluiding in China. An update from the company revealed the company had been awarded four contracts for wastewater applications and a wetlands monitoring application in China. The company’s MeridianCT…

Elphinstone donates Ballarat-made ventilators to Tasmania

GeVentor emergency hospital ventilators made by Gekko Medical of Ballarat in Victoria have been delivered to Tasmania through a purchase by Dale Elphinstone’s Elphinstone Group. Dale Elphinstone made his fortune manufacturing mining equipment and is a major shareholder in the Gekko Group of companies, which also manufactures mineral processing equipment. Elphinstone has purchased six GeVentors,…

Aussie security tech company raises $30 million for US expansion

Micro-X has received funding commitments of $30.5 million to help expand its US footprint and fast-track new lightweight x-ray products.

Manufacturing strengthened over holiday period: PMI

Australian manufacturing continued “stronger improvement in conditions” over December and January following the disruption last year from Covid-19, according to the Australian Industry Group’s Performance of Manufacturing Index.

Manufacturing news briefs – stories you might have missed

DXN achieves maiden positive cash flow Prefabricated data centre manufacturer DXN achieved its first positive cash flow from operations in the December quarter of $55,000, boosted by cash receipts of $1.97 million. The company completed installation of the first cable landing station in Fiji for Southern Cross Cable Network and inked new contracts worth $1.8…

Black Sky Aerospace develops solid rocket fuel

Queensland’s Black Sky Aerospace has celebrated the successful launch of the first rocket powered by Australian-made fuel (pictured). The company was partly funded by the Advanced Manufacturing Growth Centre to develop a process to manufacture solid-state rocket fuel, using it for the launch in outback Queensland earlier this month. AMGC chairman Paul Cooper said Back…

Lynas pushes ahead with Kalgoorlie processing plant

Lynas Rare Earths pushed ahead with the construction of its new Kalgoorlie cracking and leaching plant during a December quarter which also saw record sales revenue of $119.4 million. The Perth company told investors that neodymium and praseodymium (NdPr) production during the quarter was 1,367 tonnes, up from 1,342 tonnes in the previous corresponding period.…

ResMed powers ahead with double digit profit growth

Sleep apnoea technology company ResMed boosted revenue by nine per cent and net operating profit by 12 per cent during the quarter ended 31 December as product sales and digital health businesses prospered during the Covid-19 pandemic. The US-Australian listed company reported revenue of $1.04 million (US$800 million) and net income of $233.98 million, up…

BlueScope’s rising volumes and margins boost result

Steelmaker BlueScope has powered ahead with the recovering global economy reporting preliminary unaudited earnings before interest and tax (EBIT) for the first half of around $530 million, up on previous estimates of $475 million. Managing director Mark Vassella said all segments of the group’s business performed well in the six months to December with margins…

K-TIG’s expansion brings record December quarter

Keyhole Tig welding developer K-Tig experienced a record quarter for business in December booking revenue of $409,000. The company, which manufactures patented, high productivity welding equipment and offers welding as a service, built on its expansion into the United States and has now established an on-the-ground sales force. The company made its first sales to…

Science and tech at the centre of Albo’s reshuffle

Opposition Leader Anthony Albanese has placed science, technology and advanced manufacturing front and centre in Labor’s policy structures as a part of a significant shadow cabinet reshuffle ahead of a possible election later in the year.

Plungie continues expansion with Metricon partnership

Brisbane-based precast pool company Plungie has announced a partnership to supply builder Metricon for new homes.

WA food and beverage manufacturers awarded $10 million in grants

Eighteen food and beverage manufacturing companies in Western Australia have been awarded grants under the Value Add Investment Grants program.

PPE Tech launches new Australian made face mask

Australian owned manufacturer PPE Tech is set to launch a new P2 face mask into the local market. The company, established in response to the Covid-19 pandemic, has received Therapeutic Goods Administration registration for the masks, as well as certification to P2 standard from CertMark International. The Mansfield, Queensland company said the new mask (pictured,…

Manufacturing news briefs – stories you might have missed

Hazer Group presses ahead with hydrogen and graphite pilot plant Technology development company the Hazer Group is pressing ahead with the development of a pilot plant to prove its Hazer process, a low-emission hydrogen and graphite production technology (main image). The Perth company told investors detailed engineering design of its 100 tonne per annum commercial…

RM Williams to reshore some production

Bootmaker RM Williams will reshore those parts of its manufacturing operations currently overseas, according to media reports. The AFR reported iron ore billionaire Andrew Forrest as saying he would spend ‘whatever it takes’ to return 35 per cent of production currently overseas to our shores. RM Williams makes its iconic bushman’s boots and belts at…

China wine exports slashed to a trickle as punitive measures bite

China’s punitive tariffs on Australian wine have slashed wine exports to the middle kingdom to a trickle. Australian makers sent only $3.5 million worth of wine to China in December, down from $162.9 million in October according to figures from the Australian Bureau of Statistics. Red wine exports fell from $159.9 million in October to…

Bathurst recycling trial found use for 1,600 kilograms of textiles in a month

A three-month recycling program is underway, partnering Bathurst Regional Council with Textile Recyclers Australia.

Ziptrak to expand production, exports with new plant

Adelaide outdoor blind manufacturer Ziptrack plans to boost innovation and production, including exports, from a new $10 million factory it is constructing at the Tonsley Innovation District. Construction of the new 3,000 square metre premises is underway with the company sourcing $1 million worth of equipment for the move to Tonsley, a mixed education, R&D…

UNSW team 3D prints bone-like structures containing living cells

A University of NSW team has developed a ceramic-based ink containing calcium phosphate, allowing the creation of 3D printable bone-like structures with living cells.

Circular economy roadmap predicts GDP boost

Even a modest boost to recycling and reuse of materials instead of sending to landfill would have major economic and jobs impacts, according to a National Circular Economy Roadmap released today by CSIRO. According to the roadmap the recycling sector currently generates 9.2 jobs per 10,000 tonnes of waste, compared with only 2.8 jobs for…

Carbon Revolution positioning for Mega-line manufacturing

By Peter Roberts Carbon Revolution, already the only company in the world capable of manufacturing a one-piece carbon fibre road wheel, is building on its advantage with plans to introduce a Mega-line manufacturing system. The company, which supplies wheels to performance vehicles such as the Ford Mustang GT350R, Ferrari 488 Pista and Renault Megane R.S.…

Varley Electric Vehicles delivers Australian made ambulance solution

Varley Electric Vehicles has delivered an Ambicart emergency vehicle (pictured) to Westmead Hospital in Sydney, Australia’s largest hospital. The Ambicart, one of 80 electric vehicle variants offered by the Tomago, NSW manufacturer (factory pictured below), will be used as a rapid response vehicle for the emergency department. This vehicle is fitted with a standard Stryker…

Manufacturing news briefs – stories you might have missed

Redflex agrees to sell out to Verra Mobility Traffic systems and data company Redflex Holdings has agreed to a cash takeover by NASDAQ-listed transportation technology group Verra Mobility valuing the local manufacturer at $146 million. Directors unanimously backed the bid, which does not appear to include any assurance about the continuation of local R&D and…

Lynas to build US rare earths plant

Lynas Rare Earths is to build a light rare earths separation plant in the United States which will process concentrates from the company’s cracking and leaching plant now under construction in Kalgoorlie. The plant will be subsidised by the US government under its Defence Production Act, recognising the company’s critical importance as the only large-scale…

Federal/NSW governments announce $35 million in recycling grants

Applications are open to NSW companies for grants worth a combined $35 million supporting new recycling projects.

CQ University launches School of Advanced Manufacturing

The Prime Minister Scott Morrison has joined in the sod turning ceremony for a new School of Advanced Manufacturing building at Central Queensland University in Gladstone. Morrison, who reviewed plans with Vice-Chancellor Prof Nick Klomp (pictured), made a lightning visit to CQ University’s Gladstone Marina campus to inaugurate the project. Funded by the federal government,…

Silex furthers production of silicon for quantum computing

Technology developer Silex Systems continues to further its three-year project to develop production systems to make zero-spin silicon (ZS-Si) for use in silicon quantum computing chips. The company told investors the latest work completed involved optimising the synthesis process for the feed material. This validated that the process can be scaled up to industrial production…

Federal government, LNG exporters reach deal on domestic supply

The federal government has announced an agreement with gas exporters to offer gas at competitive prices to Australian customers.

Australian Manufacturing Forum passes 7,000 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 7,021 members this morning. The Forum has grown steadily since its founding in 2013, with the latest 1,000 members joining in the past five months…

Manufacturing news briefs – stories you might have missed

Leigh Creek Energy lets engineering contracts for its coal gasification project Leigh Creek Energy has let the first contracts for the Stage 1 commercial development of its in situ gasification project at the Leigh Creek coalfield in northern South Australia (pictured). InGauge Energy will manage drilling services for the development of production wells to provide…

Austal launches Volta electric passenger ferries

International shipbuilder Austal has launched a range of new electric-powered high-speed passenger ferries dubbed Volta by the company. The three-ship range broke cover yesterday with the Perth-based company highlighting the Passenger Express 46V (pictured, centre), a fully electric-powered 46 metre ferry design. The 46V has a capacity of up to 450 passengers, a maximum speed…

Ansell in record sales and earnings growth

Global surgical and protective glove manufacturer Ansell has recorded record sales and earnings growth in the first half with demand powered by the Covid-19 pandemic. The company said it was expecting to deliver growth of more than 20 per cent in earnings per share for the half as the pandemic boosted production volumes and allowed…

Applications open for $30 million in federal/SA recycling grants

The federal and South Australian governments have signed a National Partnership on Recycling Infrastructure, with each contributing to a $30 million program that will support up to half the cost of new recycling projects.

Ampcontrol’s Solar Cube power system breaks cover

Newcastle engineering firm Ampcontrol’s CPS National subsidiary has successfully deployed its standalone renewable power system, the Solar Cube, from back of a truck to load ready in just 76 minutes. Designed for single day commissioning, the Stand Alone Power System (SAPS) is designed to provide a continuous, reliable power supply to an isolated settlement or…

FormFlow, Deakin University to develop Industry 4.0 cell for metal forming

FormFlow, Deakin University and the Innovative Manufacturing CRC have announced a 12-month project to establish “an Industry 4.0 enabled manufacturing cell” for FormFlow’s metal bending process.

Civmec announces $100 million in contracts

Perth heavy engineering firm Civmec has been awarded $100 million in new contracts including major manufacturing works for two Pilbara resources project. The maintenance, construction and engineering firm will supply, manufacture and deliver four main train load out bin modules for the Jimblebar project. And it will supply, fabricate and modularise shuttle trusses, conveyor trusses,…

Maggie Beer sales record on back of e-commerce rollout

Fine foods manufacturer Maggie Beer Holdings has recorded record sales in the first half as a company restructure and relaunched e-commerce portal boost the business. The Barossa Valley company reported a 20 per cent net sales growth of $4.6 million compared to the previous corresponding period, with Maggie Beer branded product sales up 28.6 per…

Silex gets go ahead to enrich US stockpiles to produce uranium

Materials technology company Silex Systems has been given clearance by the US Department of Treasury for the restructure of its US uranium enrichment technology venture. The approvals, the last of a number of necessary US government regulatory approvals secured, clears the way for Silex and Canada’s Cameco Corporation to go ahead with their agreement with…

First DroneGuns sold to EU police force

Drone countermeasure manufacturer DroneShield has received its first orders under a framework agreement giving it access to European Union police markets. The order, worth $100,000, is for the company’s DroneGun Tactical portable counterdrone equipment (pictured). In May 2020 DroneShield was selected as the preferred solution for EU police in an international competition run for the…

Don’t count on a roaring manufacturing comeback, says economist

A prominent economist has predicted an overall positive year for business in Australia, but tips manufacturing to be the slowest growing sector coming out of the recession.

Manufacturing news briefs – stories you might have missed

Wattle Health retail powers ahead Organic infant formula manufacturer Wattle Health is seeing strong growth through its supply arrangement with Australia’s largest pharmacy retailer, Chemist Warehouse, according to a business update from the company. Chemist Warehouse became a shareholder in Wattle and began distributing its products in March. Wattle confirmed it had also secured distribution…

Foton and True Green Mobility Group announce partnership on hydrogen buses

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

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

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

SciDev’s record quarter in water treatment chemicals

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

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

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

Orthocell receives first US product approval

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

Cannabis oil manufacturing license will address local shortages, says ANTG

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

Sprout to launch plant-based infant formula

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

BluGlass’ laser diodes a step towards semiconductor industry

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

ABT awarded defence global competitiveness grant

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

Manufacturing news briefs – stories you might have missed

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

Wave Swell Energy deployed at King Island

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