Manufacturing news briefs – stories you might have missed

Micro-X expands US distribution network

Cold cathode x-ray machine business Micro-X has announced the appointment of its second major distributor in the United States, gaining more than 100 sub-distributors, it said on Tuesday. Medlink Imaging has committed to acquiring $AUD 1 million of Micro-X’s Rover systems in the first year of the agreement to support sales. As part of a development agreement with Vieworks, the South Korean parent company of Medlink, the current Rover Mobile DR x-ray cart will be integrated with Vieworks manufactured digital radiology panels and VXVue software.

Anthony Simpson revisits Dudley Park factory

The head of oven manufacturing at Electrolux Home Products in Adelaide, Phillip Saloniklis, got to show fifth-generation Simpson family member Anthony (pictured) around the company’s Dudley Park factory this week. “The Simpson family opened the Dudley Park site in 1939 and were major contributors to the great manufacturing history here in SA,” said Salonklis. The streets around the Dudley Park site reference other Adelaide manufacturing milestones, he added, with names such as Pope Street, Oldsmobile Terrace and Sunbeam Road. Anthony Simpson commented: “It was a revelation to see the level of automation achieved in the old Dudley Park factory…where many corners carried memories from 50 to 60 years ago.”

WA adds to support for Collie economic diversification

The Western Australian government has announced an additional $547.4 million allocated to Collie to support its long-term prosperity, building on $115 million already committed to diversify and transition Collie’s economy. The funding is being put in place as preparations are made for retirement of Collie’s state-owned coal-fired power stations, in response to WA’s overwhelming uptake of rooftop solar and renewables, and it includes a new $200 million Collie Industrial Transition Fund to attract major projects and new industries to the town. Funding would, according to the WA government, enhance industrial land readiness and support new and emerging industries – including potential opportunities in battery manufacturing, wind turbine manufacturing, hydrogen, green cement and minerals processing.

XTEK subsidiary completes delivery of $9.5 million order

This week XTEK announces that its HighCom Armor Solutions business has completed delivery of specialist ballistic products manufactured at its Columbus, Ohio facility, included under the a $9.5 million order from an undisclosed regional customer announced on May 26. The entire A$9.5 million contract value has been recognised as a result of this shipment. Scott Basham, XTEK Group CEO, said, the Ohio team “has been working at a frenetic pace to manufacture, package, and now dispatch, this order… This shipment, which weighed more than 31,000kgs, and comprised many thousands of individual specialist ballistic armour products, had to be dispatched on a dedicated cargo aircraft due to the urgent nature of the end user’s operational requirements.”

WA food tech facility to get fit-out through new project

A major project agreement by WA Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development (DPIRD) and Murdoch University through the Future Food Systems CRC was signed this week, with the project to fund the fit-out and operations of a state-of-the-art Food Technology Facility. The facility is at at the new Food Innovation Precinct Western Australia (FIPWA) and will have a practical, commercial focus, enabling agrifood businesses to trial new products and ideas without having to make costly individual investments in plant or equipment. The facility is currently under construction at FIPWA, part of the Peel Business Park in Nambeelup, an hour south of Perth.

AusBiotech releases sector snapshot showing pronounced growth

The Australian biotechnology industry has shown 43 per cent growth since 2019 and 60 per cent since 2017, according to AusBiotech’s new sector snapshot, which the group says “is symbolic of the sector’s value to Australia and Australians.” The report found that 1,427 of the 2,654 organisations (54 per cent) are industry-based, with the number of companies undertaking biotech research and development having grown by 40 per cent since 2019. Employees in biotech companies increased 21 per cent versus 2019, from approximately 87,397 people to more than 105,000 in 2022. AusBiotech CEO Lorraine Chiroiu, said the snapshot “recognises the sovereign value of our Australian biotechnology sector, and its place as a significant economic and social driver for our country.” The report can be accessed here.

Western Sydney workshop open to manufacturing businesses

A Manufacturing Workshop with speakers Stephen Wagner and Inu Rana will be held next Wednesday, June 2022, from 8am to 10am, at the Hawkesbury Race Club’s Ted McCabe Room. Wagner is Regional Manager for AusIndustry and Rana the Senior Business Advisor for Launch Pad, Western Sydney University. According to the event’s organisers, the workshop aimed “to provide a step by step guide and the tools needed to create new opportunities to help get manufacturing businesses on track for the future.” It will be hosted by Hawkesbury City Council and Western Sydney University. You can register for the free event at this link.

BP to become majority shareholder, operator of WA Asian Renewable Energy Hub

BP will take a 40.5 per cent equity stake in the Asian Renewable Energy Hub (AREH) north-east of Port Hedland, it was announced this week. According to the Western Australian government — which granted the project Lead Agency Status in 2018 — the news represented “another major step forward for the globally significant project”. AREH is expected to generate up to 26 gigawatts of combined wind and solar capacity and produce 1.6 million tonnes of green hydrogen or 9 million tonnes of green ammonia each year. State industry minister Alannah MacTiernan said, “The project will transform the Pilbara, create thousands of jobs and be a major contributor to global efforts to decarbonise the economy, and provide the low-cost energy to underpin downstream processing of our mineral wealth.”

Picture: Phillip Saloniklis/Electrolux Home Porducts

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