Manufacturing news briefs – stories you might have missed

Novel recycled wine bottle launched

Leading wine brands have launched ranges of wine products in a new, 100 percent recycled PET plastic bottle produced by packaging company Packamama (pictured). Taylors Wines and the giant Accolade Group are among brands launching the eco friendly bottles at Coles Group liquor stores – Liquor Land and First Choice Liquor. The bottles are 83 percent lighter than the glass ones they replace, and their flattened shape allows more bottles to be packed in a case – both advantages that reduce shipping costs and carbon intensity. The bottles continue Australia’s reputation for wine packaging innovation and follow bag-in-box casks and screw-top caps for wines.

CDU and RMIT to open joint Testlab facility in Darwin for aerospace industry

Charles Darwin University (CDU) will house an advanced manufacturing and test flight facility for the development of drones, as well as the broader aerospace and defence industry, it was announced on Thursday. The CDU-RMIT TestLab is jointly funded by the federal and Northern Territory governments and the university, with each contributing $1 million. CDU would also partner with RMIT University, as well as Siemens, which will provide software. The new facility will be located at CDU’s Casuarina campus, adopt and showcase Industry 4.0 practices and technologies, and has a scheduled late-2022, with construction to begin next month. “Once established, the Testlab will support advancements in the manufacture of remotely piloted aircraft as well as incorporate AI-assisted virtual planning, production, manufacture and maintenance to accelerate product quality and efficiency,” said federal industry minister Jason Clare.

Micro-X to present next-gen baggage scanner
Micro-X has been invited to present its checkpoint security solution — which it is developing in a US Department of Homeland Security Scientist and Technology Directorate-funded program — to airport security regulators and
security managers in Europe this week and in July. These are the first presentations of Micro-X’s concept design for a passenger self-service checkpoint to planners and key decision makers in the worldwide airport security community. The checkpoint station design incorporates Micro-X’s new miniature CT baggage scanner which is also under a funded development.

BMPRO’s expands executive team with new CFO

Setec BMPRO, a power management and smart RV technology manufacturer, announced the appointment of new CFO on Thursday. Jasmin Lakhani’s background includes nine years with Lumen Group, a global supplier of wiring harnesses and electronics for the automotive industry. “Having played a leadership role in similar businesses, I am confident that together we can develop and execute plans that drive sustainable and profitable growth,” said Lakhani in a statement. “The wealth of senior leadership experience and extensive industry knowledge that Jasmin brings, not only domestically but also internationally will help our company to deliver on its strategic outcomes and achieve business goals – the profitable way,” added Louise Bayliss, CEO of the 54-year-old company.

$38 million for EV chargers in NSW budget

The NSW government announced a further $38 million in charging infrastructure in its 2022-23 NSW Budget “to accelerate the EV revolution” across the state. Treasurer and Minister for Energy Matt Kean said the funding brought EV investment to $633 million under the the government’s Electric Vehicle Strategy. The funding includes $10 million to co-fund 500 kerbside charge points for residential on-street charging in streets where private off-street parking is limited, $10 million to co-fund upgrades at around 125 medium and large apartment buildings with more than 100 car parking spaces, and $18 million for more EV fast charging grants to speed up the rollout of stations.

Department of industry seeks input on biomethane from waste

The federal department of industry is consulting on a draft variation to the source separated organic waste method under the Emissions Reduction Fund (ERF), which encourages  Australian businesses to cut greenhouse gases and store carbon. Proposed changes to the method would “give the waste sector more ways to reduce emissions through biomethane activities. Biomethane is produced by refining biogas made from organic waste. It can be used in place of natural gas.” Feedback on changes to supporting legislation were also being sought, said the department, which is accepting submissions until July 19. More information can be seen here.

Qantas, Airbus to invest in sustainable aviation fuel

In other bioenergy news, the federal government welcomed a joint announcement from Qantas and Airbus this week that they will invest a combined $US 200 million in sustainable aviation fuel, which cut emissions by about 80 per cent compared to regular fuels. Australia currently exported millions of tonnes of feedstock every year – such as canola and animal tallow – yet lacked a commercial domestic sustainable aviation fuels industry able to process this, said the government.

SPEE3D releases new nozzle

Cold spray additive manufacturing business SPEE3D has released a new nozzle that it says works with a wider range of harder materials and with an increase in deposition velocity. According to the company, the Phaser nozzle is a new ultra-high-energy nozzle, designed to work with a wider range of hard phase materials. The high particle velocity achieved with the Phaser nozzle means more deformation of the particles during the deposition process, which allows harder, tougher materials to be made. As with the previous nozzle, it does not rely on nitrogen and helium to cold spray these materials, and uses compressed air, able to effectively deposit material four times faster than the speed of sound at up to 800 degrees Celsius.

WA government updates emissions targets

The Western Australian government has announced it is committed to a whole-of-government 2030 reduction target of 80 per cent below 2020 levels, saying it provides a clear message that the state is open for investment in renewable energy generation. This interim target builds on a recent announcement that Synergy will transition out of coal-fired power generation by 2030. An estimated $3.8 billion will be invested in new green power infrastructure in the South West Interconnected System (SWIS), including wind generation and storage, to ensure emissions reduction, continued stability and affordability, the WA government said, and will be the largest infrastructure program in WA since METRONET.

Picture: Packamamma

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