Manufacturing news briefs – stories you might have missed

Valo launches new stadium lighting

Adelaide stadium lighting manufacturer VALO has launched its new Zenith Gen-V lED light which claims to be the world’s smallest, lightest and most powerful sports luminaire in its class. The company, which recently onshored production to a new $8 million research, development and manufacturing hub at Kent Town, said the light boosted output from 600 watts to 1,500 watts but was only twice the size. Reducing the size of stadium lighting reduces the wind load on the lighting system and poles, cutting engineering expenses. The lifecycle of a LED is about 100,000-120,000 hours, compared to 7,000 hours for commonly used metal halide lights. LED lights are also dimmable, allowing for reduced electricity consumption.

EOS appoints European head as new CEO

Electro Optic Systems has announce the appointment of the President of EOS EMEA (Europe, Middle East and Africa) Dr Andreas Schwer as CEO, effective 1 August 2022. He replaces the company founder Dr Ben Greene who is stepping down from the role after 36 years of service. Dr Schwer, a director of additive manufacturing developer Titomic, has worked in senior positions with German defence company Rheinmetall AG, the US global equipment manufacturer Manitowoc Company, Airbus Group and the European Space Agency. He takes over as the company undertakes a strategic review of its operations. Dr Greene will now move into the role of Head of Innovation.

Hazer in cold operations of hydrogen from biogas plant

Hazer Group has begin a period of cold operations testing as it ramps up its demonstration plant to produce hydrogen from biogas in Perth. Following completion the $22 million plant at the Western Australian Water Board’s Woodman Point wastewater treatment plant will transition to hot operations mode in preparation for hydrogen and graphite production. A hot-wall reactor remains to be completed by its Chinese manufacturer as does installation of a high temperature heat exchanger. Hazer’s process will convert methane in waste gases into hydrogen and graphite, capturing some carbon produced in the chemical reaction, though not fully eliminating greenhouse gas emissions.

ANSTO and ANU continue work on nuclear fusion and space R&D

The Australian Nuclear Science and Technology Organisation (ANSTO) has signed a strategic agreement with the Australian National University continuing collaboration on projects such as the fusion energy project ITER and space research, well into the future. Prof Andrew Peele, Director, Nuclear Science and Technology and Dr Richard Garrett, Senior Advisor Synchrotron Science and Professor Keith Nugent Deputy Vice-Chancellor Research signed the agreement. Professor Peele said: “We have a longstanding relationship with ANU extending back many years, which will grow stronger with this formal agreement.” The agreement will facilitate more opportunities for access to resources and infrastructure between the organisations and enhance research in nuclear science, the nuclear fuel cycle, human and animal health, agriculture, manufacturing, minerals and the environment.

Engineers Australia launches micro-credentials

Engineers Australia has launched stage one of its new micro-credentialing program this week, citing the nation’s engineering skills shortage. The organisation’s Chief Engineer Jane MacMaster said the micro-credentials — in partnership with Engineering Education Australia (EEA) — will provide engineers working in highly skilled areas the confidence they can practise their skills at a recognised standard.  “Technology, systems and ways of working are changing so fast, and industry is on the lookout for people who are up to date,” said MacMaster. “Micro-credentials offer a fast way to build or extend existing skills and knowledge in a way that is validated against recognised practice.” Along with the professional skills essential for any kind of engineering career, Engineers Australia will also roll out micro-credentials for a range of industries. The first set, available now, covers the rail industry.

Mitsubishi Sigma returns to Tonsley for performance

A 1981 Mitsubishi Sigma (pictured) will make a nostalgic return to the Main Assembly Building (MAB) at Tonsley in July as part of an SALA exhibition and artistic performance celebrating the site’s automotive manufacturing history. “MIDIBISHI” will see the GH sedan transformed into an interactive sculpture that broadcasts automotive soundscapes composed by three Adelaide artists. MIDI (Musical Instrument Design Interface) sensors attached to the car will enable it to respond to touch, allowing it to be played like a musical instrument by the troupe of performers during three live shows, beginning July 28. Project curator Emily Collins said the creative team had been exploring their common history as descendants of migrants who worked in factories, when they came up with the idea of capturing industrial sounds from factories across Adelaide. “We really wanted to explore and capture the creativity of the manufacturing industry, and the rituals of working on a production line because it’s something that resonates with the people of Adelaide,” said Collins. Attendance is free, but booking recommended. More information can be found here.

Coastal Seafood develops new collagen processing method

ASX-listed company New Zealand Coastal Seafood this week announced it has developed a new process that allows the bladder from ling fish to be turned into high-quality collagen powder of over 90 per cent purity. This process adds further value to ling swim bladders and represents significant opportunity to utilise a part of the fish that, until relatively recently, may have been limited as a specialty functional food for the Asian market. This technology mirrors developments taking place in Iceland, which is seen as a global leader in the automation of fisheries processing and for maximising the use of all parts of the fish, according to NZCS. “We believe that our marine collagen powder will be among the best available anywhere, because of its origins in the pristine New Zealand deep sea Ling fisheries, and because of the process we’ve developed to extract and hydrolyse the collagen from ling maw,” said chairman Wilton Willesee at an event last week.

Toyota announces partnership with Stripe on automotive repair

Japanese auto company Toyota has created a platform that allows local repair shops to share and reuse specialised equipment required to service modern vehicles. “Mechacomi” (a portmanteau of “mechanics” and “communication”) allows used equipment and tools to be traded among auto repair shops, reducing costs and environmental impact, the company said. Mechacomi — which uses payments service Stripe Connect — would help change the mindset repair shops from “discard” to “reuse”, and was rolled out in some regions of Japan in June. It allows shops to buy and sell unneeded equipment and tools directly from each other, as well as to consult with specialist service providers on the assessment and purchase of equipment.

Picture: SALA Festival

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