Manufacturing news briefs – stories you might have missed


Lockheed Martin opens Adelaide office

Defence prime contractor Lockheed Martin Australia’s new Adelaide city office has been officially opened by South Australian Deputy Premier Susan Close. Close unveiled a commemorative plaque to mark the occasion together with LMA employees, industry partners, academia, business and Indigenous leaders. The new 930 square metre purpose designed office will accommodate over 90 staff including engineers, scientists, commercial, legal, administration and operational employees the company employs over 1,200 staff including a 520-strong workforce in Adelaide. The office features a dedicated STELaRLab R&D laboratory. STELaRLaB, first opened in 2016 in Melbourne, and is the first multi-disciplinary research facility to be established by Lockheed Martin outside of the US. Research will include artificial intelligence, autonomy, hypersonics, image and signal processing, tracking and sensor fusion, operations analysis and complex optimisation.

Fast-food rubbish solution in sustainable seaweed-based wrapper

Flinders University materials researchers and pioneering German biomaterials developer one • fıve are using seaweed extracts to develop next-generation biopolymer coating materials that could solve packaging waste dilemmas for the fast-food industry. The new non-pollutive biomaterials are designed to replace conventional fossil-based plastic coatings used in grease-resistant fast-food packaging. Grease-resistant paper is typically coated with plastic and other environmentally harmful chemicals, such as polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFASs), but the new prototype coating meets the functional requirements of conventional grease-resistant packaging materials while also presenting an environmentally circular solution. The result represents a landmark achievement in creating next-generation sustainable and ecologically responsible biopolymer. One • fıve co-founder Claire Gusko said: “We are able to reduce harmful plastic pollution with this product, and we are also using feedstock that is environmentally regenerative. Seaweed cultivation helps to naturally rehabilitate marine environments, reduce greenhouse gases, and mitigate coastal erosion. It’s important for us to use sustainable inputs upstream to ensure our products are environmentally safe, from cradle to grave.”

Ford launches new GT with Carbon Revolution road wheels

Ford has unveiled the final special edition of its GT road car, fitted with Carbon Revolution carbon fibre wheels. The 2022 Ford GT LM Edition (pictured), named in honour of America’s only supercar to win at Le Mans, celebrates the Ford GT’s global race-winning success. Finished in Liquid Silver, the GT LM Edition can be ordered in either a red or blue theme throughout, in honour of the red and blue race livery of the 2016 Le Mans-winning car. Exposed gloss carbon fibre 20-inch wheels, supplied by Carbon Revolution, are included with corresponding red or blue inner-barrel accents. The lightweight wheels save 2 pounds of unsprung, rotational mass on each corner and add structural stiffness compared to the Ford GT’s aluminium wheel option.

WA launches heavy industry decarbonisation grants

The Western Australian government launched a $15 million grants program on Thursday offering assistance on “cutting-edge technologies to remove, reduce or offset emissions from industrial processes” for heavy industry. The state’s mining, manufacturing and construction sectors contribute almost 60 per cent of recorded carbon emissions. Grants will be delivered through two funding streams: feasibility studies ranging from $50,000 to $500,000 to support technology development from concept to ‘real world’ trials, and pilot projects and capital works ranging from $100,000 to $1.5 million to support ‘real world’ testing of innovative technologies from pilot stage to full-scale deployment. The Department of Water and Environmental Regulation will distribute the grants in three rounds, with approximately $4 million available each year until 2025. More information can be found at this link.

New cancer immunotherapy treatments lab opens in Victoria

Biotechnology company Cartherics, which is developing immune cell therapies for the treatment of cancer, opened a brand-new state-of-the-art facility on Thursday, valued at $4 million. According to the company, the Notting Hill, Melbourne site will strengthen the its research and manufacturing capabilities, as well as support local innovation. Cartherics said in a statement that the new site includes offices, 580 square metres of certified PC2 and cell culture laboratories housing the newest technology equipment. It includes incubators for cell growth and expansion, flow cytometry, PCR, cell manufacturing, counting and sorting equipment, dedicated rooms for low temperature storage, 156 m2 (1,679 sq ft) of cleanroom laboratories and a dedicated biobanking facility. It will also allow Cartherics to run research programs and develop prototype manufacturing processes for Contract Manufacturing Organisations (CMOs) to manufacture product to support clinical trials locally, bringing more access to clinical trials for Australian patients. The company’s current partners include Monash University, Cell Therapies, Hudson Institute of Medical Research and Mesoblast.

Pact celebrates a decade on most innovative list

Pact Group’s focus on plastic recycling, reuse and sustainable packaging has seen the Group recognised as one of Australia’s most innovative companies for ten consecutive years, the company said, following the release on Friday of the AFR BOSS Most Innovative Companies list. Pact has made the list every year for a range efforts, including building and operating Australasia’s biggest PET plastic recycling facility, manufacturing noise walls using recycled plastic waste, recycling old and damaged household garbage bins into new ones, introducing reusable plastic crates for supermarkets to replace single use cardboard boxes, and pivoting operations to produce hand sanitiser during the COVID-19 pandemic. This year it is ranked seventh in the Manufacturing and Consumer Goods Category for building and operating the state-of-the-art Circular Plastics Australia (CPA) PET plastic recycling facility in Albury-Wodonga, which is a joint venture between Pact, Cleanaway Waste Management, Asahi Beverages and Coca-Cola Europacific Partners (CCEP).

Picture: Carbon Revolution

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