Manufacturing news briefs — stories you might have missed

Victoria aims for 95 percent green power by 2035

The Victorian government will restart the former state-owned State Electricity Commission as a 51 per cent owned public enterprise if re-elected, reversing privatisation. The plan is for the new SEC to create 4.5 gigawatts of power to replace lost capacity when Loy Yang A coal-fired power station closes. The state has also increased its 2030 goal from 50 per cent renewables to 65 per cent. Further, it is to aim for 95 per cent green electricity by 2035. The government envisages Australian superannuation funds to co-invest in the new SEC.

Cairns port operator welcomes Commonwealth investment

Port operator Ports North has welcomed the announcement that the Australian Government will contribute $150 million towards the expansion of the Cairns Marine Precinct (pictured). The Cairns Marine Precinct is a critical enabler of the Far North Queensland economy, supporting the region’s vital marine sector. Ports North said: “Investment in infrastructure in the Cairns Marine Precinct will be a game changer for the region and the long-term development of the Port of Cairns. This project will enable Cairns to meet the growing demand for naval, commercial and superyacht maintenance.”

Titomic enters renewable energy sector with first D523 sale

Titomic has made its first sale in both the renewable energy sector and North America, with a purchase order of a Titomic D523 low-pressure cold spray system from its Titomic USA division. The D523 was sold to Fire Island Wind, part of the Cook Inlet Region Inc. (“CIRI”) group, to repair and protect against corrosion of the company’s steel wind turbine structures across Alaska. The structures are often located in coastal, high-wind areas, making them susceptible to corrosion, and requiring significant maintenance over their lifespan. The new machine will be used to apply corrosion-resistant aluminium by hand onto the steel structures, creating long-lasting corrosion protection reducing maintenance costs and turbine down-time. The total system was sold to Fire Island Wind for $80,000.

Australian SME slashes starter generator repair times on ADF training program

Boeing Defence Australia’s Helicopter Aircrew Training System (HATS) team has slashed the repair time of H135 helicopter starter generators, after contracting DC Roberts Aircraft to perform the repairs and overhauls locally. In the past four years, the starter generators were sent overseas for repair under Airbus’s global H135 repair program, with repairs taking an average 18 weeks, which blew out to 24 weeks during the COVID-19 pandemic due. Since being contracted in May 2021, The small, Sydney-based business DC Roberts Aircraft has repaired 15 starter generators and slashed repair times, returning overhauled generators in an average of just seven weeks. “By working with our HATS teammate Airbus, we determined that DC Roberts Aircraft could overhaul starter generators two-and-a-half times faster than the overseas OEM, meaning less interruption to the training of our frontline helicopter aircrew,” said said Ian Gibney, BDA’s HATS program manager, in a statement this week.

Further recycling projects get Victorian grant support

This week the Victorian government announced more than $8 million in funding for 45 new projects across Victoria, aimed at boosting the state’s circular economy transition. 22 of the projects by research institutes and businesses were supported by the Circular Economy Markets Fund (Materials) fund, with another nine projects to receive over $1.5 million to avoid waste and increase materials efficiency through the Circular Economy Business Support Fund. The Circular Economy Markets Fund (Organics) allocated $1.87 million to 14 projects to increase adoption of recycled organic products. Environment minister Lily D’Ambrosio said, “These grants will help support innovative ways to use recycled materials, getting value from our waste and helping to achieve our goal of diverting 80 per cent of waste from landfill by 2030.”

Innovators prepare for West Tech Fest 2022

Registrations are open for the multi-location West Tech Fest 2022 in Western Australia, now in its 11th year, which will run from December 4 to 9. Innovation minister Stephen Dawson the event was WA’s premier tech festival, linking local start-ups and the tech community to global leaders. It will be held at sites across Perth, Joondalup, Fremantle and Rottnest Island. Confirmed speakers include Co-founder of Angry Birds Peter Vesterbacka, Venture capitalist Bill Tai, XTC founder Young Sohn and President and Co-Founder of Infinite Reality Rodric David. Registration is available at this link.

ANSTO, University of Singapore sign synchrotron agreement

The Australian Nuclear Science and Technology Organisation (ANSTO) and the National University of Singapore have signed an agreement to enable Singapore researchers to access ANSTO’s facilities at the Australian Synchrotron in Melbourne. Minister for  industry Ed Husic said the bilateral agreement was an opportunity to advance the nations’ science and research collaboration. “As custodian of some of Australia’s most significant science infrastructure, ANSTO makes an important contribution to science outcomes across the fields of human health, energy, advanced manufacturing, food science, and the environment,” said Husic. Funded by the National Research Foundation and operated by the National University of Singapore, the five-year agreement with ANSTO is the first partnership supported by Singapore’s International Synchrotron Access initiative, under its newly launched National Synchrotron Programme.

Manufacturer fined $30,000 after machine crush

High-Fire Heating was, without conviction, sentenced in the Ringwood Magistrates’ Court on Tuesday after earlier pleading guilty to one charge of failing to provide or maintain systems of work that were safe and without risks to health. The company was ordered to pay costs of $2,509. The court heard that in September 2019, a worker was attempting to free a jam inside the press without having switched the machine off. The worker reached into the stamping bed area before accidentally pressing the foot pedal, which activated the machine. As a result his hand was crushed, later undergoing five operations and continuing to suffer with numbness and loss of function. A WorkSafe investigation found the company had fitted a hinged guard to the machine about two years prior to the incident but due to the frequency of jams, it was held permanently open by a hook to provide easier access for maintenance.

Picture: Ports North

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