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Stärke Advanced Manufacturing Group acquire Gadac Plastics

Stärke-AMG has added plastics to its strengths in precision metals manufacturing through its acquisition of GADAC Plastic Injection, a long-standing Australian family-owned plastic specialist business. GADAC provides a ‘design to finished product’ service for the manufacture of plastic product, specialising in plastic injection-moulding, product design and assembly. The company has 13 injection moulding machines ranging in size from 25 to 1200 tonnes, and also offers 3D plastic printing and ultrasonic welding. The GADAC team will be retained as it becomes a member company of Stärke-AMG, which plans to double the team size in less than a year. GADACis a perfect fit to Stärke’s mould design and manufacture capability, according to an announcement. The company said: “It means that whatever we can do in metal, we can now also deliver in plastic and this allows us to expand our support capabilities to defence, aviation, space and many other sectors.”

Apprentice employment outlook remains high

The proportion of apprentices and trainees employed after training remained high in 2022, according to the latest report from the National Centre for Vocational Education Research (NCVER). Apprentice and trainee outcomes 2022 shows that 94.9 percent of apprentices and trainees who completed their training in a trade occupation were employed after training, similar to 2021. Of these, 67.7 percent were with the same employer as their apprenticeship or traineeship. For those who completed training in non-trade occupations, 89.3 percent were employed after training, up 1.7 percentage points from 2021, of which 70.9 percent were with the same employer as their apprenticeship or traineeship. New for the 2022 Apprentice and trainee outcomes 2022 report are outcomes of apprentices and trainees who did not complete their training, showing about 84 percent of non-completers, from both trade and non-trade occupations, were employed after leaving their training.

Orbital hits milestones, loan converted into a grant

The Western Australian government has converted a $3 million legacy interest free loan into a grant following military drone engine manufacturer Orbital Corporation achieving agreed performance milestones during the six months to 31 December, 2022. The grant from the Department of Jobs, Tourism, Science & Innovation reduces Orbital’s legacy loan balance with the government and strengthens its financial position. An amended payment schedule provides a pathway for the company to offset the entire value of the remaining loan. Orbital CEO Todd Adler said: “Delivery of the performance milestones provides a significant opportunity to further strengthen the company’s balance sheet and position Orbital UAV for future growth.”

SEA Electric adds new Swiss partnership

SEA Electric has announced a new collaboration with engineering consultancy Zurich Resilience Solutions (ZRS), which it says will further ease the transition for fleets to update to sustainable technology. ZRS provides specialised insights and tools to help companies manage traditional and evolving risks, including in climate change resilience, supply chains and cyber security. According to SEA Electric, it will work with ZRS customers “in their understanding of the commercial electric vehicle space with customer experience days, plus potential webinars, while Zurich’s risk engineering department will benefit from ongoing training from SEA Electric’s knowledgeable team.”

Put the rubber in the road, says TSA

Regional Queensland is suffering with illegal tyre dumping and dangerous tyre stockpiles, with recoverable resources from them like steel and rubber also offering a circular economy opportunity, according to Tyre Stewardship Australia. “Putting crumb rubber in roads is a winning circular economy formula already happening across Australia and around the world,” Lina Goodman, CEO of Tyre Stewardship Australia. “It’s time for Queensland State and Local government to start mandating their roads be made using Australian crumb rubber. By not mandating locally available rubber resources for roads, Queensland risks letting its road sector fall behind on industry best practice.” According to TSA, about 112,000 tonnes of tyres reach their end-of-life annually, including tyres
from passenger cars, trucks, and off the road vehicles. About 60 per cent are presently collected and processed in Queensland’s southeast, but recovery rates in north and far north Queensland are low.

UniSA launches Enterprise Hub at Old Site

University of South Australia is officially launching its new UniSA Enterprise Hub on Friday. The enterprise and innovation will occupy the north-western corner of Light Square, and is “designed to help businesses thrive by connecting them to UniSA’s renowned researchers and knowledge experts to help solve complex challenges and produce mutually beneficial outcomes for industry and society.” UniSA Deputy Vice Chancellor: Research and Enterprise, Professor Marnie Hughes-Warrington, said the hub is the state’s ‘front door’ for industry to develop and extend partnerships with the university community. “Our goal is to accelerate the strengthening and diversification of the South Australian economy, and to export SA innovations across Australia and the world,” said Hughes-Warrington.

Rewiring Australia puts $12.5 billion electrification plan to government

Rewiring Australia has made a pre-budget submission urging the federal government to adopt a $12.5 billion plan to rewire homes and businesses, replacing fossil fuelled devices with modern electric technology powered by solar and batteries. The submission calls for a targeted $500 million package of expenditure over five years plus $2 billion off-budget from existing CEFC funds. Before the next election, the budget package would be amplified with legislation to add $10 billion to the Clean Energy Finance Corporation’s existing $30 billion. Recommendations include $200 million for Solar Electric Suburb lighthouse projects, $200 million in grants for low-income households and disadvantaged communities to help pay for the purchase of efficient electric devices, and $95 million in community integrated EV charging infrastructure.

Global steel output down in February

World crude steel production for the 63 countries reporting to the World Steel Association (worldsteel) was 142.4 million tonnes (Mt) in February 2023, a 1.0 per cent decrease compared to February 2022. The 63 countries reported represented 97 per cent of output in 2022. Among the leading nations, China is estimated to have produced 80.1 Mt in February, up 5.6 per cent on February 2022, India’s 10.0 Mt was down 1.0 per cent, Japan’s 6.9 Mt was down 5.3 per cent, and the United States produced 6.0 Mt, down 5.3 per cent. Russia is estimated to have produced 5.6 Mt, down 8.6 per cent.

Picture: Grant Tinney, founder Stärke Advanced Manufacturing Group (at right)

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