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Austal launches future USS Augusta

Shipbuilder Austal’s Mobile, Alabama operation has delivered the future USS Augusta (LCS 34) to its customer, the United States Navy. This is the 17th Independence variant Littoral Combat Ship (LCS) built by Austal USA for the USN. Austal CEO Paddy Gregg said the delivery of the Augusta five months after it was christened highlighted the productivity and efficiency in delivering multiple naval shipbuilding programmes. He said: “Already in 2023 Austal USA has delivered EPF-13, the autonomous capable USNS Apalachicola and opened a huge new service facility in San Diego.”

Pact Group downgrades forecast on softening packaging market

Packaging company Pact Group has downgraded its earnings guidance for the 2023 financial year on tightening economic conditions, softer demand in Asia and recent weather events in New Zealand. A softened demand outlook saw the company forecast underlying EBIT profit in the range of $142 million to $147 million, compared to earlier expectations of $156.2 million. However on that occasion Pact said the demand outlook was ‘uncertain’. In the year to the end of Q3, Pact grew revenue by seven percent on the previous corresponding period. The Australian packaging business has since experienced reduced volumes across dairy, beverage and steel packaging. The Asia closures business has seen softening of demand for beverages out of China.

Nine Victorian SMEs awarded low carbon grants

Last week the Victorian government announced the awarding of grants to small-to-medium sized manufacturing businesses through the Low Carbon Manufacturing Grant program. According to the state government, the program is an initiative to help Victorian manufacturers undertake productivity-enhancing investments “to enable them to participate in global supply chains for renewable energy and low carbon components.” The Business Growth Stream provides grants of between $50,000 to $250,000 to companies to purchase or develop new equipment, skills or technology that will enable them to make relevant products or components. Those awarded grants under the stream were Allume Energy, CBMR, Change Beetle, Gasco, Nissan Casting Australia, SmarterLite, Pengrowers, Rivierra, and TriCab Australia.

Queensland manufacturers, MPs make trip south for Australian Manufacturing Week

Queensland’s manufacturing minister Glenn Butcher (pictured on right) travelled to Melbourne last week to meet with manufacturers from his state at Australian Manufacturing Week. One of them, Brendale’s Elexon Electronics, exhibited to demonstrate its new investments and attract international customers. Elexon received a Made in Queensland grant of $890,000 to increase production capacity and reduce manufacturing costs, and doubled capacity since, implemented aerospace quality standards, and begun supply to defence customers. It added eight new assemblers in the last month and plans to move to a new and larger purpose-built facility in the soon-to-be-developed Technology Park in Petrie. Elexon Electronics CEO Frank Faller said in a statement that, “We have recently updated our facility to adopt industry 4.0 manufacturing processes and the result is a one-of-a-kind manufacturing capability suited for the needs of defence and aerospace industries.”

Bonfiglioli Australia appoints new National Manager for HD

Gearmotor, drive system and planetary gearbox supplier Bonfiglioli Australia has announced the appointment of Kris Jaryn as the new National Manager for Heavy Duty Industries, effective September 19. The company said Jayrn will be responsible for managing its sales objectives and performance to grow market share in the heavy duty industries. “I’m excited to be joining the Australian team again, where I’ll work closely with the sales teams and specialists to ensure we are meeting our strategic goals, and retaining our market leader position,” said Jaryn.

SEA Electric to launch new safety specification at Brisbane Truck Show

All-electric truck manufacturer SEA Electric will launch an expanded safety suite across the entire vehicle range at the Brisbane Truck Show this week. Key to the upgraded 2023 vehicle specification is a full suite of functions to enhance the safety of the trucks, known as SEA-DAS (SEA Driver Assistance System). “At the 2021 Brisbane Truck Show, SEA Electric truly launched itself into the marketplace with the public unveiling of our Australian range, this year we cement our position through our upgraded safety suite and support offering,” said Tony Fairweather, SEA Electric Founder and CEO. “We are also proud to be unveiling our SEA-DAS package at the Show, which compliments the many built-in safety systems of our award-winning design, which includes inboard-mounted batteries, which lead the sector in terms of safety and improved driving dynamics.” The Brisbane Truck Show runs from Thursday, May 18 to Sunday, May 21, at the Brisbane Convention & Exhibition Centre.

Sunshine Coast collagen producer expands into US, seeks crowdfunding investment

Sunshine Coast-based skincare and supplement company Organic Collagen Australia (OCA) has announced its entry into the US market via a deal with Tru Life Distribution, six months after launching products incorporating the world’s first certified organic collagen. In a statement on Tuesday, OCA described Tru Life as “a one-stop-shop for up and coming companies, as well as established brands” to get into some of the USA’s most prominent retailers, and said the distribution could be worth up to $US 1,000,000 within the first 12 months. OCA also announced the launch of an equity crowdfunding campaign on Birchal. “Reaching this epic milestone has taken us over 5 years and nearly $4m of research and development to get to where we are today,” said Michael Buckley, Executive Director of OCA, and co-founder with Fiona Dobbrick

Picture: Faller and Butcher (supplied)

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