Manufacturing News

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Manufacturing News

Dronamics makes first flight of its cargo drone

Dronamics made history when its full-scale Black Swan, the first of its kind cargo drone, successfully completed its first flight on May 25, (pictured). The unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) are able to transport cargo at a cost which the company claims is up to 80 percent faster, 50 percent cheaper, and with 60 percent less emissions than other transportation methods. The aircraft allow autonomous operation, and come with a ‘droneport’ system which require minimal infrastructure and can be installed at unused airfields and factory lots. Sydney aerospace manufacturer Quickstep is is to manufacture an initial run of 10 of the drone cargo aircraft for the European cargo airline.

Hunter manufacturing awards launched

Hunter Manufacturing Awards (HMA) placed the spotlight on the region’s global opportunities when it launched its 2023 campaign last week at MITS Alloy in Newcastle’s Mayfield North. It was a fitting venue given HMA’s theme this year is ‘made in the Hunter, for the world’. MITS Alloy was HMA’s 2022 Manufacturer of the Year (for businesses with 50 or more employees) and its biggest market is now North America. The awards inspire, encourage, and recognise vibrant and enduring manufacturing in then Hunter region. A mission to promote best practices in manufacturing motivates the HMA. In highlighting the achievements of the best, it encourages and sustains the aspirations of those who want to join them. HMA encourages all manufacturers to enter the 2023 awards. There are 14 categories available for application, including Excellence in Innovation, Building Workforce Capability, Sustainable Operations, and Collaboration. More information can be found here.

Nanosatellite maker Fleet Space Technologies raises $50 million

Satellite IoT communications manufacturer Fleet Space Technologies has raised $50 million in a heavily oversubscribed Series C fundraising round, more than doubling the company’s valuation past $350 million. The new funding is led by existing investor Blackbird. Grok Ventures, Alumni Ventures and Hostplus have also participated in the round. New investors such as TelstraSuper have further strengthened Fleet’s institutional register, as well as investments from Bondi Partners/The 1941 Fund and Pavilion Capital. This latest funding round follows the company’s commercialising its Exosphere satellite-based mineral exploration technology

Rhythm signs up UK distributor for ColoSTAT

Cancer test developer Rhythm Biosciences will enter the UK market with its ColoSTAT blood test for colorectal cancer through a partnership with Link Medical Solutions. Link will conduct a staged market entry for the test, which recently received UKCA Mark Certification. The approach includes local clinical validation and creating market access into public and private healthcare systems. ColoSTAT aims to replace the traditional faecal immunochemical test, which has a participation rate of up to 71 per cent in the 60n to 74 age group.

Aurora Labs begins research project in 3D printing

Perth metal additive manufacturing company Aurora Labs has begun a research project into the selective laser melting process used in 3D printing. The joint research project with Curtin University is partly funded by $40,000 under the Innovative Connections service of the Ausindustry Entrepreneurs Program. Curtin will provide a researcher, access to materials testing facilities at the university’s John de Laeter Centre as well as data interpretation services. The project will support Aurora’s development of high power, high productivity printing

Wellnex Life to acquire Pain Away brand

Healthcare product manufacturer Wellnex Life has entered into an agreement to buy the business and assets of topical pain relief brand Pain Away. In a deal the company described as ‘transformative’, Wellnex will pay $22 million in cash for the business, which will be funded by equity financing. The acquisition is complementary to Wellnex’s existing businesses and will take the company’s yearly turnover to more than $42.5 million. Pain Away generated revenue of $12.4 million inn FY22. Wellnex CEO George Karafotias said: “What is really exciting aboit Pain Away is the opportunity to accelerate growth of the existing portfolio into grocery and international markets, whilst extending the brand into new categories in the market, such as pet health.”

Acrow adds another formwork system to its portfolio

Acrow Formwork and Construction Services has purchased Heinrich Plant Hire’s Ishebeck Formwork Panel System for $12 million, adding to its portfolio of formwork and panel systems it offers the construction sector. The company said the purchase would upgrade EBITDA, underlying NPAT and EPS guidance for FY23 by three percent, seven percent and seven percent respectively. The new assets will initially be deployed in the engineering company’s Queensland leasing business, in addition to Heinrich’s contracts. The acquisition is expected to make a first year return on investment of 45-55 percent. Acrow CEO Steven Boland said: “It is very exciting to be adding another leading formwork system to the Acrow portfolio of assets.”

Austin receives truck tray orders

Perth mining equipment manufacturer Austin Engineering has received an order for multiple mining truck tray bodies for its Western Australian manufacturing business. The company had previously told investors the large order had been delayed. However it has now received confirmation of the purchase orders for 85 percent of the original intended order volume. The POs are now being scheduled into production at the company’s Kewdale, Perth and Batam, Indonesia factories. The remaining orders are expected over the next few months.

Directed Technologies opens $15 million innovation centre

Directed Technologies, a company manufacturing telematics devices used in over 2,500 vehicle fleets globally, officially opened its new $15 million Connected Mobility Innovation Centre in Melbourne last week. According to a statement from the company, the centre “will advance Australia’s capabilities in next-generation fleet vehicle digitisation and electrification” and assist Directed Technologies in scaling its solutions to global markets. The centre “currently manages 200 terabytes of data, processing 20 billion probe data points a day, including live video feeds, vehicle and driver behaviour alerts and efficiency measures and vehicle fault codes” it said. Steve Siolis, CEO of the Directed Group said, “You don’t need to look to Silicon Valley or Europe for cutting-edge automotive technology. The idea that we don’t make great technology products in Australia is simply not true. We’ve built a world-class facility and developed innovative solutions for the world’s biggest transport companies that have allowed us to compete against global competitors – and win.”

Monash business tool launches in Europe

The Monash University-developed Mutuals Value Measurement framework, designed to help businesses understand their “total value” has launched in Europe. According to a statement, the tool puts a “price on social good over dollar signs” and helps mutuals and co-ops “define their total value”. The framework uses six common criteria: commerciality, shaping markets, member relationships, community relationships, ecosystem and reciprocity, and mutual mindset. Co-ops and mutual enterprises are businesses formed to benefit their members and return value back to members rather than profits to shareholders, and generate between 7 and 8 per cent of Australia’s GDP.

Picture: Dronamics

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