Manufacturing news briefs — stories you might have missed

Wirra Wirra in US export breakthrough

McLaren Vale, South Australia winery, Wirra Wirra, has secured a landmark, exclusive deal with the world’s largest family-owned wine company, E. & J. Gallo Winery (Gallo) to export its range of wines across all 50 US states. Under the agreement, Wirra Wirra will be Gallo’s exclusive McLaren Vale supplier, which will be an initial two-year new product development programme, with the first year focused on increasing distribution. The export deal, initiated by Wine Australia, and brought to fruition by Wirra Wirra’s CEO, Matthew Deller MW, will help Wirra Wirra achieve its vision of being globally recognised as an iconic fine wine brand of Australia. Deller said: “As a family-owned winery with history dating back to 1894, Wirra Wirra is delighted to partner in the US with E. & J. Gallo Winery, another historic, family-owned wine company that we admire immensely. Gallo are unparalleled brand builders in the US market who are uniquely positioned to bring Wirra Wirra’s great McLaren Vale wines to American consumers.” Wirra Wirra already exports to more than 20 countries.

Aerobond to manufacture missile launch cannisters

Adelaide defence manufacturer Aerobond has inked a partnership with Norwegian company Kongsberg which will see it manufacture launch cannisters for the company’s Naval Strike Missile (NSM) in a new, purpose built 3,500sqm facility at Adelaide airport. Aerobond Founder and Managing Director Justin Struik said: “The contract with Kongsberg is a recognition of the deep skills, experience and expertise that we have cultivated within Aerobond and across our workforce. It is an important milestone in our pathway to becoming a leading supplier in the Defence industry supply chain.” The new missile is to be mounted on board the Royal Australian Navy’s ANZAC frigates and Air Warfare Destroyers. Production of the launch canisters will start in January, 2024.

Cyborg Dynamics live fire missile test

Cyborg Dynamics Engineering has confirmed that in March 2023, the Australian Defence Force’s Special Operations Command (SOCOMD) held a Javelin live fire demonstration at Singleton Military Training Area in New South Wales. SOCOMD fired untethered Javelin missiles (pictured) from a Cyborg Dynamics unmanned ground vehicle (UGV) to demonstrate the weapon’s integration capabilities onto the platform. The ADF had previously only confirmed that it test fired a weapon system from an autonomous uncrewed armoured vehicle during exercises. During the demonstration, the Army’s Robotic and Autonomous Systems Implementation & Coordination Office (RICO) tested a range of emerging technology projects including drones, robots and optionally crewed combat vehicles fitted with remote weapon systems.

Queensland trio awarded at WorldSkills

A trio of TAFE Queensland engineering students have returned home from the 2023 WorldSkills Australia National Championships with silver medals. Charlie Barwick, Jack Pelleri, and Charlie Wright claimed silver in the Sheetmetal Technology, Fitting, and VETis (high schoolers category) Metals and Engineering categories, respectively, TAFE Queensland said in a statement on Friday. The accolades are a culmination of months of additional training to go up against Australia’s best apprentices for Charlie Barwick and Jack Pelleri, and the nation’s best pre-apprentices for Charlie Wright. Hailing from all over Queensland, the trio complete their training at TAFE Queensland’s Acacia Ridge, Townsville (Bohle), and Ashmore campuses.

New lease of life for aircraft engine testing

TAE Aerospace will upgrade the test system for the F414 engines that power the RAAF’s Super Hornet and Growler aircraft. The upgrade will replace control and data acquisition system (CDAS) software and hardware that is reaching the end of its supportable life. The project will upgrade the CDAS in both the primary F414 engine test cell at RAAF Base Amberley and the back-up test cell at RAAF Base Williamtown, thus maintaining redundancy in F414 engine test capability in Australia. Val Lawson, Director of Enabling Services for the Air Combat and Electronic Attack Systems Program Office, said “TAE’s comprehensive system upgrades will now ensure that these critical engine test facilities remain reliable and sustainable to support our air combat capabilities well into the next decade.” TAE will complete the upgrade project by mid-2025.

NSW food and beverage manufacturers to participate at Fine Food

The NSW Government is supporting a range of homegrown food and beverage manufacturers to showcase their wares at Fine Food Australia 2023, the southern hemisphere’s largest food industry tradeshow, which is taking place at the ICC Sydney on September 11-14. Investment NSW CEO Katie Knight said 18 NSW companies who manufacture products locally will receive support to attend. “From sustainable tea and native tonics to edible insects and cough serum from Bowral bees, we are supporting some of the country’s best food and beverage manufactures to showcase to the world the exceptional products manufactured right here in NSW,” said Knight. The tradeshow will include a ‘Flavours of NSW’ zone where some of the state’s emerging and premium food and beverage manufacturers will showcase their products to international and domestic buyers, distributors and investors. More information is available here.

Competition Taskforce a step in the right direction, says ACCI

The Australian Chamber of Commerce and Industry welcomed the federal government’s announcement of a review of Australia’s competition settings last week. “Productivity levels in Australia are at historically low levels, and a thorough examination of Australia’s competition settings is a welcome initiative by Treasurer Jim Chalmers,’ said ACCI CEO Andrew McKellar. “A dynamic economy requires vigorous competition, and if there are barriers to the provision of competitive markets then this inquiry could be useful in identifying and making recommendations. The inclusion of esteemed experts like Danielle Wood, CEO of the Grattan Institute, and Rod Sims, former Chair of the ACCC, will equip the Taskforce with the power it needs to boost Australia’s productivity, added ACCI.

Defence Estate Audit leads appointed

The federal government has appointed Jan Mason and Jim Miller as independent leads to undertake the Defence Estate Audit. In response to the Defence Strategic Review, the government agreed to conduct an enterprise-wide audit to baseline defence estate and infrastructure, described as a critical component of defence’s capability, enabling personnel to fulfil their duties in support of national security. The “audit will consider a range of matters to ensure the Defence estate meets operational and capability requirements, now and in the future” according to a statement on Monday. In particular, it will examine “whether the estate reflects contemporary needs in light of the Government’s decision to prioritise investment in Australia’s northern network of bases, ports and barracks, in response to the Defence Strategic Review.” The Defence estate is the Commonwealth’s largest land holding, with a footprint of more than 2.8 million hectares.

Picture: Cyborg Dynamics Engineering

Share this Story

Stay Informed

Go to Top