Manufacturing news briefs — stories you might have missed

Pact releases sustainability report

Pact Group today released its 2023 Sustainability Report which reveals the company recycled more than 54,000 tonnes of plastic waste last financial year, the equivalent weight of the Sydney Harbour Bridge. The plastic waste was recycled at seven facilities operated by Pact and its joint venture partners in Australia and New Zealand, converted into either food-grade or industrial-grade recycled resin and flake, and then used by Pact to make new packaging or sold to customers. The 54,000 tonnes of recycled plastic is a 42 percent increase on the previous year and predominantly came from household kerbside collections and container deposit schemes, as well as pre-consumer and post-industrial scrap. The report also said that as part of its 2030 Emissions Reduction Target, Pact achieved a 12 percent reduction in Scope 1 and 2 emissions in Australia and New Zealand by reconfiguring operational processes, investing in energy-efficient machinery and installing solar panels.

Polestar selects NZ-based Evnex as preferred home-charging provider in Australia

Swedish electric vehicle importer Polestar has selected New Zealand manufacturer Evnex as its preferred home-charging hardware provider in Australia. Evnex is a manufacturer of charging equipment, with the nine-year-old company founded on a platform of reducing the carbon footprint of electric-vehicle fleets. The company uses smart-charging technology to allow customers to prioritise solar or grid energy, account for the unique tariffs and different energy mixes of each state and territory, and balance loading on the grid, charge time, and charging costs. The 7.4kW Evnex E2 charger, which is manufactured in Christchurch and launched Australia-wide in July 2023, is also the first to offer carbon-monitoring tools, is housed in an enclosure built from 80 per cent bio-circular plastic, and can deliver 40km of driving range per hour.

FGR secures agreement with UK’s largest  cement manufacturer 

First Graphene Limited has entered a Joint Development and Commercialisation Agreement (“Agreement”) with the UK’s  largest cement manufacturer, Breedon Group (“Breedon”) at their Hope Cement Works in the Peak  District National Park in the United Kingdom. The agreement will facilitate First Graphene’s development of a range of graphene-enhanced  solutions to reduce the clinker factor of Breedon’s cement and as a result reduce its carbon  emissions footprint. Both companies have agreed to focus on enhancing the mechanical performance of Breedon’s  CEM II Cement, which has a lower clinker factor than CEM I, such that its compressive strength  matches that of its CEM I product. Breedon will provide FGR with access to its Hope Cement Works manufacturing facility in  Derbyshire and the expertise of staff to assist development and implementation of graphene dosing  techniques and improved low-emission cement-based products.  
Austal delivers eighth new patrol boat

Shipbuilder Austal has delivered the sixth of eight Evolved Cape-class Patrol Boats (ECCPB’s) to the Royal Australian Navy. The vessel, ADV Cape Pillar, was officially accepted by the Commonwealth of Australia at Austal’s Henderson, Western Australia shipyard. Chief Executive Officer Paddy Gregg said that Cape Pillar was the third Evolved Cape-class Patrol Boat delivered to the Royal Australian Navy in CY2023. “The Austal Australia team, collaborating with the Department of Defence, the Royal Australian Navy and our valued supply chain partners, are very clearly demonstrating what the National Naval Shipbuilding Enterprise is capable of – #delivering sovereign capability for Australia. Austal is on track to deliver the remaining two Evolved Cape-class Patrol Boats currently under construction at Henderson, Western Australia in 2024, completing the fleet of eight vessels that are enhancing Australia’s maritime security.”

LBT Innovations to raise $4.5 million

Microbiology diagnostic equipment manufacturer LBT Innovations is to raise $4.5 million renounceable entitlement offer to existing shareholders. The raising is partially underwritten through a funding commitment of $3 million, including from company directors. Funds will be used to accelerate the commercial uptake in the US and the EU of the company’s APAS PharmaQC environmental monitoring device used to detect contamination of sterile pharmaceutical manufacturing processes. The device is the latest development of the APAS Independence platform used to automate laboratory testing of contamination in clinical microbiology.

AnteoTech receives R&D tax incentive payment

Surface chemical company AnteoTech has received a $3.77 million payment as its R&D tax inventive payment from the federal government. The cash, higher that earlier predicted by the company, covers research in its clean energy and life sciences divisions conducted during FY23. The company’s Anteo X product made at its Brisbane facility provides significant improvement in battery anode performance. AnteoTech also develops nanotechnology testing systems for use at the point of care.

ASM demonstrates rare earths technology

Heavy rare earth manufacturer Australian Strategic Materials has demonstrated its technical capability to separate critical metals terbium (Tb) and dysprosium (Dy) heavy rare earths. The results support the design of the company’s Dubbo Project in NSW and its proposed process flowsheet to produce high purity Tb and Dy oxides. ASM produces these critical minerals in metal form in Korea. The pilot plant test work was conducted by the Australian Nuclear Science & Technology Organisation, ANSTO. ASM Managing Director Rowena Smith said: “These excellent results demonstrate the strength of ASM’s advanced technical capability. Producing both light and heavy rare earth oxides at high purity sets the Dubbo Project and ASM apart and allows us to offer industry leading product quality to our offtake partners.”

Industries reach for the stars during Space Fortnight

Building structures in zero gravity, growing food while in orbit, searching for space resources and selecting solar destinations for humans are just some of the subjects being studied during a two week Space Fortnight event being held by the University of Adelaide. Space Fortnight is headlined by the University’s flagship Space Resource Fundamentals Course, a five-day educational programme teaching working professionals from diverse industries such as law, government and resources, about the growing lunar economy. “This course is the first of its kind in Australia and provides an opportunity for industry professionals to get ahead of the game and become experts in their company for all things space-related,” said Associate Professor John Culton, Director of the University’s Andy Thomas Centre for Space Resources. “The course covers topics such as what space resources are, how they can be used, and how we can find and collect them. An outstanding team of global space experts will enlighten participants about what the commercial sector needs to make the dream of life in space a reality.” Space specialists sharing their expertise include Dr Charles Elachi, a former director of NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory; the University of Tokyo’s Professor Hirdy Miyamoto, a world leading planetary geologist; and Dr Angel Abbud-Madrid, Director of the Center for Space Resources at the Colorado School of Mines.


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