Manufacturing News

Manufacturing news briefs – stories you might have missed

Manufacturing News

Orica the latest to create value from unused land

Chemical and explosives business Orica has sold 66 hectares of unused industrial land at Deer Park in Melbourne to UniSuper for $260 million. The sale, stage 1 of a land sale process, netted a net profit after tax of $173 million for the Melbourne company. The sale will not affect Orica or its tenants’ operations and allow Orica to focus on its core manufacturing and customer operations at Deer Park. Stage 2 land will be offered in the near future. Meanwhile the company’s outlook for 1H FY24 EBIT has improves slightly reflecting the growing momentum in the business. CEO Sanjeev Gandhi said: “While external challenges remain we will continue to work hard to mitigate the impact of these on our business.”

Austal CEO to chair AmCham Council of Governors in WA

The CEO of Perth international shipbuilder Austal Paddy Gregg has been named Chair, Western Australia on the 2024 Council of Governors of The American Chamber of Commerce in Australia. According to Austal Paddy brings a wealth of knowledge and experience in leading a successful Australian ASX-listed company that has been become a key defence industry partner to both the Australian and United States Governments, delivering multiple naval shipbuilding and sustainment programmes globally. “Along with Vice Chair, Professor L. Gordon Flake from the Perth USAsia Centre, Paddy is an ideal champion to promote the Australian – US alliance in Western Australia and add value to AmCham Western Australia membership.”

Traffic Technologies snares $4m in new contracts

Roadway signage and IoT traffic systems company Traffic Technologies has announced the winning of a number of new contracts with a combined value of $4 million. The company’s urban traffic subsidiary Quick Turn Circuits has been awarded a $1.2 million contract to supply traffic controllers and software to an existing system in Pudong, Shanghai, China. The company’s Aldridge Traffic Systems has won further contracts worth up to $2 million to supply Smart City LED streetlights to the Mornington Shire in Victoria. Aldridge has also been awarded a $1m contract for LED traffic signaling for the Stage 3 Gold Coast Light Rain project in Queensland.

Tindo Solar launches new brand, links with cancer charity

Australia’s only solar panel manufacturer Tindo has launched the Aussie Summer Heroes Campaign as part of a more customer-centric rebrand. The company, which is advancing plans to build a solar PV gigafactory which could produce a third of Australia’s demand for solar panels, aims the rebrand as an affirmation of renewables as an intrinsic part of Australia’s national identity. CEO of Tindo Richard Petterson said: “This summer we are excited to celebrate our new identity alongside one of the nation’s most iconic Aussie heroes, Cancer Council. We welcome the opportunity to support Cancer Council’s fantastic work and for Tindo to provide affordable, renewable power to Aussie Summer Heroes across Australia. We are thrilled to be able to bring our brand identity and indeed the opportunity to own Australian-made renewables into the present.”

Nova Eye Medical raises $8 million

Ophthalmic treatment device manufacturer Nova Eye Medical has raised $8 million from investors to further near term growth opportunities across its glaucoma businesses. The company raised $5.1 million in an institutional entitlement offer and $2.9 million in a retail entitlement offer. The cash will expand the geographical presence of sales of its iTrack Advance glaucoma surgical device in the US and Europe, and broaden the company’s product portfolio.

Ridley Corporation continues to execute growth strategy

Animal feed manufacturer Ridley Corporation has reported $48 million EBIT profit in H1 FY24, up 3.9 percent on the previous corresponding period as it continues to execute the Ridley Growth Strategy. The company reported volume increases in its bulk stockfeeds segment during the half, and announced the acquisition of Oceania Meat Processors. Bulk stockfeeds improved by debottlenecking capacity and an increase in supplementary beef and sheep feeding during dry conditions. EBITDA fell 4.6 percent to $31.5 million in its packaged feeds segment due to lower tallow prices and underperformance in Aquafeed sales. Ridley said: “Micro-economic conditions are likely to be challenging in the short-term, and the business is taking steps to reduce the adverse impacts of inflationary pressures and changes in commodity cycles.”

CRC-P project targets charging while driving

Swinburne University has shared details of a recently-announced CRC-P grant-supported project, which “aims to implement an embedded dynamic wireless charging technology into roads, unlocking the uptake of electric heavy vehicles”. According to a statement on Friday, the $8.2 million Swinburne-led project will prototype a system for embedding advanced wireless charging infrastructure on regional roads…setting the stage for a transformation in the heavy vehicle industry”. It links ACE Infrastructure, SEA Electric, Fleet Plant Hire, Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology, Siemens, ARRB Group, and Net Zero Stack, and is the outcome of several years of study conducted by world-leading researchers and PhD students at Swinburne’s New Energy Technologies Research Group. The group’s Professor Mehdi Seyedmahmoudian said: “by seamlessly integrating dynamic wireless charging systems into our road infrastructure, we are setting the stage for a transformation in the heavy vehicle industry”.

Industry group pushes for Indigenous Welding Schools

Weld Australia has urged the federal government to invest in a national network of Indigenous Welding Schools to help create skills and jobs for indigenous Australians, citing a lack of progress identified in a review of the National Agreement on Closing the Gap released this week. The industry body’s CEO Geoff Crittenden said, “The Indigenous Welding Schools initiative not only aligns with the national socio-economic targets of the Closing the Gap agreement—enhancing education, employment, and community development for Indigenous Australians—but also offers a tangible solution to the pressing need for skilled labour in the welding industry.” According to to Weld Australia, the program would be predominantly run by Indigenous educators and trades people who would mesh the practical demands of the welding trade with a culturally appropriate curriculum, pastoral support and employment pathways to deliver gate-ready welders to industry. Students would graduate qualified and certified to the internationally recognised welding competency standard ISO 9606.

Applications close soon for CSIRO’s free medtech SME program

Applications for CSIRO’s free ten-week online program for SMEs working in medtech and digital health close on Sunday. Innovate to Grow is a virtual, self-paced learning program, seeing participants collaborate with a mentor from CSIRO or a university to address technical and business challenges, explore their R&D opportunities, learn tips for partnering with research organisations, and develop strong funding applications. Key topics include trends within relevant sub-sectors, panel discussion with collaborating SMEs, and current funding opportunities for R&D. Applications close on Sunday, February 18 and places are limited. The program commences 14 March 2024. More information is available at this link.

UQ team designs sulfate-trapping molecule

A team of scientists from The University of Queensland and Xiamen University in China has designed a cage-like molecule to trap sulfate, a naturally occurring ion, in water. According to a statement from UQ, this new method to measure and remove sulfate from water could potentially lead to cleaner waterways and more effective nuclear waste treatments. Professor Jack Clegg from UQ said controlling concentrations in water is a significant challenge. “In low quantities in the human body, sulfate has diverse metabolic roles such as eliminating toxins and helping drugs work effectively, Clegg said. “But in the environment, too much sulfate can pollute drinking water and accelerate the corrosion of pipes… Being able to monitor and completely remove sulfate in water has great potential across many areas.” The “molecular trap” can be prepared inexpensively from off-the-shelf chemicals, and more about it can be read in the team’s paper at Nature Chemistry.

New research studies link between climate change and solar PV module degration

Shifts in temperatures brought on by climate change mean that solar panels are at greater risk of degradation due to prolonged exposure to the harsh outdoor conditions, according to new modelling from UNSW researchers which highlights the need to consider the evolving climate in PV module design. The findings are published in the journal Progress in Photovoltaics: Research and Applications, and show degradation on future PV module will result in up to 12 per cent increase in power loss – leading to approximately 10 per cent rise in future energy prices by 2059. “Large scale commercial PV modules have a typical lifespan of about 20 to 25 years, although they naturally degrade or lose their efficiency overtime,” said postdoctoral fellow and lead author Shukla Poddar, in a statement on Friday. “However, we know that local weather and climate influence the degradation of PV modules and for the first time, this research aims to statistically model the weighted average degradation rate Australia-wide for the different degradation modes.”

Picture: credit Nova Eye Medical

Share this Story
Manufacturing News

Stay Informed

Go to Top