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Austal delivers another LCS

Shipbuilder Austal has announced that the future USS Kingsville Littoral Combat Ship has been delivered to the United States Navy – the 18th Independence-variant LCS built by Austal USA in Mobile, Alabama. Austal Chief Executive Officer Paddy Gregg said Kingsville was the penultimate delivery for the Independence-variant programme. “With the delivery of LCS 36, and as we approach the end of the Independence-variant LCS programme, its timely to reflect on the success of the programme and the platform, especially recent milestones that clearly demonstrate the United States Navy’s confidence in the vessel and its capability.” In 2023 the USN deployed six Independence variant LCS in the Pacific , including a record-breaking 26-month overseas deployment by USS Charleston (LCS 18). The Independence-variant LCS is a fast, agile, mission-focused platform designed to operate in near-shore environments, winning against 21st-century coastal threats.

Vaxxas installs new press

Needle-free vaccination platform developer Vaxxas has celebrated a milestone with the recent delivery and installation of a press from Bruderer at its facility in Brisbane. “A commercial tool to produce key components of our high-density microarray patch (HD-MAP) applicator, the press is one of several projects underway to scale up advanced manufacturing at the facility to manufacture Vaxxas’ vaccination technology for late-stage clinical trials and first commercial use” the company said on Linkedin. “Once qualified, the equipment can produce hundreds of parts per minute with the potential to supply tens of millions of parts every year.” Among those thanked were the Australian government, which assisted the project via support from the Modern Manufacturing Initiative, partners Pforzheimer Präzisions Mechanik and NOXON AUTOMATION, and Precision Metal Stamping Australia “for their contribution and assistance with early development work.”

Composite product and tank maker marked its 21st anniversary on Monday. “APR is a proud South Aussie-owned and operated family business who have been manufacturing for over two decades” the Edinburgh-based business told followers on Linkedin. “A big thank you to our amazing team who make it all happen behind the scenes, and to our customers and suppliers for supporting local businesses, local jobs and helping our wonderful country grow.”

Holloway Emerge emerges

Holloway Group brand Holloway Emerge announced its official launch this week, describing itself as “the premier innovation partner, leveraging over 30 years of expertise in product development, precision tooling, and commercialisation.” Holloway Group is an injection moulding specialist with brands including A Plus Plastics, Biax Foundations, and Geohex. In a statement on Monday, Emerge said it aimed to be a “go-to partner for visionary businesses seeking to bring their ideas to life” via product development. “With our extensive expertise across the product lifecycle, we’re setting new benchmarks for creativity and quality,” said Damir Pletikosa, General Manager.

Australians prefer living near renewables rather than nuclear power sites: ACF survery

Only one in ten Australians would want to live near a nuclear reactor, while most would prefer to live near wind and solar farms, a poll of 1,012 Australians conducted by Glow Market Research has found. The polling, conducted on behalf of the Australian Conservation Foundation in late-January, found 72 per cent believed the shift to renewable energy rather than nuclear energy (17 per cent) or new coal (11 per cent) should continue, and that 76 per cent of Australians would prefer to live near renewable energy projects — like wind and solar farms — rather than near nuclear (12 per cent) or coal (11 per cent) projects. “Culture wars and political promises might generate column inches, but they don’t generate electricity. Our energy future is renewable, not radioactive” said ACF anti-nuclear activist Dave Sweeney.

Lyro announces Peter Corke as new chief roboticist

Australian robotics researcher and educator Distinguished Professor Peter Corke, formerly a director of the ARC Centre of Excellence for Robotic Vision, has been announced as Chief Roboticist at food logistics company Lyro Robotics. CEO Dr Nicole Robinson posted on Linkedin that Corke will be on site to lead the engineering team, “bringing a new level of insight, creativity, and leadership to our product. After having nearly doubled our engineering team in the last few months, we are excited to have Peter join at this new stage of company growth… Peter’s dedication to building useful robots and his extensive work in robotic vision perfectly aligns with our mission as a robotic pick and pack company, where we strive to revolutionize how robots see, understand, and interact with the world around them.” Corke recently retired from full-time service at the Queensland University of Technology.

RIOS Intelligent Machines completes Series B 

California-headquartered manufacturing robotics company RIOS Intelligent Machines has announced successful completion of a $US 13 million Series B funding round, co-led by Yamaha Motor Corporation and IAG Capital Partners. In a statement about the news, RIOS said there was “nearly full participation from existing investors, including RIOS’s Series A Lead Investor, Main Sequence, which doubled its pro-rata investment.” A figure for this was not given. RIOS said the raise would fuel growth in three key industry segments: wood products, beverage distribution, and packaged food products. RIOS has a presence in Australia, with an innovation and applied R&D facility at Brisbane’s Northgate.

Food and beverage innovator calls it quits

Brisbane-based food and beverage waste upcycling startup Uuvipak is finishing up. The company, which was a top ten finisher in @AuManufacturing‘s 2023 Australia’s 50 Most Innovative Manufacturers list, made disposable, edible products such as plates and cups out of clean food byproducts and described these as tasting similar to Weet Bix. Recognition for the company, founded by Dr Shafali Gupta and Andy Epifani, included a place in last year’s Top 100 Innovators, published by The Australian and a win in Nespresso’s inaugural StartCup competition in 2022. “I am thankful to each and every person who has been a part of this journey,” Gupta posted on Linkedin on Wednesday. “Since January I have taken some time off to recharge and reflect on things that really matter to me and now I am ready to work”.

Picture: credit Holloway Group

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