Manufacturing news briefs – stories you might have missed

Australia and US collaborate on ballistic missile interception

Australia has supported the United States as it undertook a successful missile defence test off the coast of Hawaii. Royal Australian Navy and Royal Australian Air Force assets supported the test conducted by the US Missile Defense Agency (MDA) and the US Navy. The US test involved the successful intercept of a medium-range ballistic missile (MRBM) test target. The test demonstrated the capability of the Aegis Weapon System which is fitted to major RAN vessels to detect, track, engage, and intercept an MRBM target in the terminal phase of flight. During the test, Australia demonstrated its advanced radar capabilities aboard a Navy vessel, HMAS Stuart, while a RAAF E-7 Wedgetail assisted in data collection and communications.

Bickford’s celebrates 150 years with nostalgic cordial range

Cordials and drinks manufacturer, family owned Bickford’s Australia is celebrating their 150-year anniversary this year. To mark this milestone, the company has released a collection of celebration cordials (pictured). According to Brand South Australia: “One hundred and fifty years is no small feat, and Bickford’s achievement reflects its commitment to innovation, quality and sustainability.” Today Bickford’s Group comprises a wide range of manufacturing brands, including liqueurs from Vok Beverages, Black Bottle Brandy, Vickers gin, Beresford and Queen Adelaide wines, Twenty Third Street distillers and Beenleigh Rum.

Canola processing plant for Kwinana

A canola crush plant in Kwinana, Perth is a step closer to reality, with the Western Australian government entering exclusive lease negotiations with Cargill Australia for a parcel of land on the industrial strip. Cargill is investigating the potential to develop a world-class canola crush plant on a site adjacent to the CBH Kwinana Grain Terminal, subject to regulatory approvals. The project would service both the domestic and export oil and meal market, utilise locally grown canola and expand Western Australia’s processing capacity for canola oil. It would supply the emerging biofuel markets, providing a clean energy source for the future. The WA Government and Cargill will now work together to negotiate a lease agreement for the site over coming months, while Cargill continues discussions with CBH Group and other parties on the project.

NeuRizer frees up capital with asset sale and leaseback

Coal to fertiliser producer NeuRizer has freed up capital with the sale and lease back of four Siemens power generators. The company, which is developing the former Leigh Creek coal field in South Australia to provide gas for urea production, received $2 million for the sale of the generators. It signed a lease for the generators for two years with PremiAir Hire with an option to buy back at the end of the period. NeuRizer told investors: “The sale of the generators will assist the company with its short term cash flow requirements whilst allowing the use of the assets if required.”

Ridley completes meat processing acquisition

Stock feed manufacturer Ridley Corporation has announced the completion of the acquisition of Oceania Meat Processors NZ LP. OMP is a premium producer of mechanically deboned meat frozen block products and other raw materials for the global pet food industry. OMP was founded in New Zealand in 2002, and has since expanded to a site in Melbourne.

Apprenticeships and traineeships take-up remains strong

New data released by the National Centre for Vocational Education Research (NCVER) show that apprentice and trainee commencements increased by 22.2 percent to 37,690 in the September 2023 quarter, when compared with the same period in 2022. The Apprentices and Trainees 2023: September quarter report shows commencements in trade occupations increased by 18.4 percent to 17,365 between the September 2022 and September 2023 quarters. A significant contributor was the increase in Automotive Engineering Trades Workers, which were up 19.2 percent to 4,510. NCVER Managing Director Simon Walker said commencement numbers in the September 2023 quarter are also higher than corresponding pre-pandemic periods. “The increase in commencements for the September 2023 quarter follows a sharp decline in apprentice and trainee commencements in the September 2022 quarter, coinciding with the end of the Boosting Apprenticeship Commencements (BAC) scheme in June 2022. Encouragingly, commencements in the September 2023 quarter were 9.2 percent higher than the September 2019 quarter, prior to the pandemic.”

Cardiex completes blood pressure technology trials

Health technology company CardieX has successfully completed its primary study validating the use of its SphygmoCor biomarker technology in wearable devices by way of a Photoplethysmogram (PPG) sensor. The aim of the study was to demonstrate the ability to extract vascular biomarkers from a wearable PPG sensor. This essentially validates the conversion of Cardiex’s XCEL monitor technology into a wearable device. CEO Craig Cooper said: “This is the first time that medical grade measurements of arterial health, arterial stiffness and vascular age have been made by way of a finger-based PPG sensor in a wearable, opening the path to commercialisation in a number of device formats.”

Picture: Brand South Australia/Bickfords

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