Manufacturing news briefs – stories you might have missed

SEA Electric buys big in batteries to cut costs

Truck and van electric vehicle drive train manufacturer SEA Electric has put in a massive order from Soundon New Energy Technology for 1,000 EV battery sets. Soundon has been supplying SEA Electric since 2012, with the new purchase cutting kilowatt hour costs by 36 per cent. The sets will be installed in vehicles in the United States, Australia, New Zealand, South-East Asia and allow a European market entry. Earlier this month the company raised $54 million to accelerate development.

Third Australian nanosatellite launched

UNSW Canberra Space has confirmed that its M2 mission for Royal Australian Air Force launched successfully on Rocket Lab’s “They Go Up So Fast” mission. Billed as Australia’s most challenging domestic space mission ever attempted, two M2 spacecraft will fly in formation. Fleet Space Technologies, and Myriota launched satellites on the same rocket launch.

Baraja raises $40 million for LIDAR development

Sydney-based Baraja has raised $40 million dollars and attracted Hitachi Construction Machinery as a new investor to speed commercialisation of its LIDAR technology for autonomous vehicles. The raising was led by Blackbird Ventures and includes CSIRO’s venture arm Main Sequence Ventures, HESTA superannuation fund and InterValley Ventures. LIDAR uses pulsed laser light to detect and measure the distance between a vehicle and approaching objects.

Stealth Technologies develops robotic weed detection in agriculture

Autonomous vehicle technology company Stealth Technologies has demonstrated AI methods for weed detection in broadacre agriculture. The company, a subsidiary of Strategic Elements, worked with the University of Western Australia and the Australian Herbicide Resistance initiative, to develop RGB cameras and algorithms to locate weeds in barley crops from a vehicle moving at speed. Stealth is developing a range of autonomous vehicles including for security operations in partnership with Honeywell.

Wattle Health’s profits rise strongly

Nutritional dairy product manufacturer Wattle Health Australia has reported profit of $2.57 million for the first half on revenue up by 54 per cent on the previous corresponding period. The company’s growing sales come from its Uganic and Little Innoscents ranges which are now sold in the Middle East. During the period Wattle sold its Corio Bay dairy business, netting $11 million.

Hydac gets grant to develop VR/AR training solution

Hydraulics and automation control systems company Hydac Australia has earned grant assistance for a project to develop a virtual and augmented reality (VR/AR) training solution for maintenance staff and trainee staff servicing and maintaining hydraulics systems and components. The 12-month project is supported by the Innovative Manufacturing CRC’s activate program and links Hydac with Deakin University Motion Lab and will accelerate commercialisation of the company’s overall VR/AR training solution.

Picture: UNSW Space

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