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Manufacturing News

AML3D to join factory of the future

Additive manufacturing equipment manufacturer AML3D will set up a R&D facility as part of the Line Zero factory of the future established by BAE Systems Maritime Australia and Flinders University. The facility, which is developing and testing cutting edge shipbuilding systems to be used constructing Hunter class frigates in Adelaide, will utilise AML3D’s Arcemy wire additive manufacturing unit. AML3D Managing Director, Andrew Sales (pictured), said: “The trials and research projects to be undertaken at the facility…will enable AML3D to further develop its large-scale metal additive manufacturing capability through added features such as in process measurement, monitoring and adjustment that will improve quality.” Sharon Wilson, Continuous Naval Shipbuilding Strategy Director at BAE said: “This supports the growth of an enduring and uniquely Australian sovereign industrial capability that supports the nation’s continuous naval shipbuilding strategy for generations to come.”

Cann Group recovers $1.2 million after cyber scam

Medicinal cannabis group Cann Group has received $1.2 million in connection with court proceedings seeking to recover funds lost in a cyber security incident in February this year. The company made payments of $3.6 million to an overseas contractor in relation to work being undertaken at its Mildura facility, however those payments were received by a third party. In March Cann began civil proceedings in Ho0ng Kong to recover the funds. Criminal investigations are continuing in various jurisdictions. There is no guarantee that criminal proceedings will commence, or that further funds will be recovered.

Ridley plant sale becomes unconditional

Animal feed manufacturer Ridley Corporation’s sale of its Westbury extrusion facility in Tasmania has become unconditional, following an ACCC review. The sale to Gibson’s Ltd, trading as Skretting Australia, for $54.85 million is expected to complete before the end of the month. Ridley CEO Quinton Hildebrand said the company would now proceed to consolidate aquaculture feed production into its expanded Narangba facility in Queensland. The sale nets Ridley $7 million profit and lowers the company’s production costs.

Gas price jump to hit manufacturers

A swift rise in wholesale gas prices in Victoria and NSW threatens big increases in gas prices paid my eastern states manufacturers. A lull in output from Bass Strait in Victoria, a spike in demand due to failures in coal-fired power stations, a cold winter raising household demand, and higher demand for LNG exports have combined to forces prices up. The price of gas sold on the spot market briefly hit a five-year high of $56 a gigajoule in Victoria on Friday, while Sydney prices reached close to $30. Wholesale prices in 2020 were between $5 and $6.23/GJ according to the Energy Council. Should the prices persist manufacturers will be forced to convert to other sources or close, while the federal government may have to rethink the viability of its ‘gas-led recovery’.

Skedulo raises cash to manage home, mobile workers

The trend towards home working will be fuelled with software producer Skedulo confirming it had raised $100 million from Japanese venture capitalist Softbank’s Vision Fund 2. Founded in Australia, but based in the United States, Skedulo provides a scheduling system to analyse and manage at-home and mobile workforces. CEO Matt Fairhurst said: “The funds will be used to support Skedulo’s continued international growth, welcome more talented staff, and assist in our efforts to help developed and developing nations with scheduling use cases in the public sector including covid testing and vaccine administration. Most importantly, it will allow us to double down on our work to champion the hugely underserved deskless workforce.”

Picture: AML3D/Andy Sales and Sharon Wilson

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