AusBiotech names new director

Dr James Campbell, CEO of Patrys, has been named as a director of biotechnology organisation AusBiotech.

Rare earth markets recover, Lynas progesses processing projects

Rare earths producer Lynas Rare Earths global markets are recovering with the world economy as the Perth company progresses major processing investments in Western Australia and the United States. The company, which has been hit by Covid-19 economic slowdowns and environmental concerns at its Malaysian advanced metals plant, reported sales of $110 million for the…

AMGC spurs Klinger to embrace industry 4.0

Industrial sealing and fluid control manufacturer Klinger Australia has revealed how a local event held by the Advanced Manufacturing Growth Centre spurred it to take the first steps in implementing an Industry 4.0 strategy in their production facility in Western Australia. The company introduced Industrial IoT technology in three phases ‘in a matter of weeks’…

Covid home baking boom brings new flour products from McKenzie’s

Cooking and baking ingredients manufacturer Ward McKenzie Pty Ltd has responded to a Covid-19 surge in home baking with the launch this month of a range of seven new flours including special purpose flour blends. The company, best known for its McKenzie’s baking powder and bi-carbonate of soda seen in almost every pantry, is now…

Titomic buys Silicon Valley company, establishes US subsidiary

Additive manufacturing technology company Titomic is to buy a Silicon Valley-based advanced manufacturing group and form a new subsidiary Titomic USA to access the North American market. The company told investors today it had agreed to buy Tri-D Dynamics Inc, a manufacturing technology company focusing on smart pipeline manufacture. The US business was established by…

Question? Is the industry department talking to the industry minister?

By Peter Roberts Is the industry department talking to the industry minister? I ask this question because my article last week on options for evolving Australia’s industry growth centres failed to mention an important point. Former industry minister Karen Andrews had been widely canvassing options, including making the centres more like UK Catapult centres, for…

Fibres and composites transforming industry – how Micro-X turns nanotubes into X-Rays

@AuManufacturing launches its new editorial series – fibres and composites transforming industry – with a look at the taming of carbon fibre nanotubes. Once the stuff of science fiction, one Australian start-up, Micro-X, stands tall, harnessing nanotechnology to produce X-Rays in a process that threatens to make all other systems obsolete. By Peter Roberts Carbon…

Manufacturing news briefs – stories you might have missed

Ampcontrol and Lavo show off solar and hydrogen remote power systems Ampcontrol and Lavo have demonstrated a number of innovations to a visiting delegation of European diplomats (pictured), including Lavo’s world’s first domestic hydrogen battery capable of storing enough electricity to power the average Australian home for two days. Visiting the Hunter region the 14…

Bosch’s 10 year pivot to industry 4.0

Diversified global manufacturer Bosch is celebrating 10 years of pioneering work in the area of industry 4.0, including a successful pivot of its own operations overseas and in Australia to embrace game-changing manufacturing technologies. The company, which generated revenues of 700 million euros in industry 4.0 sales, has been systematically investing in its own factories…

Trajan Scientific expands services offering

Analytical technology company Trajan Scientific and Medical has further extended its services offerings with the completion of the acquisition of the MyHealthTest blood testing service for an undisclosed sum. The acquisition boosts Trajan’s ability to deliver analytical measurement services which complement the Melbourne company’s global technology, manufacturing and services offerings. Trajan provides analytical and life…

Manufacturers – the economy is getting back to normal

Manufacturers marking time waiting for the economy to recover can start to think of expansion again with movement around our capital cities close to pre-Covid-19 levels in some cases. An analysis of movement data in Australia’s capital city CBDs by Roy Morgan and UberMedia shows people are moving round at their highest levels in over…

Boral moves to unload more assets

Building products group Boral is to examine the future of its US fly ash businesses as the company continues to deal with fallout from its troubled venture into the North American market. The company told investors it was reviewing the businesses and would either retain control or enter into a joint venture, strategic alliance or…

Cairns begins testing recycled concrete and glass in roads

Cairns Regional Council has begun testing a blend of crushed concrete and glass for use in road bases.

The disappointment of overseas production – Lithium Australia

By Peter Roberts It is so disappointing when you have covered an emerging technology and manufacturing story for years when suddenly you find out that the company you have been covering decides to site actual production overseas. It must be equally disappointing to readers. One of the earliest examples of this in @AuManufacturing’s two and…

Manufacturing news briefs – stories you might have missed

DroneShield discussing massive $60 million plus order Drone detection and countermeasure company DroneShield has revealed it is discussing an order potentially worth more than $60 million with a Middle Eastern Ministry of Defence. The company said it had received the remaining payment of $2.3 million for a previous order from the customer. CEO Oleg Vornik…

New Austrade CEO begins role

Former Kathmandu Holdings boss Xavier Simonet began as CEO of Austrade on Wednesday.

Wattle Health expands distribution capabilities

Nutritional dairy product manufacturer Wattle Health Australia has expanded its distribution capabilities with the purchase of pharmacy product developer and distributors Brand Solutions Australia and Pharma Solutions Australia (BSA). Wattle will pay $4.75 million in cash and shares for the business, which distributes Wattle’s Wattle Health, Uganic and Little Innoscents ranges, including through Chemist Warehouse…

Not wiped out. Even after the collapse of Greensill, there’s time to save Whyalla

The withdrawal of finance has once more thrown into doubt the future of South Australia’s fourth-biggest town and its 22,0000 residents, including the 1,800 directly employed in the steelworks and the thousands more who depend on it.

Circular economy awards announced for ANZ

The first Circle Awards are being launched this week, with entries opening on Thursday for those making an impact in the circular economy movement in Australia and New Zealand.

France Inc squeezes Cleanaway out of massive expansion

By Peter Roberts They say that France does not give up its own companies, nor their global assets very easily, mobilising its forces to stop foreign takeovers. Just such a thing – perhaps called France Inc – seems to have happened to Australia’s waste management and recycling company Cleanaway’s agreement to buy the recycling and…

More than half of Australian manufacturers intending to reshore: survey

Survey results collected late-last year for e-commerce company PROS show over half of respondents intending to reshore over the next three years.

SA government shells out for oyster manufacturer

The South Australian government is shelling out $107,550 in export development grants including to a manufacturer of oyster production systems. SEAPA Group, which has been making smart oyster farming systems since 1998, is one of seven companies to share funding as part of the South Australia Export Accelerator Program. The funding will see the SA-owned…

Should Australia catapult its industry growth centres?

By Peter Roberts Christian Porter has had a lot of stick in recent weeks, but there is no doubt the new industry minister needs to quickly put recent controversies behind him and get on top of critical decisions that must be made in the portfolio. Not only must he implement the modern manufacturing initiative of…

Manufacturing news briefs – stories you might have missed

AnteoTech joins Future Battery Industries CRC Surface chemistry company AnteoTech has joined industry and academic participants in the super anode project under development at the Future Battery Industries Cooperative Research Centre. AnteoTech will provide silicon composite materials to the project, based on its AnteoCoat nano-film binder technology. The binders aim to increase storage capacity and…

Sanjeev Gupta expresses confidence in steelworks future

GFC Alliance’s Sanjeev Gupta has expressed confidence in the future of the Whyalla steelworks and reassured locals of his ability to refinance his global businesses. Following moves by Citibank to wind up Liberty Primary Steel, owner of the mill, and Tahmoor coal, Gupta wrote an open letter to South Australians published today in Adelaide’s Sunday…

Duratray chooses Victoria for global HQ, new plant

A leading Latin American international designer and manufacturer of mining equipment Conymet Duratray International has chosen Victoria for its new state-of-the-art manufacturing facility and global headquarters (pictured). The company, which makes dump truck bodies and steel and rubber components for haulage in the mining industry will grow its current Victorian footprint by onshoring overseas manufacturing…

FYI updates value of alumina project to US$1 billion

Perth materials technology group FYI Resources has increased estimates of the net present value of its Western Australian high purity alumina (HPA) projects by 87 per cent to $1.33 billion (US$1.014 billion) The company plans a kaolin mine and processing at Cadoux, WA and an HPA production plant at Kwinana south of Perth. FYI said…

Doxall releases first of kind new antimicrobial technology

More than a decade of research spurred on by the Covid-19 pandemic has resulted in the release of Doxall, a range of products based on a totally new kind of anti-microbial chemistry that offers significant benefits over existing technologies. Wintermute Biomedical’s Doxall range includes a Hand Sanitiser, a Surface Cleaner & Sanitiser, and a Therapeutic…

Trouble at mill but too early to write off Whyalla steelworks

By Peter Roberts It is amazing how people are always quick to expect the worst about the future of Australia’s steel industry, just as they have in recent days with news of trouble in the financial network that support’s metals entrepreneur Sanjeev Gupta’s GFG Alliance businesses. People are expecting the worst for his Whyalla steelworks,…

Manufacturing news briefs – stories you might have missed

DroneShield’s new orders from US and Five Eyes customers Drone detection and countermeasure company DroneShield has announced two new orders, one from an existing customer. The company has received a second order worth $1.1 million from a high profile Government customer from a Five Eyes country which shares intelligence with Australia. DroneShield has also received…

Solving business problems using production performance data – by Will Purcell

Advertising feature By Will Purcell, Pact Group Sometimes, we know we’ve got something to fix, but one thing or another gets in the way and we put it on the backburner. We know the issue is there in the background, but it doesn’t appear to have a lasting impact and we’re all good without addressing…

Applications open for Recycling and Clean Energy grants worth $1 million to $20 million

Grant applications opened on Wednesday for Recycling and Clean Energy projects under the federal Modern Manufacturing Initiative.

Food manufacturing’s growth moment

Australia’s food and agribusiness growth centre has welcomed commitments from both the government and Labor to provide additional support to Australia’s largest single manufacturing sector as it aims to double in value in a decade.

Credit Suisse seeking to wind up Whyalla

Citibank filed for “winding up in insolvency” in the NSW Supreme Court on Tuesday against two businesses owned by Sanjeev Gupta’s GFG Alliance.

Perception versus the reality of manufacturing – by Shay Chalmers

Shay Chalmers takes a look at community perceptions of manufacturing. Often seen as dirty and unattractive, Shay believes the sector’s response to the Covid-19 pandemic is changing the face of manufacturing – and offering a way forward for Australian Made. The challenge is real. Manufacturing tends to conjure up some unfortunate mental images for people,…

Cleanaway to buy Suez recycling operations for $2.5 billion

Cleanaway Waste Management has agreed to buy the recycling and recovery businesses of Suez Groupe in Australia for $2.52 billion, subject to various conditions. The waste management and recycling company will buy what is a high quality, nationally vertically integrated waste management and environmental solutions business employing 2,000 people, according to Cleanaway. It includes six…

Incitec Pivot reveals new costs in ammonia plant failure

Chemicals and explosives business Incitec Pivot’s shares plunged 9.4 per cent this morning with news of further problems at its trouble-plagued Waggaman ammonia plant in the US (pictured). The plant, one of a number of plant failures and natural disasters that have hit the company, was under repair until March 6 and started up through…

Covid hits apprenticeships hard, threatens renewed decline

The Covid-19 pandemic year of 2020 was a shocker for apprentices in Australia, with the pandemic hitting apprenticeship starts and completions hard. Commencements plunged 18.8 per cent to 126,665 as at 30 September, 2020 while completions were down 14 per cent to 73,205. There are now 264,425 Australians in apprenticeship training according to new figures…

Gender discrimination and disadvantage rife in manufacturing

By Peter Roberts The story of the moment is not so much the Covid-19 pandemic, but the discrimination, disadvantage and in some cases abuse that women suffer every day in Australian workplaces. This situation is disgracefully endemic in what should be Australia’s model workplace – the federal Parliament. Lack of opportunity, bullying, belittlement, unwanted sexual…

Manufacturing news briefs – stories you might have missed

Supashock to produce missile launcher for Rheinmetall Defence contractor Supashock will design and manufacture a missile launcher capability for the Rheinmetall BOXER 8×8 Combat Reconnaissance Vehicle (pictured). Under a $10 million contract the Adelaide company will deliver the capability for Boxers being built for the Australian army under the LAND 400 Phase 2 program. Under…

Manufacturing recovery gathered pace over March: PMI 

Australian manufacturing’s strong start to 2021 has continued according to the Australian Industry Group’s Performance of Manufacturing Index, which recorded its best result since March 2018 and the sixth straight month of strong recovery since the lows of the pandemic.

Maggie Beer buys hamper business for $40 million, goes digital

Prestige food producer Maggie Beer Holdings is to further its move into digital and e-commerce businesses through the purchase of a leading hampers and gifts business for $40 million. The Barossa Valley company, which grew its e-commerce sales by 167 per cent during the Covid-19 pandemic, is purchasing 100 per cent of Hampers & Gifts…

@AuManufacturing adds new value-added services

Advertisement The Australian Manufacturing Forum and @AuManufacturing news today announces an addition to the value-added services services we offer to manufacturers. We have teamed up with trusted sector partners to provide assistance to companies wishing to access the federal government’s modern manufacturing initiative grants. We have done this as, like all government grant schemes, the…

Albanese doubles up on manufacturing intervention – report

Opposition leader Anthony Albanese will up the ante in the debate about the future of manufacturing, promising to establish a $15 billion reconstruction fund should it be returned at the next election. This comes mid-way through the rollout of the federal government’s manufacturing modernisation initiative – a tenth the value of Labor’s promise. At the…

Titomic to manufacture gun barrels in Australia

Metal additive manufacturing company Titomic has teamed up with a Turkish supplier of manufacturing systems to establish gun barrel production in Australia. Titomic and Repkon Machine and Tool Industry and Trade Inc have formed a joint venture to build a production facility in Australia at an un-named location. It will manufacture ‘weapons systems barrels’ designed…

Treasury wines loses China dumping case, hit with massive import tariffs

Leading wine producer Treasury Wine Estates, the maker of Penfolds wines, has lost its anti-dumping case brought by the Chinese government which has confirmed crippling import duties will apply to the company. The Chinese ministry of commerce issued a final determination in its anti-dumping and countervailing investigations into Australian wine exports to China, including Treasury.…

Modern Manufacturing Initiative grants open for food and beverage companies

The federal government has opened grant applications for a fourth priority sector under the Modern Manufacturing Initiative, the Food and Beverage industry.

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.…

Property, Australian recovery buoys Brickworks

A strong performance in its property portfolio and investments, and a recovering Australian economy has held up Brickworks profits in the first half of the 2021 financial year. The company reported net profit after tax up 22 per cent to $71 million for the six months. However, underlying earnings before interest and tax (EBIT) was…

Starpharma launches Viraleze in the UK

Pharmaceutical developer Starpharma has secured United Kingdom distribution for its Viraleze antiviral nasal spray. The Melbourne company has signed a sales and distribution agreement with LloydsPharmacy which operates 1,400 pharmacy stores in the UK and is part of international pharma distributor group McKesson. McKesson supplies more than 14,000 pharmacies across the UK. Viraleze spray, which…

Australian team wins international prize for sustainable packaging invention

A Monash University team has won a prize for innovation at the global WorldStar Student Awards, developing a fibreboard packaging product using 30 per cent peanut husks. 

Gold mine turns into pumped hydro electricity storage

The disused open cut Kidston gold mine in Queensland is to be repurposed into a massive pumped hydro electricity storage system. The Australian Reneawable Energy Agency (ARENA) has announced $47 million in funding for Genex to construct a pumped hydro system to store energy from a 50 MW solar farm that is already operating and…

Plans approved for Western Sydney Startup Hub

The NSW Government’s proposed Western Sydney Startup Hub has been given planning approval, paving the way for heritage buildings in North Parramatta to be “sensitively restored” for entrepreneurs.

ADDE delivers key machines for Covid injector production

Automation system builder Andrew Donald Design Engineering have shipped the second of three specialist inspection machines (pictured) to a US manufacturer building systems to accelerate the delivery of COVID-19 vaccines. Part of the US Trump administration’s Operation Warp Speed program, the systems are designed to overcome significant constraints in the supply and filling of vials…

Manufacturing newsbriefs – stories you might have missed

Quickstep unsuccessful in flare housing manufacturing bid Composites manufacturer Quickstep Holdings has been informed its bid to manufacture MJU-6B flare housing for the F-35 Lightning II Joint Strike Fighter for Chemring in the next two financial years has been unsuccessful. Quickstep said the grounds for Chemring’s decision are contestable, with the company initiating a formal…

AGL begins grid-scale battery network rollout

AGL has today announced construction will get underway this year on its planned nationwide network of grid-scale storage batteries. The company announced a start to a 250-megawatt (MW), one-hour duration grid-scale battery at Torrens Island power station in Adelaide (pictured), following AGL’s final investment decision (FID) on the project. AGL CEO Brett Redman said South…

Air Liquide to build CO2 production plant

Air Liquide is to build and operate a new CO2 purification and production plant to supply industry in Gippsland Victoria. The company has come to an agreement with the Gippsland Basin Joint Venture, made up of BHP and Esso, to build the facility alongside the Longford Gas Conditioning plant which processes Bass Strait’s oil and…

Dutch agreement is bridge to local manufacturing for Australian firm

Sustainable Infrastructure Systems has signed a deal with a Dutch firm to manufacture lightweight fibreglass bridges and jetties for the Oceania region from Adelaide, South Australia.

Manufacturing Excellence Forum Sunshine Coast launches

A new group supporting the development of manufacturing in the Sunshine Coast has been launched, and will hold its first event this week.

Planet Innovation opens new medical manufacturing facility, plans to achieve $1 billion in exports in five years

Commercialisation and engineering firm Planet Innovation has continued its rapid expansion, officially opening a new medical technology manufacturing wing at its Melbourne site and describing a vision to make hundreds of new hires and grow export revenues to $1 billion  within five years.

USQ develops static rocket test site

Australia’s first privately-owned, static rocket testing site has been developed in a partnership between Rocket Technologies International and the University of Southern Queensland. The Helidon Rocket Test Site has been inaugurated in a sandstone quarry to test rockets that are secured to the ground in a controlled environment. Executive Director of USQ’s Institute for Advanced…

Australian company launches high-tech sleep monitoring product

Sleeptite has announced REMi, a system with sensors, data analytics and user interface enabling non-invasive monitoring of health and other data in aged care settings.

FormFlow judged as top innovator in Australia By Design series

Building products technology company FormFlow has been selected as the winner of the Australia By Design series.

TGA gives CSL local vaccine manufacturing approval

The Therapeutic Goods Administration on Sunday approved manufacture of the AstraZeneca COVID-19 Vaccine (ChAdOx1-S) in Australia by CSL’s Seqirus vaccine division. This follows on from the 16 February 2021 approval by TGA of the overseas-manufactured AstraZeneca vaccine. The delay in both approvals is part of criticism of the federal government’s vaccine rollout – see separate…

Sparc deveops anti-microbial graphene

Advanced materials company Sparc Technologies has demonstrated bactericidal properties of its graphene based additives in an epoxy coating system. The company commissioned Flinders University, Adelaide to evaluate the coatings using an internationally recognised standard ISO 22196. The bactericidal activity was demonstrated in relation to Escherichia Coli, a commonly found and harmful bacteria. Graphene when added…

NSW net zero plan can be a ‘nation building’ win

The NSW government’s latest tilt at reducing the state’s emissions to net zero has the potential to become a grand scale nation building program. But without appropriate oversight, hundreds of millions of taxpayer dollars could simply “perpetuate business as usual”.

SPC lunches into Tasmanian home-delivered meals market

Agribusiness SPC’s The Good Meal Company subsidiary has launched its home delivery service of home-style cooked meals in the Tasmanian market. The Company has over two decades supplying public hospitals and will now offer home meal delivery service to Tasmanians in need including NDIS participants and Home Care clients. The Good Meal Company, acquired by…

Segula plans to hire another 100 in Victoria

France-headquartered engineering firm Segula Technologies will expand its presence in Victoria.

Wearables maker gets a Queensland govt boost

By Joseph Brookes Brisbane-based MedTech manufacturer WearOptimo, which is backed by the Australian National University (ANU), will produce devices in Australia after getting support from the Queensland government. The company makes small sticker like devices (pictured) that can detect dehydration in patients. According to tWearOptimo, the ‘microwearables’ provide accurate results in real time and may…

Manufacturing news briefs – stories you might have missed

ACS manufactures carbon fibre composite faraday shields Advanced Composite Structures has manufactured a batch of carbon fibre composite faraday shields (pictured) for electromagnetic sensors. The cylindrical housings will be used in a mining industry application, with the carbon fibre shielding electromagnetic radiation. Twenty five carbon fibre housings were made with a cylindrical tool for batch…

Superyacht builders choose VEEM gyrostabilisers

Perth marine-engineering manufacturer VEEM have won their first orders for vessel gyrostabilisers from two highly prestigious Italian superyacht builders, Rossinavi and Overmarine. Overmarine, the builder of the Mangusta range of superyachts, has ordered two gyros for a new design the Mangusta 165, which is 50 metres in length. Rossinavi has ordered a Veem Gyro, which…

Fonterra dairy booms on China’s recovery

Trans-Tasman dairy giant Fonterra has boosted strongly rising profits in the six months to January 31 driven by a resurgent Chinese economy. The company reported earnings before interest and tax (EBIT) up 17 per cent to $634.9 million (NZ$684 million) on total revenue down five per cent to $9.2 billion. EBIT in Greater China was…

De.mem to expand with WA chemicals business buy

Singapore and Australian water and waste water treatment business De.mem has agreed to acquired another company, this time a Western Australian specialty chemicals business that gives it access to a big mining industry client base. The company will pay $5.1 million to buy Capic, a supplier of high margin specialty chemicals to companies including BHP…

How to advance Australian manufacturing – by Ishan Galapathy

Ishan Galapathy spent 2020 looking at the fundamental issues facing Australian manufacturing and our elusive pathway to operational excellence (OpEx). Here he gives a taste, from his latest book, of what he learned. One key thing the year 2020 highlighted was the importance of global supply chains and local manufacturing. The solution for Australia is…

Second round of shipbuilding scholarships announced

Forty new scholarships have been awarded under the National Naval Shipbuilding Pipeline Scholarship program.

Manufacturing growth “firmly positive,” Australian survey finds

Further evidence that manufacturing has started 2021 strongly has emerged, with the Australian Chamber – Westpac Survey of Industrial Trends showing the sector leading the nation’s economic recovery.

CHEP’s stretch wrapping portfolio going to Fromm

Fromm Packaging Australia announced on Monday that it will acquire CHEP’s local stretch wrapping portfolio.

Audit Office to scrutinise R&D Tax Incentive

The Australian National Audit Office (ANAO) is conducting an audit into the effectiveness of the Industry department and Australian Taxation Office’s administration of the research and development tax incentive (RDTI) program and is expected to table its report in October.

Titomic signs with Indian distributor

Metal additive manufacturing company Titomic has secured a major Indian distributor for its Titomic Kinetic Fusion metal 3D printers. Titomic has ‘formed a relationship’ with Shree Rapid Technologies (SRT) to sell printers and promote the TKF technology in India, which has a large high technology manufacturing sector. Interim CEO of Titomic, Norbert Schulze said: “Banking…

FFW CRC appoints new head of food waste upcycling program

The Fight Food Waste Cooperative Research Centre has announced upcycling expert Francesca Goodman-Smith as the head of its “Transform” research theme.

La Trobe Bundoora to get $23 million Digital and Bio Innovation Hub

Construction will begin in May on a new hub at La Trobe Univeristy’s Bundoora campus, to accommodate “students, start-ups and Victorian businesses.”

Think strategically about operations and supply chains- by Mohsen Varsei

Mohsen Varsei takes a look at the parlous state of Australian manufacturing. He argues the answer is to refocus on operations and supply chain excellence. This sets new business horizons and becomes the manufacturing firm’s advantage. The government recently acknowledged that ‘manufacturing in Australia has stagnated. Not enough manufacturers are scaling-up’. Its ‘vision is for…

JobKeeper job losses should bring focus on management skills – by Glen Casey

Glen Casey looks at the future of support for manufacturing once JobKeeper finishes at the end of March. He argues that large job losses are inevitable when JobKeeper is removed, suggesting a policy focus for SME manufacturers of job retention, and providing support to management to navigate a path in the new post COVID world.…

Austal Philippines delivers its largest vehicle ferry – video

Austal Philippines has farewelled Fjord Line AS’ FSTR (pictured), the largest high speed aluminium ferry ever constructed in the Philippines The vessel, an Austal Auto Express 109 designed in Australia and constructed in Balamban, Cebu, capable of transporting 1,200 passengers at speeds up to 40 knots. It features Austal’s largest ever vehicle-carrying capacity to date,…

Queensland company to expand PPE production for medical imaging, hire 15

Imaging Solutions has announced that it will expand its production of personal protective equipment for imaging diagnostic procedures, which have risen due to Covid-19.

Custom Denning to launch electric bus in the UK – report

Australian battery electric bus manufacturer Custom Denning is to launch its zero-emission Element battery electric bus in the United Kingdom followed by a hydrogen fuel cell version, according to media reports in the UK motoring press. Route One reported the first demonstrator was likely to arrive in the UK in 2022. In October the company,…

SEA Electric raises $54 million equity to accelerate expansion

Electric vehicle drive manufacturer SEA Electric Holdings has raised $54 million (US$42 million) to supercharge its market expansion as a global player in the rapid switch to electric powered trucks and vans. In November the company announced it had closed the first $20 million of a proposed $30 million series A funding round led by…

Geelong to get a ManuFutures sequel

The Waurn Ponds startup hub, Manufutures, will get an expansion, with construction on a second building scheduled to begin in September.

Qld: $5m grants for renewable hydrogen projects

By Joseph Brookes The Queensland government has opened a second round of its Hydrogen Industry Development Fund, offering up to $5 million in financial assistance for renewable hydrogen projects. “We have an opportunity to position Queensland as a world leading exporter of renewable hydrogen in the future. That’s what this initiative is all about,” Premier Annastacia…

$30 million in grants to be available for manufacturing commercialisation projects

The federal government has announced $30 million in funding to help manufacturers commercialise their ideas. The new $30 million commercialisation fund will provide grants smaller than and complementary to the Modern Manufacturing Initiative program, with applications for the latter opening weekly and by “manufacturing priority” sectors. Grant applications for three MMI sectors have been opened…

Treasury begins switch to premium US wine portfolio

Treasury Wine Estates, the maker of Penfolds wines, has moved towards a premium brand model for its extensive American multi-brand wine portfolio. The company, which is wrestling with the fallout of China’s punitive tariffs against Australian wine imports, has reached a long-term licensing agreement with The Wine Group to take over several of TWE’s commercial…

$540m Business Growth Fund ready to flow

By Denham Sadler The $540 million Australian Business Growth Fund is about to turn on the taps, with its first investment of “patient capital” expected to be made by the end of the financial year. First announced by the Coalition as part of the 2019 election campaign, the Australian Business Growth Fund (ABGF) will make…

GHD Group becomes cornerstone investor in Lavo

Professional services firm GHD Group is to become a cornerstone investor in hydrogen electrolyser and storage system manufacturer Lavo. The equity investment is part of LAVO’s $50 million Series A capital raise now underway, with the firm joining Providence Asset Group, UNSW, and Gowings Bros as investors. In addition to holding an equity stake in…

‘Biodegradable’ plastic will soon be banned in Australia. That’s a big win for the environment

To start dealing with Australia’s mounting plastic crisis, the federal government last week launched its first National Plastics Plan.

Zip Water releases redesigned HydroTap Classic Plus

Appliance company Zip Water has announced a redesign of its HydroTap Classic Plus and a “strong pipeline of innovation” for the rest of the year. The HydroTap delivers instant boiled, chilled and sparkling water, and comes with the new command centre — which the company calls G5 — with a redesigned user interface and iconography…

Noxcovid trial advances to final stage

Drug development company Noxopharm has reported positive results for use in its drug Veyonda in preventing septic shock in seriously ill patients infected by the Covid-19 virus. The Sydney company tested 26 patients with varying doses of Veyonda, a product based on an existing anti-cancer drug. The patients with moderately severe disease had very poor…

NSW to announce $750 million support for “clean industrial revolution”

The NSW government will announce a $750 million program to run over the decade, aimed at cutting the state’s greenhouse gas emissions by a third.

Onshoring is happening, but how extensive is it?

By Peter Roberts The anecdotal evidence is out here – onshoring and reshoring of manufacturing to Australia is occurring. The problem is, it is all but impossible to get a handle on how widespread it is, and whether it will really be significant in the long run. We all know the reasons why some manufacturing…

Manufacturing news briefs – stories you might have missed

Electrolux manufactures 6.5 millionth oven Adelaide whitegoods manufacturer Electrolux has celebrated building its 6.5 millionth oven at its factory in Simpson Avenue, Dudley Park. Head of commercial Tony Hinchco said: “Congratulations to everyone involved from the Australian based designers and product development team who dream up our products to the engineers and manufacturing teams who…

Ministers visit Energy Renaissance battery project

The Prime Minister Scott Morrison and industry minister Karen Andrews have visited the site of Australia’s first lithium ion battery manufacturing plant at Tomago in New South Wales. The pair inspected the site where Energy Renaissance is investing $28 million to construct a 4,000 sqm facility with an initial battery production capacity of 66MWh per…

‘Aussie Amazon’ launches new tick of approval for 100 per cent Australian made and owned products

Federal treasurer Josh Frydenberg will be a part of the official launch of the Buy Aussie Now marketplace, to take place today at Melbourne confectioner Ministry of Chocolate.

RPC to manufacture rail toilet modules

Composites manufacturer RPC Technologies is to fabricate Sanitary Toilet Modules for inclusion in new Metronet trains being produced for the Western Australian regional rail network. The company has been awarded the design, manufacture and supply contract for the modules including associated tank systems for Alstom’s Perth Metronet DMU trains being built for the Public Transport…

VEEM makes waves in propeller market

Perth marine-engineering manufacturer VEEM has begun the year with record-breaking production, shipping a record number of VEEM Propellers in February. The company has been investing to boost capacity and improve delivery times, including buying two new CNC machines and further automation. Managing director Mark Miocevich said: “VEEM is globally the only commercial volume producer of…

Manufacturing news briefs – stories you might have missed

Magnis Energy Technologies furthers battery development Magnis Energy Technologies has progressed its development of fast-charging electric vehicle batteries. The company and Charge CCCV have had initial successful results using commercial optimised 1.6 Ah cells, After 600 cycles the battery retained 93 per cent capacity with 30 minute charges and discharges. The company is now testing…

De.mem’s focus on buying from Australian suppliers

Water and wastewater treatment company De.mem switched its focus to buying from Australian suppliers during a 2020 calendar year which saw the company deliver an inaugural positive cash flow of $544,000. The switch was made to avoid global supply chain risks exposed by the Covid-19 pandemic. The Singapore/Australian company saw strong sales growth of 41…

AML3D to supply 3D manufactured components

Additive manufacturing technology company AML3D will supply a series of industrial components for evaluation and testing by Japanese-based 3D printing solutions firm 3D Printing Corporation (DPC). The company will utilise its its wire arc additive manufacturing (WAM) process to manufacture high wear and fatigue loaded parts for the mining sector. 3DPC is a Japanese company…

Think all your plastic is being recycled? New research shows it can end up in the ocean

We all know it’s wrong to toss your rubbish into the ocean or another natural place. But it might surprise you to learn some plastic waste ends up in the environment, even when we thought it was being recycled.

AML3D appoints new CFO

ASX-listed additive manufacturing technology company AML3D has announced the appointment of Hamish McEwin as its new chief financial officer.

Geelong uses recycled glass in new roads

Roads in Leopold and Lara were recently reopened after being repaved, using up 50 tonnes of recycled crushed glass. The glass was crushed to the fineness of sand by Fulton Hogan at its Lara site. This replaces around 3 per cent of the road mix, which was used in the road’s base layer, around 4…

Calix electric reactor to heat salts in energy storage pilot

Industrial process technology company Calix has joined with Sweden’s SaltX and Sumitomo SHI FW to further develop a salt based energy storage system with potential to speed decarbonisation of the economy. Calix’s novel kiln technology will be added to SaltX’s energy storage system in a 200kW pilot plant to be built in Sweden. The pilot…

XTEK in loss as R&D and commercialising phase gather pace

Advanced composites manufacturer XTEK has reported a gross loss of $3.2 million in the six months to December 31 as it continued to invest in product and market development and in production facilities for its defence industry products. The loss, made on turnover down $3.6 million on the previous corresponding period to $12.4 million, came…

Softmed to expand and onshore manufacture of surgical gloves

Australia’s first producer of surgical and examination gloves critical to medicine and surgery is to be Softmed, the country’s largest manufacturer of personal protection equipment. The company has beaten the giant Ansell medical and industrial gloves group, which is Australian based but manufactures only overseas, to the punch. Fresh from investing $30 million at a…

PMI shows manufacturing’s strong start to the year continues

The strong start to 2021 has continued for the industry, with the Australian Industry Group Performance of Manufacturing Index recording an overall result of 58.8 in February. The PMI result is up from 55.3 in December/January. Any score above 50 indicates growth, below it contraction, and a score of 50 indicates no change. Five of…

Olympian manufacturing opportunities in store for Brisbane

Comment by Peter Roberts With Brisbane now in the box seat to secure the 2032 Olympic Games the usual whinges have been aired about cost and the priorities of the Queensland government. But there is more than just once-off television rights to be earned, with Sydney 2000 creating numerous ongoing business opportunities from making venue…

Manufacturing news briefs – stories you might have missed

Bisalloy’s armour plated half year Wear and armour steel producer Bisalloy boosted its earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation by 42 per cent in the half year to December 31 to $6.7 million. Margins were boosted with the positive result of anti-dumping measures against its main import competitor, however that company has been working…

Orica impacted by China trade sanctions, Covid

China’s punitive trade action against Australia is starting to impact manufacturing with its ban on importing Australian thermal coal cutting sales for explosives and chemical group Orica. The company said in a market update that diminished coal mining activity was flowing through to its explosives business, which will suffer losses between $70 million and $80…

Lynas’ record sales drives profit growth

Australia’s largest producer of minerals used to manufacture high technology products, Lynas Rare Earths shrugged off the Covid-19 pandemic in the first half to December one, recording record sales on the back of rising prices. Despite operating at 75 per cent capacity, the Perth company boosted revenue from the previous corresponding period’s $180 million to…

Working from home in a pandemic by Juliana Queiroz

Working from home has become the norm for many especially white collar workers in manufacturing. But there need to be changes if you are going to get the most out of remote employees, and they are going to get the most out of their work, writes Juliana Queiroz One year after the coronavirus outbreak, we…

Austal’s profits up, sales sink

The world’s largest aluminium shipbuilder Austal today reported earnings before interest and tax of $70.5 million in the half year to December 31, well up on the previous corresponding period’s $59.9 million. However first half revenue actually fell from $1 billion to $840 million due to a higher A$, lower throughput in the United States,…

Grant applications open for medical products under MMI

Grant applications have opened for medical products manufacturers under the Modern Manufacturing Initiative, with funding between $1 million and $20 million available for successful applications.

Manufacturing news briefs – stories you might have missed

Austin Engineering rebuilds with mining Mining equipment manufacturer Austin Engineering recovered from the effects on investment in mining of the Covid-19 pandemic in the first half year to December 31 reporting total revenue in line with expectations of $87.9 million. Normalised earnings before interest, tax, interest, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) was 32 per cent up…

V2Food plant based burger on sale in Korea

This week marks another milestone in the penetration of Asia Pacific markets of the plant-based burger first developed for the Australian Hungry Jack’s chain. South Korea has become the fifth country in the region where Burger King restaurants are offering offering the Plant Whopper developed by CSIRO offshoot v2Food. Burger King Korea customers will be…

ATP Science expects to create 33 new jobs through $3.2 million upgrade

Health food company ATP Science says it will boost staff and reach new markets through a $3.2 million investment in new factory equipment.

a2 milk profit sours on Covid disruption

Specialised milk producer a2 Milk has seen its turnover and profits plunge as the Covid-19 pandemic interrupted its supply chains into the China market. The company announced today earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) down 32.2 per cent for the half year to December 31 to $166.7 million (NZ$178.5 million). Revenues were down…

Relectrify gives second life to EV batteries

Melbourne battery control technology company Relectrify today announced the release of its commercial & industrial (C&I) energy storage systems based on its BMS+Inverter technology. The modular 120kWh systems are made from second-life electric vehicle (EV) batteries – cells that have been retired after use in electric vehicles. Relectrify’s life-extending BMS+Inverter technology results in up to…

Manufacturing news briefs – stories you might have missed

Cochlear clear to sell new sound processor products Hearing technology company Cochlear has received US Food and Drug Administration and CE Mark approval for its new Cochlear Baha 6 Max Sound Processor. With increased power without increasing in size, the bone conduction processor improves hearing outcomes for people with single-sided deafness, conductive or mixed hearing…

Manufacturing company profit newsbriefs

Calix moves from loss to profit Industrial chemicals and process technology company Calix today reported strong sales and profit growth in water treatment business which underpins commercialisation in processing, biotechnology, battery materials and CO2 mitigation. The company moved from a loss to a profit of $3.06 million in the half year to December 31 on…

Carbon Revolution looks to massive wheel output

Geelong carbon fibre road wheel manufacturer Carbon Revolution has given new details of its plans to raise output through the construction of new mega-line production equipment. The company announced revenue down 14.1 per cent in the first half but said it expected growth in existing wheel programs and the award of new wheel contracts for…

Blackmores accelerates growth in Asia vitamins markets

Vitamin manufacturer Blackmores is achieving positive results from a three-year turnaround enabling it to increase sales and market penetration in fast-growing Asian markets and build a new business in pet supplements. The Sydney company today reported underlying earnings before interest and tax up 15 per cent to $30.8 million in the half year to December…

Hydrogen steel making closer with Liberty move

Both Australia’s primary steel makers are moving closer towards making steel using green hydrogen following a move by Liberty Steel which operates the Whyalla steek works in South Australia. On Monday @AuManufacturing reported BlueScope Steel was considering the future of the Port Kembla works in New South Wales after its number five blast furnace reached…

PC to investigate supply chain vulnerabilty

The federal government has given the Productivity Commission the task of reviewing Australia’s supply chain vulnerabilities and risks following the shocks of the Covid-19 pandemic. The Productivity Commission will look at Australia’s supply chains, as well as longer term trends in relation to Australia’s linkages and dependencies on international trade and assess whether vulnerabilities or…

Quickstep grows but currency change mars profit

Aerospace composites manufacturer Quickstep has reported steady growth in sales for the first half of FY21 with sales up eight per cent to $41.5 million, the rise attributable to the company’s involvement in making tail sections for the F-35 Lightning jet fighter. However the rising Australian dollar hit EBITDA margin as did the end of…

Adbri’s earnings boost despite Covid challenges

Lower residential construction in Australia has seen turnover for construction materials group Adbri fall marginally in the full year to 31 December, only partially offset by increased lime sales. The company, the renamed Adelaide Brighton, reported net profit after tax of $93.7 million, up from $47.3 million in the previous corresponding period on revenue down…

Gale Pacific EBITDA up 332 per cent

ASX-listed fabric company Gale Pacific has reported improved revenues and profitability in the first half of the financial year.

The Canberra bubble and Australia’s manufacturing dialogue – by Greg Whiteley

Greg Whiteley ferrets out the facts about Australia’s company structure – and it turns out there are a tiny number of large businesses dominated by 99 per cent of companies with less than 200 employees. Yet the policy focus is all about big businesses. Time to change and develop policy suited to our SME business…

Manufacturing news briefs – stories you might have missed

Cann Group’s sales pass $1 million Medicinal cannabis producer Cann Group has reported sales of $1.1 million in the first half to December 31, at the same time giving further details of a previously announced cyber attack. The company reported an operating loss of $9.4 million despite dispatching initial orders to a number of international…

$2.6 m in grants for Victorian infrastructure projects using recycled products

Nineteen projects by Victorian local councils and alpine resort management boards have been awarded a total of $2.6 million in state funding to support infrastructure projects using recycled material. According to a statement by the state government, the projects supported under the Sustainable Infrastructure Fund would cumulatively create 388 new jobs and recycle over 2,000…

K-TIG to enter carbon steel market

Welding technology company K-TIG has successfully developed welding procedures for high strength carbon steels in addition to its stainless steel capabilities, opening up access to a new market worth billions of dollars a year. The company, which manufactures patented, high productivity welding equipment and offers welding as a service, has proven welding of A516 Grade…

BlueScope’s profit surge amid sharper focus on climate change

BlueScope Steel’s profits have surged in the first half of the financial year with steel volumes and spreads in its major markets at their highest level in a decade. The company reported underlying earnings before interest and tax (EBIT) up 75 per cent on the previous corresponding period to $530.6 million. Australian earnings were up…

Fortescue commits big $ to renewable hydrogen

Twiggy Forrest’s Fortescue Metals has followed through on support for new industries based on renewable hydrogen by earmarking up to $400 million dollars for investment in the sector. The iron ore miner told investors as part of its half year profit statement that 10 per cent of profits swelled by strong demand from China would…

Manufacturing news briefs – stories you might have missed

Cell Therapies to manufacture Kymriah Melbourne contract manufacturer Cell Therapies has been given Therapeutic Goods Administration approval to manufacture Novartis’ chimeric antigen receptor T-cell at its facility at the Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre. The one-off treatment for blood cancers involves removing cells from the patient, reprogramming them and infuysing them back into the body. The…

Applications open for space industry grants

Space is the first of six targeted sectors eligible for funding under the federal government’s Modern Manufacturing Initiative, with applications now open for grants under the program.

Recycling science innovator to feature on Monday’s Australian Story

Professor Veena Sahajwalla, an internationally-renowned engineer working in recycling science, will be the subject on Monday’s Australian Story.

Ellume scales-up production of Covid-19 test kits

Brisbane medtech company Ellume has hosted the US Consul-General Sharon Hudson-Dean and US Embassy officials to its Richlands plant as it scales up production of its rapid Covid-19 test kits. The officials inspected facilities which are being rapidly expanded to meet a $US230 million contract from the United States Department of Defense to provide its…

Cochlear recovers as hospital surgeries resume

Hearing implant manufacturer Cochlear is recovering from the effects of the Covid-19 pandemic which interrupted surgical procedures, reporting today half-year earnings before interest and tax (EBIT) down only four per cent on the previous corresponding period. The Sydney company reported EBIT of $175.6 million with 17,377 implant units sold in the half compared to 18,894…

R&D tax concession promoter hit by $22 million penalty

The Federal Court has handed down a massive penalty against a research and development tax adviser who lodged overstated and unsubstantiated claims on behalf of clients. Thhe Australian Taxation Office revealed that judgement had been made against Paul Enzo Bogiatto who was ordered to pay $22.68 million in penalties. Bogiatto was ordered to pay $6.51…

Nominations open for 2021 Good Design Awards

Entries are now open for the Good Design Awards, now in their 63rd year.

CSL’s massive profit increase as vaccines, new products star

Australia’s largest company by market capitalisation, biotechnology manufacturer CSL has powered ahead in the first half of the financial year reporting a net profit after tax up 44 per cent on the previous corresponding period. The company, which is in the final stages of manufacturing the AstraZeneca Covid-19 vaccine, reported a NPAT of $1.8 billion…

Manufacturing news briefs – stories you might have missed

Noxopharm’s loss on R&D activities Clinical stage drug development company Noxopharm has reported a loss of $6.7 million before tax for the first half of the financial year. The company, which is commercialising its drug Veyonda (pictured) for the treatment of advanced prostate cancer, spent $3 million on R&D and received a R&D tax refund…

Goanna Ag and Myriota combine for farm sensor solutions

Farm sensor manufacturer Goanna Ag and IoT nanosatellite operator Myriota have combined to launch two innovative products to help farmers manage water resources, Go Rain and GoTank. GoRain allows farmers to monitor rainfall at remote locations, providing information on rainfall variability that enables data driven decision-making. GoTank updates livestock farmers via the industrial IoT on…

PPK Group looks to divest mining equipment business, focus on technology

Technology commercialisation business and mining equipment manufacturer PPK Group has suffered a drop in profit as the company continues to aggressively expand its portfolio of businesses. The company reported today earnings before interest tax amortisation and depreciation of $924,000 in the first half year, down from a profit of $3.1 million. Total revenues were hit…

Treasury Wine Estates profit slumps as it exits China

Treasury Wine Estates, the maker of Penfolds wines, today reported earnings before interest and taxes (EBITS) down 23 per cent in the first half year to $284 million as it was hit by China’s punishing tariffs against Australian products. The slump, which was widely expected, was driven by the company’s exit from the premium China…

Dimplex buys majority stake in Thermofilm

Glen Dimplex Australia has acquired a majority stake in Dandenong South-based Thermofilm.

New Environex plastics recycling plant at Toowoomba will create 30 new jobs

Environex has been awarded a $1.3 million grant under the Queensland government’s Resource Recovery Industry Development Program, which will contribute to a new recycling facility at Toowoomba’s Wellcamp Airport.

Massive Covid boost for Ansell

Global latex and protective glove manufacturer Ansell has reported a massive sales boost from the Covid-19 pandemic. The Melbourne company reported sales for the first half year up 24.5 per cent to $1.2 billion (US$937.8 million) driven by rising healthcare and industrial sales. Healthcare sales were up 37 per cent on the previous corresponding period…

Lavo to make hydrogen electrolysers in Queensland

Low-price domestic hydrogen electrolyser and storage system manufacturer Lavo has committed to building a new factory in Queensland reported to cost $20 million. The company and its JV partner Nedstack said in a statement they would develop a fuel cell and LAVO unit (pictured) manufacturing facility in Springfield City, a private sector CBD development near…

Fleet Space to launch fifth satellite

IIot communications services provider Fleet Space Technologies will launch its fifth nanosatellite, Centauri 3 in March aboard Rocket Lab’s They Go Up So Fast mission. The locally manufactured Commercial Nanosatellite will head for Low Earth Orbit (LEO) at 550 km from Launch Complex 1 on New Zealand’s Māhia Peninsula. Centauri 3 is part of the…

Saber Astronautics developing space operations centre

Saber Astronautics is promising that the new space mission control centre being developed for the Australian Space Agency will be the first professional control centre in the world to use machine learning in the day-to-day operation of spacecraft. Saber will also incorporate innovative 3D gaming technology in the new centre. The company, which spans space…

Fortescue deploys autonomous light vehicles at Chichester Hub

Iron ore miner Fortescue Metals Group has created and deployed a fleet of autonomous light vehicles (ALV’s, pictured) at the company’s mining operations in the Chichester Hub in the Pilbara. Developed by Fortescue’s Technology and Autonomy team with the assistance of Ford Australia, the vehicles aim to improve the efficiency of the Christmas Creek mobile…

Biochar: an ancient waste-to-value product

A miracle all-in-one soil improver, waste disposer and planet saviour, or a biomassive waste of time? Brent Balinski spoke to manufacturers and others about the place of charred organic matter in our future.

Incitec Pivot plagued by even more plant outages

Chemicals and explosives business Incitec Pivot long plagued by unplanned facility shutdowns has been hit yet again with new problems that will cost the company $35 million (US$26 million) to fix. The company, only just recovering from a series of disasters, today announced that a discovery phase of works required at its Waggaman ammonia plant…

$16.5 million grant round launched for EV charger sites

The first round of the Future Fuels Fund has been launched, with the federal government saying the $16.5 million grant round would support electric vehicle uptake and lessen concerns “about their capacity to travel longer distances in regional Australia.”

Manufacturing news briefs – stories you might have missed

CSL to begin Covid-19 vaccine bottling this week Biotechnology giant CSL is to begin bottling its first doses of the AstraZeneca developed Covid-19 vaccine this week, according to reports. Channel 9 media reported that a six-week process of testing and filling vaccine would begin this week. CSL began manufacturing the vaccine at its advanced manufacturing…

Spectur to provide emergency surf lifesaving beacons

Internet of things security solutions provider Spectur has announced its largest sales contract to date for an emergency response beacon network for Surf Lifesaving New South Wales. The contract will see the company provide emergency response beacons over the next five months to improve safety at a number of beaches in the state. The contract…

Pact completes acquisition of NZ plastic recycler

Pact Group has announced the completed acquisition of Flight Plastics, adding the ability to produce up to 5,000 tonnes a year of recycled PET trays and containers a year.

Alcoa/FYI produce high purity alumina

A joint venture pilot plant by Perth materials technology group FYI Resources and Alcoa of Australia has successfully produced 99.9986 per cent purity alumina (Al2O3). The companies said the high purity alumina (HPA) achieved in the plant was an outstanding outcome and validation of FYI’s HPA refining process and flowsheet design. FYI plans a kaolin…

Gladstone to get $300 million high-purity alumina factory

Gladstone has secured a high-purity alumina plant with a predicted output of 10,000 tonnes annually, with planning approval from the Queensland government announced on Thursday and an opening scheduled for 2023.

CRC-P round 11 grant applications open

Applications opened on Thursday morning for Round 11 of CRC-P grants of between  $100,000 and $3 million.

NSW targets translation in industrial drive

By James Riley A startup and SME-focused procurement reform and a plan to plug R&D linkages directly into precincts like TechCentral in Sydney are at the core of NSW government’s industrial policy zeal. There is an ambition to the NSW government plans for accelerating research and development outcomes in the state that only comes from…

Manufacturing news briefs – stories you might have missed

Ainsworth gaming making slow recovery Gaming machine manufacturer Ainsworth Game Technology is slowly recovering from the slump in the gambling industry forced by the Covid-19 pandemic. The Sydney company reported a loss before tax of $14 million for the first half year, excluding a currency loss of the same size caused by the strengthening of…

Refining – Canberra dithers while we lose yet another industry

Comment by Peter Roberts We are witnessing the demise of yet another manufacturing industry – oil refining and downstream chemicals. The news that Exxon Mobil will shut its Altona refinery will mean that five of Australia’s seven oil refineries have shut since 2010. So when you hear responses like that of energy minister Angus Taylor…

Rheem and Solahart launch water heating to stabilise networks, save energy

Water heater manufacturer Rheem Australia and its renewables brand, Solahart have launched an innovative project in South Australia that boosts local sales while saving consumers cash on their power bills. The companies have been funded by the Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA) and the South Australian Government to launch the Rheem Active Hot Water Control…

It might look like China is winning the trade war, but its import bans are a diplomacy fail

As Australian producers scramble to find markets for goods hit by Chinese import restrictions, it might look as though China is winning the diplomatic war.

But the current situation is a diplomacy fail for China as much as for Australia.

ExxonMobil to announce Altona closure today: report

An announcement that ExxonMobil will shut its Altona refinery is expected today.

Manufacturing news briefs – stories you might have missed

Noxopharm reports new treatment for prostate cancer Pharmaceutical developer Noxopharm has claimed a combination of two existing drugs has emerged as a major new treatment for prostate cancer. The company said its Veyonda treatment for late-stage cancers combined with Novartis’ Lu-PSMA-617 resulted in half of patients suffering end stage (Stage 4) disease surviving at least…

No Women In Manufacturing? Think Again by Daen Simmat

Industrial designer Daen Simmat takes a look at the women working in manufacturing. Many women are deterred from participation in some of Australia’s most thriving and essential businesses, particularly in male-dominated industries such as manufacturing. This is due to organisations struggling to attract women to consider and apply for jobs. However, a recent focus on…

Arnott’s Group expands with Diver Foods buy

The Arnott’s Group has signalled a plan to expand its Australian food business with the purchase of Melbourne snack and breakfast cereal manufacturer Diver Foods. Diver, the manufacturer of Carman’s muesli and muesli bars, will form the basis of a new a new business division at Arnott’s to be known as Good Food Partners. While…

Treasury Wine Estates to retain Penfolds brand

Multi-brand winemaker Treasury Wine Estates has been forced to deny persistent rumours it is still planning to demerge its luxury Penfolds brand from its value and mid-market wine brands. The company announced in April it was considering building shareholder value through a demerger, however in November it told the company’s annual general meeting that it…

Boral restructure paying off after downsizing

Building products group Boral today reported earnings before interest and tax of $254 million for the half year ended 31 December, up one per cent on the previous year as its selloff of businesses and company restructuring took effect. The company, which sold off its USG Boral plasterboard businesses and troubled Meridian Brick venture in…

Thomas Foods lets automation contract to PFI

Industrial automation firm Products for Industry has won a multi-million contract to install product handling systems at Thomas Foods International’s greenfields meat processing site being constructed at Murray Bridge in South Australia. The contract for robotic palletising and container load out systems for the $300 million meat plant will form an important part of the…

Trailer company opens new Ipswich factory, plans to hire 70 over next five years

Australia and New Zealand’s biggest maker of heavy-duty transport trailers, MaxiTrans, has opened a new factory in Ipswich, with plans to double its workforce of 70 over the next five years.

Rare earths producer attracts Chinese interest

By Peter Roberts Australia’s ability to produce rare earths have been boosted in a controversial way with the news that a Chinese producer is allying itself with the company developing the Cummins Range Rare Earths Project in the East Kimberly region of Western Australia. China’s Shenghe Resources has signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with…

Manufacturing news briefs – stories you might have missed

Tindo Solar expansion nears completion A major expansion of Australia’s only factory producing rooftop solar PV panels is nearing completion. Tindo Solar took to social media to release photographs of its new plant, being built alongside its existing factory at Mawson Lakes in Adelaide (pictured). The company recently launched a range of premium modules which…

CelGro Dental recommended for prosthesis list

Tissue regeneration technology developer Orthocell’s CelGro Dental product has been recommended for inclusion on the Australian Prosthesis List, opening opportunities for Australian and international sales. The list defines the benefit to be paid by private health insurers for the CelGro product. The Perth company is commercialising products to facilitate the regeneration of severed peripheral nerves…

Albury to get $32 million hydro-powered battery

The NSW government has announced approval for the country’s first hydro-powered battery project, with construction expected to begin later this year.

Matrix to develop bulk hand sanitiser stations

Oil and gas industry composites manufacturer Matrix Composites & Engineering has won a contract from the Western Australian state government to develop solar-powered bulk hand sanitiser dispensers for use in public spaces in the state, The dispensers, dubbed Solsan, are completely touchless in their operation, and were developed in response to the Covid-19 pandemic. The…

Dale Elphinstone makes it yet again in Burnie

By Peter Roberts Dale Elphinstone is living proof of the old adage that you can’t keep a good man down – in his case, a good manufacturer. Elphinstone’s (pictured below) story is one of those that begins in a garage, this time in the small mining, industrial and port town of Burnie on the north-west…

@AuManufacturing launches new value-added services

The Australian Manufacturing Forum and @AuManufacturing news today launch the first of a series of value-added services to manufacturers. We have teamed up with a small group of trusted partners to provide access to services, with those wishing to sell their businesses or build capability to meet defence orders the first to benefit. The Australian…

Manufacturing news briefs – stories you might have missed

Lithium Australia gains patent protection for SiLeach Lithium Australia has been granted patent protection in the United States and Australia for its SiLeach process which unlocks the value in lithium-bearing clays and micas. The process can produce lithium hydroxide, lithium carbonate and lithium phosphate which is used to produce lithium-ion batteries. The process is also…

Horizon Power and Ampcontrol launch Boundary Power

Power and control systems manufacturer Ampcontrol and Western Australian utility Horizon Power have joined forces to market standalone power systems for remote communities and mining sites. The companies, who have installed 17 systems in WA, will market a range of SPS systems including Ampcontrol’s renewably-powered and relocatable SPS Gen 2 Solar Cube (pictured) revealed by…

IHI Corporation and CS Energy partner on green hydrogen feasibility study for Kogan Creek

Queensland government-owned CS Energy and Japan’s IHI Corporation have announced a feasibility study into a green hydrogen demonstration plant near Chinchilla.

Western Water builds waste to energy plant

Victoria’s Western Water utility has begun construction of a Waste to Energy Facility to convert fats, grease, cooking oils and other commercial liquid food waste into renewable methane biogas. The area is home to large food and beverage manufacturing and hospitality industries which generate liquid organic wastes. The $3.3 million installation, at the Melton Recycled…

Manufacturing news briefs – stories you might have missed

Constellation Technologies in new China sales Industrial internet of things hardware and software systems provider Constellation Systems has entered into a number of new sales contracts incluiding in China. An update from the company revealed the company had been awarded four contracts for wastewater applications and a wetlands monitoring application in China. The company’s MeridianCT…

Elphinstone donates Ballarat-made ventilators to Tasmania

GeVentor emergency hospital ventilators made by Gekko Medical of Ballarat in Victoria have been delivered to Tasmania through a purchase by Dale Elphinstone’s Elphinstone Group. Dale Elphinstone made his fortune manufacturing mining equipment and is a major shareholder in the Gekko Group of companies, which also manufactures mineral processing equipment. Elphinstone has purchased six GeVentors,…

Aussie security tech company raises $30 million for US expansion

Micro-X has received funding commitments of $30.5 million to help expand its US footprint and fast-track new lightweight x-ray products.

Manufacturing strengthened over holiday period: PMI

Australian manufacturing continued “stronger improvement in conditions” over December and January following the disruption last year from Covid-19, according to the Australian Industry Group’s Performance of Manufacturing Index.

Manufacturing news briefs – stories you might have missed

DXN achieves maiden positive cash flow Prefabricated data centre manufacturer DXN achieved its first positive cash flow from operations in the December quarter of $55,000, boosted by cash receipts of $1.97 million. The company completed installation of the first cable landing station in Fiji for Southern Cross Cable Network and inked new contracts worth $1.8…

Black Sky Aerospace develops solid rocket fuel

Queensland’s Black Sky Aerospace has celebrated the successful launch of the first rocket powered by Australian-made fuel (pictured). The company was partly funded by the Advanced Manufacturing Growth Centre to develop a process to manufacture solid-state rocket fuel, using it for the launch in outback Queensland earlier this month. AMGC chairman Paul Cooper said Back…

Lynas pushes ahead with Kalgoorlie processing plant

Lynas Rare Earths pushed ahead with the construction of its new Kalgoorlie cracking and leaching plant during a December quarter which also saw record sales revenue of $119.4 million. The Perth company told investors that neodymium and praseodymium (NdPr) production during the quarter was 1,367 tonnes, up from 1,342 tonnes in the previous corresponding period.…

ResMed powers ahead with double digit profit growth

Sleep apnoea technology company ResMed boosted revenue by nine per cent and net operating profit by 12 per cent during the quarter ended 31 December as product sales and digital health businesses prospered during the Covid-19 pandemic. The US-Australian listed company reported revenue of $1.04 million (US$800 million) and net income of $233.98 million, up…

BlueScope’s rising volumes and margins boost result

Steelmaker BlueScope has powered ahead with the recovering global economy reporting preliminary unaudited earnings before interest and tax (EBIT) for the first half of around $530 million, up on previous estimates of $475 million. Managing director Mark Vassella said all segments of the group’s business performed well in the six months to December with margins…

K-TIG’s expansion brings record December quarter

Keyhole Tig welding developer K-Tig experienced a record quarter for business in December booking revenue of $409,000. The company, which manufactures patented, high productivity welding equipment and offers welding as a service, built on its expansion into the United States and has now established an on-the-ground sales force. The company made its first sales to…

Science and tech at the centre of Albo’s reshuffle

Opposition Leader Anthony Albanese has placed science, technology and advanced manufacturing front and centre in Labor’s policy structures as a part of a significant shadow cabinet reshuffle ahead of a possible election later in the year.

Plungie continues expansion with Metricon partnership

Brisbane-based precast pool company Plungie has announced a partnership to supply builder Metricon for new homes.

WA food and beverage manufacturers awarded $10 million in grants

Eighteen food and beverage manufacturing companies in Western Australia have been awarded grants under the Value Add Investment Grants program.

PPE Tech launches new Australian made face mask

Australian owned manufacturer PPE Tech is set to launch a new P2 face mask into the local market. The company, established in response to the Covid-19 pandemic, has received Therapeutic Goods Administration registration for the masks, as well as certification to P2 standard from CertMark International. The Mansfield, Queensland company said the new mask (pictured,…

Manufacturing news briefs – stories you might have missed

Hazer Group presses ahead with hydrogen and graphite pilot plant Technology development company the Hazer Group is pressing ahead with the development of a pilot plant to prove its Hazer process, a low-emission hydrogen and graphite production technology (main image). The Perth company told investors detailed engineering design of its 100 tonne per annum commercial…

RM Williams to reshore some production

Bootmaker RM Williams will reshore those parts of its manufacturing operations currently overseas, according to media reports. The AFR reported iron ore billionaire Andrew Forrest as saying he would spend ‘whatever it takes’ to return 35 per cent of production currently overseas to our shores. RM Williams makes its iconic bushman’s boots and belts at…

China wine exports slashed to a trickle as punitive measures bite

China’s punitive tariffs on Australian wine have slashed wine exports to the middle kingdom to a trickle. Australian makers sent only $3.5 million worth of wine to China in December, down from $162.9 million in October according to figures from the Australian Bureau of Statistics. Red wine exports fell from $159.9 million in October to…

Bathurst recycling trial found use for 1,600 kilograms of textiles in a month

A three-month recycling program is underway, partnering Bathurst Regional Council with Textile Recyclers Australia.

Ziptrak to expand production, exports with new plant

Adelaide outdoor blind manufacturer Ziptrack plans to boost innovation and production, including exports, from a new $10 million factory it is constructing at the Tonsley Innovation District. Construction of the new 3,000 square metre premises is underway with the company sourcing $1 million worth of equipment for the move to Tonsley, a mixed education, R&D…

UNSW team 3D prints bone-like structures containing living cells

A University of NSW team has developed a ceramic-based ink containing calcium phosphate, allowing the creation of 3D printable bone-like structures with living cells.

Circular economy roadmap predicts GDP boost

Even a modest boost to recycling and reuse of materials instead of sending to landfill would have major economic and jobs impacts, according to a National Circular Economy Roadmap released today by CSIRO. According to the roadmap the recycling sector currently generates 9.2 jobs per 10,000 tonnes of waste, compared with only 2.8 jobs for…

Carbon Revolution positioning for Mega-line manufacturing

By Peter Roberts Carbon Revolution, already the only company in the world capable of manufacturing a one-piece carbon fibre road wheel, is building on its advantage with plans to introduce a Mega-line manufacturing system. The company, which supplies wheels to performance vehicles such as the Ford Mustang GT350R, Ferrari 488 Pista and Renault Megane R.S.…

Varley Electric Vehicles delivers Australian made ambulance solution

Varley Electric Vehicles has delivered an Ambicart emergency vehicle (pictured) to Westmead Hospital in Sydney, Australia’s largest hospital. The Ambicart, one of 80 electric vehicle variants offered by the Tomago, NSW manufacturer (factory pictured below), will be used as a rapid response vehicle for the emergency department. This vehicle is fitted with a standard Stryker…

Manufacturing news briefs – stories you might have missed

Redflex agrees to sell out to Verra Mobility Traffic systems and data company Redflex Holdings has agreed to a cash takeover by NASDAQ-listed transportation technology group Verra Mobility valuing the local manufacturer at $146 million. Directors unanimously backed the bid, which does not appear to include any assurance about the continuation of local R&D and…

Lynas to build US rare earths plant

Lynas Rare Earths is to build a light rare earths separation plant in the United States which will process concentrates from the company’s cracking and leaching plant now under construction in Kalgoorlie. The plant will be subsidised by the US government under its Defence Production Act, recognising the company’s critical importance as the only large-scale…

Federal/NSW governments announce $35 million in recycling grants

Applications are open to NSW companies for grants worth a combined $35 million supporting new recycling projects.

CQ University launches School of Advanced Manufacturing

The Prime Minister Scott Morrison has joined in the sod turning ceremony for a new School of Advanced Manufacturing building at Central Queensland University in Gladstone. Morrison, who reviewed plans with Vice-Chancellor Prof Nick Klomp (pictured), made a lightning visit to CQ University’s Gladstone Marina campus to inaugurate the project. Funded by the federal government,…

Silex furthers production of silicon for quantum computing

Technology developer Silex Systems continues to further its three-year project to develop production systems to make zero-spin silicon (ZS-Si) for use in silicon quantum computing chips. The company told investors the latest work completed involved optimising the synthesis process for the feed material. This validated that the process can be scaled up to industrial production…

Federal government, LNG exporters reach deal on domestic supply

The federal government has announced an agreement with gas exporters to offer gas at competitive prices to Australian customers.

Australian Manufacturing Forum passes 7,000 members

@AuManufacturing’s social media discussion and networking group, the Australian Manufacturing Forum on Linkedin, has passed an important membership milestone. The Forum, Australia’s largest social media group of Australian manufacturers, passed 7,021 members this morning. The Forum has grown steadily since its founding in 2013, with the latest 1,000 members joining in the past five months…

Manufacturing news briefs – stories you might have missed

Leigh Creek Energy lets engineering contracts for its coal gasification project Leigh Creek Energy has let the first contracts for the Stage 1 commercial development of its in situ gasification project at the Leigh Creek coalfield in northern South Australia (pictured). InGauge Energy will manage drilling services for the development of production wells to provide…

Austal launches Volta electric passenger ferries

International shipbuilder Austal has launched a range of new electric-powered high-speed passenger ferries dubbed Volta by the company. The three-ship range broke cover yesterday with the Perth-based company highlighting the Passenger Express 46V (pictured, centre), a fully electric-powered 46 metre ferry design. The 46V has a capacity of up to 450 passengers, a maximum speed…

Ansell in record sales and earnings growth

Global surgical and protective glove manufacturer Ansell has recorded record sales and earnings growth in the first half with demand powered by the Covid-19 pandemic. The company said it was expecting to deliver growth of more than 20 per cent in earnings per share for the half as the pandemic boosted production volumes and allowed…

Applications open for $30 million in federal/SA recycling grants

The federal and South Australian governments have signed a National Partnership on Recycling Infrastructure, with each contributing to a $30 million program that will support up to half the cost of new recycling projects.

Ampcontrol’s Solar Cube power system breaks cover

Newcastle engineering firm Ampcontrol’s CPS National subsidiary has successfully deployed its standalone renewable power system, the Solar Cube, from back of a truck to load ready in just 76 minutes. Designed for single day commissioning, the Stand Alone Power System (SAPS) is designed to provide a continuous, reliable power supply to an isolated settlement or…

FormFlow, Deakin University to develop Industry 4.0 cell for metal forming

FormFlow, Deakin University and the Innovative Manufacturing CRC have announced a 12-month project to establish “an Industry 4.0 enabled manufacturing cell” for FormFlow’s metal bending process.

Civmec announces $100 million in contracts

Perth heavy engineering firm Civmec has been awarded $100 million in new contracts including major manufacturing works for two Pilbara resources project. The maintenance, construction and engineering firm will supply, manufacture and deliver four main train load out bin modules for the Jimblebar project. And it will supply, fabricate and modularise shuttle trusses, conveyor trusses,…

Maggie Beer sales record on back of e-commerce rollout

Fine foods manufacturer Maggie Beer Holdings has recorded record sales in the first half as a company restructure and relaunched e-commerce portal boost the business. The Barossa Valley company reported a 20 per cent net sales growth of $4.6 million compared to the previous corresponding period, with Maggie Beer branded product sales up 28.6 per…

Silex gets go ahead to enrich US stockpiles to produce uranium

Materials technology company Silex Systems has been given clearance by the US Department of Treasury for the restructure of its US uranium enrichment technology venture. The approvals, the last of a number of necessary US government regulatory approvals secured, clears the way for Silex and Canada’s Cameco Corporation to go ahead with their agreement with…

First DroneGuns sold to EU police force

Drone countermeasure manufacturer DroneShield has received its first orders under a framework agreement giving it access to European Union police markets. The order, worth $100,000, is for the company’s DroneGun Tactical portable counterdrone equipment (pictured). In May 2020 DroneShield was selected as the preferred solution for EU police in an international competition run for the…

Don’t count on a roaring manufacturing comeback, says economist

A prominent economist has predicted an overall positive year for business in Australia, but tips manufacturing to be the slowest growing sector coming out of the recession.

Manufacturing news briefs – stories you might have missed

Wattle Health retail powers ahead Organic infant formula manufacturer Wattle Health is seeing strong growth through its supply arrangement with Australia’s largest pharmacy retailer, Chemist Warehouse, according to a business update from the company. Chemist Warehouse became a shareholder in Wattle and began distributing its products in March. Wattle confirmed it had also secured distribution…

Foton and True Green Mobility Group announce partnership on hydrogen buses

Foton Bus Australia and True Green Mobility have formed a partnership and plan to manufacture hydrogen-powered buses in NSW by Q1 2022.

Less than a week left to apply for Manufacturing Modernisation Fund grants

Companies have until January 21 to apply for grants under the second round of the federal Manufacturing Modernisation Fund, budgeted at $52.8 million.

SciDev’s record quarter in water treatment chemicals

Wastewater treatment technology company SciDev has revealed the December quarter was a record for the company with sales of $8.9 million booked and total cash receipts of $10.2 million. The company’s chemistry and technology for solids/liquid separation experienced strong demand in the oil and gas sector which saw sales of $4 million, as well as…

Global companies set to supply South Australia’s next ‘Big Battery

Electricity generator and retailer AGL has short listed two major global energy storage companies to supply a huge battery system at a South Australian power station that will be more than twice the size of Tesla’s original 100 megawatt ‘Big Battery’ commissioned in the state’s Mid North in 2017.

Orthocell receives first US product approval

Tissue regeneration technology developer Orthocell has received Food and Drug Administration approval to market its first product in the US, its CelGro Dental collagen device which aids dental bone and tissue regeneration. The Perth company announced the approval and a new brand name for the products, Striate+. Managing director Paul Anderson said CelGro would now…

Cannabis oil manufacturing license will address local shortages, says ANTG

Australian Natural Therapeutics Group has announced it has received a license to manufacture cannabis oil in large quantities at its Armidale site, which it says will help address local supply issues. Most of Australia’s medical cannabis is currently sourced from Canada, and there are only three other local companies besides ANTG producing medical-grade cannabis oil.…

Sprout to launch plant-based infant formula

Gold Coast infant and toddler food manufacturer Sprout Organic is to launch what is claimed to be the world’s first organic, plant-based infant formula product. The company confirmed the second quarter, 2021 launch of its toddler and infant formula products in a media release detailing a new distribution agreement with Global by Nature in New…

BluGlass’ laser diodes a step towards semiconductor industry

Analysis by Peter Roberts Semiconductor technology developer BluGlass is one of the few bright sparks in what should be a foundation technology and industry for a nation like Australia that aspires to be advanced and industrialised – semiconductor manufacture. Semiconductor technology is at the heart of every complex manufactured product, be they simple diodes used…

ABT awarded defence global competitiveness grant

Fail-safe vehicle braking systems manufacturer Advanced Braking Technology has been awarded a $240,000 Defence Global Competitiveness grant to further its plans in supplying the defence sector. The company, best known for its sealed braked used in demanding conditions in mining, developed braking systems to be used on the Thales Hawkei armoured vehicle. The grant, from…

Manufacturing news briefs – stories you might have missed

Bisllloy banks dividend, furthers relationship with China partner Wear-resistant and armour steel manufacturer Bisalloy Steel Group has banked a $1.1 million dividend payout from its Chinese joint venture partner, Shandong Steel. The companies operate Bisalloy Shangang (Shandong), the second largest premium quench and tempered brand in China for wear and structural steel markets. Bisalloy confirmed…

Wave Swell Energy deployed at King Island

Wave Swell Energy has successfully deployed its UniWave200 wave energy power generator at King Island, Tasmania. The company’s 200KW wave energy converter has been transported to Grassy Harbour where it will demonstrate the integration of wave energy into the King Island microgrid. With $4 million in funding from the Australian Renewable Energy Agency, the $12.3…

Net-zero, carbon-neutral, carbon-negative … confused by all the carbon jargon? Then read this

Countries around the world are taking steps to tackle climate change and become net-zero emitters of carbon dioxide (CO₂) by 2050. Most recently, Joe Biden’s presidential election win means the US is the latest nation to adopt the goal.

Patent application for waste-to-fibre production process

ASX-listed biotechnology company Nanollose and Grasim Industries have filed a joint patent application for a novel process for environmentally-friendly fibres.

BHP backs emissions-free steelmaking startup

Mining company BHP is one of the investors in a $US 50 million Series B round for Boston Metal, a US startup developing an emissions-free steelmaking technology.

SA aims to become spirit industry leader

South Australia already the number one wine producing state in the country is making a bid to corner the growing market for locally-made spirits. The state government is developing a South Australian Spirit Industry Blueprint which will help map out future growth of the local industry, supporting production, marketing and value adding. The state has…

Saputo says goodbye to Coon, hello to Cheer

A much loved cheese brand name with decidedly racist overtones has been dumped for a new name. Saputo Dairy Australia announced today that it has renamed its venerable Coon brand to the new name of Cheer. The company said the name change came after ‘careful and diligent review to honour the brand-affinity’ felt by consumers…

JAT presses ahead with Shanghai retail store

Dairy manufacturer and specialist China exporter JAT is pressing ahead with the fit-out of its first Chinese retail store in Shanghai. The store, to be branded JAT Maternity & Infant Boutique, was to have opened in March but was delayed by the Covid-19 pandemic. The company said the store fit-out was now underway with opening…

Luerssen and Civmec begin fourth patrol boat construction

Luerssen Australia and Civmec have begun welding steel for the fourth Arafura class offshore patrol vessel (OPV) they are constructing for the Royal Australian Navy. The first two OPVs are already under construction by ASC at the Osborne naval shipyard in Adelaide, with the remaining 10 OPVs to be built at marine engineer Civmec’s Henderson…

Victoria backs Hanwha military vehicle bid

The Victorian government has swung its weight behind Korean company Hanwha Defence’s bid to construct military vehicles in Geelong should it win a major defence contract. The government has signed a Memorandum of Understanding with Hanwha to forge a long-term partnership which will support the establishment of Hanwha’s defence manufacturing operations in Victoria. Hanwha is…

Agricultural residue-to-hydrogen among projects sharing $2.27 m in BRII grants

Twenty-three businesses have been awarded a total of $2.27 million under the Business Research and Innovation Initiative (BRII) to support feasibility studies on ideas addressing current challenges for government.

GaardTech robotic targets sold to Britain

Robotic vehicle target manufacturer GaardTech has secured a large export order for its silhouette targets from the British army. The battle group size formation of target tanks, AFVs and anti-aircraft vehicles will be used in a planned on target live fire training event. GaardTech’s steel targets are built as exact replicas of a military force’s…

$59 million laminated timber plant for Tarpeena

By Andrew Spence A small forestry town in South Australia has beaten metropolitan Melbourne to be chosen as the site of a hi-tech laminated timber plant. Timberlink will begin construction of the $59 million plant alongside its recently upgraded softwood sawmill at Tarpeena, South Australia next year with completion due in 2023. The company said…

Australian startup begins production of world’s “first affordable 3D glass printer”

Maple Glass Printing has begun production of what it says is the world’s first affordable 3D printer able to create objects out of glass.

New recycling plant earns $1.34 million grant ahead of planned 2024 opening

Remondis Australia has been awarded a $1.34 million grant under the Recycling Victoria Infrastructure Fund, supporting a $9 million solvent recycling facility at the company’s Dandenong precinct. 

Big changes for @AuManufacturing for 2021

2020 was a big year for the Australian Manufacturing Forum Linkedin group and its @AuManufacturing news and analysis website, but 2021 promises to be even bigger. Riding on a wave of renewed enthusiasm for local manufacturing the Forum, the largest on social media, passed 6,000 members, and is fast heading towards 7,000. And @AuManufacturing, propelled…

Defence industry news briefs – stories you might have missed

F-35A Lightning joint strike fighter achieves operational status Initial Operational Capability (IOC) has been declared for for Australia’s F-35A joint strike fighter fleet. Built by Lockheed Martin, the aircraft will play a crucial role in national security. The F-35 programme was a catalyst for evolving the capabilities of numerous SME manufacturers whch are now part…

Vale Holden – the all Australian car now dead and buried

The Holden name was officially buried by its GM parent company on December 1, ending its 60 year reign as Australian own car. Most of the company’s widespread dealer network have converted their showrooms to other brands and all Holden branded cars were deemed to have been sold at year’s end. It was a dismal…

Manufacturing news briefs – stories you might have missed

iKAD Engineering buts AML3D’s Arcemy additive manufacturing system Perth structural engineering business iKAD Engineering (pictured) has purchased AML3D’s Arcemy robotic Wire Arc Manufacturing (WAM) system to rapidly manufacture large scale structures of multiple length and diameter dimensions. The robotic, dual wire feed Arcemy module will initially manufacture pipes with elbows and flanges between four and…

A hydrogen hero? Star Scientific to hire 30 next year as it commercialises award-winning Australian breakthrough

Star Scientific is receiving international interest for its hydrogen-fuelled power generation technology, and plans to move into production next year. Brent Balinski spoke to founder Andrew Horvath about what comes next. 

Adelaide’s Fleet Space announces lunar satellite mission

Adelaide’s Fleet Space Technologies has announced Seven Sisters, a venture to send nanosatellites and sensors to the Moon to search for water and resources. The mission, under secret development for a year, involves OZ Minerals, The University of Adelaide, UNSW, Unearthed, Tyvak Nano-Satellite Systems, Inc. and Fugro and supports NASA’s Artemis Programme. Fleet Space’s Centauri…

RPC to build massive GRP wastewater shafts

RPC Technologies has been awarded a contract to supply seven large glass reinforced composite (GRP) çascade shafts’for New Zaland’s largest-ever wastewater project. The company won the contract from the Ghella Abergeldie Joint Venture (GAJV) which is constructing Watercare’s Central Interceptor project under a $1.2 billion contract. A tunnel will stretch 14.7km from Grey Lynn to…

Merry Australian made Christmas 2020

Merry Australian Made Christmas to all at the Australian Manufacturing Forum Linkedin group and readers, partners and clients of @AuManufacturing news. It has been one hell of year where Australia dodged the worst of a terrible pandemic, but one which had a silver lining of focusing on the strategic nature of manufacturing in protecting and…

PPK turns to new partners for technology commercialisation

Mining equipment and materials technology group PPK Group has broadened its commercialisation focus from Geelong’s Deakin University, entering into a new commercialisation partnership with a group of universities led by the University of Queensland. PPK, which has been developing a number of new materials ventures with Deakin, will invest $1.5 million in Advanced Mobility Analytics…

Adbri to invest $199 million at Kwinana

Building materials group Adbri and Cockburn Cement Limited (CCL) have announced the go ahead for their $199 million Kwinana Upgrade Project. The investment in a state-of-the-art facility will consolidate Adbri’s two existing cement production sites at Munster and Kwinana into a single operation servicing the Western Australia market. Adbri was formerly known as Adelaide Brighton.…

Manufacturing news briefs – stories you might have missed

K-TIG achieves $400,000 sales in second quarter Welding technology developer K-TIG has begun to achieve sales traction with news that it expects to book sales of $400,000 in the current quarter. The company, which is commercialising a disruptive, high-speed welding technology, is seeing the first sales from its venture with Key Plant Automation in the…

Micro-X sells X-ray equipment to Defence

Medical equipment manufacturer Micro-X has sold Rover portable X-ray machines to Saab Australia for use in deployable hospitals being supplied to the Australian defence force. The deal, worth $1.3 million, is for the company’s revolutionary cold cathode X-ray machines where X-rays are generated at the tip of an array of carbon nanotubes – a world…

Austeng helps create new Monash Uni civil engineering research facility

Geelong engineering firm Austeng was a key project partner in Monash University’s new National Drop Weight Impact Testing Facility at its Department of Civil Engineering.

Sparc Technologies to develop graphene biosensors

Newly listed graphene technology company Sparc Technologies has moved quickly to launch a bio-medical project to develop non-invasive sensing devices for detection of disease via graphene-based breath sensors. Last month Sparc debuted on the stock market with its shares immediately rising by more than 50 per cent. The company sees potential global applications through identification…

Short space mission to provide long-term solutions

Based in Adelaide, South Australia, ResearchSat conducts microgravity research for the life sciences industry with its custom-designed payloads for CubeSats.

2020 additive manufacturing Aussie highlights

For the fourth year in a row now I give you the annual Additive Manufacturing highlights from Down Under. Despite the challenges, 2020 was marked by a year of positively healthy industry growth!

Policy re-set needed to accelerate innovative manufacturing – by Samih Nabulsi

Australia ends 2020 with a new focus on manufacturing. But here Dr Samih Nabulsi, of major medtech exporter Cook Medical Australia, questions the priority of federal industry policy and a lack of focus, and calls for greater innovation to drive a manufacturing revival.

DroneShield anti-drone system installed in Swiss airport

DroneShield has deployed its multi-sensor counter unmanned aerial system (C-UAS) DroneSentry system at the Altenrhein Airport in Switzerland on a no revenue basis as a demonstration facility for potential European customers. The deployment came as the company reported a record $2.8 million in new customer purchase orders for the December 2020 quarter to date, as…

Rio Tinto and TAFE pioneer course in automation

Mining giant Rio Tinto’s partnership with South Metropolitan TAFE (SM TAFE) in Western Australia has been recognised at the World Federation of Colleges and Polytechnics 2020 Awards of Excellence. The partnership won Gold in the ‘Partnership with Industry’ category for its work in developing and deploying the first nationally recognised vocational qualifications in automation. The…

SPEE3D aims for additive oil and gas sector

High speed 3D printer manufacturer SPEE3D is working with Australia’s energy industries growth centre, NERA, to bring additive manufacturing to the oil and gas sector. National Energy Resources Australia, SPEE3D, Charles Darwin University and Santos are working on a project to spread a technology already taking hold in other sectors. SPEE3D printers are already proving…

Australian space startup cluster launched

The SmartSat Cooperative Research Centre (CRC) has established an organisation to represent space startup companies in Australia.

Industry growth centres show their worth as AMGC shines

Analysis by Peter Roberts Industry growth centres have contributed enormously to the development of innovative Australian companies, with the Advanced Manufacturing Growth Centre (AMGC) the latest to analyse the performance of projects in which it has co-invested federal government money. AMGC’s 2020 Project Impact Report, which showcases 78 projects, including the economic impact of the…

Australia’s waste export ban becomes law, but the crisis is far from over

Last week, Australia took an important step towards addressing the ongoing effects of the 2018 waste crisis. The federal parliament passed legislation banning the export of unprocessed waste overseas via the Recycling and Waste Reduction Act 2020.

The one that quietly got away?

Battery-powered passenger flight offers hope for affordable, zero-emission transport, over short distances to begin with. Brent Balinski spoke to Roei Ganzarski, CEO of Gold Coast-born propulsion pioneer MagniX.     

Action plan to eliminate single-use packaging

The Australian Packaging Covenant Organisation (APCO) has published an action plan designed to help Australia’s packaging supply chain phase out problematic and unnecessary single-use plastic packaging The not-for-profit organisation leading the development of a circular economy for packaging released its APCO Action Plan for Problematic and Unnecessary Single-Use Plastic Packaging. Approximately 50,700 tonnes of single-use…

Xtek wins approvals for export of armour to Mexico

Ballistic armour manufacturer XTEK has secured approval from US authorities for permanent export licenses for ballistic products to Mexico City. The company’s US subsidiary, HighCom Armor Solutions has export orders worth a total of US$2.1 million for hard armour plate and helmet products. This follows the approval of a Warehousing Distribution Agreement (WDA) with strategic…

Ellume wins FDA approval for breakthrough Covid test

Brisbane diagnostics company Ellume has won an emergency use authorisation (EUA) from the US Food and Drug Administration for the first over-the-counter (OTC) fully at-home diagnostic test for Covid-19. According to an FDA statement the Ellume Covid-19 test is a rapid, lateral flow antigen test, a type of test that runs a liquid sample along…

Cellmid signs Asian distributor for hair loss products

Bio-technology developer Cellmid has signed a distribution agreement for Asia for its Jo-Ju and Lexilis branded anti-ageing hair care and skin products. Hong Kong based Ourui Health Management will distribute the products outside Japan for a period of 10 years, utilising and omnichannel approach primarily focused on social commerce. Ourui was founded by Steven Ko,…

Methane busting cow feed wins $1 million global prize

CSIRO’s development of a livestock feed made from seaweed that reduces methane emissions in beef and dairy cattle by more than 80 per cent has won the world’s largest monetary reward on the global food arena worth $1 million. The Food Planet Prize which went to CSIRO’s FutureFeed recognises initiatives, organisations and individuals working to…

US Supreme Court’s final blow to Cochlear patent hopes

The United States Supreme Court has denied a petition from bionic ear manufacturer Cochlear for a review of court decisions to enforce a payment of US$280 million in a patent infringement case against the company. The Sydney company announced today that the court had upheld a decision in the US District Court which awarded US$268…

Fertiliser factory gets EPA Victoria Works Approval

A works approval has been granted by the Environmental Protection Authority Victoria for a factory at Lethbridge processing up to 33,750 tonnes of animal waste a year into a slow release fertiliser. The Australian Bio Fert factory will treat organic poultry waste with a novel thermal process. The company first approached the EPA in 2016, the…

Austin Engineering’s $35 million in new orders

Mining equipment manufacturer Austin Engineering has received orders for more than 100 large pieces of equipment valued at more than $35 million ‘in the past few weeks’. The Queensland company told investors the orders included truck bodies, water tanks and buckets, confirming profit forecasts of more than $9 million for the year. Notable orders include:…

Glaciem’s unique heat pump cooling systems – virtual tour

Glaciem Cooling Technologies has begun deploying its solar powered heat pump and thermal energy storage cooling systems. Its refrigeration, thermal energy storage and heat transfer technologies integrated with solar PV electricity cut greenhouse gas emissions by more than two thirds. Ideal for hot climates, one of the company’s largest installations is at the giant Pernod…

Altrad to provide frigate blast and paint services

The West Australian arm of French company Altrad Services has been contracted to provide blast and paint services for the Hunter class frigate build. ASC Shipbuilding, a subsidiary of BAE Systems Australia, signed the contract with Altrad after a competitive tender process. Altrad Services will prepare the steel supplied by BlueScope Steel AIS by blasting…

Covid manufacturing register open to international buyers

Australian companies are set to gain new export opportunities with the COVID-19 Manufacturer Response Register opening to potential international buyers. The Advanced Manufacturing Growth Centre (AMGC) introduced the online register in March, so local manufacturers and suppliers of crucial products such as Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) could support the national response to the pandemic. AMGC…

BlueScope steel delivered for Hunter frigate build

BAE Systems Australia subsidiary, ASC Shipbuilding has begun taking delivery of the first Australian steel to be used in the construction of Australia’s new Hunter class frigates. Having just taken over the new all digital shipyard from government-owned Australian Naval Infrastructure, ASC Shipbuilding will receive more than 1,500 tonnes of steel plate from BlueScope Steel…

BusTech Group formed from Precision Buses and BusTech

National bus manufacturers Precision Buses and BusTech have announced a rebrand to one integrated entity to be known as BusTech Group. Building on a foundation as leading independent bus manufacturers in Queensland and South Australia, BusTech Group launched a new logo, an updated corporate website, and a focus on designing, building and delivering low-emission diesel…

Sustainability needs concrete examples, says precast company

Using non-virgin materials has gained in importance as the number of places to dump our waste has shrunk, presenting challenges and opportunities for manufacturers. Brent Balinski spoke to XL Precast’s Danys Betancur about using glass in concrete. 

C4 Edge program to receive further $35 million in funding

The federal government says it will provide up to $35 million in funding for the final stage of the Command, Control, Communications and Computing Evolutionary Digital Ground Environment (C4 EDGE) program.

After four years of industry focus, defence really is generating SME innovation

Comment by Peter Roberts Canberra has only been pursuing its focus on defence industry since 2016, but after four years it is clear that increased defence spending really is generating significant, fundamental innovation by our SME manufacturers. The latest example, and there have been many reported in @AuManufacturing, comes from Ron and Yvette Allum of…

Indigenous supplier for Hunter frigate project

Highly respected Sydney Swans football star Adam Goodes is leading the first indigenous supplier contracted for the Hunter-class frigate programme’s prototyping phase.

Solar PV and wind continue to be cheapest energy option – CSIRO

A new report from CSIRO has found that solar and wind continue to be the cheapest source of energy in Australia. The GenCost report, produced in partnership with the Australian Energy Market Operator (AEMO), more accurately calculated the integration costs of renewables in electricity generation. This year the report used a more accurate system for…

Manufacturing news briefs – stories you might have missed

Wattle Health signs agreement with Verdure Nutrition Supplements Infant formula manufacturer Wattle Health Australia has signed an agreement with Verdure Nutrition Supplements to provide the company’s organic infant formula to the Middle Eastern market. The 10 year agreement will see Wattle’s Uganic range (pictured) produced by contract manufacturer Blend and Pack from product supplied from…

Australian hydrogen technology company wins at Global Energy Awards

Star Scientific has won “Emerging Technology of the Year” at the Global Energy Awards for its Hydrogen Energy Release Optimiser (HERO.)

CSL and University of Queensland drop vaccine project

Biotechnology group CSL and its partner the University of Queensland have dropped their project developing what had been a highly promising approach to develop a vaccine against the virus behind the Covid-19 pandemic which is sweeping the world. CSL announced today that Phase 1 trials of the UQ-CSL v451 vaccine had elicited a robust response…

TRITEV EV shown to underground mining industry

The TRITEV underground mine electric vehicle (EV) has been showcased at an event in Newcastle in New South Wales’ Hunter Valley The vehicle, revealed in @AuManufacturing in October, is believed to be the first fully battery electric retrofit 20 tonne loader suitable for deployment into underground hard rock mines. It was developed by battery technology…

Volgren Malaga site marks 2,000th bus

The 2,000th bus built at Volgren Australia’s Malaga, Western Australia site will begin service next week. Volgren has been making buses for Transperth, the city’s public transport system, since 1999. Chassis are built by Volvo in Sweden, with the Volgren Malaga site building the bus bodies and fitout, using 85 per cent Australian content. Volgren…

Canadian space robotics company to settle in South Australia

Lux Aerobot is set to permanently settle in Adelaide as its gains new projects in the defence and mining sectors.

Ellume factory to expand to produce Covid-19 diagnostic tests

Brisbane diagnostics company Ellume will expand its manufacturing facility following a strategic investment from the state government’s Essential Goods and Supply Chain Programme. The company, which has developed a suite of COVID-19 tests that give results in less than 15 minutes, will back installation of multiple state-of-the-art automated production lines to speed up and enhance…

Australian Made logo registered in EU, UK, UAE

The Australian Made, Australian Grown logo has been formally registered in the European Union, United Kingdom and United Arab Emirates.

Alan Finkel: how a late-night phonecall in 2016 triggered ‘incredible progress’ on clean energy

Like so much of what I have done as Australia’s Chief Scientist, the electricity market review of 2017 was unexpected.

$1.75 m grant will support 144 new jobs, says Central Coast beverage company

Beverage manufacturer ABC Filling has received a $1.755 million NSW government grant, which it says will support expansion at its Lisarow site and as many as 144 new jobs.

Australia’s STEM education report card a bare pass

Comment by Peter Roberts Australian industry is rightly focused on education and STEM education in particular as a determinant of future competitiveness, but the problem is we are not quite sure whether our young people are getting better, or worse compared to international peers. This week saw the release of comparisons for 2019 in Trends…

1414 Degrees continues solar thermal storage plan

Energy storage development company 1414 Degrees has accelerated development of its long-awaited Aurora Solar Energy Project at Port Augusta in South Australia. Following an oversubscribed share purchase plan which raised $3.1 million, the company announced project managers and engineering firms were proceeding with design of a substation and advancing a transmission connection agreement for a…

JSF sustainment grants announced

Grants totalling up to $4 million over four years have been announced to assist companies become established in the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter sustainment phase.

Thomas Global Systems to supply more Boeing aircraft types

Aircraft flight deck equipment manufacturer Thomas Global Systems has received European Union Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) approval for its TFD-7000 Series plug-and-play LCD flight displays (pictured), to replace cathode ray tube (CRT) equipment in Boeing 737 aircraft. This latest certification adds to the Sydney company’s TFD-7000 Series approvals for Boeing 757-200/300 and 767-200/300 aircraft, and…

Cortical Dynamics scores brain monitor approvals

Medical device manufacturer has won regulatory approval to market its Brain Anaesthesia Response Monitor (BARM, pictured) in South Korea, building on its existing approvals in Europe and through Australia’s Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA). The Perth company won approval from Korea’s Ministry for Food and Drug Safety (KMFDS). The company’s overseas distributors are Globaluck in South…

Quickstep produces 10,000th JSF part

Quickstep Holdings Australia has announced the milestone of 10,000 parts produced for the F-35 Lightning Joint Strike Fighter program.

AML3D testing additive production for mining sector

Additive manufacturing technology company AML3D has begun a testing programme which could see its technology used in making high wear and fatigue loaded parts for the mining sector. The testing of parts made using AML3D’s wire arc additive manufacturing (WAM) process is being carried out for AdditiveNow, a joint venture between Advisian Digital and Aurora…

Frigate prototyping to begin two weeks

Australia’s biggest surface shipbuilding project, the construction of nine Hunter class frigates for the navy, will get underway in two weeks time with ASC Shipbuilding now in full control of Adelaide’s Osborne Naval Shipyard – South. Built by Commonwealth-owned Australian Naval Infrastructure, the shipbuilding subsidiary of BAE Systems Australia plans to build the vessels in…

South Aussie town wins race for $59 million laminated timber plant

A small forestry town in South Australia has beaten metropolitan Melbourne to be chosen as the site of a hi-tech laminated timber plant.

New startup hub for western Sydney

By James Rilly The New South Wales government is to fund the creation of a second Startup Hub located in the western Sydney suburb of Parramatta in an investment designed to put technology and innovation at the centre of the state’s post-Covid economic recovery strategy. The so-called Western Sydney Startup Hub at the Parramatta North…

Arnott’s to expand Shepperton plant, exports

Arnott’s Group today announced it will invest $8 million to expand the Campbell’s soup factory at Lemnos, Shepparton in Victoria as part of plans to increase domestic food production across the group. The investment will increase output by 30 per cent in the next 12 months and exports will rise by 400 per cent. The…

Technology reflections in the time of COVID-19

It goes without saying that navigating one lockdown is hard, but trying to keep both business up when you’re faced with more than one – and with a different set of rules in each country you’re operating in – certainly takes a team effort.

AML3D receives order for additive manufactured titanium armour parts

Adelaide-based wire arc additive manufacturing business AML3D has received a purchase order for prototype titanium parts, which will be used in repeatability ballistics testing by armour company Lightforce Australia.

Austal delivers fourth ship to US Navy for 2020

Austal’s US subsidiary has delivered an Independence Class littoral combat ship (LCS) to the US Navy.

The art of the seal

Despite the market growth for obstructive sleep apnea treatments, a high number of patients end these due to discomfort. Brent Balinski spoke to Phil Kwok of ApneaSeal about their answer to the issue.

50,000th Volvo truck made at Wacol site

Volvo Group Australia has celebrated the build of the 50,000th Volvo truck at its Wacol, Queensland plant.   VGA handed over the FH16 XXL vehicle to its customer Nolan’s Interstate Transport on Friday at an event at the site, attended by federal assistant minister for road safety and freight transport Scott Buchholz. “Back in 1970 Volvo…

Manufacturing modernisation grants applications open

The Department of Industry Science, Energy and Resources had opened applications for round two of the $52.8 million Manufacturing Modernisation Fund (MMF). Businesses will be able to apply for grants of between $100,000 and $1 million before 21 January 2021, with the grant covering 25 per cent of the project cost. Assessment criteria are general,…

Matrix to develop technology for Woodside

Oil and gas focused composites group Matrix Composites & Engineering will provide engineering and technology development services to Woodside Energy Technologies. Under a just-signed three-year agreement the Perth company will provide technology in advanced materials, composites and advanced manufacturing to the subsidiary of Woodside Petroleum. Matrix’s services will range from conception to commercialisation and include…

Sage and BusTech take the hassle out of travel

Technology development group SAGE Automation and bus manufacturer BusTech have partnered to deliver internet of things (IoT) connectivity to Australia’s new and existing bus fleets. The companies have developed intelligent connected buses and transport infrastructure solutions to benefit passengers and transport operators. Real-time traffic condition updates, event notifications and bus seat availability will be delivered…

Planet Innovation raises $9.8 million to support expansion

Planet Innovation has announced an oversubscribed $9.8 million capital raise, backed by institutional funds such as Perennial Value, SG Hiscock and Australian Unity, and sophisticated investors.

Terms of reference released for Defence procurement review

Terms of reference have been released for the Department of Defence review of procurement.

PPK and Deakin to develop thin-film white graphene

Geelong and the PPK group have cemented their position as leaders in new materials development with the announcement PPK will develop novel white graphene sheets in partnership with Deakin University. They have established White Graphene Limited which will develop boron nitride nanosheets a single molecule thick which share similar strength and electrically conductive properties as…

VSPC develops advanced LFP battery cathode powders

Materials technology group VSPC has successfully produced battery cathode powders and battery cells from lithium ferro phosphate (LFP), and demonstrated improved performance over traditional battery materials. According to an announcement by parent company Lithium Australia, LEP materials are relatively cheap compared to nickel cobalt manganese and nickel cobalt aluminum which are most commonly used in…

Manufacturing news briefs – stories you might have missed

New Chairman announced for the Australian Made Campaign The Board of Australian Made Campaign has appointed a new Chairman in Allyn Beard (pictured), director of Sydney-based mattress manufacturer A.H. Beard. Beard succeeds outgoing Chairman, Glenn Cooper of Coopers Brewery in leading the body which licenses the Australian made logo. The Beard family has guided one…

Amaero gets Boeing order for metal 3D printed evaluation parts

Metal additive manufacturing specialist Amaero International has announced both a purchase order from Boeing and a raising to support this.

Thales signs contract on design, local partnering for submarine flank array

A contract has been signed with Thales UK to design the “eyes and ears” of the Attack Class submarine fleet and on partnering arrangements with Australian suppliers.

Britton Maritime wins $9 million boat contract

Sydney’s Britton Maritime Systems will supply 12 Gemini inflatable sea boats (pictured) for Australia’s new ‘evolved’ Cape Class patrol boats as part of a $9 million defence contract. The Gemini originates with Gemini Marine South Africa, however defence industry minister Melissa Price said $6 million would be spent locally. She said: “This project will have…

SMEs benefit from big defence purchases – Lockheed Martin

By Peter Roberts SME defence manufacturers and employment are among flow on beneficiaries of major defence purchases such as global defence supplier Lockheed Martin’s F-35 Lightning joint strike fighter, according to an economic analysis commissioned by the company. Lockheed Martin’s Economic Impact in Australia, by advisory firm Alpha Beta, now part of Accenture, found that…

Manufacturing news briefs – stories you might have missed

Keytone Dairies reports record first half sales Branded and contract dairy manufacturer Keytone Dairies saw continued sales growth in the first half of FY21 reporting sales of $24.5 million, a figure that exceeded full-year sales in the previous 12 months. The company’s Australian division recorded sales of $19.2 million while New Zealand sales were $$5.3…

EM Solutions supplies satellite transceivers to L3 Harris

Brisbane manufacturer EM Solutions received a second order to supply its Ka-band transceivers for incorporation into defence supplier L3Harris Technologies’ Panther II Very Small Aperture Satellite Terminals (VSAT). EM Solutions, a subsidiary of defence, communications and space manufacturer Electro Optic Systems will deliver over 100 Ka-band transceivers to L3Harris across the first half of 2021…

Gilmour Space in ‘final-mile’ delivery partnership

Home-grown rocket startup Gilmour Space Technologies has signed a multi-million dollar partnership with US-based Momentus to jointly offer launch and “orbital transport services” from an Australian site.

New study of ASX companies shows four places to start to become more innovative

A new study of ASX-listed companies by CSIRO and University of Queensland has identified “four innovation factors which drive success”.

Export Market Grant reform gets green light

By Denham Sadler Significant reforms to the popular Export Market Development Grant programme have been given the green light by a Senate committee, but further details on the new rules won’t be released until after the legislation is passed. The Export Market Development Grant (EMDG) scheme offers reimbursements of up to 50 per cent of…

Methane-busting seaweed farms on track for 2021 production

Construction of the first farm and processing plant to turn red seaweed into a feed supplement for cows to reduce their methane production by 90 per cent is expected to begin mid next year in South Australia.

MYOB/@AuManufacturing Manufacturing Modernisation virtual event. Video now available

Video is now available from the MYOB/@AuManufacturing event, Manufacturing Modernisation and critical role of technology, held on November 25.

Three manufacturing challenges, retain, adapt, trust – by Juliana Queiroz

It is been a hell of a year in manufacturing as elsewhere. Here Juliana Queiroz discusses her three top cultural challenges for building stronger manufacturers – to retain, adapt, and trust. Covid-19 changed forever the way we have been working but one thing is still true for manufacturing firms: we need to put our people…

Fleet Space’s third satellite nears completion

Fleet Space Technologies’s sixth nanosatellite providing internet of things connectivity to manufacturers, Centauri 4 (pictured), is nearing completion, with a launch date expected to be mid 2021. The Centauri 4 Core-2 payload has an increased number of channels and hence a higher data capacity than the Core-1 payload on Centauri 3 which was launched into…

Seeley International cools Treasury Wine’s Barossa expansion

South Australian air conditioning and heating systems manufacturer Seeley International has completed its largest-ever installation of its innovative indirect evaporative air conditioning system, the Climate Wizard. Seeley took to social media to reveal the completion of the project which cools a massive 30,000 square metre wine barrel hall just opened by Barossa Valley producer Treasury…

Australian manufacturing “broadly stable” over November

The final Australian Industry Group Performance of Manufacturing Index result released for 2020 has seen the industry stable over November, though with a downturn in the food and beverage sector.

SPC launches new logo as it expands in agri-business

Food and beverage manufacturer SPC today launched a new corporate brand and vision, It’s Time For Better, in line with the company’s strategy to become a global foods business. The new corporate logo (pictured) represents a dynamic sun symbolising the hope for a better tomorrow. The 100-year company, now under the ownership of Shepparton Partners…

Australia’s states have been forced to go it alone on renewable energy, but it’s a risky strategy

Several Australian states are going it alone on the the energy transition. The policies adopted by New South Wales, Victoria, Queensland and others represent major departures from the existing national approach, and run counter to the neoliberal principles underpinning the current system.

US, Australia to sign SCIFiRE hypersonics agreement

Australia and the United States will today sign an agreement on the development of hypersonic cruise missiles, which could eventually be fitted to aircraft.

Penfolds girds itself for China tariff damage

Treasury Wine Estates, the manufacturer of the iconic Penfolds Grange Hermitage, has announced a raft of changes in response to China’s imposition of harsh tariffs on Australian wine exports to China. The Penfolds, Grant Burge and Lindemans wines amongst a host of others admitted that the tariff, between 107 per cent and 212 per cent…

Zip’s Covid pivot pays off with big orders for its HydroTap

Sydney water systems manufacturer Zip Water has scored big with its rapid pivot to new, safer boiling, chilled and sparkling water dispensers following the outbreak of Covid-19. The company’s HydroTap Touch Free Wave, revealed by @AuManufacturing in October, has won an unprecedented 1,200 orders even before its public launch as companies embrace its hands-free operation.…

Micro-X reveals secrets of carbon nanotube X-ray – video

X-ray machine manufacturer Micro-X has revealed a little of the secret behind its ability to manufacture a carbon nanotube X-ray emitter. The company opened a You Tube account and posted a video taking viewers inside its high tech manufacturing plant at the Tonsley innovation precinct in southern Adelaide. The company is the only one in…

Sydney team splits water, creates hydrogen the easy way

Sydney researchers have announced a much more efficient means of turning water into pure hydrogen which is increasingly looking like the gaseous fuel likely to displace fossil fuel LNG in Australia’s export mix. The University of Sydney researchers, in a paper published in the journal Nature Energy, have created an efficient water-splitting catalyst that requires…

New Austrade CEO named

Xavier Simonet has been announced as the next head of Austrade, taking over from interim CEO Tim Beresford.

Six reasons why there has never been a better time to export for Australian companies

There are good reasons why it’s time to look to export markets. Christelle Damiens presents a half-dozen of them.

Manufacturing Modernisation and the critical role of technology – keynote speech by Goran Roos

Where are we going in this world? Well, if you look at this scenario, we have everybody going digital, and generally looking at what’s happened over the last year, we can say that we have gotten five years digitalisation in about five months.  There’s a dramatic increase in the digitalisation of general manufacturing activities. The…

Backing hopeful, high-tech, high-growth manufacturers

What are the brilliant Australian ideas that will create the next wave of growth? Brent Balinski spoke to Mike Zimmerman of Main Sequence Ventures about where they’re looking.

Manufacturing is becoming more attractive to venture capital investors – by Neil Bourne

Traditionally manufacturing has failed to gain a share of venture and even development capital. But the development of ‘capital light’ manufacturing utilising robotics and digital design is changing thinking. Here, Neil Bourne discusses how manufacturers can become investment-ready. The business press is full of stories about new SaaS and Fintech companies receiving venture finance and…

Manufacturing news briefs – stories you might have missed

PPK Group to demerge, raises $15.4 million Diversified mining equipment and materials technology business PPK Group is to demerge its mining group. Announcing a $15.4 capital raising, PPK will spend the funds to accelerate projects applying its boron nitride nanotube (BNNT) technologies. Chairman Robin Levison and director Dale McNamara sold down shares in PPK to…

Going public helps Mayfield bring manufacturing home

An 84-year-old company has listed on the Australian stock exchange as part of a bid to boost its manufacturing in South Australia and grow its business.

Gloves off – China hits Australian wine with tariffs

By Peter Roberts Years of deteriorating relations between Beijing and Canberra have led to the imposition of tariffs of up to 200 per cent on Chinese imports of Australian wine. Following an anti-dumping inquiry, China’s Ministry of Commerce today imposed temporary tariffs with no end date, forcing prestige winemaker Treasury Wine Estates into a stockmarket…

MEET maker opens new factory

Plant-based meat company ProForm Foods officially opened its $11 million Mount Kuring-Gai factory on Thursday, with a capacity of 5,000 tons annually and plans to grow exports.

Digitisation and the renaissance of Australian manufacturing – by Robert Giles

By Robert Giles, CEO SPC Ardmona At SPC, we are always focussed on our customers and how we can best serve them. Australian taste palettes are ever-changing, in the 1970s the humble avocado was considered the height of sophistication, today our tables are filled with foods and flavours from around the world with everything from…

Bega buys Lion dairy and drinks business

Bega Cheese has greatly expanded its manufacturing and brand footprint in the food and beverage sector with the purchase of Lion Dairy & Drinks for $534 million. Bega will take over the business at the end of January 2021, adding to its cheese and spreads businesses numerous milk drinks, yoghurt, cream, and fresh juice brands.…

Nova Eye Medical reports strong sales of glaucoma device

Ophthalmic treatment device manufacturer Nova Eye Medical has reported strong sales for its glaucoma surgical device business in the four months to 31 October. The company sold iTrack and Molteno3 devices worth $4.4 million, up from $2.6 million in the four months to 30 June when sales were affected by Covid-19 lockdowns. iTrack is a…

ARENA, WA government back green hydrogen demonstrator project in Denham

Construction will begin by August on Australia’s first remote microgrid using renewable-generated hydrogen, producing 526 MWh of dispatchable renewable electricity, enough for 100 residential homes. The demonstrator plant will be built in Denham, Western Australia — on the state’s coast and 830 kilometres north of Perth — and be connected to Denham’s hybrid power station.…

Not just hot air: turning Sydney’s wastewater into green gas could be a climate boon

Biomethane technology is no longer on the backburner in Australia after an announcement this week that gas from Sydney’s Malabar wastewater plant will be used to power up to 24,000 homes.

Lynas identifies further rare earths resource at Mt Weld

Rare earths producer Lynas Corp has identified further light and heavy rare earths resources at depths previously not investigated below the main orebody at its Mt Weld mine in Western Australia. Lynas has successfully established two new bores to a depth of 100 and 106 metres below the current pit floor where it encountered ‘significant…

Mitsubishi commits to Australian green hydrogen

Mitsubishi Heavy Industries will invest capital in green hydrogen developer H2U Investments and deliver the front end engineering and design study for the company’s Eyre Peninsula Gateway project in South Australia. The $240 million project, which includes a 75MW electrolyser near the regional city of Whyalla capable of producing enough hydrogen to create 40,000 tonnes…

JUC Surf wins prestigious composites start-up competition

Innovative Australian company, JUC Surf, this week took out the popular award as one of six finalists in the world’s largest global startup booster competition for composites and advanced materials.

No time for autopilot on tech policy: O’Neil

There needs to be a return to Australia’s “reformist zeal” around tech and innovation and a move away from the current hands-off approach, according to shadow innovation minister Clare O’Neil.

Yara Pilbara mulls ammonia production from green hydrogen

Yara Pilbara Fertilisers which controls 20 per cent of the global ammonium trade is considering switching feedstock for its Burrup Peninsula production facility in in Western Australia from natural gas to green hydrogen. The Australian Renewable Energy Agency has published details of Yara’s $3.8 million feasibility study into production and export of renewable hydrogen and…

Leigh Creek Energy progresses towards production

South Australian coal gasification company Leigh Creek Energy has made progress towards the production of urea fertilisers with the issue of a petroleum production licence by the South Australian Government. The licence envisages that commercial syngas production from the former Leigh Creek brown coal reserve in the state’s north could begin within 24 months. Leigh…

Five SMEs join Lockheed Martin in communications system development

Five Australian small to medium enterprises (SMEs) have joined with defence contractor Lockheed Martin Australia (LMA) to develop a communications system that will interconnect the many disparate platforms, systems and sensors utilised by Australia’s defence forces. The Joint Air Battle Management System (JABMS) being developed for defence’s AIR6500 project, will integrate electromagnetic and cyber domains…

Goran Roos shatters Australian complacency with damning look at our third world economy

By Peter Roberts We have heard a lot about bubbles travel and otherwise in recent times but few bubbles are as permanent as the complacent view most of have of the strength of the Australian economy. Yesterday at the MYOB/@AuManufacturing Manufacturing Modernisation virtual event Professor Goran Roos painted a picture not of the advanced nation…

XTEK delivers composites for Finnish military

Advanced composites manufacturer XTEK has completed the delivery of the first tranche of personal armour plates under contract to CPE Production OY in Finland, for use by the Finnish Defence Force (FDF). The ballistic plates, produced using the company’s XTclave production system, represent the delivery of one third of a $2 million order with the…

Manufacturing news briefs – stories you might have missed

UNSW Canberra Space successfully tests cubesats UNSW Canberra space researchers have successfully completed thermal vacuum testing at ANU’s AITC test facilities of a pair of 6U cubesats (pictured) for its M2 mission being launched by Rocket Lab early next year. The spacecraft include capabilities in Earth observations (optical and RF), on-board processing, formation flying and…

Thales and Ocius develop Blue Sentry autonomous marine system

Thales Australia has received $3.8 million from the Defence Innovation Hub to develop its Australian engineered and built Blue Sentry autonomous marine system. Part of $28 million in defence hub grants, Blue Sentry is a group of unmanned surface vehicles (USVs) equipped for anti-submarine warfare (ASW) and surveillance missions. The system incorporates a Thales Remote…

Australian flying car company launches electric air ambulance, plans 2023 commercial service [VIDEO]

A Bankstown Airport-headquartered startup, AMSL Aero, has officially launched its electric air ambulance, the Vertiia.

2020 Eureka Prizes go to a ‘milkshake for malaria’, ABC’s Coronacast and an energy-making sewerage system

From potential new diabetes therapies, to an environmentally friendly sewage treatment system, this year’s Eureka Prizes have acknowledged a diverse group of brilliant minds tackling pressing global problems.

Gilmour, Grumman to team up on tanks and more

Northrop Grumman Corporation and Australian rocketry startup Gilmour Space have signed a memorandum of understanding, with the aerospace giant to join a previously-announced and Gilmour-led CRC-P project to build composite cryotanks for space. Chris Deeble, chief executive of Northrop Grumman Australia, said his company “aims to lead industry support in developing Australian sovereign space capabilities…

Queensland Gaskets to supply infantry fighting vehicle

Queensland Gaskets has partnered with Rheinmetall Defence Australia to work on the delivery of three LYNX KF41 Infantry Fighting Vehicles to the Australian Defence Force for Risk Mitigation Activity trials over the next 12 months. Risk mitigation is a key step in defence procurement involving trailing and refining design and manufacturing to suit the needs…

BAE Systems reveals hypersonic research – video

BAE Systems Australia has revealed it is involved in research into the young field of hypersonic vehicles capable of travelling at greater than Mach 5. The company took to social media to reveal that its newly established Red Ochre Labs would research hypersonics, which BAE Systems described as ‘a challenging and extremely fast area of…

Sicona Battery Technologies aims to produce unique anodes

Sicona Battery Technologies aims to use a federal government Accelerating Commercialisation grant announced on Monday to become the first local producer of anode materials with a focus on next-generation, silicon composite batteries. 

Banana waste technology begins to bear fruit for Aussie company

A publicly-listed company that has spent more than two decades perfecting its system of turning banana plantation waste into wood and paper products says it has proven the profitability of the technology and is preparing for a global expansion.

Circular Experts directory launched

NSW Circular has released a directory of 200-plus circular economy experts, in an effort to link their expertise with business, government and the public. “These world-leading experts are solving problems and removing barriers to a circular economy,” said NSW Circular CEO Lisa McLean in a statement about the launch of Circular Experts on Monday.  “Transitioning…

Property buoys Brickworks as it invests in new facilities

Property development and building products company Brickworks today reported it was emerging from the Covid-19 pandemic with trading conditions strengthening in Australia, but remaining uncertain in the United States where the company makes bricks in the north-eastern states.

New initiative announced partnering industry and defence on AI

The federal government has released a request for proposal, with companies to receive support delivering an artificial intelligence-based demonstrator technology to defence.

Orica and Epiroc automate underground mine blasting

Australian explosives group Orica and Swedish equipment supplier Epiroc have combined to develop the world’s first semi-automated explosives delivery system for underground mining. Their new Avatel system (main picture and below) will remove people from the blasting face – the most dangerous place underground – providing a safer, more efficient and productive blasting environment when…

Sparc Technologies lights up graphene investment

A new graphene technology Sparc Technologies Limited debuted on the stock market yesterday with its shares immediately rising by more than 50 per cent. The South Australian company, which has licenced graphene-based technologies from the University of Adelaide, rose quickly from its 20 cent listing price to 31 cents. The university, a cornerstone shareholder in…

Manufacturing for green hydrogen’s Soft Grid – by Stan Thompson

A green hydrogen economy looks more likely to develop every day. Here Stan Thompson, Co-founder of the Mooresville Hydrail Initiative, compares the advent of hydrogen to that of electricity, and asks who will manufacture all the components, tools, test gear, safety apparatus and as yet unanticipated ancillary hardware needed for the new soft grid? While…

Australian Space Forum to strengthen ties with Japan

The 10th Australian Space Forum will discuss how the Australian and Japanese space industries will work together in the future, and promote local space organisations and companies.

Spin to win: turbine tech company proving itself to telco customers

Australian engineering research has cracked the problem of diffuser design, allowing a doubling of efficiency for wind turbines, according to Diffuse Energy. Brent Balinski spoke to the company’s CTO and co-founder, James Bradley.

Manufacturers partner with BizRebuild on new hub at Cobargo

An Australian metal bending technology will be applied for the first time in a commercial property, with FormFlow and Bluescope’s Lysaght division partnering with BizRebuild to deliver a new business and community hub in bushfire-affected Cobargo.

Hypersonic engine, battery manufacturing get support

The federal government has announced $8 million in grants to 14 Australian businesses to support commercialisation. The latest Accelerating Commercialisation grants go to a range of manufacturing companies including Queensland firm Hypersonix, which will use its $952,575 to develop an Australian manufactured hydrogen fuelled scramjet engine, designed to put small satellites into low-level orbit. Scramjets…

NSW to get green gas trial at Malabar wastewater plant

The Australian Renewable Energy Agency has awarded a $5.9 million grant for a project that will see biomethane injected into the gas network for the first time in Australia.

Arrowes launches robotic road cone truck

Brisbane road safety systems manufacturer Arrowes has developed an automated cone truck which places and retrieves road cones from highways, reducing costs and the dangers faced by employees manually laying cones in high speed traffic. The Bendale company has completed and tested a prototype robotic truck (main picture, and below) and is in the production…

A.H. Beard shows how Australia should market its products in China

Comment by Peter Roberts Bed manufacturer A.H. Beard is an object lesson in clever marketing and manufacturing excellence that should be a wake up call for Australia’s broader manufacturing sector. Some years ago the company, one of three large local manufacturing firms that dominate the business of making beds, decided it would not go down…

Mesoblast scores a Covid-19 goal

Pharmaceutical developer Mesoblast has announced a breakthrough after more than a decade attempting to commercialise its lead drug – and it has taken the Covid-19 pandemic to make it happen. The company, which has operations in Australia, Singapore and the United States is awaiting a decision by the US Food and Drug Administration on the…

Manufacturing news briefs – stories you might have missed

DevelopmentWA seeks interest in robotics and automation zone DevelopmentWA is seeking Expression of Interest (EOI) from businesses looking to be involved or have access to the test beds and future facilities of an automation and robotics precinct being developed at a site 40 kilometres north of Perth. The 51 hectare site, which is adjacent to…

Australian affordable dialysis device wins global innovation competition

Sydney’s Ellen Medical has beat over 500 entries from 22 countries to win top prize with its Affordable Dialysis System at the World Innovation Summit for Health 2020 Innovation Booster competition.

Orica takes Covid profit hit and vows to cut greenhouse gases

Chemicals and explosives company Orica was hit hard by a slowdown in the mining sector through the Covid-19 pandemic, today announcing net profit after tax for the year to 30 September, down 31 per cent on the previous corresponding period. The Melbourne company revealed an underlying EBIT of $605 million, down nine per cent, as…

Advanced Fibre Cluster to develop AI for composites testing

The Advanced Fibre Cluster Geelong has been awarded a Defence Science Institute (DSI) Smart Ideas Grant to help develop Artificial Intelligence (AI) solutions for composite materials integrity testing. The award, made to the cluster in collaboration with carbon fibre road wheel manufacturer, Carbon Revolution, and Deakin University, will use machine learning to improve quality assurance…

New CRC Association CEO announced, will begin in January

Jane O’Dwyer has been announced as the new CEO of the Cooperative Research Centres Association, beginning in the role in January.

Integra TransForm launches industry 4.0 workplace kiosk

Broadmeadows, Melbourne manufacturer Integra TransForm has quietly launched the extraordinary K4.0 Kiosk (main picture and below) aimed at facilitating the industry 4.0 and digitisation journey of Australian manufacturers. The kiosk has been turning up in factories across the country with the pictured version spotted and photographed by Australian Manufacturing Forum member Steve Zanon. Zanon, director…

Micro-X takes back control of Nano distribtion

Carbon fibre nanotube X-ray machine manufacturer Micro-X has taken back a measure of control over the distribution of its Nano portable X-ray machine. Until now the Nano has been distributed and branded exclusively by global group Carestream Health Inc as the Carestream DRX Revolution Nano. Such exclusive distribution arrangements are often used by start-up technology…

Working smarter with data – how BAE Systems is creating the world’s first fully digital shipyard

@AuManufacturing‘s editorial series, ‘Working smarter with data‘, concludes today with a profile of the most ambitious digitisation programme underway in Australia – the creation of a unique, fully digital shipyard in Adelaide to construct naval vessels. By Peter Roberts. A broad stretch of Adelaide’s Port River sweeps past what is Australia’s most advanced programme of…

We created diamonds in mere minutes, without heat — by mimicking the force of an asteroid collision

There are many well-known forms of carbon with graphite-like bonding, including graphene, the thinnest material ever measured. But did you know there’s also more than one type of carbon-based material with diamond-like bonding?

Husic to bring his tech focus to shadow cabinet

By Denham Sadler The government needs to set its ambitions for tech and innovation much higher and encourage creation rather than just adoption, newly appointed shadow minister for agriculture and resources Ed Husic says. Husic was appointed to the position last week after Joel Fitzgibbons stood down from the role. Earlier this year Husic pushed…

ARENA announces $342,000 support for small wind turbine installations

The Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA) has announced $341,990 in funding to startup Diffuse Energy, which will support installation of micro wind turbines at ten off-grid telecommunications towers to demonstrate the company’s technology. Diffuse was founded by University of Newcastle engineering researchers in 2018. One of its potential markets is remote telecommunications centres. These are…

McNeall Plastics onshores nylon products

Engineering plastics manufacturer McNeall Plastics has onshored key capabilities and is now the only company in Australia with capacity to pour large and complex Nylon products up to a size of 3000mm x 3000mm. McNeall’s Sydney and Brisbane plants produce Nylons, Acetals, Polyethylene UHMW, Polypropylene, and Polycarbonate. Managing director Josh Budd said: “The COVID-19 pandemic,…

Working smarter with data: Can recommender systems help find business partners?

In the second-last day of @AuManufacturing‘s ‘Working smarter with data’ editorial series, Qian Zhang and Jie Lu explain recommender systems and their usefulness to small and medium businesses.

Planning for defence industry puts manufacturing modernisation in the shade

Comment by Peter Roberts The federal government continues to impress with its continuing rollout of policies and plans to support the creation of defence industry that can help secure Australia in times of trouble. There is already a suite of policies supporting building industry capabilities, identifying critical sovereign capabilities, assisting SMEs into global supply chains,…

Zip Water launches new micro boiling water appliance

Sydney appliance manufacturer Zip Water has launched a new, smaller version of its flagship HydroTap which delivers cold and boiling water on demand in homes and offices. The Zip Micro (pictured) is designed to fit under almost any bench, and is suited for small workplaces with up to 10 people. Zip Micro is 37 per…

Manufacturing news briefs – stories you might have missed

Eden Innovations awarded R&D grant to develop nanotube composites Materials technology company Eden Innovations and the University of Queensland have been awarded a $376,518 grant to help fund the development of new production methods for carbon nanotube (CNT) enriched thermoplastic composites. The grant, the fifth Australian Research Council linkage grant received by Eden, will help…

South Australian manufacturing closes as Covid hits

Manufacturing industry in South Australis will close from midnight tonight other than for essential services as the state heads into an initial 6-day total shutdown to halt the spread of Covid-19. Health officials and Premier Steven Marshall, worried about a sudden outbreak of an apparently virulent strain of Covid-19, announced the circuit-breaker lockdown shortly after…

Three Tasmanian hydrogen projects get $2.6 million for feasibility studies

The Tasmanian government has announced $2.6 million in support for three feasibility studies on large-scale hydrogen projects.

Covid hits Aristocrat’s gaming profits, but digital shines

The Covid-19 pandemic hit sales and profits of Australia’s largest gaming machine manufacturer, Aristocrat Leisure during the 2020 financial year. The Sydney company saw revenue from physical gaming venues drop by a third as the pandemic halted some operations, while its digital gaming sales rose by 29 per cent. However Aristocrat Digital, which has been…

The Pivot: Lessons from the biotech frontline

By backing the team, not the project, a business can recover from a project failure, move on to another project and ultimately be successful. And then repeat the success on further projects.

Australia needs waste avoidance and well as recycling to meet goals: report

A new report argues Australia will not meet its waste reduction targets through recycling alone, and must appreciate waste as a design flaw in goods and services.

Working smarter with data: reasoning with machine learning

While machine learning is very good at pattern recognition, it is relatively ‘dumb’ at solving new problems. A combination of machine learning and machine reasoning is already creating powerful new technologies that are much more flexible and capable than traditional forms of machine learning or AI.

Tritium launches modular EV charging hardware

Fast electric vehicle charger manufacturer Tritium has launched a new hardware platform aimed at creating the world’s first truly scalable electric vehicle charging networks. The Brisbane company’s MSC hardware platform – for Modular Scalable Charging – provides customers with the flexibility to increase the power level of their charger as EV charging capabilities advance. Charger…

Defence minister praises Collins class subs – so why did we go overseas for a new design?

Comment by Peter Roberts Defence minister Linda Reynolds has praised the capabilities of the Collins Class submarines once derided by a former Coalition defence minister. It went down in history that then minister David Johnston warned in 2014 he would not trust the government-owned defence builder, the Australian Submarine Corporation (ASC), to build a canoe.…

Being a female leader in medtech manufacturing – by Serena Ross

Female CEOs and senior executives are more common in manufacturing than in the past, but still enough of a rarity for Serena Ross to have to reach out overseas for someone to mentor her when she became CEO of her family business. Here she writes about what it is like being a woman leader in…

Titomic completes major leadership overhaul with new CEO

Additive manufacturing technology developer Titomic has named industrial veteran Norbert Schulze as interim chief executive officer and begun a search for a permanent CEO. He succeeds Titomic’s founder Jeff Lang, who assumes the role of executive director and chief technology officer as well as board director. Schulze owns a consulting company advising global defence companies…

Austal’s China JV delivers third ferry

Shipbuilder Austal’s Chinese joint venture shipyard has constructed and delivered its third Austal-designed high-speed catamaran passenger ferry. The joint venture company, Aulong Shipbuilding has delivered the 42-metre aluminium ferry capable of carrying 272 passengers over two decks (pictured), to repeat customer Blue Sea Jet of China. The ferry, christened the Hin Hai Chi , will…

124 companies apply for $900 million submarine work package

One-hundred and twenty-four Australian companies have applied to be tier one partners and 1,964 have made expressions of interest to be a part of the broader supply chain for the $90 billion Attack Class submarine program.

HackHunter launches portable WiFi tracker

Melbourne cyber security IoT provider HackHunter today launches its locally engineered and manufactured device to detect and locate the source of unauthorised and potentially malicious WiFi systems. HackHunter has just won the Australian Information Security Association (AISA) 2020 Award for Cyber Security Start Up of the year for product innovation around cyber security. HackHunter CEO,…

Austin Engineering adds four new export markets

Mining equipment manufacturer Austin Engineering has announced their first orders from four new export markets as the company continues to expand its sales focus. The Queensland manufacturer, which makes customised dump truck bodies, buckets, water tanks, tyre handlers and products utilised in the mining industry, has made its first ever sales to Egypt, the Ukraine,…

Working smarter with data – wearables cut workplace injury by Scott Coleman

@AuManufacturing‘s editorial series, ‘Working smarter with data‘, continues today with a look at how data can tackle worker injuries in key manufacturing industries. Here Scott Coleman looks at wearables and data driven technologies and how they can reduce risks. In recent weeks we’ve seen a number of workplace injury cases making headlines and reviving conversations…

Cross-sector technology opportunities for manufacturing – by Adrian Beer

Australia has begun to develop its manufacturing industries following supply chain disruption from the Covid-19 pandemic. Here Adrian Beer, CEO of mining equipment, technology and services industry growth centre, METS Ignited, highlights cross-sector opportunities for manufacturers in Australia’s leadership in mining and minerals processing. Whilst 2020 has brought significant challenges, we have seen the manufacturing…

We’ve just signed the world’s biggest trade deal, but what exactly is the RCEP?

The giant Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership between Australia, China, Japan, South Korea, New Zealand and the ten members of ASEAN (Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Myanmar, The Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam) was signed online on Sunday, November 15.

BAE Systems launches Red Ochre labs to support frigate innovation

Defence contractor BAE Systems Australia today launched a hub for collaboration with industry, Defence and academia to develop technologies to support the construction of Australia’s new Hunter class frigates. Headquartered in Victoria, the company’s Red Ochre Labs aims to develop new, disruptive technologies in autonomous systems, hypersonics, High Frequency Systems, electronic warfare and Anti-Submarine Warfare…

Six ways manufacturers can use data to streamline operations

You want to harness all the data your business produces, but where to start? Robert Jurcec gives some suggestions. Manufacturers have more data available to them than ever before, however, many companies and their finance teams struggle with knowing how to use it. Big data describes the large volume of data that inundates a business…

Things picking up for Sydney sensor business

UNSW spin-out Contactile won the Advanced Manufacturing category at last month’s Australian Technologies Competition. Brent Balinski spoke to co-founder Heba Khamis about making robots feel like we do. 

Plenty of gas, it just gets used by LNG exporters: report

The Australia Institute has questioned the importance of gas to a manufacturing recovery, saying there was no shortage, and increasing production would just benefit LNG exporters.

CSL to build $800 million Melbourne vaccine plant

Biotechnology giant CSL will spend more than $800 million building a new vaccine manufacturing plant at the Melbourne Airport Business Park, with operations expected to start in 2026. The plant, which will utilise cell-based mass production techniques, complements the company’s existing vaccine production capabilities which are based on growing vaccines in chicken eggs – a…

Sage Group launches shopping trolley sanitiser

Automation and industrial company SAGE Group has launched a new automated machine to be installed in supermarkets and capable of sanitising entire shopping trolleys. SAGE CEO Adrian Fahey took to social media to reveal the new ‘Sanitizit’, featured on Channel 7, which the company will manufacture and support. A first of its kind, Sanitizit replaces…

About time Canberra did something about local battery production

Comment by Peter Roberts It is about time the federal government got serious about backing lithium-ion battery manufacture in Australia. The plethora of grid-scale storage batteries under construction, booming solar PV plus home battery installations, and the nascent market for electric vehicles mean we are consuming more and more batteries. But while we produce the…

ANSTO develops new radiation sensing device

A team at the Australian Nuclear Science and Technology Organisation (ANSTO) has created a new portable device that can pinpoint the location of radiation sources, faster and more accurately than ever before. The new technology has potential in a range of fields including national security, customs, decommissioning of old reactors and nuclear operations. ANSTO’s CORIS360…

Builder chosen for major Australian meatworks project

Thomas Foods International has appointed Adelaide-based construction company BADGE to build its state-of-the-art meat processing facility near Murray Bridge in South Australia.

Quickstep buys Boeing maintenance facility

Aerospace giant Boeing has agreed to sell its Tullamarine, Melbourne maintenance, repair and overhaul operation to Sydney advanced composites manufacturer Quickstep as part of discussions the two companies are holding to develop a broader business relationship. Quickstep will pay $2.64 million in cash to purchase Boeing Australia Component Repairs (BACR) which is equipped with extensive…

Wesfarmers defends imports at AGM

Wesfarmers’ leadership has fielded questions about sourcing of imported products during a virtual AGM on Thursday.

Virgin Galactic executive will return home to head Australian Space Agency

The chief operating officer of Virgin Galactic and President of its subsidiary The Spaceship company will return home to head the Australian Space Agency.

H2X Marine extends hydrogen push to ships

H2X Marine, the new boat building arm of hydrogen fuel cell Vehicle manufacturer H2X, has begun building water craft powered by green renewable energy. The company will initially produce a range of zero emission passenger ferries for industrial and commercial use, and prototype hulls (pictured) have already been produced. CEO of H2X Marine, Sam Blackadder…

Working smarter with data – digital transformation for food & beverage industry

@AuManufacturing‘s editorial series, ‘Working smarter with data‘, continues today with the potential of digitisation in food and beverage industries. Here Siemens outlines the opportunities and potential. Food and beverage producers need to recognise that when it comes to digitalisation, it is not a question of whether they can afford it – it is a question…

SPEE3D 3D printer installed by the navy

A SPEE3D Cold Spray 3D printer (pictured) has been delivered and installed by the Royal Australian Navy. The WarpSPEE3D additive manufacturing system complements a similar printer supplied to the army which has been undergoing trials at remote locations in the outback. The navy deal is part of a $1.5 million contract for the Darwin-based company…

Waste reduction efforts gain $10.5 million through National Product Stewardship Investment Fund

Grants totalling $10.5 million and going to 15 organisations through the National Product Stewardship Investment Fund have been announced.

Boeing and Clearbox to develop satellite communications system

Boeing Defence Australia and Sydney technology company Clearbox Systems will collaborate to develop a next generation satellite communication (SATCOM) system for the defence department project known as Joint Project 9102. JP9102 aims to deliver a system which will enable the joint command and control of deployed Joint Task Forces beyond the range and capacity of…

Miner moves to use green hydrogen, support steel production

Resources and chemicals group Australian Vanadium has moved to incorporate green hydrogen throughout its proposed vanadium mining and value-added processing operations in Western Australia. The company, which is developing a vanadium, iron and titanium resource at Gabanintha south of Meekatharra, where it will undertake crushing, milling and benefaction of the magnetite ores, is also seeking…

UNSW recycling researchers recover aluminium from tricky packaging

Researchers at University of NSW have developed a new technique to recover aluminium out of challenging-to-recycle polymer-laminated aluminium packaging materials.

CEFC invests in Chinese solar venture, but why?

Comment by Peter Roberts Australia’s Clean Energy Finance Corporation has been one of the big successes of federal government efforts to kick-start enterprise and innovation in the renewable energy space. Its great strength is the corporation, which the coalition tried to abolish completely when it first came to office, is that it is run by…

Working smarter with data – AI gives agriculture the competitive edge

@AuManufacturing‘s editorial series, ‘Working smarter with data‘, continues today with agriculture, where hardware, software and data are driving massive change. Here, Tony Blackie profiles Green Atlas and its use of Artificial Intelligence. Artificial Intelligence is becoming an essential tool for Australian farmers with increasing numbers embracing new technology to gain a competitive edge. University researchers…

Can sales drive Coopers Brewery profits

South Australian brewer Coopers is crediting a national consumer-led push towards trusted, locally-made beer brands and a move to more canned products for a 3.9 per cent rise in sales in the 2019-20 financial year.

Frigate project sparks $10 million manufacturing accelerator plan

The construction of Hunter class frigates in Adelaide in a new all-digital shipyard has sparked the creation of a first-of-its-kind advanced manufacturing accelerator located at the Tonsley Innovation District. Tonsley, already a thriving advanced education and industrial zone, will host the development of the Line Zero – Factory of the Future, a collaboration between the…

Pfizer’s ultra-cold vaccine could be difficult to distribute

If the final results show anything like the numbers quoted in the press release, then the world can indeed be pleased and the scientists behind the scenes very proud of themselves.

Working smarter with data: Manufacturing the next generation of smart materials 

In today’s addition to our ‘Working smarter with data‘ series, Dr Nishar Hameed explains Australian work on smart sensing, and future applications for a new class of materials enabling this.

First commercial project using local recycled soft-plastic-in-aggregate product

The redevelopment of Coles Horsham has featured the first commercial application of PolyRok, a product by Australian company Replas using soft plastic in place of aggregate minerals.