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Manufacturing News

Manufacturing News

New report shows Australia set renewables records in 2021

By Editor

The Clean Energy Regulator’s December quarter report has included new records for the adoption of renewables and carbon offsets during 2021.

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The coalition has well and truly embraced ‘picking winners’

By Peter Roberts

By Peter Roberts Ahh the good old days – the days when the coalition was dead against ‘picking winners’. Remember them? It is hard to believe that only a decade ago, any mention by Labor of an activist industry policy that identified industry sectors that Australia should focus on was met with a chorus of…

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Australian Vanadium backed to produce critical battery materials

By Peter Roberts

Resources and chemicals group Australian Vanadium Limited (AVL) will receive a $49 million grant from the federal government to support a major project in Western Australia to produce critical battery metals and electrolyte for vanadium redox storage batteries. The grant, under the federal government’s Modern Manufacturing Initiative Collaboration Stream, will fund development of the company’s…

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Help Australian manufacturers fightback from floods

By Peter Roberts

The Australian Made Campaign is encouraging consumers to help local businesses fight back across flood devastated Queensland and New South Wales through its new ‘Flood Fightback‘ product page. While rain is finally easing Australian Made is featuring almost 900 businesses across flood-affected communities, providing consumers with a way to discover new and exciting Australian Made…

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ANSTO to manufacture skin cancer treatment

By Peter Roberts

Nuclear science and technology organisation ANSTO has been licensed as the Australian manufacturing partner of a new non-invasive treatment for non-melanoma skin cancer (NMSC). Radioisotope developer OncoBeta and ANSTO will establish local manufacturing of the company’s epidermal radioisotope therapy, Rhenium-SCT (Skin Cancer Therapy) for the treatment of non-melanoma skin cancer. ANSTO operates the OPAL nuclear…

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GREP gets CEFC, Hostplus backing

By Editor

The Clean Energy Finance Corporation will provide up to $8.5 million in finance in a joint venture with Octopus Australia for the Gippsland Renewable Energy Park (GREP.)

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New report shows Australia set renewables records in 2021

The Clean Energy Regulator’s December quarter report has included new records for the adoption of renewables and carbon offsets during 2021.

Read more

The coalition has well and truly embraced ‘picking winners’

By Peter Roberts Ahh the good old days – the days when the coalition was dead against ‘picking winners’. Remember them? It is hard to believe that only a decade ago, any mention by Labor of an activist industry policy that identified industry sectors that Australia should focus on was met with a chorus of…

Read more

Australian Vanadium backed to produce critical battery materials

Resources and chemicals group Australian Vanadium Limited (AVL) will receive a $49 million grant from the federal government to support a major project in Western Australia to produce critical battery metals and electrolyte for vanadium redox storage batteries. The grant, under the federal government’s Modern Manufacturing Initiative Collaboration Stream, will fund development of the company’s…

Read more

Help Australian manufacturers fightback from floods

The Australian Made Campaign is encouraging consumers to help local businesses fight back across flood devastated Queensland and New South Wales through its new ‘Flood Fightback‘ product page. While rain is finally easing Australian Made is featuring almost 900 businesses across flood-affected communities, providing consumers with a way to discover new and exciting Australian Made…

Read more

ANSTO to manufacture skin cancer treatment

Nuclear science and technology organisation ANSTO has been licensed as the Australian manufacturing partner of a new non-invasive treatment for non-melanoma skin cancer (NMSC). Radioisotope developer OncoBeta and ANSTO will establish local manufacturing of the company’s epidermal radioisotope therapy, Rhenium-SCT (Skin Cancer Therapy) for the treatment of non-melanoma skin cancer. ANSTO operates the OPAL nuclear…

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GREP gets CEFC, Hostplus backing

The Clean Energy Finance Corporation will provide up to $8.5 million in finance in a joint venture with Octopus Australia for the Gippsland Renewable Energy Park (GREP.)

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Perth to get $4.3 billion dry dock

By Peter Roberts The federal government has announced funding will be earmarked in the upcoming Budget for a $4.3 billion dry dock to be located at the Henderaon marine precinct (pictured) in Western Australia. Prime Minister Scott Morrison made the announcement today in Perth, saying the new dry dock would turn Henderson into a world-class…

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Manufacturing news briefs – stories you might have missed

Amaero International to review strategic alternatives Additive manufacturing technology company Amaero International has commissioned investment and advisory firm Guggenheim Securities to evaluate strategic alternatives for the company. The study was aimed at ensuring it was ‘taking every step possible to maximise value for shareholders’, according to an announcement. Amaero said no decisions had been made…

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Canberra backssteelworks, hints at further MMI investment

BlueScope Steel will invest $217 updating the Port Kembla steelworks with the assistance of a federal government Modern Manufacturing Initiative grant. Canberra will provide $55.4 million to the project which will ‘shore up the supply of Australian steel to support renewable energy projects and our local defence sector’, according to the government. Steel plate produced…

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Flinders in R&D partnership with WA asparagopsis startup

SeaStock, which recently became the sixth company with a licence to produce asparagopsis extract-based livestock feed, will undertake a project on “production and processing techniques” with Flinders University. Asparagopsis is a red seaweed native to Australia and New Zealand, and the subject of years of research led by CSIRO and James Cook University investigating the…

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Pure Hydrogen plans a ‘turquoise’ hydrogen pilot plant

Pure Hydrogen plans to produce ‘turquoise’ hydrogen from methane feedstock in a Brisbane pilot plant utilising technology from French company Plenesys. Pure Hydrogen has built up ‘considerable’ expertise in methane pyrolysis hydrogen production and will combine it with Plenesys’s A/C Plasma Torch to convert methane into hydrogen and solid carbon products including graphene. The two…

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Singular Health’s AI-based cranial implants

CSIRO and Singular Health have announced the creation of an AI-based model for designing bespoke cranial implants. Crainiotomy CT scans were used to train a convolutional neural network AI model to generate a cranial implant design. Made possible with the support of CSIRO Kick-Start, the AI model is capable of generating a cranial implant within…

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Labor pledges $22 million for Townsville industrial hub if it wins election

Federal opposition leader Anthony Albanese will pledge an extra $22 million on infrastructure for the Lansdown Eco-Industrial Precinct, should Labor win the upcoming federal election.

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Schneider Electric completes acquisition of Australian IoT company

French multinational Schneider Electric has announced the completed acquisition of Aurtra, a University of Queensland spinout specialising in power asset management solutions. The acquisition was announced last year, with Aurtra’s HealthSense – a multi-function sensor solution – now part of Schneider Electric’s services offer portfolio. Aurtra was founded in 2016, following a decade of industry/university…

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Australia edges closer to being electricity exporter

A new export industry for Australia – sending green electricity offshore via cable – has moved a step closer with news that the giant Sun Cable export project has raised new capital. Billionaires Mike Cannon-Brookes and Andrew Forrest led a $210 million Series B capital raising from existing shareholders announced on Sunday night. The fund…

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Insitu Pacific to deliver Integrator UAS

Unmanned aerial system (UAS) manufacturer Insitu Pacific has been announced as preferred supplier by the Australian Government to provide the new Tactical Uncrewed Aerial System (UAS) to the Australian Army under the LAND129 Phase 3 programme. Insitu, a division of the Boeing company, will initially deliver and provide support of its Integrator UAS (pictured) as…

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How to reindustrialise Australia – by Lance Worrall

In March @AuManufacturing analysed the failings of Australian industry policy and its outcome – our fragile and narrowly based commodity economy. Here Lance Worrall looks forward to the elements of the reindustrialisation policy we need to reverse Australia’s economic decline. We need a strategy for reindustrialisation. Without it Australia is the loser. We need a…

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Manufacturing news briefs – stories you might have missed

Austal delivers 14th Guardian patrol boat Shipbuilder Austal has delivered the 14th Guardian class patrol boat (GCPB) to the Australian Department of Defence. The vessel, FSS Tosiwo Nakayama, was then gifted to the Federated States of Micronesia at a certificate signing ceremony held at Austal’s shipyard in Henderson, Western Australia. The ceremony was attended by…

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Breville buys LELIT to expand coffee maker range

International consumer product group Breville has purchased Italian coffee machine, grinder and barista tool manufacturer LELIT, expanding its range of offerings to the home coffee maker market. The Sydney company will pay $201 million to acquire 100 per cent of LELIT – half will be paid in cash with the remainder paid in Breville shares,…

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Woman leaders in composites – Nicola Stanistreet, Pacific Resins

Today our special editorial series celebrating International Women’s Week profiling women leaders in composites, talks to Nicola Stanistreet, Sales Director, Pacific Resins. By Kerryn Caulfield.

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Fleet Space Technologies reveals Moon rover design

Iot satellite company Fleet Space Technologies has revealed a preliminary design for an Australian Moon rover vehicle. The design, part of the Seven Sisters consortium of leading space companies bid to be part of NASA’s ground-breaking Moon and Mars missions, was developed ‘courtesy of Hassel Studios’. Fleet Space’s CEO Flavia Tata Nardini said her company…

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Labor pledges funds for ‘factory of the future’

Labor should it be elected at the upcoming South Australian state election has pledged $4 million to bring together up to 100 South Australian companies with university students and researchers to develop new manufacturing processes and products. Labor plans a Manufacturing Growth Accelerator program (MGA) at Flinders University’s Factory of the Future facility which will…

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Industry dept pays consultants $15m for help with grants

By Denham Sadler The Industry department has paid consultants more than $15 million in the last 18 months across a number of contracts for assistance in delivering its grants programs, including with the assessment of applications. Since November 2020, the department has handed Canberra consultancy Synergy more than $10 million in contracts marked as being for…

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USQ space manufacturing hub shortlisted for expansion

The University of Southern Queensland’s space manufacturing hub has been shortlisted to receive a share of the federal government’s $242 million Trailblazer Universities Program. The four-year Trailblazer Program will help universities to fast-track commercialisation of research with industry partners across the six National Manufacturing Priorities (NMP). The University of Southern Queensland’s Innovative Launch, Automation, Novel…

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Sea Electric launches step van in the US

Australian founded and US-based electric truck drive train manufacturer SEA Electric has revealed its SV6 EV Step Van developed for the electric delivery van segment in the United States. At the heart of the Class 6 SV6 EV is the proprietary SEA-Drive power-system, which leads the industry in terms of range, driving performance, and environmental…

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Stronger buy local procurement policy proposed for South Australia

The Labor opposition has promised a ‘powerful’ new procurement policy aimed at shaping ‘the economy and the labour market’ should it win government at the state election due on March 19. Opposition Leader Peter Malinauskas (pictured) choose a vist to 75 year old knitting mill Silver Fleece to announce: “It simply makes sense for the…

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Victorian Medtech Manufacturing Capability Program opens for applications

Applications are open for grants worth between $100,000 and $500,000 under the Victorian government’s Medtech Manufacturing Capability Program. The program is open to companies with operations in the state making an eligible medtech product, and at the “prototype stage and/or the scale up stage” of product development.Grants are paid on a 1:1 basis for…

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Woman leaders in composites – Krystyna Nikolas

Today our special editorial series celebrating International Women’s Week profiling women leaders in composites, turns to Krystyna Nikolas, Financial Controller, Marky Industries. From hand laminating, polishing plugs, grinding and trimming, there are few jobs that Krystyna hasn’t done in the company’s journey from a $50 start-up to employing over 70 people. By Kerryn Caulfield. Krystyna…

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Quantum Brilliance in German Quantum Computing Research

German-Australian manufacturer of quantum computing hardware, Quantum Brilliance has announced it is to be the commercialisation partner in a $17.5 million research project funded by the German government to develop a compact, scalable quantum computer demonstrator with spin-photon qubits leveraging synthetic diamonds. Led by the Fraunhofer Institute for Applied Solid State Physics IAF, the goal…

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Timber from Russia/Belarus declared ‘conflict timber’.

The federal Department of Agriculture, Water and the Environment (DAWE) has advised furniture manufacturers that timber from Russia and Belarus will not be banned from import into Australia despite concerns raised over Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. However DAWE is planning to notify users of Russian and Belarusian timbers of an announcement by PEFC International and…

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Woman leaders in composites – Genelle Coghlan of Colan Australia

Today, our special editorial series celebrating International Women’s Week profiling women leaders in composites, turns to Genelle Coghlan, a ‘materials geek’. She loves the art of engineering purpose and performance into roll goods, tapes and braids, and pushing the limits of fibre compositions. By Kerryn Caulfield. Genelle Coghlan is a successful serial entrepreneur with many…

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Manufacturing news briefs – stories you might have missed

Hexagon plans huge WA ‘blue’ hydrogen with CCS Hexagon Energy Materials has reported on its plans to develop a massive ‘blue’ hydrogen plus carbon capture and storage production hub in Western Australia’s north west. The company has progressed plans to produce as much as 800,000 tonnes of hydrogen a year from natural gas feedstock for…

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PM wants to shore up seven sectors of manufacturing for “just in case” era

Prime minister Scott Morrison has outlined seven supply chain priorities in a speech this morning ahead of the March 29 budget. The seven sectors of manufactured goods that Australia needed to focus on, “in the national interest”, were given as semiconductors, agricultural chemicals, water treatment chemicals, telecommunications equipment, plastics, pharmaceuticals, and personal protective equipment. Supply…

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Taskforce set to reinvigorate NSW modern manufacturing

The New South Wales government has announced a new taskforce designed to renew NSW’s manufacturing sector, with the aim of accelerating adoption and development of modern manufacturing capabilities across industry sectors in Australia’s largest state. Minister for enterprise, investment and trade Stuart Ayres said NSW’s Modern Manufacturing Taskforce brings together research, academia and industry experts…

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Project applications open for German-Australian green hydrogen incubator program

The German-Australian Hydrogen Innovation and Technology Incubator has opened grant applications for green hydrogen projects

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International Women’s Day: Insights from four women in STEM

Across Australia, women are delivering ground-breaking research and innovation within science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM). In celebration of International Women’s Day, the Innovative Manufacturing Cooperative Research Centre (IMCRC) spoke to four women involved in IMCRC’s manufacturing research projects about their careers, why gender equality matters and what we can do to inspire more girls…

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Women leaders in composites – Lynley Papineau of Aquatic Leisure Technologies

Today our special editorial series celebrating International Women’s Week profiling women leaders in composites, turns to Aquatic Leisure Technologies (ALT), Australia’s largest swimming pool manufacturer. At the helm of this extraordinary company is Lynley Papineau. By Kerryn Caulfield. The backyard pool is the ultimate Aussie playground – a private oasis for fitness and relaxation, and…

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New report looks at opportunities and costs of decarbonising energy-hungry manufacturing

Manufacturing Australia released a report on Monday concluding that a move to net zero emissions by 2050 could boost manufacturing and add 100,000 new jobs, though there would need to be significant investment to “more than double… total electricity generation” required by energy-intensive manufacturing.

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Latrobe manufacturing cooperative awarded grant for solar-battery systems

Morwell’s Earthworker Energy Manufacturing Cooperative has been awarded just under $240,000 under the state government’s Latrobe Valley Energy and Growth Program to develop portable solar-battery systems for use in extreme weather events.

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Defence’s industry programs ‘simply not good enough’

By Joseph Brookes Fewer than five per cent of projects funded by federal government’s flagship Defence innovation programme have gone on to export success, and just seven per cent have been close to acquisition by Australian defence forces in the past six years. The low translation rates are despite $441 million being poured into the…

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Improve your customer acquisition

Customer acquisition is art of adding new clients to your business. In other words, growth. Whether your business is brand new or established, the shifting sands of the marketplace mean that gaining new customers is an ongoing endeavour. Naturally, the financial success of your business depends on your ability to acquire customers.

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Manufacturing news briefs – stories you might have missed

Second evolved Cape class patrol vessel launched The second of six Evolved Cape Class Patrol Boats launched on Saturday at the Austal Ships shipyard in Henderson, Western Australia. Following its official launch, the second patrol vessel in the $344 million build programme will receive finishing touches and undergo sea trials before being delivered to the…

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FBR and Liebherr to ‘commercialise’ the Hadrian X robot

Robotic technology company FBR has entered into a MOU with global pumping systems manufacturer Liebherr-Mischtechnik GmbH to ‘industrialise and commercialise’ the next generation FBR’s Hadrian X automated bricklaying robot. The two plan to develop the Australian-developed system which has successfully built houses, apartments and commercial buildings for the global construction market. However it is not…

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Women leaders in composites – Leona Reif FDP Composites

Introducing our special editorial series to celebrate International Women’s Week profiling women leaders in composites, today we talk to Leona Reif, Director of FDP Composites and president, Composites Australia. Here’s how Leona took over and drove forward her father’s business, by Kerryn Caulfield. For many, a dramatic career change from public to private sector would…

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Carbon Revolution celebrates 50,000th wheel

One-piece composite wheel manufacturer Carbon Revolution has marked the sale of its 50,000th wheel at the company’s Waurn Ponds factory.

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Starpharma’s Covid-killer needs action not bureaucracy from TGA

By Peter Roberts I have nothing but the deepest respect for Australia’s Therapeutic Goods Administration, but a certain lack of initiative on the part of the TGA seems to be preventing Australians from getting access to the latest Australian-developed tools to fight Covid-19. Make no mistake the TGA has an exemplary record in regulating Australians’…

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Australian team is developing new IoT sensors to monitor highway health

Geoinventions Consulting Services is leading a project to develop new geotechnical sensors to monitor the health of roadways, enabled by micro-electro-mechanical systems technology.

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Manufacturing news briefs – stories you might have missed

Lynas extends knowledge of critical rare earths resource Lynas Rare Earths will begin a new exploration programme following the identification of major extensions to its Mt Weld rare earths resource in Western Australia. The company has successfully completed a one kilometre deep exploration hole drilled in fresh carbonatite below the current Mt Weld ore reserve.…

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Women @ Work in Australian regional manufacturing

Advertisement On the eve of International Women’s Day @AuManufacturing and our partner Hargraves Institute have launched a special programme for female team leaders and managers in regional manufacturing. We are offering readers and members an educational programme focussed on equity and equality in manufacturing firms in the regions. This interactive learning program (two sessions per…

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Brace yourself to be trickle fed grant awards right up to the election

By Peter Roberts The announcement of $113 million of federal support for plant protein factories and another $20 million for satellite manufacturing in South Australia is all well and good. But it means the process for assessing the Modern Manufacturing Initiative Round 1 applications is complete. It is shameful that the federal government looks like…

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Australia could get to net zero emissions much quicker than 2050 – if our politics was a force for change. Here’s how

Our current goal is net zero by 2050. But we could do it much faster. Our modelling shows we could get there by 2035. That’s just 13 years away.

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Federal government awards $20 million grant for Adelaide satellite manufacturing hub

A second South Australian consortium this week has been awarded support through the federal government’s Modern Manufacturing Initiative, with a $20 million grant announced to help establish a space manufacturing hub at Adelaide Airport. On Thursday the federal government said it would contribute $20 million to the new park through the collaboration stream of its…

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Liberty awarded $292 million rail contract

Liberty Primary Steel has been awarded a $292 million contract to make 147,000 tonnes of steel for the Australian Rail Track Corporation (ARTC), much of which will be used in the Inland Rail.

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Eight SMEs unite in space and defence

Eight leading Australian-owned space and defence companies have joined together to offer solutions to Australia’s space and defence industry priorities. The companies, a who’s who of young, innovative Australian firms, have formed Australian Defence Industry Space Capability Alliance (ADISCA) to tackle defence’s Sovereign Industry Capability Priorities for space. The alliance was revealed at the 13th…

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BlueScope welcomes NSW renewable manufacturing fund

BlueScope Steel has welcomed the announcement by the NSW Government of a $250 million Renewable Manufacturing Fund. CEO Mark Vassella welcomed the state’s commitment to create opportunities for local industry in this and other sectors. Vassella said: “The potential opportunity for local manufacturers in relation to NSW’s Renewable Energy Zones is enormous – several hundred…

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Sea Electric pumps out electric trucks in Melbourne – pictures

The main focus for Melbourne electric vehicle drive train manufacturer Sea Electric has shifted to the United States – after all, you have to be close to your biggest markets. But its Melbourne plant is busy pumping out electric trucks as these pictures show. According to the company: “Our Melbourne factory is in full swing.…

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Broken Hill Cobalt awarded major project status

The federal government has awarded Major Project Status to the Broken Hill Cobalt Project, which will produce an estimated 16,700 tonnes annually of high purity cobalt sulphate, a critical material used in lithium ion batteries.

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My (improbable) faith in Australian manufacturing – by Ed Husic

Ed Husic spoke to the Sydney Institute last night and outlined his vision for industry and innovation should Labor be successful at the coming federal election. Here is a full transcript. Good industry policy isn’t just about economics – it helps build a sense of security as well. In tough, challenging times it’s as much…

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Dassault joins “Team Albatross” effort to create aerospace manufacturing hub in Darwin

French engineering software company Dassault Systemes has joined Darwin’s Amphibian Aerospace Industries in its plan to build Albatross amphibious aircraft. Dassault announced on Tuesday that it was joining “Team Albatross” with AAI, which announcedplans in December to rebuild an upgraded version of the Albatross G-111 and to create an aviation manufacturing sector in the…

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Manufacturing news briefs – stories you might have missed

Chemist Warehouse ranges organic infant formula Future Gradulac Gentle and Organic A2 infant formula produced by Australian Dairy Nutritionals are to be sold through pharmacy retailer Chemist Warehouse. Initial orders have been received with the full range available in what is Australia’s largest infant formula retailer in early March. ADN reported it had improved its…

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Fortescue plans zero emission Infinity Train

Fortescue Future Industries and its newly acquired, UK-based arm Williams Advanced Engineering (WAE) today announced the development of a world first, zero emission Infinity Train. The regenerating battery electric iron ore train project will use gravitational energy to fully recharge its battery electric systems without any additional charging requirements for the return trip to reload.…

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Wednesday National Press Club address to focus on “bench to boardroom” science

Professor Mark Hutchinson of the University of Adelaide will address the enduring topic of improving research commercialisation at the National Press Club on Wednesday.

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Close The Loop announces half-year results

Close The Loop has announced positive half-year results, including earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation growth of 51 per cent versus the year before. Among results for the half-year ending December 31, were pro forma revenue of $40.7 million, pro forma EBITDA of $7.4 million and pro forma net profit before tax of $4.97…

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Manufacturing bounces back after worst of Omicron

Manufacturing recovered after a difficult holiday period, according to the Australian Industry Group’s Australian Performance of Manufacturing Index survey. The PMI result for February was 53.2, up 4.8 points from December-January.Any result above indicates expansion, below it contraction, and 50 indicating no change. According to a summary of the results, these indicated “mild improvements…

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Meat giant TFI’s $378m move on plant-based food

Meat processing giant Thomas Foods International is planning a massive $378 million foray into the plant-based protein sector, promising to create more than 8,500 full-time jobs, according to media reports The Adelaide based meat processor, which has meat and seafood processing operations and feedlots in Australia, the United States, Canada and Europe, has joined with…

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A vision where innovative Australian-made displaces plastic – by Julia Kay

An architect by profession, Julia Kay and husband Jordy have grown from a standing start to be Australia’s only manufacturer of compostable stretch wrap, first for consumer and soon for industrial uses. @AuManufacturing asked her to tell her story, in her own words. There was a materials revolution happening around us. Everything was changing rapidly;…

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Demand for skills drives improved outcomes for apprentices

A higher proportion of apprentices and trainees are being employed after completing their training as demand for skilled workers rose during 2021, according to a new report. The report from the National Centre for Vocational Education Research (NCVER) shows 94.0 per cent of apprentices and trainees who completed their training in a trade occupation were…

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AML3D releases half-year results, announces progress on alloy development

Wire arc additive manufacturing technology company AML3D has announced its best quarterly result in terms of customer receipts since listing on the ASX, and expects the next quarter to be a further improvement.

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Govt’s ‘AI Action Plan’ is lacking action

By Joseph Brookes Funding for the federal government’s ‘AI Action Plan’ remains locked up in the industry department nearly a year after it was announced, with a key business group pressing the government to release the $124 million promised in last year’s budget. Despite being budgeted more than $22 million this financial year to initiate…

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Stock market investors look to Micro-X to lift sales

By Peter Roberts Technology shares especially for start-ups have been shunned by investors for months now, but until the past week Adelaide cold cathode X-ray machine manufacturer Micro-X had weathered the storm better than most. However in the past week the market marked down the company’s shares, delivering a warning that it is becoming impatient…

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Manufacturing news briefs – stories you might have missed

Austal’s record half year profit Perth international shipbuilder Austal has posted a record half year profit to December despite revenue slipping 14 per cent to $722.4 million. Operating profit or EBIT of $71.1 million was up one per cent on the previous corresponding period to $70.5m. The record result was driven by a combination of…

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AUSTRALIAN MANUFACTURING FORUM PASSES 10,000 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 10,041 members late last night with the admission of 56 people. The Forum has grown steadily since its founding in 2013, and a year ago…

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Fortescue begins building electrolyser factory

Fortescue Future Industries has begun construction on what is planned to be the world’s largest electrolyser manufacturing facility at Gladstone, Queensland, the first stage of a 100 hectare Green Energy Manufacturing Centre (GEM). The GEM will be powered by green energy and become a major new pollution free green manufacturing hub, with the stage one…

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EOS slashes cost of planned satellite system

Defence, space and communications manufacturer Electro Optic Systems has managed to squeeze down the cost of its SpaceLink global system of an initial four, linked optical relay communications satellites. The low Earth orbit satellites, which will provide operational connectivity to commercial and government space missions using both RF and optical links, will be built to…

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Another day, another breakdown for Incitec Pivot

By Peter Roberts How many breakdowns does a company have to suffer before the question is asked – what is going on in its United States manufacturing plants? This comes to mind with the news that fertiliser and explosives manufacturer Incitec Pivot has suffered yet another breakdown at its troubled Waggaman, Louisiana ammonia plant. This,…

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$65 million in funding announced for federal space programs

The federal government has announced $65 million in funding to support new launch sites and space flights for the space sector.

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Promised more industry focused PhDs, but the reality is different – by Dr John Howard

Australia was promised a new research focus for PhDs on the needs of industry. Here Dr John Howard forensically examines the national innovation and research system and asks whether, when the money runs out, will we have a more robust research infrastructure and research workforce? On 31 January 2022, the Prime Minister announced that the…

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Manufacturing news briefs – stories you might have missed

IDT Australia’s strong year as it develops mRNA technologies Independent pharmaceutical manufacturer IDT Australia has reported revenues up 74 per cent in the first half FY 22 to $8.56 million as its developed its capabilities in sterile manufacturing. Profit after tax was $1.21 million, up slightly from $1.12 million in the previous corresponding period. During…

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Applications open for six-month circular economy accelerator

Sydney’s Boomerang Labs is taking applications for its free six-month accelerator program for circular economy entrepreneurs. Between six and ten applicants will be selected for the accelerator, which is sponsored by EY, Bingo Industries and the NSW Environment Protection Authority. The program is split into Foundations, Partnerships, and Capital Raising modules. Applications are open until…

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No substitute for the Australian Made kangaroo

The famous Australian Made logo is not changing or being replaced, despite the release by Austrade of a kangaroo-based Nation Brand. That latest release follows the dumping of the first iteration of the Nation Brand – the infamous gold ‘Wattle mark’ – that drew unfavourable comparisons to images of the coronavirus. The Wattle mark has…

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Tindo Solar builds Australia’s first utility-scale solar panel

Australia’s only manufacturer of solar panels, Tindo Solar has revealed its first utility-scale solar PV panel with claims of unrivalled energy efficiency and longevity. The company, which is commissioning a new production line at Mawson Lakes, Adelaide, had its utility-scale solar PV panel tested by independent tester of electrical equipment TUV SUD Korea. They found…

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Blueprint for a national industrialisation strategy

By Peter Roberts A blueprint for a new National Industrialisation Strategy has been issued in the runup to the federal election that could guide a reindustrialisation of Australia. The blueprint, High Value Manufacturing for the 21st Century – is a new report from the Australian Industrial Transformation Institute, Flinders University and its director Professor John…

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Kilcoy Global’s new Sunshine Coast factory

Premium beef producer Kilcoy Global Foods Australia is to invest $50 million in a new food production facility on Queensland’s Sunshine Coast according to media reports. The Chinese-owned company, which distributes six beef brands to local and international food service and retail customers, will open the factory by the end of 2022 and create 300…

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Canberra backs future fuels deployment

The federal government is rolling out an expanded $250 million Future Fuels Fund to support uptake of low and zero emissions vehicles in commercial fleets over the next four years. Businesses will be able to apply for grants under the second round of the fund to support the uptake of low and zero emissions vehicles,…

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Carbon Revolution to inaugurate Mega-line in 2022

Carbon fibre road wheel manufacturer Carbon Revolution is to inaugurate its Mega-line wheel manufacturing line at its Geelong factory this calendar year, the company has revealed. Carbon Revolution told investors in its rep[ort for the first half year that construction of the Mega-line which will substantially increase output is on time and on budget. CEO…

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Manufacturing news briefs – stories you might have missed

Cochlear’s strong sales growth Growth in services offered by hearing implant manufacturer Cochlear has driven sales revenue for the half year ended December 12 per cent higher in constant currency terms to $1,135 million. While sales of Cochlear implants rose seven per cent to 18,598 in the half, services revenues such as sound processor upgrades…

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Engineering products company to build new factory at Avon

The Reinforced Earth Company, a civil engineering products business, will establish a new site at Avon Industrial Park, near Northam in Western Australia.

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CSIRO’S SWIRLFLOW technology’s 25 year’s operation

CSIRO’s SWIRLFLOW industrial mixing technology developed in partnership with Queensland Alumina Limited has marked a 25-year milestone of operations in alumina processing in Australia. Looking like a supercharged stick blender, SWIRLFLOW sits at the top of a mixing tank and generates a tornado-like swirl throughout the fluid, which delivers superior mixing and dispersion of solids…

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“Productivity needs to improve,” but is that the real problem – by John Sheridan

“Productivity needs to improve,” says the RBA, BCA, CEDA, Treasury and the Banks. But that is not the real problem argues John Sheridan The RBA, the BCA, government ministers and others are all back on the bandwagon again – “Australia’s productivity needs to improve before people can expect wage rises”. One of the measures of…

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Microgrid testing facility opened in Cairns

Ergon Energy has opened a new $6 million energy R&D facility in Cairns, described by the Queensland government as one of the most sophisticated of its kind in the nation.

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How Australia’s geology gave us an abundance of coal – and a wealth of greentech minerals to switch to

Two recent announcements hint at a seismic shift about to hit Australia’s coal industry.

Australian tech billionaire Mike Cannon-Brookes and Canada’s Brookfield put forward an extraordinary joint bid to takeover AGL Energy, Australia’s biggest emitting company, over the weekend. If successful, it would see AGL’s coal-fired power stations shut down early. And last week, Origin Energy announced that the country’s largest coal plant, Eraring, will close seven years early.

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BlueScope moves to reline blast furnace

BlueScope steel is rapidly refining its plans for decarbonising its steel making and today announced the likely $1 billion relining of its currently mothballed No. 6 blast furnace (6BF) at Port Kembla in New South Wales. The company told investors that it now expects significant takeup of low emissions steel technology into the 2040s. “Given…

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K-TIG raises cash, accelerates expansion

Australian high-tech welding manufacturer K-TIG will accelerate its global expansion, announcing it had raised $4 million in a share placement and revealing three new distribution deals. The TIG welding technology developer announced new distributors in Turkey, Spain, Portugal, and the successful placement of $4 million to investors including existing directors. Chairman Stuart Carmichael said the…

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Rio Tinto to examine investment in Bell Bay

Rio Tinto and the Tasmanian Government are to work together to boost employment and growth outcomes for the company’s Bell Bay smelter, including examining the possibility of new investment in the smelter. They have signed a MoU to jointly investigate how the smelter’s manufacturing capability and electricity demand can help support the development of new…

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Profits down slightly as supply challenges force RWC to increase prices

Plumbing supplies company Reliance Worldwide Corporation announced a 12.4 per cent increase in revenues for the half-year to December to $US 522 million. The ASX-listed manufacturer reported its half-year results on Monday, with pre-tax profit $US 92 million (down 3.1 per cent on the corresponding period) and net profit $US 63.7 million (down 3.3 per…

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AGL rejects green takeover bid

The board of energy company AGL Energy has rejected a takeover bid aimed at accelerating both the closure of the company’s coal-fired power stations and its investment in renewables. The company issued a statement to the ASX this morning saying that it rejected an ‘unsolicited, non-binding indication of interest’ from a consortium including tech billionaire…

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Modern Manufacturing programme struggles to get money out the door

By Joseph Brookes Just $85 million has been released from the federal government’s flagship $1.5 billion Modern Manufacturing Strategy (MMS) program since it was announced in 2020. The biggest grants are currently being held up by government ministers’ input on independent recommendations, and await a final decision by the Prime Minister, Scott Morrison to be…

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Logos, logos, more national logos

By Peter Roberts Am I the only one who wonders what the purpose could possibly be of the new Australian Nation Brand developed at the cost of $10 million for the federal government (pictured). The new logo replaces an earlier brand which was launched in 2020 to much derision – it was not instantly recognisable…

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Manufacturing news briefs – stories you might have missed

First Graphene’s low-carbon cement grant A consortium led by First Graphene has secured a GBP190,000 UK government grant to develop graphene-enhanced, low carbon cement. The company and Breedon Cement, Morgan Sindall Construction & Infrastructure and the University of Manchester aim to achieve a 25 per cent reduction in CO2 emissions in cement production. The grant,…

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Nexport dumps electric bus factory plan – report

A company planning to build a $700 million electric bus manufacturing plant in the Southern Highlands of New South Wales has abandoned its plan following unsatisfactory negotiations with the state government, ABC reported that Nexport had failed to secure certainty about the project from the state government and scrapped the plans. In 2020, Nexport announced…

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Graphic proof of Australia’s dirty electricity (Tassie and SA excluded)

By Peter Roberts The news this week that Origin Energy is seeking approval to shut Australia’s largest coal-fired power plant seven years early, is just the beginning of what should be a rapid phase out of coal power in Australia. The Eraring station in the NSW Hunter region and the largest of 16 remaining coal-fired…

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Manufacturing news briefs – stories you might have missed

Farm robot company changes course University of Sydney spinout company Agerris has announced that it is pursuing “alternative pathways” for its agricultural robot technology. Agerris officially launched in April 2019, following a $6.5 million seed round, to commercialise research at the Australian Centre for Field Robotics. It counted 14 of its robot carts in deployment…

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Non animal-based food start ups raise cash

Start up businesses making anything from non-milk cheese to fake meats have been busy raising cash from investors this week. In just one week: Fenn Foods raised $3 million to expand into exports of its vEEF brand plant-based ‘meats’ All G Foods won backing from Woolworths venture capital arm to expand its Love Buds alternative…

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Grants open to WA companies wanting to export to Asia

The Western Australian government is inviting grant applications from SMEs and business associations for grants worth $25,000 to assist them in accessing Asian markets.

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Businesses ‘blindsided’ as export grantsslashed

By Denham Sadler The long-running Export Market Development Grant scheme is in crisis, with reforms quietly introduced two days before Christmas ‘blindsiding’ local businesses and leading to the value of grants being cut by as much as 80 per cent, according to expert advisors. On 23 December last year, a press release from trade minister…

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Six agtech projects awarded $4 million on novel feeds for methane reduction

Six grants totalling $4 million have been awarded for projects investing novel feeds to reduce methane emissions from livestock, based on seaweeds, tropical legumes and the chemical 3-NOP.

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Manufacturer first half profit briefs – stories you might have missed

CSL profit dips on Covid disruptions Disruptions to the collection of blood plasma have impacted biotechnology giant CSL in the first half FY22, with EBITDA operating profits down eight per cent to $3.4 billion on sales up three per cent to $8.05 billion. CEO Paul Perreault said the company had responded with multiple initiatives in…

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Labor’s national reconstruction fund: a path to reindustrialisation?

The shadow of COVID and the associated policy failures of the federal government hang heavy over the coming election, with the campaign certain to be chaotic and full of distractions. Here Lance Worrall looks at the biggest policy idea launched to date – Labor’s National Reconstruction Fund. Many voters were shocked to discover early in…

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Demand slowed in second half of 2021, but engineer shortage at ten-year high

Engineers Australia has reported that job vacancies were up 50 per cent for 2021 compared to the year before, with demand for engineers at a ten-year high.

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Fortescue invests 10% of profits into green hydrogen sector

Andrew Forrest’s Fortescue metals group has confirmed it will continue to invest ten per cent of net profits after tax into developing its green hydrogen offshoot, Fortescue Future Industries. Announcing the group’s results for the half year to December, the company said FFI’s FY22 anticipated expenditure was in the range of US$400 – US$600 million.…

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Just add water – study to boost Whyalla water supply

State and federal governments and major mining companies are backing a $15 million feasibility study to solve one of the major constraints of industrial and mining development in the state – a lack of water. With the Whyalla steelworks and existing copper mines supplied by pipeline from the Murray or underground, planned massive expansions of…

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Be less ‘dogmatic’ on picking Industry winners: Husic

By Joseph Brookes As industry policy is reconsidered around the world, Australia’s federal Opposition says it is time to move on from ‘dogmatic’ notions of not picking winners, promising to direct a $15 billion Reconstruction Fund to areas of strength and national priority. Shadow minister for industry and innovation Ed Husic this week told Parliament…

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@AuManufacturing welcomes Sarah McPhail

@AuManufacturing news and media welcomes a new team member – Sarah McPhail. Ms McPhail takes up a new project-based post of partnerships manager, a role that will see her liaise on a regular basis with our advertisers and sponsors. With news that @AuManufacturing has grown to become the country’s number one manufacturing news website, she…

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Manufacturing news briefs – stories you might have missed

K-TIG raises new capital for growth K-TIG has announced that it has received binding commitments to raise $4 million (before costs) in new equity via a fully committed share placement to institutional and sophisticated investors. The Placement was completed at an issue price of $0.35 per share, with 11,428,571 new fully paid ordinary shares anticipated…

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RMIT gets $5.2 million grant for new EV research centre

RMIT will get a new electric vehicle research facility, which the university says will be the first of its kind in the southern hemisphere, with a $5.2 million grant from the state government announced on Tuesday.

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UNSW researchers develop building materials that adjust to both heat and cold

UNSW researchers are developing new materials that improve on conventional supercooling materials used on buildings to combat the heat. The work is led by Scientia Professor Mat Santamouris of the university’s School of Built Environment, and the new-generation materials were recently tested in Kolkata, India in a collaboration with two international universities. According to a…

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NSW Premier vows to buy trains locally

By Peter Roberts NSW Premier Dominic Perrottet has signalled an end to the New South Wales government’s fraught policy of buying ‘cheap and low’ priced public transport rolling stock from overseas. Announcing a new order for locally made electric buses from Custom Denning, Perrottet conceded NSW has long missed onshore manufacturing opportunities in an effort…

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Australian steel suppliers ‘didn’t pass’ the Snowy Hydro 2.0 test

By Joseph Brookes The head of Snowy Hydro and independent Senator Rex Patrick clashed in Senate Estimates on Monday over the use of foreign-manufactured steel and a lack of transparency within the “nation building” 2.0 project, after it was revealed much of the material is coming from Italy. @AuManufacturing last week reported that the $5.1…

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Swoop Aero expands operations in Africa

Drone services company Swoop Aero has expanded its African operations with the delivery of vaccinations and medical supplies to distant locations in central Africa’s Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). The company’s drones replaced small aircraft in its efforts to extend access to healthcare to the remote and largely inaccessible places. Authorities in the Équateur region…

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Govt spends another $30 million on imported RATs

By Denham Sadler The federal government has spent a further $30 million buying imported rapid antigen tests for the aged care sector, as several Australian companies continue to wait to get local manufacturing off the ground. The Commonwealth has now spent more than $90 million this year on purchasing rapid antigen tests (RATs) manufactured overseas. These…

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$70 million electric bus order for Custom Denning

National bus maker Custom Denning has been awarded a $70 million contract to design, manufacture and assemble 79 new electric buses for the Sydney government bus network. Premier Dominic Perrottet and transport minister David Elliott toured the company’s St Mary’s factory today to inspect the production line where the Element e-buses (pictured) will be built…

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Halo Foods eyes acquisition – report

Australia and New Zealand manufacturer Halo Food is seeking new capital and plans an acquisition according to media reports. afr.com.au reported that a term sheet sent to investors stated that existing shareholder Bergen Special Opportunity Fund LP was to quit its holding in the company which planned a $3 million share placement and a $3…

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Engine blowback from Boeing hits Orbital UAV

Perth unmanned aerial vehicle manufacturer Orbital UAV has been hit by the cancellation of a new UAV engine it was developing for Boeing subsidiary Insitu. The company said today it had received confirmation from Insitu of the termination of its third engine program under its long term supply agreement with Insitu. Production volumes for the…

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Lack of innovation hurting productivity growth: Treasury

By Joseph Brookes The productivity gap between the most innovative companies in the world and Australian firms is growing, according to new analysis by economists at the federal Treasury, who found local companies are now slower to catch up to the “global frontier” than they were in the mid-2000s. The findings from a technical paper…

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Manufacturing news briefs – stories you might have missed

Adbri extends supply agreement with Oz Minerals Construction and industrial materials group Adbri has signed an agreement to supply copper miner Oz Minerals with cementitious material for its Carrapateena mine in South Australia. The agreement is worth $10 million over three years. Adbri, formerly Adelaide Brighton Cement, will also supply aggregate and sand from its…

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AMWU attacks Snowy Hydro purchase of imported steel

The revelation by @AuManufacturing news that the majority of the steel components for the Snowy 2.0 scheme will be built using imported steel shows that the federal government has no commitment to growing the Australian manufacturing industry, according to the Australian Manufacturing Workers’ Union NSW & ACT branch. The AMWU has long called for local…

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Deakin calls for startups to join new mentoring program at Manufutures

The Deakin University’s Waurn Ponds campus-based startup hub, Manufutures, launched a new program for regional startups and entrepreneurs this week.

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First Graphene gets UK patent for process for potentially better battery anodes

First Graphene has secured a UK patent protecting its process to coat silicon with graphene, which it believes will be an advantage in the fast-growing market for silicon battery anodes.

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Change procurement rules to stop ‘race to the bottom’ for manufacturing

There are fresh calls for more strategic government procurement policies after a manufacturing inquiry heard the current rules and international trade deals are undermining the Australian industry.

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Patent box policy still the answer – medtech sector

Medicines Australia has backed the introduction of patent box legislation, Treasury Laws Amendment (Tax Concession for Australian Medical Innovations) Bill 2022, in the Australian Parliament. In the 2021-22 Budget, the government announced that it would introduce a patent box regime for eligible corporate income associated with patented inventions in the medical and biotechnology sectors. The…

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Frigate project rigged for smoother sailing

By Peter Roberts The $45 billion Hunter Class frigate programme has reached a milestone in its development with the completion of a year-long System Definition Review (SDR) which studied how the special requirements of Australia’s defence department can be fitted into the ship’s baseline design. This review is crucial as the inclusion of the Aegis…

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Australian companies now eligible to tender for contracts on ESO astronomy program

Australian companies will be able to bid for work on the European Southern Observatory (ESO) Technology Development Program, the federal government has said.

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Recycler group raises concerns about lack of plastic processing capacity

The National Waste and Recycling Industry Council has called 2021 a “foundational year” for reusing recovered resources, as well as a test for its industry, which is “particularly concerned” by pressures caused by a lack of plastic processing capacity.

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K-TIG to develop nuclear vessel robotic welding

High speed welding developer K-TIG has signed a formal agreement with the UK Nuclear Advanced Manufacturing Research Centre (Nuclear AMRC) to develop a turnkey robotic welding cell. The aim of the agreement is to produce nuclear storage containers, each holding three cubic metres of intermediate level nuclear waste (ILW). Up to 17,000 stainless-steel containers are…

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Lighting specialist to get new Netherlands-based owner

Gerard Lighting Group has announced that it will sell lighting technology company Pierlite to Netherlands-headquartered Signify, with the sale expected to conclude in the first half of the year.

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Govt told to put green steel and hydrogen at heart of manufacturing rebuild

A Cooperative Research Centre for sustainable manufacturing should be established to support new domestic green metal and green hydrogen industries, a Labor-led Senate inquiry into Australian manufacturing has recommended.

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Tritium announces Tennessee as site for US factory

DC fast electric vehicle charger manufacturer Tritium DCFC has announced Lebanon, Tennessee as the site for its new US production line, adding to its original Brisbane factory. Fresh from its listing on the US NASDAQ exchange, Tritium announced the location was expected to house up to six production lines for its chargers, including the company’s…

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Use budget to boost manufacturing initiative, encourage reshoring: AFGC

Industry association the Australian Food and Grocery Council has proposed additional incentives to expand and grow local production in its 2022-23 federal budget submission.

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Reactions to sourcing of steel for Snowy 2.0 from Italy

Elsewhere today @AuManufacturing has reported on the letting of contracts for steel fabrication for Snowy 2.0 to an Italian company, contrary to the original tender requirement for Australian steel to be used. We sought comment from many sources which are published here, along with extracts from questioning in Senate estimates. @AuManufacturing contacted numerous stakeholders in…

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Snowy 2.0 – the nation building project that won’t be using all Australian steel

By Peter Roberts The Snowy Scheme from 1949 saw 100,000 men and women from over 30 countries define what Australians and Australian industry are capable of. Fast forward to today and the Snowy 2.0 pumped hydro scheme now under construction in the Snowy Mountains was meant to be nation building, and part of a plan…

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ICN and Connecting Industry join to boost procurement

Opportunities to connect Australian suppliers with major project supply chains have become more accessible with Industry Capability Network Limited (ICNL) and Connecting Industry entering into a strategic alliance, as event partners. The strategic alliance is designed to assist the resource and construction industry and all tiers of the supply chain, from SME’s through to large…

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New lotus-inspired bioplastic repels water and dirt, is ready for industrialisation: RMIT researchers

RMIT researchers have developed a new bioplastic, inspired by lotus leaves, which they say is compostable, strong, suitable for food packaging applications, as well as possible to produce in industrial volumes. The material repels water and dirt, according to a statement from the university, and uses starch and cellulose as its base materials. (See video…

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Gilmour Space, SENER Aeroespacial collaborate for Eris rocket

Rocket manufacturer Gilmour Space Technologies and engineering group SENER Aeroespacial will; work together to develop an Autonomous Flight Termination System (AFTS) for Gilmour’s Eris launch vehicle. The AFTS is a smart hardware and software unit with autonomous decision-making capacity. It is a critical system which is responsible for aborting a flight if any anomalies are…

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Mega hydrogen production, electric vehicle manufacture touted for Australia

As voters contemplate a looming federal election plans are emerging for mega re-industrialising projects – not from federal politicians, but from elsewhere in the community. Over in the west the WA government plans to create five hydrogen hubs that electrolyse water using green solar pv and wind power in the Pilbara region by 2030. A…

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@AuManufacturing’s new deal plan for manufacturing – summary and recommendations

The @AuManufacturing new deal plan for manufacturing was crowd sourced from more than 60 substantial submissions from readers and members of the Australian Manufacturing Forum Linkedin group in 2020. With an election in the air and industry policy again in the news this week, we present again the plan’s executive summary and core recommendations as…

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Senate report sets manufacturing battle lines for the election

The federal Opposition has backed the creation of a manufacturing industry fund, regular reviews of R&D incentives, as well as changes to procurement rules to encourage the development of sovereign capability in a Senate report which sets the manufacturing battle lines for the upcoming election.

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BHP extends ironmaking R&D program with University of Newcastle

BHP has announced an extension of its support for University of Newcastle’sCentre for Ironmaking Materials Research (CIMR) over the next five years, with a focus on on low- carbon iron and steelmaking and using the resources company’s iron ore and coking coal. According to a statement from BHP on Monday, it would provide $10…

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Survivors of Australia’s automotive retreat soldier on, even prosper

By Peter Roberts The brand new $17 million factory of automation and systems integrator Bosch Australia Manufacturing Solutions (BAMS, pictured) is silent when I visit the factory located at Clayton in south-eastern suburban Melbourne. Workers have gone home for the day, allowing this journalist a Covid-safe tour of a production floor full to capacity with…

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Can-Do Capitalism and a Do-Nothing Government

Prime Minister Scott Morrison talks of ‘can-do capitalism’ and last week offered a $2 billion sweetener to industrial research, while others talk of a ‘do-nothing government’. Here Lance Worrall looks at the policy changes forced on the nation by a pandemic, and what it means for a new industrial policy as not just sectoral support,…

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Manufacturing news briefs – stories you might have missed

Applications open for Securing Raw Materials Program (SRMP). Round two of the federal government’s Securing Raw Materials Program (SRMP) will invest $29 million into businesses looking to undertake R&D on locally sourced raw material supplies. The government is anticipating applications from manufacturing businesses looking to innovate with Australian materials, importantly through linking with public sector…

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Xtek and Skykraft test space payload launch system

Space services company Skykraft and composite materials manufacturer XTEK Limited have successfully completed the mechanical and vibration testing of a 500kg Payload Launch Stack which housed 24 representative Skykraft developed small satellites. Funded by a grant from the Australian Space Agency the stack is capable of supporting and deploying 24 small satellites and was tested…

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Manufacturing news briefs – stories you might have missed

Electro Optic Systems’ record deliveries Defence, space and communications manufacturer Electro Optic Systems delivered a record number of its key products – remote weapons systems and satellite terminals – in the December quarter. The Canberra company expects orders delayed during the Covbid-19 pandemic to be let over the next year and has been investing in…

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Infrastructure loans back Pilbara urea project

The Northern Australia Infrastructure Facility (NAIF) has announced it will invest $255 million in infrastructure supporting the proposed $4.3 billion Perdaman Urea Project at Karratha in Western Australia. The investment in the form of loans will upgrade common-user infrastructure that will support the project, which will convert liquefied natural gas into about two million tonnes…

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Wine sales slump as China tariffs take their toll

Australian wine exports dropped 30 per cent in value to $2.03 billion and in volume by 17 per cent to 619 million litres in the year ended December 2021, according to Wine Australia’s latest Export Report. The decline reflects tough market conditions with deposit tariffs imposed on bottled Australian wine imported to China, the impact…

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Still room for applicants under food and beverage grants

The federal government has revealed there is still scope for food and beverage manufacturers to apply for grants of up to $25,000 each to save money on energy bills, improve energy efficiency and adopt new energy technologies under the latest $19.9 million round of the Energy Efficient Communities (EEC) program. The grants can be used…

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Airservices and Skykraft to develop space-based communication

Airservices Australia and space services company, Skykraft have partnered in the development of a space-based communication and surveillance air traffic management capability. Under the collaboration, Airservices will share its air navigation, technical engineering and air traffic management expertise to support design, development, and validation of the system, as well as support Skykraft to conduct space-based…

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Australian-made solar system installed at remote Telstra tower

A claimed Australian-first launch took place north-east of Esperance, Western Australia on Thursday, with a remote telco tower powered by a standalone power system (SAPS) delivered by Horizon Power and Boundary Power.

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Govt’s $2b uni research funding stretched over 11 years

The $2 billion the federal government will inject to align university research commercialisation with its hand-picked manufacturing priorities will be stretched across the next 11 years.

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New Melbourne rapid test facility expected to create 70 full-time jobs

Planet Innovation and ASX-listed Lumos Diagnostics will open a new Covid-19 rapid antigen test (RAT) production facility, with full capacity of 50 million tests per year.

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Yangibana rare earths project to be WA’s second

Hastings Technology Metals’ Yangibana rare earths project is set to join Lynas Rare Earths as Western Australia’s second major producer of critical metals markets currently dominated by China. The Yangibana project 250 kilometres east of Carnarvon has been granted a $140 million loan from the Northern Australia Infrastructure Facility making it the first Australian rare…

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24 manufacturers awarded $ 9 million in commercialisation grants

The latest round of grants under the Advanced Manufacturing Growth Centre’s Commercialisation Fund has been announced, with 24 manufacturers sharing in $9.03 million in assistance to commercialise products including a super-fast Covid-19 test, quality hardwood from timber waste, and “smart shoes”. Private investment was roughly four times the value of grants, according to a statement…

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Gekko launches updated gold processing system

Ballarat, Victoria gold processing equipment manufacturer Gekko Systems has announced the release of its next-generation Mark 6 Carbon Scout sampling and measurement system. The Carbon Scout is a self-contained sampling system that measures the pH, dissolved oxygen (DO), slurry density and gold concentration in carbon-in-leach (CIL) and carbon-in-pulp (CIP) mineral processing circuits. Carbon-in-pulp is the…

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Fleet Space expands to the United States

Internet of things satellite connectivity developer Fleet Space Technologies has announced its first international expansion, opening a US headquarters office in Houston, Texas. The expansion follows the company’s oversubscribed Series B funding round which raised $26.4 million in November 2021. US investors InQtel, Alumni Ventures and Momenta Ventures backed the capital raising. CEO Flavia Tata…

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Quickstep leaps ahead on parental leave for manufacturing staff

Defence and aerospace composites manufacturer Quickstep has announced an improved parental leave package for all employees including parental leave of up to 16 weeks for all primary carers, an increase from today’s four weeks. Under the industry-leading arrangements employees will be able to access leave at half-pay, extending the paid period of leave to one…

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Lithgow Arms steps up sporting rifle exports

Sporting rifle manufacturer Lithgow Arms is stepping up its global marketing efforts with a new partnership with Fuller Global and Outdoor Sporting Agencies (OSA). Lithgow Arms, part of the global Thales defence group, already exports its CrossOver and Woomera firearms to 14 countries and anticipates growth in export markets and Australia of 300 per cent…

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Energy Renaissance nabs new CTO from CSIRO

Dr Howard Lovatt, a research collaborator with Energy Renaissance and head of CSIRO’s Electrical Machines team, has left the scientific organisation to join the Tomago-based lithium ion battery business as CTO. Lovatt (pictured) had been at CSIRO for three decades, and a researcher on projects including electric and hybrid vehicles, solar car racing, and battery…

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Manufacturing news briefs – stories you might have missed

Nova Systems rebrands, repositions as integrated company Engineering and technology solutions business Nova Systems has brought together its four business divisions — Nova Systems, Geoplex, GVH Aerospace and two10degrees — and unveiled a refreshed brand, to be rolled out over the next few months. Nova explained that its refreshed brandacknowledged its heritage, with an…

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Govt research commercialisation focus is ‘too narrow’

The government’s $2 billion effort to improve Australia’s commercialisation efforts is welcome, but the approach is too narrow and risks undervaluing basic research, UTS special innovation advisor Professor Roy Green says.

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Fortescue pounces on Sparc ultra-green hydrogen

Fortescue Future Industries has pounced on an Australian technology that produces green hydrogen through the use of a thermo-photocatalyst and solar radiation, avoiding more traditional and costly electrolysis. FFI today announced it had bought a stake in South Australian company Sparc Hydrogen, an offshoot of graphene technology company Sparc Technologies that is developing next-generation green…

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More questions than answers in new commercialisation funding

Comment by Peter Roberts The university sector has has been sadly neglected by the federal government in the past decade, and yesterday Prime Minister Scott Morrison signaled that academic research would continue to come second to a national priority on research that leads to manufacturing and other economic outcomes. The neglect of science is unforgiveable…

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Lynas receives ministerial approval for Kalgoorlie plant

Australia’s largest producer of minerals used to manufacture high technology products, Lynas Rare Earths has received ministerial approval for the rare earths processing facility it is constructing at Kalgoorlie in Western Australia. The company announced that a ministerial statement had been issued under the Environmental Protection Act 1986 (WA), one of a number of approvals…

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Silex plans first production of silicon for quantum computers

Technology developer Silex Systems hopes to produce initial commercial quantities of zero-spin silicon (ZS-Si) used to make computer chips for cutting edge quantum computers from 2023 onwards. The company announced that it had completed the second stage of its ZS-Si project and successfully demonstrated silicon enrichment at a prototype scale. ZS-Si is a unique form…

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$1.2 million in space supply chain grants awarded to Australian companies

Federal assistance totalling $1.2 million has been awarded to Industrial Sciences Group, Infinity Avionics and Blueprint Lab in round four of the Moon to Mars Supply Chain Capability Improvement Grants.

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Boral to return $3bn to shareholders after US exit

Building products group Boral will return $3 billion in ‘surplus capital’ to shareholders marking the end of a sales spree of key business forced on it by a disastrous foray into the North American market. CEO Zlatko Todorcevski, who replaced Mike Kane in the top job following its US troubles, characterised the return as a…

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Manufacturing down during summer holiday months: PMI

Manufacturing contracted over the December and January period as the Omicron phase of the pandemic ended a period of growth, according to the Australian Industry Group’s Performance of Manufacturing Index. The PMI of 48.4 was down from November’s 54.8. Any results under 50 indicates contraction, and above it growth. The November result (released on December 1)…

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Environment minister tours green steel development

The federal environment minister Sussan Ley has toured Waratah-based steel maker Molycop’s facilities in NSW to view in person efforts to decarbonise steel production. Ley joined UNSW SMaRT Centre Director, Professor Veena Sahajwalla at the Newcastle steel works to see up close SMaRT’s Green Steel technology that uses waste to replace coke and coal in…

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Record quarter for high speed welder K-TIG

High speed precision welding developer K-TIG has experienced record cash receipts in the December quarter of $1.5 million as uptake of its equipment accelerates. Revenue was 44 per cent higher than the first quarter, and 157 per cent up on the previous corresponding period. Growth was achieved with only one distributor selling its products, with…

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Labor to convert Kurri Kurri gas plant to hydrogen

By Peter Roberts Labor has found a way to both support the construction of a gas-fired power station at Kurri Kurri in New South Wales and burnish its green credentials, according to media reports. Channel 9 media has reported Labor leader Anthony Albanese and climate and energy spokesman Chris Bowen will travel to Kurri Kurri…

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Forced labour issues and Covid again hit Ansell

The covid-19 pandemic has again forced closures of manufacturing facilities operated by global rubber glove manufacturer Ansell and one of its suppliers has been penalised, apparently for potential forced labour issues. Nonetheless a company update of first half sales of surgical and examination and protective work gloves showed a rise on the previous corresponding period…

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Valiant Space heads for June orbital launch

Australian rocket motor developer Valiant Space has secured a June Orbital launch with space services company Skykraft. Valiant Space, which has developed a chemical thruster designed to help satellites manoeuvre in orbit and in space, will launch a payload into orbit onboard a SpaceX Falcon 9 mission. The company will utilise Skykraft’s Skyride rideshare service…

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Cannatrek leads the way on sustainability by embracing innovation and the environment

ADVERTISING FEATURE With the Commonwealth Government’s policy targeting net zero emissions by 2050, the pressure is on Australian business to adjust and adapt to survive. Companies which are open to positive change and innovation with a focus on a circular economy will do more than survive, they will thrive — together with stakeholders and communities.…

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Energy transition investment passes one trillion

Investment in a transition in the energy market to low-carbon alternatives has passed $1,000 billion for the first time, according to new figures from BloombergNEF. Their Energy Transition Investment Trends 2022 report found that global investment in renewable energy, energy storage, electrified transport, electrified heat, nuclear, hydrogen and sustainable materials hit $1.1 trillion (US$755 billion)…

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Manufacturing news briefs – stories you might have missed

AnteoTech asked for further information for Covid-19 test application Surface chemical company AnteoTech has been asked by Australia’s Therapeutic Goods Administration to supply further information on its EuGeni test reader and SARS CoV-2 Rapid Diagnostic Test (RDT). The company is one of three Australian manufacturers of RDT tests awaiting approval to sell their tests locally.…

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SPC emerges with $111 million to fund manufacturing growth

Diverse food producer SPC Global has completed a capitalisation program which resulted in the injection of $111 million earmarked for its next phase of growth. The capital is a combination of equity investments by The Australian Meat Industry Superannuation Trust (AMIST), the family office of Khalil (‘Charlie’) Shahin AO, and the sale and leaseback of…

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Eight university-based innovation hubs shortlisted for $242.7 m research commercialisation program

Eight universities have been shortlisted for support through the federal government’s Trailblazer program, which will create four public-private innovation hubs and aims to improve the nation’s research commercialisation performance.

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Carbon Revolution’s road wheel sales recover

Sales of one piece carbon fibre road wheels by Geelong manufacturer Carbon Revolution are recovering strongly from their Covid-19 supply chain related slump. The company reported today wheel sales in the second quarter FY22 of 4,397, up 109.4 per cent on the first quarter. Quarterly revenue was $11.4 million, an 82.6 per cent jump from…

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ResMed continues product and service growth

Sleep apnoea equipment developer ResMed has reported continuing growth in sales as equipment sales grow and software as a service (SAAS) offerings gain traction. CEO Mick Farrell said second quarter 2022 revenues grew 12 per cent to $1.27 billion, or 13 per cent in constant currency terms. Farrell said: “Our second quarter results reflect continued…

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H2X Global chooses India for component production

Hydrogen vehicle developer H2X Global and Indian company Advik Hi-Tech today announced a joint venture for the production of products and components for India and for the global market. The vehicles and components have been designed and developed by the H2X Global design team and production is scheduled to start immediately to cater for the…

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Zone RV expands with Australia’s largest 3D printer

All-composite caravan manufacturer Zone RV has announced a major expansion of its Sunshine Coast, Queensland plant, including the purchase of a 22m x 5m 3D printer, said to be the largest in the southern hemisphere. Founder Dave Biggar and CEO Adrian Toft hosted Sunshine Coast Council Mayor Mark Jamieson on an inspection of its expanding…

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Manufacturing news briefs – stories you might have missed

3D printer manufacturer Amaero International reports progress Metal additive manufacturing producer Amaero International has reported progress across its business as it works to deliver future revenue growth. The company reported increased revenue to $134,338 for the December quarter driven by increased R&D work conducted for other companies. In the period Amaero signed a heads of…

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Apprentice and trainee commencements continue to climb

Apprentice and trainee commencements have continued their climb from Covid-affected lows and are now running at their highest level in eight years. The latest data from the National Centre for Vocational Education Research (NCVER) shows apprentice and trainee commencements grew nationally to 47,785 or 114 per cent in the June quarter 2021 compared with the…

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Codan’s shares jump on sales, profit gains

Defence communications and technology company Codan has seen its shares jump in value by 13 per cent this week on news of a boom in sales and profits. The Adelaide manufacturer of HF radios for defence customers and hand-held metal detectors’s shares opened this morning at $9.78, up $1.11 since January 24. The run was…

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Albo’s election pitch puts manufacturing at the centre

By Denham Sadler Opposition Leader Anthony Albanese has made his case for government in a wide-ranging speech with a focus on sovereign capability and manufacturing. Albanese kicked off the election year with an address to the National Press Club, where he made his case for why Labor should take government from the Coalition. The Opposition…

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Australia’s only tungsten producer gets $600K grant for high-tech processing project

EQ Resources has been awarded a $600,000 grant from the Advanced Manufacturing Growth Centre to support high-tech sorting and recovery of the critical mineral tungsten, an important ingredient in cutting tools, welding electrodes, abrasives and many other industrial applications.

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Research shows usefulness of new class of materials in beating the heat

University of NSW and ANSTO scientists have characterised the structure of new materials, publishing work that could lead to advanced fire-retardant products. A statement from ANSTO describes work understanding “a family of two-dimensional transition metal carbides, carbonites and nitrides” known as MXenes. According to the American Ceramic Society, MXenes were discovered in 2011 by two…

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Lavo and Itochu in hydrogen storage link-up

Hydrogen energy storage manufacturer LAVO and global trading company ITOCHU Corporation have signed a Memorandum of Understanding to explore opportunities to utilise LAVO technology, which could ultimately lead to future investment by Itochu in the Lavo company. Under the MoU, LAVO and ITOCHU will jointly investigate to develop a strategy for a hydrogen supply chain…

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Incitec lifts Adblue production by 800 per cent

Fertiliser and explosives manufacturer Incitec Pivot increased production of Adblue by roughly 800 per cent last week in response to a shortage of the diesel fuel additive, which appears to have eased. Incitec was awarded $29.4 million in December by the federal government in response to a supply crunch in December, which the Australian Trucking…

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Manufacturers ‘in limbo’ as local RATs head overseas

By Denham Sadler Several Australian companies are manufacturing rapid antigen tests locally with government support but sending the kits offshore due to approval delays, with federal Labor slamming the government for leaving them “in limbo”. From this week, concession card holders can access 10 free RATs from pharmacies around the country over a three month…

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How the west (lost) the chance to process valuable metals

Comment by Peter Roberts The graph tells you all you need to know about Australia’s – and the west’s – failure to secure the crucial processing stages of producing strategic and clean energy materials. Australia’s penchant for sending raw materials overseas unprocessed is well known from our focus on iron ore exports, and is obvious…

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Cyclopharm reports record sales, progress in the US

Radiopharmaceutical company Cyclopharm has reported record sales of its equipment and consumables and progress in securing approval for its Technegas technologies to be sold in the United States. The leading producer of lung imaging products reported record revenues in FY 21 in the range of between $17.5 million and $18 million, a rise of more…

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Where’s the meat? Employers and governments should have seen this supply crisis coming, and done something

The low temperatures and low humidity of food-processing facilities increase viral transmission, while the poor air quality increases the prevalence of respiratory disorders, which means workers are more susceptible to illness if infected. The rate of asthmatic symptoms among chicken-processing workers, for example, has been estimated as being four times that of all adults. These risks are heightened by working in close proximity to others on production lines where the work is physically demanding and the pace hectic.

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Fortescue to acquire Williams Advanced Engineering

Fortescue Future Industries has entered into an agreement to buy F1 racing-related Williams Advanced Engineering. FFI said today the purchase would set the pace for ground-breaking innovation in the green energy space, bringing together leading thinkers and engineers in areas such as high performance battery systems and electrification. WAE, an offshoot of the Williams F1…

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Sour taste on the palate from Australia’s latest free trade agreement

By Peter Roberts Another free trade deal, another disappointment. It seems the benefits to the wine industry from the recent, much-vaunted free trade deal with the United Kingdom are to be negated by a rise in UK wine import duties. Media reports suggest that a $49 million benefit for Australian wine growers from the recently…

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Manufacturing news briefs – stories you might have missed

Hazer’s commercial demonstration plant strikes trouble with imported reactor vessel Perth’s Hazer Group’s plans to build a demonstration plant to produce hydrogen from biogas has stuck yet more trouble with news that a defect has been identified in the main reactor vessel being manufactured in China. The project at the Western Australian Water Board’s Woodman…

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Australian hydrogen company makes finals of SXSW Innovation Awards

Hydrogen energy company Star Scientific has made the finals of the South by Southwest festival’s Innovation Awards, which will be held at the long-running Austin, Texas festival next month. Star Scientific was nominated for its HERO (hydrogen energy release optimiser) product, which it is currently commercialising, and which uses a “non-polluting catalyst” to create zero-emission…

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First-ever coal-derived hydrogen shipment to be loaded Victoria

The world’s first liquefied hydrogen carrier Suiso Frontier has arrived at the Port of Hastings in Victoria to test the viability of a hydrogen export market between Australia and Japan. The Susio Frontier will load what is claimed to be the world’s first-ever cargo of liquified hydrogen produced at the Hydrogen Energy Supply Chain (HESC)…

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Ai Group releases annual CEO survey on the year ahead

The Australian Industry Group has released its annual CEO survey, characterising business leaders as “on balance… cautiously hopeful” about 2022, but clearly expecting further difficulties as a result of the pandemic.

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Manufacturing news briefs – stories you might have missed

FYI Resources and Alcoa continue pilot plant operation FYI Resources and alumina and aluminium producer Alcoa have commenced their third extended pilot plant campaign in Perth developing processes to make high purity alumina (HPA). The extended series of one week pilot plant runs incorporates process and operating refinements, helping to optimise FYI’s refining processes. FYI…

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Applications open for $10 million in regional Victorian recycling grants

Applications opened on Wednesday for round one of the Victorian Regional Recycling Fund, with grants up to $500,000 each available to upgrade resource recovery centres. The funding would “strengthen regional Victoria’s recycling network” by upgrading regionally significant facilities, according to the government. “These regional facilities are the building blocks for a robust recycling network that…

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$12 m in Accelerating Commercialisation grants awarded

Funding for a $12.2 million round of Accelerating Commercialisation grants has been announced, with assistance going to companies including makers of EV chargers, products for green steelmaking, fruit harvesting robots and hydrogen energy storage systems.

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WA prepares for hydrogen economy

WA government-funded studies into the transmission and storage of hydrogen have identified storage and transmission options for hydrogen in the state. A feasibility study outlines a pathway for declaring sections of the Dampier to Bunbury natural gas pipeline suitable for the addition of up to nine per cent hydrogen with natural gas to form a…

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Austin Engineering looks to doubled profit

Perth mining equipment manufacturer Austin Engineering is likely to all but double its operating profit for the first half of 2022 compared to the previous corresponding period, confirming growth in business performance first reported late last year. The company reported continuing strengthening of its order book and increasing percentage margins, allowing it to issue new…

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Import penetration growing in prefabricated metal products: report

IBISWorld has updated its data on the state of the fabricated metal market in Australia, which has faced increased competition from imported products, particularly from China and the United States.

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Universal Biosensors launch new winemaking test

Diagnostic test systems manufacturer Universal Biosensors has widened the capability of its Sentia test system for winemaking with the addition of the Sentia Malic Acid Test. Malic acid is one of main acids produced during the winemaking process, but until now the testing has been time consuming and difficult, taking more than 30 minutes or…

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Fusetec opens 3D printed body part surgery training clinic

South Australian medical device company, Fusetec has opened what it believes is the world’s first 3D Advanced Surgical Training Clinic to demonstrate techniques to create and surgically implant 3D printed body parts. The company, which manufactures training systems and provides clinical training services, invested $6.8 million in the new clinic at Adelaide’s BioMed City, adjacent…

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Menz drops original name in sweets rebrand

By Andrew Spence Adelaide confectioner Robern Menz has ditched the original name that has served the family business for almost a century in favour of a rebrand. The Glynde manufacturer of FruChocs, Violet Crumble and Crown Mints will now be known as Menz Confectionery and has adopted the tagline “Making life sweeter”. Menz Confectionery CEO…

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Second PET recycling plant planned for Victoria

A new PET plastic recycling facility will be built in Altona North by a cross-industry joint venture between Pact Group, Cleanaway, Asahi Beverages and Coca-Cola Europacific Partners (CCEP). The plant, set to be the largest of its kind in Victoria upon completion, will be built in an industrial precinct on Horsburgh Drive with construction will…

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Tritium lists on NASDAQ, starts building US plant

Australian fast electric vehicle charger manufacturer Tritium has listed on the US stock exchange Nasdaq and begun construction of its second factory – this time in the United States. The company listed on NASDAQ following a a business combination with Decarbonization Plus Acquisition Corporation II (DCRN), taking Tritium DCFC Limited public. DCRN’s stockholders approved the…

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Rio Tinto to buy local rail cars they have ignored for a decade – by Shane West

Rio Tinto has announced it will buy 50 iron ore rail cars from an Australian manufacturer, followed by another ten a year. But Shane West (pictured, below) argues Rio, which operates 4,500 ore cars, should not be let off the hook for its role in decimating local manufacturing in the past. Buying 50 rail cars…

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Elsight breaks into Walmart drone market

Data connectivity developer Elsight has broken into the drone parcel delivery market with a contract to provide hardware and software to leading US unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) services provider DroneUp LLC. Elsight, a maker of equipment for real-time data, video and audio transmission over cellular networks, has received and delivered its first commercial order to…

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Green hydrogen is coming – and these Australian regions are well placed to build our new export industry

By Steven Percy, Swinburne University of Technology You might remember hearing a lot about green hydrogen last year, as global pressure mounted on Australia to take stronger action on climate change ahead of the COP26 Glasgow summit last November. The government predicts green hydrogen exports and domestic use could be worth up to A$50 billion…

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Geelong manufacturer to investigate hydrogen-powered cremation

Renewable hydrogen is not yet produced in large volumes, though investigations into its potential are gathering pace, including a new Victorian government-backed study into its potential in the crematorium industry.

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USQ develops lava-like fireproof coating – video

University of Southern Queensland researchers have developed a fire retardant coating for building materials that mimics the properties of volcanic lava. Chemical engineer and Australian Research Council Future Fellow, Professor Pingan Song developed the non-toxic, fire extinguishing ceramic coating that could save buildings from being engulfed in flames. Professor Song said lava sparked his idea…

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This is not a drill: Dentroid gets support to progress laser-based dental robot invention

Dentroid Technologies is leading a collaborative project to develop a specialised “micromirror” for use in robotic dental surgery, which will remove the need for drills and needles.

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Fortescue to export green hydrogen

Fortescue Future Industries has signed a global supply contract which will see it ship green hydrogen to Asia, North America and Europe. FFI signed a memorandum of understanding with Germany-based supplier of high-tech polymer materials Covestro, with the companies intending to enter into a long-term agreement for the supply of green hydrogen and its derivatives,…

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$60m for imported RATS, no order for Brisbane’s Ellume

By Denham Sadler The federal government has signed contracts worth more than $60 million for the supply of rapid antigen tests this week without a tender process due to “extreme urgency or events unforeseen”. Included in the companies selected by the government following a closed tender is one linked to a medical practice offering the…

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Welcome to 2022 from @AuManufacturing news

If you departed, as we did for Christmas break with hopes rising that Australia was really moving on, January must be unfolding like some sort of nightmarish groundhog day. We wake up from a dream of sunnier skies for Australian manufacturing, only to face the realities of life in a fast-mutating pandemic that brings us…

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Austal USA honoured as manufacturer of the year

The US shipyard of Perth international shipbuilder Austal has been honoured by the local business community as manufacturer of the year. Austal USA, based in Mobile, Alabama, announced it had been recognized as the Mobile Area Chamber of Commerce’s 2021 Manufacturer of the Year. According to a chamber vice president David Rodgers, Austal USA displayed…

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Summer news briefs – stories you might have missed

Tritium signs global supply deal with Shell Fast electric vehicle charger manufacturer Tritium has signed a global framework agreement with Shell to provide fast charging technology and services. The Queensland company expects the deal with Shell, which operates 46,000 retail sites, will accelerate the supply of Tritium DC fast chargers to their business operations in…

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Applications open for MMI grants worth between $1 million and $20 million

Applications have opened today for federal grants of between $1 million and $20 million for manufacturers in the food and beverage, defence, and recycling and clean energy sectors. The grants are for the Translation and Integration streams of the Modern Manufacturing Initiative. They cover up to half of project costs for successful project applications. The…

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Ethical and sustainable supply chains – by Rob Stummer

Disruptions to global supply chains have put increasing pressure on the environment and on workers rights. Here Rob Stummer explains the threats and the ways that manufacturers can ensure their supply chains remain ethical and sustainable, despite pandemic pressures. There’s no doubt that the pandemic has put global supply chains under extraordinary pressure, with everyone…

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Merry Australian made Christmas 2021

Merry Australian Made Christmas to all at the Australian Manufacturing Forum Linkedin group and readers, partners and clients of @AuManufacturing news. 2021 is coming to a close, and it has been a mighty year of transition for Australian manufacturing. The sector has been consistently growing and kicking goals in some areas crucial to the future.…

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NUSHIP Arafura launched in Adelaide

The first of the navy’s Arafura class offshore patrol vessels (OPV), NUSHIP Arafura, was launched today at the Osborne Naval Shipyard in Adelaide. The vessel is the first in a fleet of 12 OPVs being built to replace the Armidale and Cape class patrol boats. The first two OPVs are being constructed by Luerssen Australia…

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IDT Australia misses out on federal mRNA support

While Canberra has announced an ‘in-principal’ agreement with US company Moderna to manufacture mRNA vaccines in Victoria, Melbourne pharmaceutical and vaccine manufacturer IDT Australia has announced it has been informed that it has missed out on government support. The company said today it was disappointed that its proposal to establish mRNA manufacturing in response to…

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Back capable local manufacturers in infrastructure decisions: Weld Australia

Government procurement decisions should support the nation’s “world-class manufacturers” in delivering new assets and infrastructure, according to Weld Australia, citing recent problems with imported ferries and trams. Commenting on an issue that appears to have gained traction lately, the national welding industry peak body mentioned the recent woes linked to overseas-made public transport in NSW. …

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SunDrive fabricates first ever full-size solar panel

South Sydney solar cell start up SunDrive Solar has successfully fabricated its first ever full size solar panels. The company took to social media to reveal the news which is a milestone in the industrialisation of its solar technology. In September SunDrive claimed a new world record, producing a solar cell with an efficiency at…

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GMG tests its graphene aluminium-ion battery production

Graphene Manufacturing Group has fired up its pilot plant producing its graphene aluminium-ion batteries and has manufactured its first G+AI batteries in coin cell format. Additional equipment to enable the manufacture G+AI Batteries in pouch pack cell format has been ordered and is expected to arrive in early 2022, according to the Richlands, Queensland company.…

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ARC chief is out after ‘new direction’ for uni research funding

The Coalition is overhauling university research funding and governance to align it with its manufacturing priorities and commercialisation agenda, in a “new direction” the government says will drive Australia’s pandemic recovery from next year.

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Biotech giant CSL in massive global takeover

Analysis by Peter Roberts Australia’s largest and most successful manufacturer, global blood products and vaccine powerhouse CSL, is to raise billions from investors to execute a $17.2 billion all cash takeover of a complementary healthcare business, Swiss pharmaceutical manufacturer Vifor. The massive takeover expands CSL’s global footprint into complementary areas including haematology, thrombosis, cardiovascular and…

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Caravan maker, food and beverage companies among winners of $780,000 WA regional grants

The Western Australian government has announced $780,000 in assistance to companies in the Peel region through round three of the Regional Economic Development grants program.

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Fortescue and Incitec Pivot strike green gold at Gibson Island

By Peter Roberts Fortescue Future Industries and fertiliser manufacturer Incitec Pivot have struck gold at the Gibson Island, Brisbane urea plant in their efforts to convert the facility from natural gas to green hydrogen feedstock. The plant, which is to close in December because Incitec Pivot has been unable to secure a supply of gas,…

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Gilmour Space Technologies secures indigenous support

The Juru Traditional Owners at Bowen in Queensland have signed a Cultural Heritage Management Agreement with Australian rocket manufacturer Gilmour Space Technologies. The agreement supports a proposed launch site within the Queensland government-owned Abbot Point State Development Area, which could see the first Australian-made rockets and satellites launching to orbit next year. Chairperson of the…

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Government extends SME loans – how @AuManufacturing can help you gain access

ADVERTISEMENT Federal Treasury has announced that its successful SMERL3 SME recovery loans are to be modified and expended beyond the end of this year to a new closing date of June 30-, 2022. SMERL 3 was guaranteeing the banks 80 per cent of their risk, with the banks opening the purse strings in response. Now…

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1.5 years after starting a process, Canberra backs commercial mRNA vaccine manufacture

By Peter Roberts Prime Minister Scott Morrison announced today that state and federal governments and vaccine producer Moderna had signed an ‘in principle’ deal for the construction of a Melbourne plant capable of utilising the newly successful vaccine production technologies that produced the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines. The plant would be capable of producing up…

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Victorian MedTech Actuator program gets $2.4 million, three-year funding increase

The Victorian government has announced an extra $2.4 million in funding over three years for the MedTech Actuator accelerator program, which has been running since 2018.

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Manufacturing News

Importing trams because they were cheaper was never true – By Shane West

The idea that importing public transport rolling stock is somehow cheaper has been blown out of the water by Sydney’s recent disasters with trains that don’t fit the tunnels and trams that are cracking up, and let’s not forget imported ferries that don’t fit under bridges. Here Shane West forensically dissects the history of Sydney’s…

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Shoppers to make it a green and gold Xmas – Roy Morgan

New research from Roy Morgan Research suggests that it’s going to be a green and gold festive season this year. More than half of the businesses that make products licenced to carry the green and gold kangaroo logo report that their customers are actively seeking, requesting, or buying more Australian Made and Australian Grown products.…

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Silver, lead and zinc refining goes green as minerals sector rushes to decarbonise

By Peter Roberts Nystrar’s big silver, lead and zinc refinery at Port Pirie in South Australia is planning to go green with news that the company and the state are funding a $5 million front end engineering and design study for as $750 million green hydrogen electrolyser to power the plant. The plant, which was…

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Labor-led manufacturing inquiry delayed to next year

A Labor-led Senate inquiry into Australia’s advanced manufacturing sector has been delayed until late January, likely giving the Opposition some ammunition in what is shaping up to be a key election issue.

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Pore performance: RMIT/CSIRO team develop new copper type with remarkable antibacterial properties

A team of researchers has boosted the effectiveness of copper against bacteria, acting 120 times faster in killing golden staph, which they believe could lead to a diverse set of product applications. The team from RMIT University and CSIRO published their work, titled ‘Robust bulk micro-nano hierarchical copper structures possessing exceptional bactericidal efficacy,in the journal…

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Bedding company announces new collection and recycling program

Bedding business Ecosa has announced a new recycling program, which it says is aimed at preventing thousands of tonnes of material ending up in landfill each year. In what it said was an industry first, Ecosa’s initiative will recycle mattresses, sheets and pillowcases “into a range of new products” with a pickup service offered for…

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Manufacturing news briefs – stories you might have missed

Uggs’ appeal to the public in iconic boot’s Australian-made battle Ugg boot and sheepskin product manufacturer Australian Leather has turned to the Australian public to support its product which is the subject of a US court battle. The Sydney company has been making ‘Australian made Original Ugg Boots & Ugg Shoes’ since 1982, but is…

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Australia’s Adblue shortage is serious, but there are ways to avoid the crisis going critical

By Flavio Macau, Edith Cowan University Australia is going through another supply chain crisis. Stocks of AdBlue, an exhaust fluid used in newer diesel cars and trucks to reduce pollution, is getting dangerously low. The culprit is a shortage of synthesised urea, an ingredient which local AdBlue makers import mostly from Russia and China. It…

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Study shows Australian manufacturer’s 10-minute test as sensitive as PCR for detecting Covid

Drug and alcohol testing kit manufacturer Alcolizer has announced successful results from a study of its ten-minute, saliva-based antigen tests for Covid-19.

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NIOA sets itself up for arms development in Lithgow

By Peter Roberts Fast-growing firearms, weapons and ammunition manufacturer NIOA has set itself up for expansion of its operations to the historic defence manufacturing region of Lithgow in New South Wales with the purchase of an important home and land in the regional city. NIOA has purchased historic Lidsdale House (pictured) which sits on a…

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Widely available grant for energy efficiency launched

The Department of Industry, Science, Energy and Resources has announced a new grant opportunity that will be available to SME food and beverage manufacturers under its Energy Efficient Communities Program. The program is unusually broad and should apply to every SME in the field looking to improve energy efficiency and, while the dollar amount is…

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Applications to open this month for $280 million in federal manufacturing grants

A second round of grants will be made available through the Translation and Integration streams of the federal Modern Manufacturing Initiative, with applications to open next week. According to a statement from industry minister Angus Taylor on Thursday, $280 million would be available through the second round. Grant funding of between $1 million and $20…

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SkyKraft attracts top investors to capital raising

Satellite services company SkyKraft has attracted a raft of top investors to a $3.5 million capital raising that will continue its rollout of SmallSat communications satellites. The Canberra company’s new investors include former Macquarie Bank CEO Alan Moss, Lennoxgrove Capital and Adcock Private Equity. Skykraft, based at the UNSW Canberra City, also recently received $1…

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Sovereign composites, intelligent manufacturing progress in latest CRC bid announcement

Cooperative Research Centre Round 23 bids progressing to Stage 2 have been announced, with two explicitly manufacturing-focussed CRCs among them.

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Food sector disappointed with Canberra modern manufacturing initiative

By Peter Roberts The peak body for Australia’s largest manufacturing sector – food and groceries – has expressed disappointment with federal government policy and the rollout of its modern manufacturing initiative. The Australian Food and Grocery Council (AFGC) CEO Tanya Barden told a Senate inquiry this week that the sector needed a more coordinated policy…

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Leadership in factory automation – the automation race by Simon Dawson

Today in our editorial series Leadership in factory automation, we hear from Simon Dawson who knows first hand how Australian manufacturers are running the automation race. And for those still in the pre-race warm up, he tells you how to lead out of the starting blocks. It’s no secret that the world of manufacturing is…

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Manufacturing news briefs – stories you might have missed

SMEs shine at Defence Teaming Centre awards The achievements of six small to medium businesses have been recognised at the Defence Teaming Centre’s (DTC) Awards Ceremony, which mark the DTC’s 25th anniversary. PMB Defence won DTC’s Resilient and Adaptive award, while the Teaming award was awarded to Daronmont Technologies, Zenith Custom Creations, Cold Logic, and…

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Matrix receives big subsea composites order

Subsea buoyancy product manufacturer Matrix Composites and Engineering has received a letter of intent for the purchase of deepwater drilling riser buoyancy systems in Asia. The deal is with HMH USA and is for a new deepwater drilling rig project, and its size suggests that lean time experienced by the company in its oil and…

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SA government announces $20 million purpose-built space manufacturing hub

The South Australian government has announced a partnership with four companies and $20 million in funding for “the first dedicated space manufacturing hub – the Australian Space Park.”

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Patent box: Wait continues but govt commits to 2022 launch

The federal government has maintained it will launch a limited patent box scheme next year despite not yet releasing draft legislation and there only being 10 more sitting days until the upcoming election.

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Fortescue and AGL to repurpose Hunter power stations

Fortescue Future Industries (FFI) and AGL Energy (AGL) will undertake a feasibility study to repurpose infrastructure at the Hunter Valley’s Liddell and Bayswater coal-fired power stations to generate green hydrogen from water, using renewable energy. The companies said the announcement reinforced Australia’s potential to become a global green hydrogen superpower, in the process creating jobs…

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RapidAIM IoT sensors destined for the orchard

Agribusiness FMC Corporation and CSIRO-backed start up RapidAIM are to deploy internet of things sensing to monitor insect pests on Australian farms. The companies will deploy RapidAID’s digital surveillance system linked to FMC analytics in orchards in the Shepparton region of Victoria. While RapidAIM has focused initially on fruit fly, the collaboration aims ultimately to…

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Compumedics to bring manufacturing of wearables to Australia, hire 33

ASX-listed medtech company Compumedics will reshore production of its Somfit device after a decade, leading to 33 new jobs, according to the Victorian government.

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Leadership in factory automation – Evolve Group

Today in our editorial series, Leadership in factory automation, we turn to a dynamic Queensland contract manufacturer that is automating the production of lead acid battery components. Here Peter Roberts profiles the Evolve Group. Like most busy contract plastics manufacturing firms, Brisbane’s Evolve Group has had to get very good at flexibility. Switching from one…

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Austin Engineering signs global supply deal with Rio Tinto

Perth mining equipment business Austin Engineering has signed an equipment supply and maintenance deal covering all of miner Rio Tinto’s global operations. The company will supply dump bodies, lightweight trays for ore trucks, heavy machinery buckets, water bodies and other fabricated products from its facilities in Australia, Indonesia and North and South America. Austin will…

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Solar success story 5B to bring manufacturing in-house with IXL acquisition

Fast-growing modular solar energy system provider 5B will acquire its manufacturing partner, Adelaide-based IXL Solar.

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New additive manufacturing centre at Uni Sydney opens

A $25 million facility focussed on additive manufacturing R&D by companies and researchers, and located at University of Sydney’s Darlington campus, was officially opened on Monday. The Sydney Manufacturing Hub would enable “concept-to-production demonstration capabilities” for faculty and students, as well as private businesses. It hosts equipment and software for design and topological optimisation of…

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Steel Blue releases trendy tradie boots

Safety footwear manufacturer Steel Blue has announced a new line of Slate coloured boots targeted at the next generation of ‘trendy tradies’ and ‘lady tradies’. The Western Australian manufacturer said its new Slate boot incorporates all the technology and fit from current boot designs in a ‘fashionable new colour that appeals to all genders’. Steel…

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Osteopore gains China product approval

Bone reconstruction technology company Osteopore has broken into the China market with its regenerative bone scaffold implants used to speed healing in craniofacial surgery. The Singapore and Australian company has won approval from the Hong Kong regulatory authority, allowing it to market its bioresorbable polymer implants in the Greater Bay Area, a region covering 11…

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Government funding backed VET in 2020 – NCVER

Government funding for the VET sector jumped during 2020 the first Covid-19 year, according to new figures from the National Centre for Vocational Education Research (NCVER). In 2020, government funding provided through VET appropriations and VET intergovernmental funding arrangements totalled $7.7 billion, an increase in nominal terms of $1.3 billion or 20.8 per cent from…

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$33 million in grants announced for biopharma, ag chemical projects under supply chain program

Twenty-seven projects have shared in a combined $33 million in grants under round one of the federal government’s Supply Chain Resilience Initiative.

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Venlo accelerates circularity ambitions through Resitech acquisition

Queensland’s Venlo Holdings has announced the acquisition of plastic recycling business Resitech, which it says aligns with the company’s mission to improve Australia’s low rates of plastic recovery and recycling.

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Evos launches home EV charger system

Brisbane EV start up Evos has launched a simple, easy to install home electric vehicle charger, the EVOS Fleet Home22 (pictured). The charger is aimed at fleet customers, giving employees a simple system that has be easily installed as a single or three phaser power unit. According to the company: “By maximising the benefits of…

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Boral to sell US fly ash business

Building products group Boral has entered into agreement to sell its US fly ash businesses as the company continues to deal with fallout from its troubled venture into the North American market. Boral said today it would sell the business for $1 billion to Eco Material Technologies Inc, completing its ‘portfolio realignment and strategic focus…

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Online tools to track circular economy progress launched

NSW Circular has released two new online tools, aimed at helping companies, councils and communities measure their progress towards zero waste. Two dashboards (linked) were launched on Monday: Australian Circularity Benchmarks and My Circular Community. Respectively, they are described as: A new portal by NSW Circular where business, government and communities can track Australia’s progress to…

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Thales to make 155mm artillery shells at Benalla

Thales Australia is on schedule to begin production of the 155mm M795 Artillery Projectile at its Benalla, Victoria manufacturing facility in early 2022. The development closely follows Thales Australia’s recent US Department of Defense qualification of its Australian-made TNT to military specifications. Production in Australia will include the filling of steel projectile bodies with high…

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Leadership in factory automation – Tindo Solar

Today our editorial series, Leadership in factory automation, turns to a greenfields site where Tindo Solar is more than doubling production of solar photo voltaic panels in a totally new factory – and installing as much automation as it can squeeze in. By Peter Roberts Shayne Jaenisch guides me around the masses of ultra high-tech…

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Manufacturing news briefs – stories you might have missed

JAT receives $10m dairy export order, opens Shanghai boutique China export specialist JAT has received a major order for packaged milk products to be produced at its recently enlarge ANMA manufacturing facility in Victoria. The order, worth $10 million over the next 12 months, is for Oceania Supply Chain Management Pty Ltd, which has previously…

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Fleet Space to 3D print new generation Alpha satellites

Internet of things satellite connectivity developer Fleet Space Technologies is to develop a new generation of 3D-printed small satellites named Alpha, with the first satellites ready for launch in 12 months. Hot on the heels of its recent US$26.4m Series B capital raising, the Adelaide company has expanded its research and development arm to create…

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Reclaim PV, Tindo begin panel partnership on recycling

Adelaide companies Tindo Solar and Reclaim PV have announced a partnership that aims to increase the number of solar panels recycled and reused in new products.

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DEWC Systems partners with REDARC

DEWC Systems and REDARC Defence Systems will partner in a multi-year, multi-million dollar agreement in which REDARC will provide the defence Electronic Warfare solutions company with design and manufacturing capabilities. DEWC Systems CEO Ian Spencer said: “The combined strengths of REDARC and DEWC Systems, we will be able to deliver the latest sovereign electronic warfare…

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Li-S Energy battery to power Boeing drone

Lithium sulphur battery developer Li-S Energy will collaborate with Boeing’s Insitu Pacific unmanned aircraft systems company to test the company’s high energy density batteries. The companies signed a MoU to integrate, test and evaluate and eventually put into service Li-S’s innovative battery systems (pictured below) in a range of Insitu uncrewed aircraft systems. Should this…

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CSIRO brings the Moon to Brisbane

Researchers and businesses preparing to head to the Moon can test their technologies in a new facility established by Australia’s national science agency, CSIRO. The purpose-built facility in Brisbane provides a Moon-like environment for testing and evaluating rovers and related equipment with an initial focus of exploring lunar terrain and resources. The dust chamber can…

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QLD economy to grow an extra 7 per cent to 2050 if clean economy shift managed well: Deloitte

A new report commissioned by the Climate Council has predicted a benefit for Queensland if it handles the decarbonisation shift correctly, adding an extra 7 per cent to economic growth by 2050 to be worth $780 billion.

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Leadership in factory automation – Carbon Revolution

Today our editorial series, Leadership in factory automation, turns to one of the most advanced automation projects underway in Australia – the development of the first Mega-line by Carbon Revolution to manufacture its unique one-piece carbon fibre road wheels at scale. By Peter Roberts. Geelong one-piece carbon fibre road wheel manufacturer Carbon Revolution is pressing…

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Phoenix99 Bionic Eye heading for human trials

Having already revolutionised the world of hearing implants, could Australia be on the way to another ground-breaking commercial product – a vision implant? This is the potential raised by an announcement that a bionic eye being developed by a team of biomedical researchers at the University of Sydney and UNSW has shown to be safe…

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Biripi Capital ‘closes the gap’ for aboriginal business investment

Aboriginal-owned private equity firm Biripi Capital has secured a $20 million investment from Hudson Food Group to back the growth ambitions of indigenous food manufacturer The Dreaming Food Group. This breakthrough investment in an indigenous owned and led business comes after negotiations between Biripi, Melbourne-based Hudson Food and Dreaming Food Group founders, Aboriginal business leaders…

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Manufacturing news briefs – stories you might have missed

Gekko Systems to build King Island mineral processor Mining equipment developer Gekko Systems will design, procure build and commission a mineral processing plant for Group 6 Metals Limited’s Dolphin Mine, located on King Island. The Contract, which has a value of approximately $49 million, anticipates the commissioning of the facilities in the first calendar quarter…

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Guidelines released for Mission grants of up to $10 million for space companies

Guidelines have been released for Round Two Demonstrator “Mission” program grants, part of the Moon to Mars initiative, with applications to open next year and support between $750,000 and $10 million available.

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Titomic buys European cold spray technology company

Large-scale metal additive manufacturing company Titomic has ventured into the European market, buying a cold spray technology company with products complementary to its own 3D printers. Titomic will pay $2.1 million to acquire Dycomet Europe BV, a company with turnover of $1.6 million and customers including Rolls Royce, Mercedes, Airbus, Siemens and VW. Dycomet provides…

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Manufacturing sees a jump in activity after restrictions ease: PMI

There was a jump in manufacturing activity in November as restrictions eased, according to the Australian Industry Group, with its Performance of Manufacturing Index up 4.4 points for the month.

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Q-CTRL raises $35 million for quantum control

Sydney company Q-CTRL has raised $35 million (US$25 Million) in a Series B financing round Led by Airbus Ventures. The company, whose software and hardware reduces noise and error in nascent quantum computing systems, will use the funds to develop new data-as-a-service markets powered by quantum sensing for acceleration, gravity, and magnetic fields. Airbus Ventures…

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Leadership in factory automation – Electrolux Home Products

Today our editorial series, Leadership in factory automation, looks at the quintessential dilemma, and opportunity for Australian manufacturing – flexible mass manufacturing for the large number of product types needed to satisfy Australia’s diverse local markets. Here Peter Roberts profiles Electrolux Home Products. Electrolux Home Products single Australian factory is what Australian manufacturing has been…

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Leigh Creek Energy clears way for urea project

In situ goal gasification developer Leigh Creek Energy has signed an offtake agreement that will allow it to proceed to finance its coal to gas to urea plant at the former Leigh Creek coal field in South Australia. The company’s executives travelled to Korea to sign a heads of agreement with Daelim which plans to…

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BOC, Optimal to build waste to fuel bioLNG facility

Bulk gases, chemicals and equipment supplier BOC and Optimal Group are to explore the development of Australia’s first waste to fuel bioLNG facility. The companies have signed an MOU and will investigate the potential for Optimal’s subsidiary, Optimal Renewable Gas to build a $55 million, 2.4 TJ/day waste to biogas plant adjacent to BOC’s micro-LNG…

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Advanced Manufacturing Research for Sydney aerotropolis

The NUW Alliance of four leading Australian universities, with the University of Technology Sydney have launched a vision for an Advanced Manufacturing Research Facility to be established within the new Western Sydney International Airport and Aerotropolis CBD. The facility, to be funded partially by the NSW Government, will house a research collaboration of the University…

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Matrix raises cash, will expand composites production

Perth advanced composite systems manufacturer Matrix Composites & Engineering has successfully raised $7 million from a share placement to support expansion to service emerging opportunities. The company, best known for its buoyancy systems for offshore pipelines and oil and gas installations, said the raise reflected its positive outlook and pipeline of tender opportunities. It would…

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Austin Engineering delivers 1,000th iron ore truck to Rio

Heavy engineering company Austin Engineering has passed a milestone of 1,000 iron ore truck bodies delivered to mining company Rio Tinto. According to a statement from the Western Australian government celebrating local content in projects in the state — Austin’s truck bodies use 100 per cent local suppliers — the partnership between Austin and Rio…

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Hunter frigate apprentices sail to next stage of their career

BAE Systems Australia has announced that the first 16 apprentices employed on the Hunter Class Frigate Program in Adelaide have graduated high school, and are now approaching the next step in their apprenticeship journey. From next year, they’ll be working full-time in a shipyard purpose-built for the project by the federal government. The apprentices, at…

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Leadership in factory automation – David Singleton of Austin Engineering

We launch our new editorial series, Leadership in factory automation, today with an interview with a titan of Australian advanced manufacturing – David Singleton. As CEO of Perth shipbuilder, Austal he took that company global, breaking into the US Navy defence market. Now he is driving mining equipment manufacturer Austin Engineering into the industry 4.0…

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Leadership in factory automation – introduction to our new editorial series

Manufacturing has entered a fourth industrial revolution, presenting once in a lifetime opportunities for Australia to escape its recent past and once again build a viable, competitive manufacturing sector. Recognising that technology and automation has never been more important, today @AuManufacturing launches its latest editorial series – Leadership in factory automation. Here Peter Roberts surveys…

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Manufacturing news briefs – stories you might have missed

Traffic Technologies awarded $9 million contract Road management and traffic signal company Traffic Technologies has been awarded a contract with the Queensland Department of Transport and Main Roads expiring in 2032 that is worth up to $9 million. The contract, effectively giving the company access to the Queensland market, is for the supply of hardware…

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Calytrix and EM Solutions join satellite comms development

Lockheed Martin Australia (LMA) has announced the addition of two leading Australian technology providers to its team developing a Military Satellite Communication (MILSATCOM) capability for defence, Calytrix Technologies and EM Solutions. The companies join a growing network of Australian SMEs including Av-Comm, Shoal Group, Clearbox Systems, STEM Punks and Ronson Gears, that are developing a…

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Pallet shortage for manufacturers means Xmas shoppers should get in early: AFGC

The Australian Food and Grocery Council has said that global and national supply chain problems such as a wooden pallet shortage have forced manufacturers to slow down or stop production, and that Christmas shoppers were encouraged to shop early to avoid the worst impacts.

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A.W. Bell, Riviera Australia named joint manufacturing winners in Australian Export Awards

Winners of the 59th Australian Export Awards have been named, with Northern Territory-based aquarium products specialist Monsoon Aquatics the overall winner in 2021. The 13 category winners and overall winner — selected from among the winners in each category — were named on Thursday.Precision metal engineering company A.W. Bell and luxury motor yacht builder…

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Nestle leads push to recycle soft plastics

A group of major companies, supported by Australia’s largest food manufacturer Nestlé, have released a report as part of their push to establish soft plastics recycling in Australia. Soft plastics such as bags and wrappings are difficult to recycle, and collection poses massive problems, with the only collection service involving consumers bringing their wrappers to…

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IMCRC backs manufacture of impact absorbing traffic light

A new research collaboration backed by the Innovative Manufacturing Cooperative Research Centre is developing traffic lights that absorb kinetic energy during a collision. With $100,000 in funding from IMCRC, road safety manufacturing company Impact Absorbing Systems (IAS) is collaborating with University of South Australia (UniSA) STEM to re-engineer the ubiquitous traffic light. The $640,000 project…

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SA technologists press for active industry plan

Sixty-six of South Australia’s leading technologists, scientists and engineers have tabled a technology and industry policy-based plan that will foster innovation, economic growth. The plan, released in advance of the state election in 2022, highlights vital fields that will supercharge SA’s economic recovery from COVID-19 and power the state’s transition to a low-carbon future. It…

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Sovereign material can take the heat of a rocket

An advanced high-temperature material developed by Australian defence scientists could be destined for space thanks to an ongoing partnership between defence and Gold Coast rocket company, Gilmour Space Technologies. Capable of withstanding temperatures of 3,200 degrees Celsius, the innovative composite material is a promising candidate for use in Gilmour’s rocket motor casings and is soon…

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WA govt applies for Pilbara and Mid-West hydrogen hub funding

The Western Australian government has announced two applications under the federal Clean Hydrogen Industrial Hubs program, pledging to invest up to $117.5 million to attract matched Commonwealth money.

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Morrison says universities should shift focus from ‘publish or perish’ towards commercialising research

Announcing $242.7 million for a yet-to-be-selected small group of “trailblazer” universities, the government wants to encourage those that are “early adopters of intellectual property, industrial relations and skills practices to lift collaboration and commercialisation outcomes”.Four universities, including one regional institution, will be funded under the program. They will work with industry partners to drive commercialisation across the government’s six manufacturing priorities.

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Industry policy lacks clarity – David Thodey

By James Riley Former CSIRO chair David Thodey says the growth and development of Australia’s innovation ecosystem since 2015 had been exciting – remarkable even – but a lack of clarity in long-term national industry strategy had been limiting, nonetheless. Just weeks after stepping down from the board of the national science agency which he…

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Eight Tasmanian manufacturers awarded grants under Accelerating Growth program

The Tasmanian government has announced successful applicants in round one of the Accelerating Growth Grant Program, with roughly $700,000 awarded to eight of the state’s manufacturers.

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Lavo to manufacture hydrogen fuel cells in Qld

Australian energy technology company LAVO Hydrogen Technology will establish a $15 million factory to manufacture hydrogen fuel cells. Greater Springfield, a private sector-developed CBD south-west of Brisbane, will be the site for the facility, backed by the state government’s Invested in Queensland program and Queensland Jobs Fund. Treasurer Cameron Dick said construction of the new…

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Eddie Kocwa is a man with a plan to build an Australian electric utility vehicle

By Peter Roberts Boss Capital Holdings director Eddie Kocwa (pictured below) is a man on mission to restart Australian automotive manufacturing, starting with plans to partly build a electric utility vehicle sourced from US start-up Atlis Motor Vehicles in 2023, then growing capability to produce a full electric ute by 2026. While many others have…

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Manufacturing news briefs – stories you might have missed

Proteomics International enters UK market. Perth biotechnology group Proteomics International Laboratories has secured United Kingdom distribution for its PromarkerD test system to predict the onset of diabetic kidney disease. Apacor Ltd will become the exclusive distributor for PromarkerD covering an estimated 4.8 million people who live with diabetes, making them vulnerable to kidney disease. The…

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Volgren to hire 66 to help deliver new buses for Kinetic

Bus maker Volgren will add an extra 50 new jobs and 16 traineeships as it begins delivery of zero- and low-emissions buses for Kinetic, which was recently awarded the contract for the Metropolitan Bus Franchise.

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Seven fuel cell trucks to be built in Australia

Clean energy company Pure Hydrogen Ltd has announced that its new Pure X Mobility division will assemble seven hydrogen trucks equipped with hydrogen fuel cell drive trains supplied by hydrogen vehicle developer H2X Global. Pure Hydrogen recently bought a 24 per cent share in H2X, which will manufacture hydrogen fuel cell vehicles in Gippsland, Victoria…

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SEA Electric wins heavy vehicle industry innovation award

Electric truck drive train manufacturer SEA Electric has won Heavy Vehicle Industry Australia’s Product Innovation award for 2021. The Australian-born and Los Angeles-headquartered company won the award for its battery electric powered truck range, including the SEA 300 EV and SEA 500 EV models, which were launched in 2021 and are “the first comprehensive battery…

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Barrett Communications HF radios for WA mines

Barrett Communications has deployed multiple High Frequency (HF) radio communications solutions for the West Australian Department of Mines, Industry Regulation and Safety (DMIRS). The systems include base station and mobile vehicle stations to ensure that all personnel of the Geological Survey and Resources Division can communicate, no matter their location. DMIRS operates across Western Australia,…

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We help you access Fed’s $5 million SMERL3 Covid recovery loans

ADVERTISEMENT It is third time lucky for the federal government and for SME manufacturers with the banks finally prepared to lend cash to Covid-affected SMEs that need it. SMERL3 is the government’s third go at designing an SME recovery loan scheme which the banks would get onboard with, as distinct from their usual ‘bugger off’…

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Support for alternative apprenticeship models – NCVER report

Apprenticeships play an important role in skills development, however there are a number of long-term issues which has seen rising support for new models of apprenticeship, according to a report from the National Centre for Vocational Education Research (NCVER). The report, Issues in apprenticeships and traineeships – a research synthesis identifies five enduring issues in…

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Townsville common-user vanadium processing demo facility to open 2023: govt

The Queensland government announced “at least $10 million” in funding for a government-owned, multi-user, multi-purpose critical minerals processing plant, with vanadium processing planned for 2023.

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Li-S Energy to supply novel batteries for Janus Electric trucks

Lithium sulphur battery developer Li-S Energy is to collaborate with Australian E-truck developer Janus Electric to provide its novel battery cells to power Janus’s vehicles. The two companies have entered into a collaborative agreement to develop and supply lithium sulphur and/or lithium metal battery cells for use in Janus prime mover battery packs. Janus has…

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Bosch to manufacture 3D scanners for Bodd

Bosch Australia Manufacturing Solutions (BAMS) will provide manufacturing services to support the globalisation of Australian software and data technology firm Bodd. Bodd, which featured in the recent @AuManufacturing/MYOB webinar Game Changers – manufacturers redefining their sectors, has developed an innovative 3D body scanner for the apparel industry. Melbourne-based Bodd’s scanner captures large amounts of body…

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AML3D prints world’s largest metal O&G pipe component

AML3D 3D has printed what it claims to be the world’s largest metal Oil & Gas high-pressure piping component vessel to have been verified by Lloyd’s Register. The company used its wire added manufacturing (WAM) technology equipment to print and high-pressure test the component to the new global API 20S Standard for Additively Manufactured Metallic…

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$25 million for modern equipment at WA TAFE colleges

The Western Australian government has made a $25 million committment to purchase state-of-the-art TAFE equipment to meet current and emerging industry training needs. All five WA TAFE colleges to receive new training equipment as part of a four-year program to upgrade and modernise their equipment to contemporary industry standards. Purchases include automation equipment, heavy vehicle…

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Thales makes second big investment in Australian factories

French defence contractor Thales has announced its second major investment in its Australian manufacturing facilities in a month, committing a $6 million investment in state-of-the-art advanced manufacturing equipment at the Commonwealth owned Mulwala facility in regional New South Wales. The investment, to accelerate sovereign guided weapons manufacturing capability, follows close on a $6.5 million commitment…

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Australia, UK and US sign nuclear tech sharing agreement

Australia, the United Kingdom and the United States today signed an Exchange of Naval Nuclear Propulsion Information Agreement, a key step in advancing the review into the potential for Australia to acquire conventionally armed, nuclear submarines and technology. The agreement, foreshadowed in the AUKUS arrangement between the nations, allows the US and the UK to…

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How to make roads with recycled waste, and pave the way to a circular economy

Changing this equation and moving to a circular economy, in which materials are reused and recycled rather than discarded in landfill, is a key goal to reduce the impact of building and construction on the environment, including its contribution to climate change.

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Collie, WA future attracts new grants

The Western Australian government has committed an additional $2 million to the Collie Futures Small Grant Program. The program, which supports economic diversification in the former coal-mining and coal power generation town, provides for grants of up to $100,000 for businesses and not-for-profits in Collie to drive local jobs. In total, 28 businesses and not-for-profits…

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Tritium opens one of the world’s largest EV charger testing chambers

Tritium opened a new testing facility for its fast DC electric vehicle chargers at its Brisbane headquarters on Monday.

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Nanosonics to add “over 100 new direct jobs” by June 2024

IInfection prevention specialist Nanosonics is on track to more than double its manufacturing capacity and add a significant number of employees over the next three years, according to a statement from the NSW government.

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Textile Recyclers Australia, Karie Soehardi Consultancy announce two 2022 recycling pilots

A partnership between Textile Recyclers Australia and Karie Soehardi Consultancy, named TRAKS, has announced two trial programs for 2022 attempting to address the unmet need for repurposing discarded rugs and soft furnishing industry waste. According to the Australian Bureau of Statistics, roughly 800,000 tonnes of textile, leather and rubber waste was thrown out in 2018/19,…

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Trajan completes acquisition of German detector manufacturer

Analytical and life sciences instrument manufacturer Trajan Group has completed the purchase of the German private businesses of Axel Semrau for a total of $26.5 million. Trajan purchased Axel Semrau GmbH and Semrau Immobilien GmbH which develop and manufacture laboratory automation and chromatography software and detection systems. The German companies had a turnover in the…

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BAE Systems turns M113 personnel carriers autonomous

By Peter Roberts BAE Systems Australia has installed locally-developed autonomous operation hardware and software in twenty M113 AS4 Optionally Crewed Combat Vehicles (OCCVs) and delivered them to the Australian Army. Each M113 AS4 was fitted with a Vehicle Management System, derived from BAE Systems’ domain agnostic autonomy technologies which enables it to operate autonomously. At…

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Manufacturing news briefs – stories you might have missed

Construction of battery gigafactory accelerates Energy Renaissance is pressing ahead with construction of Renaissance One, the company’s lithium battery production plant in Tomago, NSW. The company said work at the site (pictured) was picking up pace, with development partner ATB Morton now erecting steelwork. “Over the next few weeks the facility will start to take…

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Treasury extends luxury wine portfolio in US

Treasury Wine Estates has furthered its strategy of premiumising its US wine businesses with the $433 million purchase of Frank Family Vineyards. The maker of Penfolds wines bought the Napa Valley, California business on an EBITDAS multiple of 13.2, which TWE said was favourable compared to the company’s current luxury wine transactions. FFV’s portfolio is…

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“First of its kind” national roadmap acknowledges urgency of growing sector: Bioenergy Australia

Industry group Bioenergy Australia has praised the Bioenergy Roadmap, released by the Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA) today.

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Great Wrap launches compostable catering wrap

Compostable stretch kitchen wrap business Great Wrap has launched its Australian-made compostable catering wrap for businesses across the country. Made from food waste, Great Wrap initially launched a domestic Compostable Cling Wrap, but now provides a solution for commercial waste challenges that is suitable for restaurants, grocers, delis, bakers and more. The company also takes…

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Packaging awards honour sustainability excellence

Leading businesses were celebrated this week for their work towards improving packaging sustainability as part of the Australian Packaging Covenant Organisation’s (APCO) Annual Awards ceremony. Businesses including Kellogg, Nestlé, Coles, BioPak, and CHEP were among the big winners, each taking home multiple accolades. In total, 22 awards were handed out to businesses in industry sectors…

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Federal government awards $44 million to six recycling and clean energy manufacturers

Pact Group, Toshiba International and 1414 Degrees were among six companies awarded a combined $44 million under the federal government’s Modern Manufacturing Initiative on Thursday. The round of funding was for companies in the Recycling and Clean Energy sector, one of six identified as “National Manufacturing Priorities” by the government. Assistance between $1 million and…

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Missing blue/green distinction in hydrogen means missing methane danger: researchers

Research from the Australian National University has found that the nation’s lack of distinction between so-called “blue” and “green” hydrogen could lead to a new industry that just adds to greenhouse gas emissions. Australia’s hydrogen strategy discusses “clean hydrogen” but does not separate green (from renewable energy-powered electrolysis) and blue (derived from coal or natural…

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Aristocrat rebounds from Covid-19 a stronger company

Pokie machine manufacturer and and online gamming business Aristocrat Leisure has rebounded from a nadir during the Covid-19 pandemic a stronger, more diverse and resilient business, according to the company’s FY21 report. The Sydney company saw an 81 per cent growth in net profit after tax to $865 million, up 102 per cent on the…

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Lyre’s shows the $ to be made innovating in manufacturing

By Peter Roberts Most of us have probably seen Lyre’s non-alcoholic spirits at the supermarket and reeled at the price – starting from around $45 a bottle for a, well, fake gin, whiskey or rum. But this UK company – which also manufactures in Australia – shows that innovation, timing and product quality in manufacturing…

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We’ve smelted a billion tonnes of recyclable aluminium. Do we need to make more?

By Guy Keulemans, UNSW Aluminium is light and versatile, but massively energy-intensive to produce, requiring 10% of Australia’s entire electricity output . Recycling it uses just a fraction of the energy. Why aren’t we closing the loop? This metal – the most abundant in the Earth’s crust – is used in everything from kitchen utensils…

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$10 million to build defence AI technologies

The federal government has announced Defence Innovation Hub grants of $10 million ti support development of artificial intelligence (AI) technologies and defence industry. The investment supports the government’s new Blueprint for Critical Technologies and Action Plan, released by the Prime Minister yesterday, which included AI as one of nine listed critical technologies of national interest.…

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Manufacturing news briefs – stories you might have missed

SRJ Technologies Black Sky Aerospace blasts off Solid rocket fuel manufacturer Black Sky Aerospace has launched its Sighter 150 rocket from the company’s test and launch site near Goondiwindi, Queensland. The rocket a height of 30,000 feet in 30 seconds carrying software for a cyber security customer. This, the third in a series of test…

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Fortescue gets planning approval, will begin construction on $114 m hydrogen equipment factory in Feb

Fortescue’s renewable energy business has gained planning approval at a site in Aldoga in the Gladstone State Development Area, where it plans to open the world’s biggest electrolyser factory in 2023.

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Vitasoy to invest another $40 m, hire up to 40 as plant-based demand grows

Vitasoy is capitalising on rising demand for plant-based food and drink, and plans to hire another 35 – 40 workers at its Wodonga factory over the next ten years as exports rise. According to a profile published by Austrade, Vitasoy began exporting to Saudi Arabia through distributor World Premium Products this year, following an introduction…

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Baraja launches automotive LiDAR sensing system

Australian autonomous vehicle technology manufacturer Baraja has announced a breakthrough high-performance autonomous vehicle sensing system which works at range, utilising per-point Doppler capabilities. The system, which is available to manufacturers to test in 2022 and is designed for volume production, is the first such system to be available for less than US$1000 per unit, according…

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Nanosatellite company Fleet Space Technologies raises $35.8 million

Nanosatellite developer Fleet Space Technologies today announced it had raised $35.8 million (US$26.4 million) in Series B funding, allowing the company to pursue its advanced nanosatellite technology for use in industrial Internet of Things (IoT) applications. The Adelaide company, now valued at $170 million, raised cash from existing shareholders Artesian Venture Partners, Blackbird Ventures, Grok,…

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@AuManufacturing’s new value-added service – accessing SMERL3 Covid recovery loans

ADVERTISEMENT The Australian Manufacturing Forum and @AuManufacturing have launched a new value-added service for manufacturers, assisting companies access loans guaranteed by the federal government under its SMERL3, SME Covid-19 recovery scheme. The federal government in conjunction with banking and lending institutions have been providing government backed loans of between 50 per cent and 80 per…

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Traffic Technologies raises cash to expand in hardware and software

Roadway signage and traffic systems company Traffic Technologies is to raise $10.3 million from investors through a non-renounceable rights issue which is underway. The company has previously raised $2.17 million from sophisticated investors including $1 million from First Samuel. The company, which manufactures traffic hardware and provides software for end to end traffic management, IoT…

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Recycling innovator named NSW Australian of the Year

University of NSW recycling expert Professor Veena Sahajwalla was named NSW Australian of the Year at a ceremony on Monday night.

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Rising costs hit Hazer hydrogen plant

Inflation from increasing costs of materials, labour and services have forced Hazer Group to increase estimates of the likely cost of its demonstration plant to produce hydrogen from biogas in Perth. The project at the Western Australian Water Board’s Woodman Point wastewater treatment plant was originally costed at $16.7 million and this was later raised…

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Yarra council orders new Australian made biochar plant for woody waste

Yarra Ranges Council has announced the purchase of a biochar plant from Earth Systems, which the council says will help it meet its net zero by 2040 and 100 per cent renewable power by 2030 targets.

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Immuron anti-diarrhoea treatment moves to US clinical trials

Immuron’s Travelan anti-diarrhoea product has moved to the human clinical trial phase in a program led by the Uniformed Services University in the United States. Travelan, which is made in Melbourne and on sale through Chemist Warehouse, is a non-absorbable, safe product which is composed of anti-bacterial antibodies that work on the gut immune system.…

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Products from Micro-X, QPE Machining and AML3D go on public display

Three innovative Australian manufacturers are revealing their products to the public this week – X-ray emitter manufacturer Micro-X, QPE Advanced Machining and additive manufacturing group AML3D. Micro-X is displaying its prototype self-service security screening station for airport passengers (pictured) at the RSNA 2021 conference in Chicago which features the latest innovations in radiology. And QPE…

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Government releases DRAT, a ten-minute digital maturity quiz for SMEs

The federal government has released a new ten-minute online test designed for SMEs, which aims to benchmark their digital maturity against their peers and provides advice on accessing support.

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Incitec Pivot bounces back even as Brisbane plant to close

Fertiliser and explosives manufacturer Incitec Pivot has bounced back in the second half with operating profit for FY 21 up 51 per cent on the previous corresponding period on strengthened demand. There was strong growth in advanced technologies offered by its Dyno Nobel explosives business, with American electronic detonator sales up 18 per cent, while…

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N-subs – the rebirth of ASC as BAE Systems Adelaide

By Peter Roberts It was back in 2014 that Coalition defence minister David Johnston said he would not trust the government-owned submarine builder, the Australian Submarine Corporation, to build a canoe. What is now ASC Pty Ltd just might be on the way to a resurrection, but this time as an addition to BAE Systems…

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MoorPower wave power project gets underway

Advanced Composite Structures Australia has officially launched the $3.4 million MoorPower Project in partnership with Carnegie Clean Energy, the Blue Economy CRC, universities and leading aquaculture firms. ACS Australia has begun prototyping of composite components and developing material processes in what will be a two-year development of a wave power facility for offshore aquaculture industries.…

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Manufacturing news briefs – stories you might have missed

Defence trailer manufacturer reveals new product Specialty off road vehicle manufacturer Land Force Defence & Mobility has shared on social media ‘some of the exciting products we are developing at the moment’. The company makes a wide range of special purpose trailers, mission modules and remote area support vehicles for defence forces. Design manager Nathan…

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Slow wage growth for engineers despite infrastructure boom

Australian engineers are seeing slowing wages growth despite a lack of migrant engineers affecting employers and booms underway in infrastructure and defence procurement sectors, according to a new report. The report released by Professionals Australia also found that more action is required to strengthen gender equity and diversity in the male dominated industry. The Professional…

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$5.7 million in grants awarded to Victorian recycling businesses

The Victorian government has announced $5.7 million in grants through its Recycling Victoria Infrastructure Fund, which it says will help create 75 new jobs and add capacity to process an extra 436,000 tonnes of organics, 20,000 tonnes of glass and 40,000 tonnes of textiles per year. Six projects received funding (see below) and would involve…

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Coopers expands, beer sales up

The largest locally owned brewery group Coopers Brewery has announced plans to invest in expansion and the results of a Covid-19 year in which beer sales rose 2.8 per cent. Our largest independent family-owned brewery recorded total beer sales, excluding non- alcoholic beers, of 82.3 million litres in the 12 months to June 30, 2021.…

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Seven food manufacturers awarded $33 million in Commonwealth grants

A grant round totalling $33 million of assistance to seven food manufacturers has been announced. The funding is the latest tranche of the Modern Manufacturing Initiative’s integration and translation streams, following announcements since February covering the Space, Resources Technology & Critical Minerals Processing, and Medical Products sectors. Assistance worth between $1 million and $20 million…

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Keytone Dairy rebrands and expands to China milk powder market

Australia and New Zealand manufacturer Keytone Dairy has announced a corporate rebranding to become Halo Food Co and revealed a $54.3 million strategic partnership giving it entry into the China market. Halo’s subsidiary Keytone Enterprises has signed a Memorandum of Strategic Cooperation with Theland New Cloud (Shanghai) Digimart Limited, majority owned by the Alibaba Group.…

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Orica in losses in horror year

Chemicals and explosives manufacturer Orica has revealed a statutory net loss after tax for the year ended September 30 of $174 million in a horror market that the company described as ‘challenging’. However directors reported an underlying earnings before interest and tax (EBIT) of $427 million, which was countered by a big $382 million write-down.…

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C6 Group develops air filtration system that kills viruses

Regional Corio, Victoria-based industrial service business C6 Group is making a name for itself with a new locally-made system called Katharsis which filters the majority of viral, bacterial and fungal fine aerosols from air in buildings. Katharsis uses a combination of protective technologies for maximum effect, which C6 says is equivalent to applying a P2/N95…

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Fenn Foods gets distribution through Coles

Sunshine Coast, Queensland-headquartered plant-based meat company Fenn Foods has announced distribution of its new Veef product range in Coles.

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Donald McGurk showed how to lead Australian hi-tech

By Peter Roberts The board of Australian defence communications and technology company Codan has announced a new CEO to replace Donald McGurk (pictured) who is retiring after 21 years at the helm. Alf Ianniello has big shoes to fill, with the company’s share price plunging on the announcement of McGurk’s departure in August from $17.64,…

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Monash team wins $US250,000 in Elon Musk-backed XPRIZE for CO2 removal

A Monash University team has been awarded $US 250,000 in the XPRIZE Carbon Removal Student Competition, which is part of the global, four-year $US 100 million carbon removal competition. The Monash Carbon Capture and Conversion (MC3) team was one of 23 winners in the $US 5 million round, said Xprize, with 18 teams awarded $US…

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SEA La Trobe Valley promise flounders as did automotive sector – by Shane West

Electric drive train and truck producer SEA Electric has decided not to go ahead with a planned factory in Victoria’s La Trobe Valley. Here Shane West laments the decision, made after the company won an order to build 1,500 electric trucks in the United States. SEA Electric began life as an all-Australian technology and manufacturing…

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Manufacturing news briefs – stories you might have missed

Maggie Beer’s stellar growth Luxury food manufacturer Maggie Beer Holdings announced group revenues for Q1 FY22 up 84.1 per cent over the previous corresponding period as its three food brands made progress and the company increased online turnover during the Covid-19 pandemic. E-commerce sales were up 154 per cent, and now make up 44 per…

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Cyclotek and ANSTO to manufacture new radiopharmaceuticals

Cyclotek and ANSTO have announced the launch of a Joint Venture to establish Australia’s first GMP (Good Manufacturing Practice) theranostics production facility which will produce radiopharmaceuticals for both the diagnosis and treatment of cancer. The new company Applied Molecular Therapies Pty Ltd (AMT) will aim to establish a Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) approved, GMP manufacturing…

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CSIRO offers free program to space SMEs

The national science agency will support up to 25 small to medium businesses working in the Australian space sector with a new program that offers training, mentorship, and access to research facilities.

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Manufacturing company monthly turnovers went up slightly in latest ABS data

A new Monthly Business Turnover Indicator released by the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) on Wednesday showed turnovers at manufacturing companies up slightly, rising 0.7 per cent over September. In the second release of the experimental monthly economic indicator — following August figures released last month — it showed turnovers fell for most industries. “Electricity,…

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Ampcontrol and LeoLabs to develop space radar

Electrical engineer Ampcontrol has partnered with space tracking firm LeoLabs Australia on an ambitious $240 million project to construct new factories and upgrade others to build and maintain sophisticated radar systems. Dubbed the Aussie Space Radar Projct (ASRP), the project comes with a direct $160 million investment by LeoLabs Inc – the largest investment by…

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Feds announce $500 million to address ‘gap in the market’ for green tech startups

Prime minister Scott Morrison has announced $500 million for a new public-private fund to invest in emerging low-carbon technologies, with legislation for this to be introduced before the end of the parliamentary term.

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Orica to decarbonise Kooragang Island manufacturing plant

Chemicals and explosives business Orica is to invest $37 million to reduce greenhouse gas emissions at its Kooragang Island, Newcastle manufacturing operation by 48 per cent. The facility includes an ammonia plant, three nitric acid plants, two ammonium nitrate plants and a product dispatch facility and is one of Orica’s key manufacturing sites. The company…

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Turkish machine builder makes $2.5 million strategic investment in Titomic

Turkey-based metal forming machine specialist Repkon Makina ve Kalip has become a strategic investor in Titomic, acquiring a $2.5 million stake in the Australian large-scale additive manufacturing business. Repkon would be issued 9,615,384 ordinary fully shares at 26 cents a share, according to a statement to the ASX by Titomic on Tuesday. The two companies…

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$7 million grant round opens for NSW recycling projects

Applications are open for grants assisting new recycling projects in regional and remote NSW, with between $10,000 and $1,000,000 available in state-federal funding per project.

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Verton to test innovative lifting for strong winds

An industry research project to develop new systems for precision handling of heavy loads such as the installation of giant wind turbine blades in strong winds has progressed to proof of concept testing. Backed by $178,000 in commercialisation funding from the Advanced Manufacturing Growth Centre (AMGC), lifting and load orientation products manufacturer Verton’s Windmaster is…

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Incitec Pivot fails to secure gas supplies, to close Gibson Island

Fertiliser and explosives manufacturer Incitec Pivot has failed after a long search to secure an economically viable long-term gas supply to its Gibson Island, Brisbane fertiliser plant. As a result the company has announced the closure of the plant after 50 years of operation when the current gas contract runs out in December, 2022. The…

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H2X, Thales to make green ammonia in Borneo

Hydrogen fuel cell vehicle manufacturer H2X Global has joined with French group Thales New Energy to deliver GW-scale green ammonia and hydrogen for export from Sarawak, Malaysia The partners and the Sarawak Economic Development Corporation (SEDC) will build GigaWatt-scale green hydrogen and ammonia generation facilities at the Samalaju Industrial Park and Port. The facility will…

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$3 million Port of Newcastle green hydrogen feasibility study announced

The Australian Renewable Energy Agency has awarded $1.5 million in support for a feasibility study into a green hydrogen hub at Newcastle, the east coast’s biggest port.

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Alpha buys Gladstone site for $300 million alumina project

Alpha HPA has purchased a 9.2 hectare site at Gladstone in the Queensland government’s State Development Area, where it plans to build its 10,000 tonne-per-annum high-purity alumina plant. According to a statement from the state government on Monday, the plant would support 120 new jobs, and Alpha was attracted to Gladstone due to the industrial…

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Quantum computing – our science to industry moment?

By Peter Roberts History shows that while we have some areas of scientific brilliance, few of our ideas translate into anything other than niche businesses – and this is especially true when looking at seminal global scientific development such as quantum computing. Some big players such as Google and IBM have successfully built quantum computers…

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Forget federal politicians, let’s act on emissions – by John Sheridan

John Sheridan believes there is a way forward for Australia to zero emissions given the leadership being shown by the states and industry. There is no point expecting federal politicians to fix the climate crisis, we need to stop passively watching and act. Last week I sat in a small room on Lady Elliot Island…

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Manufacturing news briefs – stories you might have missed

Santos and CSIRO back carbon capture and storage Oil and gas producer Santos has announced a $220 million Moomba, South Australia carbon capture and storage project to store 1.7 million tonnes of carbon dioxide a year from 2024, making it one of the largest in the world with the lowest unit costs, according to the…

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CSIRO study pumps brakes on EV led critical mineral demand

By Joseph Brookes The expected surge in sustained demand for critical metals for the electric vehicle revolution may be shorter lived than many are predicting, but repurposing the batteries could transform Australia’s energy grid and economy, according to the national science agency. CSIRO this week released a report modelling various electric vehicle (EV) uptake scenarios with…

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H2X to make hydrogen vehicles in Malaysia

Australian hydrogen vehicle developer H2X Global is to manufacture hydrogen fuel cell vehicles in Sarawak, Malaysia. The company, which recently announced plans to convert utility vehicles to hydrogen power in Australia, will initially build fuel cell electric buses for the Sarawak Transport System. The company will also create a training Centre of Excellence to help…

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Will Tesla build a Gigafactory in Australia?

By Giles Parkinson of The Driven Could Australia be one of the next destinations for a Tesla Giga-factory? It is an idea raised in a recent piece of analysis by Morgan Stanley analysts, citing the growing complexity of doing business in China, including that country’s rising electricity prices. And it turns out that Australian billionaire…

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Australia’s Food Manufacturing Opportunity – by Derek Lulham

The Australian food industry is an advanced sector with a wide range of competitive advantages. Here Derek Lulham explores our advantages and opportunities in the Australian and global marketplace. Australia continues to be a solid platform to launch brands and products targeted to consumers across Asia. This mature sector has conversations on a broad range…

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Hypersonix announces software partner to design planned launch vehicle

Hypersonix Launch Systems has announced it is using modelling software from Siemens to design its planned hypersonic launch vehicle, ahead of a minimum viable product of the Delta-Velos craft scheduled to be ready in 23 months.

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Adbri splashes $58m buying concrete plants

Building products group Adbri has bolstered its position in Queensland markets, spending $58 million to buy Zanow’s Concrete And Quarries. Zanow’s owns two concrete plants and sand, gravel and hard rock quarries in western Brisbane, and comes with approvals for further expansion. The purchase is being made at an EBITDA multiple of 8.5 times and…

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Fortescue to investigate renewable hydrogen, ammonia in Jordan

Fortescue Future Industries has continued its recent stream of green hydrogen announcements with the signing of a framework agreement with the Kingdom of Jordan to investigate large-scale production and export.

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Sea Electric goes greener than green

Electric truck drive train manufacturer SEA Electric has gone green in its own operations, installing rooftop solar power for its Melbourne assembly facility, with the installation of a 100kW solar power system (pictured). The company, which also assembles electric trucks here and in the United States from CKD kits, has installed an array of 250…

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Australia’s exports at risk – study

Australia’s economic resilience is at risk not so much because of a focus on China as a market, but because of the small number of commodities that we sell, according to a new study. The study, by UTS, Sydney Professors James Laurenceson and Roy Green, and Dr Phillip Toner of Sydney University compared Australia’s exports…

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Sacre Bleu! Defence’s new blow to France over Sydney dockyard.

The Department of Defence is canvassing views on the future management of the Captain Cook graving dock at the Garden Island Defence Precinct in Sydney – a move which could see French-owned Thales dumped as facility manager. Thales has had responsibility for ongoing operations and services of the dock and facilities at Garden Island Naval…

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Hadrian X robot to build 5,000 homes in Mexico

Robotic bricklaying company FBR has executed a term sheet with GP Vivienda to supply its Wall as a Service (WaaS) robotic construction system to build between 2,000 and 5,000 homes in Mexico. The company will also supply all associated retaining walls and other brick and block structures to a greenfield residential development sites. Construction will…

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Grants totalling $450,000 awarded to five WA medtech companies

Five Western Australian companies have been awarded a total of $450,000 in grants through the WA Medical Technology and Pharmaceutical (MTP) Manufacturing Voucher Program. The program aims to accelerate the development and manufacturing of medical technology and pharmaceutical products in the state. “We have an enormous opportunity to capitalise on home-grown medical technology to help…

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Employers increase use of VET system

With Australia exiting the Covid-19 pandemic and manufacturing growing, there is evidence manufacturers are increasing their reliance on the VET training system. A new report shows an increase in the proportion of employers using the VET system, increasing 5.7 percentage points from 2019 to 2021, with 56.6 per cent of Australian employers engaged with accredited…

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Are we planning to be a buyer or a maker – by Barry Hendy

Robotics and automation leader Barry Hendy is scratching his head about why Australia is investing in outdated, often overseas submarine and heavy rail technologies when technological change offers ways for Australian industry to leapfrog ahead, and become an exporter rather than an importer. We have long lamented the demise of the Australian car industry and…

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Pressure on Space Agency to show fees are competitive

By Joseph Brookes The Australian Space Agency is confident its processing time on launch and facility licences will come down after bringing on more staff and completing a full cycle of its regulatory framework. But the agency is still under pressure to justify the controversial launch fees it will charge local space companies for applying. At…

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Business sunk $35m into failed submarine deal

South Australian businesses spent at least $35 million in preparation for the now-abandoned construction of Attack-class submarines. Up to 350 small and medium SA businesses made investments and an estimated 175 SA companies had qualified as suppliers for the submarines according to the Australian Industry & Defence Network. Network head Brent Clark said each company…

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Hub grants open to Mackay, Gold Coast manufacturers

Round two of the Queensland government’s Manufacturing Hub Grants Program is open, but only to those in the Mackay and Gold Coast regions. Manufacturers can apply for matched funding worth between $10,000 and $200,000. Mackay MP Julieanne Gilbert said grants would help “to implement world-leading technologies, improve processes and practices, and increase workforce development and training.”…

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Sprintex announces orders for supercharger systems

Automotive engine and industrial supercharger manufacturer Sprintex has announced two major deals which increase its involvement with the hydrogen economy and the Chinese wastewater market. Perth-based Sprintex designs and manufactures superchargers for use in a wide variety of combustion engines, industrial and hydrogen fuel cell applications. Its equipment is used in production and processing, for…

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Australia delivers critical subsystem for VISTA telescope

A major sub-system destined for one of the most sophisticated visual and infra-red optical telescopes ever built has arrived in Germany from its Australian makers. The sub-system for the European Southern Observatory’s 4MOST instrument has arrived at the Leibniz Institute for Astrophysics Potsdam (AIP) ready for testing and installation on the four-metre VISTA telescope located…

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Contractor Relocation: Dos & Don’ts Of Working Away From Your Shop

ADVERTISING FEATURE By Renee Wainwright Working away from your shop can sometimes be more trouble than it’s worth: the expenses pile up, travel can be a hassle, and navigating reimbursement and tax deduction policies is stressful. If you don’t approach travel work strategically, you’ll end up with headaches and a hole in your wallet. However,…

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ClearVue solar PV glass to be made in US

Solar PV glazing technology company ClearVue Technologies will have its products manufactured in the United States under a five-year manufacturing and distribution agreement signed with a Philadelphia company. Commercial glazing manufacturer Graboyes Commercial Windows and Glass Solutions will be ClearVue’s sole distributor in the Pennsylvania and non-exclusive distributor throughout the US. ClearVue is commercialising clear,…

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World-first industrial IoT trial underway at Berri Estates

Industrial IoT company Movus and winemaker Accolade Wines have announced they are trialling Movus’s sensors at the South Australian Berri Estates site.

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Aurora Labs completes 3D printer development

Perth additive manufacturing group Aurora Labs (A3D) has announced the completion of its four-stage technology development pathway for its metal 3D printer. The Perth company declared the printer was now ‘commercial ready’, and would plug a gap in the market for a high productivity, mid-range, mid-cost machine. The printer had been independently validated and products…

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Manufacturing narrowly achieved growth in October: PMI

Growth in manufacturing slowed for the fourth straight month according to the Australian Industry Group’s Performance of Manufacturing Index results for October. The overall result of 50.4 was characterised as “treading water” by the Ai Group, and was down 0.8 points on September.A score of 50 in the PMI survey indicates no change, above…

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Fortescue to ship green hydrogen to the United Kingdom

Andrew Forrest has announced yet another step towards creating a global green hydrogen business – a deal to become the United Kingdom’s largest supplier of green, renewable hydrogen. Fortescue Future Industries has signed a multi-billion dollar agreement with with construction giant J C Bamford Excavators (JCB) and Ryze Hydrogen (Ryze) who will purchase 10 per…

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Frigate prototyping morphing into Catapult-style centre

By Peter Roberts The construction of nine Hunter-class frigates in Adelaide by BAE Systems Maritime is known for its pioneering work on digital manufacturing on a giant – $35 billion – scale. But it is less well known for its part in demonstrating and leading efforts for Australia to finally develop the type of government…

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Orbital UAV signs up new engine customer

Drone engine manufacturer Orbital UAV has signed up a new customer for its drone engines – US Navy supplier Skyways. Under a MOU, Perth-based Orbital will deliver pre-production, heavy fuel engines to Skyways for integration into next-generation cargo-carrying UAV’s for flight testing. Skyways has been selected by the US Navy’s Naval Air Warfare Center Aircraft…

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Manufacturing news briefs – stories you might have missed

RM Williams expands Australian manufacturing Iconic bootmaker RM Williams has increased local manufacturing since the takeover of the company by interests associated with Perth billionaire Andrew Forrest, according to media reports. The company told afr.com that about 70 per cent production by revenue is now manufactured onshore, up from about 60 per cent two and…

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Exiting Covid-19 brings ResMed 20% growth

Sleep apnoea treatment company ResMed had a bumper first quarter of FY22 announcing quarterly revenue up 20 per cent on the previous corresponding quarter and operating profit up 21 per cent. The company announced revenue for the quarter of US$904 million and net income of US$203.6 million. ResMed, founded in and with major operations in…

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New report shows “great potential” for shipping green hydrogen to Germany: Taylor

New research supports the possibility of Australia competitively exporting green hydrogen to Germany, even against nations that are geographically closer, according to the federal government.

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Fortescue buys energy and industry company, forms FFI Ionix

Fortescue Future Industries (FFI) has acquired the commercial assets of green hydrogen technology companies Xergy Inc and Xergy One Ltd to form FFI Ionix Inc. Based in the United States, FFI Ionix will commercialise hydrogen production technologies, including ion exchange membranes for water electrolysis, electrochemical compression, water transmission and fuel cells. FFI Chief Executive Officer,…

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Rio Tinto and BlueScope combine for low-carbon steelmaking

Miner Rio Tinto and steel producer BlueScope will work together to explore low-carbon steelmaking pathways using Pilbara iron ores, including the use of clean hydrogen to replace coking coal at BlueScope’s Port Kembla Steelworks. The two companies have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) to research and design low-emissions processes for the steel value chain,…

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‘Political trivia’: Coalition, department shrug off minister turnover

The steady rotation of ministers through the industry portfolio has caused only “minimal disruption” to the Industry department, officials fronting Senate Estimates have said, alongside a government minister who described the turnover as “political trivia”.

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Entech Electronics in long production run manufacturing breakthrough

Contract manufacturing group Entech Electronics and Brisbane diagnostic company Ellume have shown that when it comes to long production run electronics manufacturing, the old prejudice that Australian manufacturers have to offshore production to compete no longer holds true. Ellume, which automated its factory in Brisbane to make the company’s Covid-19 rapid antigen test with the…

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Conflux Technology raises $8.5m to expand

Metal additive manufacturer Conflux Technologies has raised $8.5 million to boost capabilities and buy new equipment in a series A investment round. Investors Germany’s AM ventures and Australia’s Acorn Capital backed Conflux which uses metal additive manufacturing (AM) to improve heat exchangers for automotive, aerospace, energy and defence use. AM Ventures provided initial seed funding…

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ZIMI ramps up IoT device sales

Consumer IoT device manufacturer Zimi Ltd has reported on its best-ever quarter to the end of September when it booked $521,000 in customer receipts for its devices. The company sells a cloud connected dimmable light switch, fan controller, garage door opener, and power points, all connected and operated via its Zimi app (pictured). The company…

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Hypersonix places order with Amiga, says additive engineering will disrupt cost of scramjets

Hydrogen-powered aerospace company Hypersonix Launch Systems has announced that it has placed an order with Amiga Engineering for a claimed world-first: a 3D printed, fixed-geometry scramjet engine.

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H2X selects Gippsland for hydrogen vehicle retrofits, aims to make its own vehicles in 2023

By Brent Balinski After initial plans to begin manufacturing vehicles at Port Kembla, NSW, hydrogen fuel cell hopeful H2X Global announced Gippsland as the home of its assembly operation on Wednesday. NSW hydrogen bus trials didn’t pan out as hoped and the company’s activities slowed in the state, H2X’s CEO and founder Brendan Norman explains.…

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$50bn decommissioning costs face oil and gas facilities

Australia’s ageing offshore oil and gas infrastructure faces $50 billion in costs with a high powered advisory committee established by the Centre of Decommissioning Australia (CODA) to address the challenges and maximise business opportunities involved. Six industry leaders have been appointed to an advisory panel including experts from ExxonMobil, Santos, Baker Hughes, IAS Group and…

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FlipFarm system boosts Coffin Bay oyster production

A novel oyster farming system developed by New Zealand manufacturer FlipFarm Systems has helped Coffin Bay oyster farmer Angel Seafood report record revenue in the September quarter. Reporting sales of Pacific oysters of $2.7 million CEO Zac Halman said stock levels had improved, mortality rates had fallen and sales were up with prices rising. This…

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EOS receives contract payments, cuts profit outlook

Defence, space and telecommunications manufacturer Electro Optic Systems has clawed back most of the customer payments for its biggest defence contract delayed due to Covid-19, but nonetheless been forced to slash profit outlook for the current financial year. The Canberra company cut guidance for underlying operating profit (EBIT) for FY22, excluding costs associated with its…

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Recycled plastic tram stop project awarded $300,000 Victorian government grant

A project to create modular tram stops out of recycled plastic involving Monash University, Advanced Circular Polymers, Integrated Recycling and Yarra Trams has been awarded a $300,000 grant from Sustainability Victoria. According to a statement from Monash — which is a long-time collaborator with Integrated Recycling on Duratrack railway sleepers, which incorporate recycled plastic —…

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Australian manufactures dodge China trade woes – mostly

Since Beijing moved to curtail Australian exports to China in May last year – not of course our coking coal and iron ore on which China depends – manufactured exports have mostly managed to avoid much of the pain. In the three categories – wine, meat and copper – that are manufactured or substantially transformed…

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The magical land of Oz – where net zero means doing nothing new

By Peter Roberts The federal government’s plan to achieve net zero emissions by 2050 has been officially launched. But my job in analysing the outcome of agonising negotiations within the Coalition – where perhaps a quarter to a third of MPs are open climate denialists – is not made easy because there is absolutely no…

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Manufacturing news briefs – stories you might have missed

Universal Biosensors executes US distribution deal Electrochemical test developer Universal Biosensors has signed another distribution deal in the United States for the company’s Sentia wine testing platform device. Vinmetrica (USA) will be non-exclusive distributor for a three year term for Sentia, which tests wine for sulphur dioxide, glucose, malic acid and other components of wine.…

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Construction begins at NT’s Finniss lithium mine

Initial construction work is underway at Core Lithium’s Finniss Lithium Project, which is expected to begin mining activity before the end of the year and which will see the Northern Territory capture more of the lithium ion battery value chain.

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$2.8 m awarded to 15 research partnerships including for biomaterials, minerals processing

Grants totalling $2.8 million and awarded through the Victorian government’s Study Melbourne Research Partnerships program will support 15 projects — including in biomaterials, mineral processing and energy storage — linking Victorian institutes with international partners.

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Monash University researchers part of promising new immunotherapeutic development

Monash University researchers are part of a team developing an antibiotic breakthrough against “superbugs” which has seen the university take out a patent on a new immunotherapeutic.

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Woodside to build $1bn Perth hydrogen plant

Energy and LNG export group Woodside has announced plans to spend an initial $1 billion constructing a hydrogen and ammonia production plant at Kwinana south of Perth with output destined for export. However – bucking the recent trend – the plant will not be totally ‘green’. Woodside said that its H2Perth project (pictured) would produce…

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GMG planning Graphene Aluminium Ion Battery manufacturing plant

Industrial automation group Robert Bosch Australia and Brisbane’s Graphene Manufacturing Group Ltd are negotiating terms over the design and delivery of a Graphene Aluminium Ion Battery (G+AI Battery) manufacturing plant. GMG and Bosch have signed a non-binding Letter of Intent, with the aim to agree on binding terms for the development of an automated battery…

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Micro-X to launch second generation mobile X-ray machine

Carbon fibre nanotube X-ray emitter manufacturer Micro-X is to launch a second generation – Gen 11 – mobile X-ray machine which features a new emitter and Australian-made power source. The company told investors that the quarter ended 30 September had marked significant expansion of its mobile X-ray team and the execution of $13 of government…

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Amaero International hit by project delays

Additive manufacturing technology company Amaero International has issued a generally positive quarterly report on business activities that notes delays affecting many of the company’s major projects. While good progress was reported on the company’s titanium powder project, Covid-19 supply chain issues have delayed the company’s developments with Fletcher Insulation and Rio Tinto. Amaero’s Middle Eastern…

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Jeffries spruiks Australia’s biggest biochar plant

Green waste recycling company Jeffries has taken to social media to spruik the company’s new Biochar plant, which is claimed to be the largest in the Southern Hemisphere. The South Australia plant (pictured) produces biochar from green waste collected from household kerbside bins and enough energy as a byproduct to power itself, Jeffries’ Buckland park…

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Building a marketing funnel that drives valuable action

A marketing funnel is commonly known as the process of converting a visitor or browser into a paying, loyal customer – easy, right? Not so much. The marketing funnel is a widely used and respected gold-standard inclusion in any thorough marketing strategy. It’s a sophisticated resource that requires persistent effort and close attention to achieve successful return on investment and profit. Let us explain.

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First Australian SEA Electric truck rolls out

The first Australian-made SEA 300-85 electric truck has rolled off the production line in south-eastern Melbourne. The truck – complete with the Australian developed and manufactured SEA Electric drive train – has been delivered to leading Western Australian mining company Mineral Resources. Rated to 8.5-tonnes, the truck is specified with a 138kWh battery driving a…

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Hunter frigates to get ‘ Capability Life Cycle Manager’

The federal government is to appoint a Capability Life Cycle Manager for the nine Hunter class frigates which are to be built at the Osborne Naval Shipyard in Adelaide. The role, which defence industry minister Melissa Price dubbed the sustainment ‘steward’ of the vessels, will manage an expected $5.1 billion in contracts through the service…

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Quickstep Aerospace Services expands at Tullamarine

Composites and aerospace manufacturer Quickstep is to invest $4 million expanding its Quickstep Aerospace Services maintenance business at Melbourne’s Tullamarine Airport. The company, which bought the maintenance, repair and overhaul (MRO) operation from Boeing Australia, is to invest $4 million with the support of the Victorian government. Sixty three full-time jobs, including 51 jobs in…

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K-Tig positioned in global markets, looks to disrupt Australian welding

By Peter Roberts In the past the model for Australian industrial technology companies was to first establish themselves in the local market before venturing overseas which ultimately represents 95 per cent of the potential market. Few Australian companies manage that jump without being taken over or swamped by international competition, partly because an initial technological…

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Manufacturing news briefs – stories you might have missed

Cochlear implant company Hemideina raises $10 million. A second Australian cochlear implant player Hemideina has emerged to compete with Cochlear Ltd, with the technology company closing a $10 million capital raising, managed by Henslow. Founded in 2017 by research scientists Dr Kate Lomas and Dr Elizabeth Williams, the company has designed a new type of…

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Definium Technologies expands to build Coates IoT devices

Invermay, Tasmania IoT device company Definium Technologies has completed shipment of its largest-ever device order to leading equipment hire company Coates. The order more than doubled staff numbers at the company and involved the installation and upgrading of surface mount technology and machinery, according to CEO Mike Cruse. Cruse said Coates engaged Definium to design…

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R&D tax incentive is ‘counterintuitive to innovation’

By Joseph Brookes The government’s research and development tax incentive is “counterintuitive” to innovation because it fails to focus work into Australia’s areas of strength and provides support only after the work is completed, according Advanced Manufacturing Growth Centre head Dr Jens Goennemann. Speaking at a Capability event this week organised by InnovationAus, Dr Goennemann…

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Uni Qld buys AML3D 3D printing system

The University of Queensland has purchased an Arcemy metal additive manufacturing system from AML3D. The $400,000 3D printing unit will be used across a range of existing and new initiatives at UQ. The Arcemy unit destined for Brisbane is a wire additive manufacturing (WAM) machine that can 3D print across a variety of metal alloys…

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Quickstep signs $1.5 m deal to manufacture for drone delivery company

Composites specialist Quickstep Holdings has announced a manufacturing partnership with UAV logistics company Swoop Aero and a stake in Swoop’s parent company, Kookaburra Aerospace. Quickstep said in a statement that a contract with an initial order value of $1.5 million would see them provide engineering and manufacturing services, as well as an initial production run…

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Whyalla GREENSTEEL plant could be Morrison’s Cop26 get out of jail card – exclusive

By Peter Roberts The refinancing of Sanjeev Gupta’s GFG Alliance two weeks ago has kick started work on plans for a massive, world-scale GREENSTEEL investment by the company which would transform its Australian operations centred on the Whyalla steelworks on upper Spencer Gulf in South Australia. @AuManufacturing understands negotiations have been underway in recent days…

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Four more businesses join maiden Australian commercial orbital launch

Four more startups have signed up to be on the first commercial orbital rocket launch from Australia, scheduled for next year, aboard Space Machines Company’s Optimus-1 craft.

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$7.1 billion for new trains the first Olympics-related “local procurement” announcement: Qld govt

The Queensland government has announced it will spend $7.1 billion on 65 new trains to be built near Maryborough, calling it the first “local procurement” announcement related to the 2032 Brisbane Olympics. The trains would be built at Torbanlea, north-west of Maryborough, and add 800 new jobs in the Wide Bay-Burnett region, according to the…

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SEA Electric’s massive order for 1,150 trucks

Electric truck and van drive train manufacturer SEA Electric has made a major breakthrough in the key United States market winning its biggest-ever order to supply 1,150 new trucks. The company, which make its SEA Electric drive trains in Melbourne and fits them to trucks in Australia and internationally, received confirmation of the order for…

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Cochlear rebound – sounds of success

By Peter Roberts Hearing implant manufacturer Cochlear has been the standout leader in Australian technology manufacturing for so long that sometimes it is easy to take it for granted as just another piece of the background of Australian life. But the way it has rebounded, with renewed vigour and direction, from twin hits from the…

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Manufacturing news briefs – stories you might have missed

Winery offers entire vintage virtually A Barossa Valley winery has become the first wine brand to offer parts of or its entire vintage for sale through a NFT digital marketplace. Torbreck and Powell & Son’s Dave Powell has put his 2021 vintage wines under his brand Neldner Road (winery, pictured) up for auction on Opensea,…

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Townsville engineering company’s expansion sees them relocate

Indigenous-owned Australian Engineering Professionals has moved into a bigger site at Townsville, increasing their ability to serve customers in mining equipment, defence and other sectors.

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Anti-science threatens society and why we need science more than ever – by Dr Katherine Woodthorpe

Dr Katherine Woodthorpe AO today gave the 2021 Ralph Slatyer Address on Science and Society, marking the 30th Anniversary of the Cooperative Research Centres Program which has been central to industry/science collaboration in Australia. After outlining the benefits of collaboration, she went on to decry the rise of anti-science, and the harm it is doing…

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Contractor announced for WA’s biggest battery

The Western Australian government has announced a $155 million contract has been signed with New Horizons Ahead (NHOA) Australia to deliver the state’s biggest lithium-ion battery. Perth business GenusPlus Group has also been appointed subcontractor for the 100 megawatt battery, to be built at the decommissioned Kwinana Power Station (pictured), which will have the capacity…

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Boeing boosts Australian industry additive manufacturing expertise

Boeing is building Australian industry knowledge about how to commercialise additive manufacturing technologies through a series of virtual events commencing on 21 October. Spurred by feedback from a series last year, the two-hour webinars will focus on certification, qualification, innovation, and opportunities for growth and collaboration in the additive manufacturing field. Boeing Additive Manufacturing vice…

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Envirostream gains approval for battery recycling plant

Lithium ion battery metals manufacturing and recycling company Lithium Australia has announced that its Envirostream Australia subsidiary has received planning approval from Hume City Council for the construction of a lithium ion battery recycling facility in Campbellfield, Victoria. The permit allows for a change in land use for the site in Berwick Road to house…

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Hazer demo delayed, plans commercial facilities

Perth’s Hazer Group has revealed that construction of its $16.7 million demonstration plant to produce hydrogen from biogas in Perth has been delayed due to fabrication and materials issues. However the company, which is commercialising a technology to produce fuel cell grade hydrogen at the Western Australian Water Board’s Woodman Point wastewater treatment plant at…

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Australia’s climate policies could push NSW into a debt spiral – report

Australia’s failure to commit to net zero targets or any credible climate policy is a growing economic threat to New South Wales and other states, argues a new report by the Institute of Energy Economics and Financial Analysis (IEEFA). The Reserve Bank of Australia’s deputy governor Guy Debelle last week urged Australia to begin planning…

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Alexium says upward sales trend to continue

Chemistry technology company Alexium International believes FY22 is a pivotal year for the company with the technical and commercial developments instituted by new management since 2018 now bearing fruit. Releasing the company activities report for the quarter ended 30 September CEO Dr Bob Brookins said sales reached US$2.6 million in the quarter, an 80 per…

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Orbital to raise cash to fund engine development

Perth unmanned aerial vehicle engine manufacturer Orbital UAV is to raise $6.5 million from investors to support the development of new engines for global drone manufacturers. The company yesterday announced it would upgrade the engines on United States-based Textron Systems’ existing fleet of Aerosonde tactical UAV’s, with the company also developing completely new engines for…

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Apprentice and trainee numbers grow, completions fall

The most recent data on apprentice and trainee training activity show a strong increase in commencements in the March quarter 2021, an increase which is in line with the growth in manufacturing activity and employment reported elsewhere. The figures, from the National Centre for Vocational Education Research (NCVER) show that compared with the March quarter…

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Cement and concrete sector releases report on decarbonisation by 2050

A report commissioned by the cement and concrete industry and released on Tuesday concludes that reaching net zero emissions by 2050 for the $15 billion sector is possible, though will require significant investment through technology development and market pull.

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VSPC produces lithium ion battery anode powders

Lithium ion battery cathode manufacturer VSPC today announced it had begun production of commercial-quality lithium titanium oxide (LTO) battery anode powders. The company, which previously manufactured lithium ferro phosphate (LFP) and lithium manganese ferro phosphate (LMFP) cathode powders, has produced the anode materials at its electro-chemistry laboratory and pilot production facility in Brisbane (pictured). VSPC,…

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‘Buy Australian Now’ launched to support makers

A new ‘Buy Australian Now’ campaign was launched today by the Australian Made Campaign, the licensor of the green and gold Australian kangaroo logo of origin. According to Australian Made Chief Executive, Ben Lazzaro, this campaign builds on those deployed by the organisation over the past 12 months with the message never more resonant with…

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Leidos Australia and Terra15 to develop surveillance sensors

US defence technology company Leidos Australia and Perth’s Terra15 will together develop an easily deployable underwater sensor that will strengthen Australia’s maritime security. The partners and the University of Melbourne’s School of Engineering have received a $1.6 million Defence Innovation Hub contract to develop the technology. Announcing the grant defence industry minister Melissa Price said…

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‘Don’t stop’ at 2050 net zero: Andrew Liveris

By Joseph Brookes Net zero emissions by 2050 is the minimum target Australia needs to improve its economy, according to Andrew Liveris, who has urged the federal government to commit to the long-term target and a 2030 mark as soon as possible. Liveris, a former chief executive of Dow Chemical, helped architect the $1.5 billion…

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AML3D and Deakin to develop 3D print alloys

Wire additive manufacturing (WAM) technology group AML3D and Deakin University are to jointly develop optimised technology for high strength alloys, such as wire feedstock for 3D printing and welding markets. Following earlier success in a welding wire composition project with support from IMCRC, the company and Deakin’s Institute for Frontier Materials (IFM) will focus on…

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Orbital to upgrade Textron Systems drone engines

Unmanned Aerial Vehicle engine manufacturer Orbital UAV is to upgrade the engines on United States-based Textron Systems’ existing fleet of tactical UAV’s which include the Shadow, Aerosonde and Aerosonde HQ drones. The contract will see the development of upgrades of the UAV engines of the Aerosonde program, targeting increased take-off power and improved real-timed engine…

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Aristocrat makes $5bn play in online gambling

Pokie machine manufacturer and online game developer Aristocrat Leisure is making a massive $5 billion play to expand its booming online gambling businesses. The Sydney company is to raise $1.3 billion in new capital to acquire leading online gambling software and content supplier Playtech for $5 billion. The move vastly accelerates its global growth strategy…

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Lark Distilling to spend $40m expanding whisky production

Tasmania’s Lark Distilling Co. is to buy Pontville Distillery and Estate for $40 million, construct a new 1 million litre distillery and accelerate its single malt whisky export operations. The company is raising $53 million through a fully underwritten share placement of $46.5 million and a further non-underwritten conditional placement of $6.4 million. It will…

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Ampcontrol, Steber win Hunter Manufacturing Awards

Ampcontrol has been awarded twice for ‘Excellence in Product Design’ and ‘Collaboration Partnership’ at the 2021 Hunter Manufacturing Awards. The Boundary Power Solar Cube (main picture), a rapidly deployable Stand-Alone Power System (SAPS) received the accolade for Excellence in Product Design. And Ampcontrol’s collaboration with Steber International and The University of Newcastle to develop a…

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Nuclear submarines look more and more like a mirage

Analysis by Peter Roberts The more time passes since the Prime Minister’s sudden cancelling of our order for French submarines in favour of US or British nuclear ones, the more obvious it is that Australia will never actually acquire them. Not only that, the more time passes the more obvious it is that even if…

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Manufacturing news briefs – the Polly Waffle is coming soon

2022 is going to be the year of Polly Waffle Chocolate manufacturer Robern Menz is to reintroduce the Polly Waffle chocolate bar to the market in 2022, following on from their success with the relaunching of the Violet Crumble honeycomb bar. Backed by a $1 million Modernising Manufacturing grant, the Adelaide company is spending $5.2…

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Penfolds shrugs off China woes

Leading prestige winemaker Treasury Wine Estates has all but moved on from the disruptions caused to its businesses by Covid-19 and punitive Chinese trade attacks against Australia. At the company’s annual general meeting this morning chairman Paul Rayner and CEO Tim Ford paid more attention to progress achieved in their new strategy of premiumisation of…

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CRC Association to host science and business leaders at virtual event next week

The Cooperative Research Centres Association will host its Collaborate Innovate 2021 Conference at Parliament House, Canberra next week, examining collaborative innovation and the impact of “covid, climate change, digital transformation and geo-economic volatility.”

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Titomic raises $9 m to support commercialisation of TKF

Large-scale additive manufacturing business Titomic has raised $9 million and intends to raise a further $2 million, using the funding to support commercialisation via joint ventures, investing in offshore sales and facilities, and working capital.

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Olympic Dam goes for green power

BHP is planning to enter into renewable energy supply arrangements to enable the giant Olympic Dam copper, gold and uranium mine in South Australia to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions to zero for 50 per cent of its electricity consumption by 2025. Energy will be supplied by clean energy supplier Iberdrola Australia, including from the…

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Austin Engineering strengthens North America operations

A new partnership between mining equipment manufacturer Austin Engineering and a Mexican manufacturer is set to strengthen the company’s market position in the United States and central and northern South American markets. The partnership, part of a new ‘hub-and-spoke’ market strategy adopted by Austin after a strategic review, will see Mexico’s Melter manufacture Austin heavy-haul…

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How the industry department agencies and programs will be split up

By Denham Sadler Defence Industry Minister Melissa Price will take control of the CSIRO and the Australian Space Agency while Energy Minister Angus Taylor will oversee the $1.3 billion Modern Manufacturing Initiative under their new roles following this month’s reshuffle. Last week, Prime Minister Scott Morrison announced that the position of Minister for Industry, Science and…

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More ambitious Orica aims for net zero – video

Fertiliser, chemicals and explosives group Orica today announced its ambition to achieve net zero emissions by 2050, eclipsing its previously announced medium-term target to reduce scope 1 and 2 operational emissions by at least 40 per cent by 2030. The new ambition covers the company’s scope 1 and 2 greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and its…

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CSL to complete contracted manufacture of AstraZeneca vaccines in 2022

CSL has confirmed it will continue manufacturing AstraZeneca’s Covid-19 vaccine into next year, following reports it would cease production early due to local preferences for the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines. The full contract with the federal government to produce approximately 50 million doses of Vaxzevria will be met, with any unused doses donated to countries…

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Manufacturing news briefs – stories you might have missed

Bubs booms on China infant formula sales Infant formula and children’s nutrition product manufacturer Bubs Australia has gross revenue of $18.5 million for the first quarter of FY22, nearly double the prior year and up 45 per cent on the previous quarter. Bubs achieved market share gains of 35 per cent for Bubs Infant Formula…

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Seeley wins major meat works air con project

Australia’s largest air-conditioning manufacturer, Seeley International, will utilise its unique indirect evaporative cooling products to provide the HVAC system for Thomas Foods International’s new Murray Bridge meat-processing facility in South Australia which will replace one destroyed by fire. Seeley will provide its Climate Wizard indirect evaporative cooling systems (IEC, below) for the project which are…

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Gilmour: We can take Australian made rover to moon

The Australian-made rover expected to land on the moon later this decade should get there on an Australian-made rocket, according to a local space company which says it could build the spacecraft and help inspire the next generation of Australian aeronautical engineers.

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EOS to launch first four optical relay satellites

Space, communications and defence systems manufacturer Electro Optic Systems has selected a manufacturer to produce the first four of a planned global system of linked optical relay communications satellites. The Canberra company’s US subsidiary, SpaceLink Corporation has selected leading satellite manufacturer OHB Systems AG as the preferred tenderer for the initial constellation of four high…

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Monash University and IDT to enter mRNA manufacturing

IDT Australia will go ahead with manufacturing an mRNA vaccine developed by Monash University as the long awaited technology finally reaches Australian shores. The basic technology behind the Pfizer and Moderna Covid-19 vaccines will be used by the Melbourne pharmaceutical manufacturer to make a vaccine candidate developed by the university’s Institute of Pharmaceutical Sciences (MIPS).…

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CleanSpace HALO mask snares Design Award

CleanSpace Technology’s healthcare respirator, CleanSpace HALO, has received a prestigious Good Design Award Winner Accolade in the Product Design category in recognition of outstanding design and innovation. The Good Design Awards Jury said of the HALO: “An important innovation in the current climate, the design’s adaptability to full and half face mask is a clever…

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WA stumps up $103m to match JobTrainer funds

The Western Australian Government is to pump $103.5 million into local training, announcing it would match the federal government’s second round of JobTrainer funding. JobTrainer, first announced in July 2020, funds free or low-fee training for job seekers and young people, including school leavers, to upskill or reskill in areas of identified skills need. With…

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Australia to develop small Moon rover – video

The Australian Space Agency and NASA have agreed that a consortium of Australian businesses and researchers will build a small rover that could be taken to the Moon and operate on the lunar surface within five years. The agreement signed under NASA’s Artemis program will further support human and robotic lunar operations for both countries.…

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Gold Coast company exports race simulators

Professional drivers and elite race teams are turning to simulators to stay on track and in peak racing condition as Covid continues to disrupt global motorsports events from Formula One grand prix to the latest Supercar event cancellations at Phillip Island and the 2021 GC500. So strong is the demand for simulators that it is…

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Kogan Creek demo hydrogen plant to begin operations in 2023: Queensland government

The Queensland government has announced a demonstration green hydrogen plant will be built at CS Energy’s Kogan Creek Power Station, with a capacity of 50,000 kilograms annually and coming online in 2023.

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What is Australian manufacturing – by Tim McLean

With renewed focus on growing the manufacturing sector, Tim McLean takes a hard look at what constitutes Australian manufacturing and the realities of its recent track record. His conclusions include that we should focus effort on where we can compete. The past three months have provided a welcome focus on Australian manufacturing. However, as I…

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RedEarth battery manufacturing raises $12 million

Solar battery system manufacturer RedEarth Energy Storage has raised $12 million from investors in preparation for a stock exchange listing planned for next year. The capital raising for the Brisbane company was led by Ord Minnett Private Capital, Perennial Value and Thorney Investments and will be used for R&D and to boost manufacturing capacity. RedEarth…

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Fortescue and Incitec Pivot study green ammonia production

Global renewable energy company Fortescue Future Industries (FFI) has announced yet another green business venture – a joint feasibility study with fertiliser and explosives manufacturer Incitec Pivot for the conversion of ammonia production to utilise green hydrogen. The study, announced after a week in which FFI revealed plans for a $1 billion green equipment manufacturing…

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Debt restructured for high performing Whyalla steelworks

The GFG Alliance has agreed to a debt restructuring for Liberty Primary Metals Australia with Credit Suisse Asset Management, ending uncertainty over the future of the Whyalla steelworks. The company said Whyalla had ‘registered record-breaking performances following its operational efficiency drive, continuous improvement initiatives and favourable market conditions underpinned by strong investment in infrastructure.’ LPMA’s…

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New Wine Australia CEO named

Dr Martin Cole has been named the incoming CEO of Wine Australia, beginning on November 15, in a statement from federal agriculture minister David Littleproud “Under Dr Cole’s leadership, Wine Australia will continue to deliver on its mission to support a competitive wine sector, growing domestic and international markets and protecting the reputation of Australian wine,”…

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Fortescue to build ‘$1bn’ green equipment manufacturing plant

Andrew Forrest’s Fortescue Future Industries is to construct the world’s largest electrolyser, renewable industry and equipment factory at Gladstone, Queensland FFI, which only last week announced it was designing a 1Gw solar PV factory to be sited in Australia, made the announcement of the first stage on Sunday. FFI said total investment could add up…

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Applied EV autonomous vehicle shows the futility of Australia’s car plans

By Peter Roberts For several decades Australia has a series of ‘car plans’ that succeeded in reducing model proliferation in what was once a highly protected industry, creating a sector which was technologically advanced and, with the subsidy of the plan, profitable for the surviving companies Ford GM and Totoya. It made an important contribution…

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Labor’s 10 point Buy Australian plan

Opposition leader Anthony Albanese outlined a 10 point Buy Australian vision at a NSW Labor conference on the weekend – in this excerpt from his speech, he outlines his plan.

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Manufacturing news briefs – stories you might have missed

Namoi Cotton grows Northern Australia footprint Namoi Cotton plans to build and operate a new cotton gin with KCC Kimberley Cotton Company to service the Ord River Irrigation Area in Western Australia. The two companies have been developing plans for the gin since 2020, according to Namoi CEO John Stevenson, and was part of the…

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Australian Business Growth Fund makes first investment

Battery and electric vehicle technology company 3ME technology has been revealed as the first investment of the Australian Business Growth Fund, a joint partnership between the federal government and Australia’s major financial institutions. Based in the Hunter region, 3ME Technology will receive $15 million from the fund, which was established in 2020 and provided an…

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Going Dutch – Fortescue planning Australian solar PV factory

Andrew Forrest’s Fortescue Future Industries has purchased a Dutch green hydrogen and solar PV business and announced a major expansion including plans to build a solar PV manufacturing plant in Australia. FFI has purchased a 60 per cent stake in Dutch-based High yield Energy Technologies (HyET) Group and provided the majority share of financing for…

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New hope for kidney patients with Australian dialysis device

Sydney-based start-up Ellen Medical Devices plans to utilise a federal commercialisation grant to manufacture a revolutionary new dialysis machine costing a fraction of traditional machines to build and just a few dollars a day to run. Such a machine would be a literal lifesaver for the millions around the world who are unable to afford…

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Boxer introduced with live fire exercises

The army has successfully completed two Boxer turret conversion courses in Queensland as it begins introducing the Boxer Combat Reconnaissance Vehicle to service. Live fire exercises at the Townsville Field Training Area, Queensland have qualified 35 armoured cavalry crew on new digital sensors, next generation thermal sights and mission systems in the Boxer’s turret. The…

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WA export winners for this year announced

The annual Export Awards have been celebrated in Western Australia, a state that contributes just over half of the country’s merchandise exports.

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Bordertown’s bioenergy breakthrough

By Gabrielle Duykers Cereal oat supplier Blue Lake Milling completed construction of its $8.1 million biogas plant in Bordertown last week. Commercial projects manager Jeremy Neale said the plant would generate enough bioenergy to power both the plant and nearby homes. “Two-thirds of it will go to the mill, and the remaining third will be…

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Calix low-carbon cement costs lowest of competing technologies

By Peter Roberts A European Union funded consortium has released the final project report that the entire construction sector is waiting for – official confirmation that the technology developed by Australian company Calix offers the cheapest way yet discovered to de-carbonise the cement industry. Cement, along with steel, are seen as the most vital yet…

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Green steel, e-motorcycle manufacturers among winners of AMGC grants totalling $6.1 million

Tranche 4 and 5 of Advanced Manufacturing Growth Centre Commercialisation Fund grants have been announced, with $6.1 million awarded to ten companies.

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BioCina takes over Pfizer site, will add mRNA vaccine capabilities

Adelaide pharmaceutical group BioCina has announced the final transfer to it of ownership of the microbial-based pharmaceutical manufacturing facility formally operated by Hospira Adelaide, an affiliate of Pfizer Inc. The former-Pfizer site in Adelaide will now be operated by the company as a contract development and biologics manufacturing organization (CDMO) specialising in process development and…

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Manufacturing news briefs – stories you might have missed

Universal Biosensors appoints French distributor Electrochemical test developer Universal Biosensors has signed Vivelys SAS (France), part of the Oeneo Group, to be its French distributor for the company’s Sentia wine testing platform device. Vivelys will be non-exclusive distributor for a three year term for Sentia, which tests wine for sulphur dioxide, glucose, malic acid and…

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Austal contracted to build first steel vessels for US Navy

Perth international shipbuilder Austal has made a major breakthrough, winning its first contracts to build steel ships for the US Navy. Austal USA has won a $198.5 million contract to construct two new Navajo class Towing, Salvage and Rescue Ship (T-ATS, pictured) for the USN at its shipyard in Mobile Alabama. The contract establishes options…

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Hadrian X robot to build multi-unit dwellings

Perth construction robotics company FBR has announced its has won a $500,000 contract for its first multi-home construction project as part of its Wall as a Service (WaaS) construction system. The Hadrian X bricklaying robot will construct eight two-storey townhouses at a development site in St James, Perth, with the robot constructing the slab, footings,…

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Hypersonix to develop reusable hypersonic space vehicle

Aerospace engineering company Hypersonix Launch Systems has teamed up with the University of Southern Queensland to create a re-usable hypersonic UAV (unmanned aerial vehicle) to be named Delta Velos. The launch vehicle is to be a technology demonstrator for key aspects of a re-usable small satellite launch system to support Hypersonix first launch due in…

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Brabham Automotive launches second racing car

Australian supercar manufacturer Brabham Automotive is continuing to kick goals internationally with its BT62 vehicle securing the GTO class title in the British GT Cup and its latest model, the BT63 GT2 Concept (pictured) debuting at the Circuit Paul Ricard, in France. The company is manufacturing 100 BT62’s in a factory in northern Adelaide with…

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Clean hydrogen from biomass for Bundaberg

A multimillion-dollar renewable energy venture is to produce green hydrogen and ammonia for export and domestic use in Bundaberg, Queensland, adding to a growing network of regional production sites. A joint venture between Clean Holdings Pty Ltd and Singapore based CAC-H2 Pte Ltd plans long term investment in excess of $400 million in Bundaberg for…

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Geofabrics acquires Plascorp

Civil engineering supplier Geofabrics Australasia has acquired industrial products business Plascorp Holdings, creating what Geofabrics says is one of the largest private manufacturers and sellers of highly engineered industrial products in Australia and New Zealand.

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Mixed reception as PM splits Industry responsibilities

By James Riley The Prime Minister’s decision to split responsibility for Christian Porter’s former Industry, Science and Technology portfolio between two existing cabinet ministers has been given a broadly positive reception from the industry. The caveat, as always with this portfolio in recent years, is the generally expressed desire for greater stability within Industry. And there…

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Stryker toestablish Queensland medical technology innovation centre

A partnership between the Innovative Manufacturing Cooperative Research Centre, research institutions, the Queensland government and global medtech firm Stryker will establish a new medical technology innovation centre in Queensland. The new R&D facility grew from work carried out in an $18 million Australian medtech manufacturing research project that is set to transform the way physicians…

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Another WA battery metals venture moves forward

A second Western Australian battery metals project in a matter of days has moved forward with the completion of a joint venture agreement between Alcoa Australia and FYI Resources to jointly develop a high purity aluminium project in the state. Only last week BHP Nickel West entered the battery supply chain for electric vehicles, opening…

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Another ministerial reshuffle confirms our seventh industry minister

The merry go round of ministers in the industry portfolio continues with the confirmation of Minister for Energy and Emissions Reduction Angus Taylor as replacement for disgraced former minister Christian Porter. Taylor had been in the acting role since Porter resigned over his acceptance of an anonymous donation said to be of $1 million, with…

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Australian Manufacturing Forum passes 9,000 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 9,023 members on the long weekend. The Forum has grown steadily since its founding in 2013, with the the group reaching 7,000 members in January…

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Manufacturing news briefs – stories you might have missed

Aurora Labs delivers maritime 3D print parts Additive manufacturing technology group Aurora Labs (A3D) has completed and delivered an order of evaluation parts to BAE Systems Australia Maritime Australia produced on its high-power RMP-1Beta porotype additive manufacturing printer. The parts for the naval shipbuilding group were delivered with a comprehensive print report and were analysed…

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BHP Nickel West opens Australia’s first nickel sulphate plant

BHP Nickel West has opened Australia’s first nickel sulphate refinery, adding value to the company’s metals business and entering the battery supply chain for electric vehicles. The nickel sulphate plant has been operating since September at its Kwinana refinery and has the potential to exceed 100,000 tonnes of nickel sulphate per year at 99.99 per…

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Manufacturing narrowly achieves a year of month-on-month growth in PMI

Manufacturing narrowly achieved its 12th straight month of growth in September, according to the Australian Industry Group’s Performance of Manufacturing Index, with the industry hopeful it will see an uplift after pandemic-related restrictions ease.

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UGL wins $297 million locomotive contract

UGL has been awarded a contract to design, manufacture and supply new fuel-efficient diesel electric locomotives for long standing client Pacific National The company, part of the CIMIC engineering group, will earn $297 million over seven years, reinforcing its position as the country’s only freight locomotive manufacturer. It will build the C44 Evolution locomotive in…

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IDT approved to manufacture mRNA vaccines

Melbourne drug development and manufacturing company IDT Australia has received extensions to its manufacturing licence from the Therapeutic Goods Administration effectively completing its program to bring the company’s sterile manufacturing facility into a state of readiness to manufacture Covid-19 mRNA technology vaccines. The new approvals allow the company to manufacture sterile injection and sterile solution…

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Lucas Heights will get new $30 million nuclear medicine factory, says federal government

The federal government has announced a $30 million project to design a new radiopharmaceutical manufacturing facility at Lucas Heights in NSW, where 80 per cent of the country’s nuclear medicine needs are currently produced.

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Micro-X – the genuinely world leading Australian technology

By Peter Roberts The phrase world-leading is bandied round often to describe Australian technology taking on global markets – but in the case of X-ray machine manufacturer Micro-X the phrase is actually true. The company, which has just won two US Department of Homeland Security contracts to design and in one case manufacture a prototype…

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Manufacturing news briefs – stories you might have missed

State of the art bionic device prototyping centre opens in Melbourne Neo-Bionica, a Bionics Institute and the University of Melbourne joint venture lab, was officially opened this week by Victorian innovation minister Jaala Pulford. Located at St Vincent’s, the new facility aims to give researchers and engineers the tools to create medical-grade devices rather than…

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Micro-X signs two US Department of Homeland Security contracts

Cold cathode X-ray machine manufacturer Micro-X has signed two technology contracts with the US Department of Homeland Security to develop its small, lightweight, low power consumption X-ray emitter for passenger screening at airports. The two contracts, worth a total of $5.5 million (US$4 million), will see the company design and manufacture a prototype miniature CT…

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Research looks at additive manufacturing opportunity for Australian agriculture

A new report has found agricultural industries could benefit by adopting 3D printing, though there are limitations such as a lack of well-known examples and concerns about the strength and durability of printed parts.Additive manufacturing opportunities for Australia’s agriculture, fisheries and forestry sectors was released by AgriFutures Australia on Wednesday. It found that on-demand…

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Going global but keeping it local- by Bill Gillespie

SEA Electric developed and manufactures it electric truck drive trains in Melbourne, assembling e-trucks in Dandenong. But now the company has gone global with the major focus in bigger markets such as the US, how does it keep the business local? – Bill Gillespie explains It’s an exciting time to be involved in the zero-emissions…

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Defence to use Myriota’s IoT data network

The defence department will utilise Myriota’s nanosatellite and IoT communications networks to retrieve data from hundreds of defence sites globally under a $5.5 million defence innovation contract. The Defence Innovation Hub contract will see the Adelaide company expand its cutting-edge satellite communications network and provide defence with an alternative global, space-enabled communications network. The contract…

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LI-S battery producer booms on ASX listing

Advanced lithium sulphur battery developer Li-S Energy debuted on the stock market yesterday immediately more than doubling in value as investors sought the promising alternative to lithium ion battery technology. Li-S, which is commercialising the batteries developed at Deakin University’s Institute for Frontier Materials, ended the day’s trading up 174.1 per cent or $1.48 to…

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New $4 million food and pharma centre opens at Parkville Biomedical Precinct

The $4 million Faster, Smarter Pharma and Food Manufacturing Project was launched at Parkville on Tuesday, aimed at stimulating innovation in the pharmaceutical and food manufacturing sectors.

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Manufacturers resilient, hopeful about vaccination “ticket out of lockdown,” but still suffering supply shortages

September quarter results of a long-running industrial survey have pointed to manufacturers facing the worst labour shortages in 21 years among other difficulties, but optimistic the economy will rebound as vaccination levels increase.

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Quad commitment on semiconductor supply chain, tech principles

By Joseph Brookes The Australian government has agreed to map the supply chains of critical technologies and materials, including semiconductors, as part of an agreement with fellow Quad nations on technology development, governance and use. 5G, artificial intelligence, cybersecurity and space access were also highlighted as areas of cooperation in the first in-person meeting by leaders…

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Volvo launches new BZL electric bus chassis

Volvo has launched its new Volvo BZL Electric chassis fitted with an Australian made Volgren Optimus body and tailored to meet demanding Australian operating conditions and asset life expectancy. At a virtual global launch event mirrored at the company’s Brisbane headquarters this morning, Volvo Bus Australia (VBA) displayed one of two locally made e-busses destined…

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Silex raises $40m for uranium, silicon enrichment technology

Technology developer Silex Systems has raised $33 million from investors and launched a share purchase plan to raise a further $7 million to progress its uranium enrichment pilot plant and develop manufacturing technology for zero-spin silicon likely to be used in making quantum computing chips. The company raised the funds from domestic, international and uranium…

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Townsville battery materials plant given “prescribed project” status

A project that would process 1.5 million tonnes of ore into battery materials each year at Townsville has been given “prescribed project” status by the Queensland government. The Townsville Energy Chemicals Hub (TECH) proposed by Queensland Pacific Metals (QPM) would be 40 kilometres south of the city, at the Lansdown Eco-Industrial Precinct, and convert ore…

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Sun Cable puts the lie to Coalition’s coal and gas jobs claims

By Peter Roberts The Coalition has won federal elections on the basis that coal jobs must be protected and gas jobs developed in any switch to renewable energy. And what was going to replace our fossil fuel energy exports, a fear Labor also exploited in office developing not one, but three LNG gas export plants…

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Manufacturing news briefs – stories you might have missed

ARENA to support regional renewable microgrids A new $50 million Australian Renewable Energy Agency fund will support the deployment of microgrids and renewable energy across regional Australia. First announced in the 2020-21 federal budget, the Regional Australia Microgrid Pilots Program (RAMPP) will fund pilot projects that demonstrate the potential for microgrids to benefit regional and…

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Cochlear faces another patent battle

Hearing implant manufacturer Cochlear has been informed of a second patent infringement complaint in the United States against the company and its use of technology. The University of Pittsburgh filed a complaint in the US District Court for the western district, Waco division against Cochlear and two US subsidiaries. It covers a patent filed in…

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Manufacturing employment back over 1 million for first time since 2009: ABS

The resilience of the manufacturing industry seen through 11 months of positive PMI results has translated into jobs growth, with employment higher now than at the beginning of the pandemic. Acting federal industry minister Angus Taylor said on Thursday that though COVID-19 restrictions were presenting difficulties, a strong result for the quarter had delivered 91,000…

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Research and industry sweet spot at Carbon Revolution – video

Carbon Revolution is a poster boy of the global automotive industry with its ability to manufacture a single-piece carbon fibre composite road wheel for performance vehicles made by the likes of Renault, Ferrari and Ford. But it is also showing the benefits of collaboration between industry and cutting edge public sector research and facilitation –…

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Micro-X signs $8m stroke detection device contract

Carbon nanotube X-ray technology company Micro-X has signed an $8 million contract with the Australian Stroke Alliance to develop a lightweight CT scanner for pre-hospital stroke diagnosis in air and land ambulances. The grant, part of $40 million funding by the federal government’s Medical Research Future Fund, aims to develop a scanner small and affordable…

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Brickworks record year driven by diversification

Building products, property and investment group Brickworks achieved a record net profit after tax in FY21 driven by a 38 per cent rise in its investment in WHSP, property development and stronger building products performance in Australia. Underlying NPAT from continuing operations was up 95 per cent to $285 million and statutory profit down 20…

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Xefco, PPK announce antibacterial facemask JV

ASX-listed PPK Group has announced a joint venture with textile technology startup Xefco which will manufacture facemasks with antibacterial and antiviral properties.

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Manufacturing news briefs – stories you might have missed

Strategic Elements creates battery that charges itself from air Investment group Strategic Elements has succeeded in producing a milliamp of electrical current from a battery utilising only the humidity in the air. The company’s prototype battery ink cells (pictured) produced 100mAh of electric charge when run over three days, the company reported. Strategic Elements successfully…

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TiSpace abandons SA rocket launch attempt

Taiwanese rocket manufacturer TiSpace has abandoned efforts to launch its 10-metre Hapith I rocket from the Whalers Way Orbital Launch Complex near Port Lincoln in South Australia. Launch site operator Southern Launch went on social media to reveal that inspections following a fire on the launch pad last week had led to the decision not…

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Regional business lobby welcomes Wellcamp Wingman coup

Business group the Toowoomba and Surat Basin Enterprise called Wednesday morning’s news that Boeing would establish a new factory at Wellcamp Airport a “game changer” that will bring significant opportunities to the city.

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Booster propellant and electronics manufacturing among projects supported through $3 million in Moon to Mars grants

A further $3 million in grants under the Supply Chain Capability part of the federal Moon to Mars initiative have been announced, supporting projects by Gilmour Space Technologies, Crystalaid Manufacture, Black Sky Aerospace, and Inovor Technologies. “Space and manufacturing go hand-in-hand and these projects are leveraging that relationship to drive economic growth and create jobs,”…

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UNSW Sydney gets $1 m nuclear engineering boost

The University of New South Wales nuclear engineering course has received a $1 million donation through the Sir William Tyree Foundation, which will support new master’s-level scholarships and industry engagement. UNSW’s is the country’s only nuclear engineering program and was internationally recognised, said the university, which is one of only 20 universities invited to be…

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DGL acquires Aquapac for $8 m

Australian and New Zealand-listed chemical supply chain management company DGL Group has announced the acquisition of Aquapac for $8 million, with $2 million of this in shares. Aquapac is a specialty water treatment chemicals business with clients in mining, local government and industry on the east coast, and manufacturing in NSW and at Townsville, Queensland.…

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Pawsey Supercomputing boost – video

Perth’s Pawsey Supercomputing Centre has released a timelapse video (below)showing the increase in firepower of Australia’s national digital and data research infrastructure. Phase 1 of a $70 million spend to improve data availability, data transfer speed, and overall storage capacity, the video shows the installation of SetonixHPC with computational power comparable to 150,000 PCs working…

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Mars Wrigley invests $30 million onshoring to Ballarat factory

Not content with making only five billion M&M’S and one million PODS confectionery a year, food manufacturer Mars Wrigley has announced a $30 million investment in its Ballarat plant. The investment in 2021/22 will go towards the continued expansion of Mars Wrigley’s local chocolate making capabilities by allowing the manufacturer to introduce more variants to…

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How a Brisbane autonomous robot company commercialised its tech

By Joseph Brookes Autonomous robots being used today in dangerous precision blasting work in Chile started in an engineer’s backyard in Brisbane six years ago. But getting to this point – an Australian startup exporting advanced technology – required a level of government support and leadership the founder sayid has disappeared in recent years. In…

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Grant applications open for NT manufacturers under $7.5 million Advanced Manufacturing Ecosystem Fund

Manufacturers in the Northern Territory have been invited to apply for grants valued between $25,000 and $500,000 under a new program that hopes to turn the territory from the nation’s “comeback capital” to its “innovation capital.”

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Aussie manufacturers dudded by Australia’s submarine flip flop

Canberra’s submarine flip flop has left industry and key manufacturers high and dry with questions raised about the extent of Australian content in an imported nuclear submarine, and manufacturers with existing contracts with the French Naval Group facing an uncertain future. The former head of Australian Submarine Corporation, which built the Collins submarines, Hans Ohff…

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Outdoor furniture maker opens new Bundaberg factory

Outdoor recreation infrastructure company Grillex has officially opened a new headquarters in Bundaberg’s Kensington industrial area, and plans to expand by another 25 per cent over the next five years. Grillex was established in 2006 as Unisite and manufactures products such as furniture, bike parking, barbecues, fountains and shelters (pictured) for parks. Around 30 jobs…

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Ventilator project lead wants to recreate ‘the model that changed the world’

By Brent Balinski The 1990s to mid-2000s were a dark era for people who wanted to build worthwhile things, believes Jefferson Harcourt. The Executive Chair of Grey Innovation mentions LA Law on TV and a popular “McKinsey way of axing R&D, a race to the bottom on product, price and features” in companies, and contends…

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Rio triples solar output at Queensland bauxite operation

Mining company Rio Tinto is to more than triple the local electricity network’s solar generation capacity at its Weipa bauxite operations in Queensland as decarbonisation accelerates in Australia’s mining sector. Announcing a new solar farm and battery storage at Weipa today a Rio general manager Michelle Elvy said: “The new solar farm and battery storage…

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Bendigo regional manufacturing hub project gets $2 m federal grant

The federal government has awarded a $2 million grant under the Strategic University Reform Fund (SURF) program to La Trobe University for a regional advanced manufacturing hub at Bendigo.

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Reorganisation pays off for Austin with $30m contract wins

The reorganisation and diversification of Perth mining equipment manufacturer Austin Engineering under its new CEO, former shipbuilder and Austal boss David Singleton is paying off with the award of a contract to construct five underground mine chute structures (pictured) for PT Freeport Indonesia The work is part of $30 million in contract wins in August…

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Trade tensions will further trash our economy, how did this happen – by David Thomas

Author and China watcher, David Thomas looks at the origins of Australia’s foreign policy stance in opposing China, the damage it has already done to our manufacturers and its implications for the economy. It is not good news. By David Thomas Back in April 2020, the Foreign Minister of Australia, Marise Payne, announced on the…

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Ampcontrol and Tritium to compete in worldwide mining decarbonisation challenge

Power and control systems manufacturer Ampcontrol and fast EV charger manufacturer Tritium will compete in the worldwide Charge On – Innovation Challenge for solutions to decarbonise mining operations. BHP, Rio Tinto and Vale have collaborated as founding patrons of the open innovation challenge, facilitated by Austmine, and have announced the 21 companies across the globe…

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ANSTO to build space heater for Moon probe

The Australian Nuclear Science and Technology Organisation’s (ANSTO) nandin Innovation Centre will design and build a heating unit to be used to warm critical instruments in space on future Australian space missions. Deep tech startup Ouranos Systems, supported by the NSW Government funded ANSTO FutureNow Scholarships and nandin are backed by a ‘Moon to Mars’…

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ACE EV launches X1 Transformer modular vehicles

Australian electric vehicle manufacturer ACE EV Group has launched its new X1 Transformer modular platform sporting a range of electric light commercial vehicles. The Adelaide manufacturer, which had previously focused on a single small van model, launched a range of long and short wheelbase, high and low roof, van and ute options which can be…

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QLD export award finalists announced

Finalists from 160 nominations have been announced for Queensland’s Export Awards 2021. According to Queensland premier Annastacia Palaszczuk, there was a total of 160 nominations, more than for any other state’s or territory’s respective exports awards program this year. Queensland’s export awards were cancelled year due to the Covid-19 pandemic.Finalists in the Manufacturing and Advanced…

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AML3D 3D printed Panama Chock receives certification

A 3D printed Panama Chock used in marine engineering has received a verification certificate after being manufactured for a Singapore customer utilising AML3D additive technologies. Keppel Technology & Innovation received verification for the SWL 150Ton Chock from DNV’s Global Additive Manufacturing Technology Centre of Excellence in Singapore. The Chock is the largest 3D-printed shipboard fitting…

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EMVision signs $8m agreement with Stroke Alliance

Medical device manufacturer EMVision has signed a five year agreement with the Australian Stroke Alliance and will begin to access $8 million in federal frontier research funding to further develop its electromagnetic microwave imaging stroke detection system. The company’s technology, developed by Professor Amin Abbosh and Professor Stuart Crozier at the University of Queensland, is…

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IDT to receive $11.4m readying for mRNA manufacture

Melbourne drug development and manufacturing company IDT Australia has revealed it will be paid $11.44 million by the federal government to make ready its sterile manufacturing facilities at Boronia in Melbourne for the potential production of mRNA vaccines. The company told investors it had already received $7.5 million for the work done so far and…

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Rocket catches fire on SA launch pad

A Taiwanese Australian attempt to launch a 10 metre two-stage rocket into orbit has ended in tragedy at the Whalers Way Orbital Launch Complex near Port Lincoln in South Australia. The launch site operator Southern Launch announced that at 4:09 pm (ACST) the company and TiSPACE attempted to launch the Hapith I rocket (pictured) from…

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Analytica plans to hire nearly 200 as it brings production to Australia

The Queensland government has announced that Analytica will establish a new $13.8 million factory and headquarters at Maryborough, with nearly 200 jobs created as production of its PeriCoach device ramps up.

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Homegrown hydrogen pioneer the newest Australian Made licensee

Hydrogen technology business Star Scientific has become an Australian Made licensee. Star Scientific is a company commercialising HERO (hydrogen energy release optimiser), which offers a way to generate heat and energy using non-polluting catalyst and hydrogen as a fuel. HERO won “Emerging Technology of the Year” at S&P Global Platts’s Global Energy Awards last year,…

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Space Machines to deploy Fleet Space nanosatellites

Australian in-space transportation provider, Space Machines Company (SMC) has announced two deals, linking with an Italian satellite services provider and committing to deploy Fleet Space nanosatellites in orbit next year. Space Machines linked up with Italian satellite services provider Leaf Space to support its Optimus-1 satellite launch timed for next year. Optimus-1, the largest commercial…

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Manufacturing news briefs – stories you might have missed

SA satellite to be named Kanyini The South Australian government has announced that the state government’s new satellite, now under construction, will be named Kanyini (pictured). Premier Steven Marshall said the $6.6 million satellite would carry the name nominated in a statewide competition by students from Findon High School. Kanyini is a word in the…

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Squeeze more innovation out of your existing staff – by Alistair Gordon

Australian manufacturers are typically SMEs with limited leadership, specialist and technical staff. Here, Alistair Gordon, the author of a new book on the subject, explains how you can get more out of your technical specialists, by involving them more in the totality of your operations. It’s a familiar story: a small manufacturing business hires a…

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Private SA spacecraft launch left on the pad

A day of anticipation at the Whalers Way Orbital Launch Complex near Port Lincoln in South Australian launch turned to disappointment this afternoon when a 10 metre Taiwanese rocket was halted just before lift off. At 2:18 pm (ACST) launch site operator Southern Launch and Taiwan’s TiSPACE halted the countdown for the Hapith I rocket…

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Renewable hydrogen export project at Gladstone gets $2.17 m ARENA boost

Stanwell Corporation has been awarded a grant of $2.17 million from the Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA), which will assist a $10.4 million feasibility study for exporting hydrogen to Japan from Gladstone, Queensland. The project will look at the feasibility of producing and exporting green hydrogen volumes up to 36,500 tonnes annually, beginning in 2026,…

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Calix begins to reap low carbon cement dividend

By Peter Roberts Australian decarbonisation technology company Calix has begun to reap the rewards of its efforts to move the critical industries of cement and lime production towards a zero emissions future. The company has accepted an investment of $24.5 million from investment business Carbon Direct to take a seven per cent stake in Calix…

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Vanadium flow battery pilot opens doors for manufacturers – by Shay Chalmers

By Shay Chalmers Challenges in global supply chains have highlighted the importance in sovereign capability. Our country is rich in renewable energy resources – solar, geothermal, biomass, wind, and hydro which means that we are on the cusp of a huge opportunity. We have entered a new era for Australia’s developing battery storage industry, thanks…

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Govt ‘kicking the can down the road’ on local mRNA manufacturing: Labor

By Denham Sadler The opposition has accused the federal government of ‘kicking the can down the road’ on plans to develop a domestic mRNA vaccine manufacturing capability, following revelations it doesn’t expect this to be operational until at least 2023. The federal government has confirmed that it is unlikely an Australian company will be able…

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Cronos to merge, bolstering cannabis distribution

Cronos Australia has agreed to merge with fellow Australian medicinal cannabis business CDA Health to bolster its Australian and international distributional and medical clinic businesses. The two companies announced the joining of their extensive medical clinics businesses which operate here and overseas assessing patients’ suitability for medicinal cannabis products. The merger also brings together numerous…

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TGA lists Micro-X X-ray machine

Australia’s Therapeutic Goods Administration has listed on its register the Australian made cold cathode portable X-ray machine, the Micro-X Rover. The listing allows Micro-X to commercially sell all variants of the product for civilian and military use in Australia – an imaging market the company believes to be worth $10 million a year. A sales…

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K-TIG to enter UK nuclear waste industry

High speed precision welding developer K-TIG will enter the UK nuclear industry sector, signing an agreement with the Sheffield-based UK Nuclear Advanced Manufacturing Research Centre. Under the agreement K-TIG will develop a turnkey robotic welding cell for the fabrication of nuclear waste containers used in the de-commissioning of UK nuclear power stations. The company’s technology…

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Microsoft to build Australian satellite data centres

Technology group Microsoft has wasted no time fleshing out its entry into the Australian space sector, promising to build ‘a couple’ of satellite ground stations in Australia as part of a global satellite data network. Last week Microsoft signed a statement of strategic intent with the Australian Space Agency and set up an office of…

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SunDrive Solar produces world-record solar PV cell

Sydney solar cell manufacturing start-up SunDrive Solar has claimed a new world record, producing a solar cell with an efficiency at turning sunlight into electricity for a commercial-size silicon solar cell of 25.54 per cent. This surpasses the most efficient cell known preciously which was produced by Longi Solar. SunDrive’s new cell is doubly important…

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Forbidden Foods buys Blue Dinosaur

Sustainable infant, toddler health and plant-based ingredients company Forbidden Foods has raised $5.5 million from a share placement to investors to buy plant-based snack and bar manufacturer Blue Dinosaur and further expand its businesses. Forbidden, which produces the FUNCH and Sensory Mill brand foods, purchased Blue Dinosaur for $4 million. The company had FY21 revenue…

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Why can’t Australia make mRNA vaccines? Because we don’t make enough ‘deep technology’ companies

Why can’t Australia make the mRNA vaccines? That’s not actually the right question to ask. The crucial issue is why Australia hasn’t been producing the type of companies that can make mRNA vaccines. Why don’t we produce more start-ups like BioNTech or Moderna – the two companies that developed and brought the mRNA vaccines to market?

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Incitec Pivot Waggaman plant faces new downtime

Incitec Pivot’s Waggaman, Louisiana ammonia plant has again been forced to shut with tens of millions of dollars lost – this time through a deliberate closure during the recent Hurricane Ida. Since its opening the plant has failed numerous times with lost production and repair costs exceeding $100 million. Today the company revealed Waggaman had…

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Report: manufacturing self-sufficiency levels leave us “precariously dependent”

A new report carried out by Flinders University researchers for the Australian Sovereign Capability Alliance has said the nation lacks a proper national strategy around capability, and recommends a 100-day review of supply chains. The research was carried out by Flinders University’s Australian Industrial Transformation Institute for the ASCA. The latter is led by Martin…

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Local space industry is now moving fast, and that’s just as well

By Brent Balinski It’s regular nowadays that you’ll read a report of some milestone Australian bit of space industry news, whether it’s around a satellite deployment, funding round or launch. Just on Friday, the biggest rocket launched from Australia in 40 years — albeit a Taiwanese-made craft — was scheduled to take off from Southern…

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Mission takes Aussie space camera into space

By Peter Roberts The RAAF and UNSW Canberra’s M2 satellite mission into low Earth orbit (LEO), reported elsewhere today by @AuManufacturing, is an exciting return to space by Australian space scientists. But it is not only defence and academic scientists that are demonstrating new technological capabilities as Australia re-enters the space domain it all but…

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Defence testing satellite tech in space

UNSW Canberra has conducted a controlled separation of the Australian M2 satellites which have been orbiting the globe since being launched in New Zealand by Rocket Lab in March. The mission, a collaboration between the University of New South Wales (UNSW) Canberra Space and the Royal Australian Air Force, conducted the separation phase into two…

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VEEM in sea trials of new gyrostabiliser

Perth marine systems manufacturer VEEM has conducted sea trials off the coast of Fremantle, WA of a 60 metre vessel featuring the company’s largest gyrostabilizer, the VEEM Marine Gyrostabilizer VG520SD. The vessel, a Damen YS 5009 exploration vessel the M/Y UMBRA (pictured), had been purchased by an Australian yacht owner to extend and refit for…

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Thomas Global exhibits new LED flight display

LED flight instrument manufacturer Thomas Global Systems will demonstrate its latest flight display innovation, the TFD-4000 series flight display, at the 2021 Air Carriers Purchasing Conference (ACPC) beginning next week. The industry-first solution is designed for Bombardier CRJ Series and other Pro Line 4 flight decks. It is a form-fit LCD upgrade for legacy Collins…

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Australian Manufacturing Week 2022 to go ahead in June, move to Sydney

Australian Manufacturing Week 2022 has been rescheduled and relocated, with the event now planned for June next year. The event’s organiser, AMTIL, said in a statement on Friday that its board met last week and made its decision to move the event to Sydney in response to the current Covid-19 outbreak in Melbourne. Instead of…

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Quantum Brilliance recruits ex-IBM exec as European MD

Australian-German quantum computing hardware company Quantum Brilliance has announced former IBM executive Mark Mattingley-Scott as its new European managing director. Mattingley-Scott was most recently Quantum Ambassador for EMEA and Asia-Pacific team at IBM, where he had a 31-year career. “I joined the Quantum Brilliance team to help fulfill the company’s vision of making quantum computing…

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New research shows Australian support for manufacturing climbed since 2019

The last two years have seen an increase in how much Australians appreciate manufacturing, according to new research released on Friday by the Advanced Manufacturing Growth Centre. Comparing the views of a similarly-sized group of respondents in 2019 versus this year, the group’s Perceptions of Australian Manufacturing report found 72 per cent of Australians viewed…

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DXN expands with data centre purchase

Modular data centre manufacturer DXN has expanded its services arm with the purchase of a major Darwin data centre with government and telecommunications company customers. The company will purchase the Secure Data Centre (pictured) for $4 million, funded by a $1.64 million share placement and $1.5 million share purchase plan to existing investors. Singapore’s DC…

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SPEE3D 3D prints stainless steel components

Additive manufacturing technology group SPEE3D has announced a breakthrough process enabling it to offer for the first time 3D printed stainless-steel parts and components. With funding support from energy and resources sector industry growth centre National Energy Resources Australia (NERA), SPEE3D can now print corrosion resistant, stainless-steel components on site and in remote locations, including…

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Southport cannabis factory features in Canadian company’s global expansion

ASX-listed Epsilon Healthcare and Canadian company Valens have announced a partnership that will see the Australian company provide access to its cannabis manufacturing facility. Epsilon (formerly THC Group) runs a TGA and EU Good Manufacturing Practice-accredited facility in Southport, Queensland, the southern hemisphere’s largest cannabis extraction site. Under the partnership, products will be distributed in…

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CSIRO launches $150 million food industry missions

CSIRO has launched three of what it calls ‘missions’ that will tackle food production issues, including developing new processed food export opportunities. The three missions will tackle drought, the food export market and growing the protein market. CSIRO Chief Executive Dr Larry Marshall said the three missions together aim to capture a $20 billion opportunity…

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Orbital to expand Perth production facilities

Unmanned aircraft engine manufacturer Orbital UAV has begun an expansion of its Balcatta, Perth production facility following award of a defence global competitiveness grant. The company, whose export focus is two types of UAV engine produced for Boeing offshoot Insitu, will receive $195,000 under the recently-released grant. The cash will assist as the company begins…

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IDT explains mRNA vaccine related share price rise

Comment by Peter Roberts Melbourne drug development and manufacturing company IDT Australia has again been asked by the stock exchange to explain a totally understandable surge in its share price in recent times. The background to this begins with the Australian government’s approach to market to ascertain potential sites where mRNA vaccine production could take…

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Manufacturing news briefs – stories you might have missed

LGP to enter psychedelics market Cannabis producer Little Green Pharma has been granted a Schedule 9 licence by the Western Australian Department of Health to supply the psychedelic psilocybin to treat mental illness. LGB has established a special purpose subsidiary for psychedelic business which is planning to manufacture psilocybin in WA and conduct clinical trials.…

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RedEarth receives CEC approval for off-grid energy storage system

Battery energy storage systems (BESS) company RedEarth Energy Storage has announced that its BlackMax product has received Clean Energy Council approval. RedEarth said the product was the first Australian-made, off-grid BESS to be listed with the CEC. “It is the first Australian made; integrated battery energy storage system designed exclusively for the off-grid market,” added…

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New Mackay Manufacturing Hub opens

The Queensland government-funded Mackay Manufacturing Hub opened on Wednesday as the latest part of the state’s regional manufacturing hubs network. The hubs program is budgeted at $38.5 million and aims to provide businesses with “expert advice and support to transition to advanced manufacturing,” according to its website. The $4 million Mackay facility was announced in March.…

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AML3 breakthrough in aluminium welding

Additive manufacturing technology group AML3D today reported ‘ongoing success of its industry scale welding trials using innovative new (aluminium) alloy compositions’. The company said its project with Deakin University’s Institute for Frontier Materials developing new high strength aluminium-scandium welding wire for use in its wire arc additive manufacturing (WAM) process was progressing strongly. According to…

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Hardiman Hockey Field field redeveloped with recycled materials

Recycled materials have featured heavily in the City of Darebin’s redevelopment of KP Hardiman Hockey Field, which the council has called a case study for prioritising the circular economy in construction and demolition work. According to a statement from the council, KP Hardiman features 98 per cent end-of-life tyres in a shock pad layer under…

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Apprentice completion rates rise slightly

The completion rate for nationally recognised vocational education and training (VET) qualifications has risen slightly, according to new data released by the National Centre for Vocational Education Research (NCVER). VET qualification completion rates data for 2019 shows 43.4 per cent of all VET qualifications started in 2016 were completed, compared with 42.9% per cent of…

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Solar-powered, locally-made sanitiser units installed in WA

Ten touchless, solar-powered hand sanitiser units made by Matrix Composites and Engineering have been installed at Perth and Mandurah locations for a six-month trial. The $1.5 million project was announced early this year, with Matrix responsible for maintaining and refilling the “Solsan” units during the trial. Reaching this phase was the result of the first…

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$61.5 million boost for WA’s renewable hydrogen industry

Western Australia has boosted funding to the state’s green hydrogen industries with an additional $61.5 million announced for a series of low-carbon projects. A new $50 million fund, included in the 2021-22 budget, will be used to stimulate local demand for renewable hydrogen in transport and industrial settings and to drive investment into renewable hydrogen.…

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Audit office to probe Entrepreneurs’ Programme contracts

By Denham Sadler The national audit office will probe the federal government’s flagship industry program, with an inquiry launched into the $140 million in contracts dished out to the delivery partners of the Entrepreneurs’ Programme. The Australian National Audit Office (ANAO) has commenced an audit into the procurement of delivery partners for the Entrepreneurs’ Programme,…

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Hunter biomass-to-hydrogen JV project in the works

Sweetman Renewables has reportedly entered into a joint venture with a Singaporean company to create a green hydrogen facility which will use biomass from timber. The Australian Financial Review reports that Sweetman — formerly owned by the Sweetman family and with a century in sawmilling — would own 20 per cent of a $15 million…

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Circular economy program turns feral olives into vineyard biochar

A group of wine industry environmentalists are turning feral olive trees removed from Fleurieu Peninsula national parks into a biochar product to boost the health of McLaren Vale vineyards.

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$8.5 m in Global Linkages grants awarded to deep brain stimulation, sanitation chambers and other projects

Federal grants worth $8.5 million have been awarded through round three of the Global Innovation Linkages Program, supporting projects including deep brain stimulation to treat Parkinson’s disease and a sanitising chamber to treat environments at high risk of Covid-19 transmission.

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DefendTex – from Gippsland to space

Gippsland, Victoria based DefendTex will use $3 million in Cooperative Research Centre Program funding announced last week to scale up its successful demonstration 3D printing of small-scale rocket motors. The demonstration, funded by an earlier CRC grant, will be scaled in a three year project to produce Australia’s first 3D printed rocket boosters in modular…

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Alt-protein company All G Foods completes $16 million seed round

Alternative protein maker All G Foods has closed a $16 million seed round ahead of a rollout this month of its Love Buds Burger product, joining startups such as v2food, Fable and Fenn Foods in the burgeoning local plant-based food market.

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Business spending on R&D has flatlined in Australia

By James Riley Total spending by Australian business on research and development remains at 2012 levels, despite small increases in each of the past three financial years. A new Australian Bureau of Statistics report found business expenditure on R&D (BERD) was $18.17 billion in 2019-20, slightly below the $18.32 billion that businesses spent in 2011-12 at today’s prices.…

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Covid, cost of living make manufacturing workers consider regional relocation: Mars

Research commissioned by confectioner Mars Wrigley has shown 72 per cent of those in cities and “working or studying in manufacturing, trade, or STEM careers” were open to relocating to a regional centre.

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Kookaburra bowls up technology to match its 130 year tradition

By Peter Roberts In a world where sporting goods manufacturing has deserted developed countries in favour of low cost locations there is one company that has managed not only to survive, but dominate the sports with which its name is synonymous. Everyone who has ever wielded a cricket bat knows the superior quality of Kookaburra’s…

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Manufacturing news briefs – stories you might have missed

NSW defence innovation boost The NSW government will invest $1.9 million to support the Defence Innovation Network to fund seed and pilot projects to create a collaborative research environment and develop hi-tech solutions for Defence. DIN announced four new pilot projects and two to receive $50,000 seed funding in an initial program costing $700,000. Projects…

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WA lithium refinery to bring back battery value chain

Wesfarmers has secured ground for a new lithium refinery in southern Perth as part of its joint venture to control the full value chain of lithium hydroxide, a chemical compound used in electric vehicle and renewable energy batteries. Under a $1.8 billion joint venture with Chilean mining companyQuímica y Minera (SQM) known as Covalent…

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Hydrogen storage, electric air transport, plant-based protein among $47 m CRC grants

Funding totalling $47 million has been announced to support 22 CRC Projects in the 11th round of the program, including to efforts developing electric air transport, plant-based protein and orthotic products.

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Orbital delivers second UAV engine to Singapore

Orbital Corporation has delivered its second unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) engine in a development program for a Singapore defence industry customer. The company, which manufactures UAV engines for Boeing offshoot Insitu, is designing, developing and providing initial low-rate manufacturing of multi-fuel engines with the first units destined for system evaluation and customer acceptance trials. Orbital…

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Monash University to make first mRNA vaccine candidate for human trial

Monash University in Melbourne has been revealed as the first in Australia to manufacture a mRNA technology Covid-19 vaccine candidate. The candidate, developed by the University, will be made at a new node of its Parkville laboratory to be located at Clayton, with the expansion made possible by of a $13.8 million grant from the…

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Manufacturing news briefs – stories you might have missed

Matrix Composites moves to loss in Covid year Underwater systems composite manufacturer Matrix Composites & Engineering has plunged to an EBITDA loss of $4.4 million in FY 21 as disruption from the Covid-19 pandemic slashed sales to $17.6 million compared to the previous year’s $27.4 million. However the company reported final quarter revenue of $6…

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Australian Vanadium advances redox flow battery manufacture

Australian Vanadium (AVL )will receive this month three vanadium redox flow batteries (VRFBs) from its Singapore partner as it advances plans to manufacture vanadium electrolytes and VRFB’s in Western Australia. The batteries from V-Flow Tech destined for WA customers have been sold by AVL’s subsidiary VSUN Energy, which is leading the company’s push into vanadium…

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Keytone Dairy expands Sydney plant

Australia and New Zealand dairy manufacturer Keytone Dairy Corporation has announced the completion of a $2.5 million expansion of its state of the art snacking and bar product manufacturing plant in Prestons, Sydney. The upgrade of the plant followed the acquisition of AusConfec’s assets, and will produce multi-layered protein bars, cereal bars and fitness bars,…

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Monash Technology Precinct gets $16.1 m boost for manufacturing facilities

Monash University has been awarded $16.12 million from the Victorian government, which will support new facilities for manufacturing-related R&D and commercialisation.

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Toshiba shows what Australia loses by undervaluing R&D

Comment by Peter Roberts The first efforts to lift Australia’s chronically low rate of industrial R&D came in the 1980s and 1990s as manufacturing protection was wound back by the Hawke government revealing a generally low-technology sector that preferred to copy others’ ideas rather than develop ones of their own. The original support for research…

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Wineries supported to enter US export market

Sixteen South Australian wine producers will be supported to grow their businesses by entering into the US market through Wine Australia’s US Market Entry Program. Supported by the state Department for Trade and Investment, the program gives smaller wineries a chance to replace lost exports to China with another growing market for Australian wine. China’s…

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Four GDP graphs that show how well Australia was doing – before Delta hit

Australia’s economy was performing exceptionally well in the lead-up to the Delta variant lockdowns, propped up by a barrage of government spending in the three months to June and impressive household spending.

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H2X to launch hydrogen powered fuel cell ute

Hydrogen fuel cell transportation group H2X Global is launching its first vehicle, a modified modified utility vehicle, 14 months after the company launched its ambitious program in @AuManufacturing news. Gone are the multiple passenger and commercial vehicles with unique bodies mooted then by founder Brendan Norman, replaced by a slimmed down but now globally-focused range…

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PPK bets big on BN nanotubes

Diversified technology investment group PPK has reported on a year of transition from a manufacturer of mining equipment to a technology investment group with a heavy focus on developing new uses for the material boron nitride nanotubes (BNNTs). The company completed a strategic review in the year and plans to demerge the mining equipment business…

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Manufacturing remained resilient in August, achieving 11th straight month of growth

Manufacturing activity waned over August but avoided contraction, according to the Australian Industry Group’s monthly Performance of Manufacturing Index.

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Coles will switch to cardboard bread tags nationally, citing consumer demand

Supermarket chain Coles has announced it will phase out plastic tags on its house brand bread, which it says will eventually save 79 tonnes of plastic from landfill annually.

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Industry minister doing the ‘bare minimum’: Husic

The Opposition has accused Industry minister Christian Porter of neglecting his portfolio and doing the “bare minimum” after he failed to speak on two pieces of legislation in his portfolio in Parliament this week, including one implementing changes first recommended more than seven years ago.

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$1.1 million awarded to solar energy system recycling projects

The NSW government has awarded $1.1 million in funding to two projects under a scheme to encourage recycling of solar energy-related material, an issue that could generate as much as an estimated 71,000 tonnes per annum of waste by 2035.

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Manufacturing news briefs – stories you might have missed

Wellnex’s fresh start year Health and wellness products manufacturer Wellnex Life continued its business transformation in the year to June 30 and increased revenue by 29.6 per cent to $1.4 million. Wellnex’s sale of the Corio Bay Dairy Group and acquisition of distributor Brand Solutions Australia gives Wellnex a portfolio of 15 brands distributed through…

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Rossi reboots its manufacturing in Adelaide

Rossi Boots has announced that it is once again manufacturing in South Australia, the state it was founded in over a century ago.

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Hume Council counts 111 roads resurfaced with recycled materials since 2018

Hume City Council has announced it has so far resurfaced 111 roads using 23,744 tonnes of an Australian-engineered solution that uses repurposed plastic bags, glass, and other recycled materials.

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Pandemic’s path of disruption for apprentices

April and May last year were the peaks of a massive shift in Australia’s apprentice system due to the Covid-19 pandemic, however the situation has now all but reversed. New research from the National Centre for Vocational Education Research (NCVER) found that in the first six months of 2020, the number of suspended apprentice and…

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EOS in loss as Covid interrupts arms exports

Defence, communications and space manufacturer Electro Optics Systems reported an operating loss of $11.7 million in the June half year on revenues up from $75 million in the previous corresponding period to $97.8 million. EOS has suffered interruptions in the delivery of remote weapons stations (RWS) in its biggest-ever order during the half due to…

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WA’s $100m new industries fund

The Western Australian government’s 2021-22 State budget is investing in manufacturing including green steel, green hydrogen and battery metals, with the establishment of a $100 million Investment Attraction and New Industries Fund (IANIF). The fund aims to support economic diversification and find new opportunities in industries that are only just emerging. The fund will support…

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Sun Cable brings Australian manufacturing boost

By Peter Roberts Such is the enormous scale of Sun Cable’s proposed Northern Territory solar farm and electricity export cable to Singapore than many have trouble believing that this energy – and soon to be manufacturing – megaproject is really getting underway. Originally envisaged as 14 GW solar farm coupled with 33 GWh of battery…

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Praxis Aeronautics pioneering solar powered flight – by Kerryn Caulfield

Decarbonising airplanes and drones is a major challenge as we move towards decarbonising the economy. Here Kerryn Caulfield profiles Praxis Aeronautics, whose novel composite structural systems are making solar-powered flight a possibility. The Adelaide based startup Praxis Aeronautics specialises in the design and manufacture of solar energy harvesting composite structures, using a process that directly…

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Manufacturing news briefs – stories you might have missed

SEA Electric to display four truck models at Expo Australian electric vehicle drive manufacturer SEA Electric will display four Ford and Hino-based electric trucks and vans at the Ride & Drive experience scheduled for Long Beach, California in September. The vehicles feature the Melbourne-made electric SEA-Drive Power System (pictured), which are fitted to chassis in…

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Coles and Woolworths are moving to robot warehouses and on-demand labour as home deliveries soar

Australia’s supermarket duopoly, Coles and Woolworths, have raced to implement new technology and transform labour arrangements to keep up with the e-grocery boom. Both are investing in “smart” warehousing and distribution systems with various degrees of automation, as well as making extensive use of app-driven gig workers for grocery picking and delivery via platforms such as Uber and Airtasker.

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New England Renewable Energy Zone gets 80 expressions of interest

The NSW government has trumpeted the response to a planned Renewable Energy Zone in New England, which has received 80 expressions of interest so far.

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Titomic to establish hypersonic space vehicle manufacturing

Large scale metal additive manufacturer Titomic will create a hypersonic space vehicle component manufacturing capability following the award of a $2.3 million federal government Modern Manufacturing Initiative grant. In a $4.65 million project the company will utilise its Titomic Kinetic Fusion additive manufacturing system to manufacture and commercialise low carbon emission ‘green’ titanium space vehicle…

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WorldSkills Australia National Championships begin

The WorldSkills Australia National Championships and Skills Show began on Thursday, with over 400 apprentices, trainees and students competing in 45 skills and trades. The competition is being held in Perth Convention and Exhibition Centre, alongside the SkillsWest Careers and Employment Expo. This year WA and Tasmanian teams are competing at Perth.WSA announced last…

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Senate shoots down sovereign capability inquiry

The Senate has shot down the federal government’s attempt to launch an inquiry into Australia’s sovereign capability and critical infrastructure.

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Blackmores gains on global markets, efficiency improvements

Vitamin manufacturer Blackmores has reported rising sales and earnings as international sales and efficiency improvements flowed through to the bottom line. The Sydney company today reported underlying earnings before interest and tax up 51 per cent to $47.6 million for the year to June 30 on a 3.2 per cent rise in sales in constant…

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Forget gas, its a dope led recovery

By Peter Roberts It turns out those hippies who dropped out to Nimbin in the 1960s and 70s really were on to something. Their pioneering work as guinea pigs living on wisps of pot and mung beans is rapidly turning into a major industry in growing, processing and manufacture of medicinal cannabis products. Although Australia…

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Quantum computing manufacturing beckons with QB’s cash raising

Sydney’s Quantum Brilliance has raised a further $13 million in seed investment to pursue its hardware and software which delivers quantum computing capabilities to existing computer systems without resorting to the low temperatures and lasers required by other QC systems. The venture-backed, Australian-German company raised the funds from investors co-led by the QxBranch founders’ and…

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Regional councils court food manufacturer investment with new online directory

Rural Councils Victoria has launched an online resource inviting food and beverage industry manufacturers to look outside of regional and metro areas for their expansion plans.

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Manufacturing profit results briefs – stories you might have missed

Building resurgence supports Adbri Building products and industrial chemicals group Adbri has reported stronger revenues and profits on the back of buoyant demand from industry and a resurgent building sector. The company saw revenue in the first half rise 7.4 per cent to $752.3 million and net profit after tax up 94.5 per cent to…

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Queensland to build first electric bus depot, buy new e-buses

The Queensland government is to build the state’s first electric bus depot and has ordered 16 new e-buses to be built on the Gold Coast. As part of the state’s push to source only renewably powered buses from 2025, Keolis Downer will also create the state’s first 100 per cent electric bus depot in North…

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Australia urged to think strategically on battery value chains

Australia needs to secure battery value chains out of China, according to new national security research which warns the superpower controls a “strategic choke point” in global supply chains which could be weaponised for political and economic gain.

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Rio Tinto doubles down on hydrogen for processing

Rio Tinto and Sumitomo Corporation today have partnered to study the construction of a hydrogen pilot plant at the Yarwun alumina refinery in Gladstone and explore the potential use of hydrogen at the refinery. The two have signed a letter of intent that focuses on Yarwun as the location for a Gladstone hydrogen plant to…

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Manufacturing news briefs – stories you might have missed

Calix’s strong profit during technology expansion Industrial technology company Calix has boosted revenues and margins as it pushes ahead with major expansions of its technology development and commercialisation programs. The company reported 39 per cent growth in product sales led by its US water treatment businesses which is undergoing expansion. Total revenue was up 22…

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VET slumps during Covid restrictions

The vocational education sector has slumped further during the Covid-19 pandemic, according to new figures from the National Centre for Vocational Education Research (NCVER). According to NCVER in 2020, 3.9 million students were enrolled in nationally recognised vocational education and training (VET), down 6.4 per cent from 2019. An estimated 21.7 per cent of the…

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Austal delivers 19 ships, reports second-higest earnings

Perth international shipbuilder Austal delivered 19 ships in the year to June 30- and achieved its second-highest ever earnings. The company reported a fall in revenue of 24.6 per cent for the year to $1.57 billion from its shipyards in Perth, Vietnam (pictured), the Philippines and Mobile, Alabama. CEO Paddy Gregg said: “Austal has delivered…

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Carbon Revolution reports subdued results, strong prospects

Carbon fibre road wheel manufacturer Carbon Revolution’s results for the 2021 financial year were negatively impacted by the Covid-19 pandemic, however armed with a $95 million capital raising the company is investing heavily to expand production for new orders for wheel programs already in hand. The Geelong company reported revenue down 10 per cent to…

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ICN’s new gateway aids finding new business – by Warren Jansen

Industry Capability Network’s (ICN) flagship product for online procurement and supply chain system, ICN Gateway, has officially relaunched. The new ICN Gateway will make it even easier for project owners to promote their projects and suppliers to find work and promote their capabilities. By Warren Jansen Industry Capability Network (ICN) is a business network helping…

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New resources to boost green hydrogen uptake

Two new government backed resources have been launched to boost the hydrogen industry and link producers of green hydrogen to users of industrial energy. A new hydrogen industry capability finder, HyCapability has been launched to connect Australian hydrogen businesses with a domestic and global market through a free, online, searchable platform. At the same time…

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Today’s decisions lock in industry emissions for decades — here’s how to get them right

The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change has made clear there’s little time left to reach net zero emissions and hold the global temperature rise to 1.5C.

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@AuManufacturing is now on Google News

There’s a new way to keep up with the latest developments in Australian manufacturing.

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Bosch opens manufacturing automation centre

Bosch Australia’s bold experiment in creating a new manufacturing business in Australia out of the ashes of its automotive operations has demonstrated its success with the opening of a new $17 million Manufacturing Automation Centre in Clayton, Victoria. The purpose-built facility (pictured) now houses Bosch Australia Manufacturing Solutions (BAMS) and the Rexroth Drives and Controls…

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Ampcontrol and PPK to introduce new battery-electric vehicle

Two innovative Australian manufacturing and technology companies have combined to deliver a range of new battery-electric vehicle (BEV) solutions for underground mining applications. Ampcontrol’s BEV technology will be fitted to PPK Mining Equipment’s (PPKME) existing personnel carrier vehicle range (pictured). They also plan to retrofit a range of other vehicles manufactured by PPKME, including the…

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Manufacturing news briefs – stories you might have missed

Cleanaway’s strong result in year of change Waste management group Cleanaway reported an operating profit up 3.8 per cent to $535.1 million in the year to June 30 on revenues up 4.7 per cent to $2.2 billion. Net profit after tax was $153.2 million in a year of progress for the group. Cleanaway emerged from…

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Titomic sells TKF 3D printer to the UK

Large-scale metal additive manufacturing company Titomic has sold a a TKF1000 additive manufacturing system valued at $2.3 million to a research and technology organisation based in the United Kingdom. Titomic will ship the machine in May next year to TWI in a purchase funded by the Aerospace Technology Institute. It will form the basis of…

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Maggie Beer rides e-commerce wave

A decision to enter the e-commerce field with the purchase of Hampers & Gifts Australia (HGA) is paying off for luxury food producer Maggie Beer Holdings with the company closing in on sales of $100 million a year. The Barossa Valley company today revealed bumper results with sales up 19 per cent in the year…

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Geelong’s GT Recycling awarded $3 million to increase capacity

GT Recycling has been awarded a $3 million state/federal grant for a $4.7 million expansion project, which will see the Geelong company able to process an extra 8,000 tonnes of plastic a year.

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Thycon to build 40 pole-mounted batteries for demand management project

Power conversion specialist Thycon is involved in an Australian Renewable Energy Agency-backed “virtual power plant” trial, providing 40 pole-mounted batteries for a trial to better integrate solar energy into the electricity system. According to a statement from ARENA on Friday, the $10.98 million project, led by United Energy, will see the 30 kilowatt/66 kilowatt hour…

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Sales growth drives Cochlear recovery

Hearing implant technology company Cochlear has emerged from a Covid-19 slowdown stronger than before, today reporting sales revenue up 10 per cent in FY21 compared to last year and six per cent above pre-Covid levels. Market growth, market share gains and the re-scheduling of surgeries postponed at the height of the pandemic saw implant sales…

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BusTech delivers hybrid buses

Locally manufactured hybrid school buses will soon be on the roads in South Australia with bus manufacturer BusTech beginning delivery of 20 new school buses, including 17 hybrid-electric, to meet increased demands on school bus routes. With a hybrid chassis provided by Scania and the body manufactured by BusTech at its facility in Adelaide, the…

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K-TIG expands again in UK

High speed welding technology manufacturer K-TIG is expanding its United Kingdom footprint through a new distribution agreement with automation supplier Key Plant Automation. Key Plant, which distributes for the company in the United States, will provide additional sales reach into strong growth sectors in the UK, and will soon be complemented by K-TIG’s own UK…

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Austin invests $6.5m in mine equipment manufacturing

Perth mining equipment manufacturer Austin Engineering today announced a $6.5 million investment program in its Perth and Batam, Indonesia equipment design and manufacturing facilities. The company, which manufactures mining dump truck bodies, buckets, water tanks, tyre handlers and ancillary equipment, plans to transform its manufacturing facilities through automated processes and systems to deliver significant reductions…

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Treasury Wine’s strong year despite China woes

Premium and commercial wine exporter Treasury Wine Estates is showing signs of emerging from the woes inflicted on the Australian wine industry by punitive import tariffs imposed by China. The company today reported an operating profit of $510 million for the year to June 30 despite profits in mainland China declining by $77.3 million, indicating…

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If only BHP would add value again

By Peter Roberts Many of us remember when BHP, once called the big Australian, was an active manufacturer of value-added products such as steel, wire and coated and painted building products. Those downstream operations were built on an era where BHP’s Essington Lewis was the centre of Australia’s industrial war effort and the company even…

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Manufacturing news briefs – stories you might have missed

Hybrid rail cars for Adelaide Forty-five of the state’s 70 diesel rail cars will be upgraded with hybrid energy storage and recovery systems, as part of a $10 million 2021-22 State Budget initiative. It is aimed at reducing the fleet’s fuel consumption, noise, vibration and diesel emissions. The hybrid vehicles are an important step toward…

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CSL profits, revenues up 10%, shares fall

There seems to be no pleasing demanding shareholders with biotechnology giant CSL punished by the market despite announcing a greater than ten per cent rise in both revenues and profits for the year to June 30. The Melbourne company reported net profit after tax of $3.27 billion (US$2.375 billion), up 10 per cent on a…

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ATCO gets $2 million WA Renewable Hydrogen Fund grant

The Western Australian government has announced a $1.97 million grant to ATCO, which operates most of the state’s gas network, supporting capital works for injecting renewable hydrogen into the gas grid.

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Cathy Foley, uni VCs warn on translation risks

Australia’s chief scientist and university vice-chancellors have urged caution in the latest COVID-19-driven push by governments to commercialise research, warning it must not come at the expense of fundamental research work or international research collaborations.

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AMGC announces new NT director

The Advanced Manufacturing Growth Centre has announced the appointment of Charmaine Barrett to the newly-created role of Director for the Northern Territory. AMGC and the NT government announced a five-year, $8.75 million agreement in late-April. This included funding for collaborative projects, establishment of a new AMGC office in the NT, and a permanent director “to…

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Tritium, Evie sign deal for 158 new charging stations in Australia

Fast DC electric vehicle charger company Tritium and Evie Networks have announced a deal that will see two new chargers installed at 158 locations around Australia. The chargers will be new RTM 50 kilowatt models made by Brisbane’s Tritium, and the rollout part-funded by an $8.85 million grant through the Australian Renewable Energy Agency announced…

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Australian-first FRP rebar manufacturing facility

Queensland’s Beyond Materials group has begun the manufacture of Fibreglass GFRP and Basalt BFRP concrete reinforcement bars on their new, first for Australia manufacturing line. The company completed the first production line at its Yatala, Queensland facility in early 2021 after the development of its Black Bar Fibre-reinforced-polymer (FRP) rebars. According to managing director Dmitry…

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Possible east coast gas shortage next year: ACCC

The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission has warned there is “a finely balanced” gas supply outlook for 2022, and a possible 2 petajoule shortage on the east coast market.

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Ballarat council announces circular economy programs for local companies

The City of Ballarat has announced three new initiatives in support of its circular economy program. The council said on Monday that these involve: A 12-month subscription to CSIRO’s ASPIRE platform, which provides an online marketplace for users to buy and sell their company’s waste. Local companies with fewer than 100 employees will be able…

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How Calix’s process cuts cement production emissions – video

Cement is the safe, affordable bedrock of our civilisation. Yet, it accounts for about eight per cent of total global CO2 emissions. Finding solutions is a matter of urgency, with technology from Australian company Calix now at the forefront. In this video Calix explains its solution now being trialled in a major demonstration plant in…

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Boots on ground boosts footwear manufacturer

The trend towards more staff in the WA mining industry leaving their offices for work at the coal face has boosted sales by WA boot manufacturer Steel Blue by more than 20 per cent in the past year. The company, which manufactures work boots in Indonesia and Perth, has just invested $2 million in its…

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Export Market Development Grant applications open

Applications opened on Monday for Export Market Development Grants, which are available to companies with revenues up to $20 million and offer a maximum of $150,000 support per year. The recently-reformed EMDG program offers three tiers of support. Tier 1 is for first-time exporters who are ready to export. This has a two-year agreement and…

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EOS expands live fire weapon system development

Electro Optic Systems (EOS) Defence Systems today announced the successful live firing of its Titanis counter unmanned aerial system (C-UAS) solution at a private test range in Australia. This marks the conclusion of the first stage of the company’s ambitious plan to expand live fire weapon system development activities in Australia. CEO for EOS Defence…

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PET recycling facility to be built by industry partnership

Pact Group, Cleanaway, Asahi Beverages and Coca-Cola Europacific Partners (CCEP) plan to construct and operate a new PET recycling facility in Albury-Wodonga, adding to a number of recent recycling announcements in the packaging sector. The companies are forming a a joint venture that will provide an industry model for recycling solutions in Australia. This will…

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CSL bids $800 million in vaccine gamble

By Peter Roberts Australian biotechnology and vaccine giant CSL is betting $800 million in the race to secure federal and state funding to establish mRNA vaccine in Australia. The company, which is the fourth most valuable company at $93 billion on the ASX, has outbid a group of smaller firms which are also seeking a…

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Manufacturing news briefs – stories you might have missed

Nufarm’s canola oil recognised by FDA The US Food and Drug Administration has recognised Nufarm’s Nutriterra Total Omega-3 canola oil as a safe, new dietary ingredient. Marketed by Nufarm’s Nuseed Nutritional subsidiary, the announcement opens up new markets for the company, according to CEO Greg Hunt. “The FDA’s acknowledgement along with our recently completed human…

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Telemedicine for remote oil and gas operations with ExxonMobil

ExxonMobil has embraced the world of telehealth for remote locations, installing the Australian Visionflex GEIS General Examination HD Cameras across its operations in the Bass Strait. Following a successful trial of the new telemedicine service the subsidiary of ExxonMobil Corporation said the cameras answered one of the biggest challenges in the oil and gas industry…

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Developers of devices for “glue ear” treatment and Covid test among innovation voucher winners

A total of 21 startup and small businesses have been awarded funding up to $20,000 through the Western Australian government’s Innovation Vouchers program.

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Learning from locals – Australia’s response to global supply chain fragility

COVID-19 has had a disruptive effect on all aspects of life and business, but the supply chain disturbances it has created have dramatically affected every industry. Like many countries, Australia depends on international trade partnerships for goods and services. This includes importing vital goods produced overseas and exporting Australian products that support the success and growth of critical industries.

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Most essential supply chains resilient: Productivity Commission

A new report by the Productivity Commission has concluded that, despite disruptions due to Covid-19 and trade tensions, “only a few” traded products are vulnerable to supply chain shocks.

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Ford’s new GT launched with Carbon Revolution wheels

Here are the first pictures of the new Ford GT Heritage edition supercar, which is equipped with a new version of the Carbon Revolution road wheels manufactured in Geelong, Victoria. The single-piece carbon fibre composite wheels are structurally stiffer than the standard aluminium wheels offered on the Ford GT, while at the same time save…

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Province Resources forges ahead with WA green hydrogen project

Province Resources has spelled out its efforts to push ahead with its proposed HyEnergy green hydrogen project located near Carnarvon in Western Australia’s Gascoyne Region. The project will take advantage of the region’s climate and wind patterns to install a commercial scale wind and/or solar farm to produce green hydrogen for use locally and for…

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Senate to probe local manufacturing sector

By Denham Sadler Labor has successfully launched a Senate inquiry into Australia’s domestic advanced manufacturing capability, as support for the sector and sovereign capability shape up to be an election issue. Labor Senator Kimberley Kitching moved a motion in the Senate on Thursday morning calling for the Economics References Committee to conduct an inquiry into…

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Battery production advances on multiple fronts

Moves towards the production of novel battery materials and batteries in Australia are gathering pace with announcements from three companies this week. Brisbane battery developer RedEarth has received Clean Energy Council approval for its lithium-iron-phosphate (LIP) battery – the first Australian battery to be added to the list. Metals development company TNG commissioned Perth firm…

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Govt blocks release of manufacturing grants briefings

By Denham Sadler The federal government has blocked the release of departmental briefing documents for its billion-dollar manufacturing fund, amid Labor’s accusations that rorting has been “baked-in” to the grant scheme. The Senate this week approved a motion to force the government to table “decision briefs and merit assessment packs prepared by the Department of Industry…with…

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Ainsworth improves from Covid year but remains cautions

Poker machine manufacturer Ainsworth Game Technology has reported a loss for the 2021 financial year on revenues that are recovering from the depths of the Covid-19 pandemic last year. The Sydney company released a selection of unaudited results today. Revenue for the second half is expected to be $88 million, up from $72 million in…

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Deakin University to build new $6.5 million digital innovation hub for SMEs

The Victorian government has announced $2 million in funding for a new centre at Deakin University’s Burwood campus, which it says will provide support to SMEs involved in healthcare, manufacturing and trades.

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Video series gains momentum – by John Hosking

Advertisement By John Hosking, Series Producer How it’s Made – Australia and former Executive Producer, Beyond 2000. The ongoing global success of the international How it’s Made television series is all but unprecedented. The statistics simply defy belief in a medium so often notorious for shallow, ephemeral content – and audiences. Thirty two seasons –…

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Mattresses join the circular economy

By Peter Roberts We all know how hard it once was to dispose of an old mattress. Massive and worn maybe, mattresses contain a huge amount of disparate materials from fabrics to foams and steel springs. Who would take them, and each year more than a million are sent to landfill while others are dumped…

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EM Solutions commissions new SATCOM system on HMAS Canberra

The Royal Australian Navy’s amphibious assault ship’s communications capabilities have been bolstered following a two-month-long upgrade. Brisbane’s EM Solutions supplied its locally designed and built Cobra Tri-Band Inmarsat GX and WGS X/Ka-band Satellite Communications Terminal on the navy’s Landing Helicopter Dock (LHD) ship, HMAS Canberra. Installation was undertaken in concert with partners including Navantia Australia.…

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Applications open for manufacturing “Collaboration” grants worth $20 million to $200 million

Applications opened on Wednesday for the “Collaboration” stream of the federal government’s Modern Manufacturing Initiative, which offers grants between $20 million and $200 million to companies for “large, transformational projects.”

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100 new Future Fellowships awarded, including for quantum technology, antimicrobial research

Funding totalling $93 million has been announced to support researchers throughthe Australian Research Council’s Future Fellowships.

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Austal receives $32m ferry order

Perth shipbuilder Austal has won a $32.8 million contract to design and build a 66 metre long catamaran ferry for The Degage Group of French Polynesia. Work will begin on the ferry at Austal’s Vietnam yard this month with delivery scheduled for the first half of 2023. Austal CEO Paddy Gregg said Degage was a…

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Govt tepid on calls for export, innovation pivot

By Joseph Brookes The federal government has downplayed calls for it to take a larger role in diversifying Australia’s exports, strengthen supply chain resilience, and lead research and industry collaboration, insisting its current measures are adequate despite mounting criticism. The Joint Standing Committee on Trade and Investment Growth, led by the controversial LNP backbencher George…

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IMCRC, Allegra back implant technology development

A new industry-led project supported by the Innovative Manufacturing Cooperative Research Centre (IMCRC) will develop a proprietary coating process for orthopaedic implants. Swinburne’s ARC Training Centre for Surface Engineering and Advanced Materials, and RMIT will explore the coasting process which deposits a bioceramic material onto implants. The project, which has been awarded $118,338 by IMCRC…

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Micro-X teams up with Liberty for airport security

Security solutions provider Liberty Defense and cold cathode X-Ray machine manufacturer Micro-X have teamed up to develop enhanced people and passenger screening systems for aviation or commercial security. The two companies have signed a technical and marketing collaboration agreement to combine their technologies to help speed up the flow of people through security checkpoints. Micro-X…

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WA’s HyEnergy backs green hydrogen export ship

The HyEnergy Project has thrown its weight behind efforts by Global Energy Ventures to develop a compressed hydrogen transport ship to export green hydrogen to Asia. HyEnergy, a project by Province Resources and partner Total Eren, aims to develop a green hydrogen project in the Gascoyne Region of Western Australia. The project partners have signed…

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BoQ begins issuing Visa debit cards made of recycled industrial plastic

Bank of Queensland has announced a partnership with manufacturer Placard, which it says will see over half a million debit cards made of recycled plastic issued over the next three years.

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EMVision unveils stroke diagnosis device ahead of planned 2023 commercial release

Medical device company EMVision has announced a new version of its brain scanner, which it aims to make commercially available in 2023.

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Govt ‘stonewalls’ release of Growth Centres report

By Denham Sadler The federal government has again blocked the release of a report into its Industry Growth Centres after refusing to comply with a Senate order, claiming it is still being considered despite being received more than eight months ago. Labor had moved a Senate motion last week requiring the tabling of the “initial…

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Skykraft to launch 300kg satellite on SpaceX mission

Space services company Skykraft has announced it will launch a 300kg satellite on SpaceX’s upcoming Transporter-5 mission. The satellite produced by the UNSW Canberra spin-off company is a carrier for multiple early-phase Skykraft Air Traffic Management satellites These will form a global constellation of 210 satellites that will create a space-based Air Traffic Management system…

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BluGlass demonstrates working laser diodes

Semiconductor technology developer BluGlass has successfully demonstrated the manufacture of working tunnel junction laser diodes in a world-first proof of concept utilising its proprietary RPCVD technology. The company is developing equipment for making laser diodes, a type of semiconductor, based on its breakthrough Remote Plasma Chemical Vapour Deposition (RPCVD) technology. The technology utilises advanced materials…

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Woolworths home brand exported to China

Rvx Distribution has despatched its first shipment of a newly extended range of Woolworths Group home brand products destined for China. The company said it had been working hard to develop new strategic partnerships and sales channels for its brand partners in Chongqing, China. “Today we see the first shipment of our newly extended range…

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$24 million in federal/state grants announced for recycling projects in NSW

Grants totalling $24 million have been announced for recycling projects in NSW, increasing overall recycling capacity in the state by a claimed 120,000 tonnes annually.

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Brickworks hit by Covid-lockdowns, curtails production

Brick sales in the eastern states have slumped following Covid-lockdowns of construction, forcing Brickworks to curtail production at kilns in New South Wales and a plant in Brisbane. The building products group said restrictions were having a significant impact on operations with brick despatches slumping 80 per cent during a NSW government pause in the…

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Manufacturing news briefs – stories you might have missed

v2food raises $72 million for expansion Plant protein company v2food will continue its rapid expansion with the raising of a further $72 million in capital, giving the company a valuation of $500 million. The company, which supplies plant-based burgers to Hungry Jacks, raised the funds from a group led by European venture fund Astanor. v2food,…

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ResMed profits up in pandemic

Sleep disorder company ResMed has announced rising profits and revenues during a pandemic year where its ventilators were called upon to treat Covid-19 sufferers. The US-Australian company announced a 12 per cent rise in operating profit for the year to June 30, on revenues up eight per cent to $4.3 billion (US$3.2 billion). The final…

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Marketing for manufacturers: Some thoughts on thought leadership

This is the final day of our editorial series, Marketing for manufacturers. In the second-last article, Tim Kannegieter writes about investing in leadership campaigns for your business.

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Australian flexible solar cells head for space

Space transportation provider Space Machines Company (SMC) and CSIRO are partnering to test Australian flexible solar cell technology in space. CSIRO will test its next generation solar cells on SMC’s spacecraft Optimus-1 to be launched next year by Gilmour Space Technologies – a first for CSIRO’s printable solar cells. CSIRO’s Dr Mei Gao said: “We…

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Marketing for manufacturers: Manufacturers can unlock opportunities by understanding the value of PR

If you have something newsworthy, a small investment in communications can work wonders, as Tyson Bowens explains in this instalment of Marketing for manufacturers.

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Labor tries to force release of growth centres report

By Denham Sandler Labor is ramping up its efforts to force the release of a secret report on the Industry Growth Centres that the federal government has been sitting on for more than eight months. The industry department paid consultancy firm ACIL Allen nearly $500,000 to conduct an “initial impact evaluation” of the government-funded industry…

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We must make bold bets and take risks: Andrew Liveris

Andrew Liveris has urged Australian scientists and engineers to form tighter relationships with industry as part of a long overdue revamp of the national economy and approach to innovation.

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Marketing for manufacturers – How Colorbond succeeds, in depth

Our editorial series Marketing for manufacturers looks at a marketing success story – BlueScope steel’s Colorbond. We talk to Antony Schillaci (pictured below), Group Marketing Manager. @AuManufacturing: Colorbond is one of the great success stories of manufacturing marketing. Colorbond is widely seen to be a luxury, high-end product associated with excellent architecture in Australia, whereas…

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Marketing for manufacturers: The role of B2B publishing

Today our editorial series, Marketing for manufacturers, looks at business-to-business publications. Jack Mallen-Cooper explains what they want from you, and what you can get in return.

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SPC to require staff, contractors to have the Covid jab

In an Australian first, food manufacturer SPC will mandate that all of its staff must be fully vaccinated by the end of November to gain entry to any company location. The measure, sure to be copied widely among firms concerned to limit future Covid disruptions, will ensure the health and well-being of all staff and…

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Manufacturing news briefs – stories you might have missed

FYI Resources and Alcoa continue HPA JV agreement Perth materials technology group FYI Resources and Alcoa Australia have agreed to extend their three-month joint venture agreement to allow them to conclude a binding terms sheet jointly to develop a high purity alumina (HPA) processing plant. FYI plans a kaolin mine and processing at Cadoux, WA…

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Delays in frigate construction, but innovation fluorishes

BAE Systems Maritime Australia’s much publicised slippage in timetable for the construction of Hunter class frigates is proving a silver lining for innovation. With the $45 billion program delayer by two years the company’s innovation team is seeking Expressions of Interest from industry to: Investigate manufacturing technologies, materials, coatings, and processes with the potential to…

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Infantry fighting vehicle contenders face off at Puckapunyal – video

The two infantry fighting vehicles competing for more than $18.1 billion in contracts from the federal government have faced off against each other in a firepower demonstration at Puckapunyal Military Area, showcasing next-level protection, firepower and mobility. The competitors for the army’s LAND 400 Phase 3 project, Rheinmetall Defence Australia’s KF-41 Lynx and Hanwha Defense…

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This is your chance to join the team behind a fast-growing news website, newsletter and community.

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VSPC gains patent protection over cathode powders

Technology development group VSPC has been granted an Australian patent over the production of nickel and cobalt-free battery powders. The company, a subsidiary of Lithium Australia, covers how the products are manufactured as well as what they are made for. The company said: “VSPC’s nanotechnology processes are simpler, cheaper and more energy-efficient, and deliver products…

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NY government joins battery CRC, commits $500,000 in support

The Northern Territory has joined the Future Battery Industries Cooperative Research Centre (FBICRC) and will contribute $500,000 to its research program over four years.

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Naval Group’s $1 million submarine work package

The pace of preparations for manufacturing the Attack class submarines is picking up with Naval Group Australia releasing $1 million in new opportunities for local suppliers of manufactured and ready-made items for inclusion in the submarines. Released through the Industry Capability Network’s Naval Group portal, the opportunities include 27 separate work packages that comprise 39…

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Companies shun VET sector in Covid recovery

Most adaptions and innovations by Australian companies to the shock of the Covid-19 pandemic did not involve the sort of training provided by the VET sector, according to a new report. A survey of businesses conducted by the National Centre for Vocational Education Research (NCVER) found that where training was required, it tended to be…

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CelGro uses extended to treating lymphedema

Tissue regeneration technology developer Orthocell’s CellGro collagen tissue regeneration scaffolds may be useful in treating the limb swelling caused by lymphedema, a condition for which there is no known cure. The company announced research published in proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States (PNAS) which suggests that combining CelGro with lymphatic…

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Brickworks to acquire Illinois Brick Company for $70 million, expand reach into US market

Brickworks has announced a binding agreement to acquire parts of Southfield Corporation, including Illinois Brick Company, which will increase the Australian company’s distribution network by 17 stores in the United States’ Midwest region.

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EOS and Nova Systems enter missile race

Electro Optic Systems and Nova Systems have announced another domestically owned consortium – the Sovereign Missile Alliance (SMA) – to respond to the federal government’s ambition for a $1 billion Sovereign Guided Weapons and Explosive Ordnance Enterprise (GWEOE). The SMA will be owned equality by the two companies and is well placed to manage Australia’s…

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Use federal procurement to build rebuild local supply chains: AWU

The Australian Workers Union has urged the federal government to consider purchasing decisions in strengthening industrial capacity.

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Marketing for manufacturers – how AH Beard sells $70,000 mattresses in China

Today our editorial series Marketing for manufacturers celebrates the art of selling ice to Eskimos. Here Peter Roberts profiles the company that sells Australian manufactured mattresses to China. The pictures say it all really. At left, below is an Australian-made AH Beard Signature Series mattress sitting in one of the company’s 50 showrooms in China,…

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Marketing for manufacturers — Discover your value and communicate it

In this edition of our Marketing for manufacturers series, Vanessa Katsanevakis discusses getting to know your brand, building on it, and the benefits that can follow.

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MGA Thermal scales up for thermal energy storage

Newcastle clean energy storage manufacturer MGA Thermal today announced it had raised $8 million to expand its manufacturing facilities to cater for rising export demand for its thermal energy storage systems. The company, which has developed small shoe-box sixed modular storage blocks based on Miscibility Gaps Alloy (MGA) technology, raised the funding from existing shareholder…

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Austin Engineering to invest in manufacturing facilities

Perth mining equipment manufacturer Austin Engineering has completed a strategic review under its new CEO and will focus investment on innovation and its manufacturing facilities in Perth and Batam Island, Indonesia. The company, now led by former Austal CEO David Singleton, will initially focus on Perth operations, where it has identified significant manufacturing opportunities to…

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WA invests in graphite manufacturing facility

The Western Australian government has granted $2 million to young company International Graphite which plans the state’s first micronising and graphite foil manufacturing facility for the former coal mining district of Collie in the south west of the state. The first stage of the project is expected to create around 40 full-time jobs in the…

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AMGC and Rosie Barnes reveal manufacturing opportunities

Industry growth centre AMGC and engineer Dr Rosemary Barnes have joined forces to reveal manufacturing opportunities in Australia raised by the federal government’s six National Manufacturing Priorities. The Advanced Manufacturing Growth Centre (AMGC) has expanded its Manufacturing Academy to incorporate a new learning module ‘Manufacturing with Rosie”, a seven-part self-guided video series. In it qualified…

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Grant programs assisting equipment, tender writing launched for Tasmanian manufacturers

The Tasmanian government has launched grant programs providing funding for capital equipment purchases and tender writing. In an announcement on Monday, manufacturing minister Jeremy Rockliff said that the Advanced Manufacturing Accelerating Growth Grants program, budgeted at $ 3 million, would provide matched funding of between $10,000 and $100,000 for new equipment. There would be four…

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Austal’s pride in delivering 12th Guardian patrol boat

Perth shipbuilder Austal has delivered its 12th Guardian class patrol boat (pictured) to the federal government to be gifted to small Pacific ocean nations. The Guardian-class replaces the 22 Pacific Forum-class patrol boats Australia provided to its allies from 1987 to 1997. The latest vessel, the RVS Takuare has been delivered to the Republic of…

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Manufacturing growth continues, despite lockdowns

Manufacturing has proven resilient in July despite lockdowns around the country, with a tenth straight month of expansion, according to the most recent Performance of Manufacturing Index results.

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Serco tests amphibious ship design

Serco Australia has completed tank testing for its provisional landing craft design to meet a federal government call for a replacement of its amphibious vessel fleet. A 1/16th scale model of Serco’s design (pictured) underwent extensive testing involving speed and performance trials in the towing tank at Australian Maritime College (AMC) in Launceston. The AMC…

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EOS in box seat to supply space electronic warfare capability

By Peter Roberts One of Australia’s few locally-owned defence prime contractors is in the box seat to respond to a federal government initiative to acquire a ground-based Space Electronic Warfare capability. Canberra’s Electro Optic Systems Holdings, which coincidentally announced today that a subsidiary had been selected to demonstrate spacecraft to ground communications for the International…

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Fusion energy quest hots up at Deakin and HB11 Energy

By Peter Roberts Fusion energy has long been considered as a way forward for decarbonising energy production, but its vast complexity and expense has made experimentation the plaything of rich nations with extremely deep pockets. While progress has been made at the National Ignition Facility (NIF) in California and ITER in France, the expense is…

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Manufacturing news briefs – stories you might have missed

K-TIG passes milestones, books $561k revenue Rapid welding technology company K-TIG achieved significant milestones in the fourth quarter and quarterly sales of $561,000. The company, which is commercialising advanced keyhole welding techniques, entered the UK and Europe markets and strengthened its management team. The company operates a demonstration and support facility in the US. K-TIG…

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A COVID ‘ring of steel’ around Sydney would play havoc with Australia’s supply chains

By Flavio Romero Macau, Edith Cowan University If a “ring of steel” was actually placed around Sydney, as suggested by Victorian premier Daniel Andrews, the rest of Australia would suffer in ways that aren’t immediately apparent. Completely sealing a city or a region is not unprecedented. It happened last year in China, India, Italy and…

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ARENA funds 400 fast EV charging stations

The Australian Renewable Energy Agency’s (ARENA) Future Fuels Fund has backed five companies who collectively will deliver 403 new fast charging stations, each capable of charging at least two vehicles concurrently at 50 kW or above. Announcing the first round of funding today ARENA said it had been impressed with the strength of applications and…

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Has the ‘manufacturing piper’ now been paid? – by Allen Roberts

The need for sovereign manufacturing capability has been made obvious, but for decades Australian manufacturing has been seduced by the siren song of capital ratios, when the real game is sustainable cashflow and the long term development of Intellectual Capital. Allen Roberts asks have we gone too far, and how do we turn the boat…

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Q-CTRL in quantum error advance

Researchers at the University of Sydney and the university’s spinoff quantum control technology group Q-CTRL today announced a major advance in the control of errors from cutting edge quantum computers. The groups have developed a new algorithm to identify sources of error in quantum computers through machine learning, providing hardware developers the ability to pinpoint…

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Hydrogen power storage partnership launched

A new standalone power supply partnership has been launched between LAVO, Ampcontrol and Boundary Power to develop hydrogen based solutions to regional and remote power users, along with data centres and other energy intensive industries. Hydrogen storage company LAVO, electrical, electronic and control system specialists Ampcontrol and standalone power system company Boundary Power will work…

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Manufacturing profits news briefs – stories you might have missed

Advanced Braking Technology continues strong growth Heavy duty brake vehicle manufacturer Advanced Braking Technology has reported record June operating sales of $1.16 million. ABT said sales of its fail-safe braking systems for heavy mining equipment were 17 per cent up in the fourth quarter compared to last year to $2.67 million. Reporting unaudited operating profit…

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Victoria bids for federal govt mRNA funding

The Victorian government has made a number of submissions to the federal government’s approach to market for a local mRNA vaccine manufacturing capability, with several other states also vying for Commonwealth support.

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Orbital hits $31.2m revenue for the year

Perth drone engine manufacturer Orbital UAV has announced revenues of $31.2 million for FY21 as it ramps up production for global drone manufacturers. The company booked a $1.2 million underlying operating profit for the year and a net loss of $10.8 million. A number of abnormal accounting treatments hit the company, including a US asset…

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Quickstep moves into unmanned systems

Leading aerospace composites manufacturer Quickstep has made a move into the drone sector through an investment in unmanned aerial system (UAV) designer and manufacturer Carbonix. The Sydney company has taken an unspecified minority stake in Carbonix which makes the all-electric, fixed wing Volanti drone (pictured) and the Domani VTOL Power Lift drone. The two companies…

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Brace yourself for the global electronic component shortage – by Yaser Darban

Electronics manufacturers such as Entech Electronics have had to beef up their supply chain and purchasing teams to meet the challenges of a global shortage of electronic components. Here, Yaser Darban explains what companies can do to weather the shortage. As the world recovers from a pandemic, another threat looms for manufacturers–a global shortage of…

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Cookon cooks up a storm in cooking appliances

By Peter Roberts I have often heard people, even manufacturers, lament the destruction of appliance and whitegoods manufacturing in Australia. But there are survivors including Zip Water boilers in Sydney, Seeley and Braemar air coolers and gas heaters in Adelaide and Albury, Rheem in Sydney, and Electrolux’s oven factory, also in Adelaide. The Swedish company’s…

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Manufacturing news briefs – stories you might have missed

Australia Post trials Australian made e-trikes Australia Post is trialling Australian made three-wheeled electric delivery vehicles to see if they complement its fleet of electric vehicle types. The company, which ordered 1,000 Swiss-made e-trikes earlier this year, is trialling Stealth Electric Bikes’ OzPods (pictured) in the Melbourne suburb of Lillydale over a variety of terrains.…

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Aurora Labs to print naval frigate parts

Additive manufacturing technology group Aurora Labs (A3D) will develop trial marine components for commercial evaluation by BAE Systems Maritime Australia for potential inclusion in the nine Hunter class frigates it is building in Adelaide. BAE is in the prototyping phase of the frigate build and its’ R&D group is investigating large scale metal additive manufacturing…

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EV bus maker raises $110 million, to establish NSW factory

Electric vehicle manufacturer Nexport Mobility Group will build a large-scale vehicle manufacturing plant in Moss Vale following today’s announcement by investment group TrueGreen Impact Group which has raised $110 million for the project. Tor Investment Management provided the new funding. As foreshadowed in @AuManufacturing on Monday, Nexport plans to make e-buses utilising technology from China’s…

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Grey Innovation calls for investors in new venture fund

Commercialisation business Grey Innovation has announced an Early Stage Venture Capital Limited Partnership (ESVCLP) fund. Grey Innovation Ventures was “decreasing the traditional risk” involved in the ESVCLP model and “by investing in sophisticated start-up companies. With first market access to Grey Innovation Group’s suite of companies in, or approaching early revenue stage, the risk is…

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EOS demonstrates RWS system to US military

Electro Optic Systems US defence division has demonstrated the precision and lethality of its Remote Weapon Stations (RWS) to US military observers. EOS Defense Systems USA took part in a live fire and static display at the Crew Served Weapons (CSW) Industry Range Day event on Red Cloud Range, Fort Benning, Georgia (Pictured). EOS displayed…

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Maryborough munitions plant construction complete

Construction is complete after 15 months on the new Rheinmetall NIOA Munitions artillery shell forging plant at Maryborough in Queensland. The factory will use state-of-the-art equipment, including a 1200-tonne hot forging press, to produce the world’s most technically advanced 155mm calibre projectiles for Australia and export markets. BADGE Constructions led the building phase for the…

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Marketing for manufacturers – how it’s done at Opal Australian Paper

@AuManufacturing’s Marketing for manufacturers series turns today to a manufacturer whose products have become a household name through sustained marketing and innovation. Here Peter Roberts profiles Opal Australian Paper. Australian shops sometimes seem devoid of genuinely made in Australia brand names, with many famous Australian names such as Kiwi boot polish, Aspro, Sheridan and Speedo…

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Amaero to 3D print in the Middle East

Metal additive manufacturing company Amaero International has announced progress in developing its Australian and international busines, including plans to establish an additive manufacturing centre in the Middle East. The company, which produces 3D printers and manufacturers in Australia and California, submitted a draft heads of agreement during the March quarter to establish the centre and…

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Greener solvents help get more value out of apple waste

University of Adelaide researchers have found a greener and more effective way to extract beneficial compounds from apple waste.

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Silentium secures $7.4 million passive radar order

Adelaide-based Silentium Defence has secured a $7.4 million contract from the Department of Defence to supply its MAVERICK M-series passive radar system to the army for capability development and evaluation. Silentium’s MAVERICK M-series is a soldier-portable, covert radar system for air defence, land, and maritime surveillance. It monitors reflections from battlefield radiation sources such as…

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Rising prices boost BlueScope to record

A swing to positive microeconomic conditions has powered steel producer BlueScope to a record result for the second half, with the company today reporting a preliminary operating profit for FY21 of $1.72 billion. The record second half contribution was $1.19 billion, more than $100 million more than previously anticipated. Factors driving the result include rising…

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Holden Group A vehicle tipped to break auction record

Lloyds expects a record price to be set when one of only 302 Australian-made Holden HSV VN SS Group A vehicles goes under the hammer at its Classic Car Auction this weekend.

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Aquaterro to refurbish defence helmets

Melbourne company Aquaterro has won a $35 million contract to refurbish and upgrade the Australian Defence Force’s combat helmets. The five-year deal follows the construction of a purpose-built 5,000m2 Defence Industry Facility by the company in 2020. Aquaterro supplies every state and federal police force and border security agency with a wide range of imported…

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Aurora Labs achieves high power laser 3D printing

Metal additive manufacturing producer Aurora Labs (A3D) has successfully completed the third milestone in the technology development pathway of its 3D printers. The company reported it has achieved 1.5kW laser printing power which is in excess of competitors. Its RMP-1 Beta prototype achieved reliable printing at that power while maintaining part integrity and quality standards…

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Record quarter for Lynas Rare Earths

Lynas Rare Earths is benefitting from the critical nature of its products to high technology products, reporting record June quarter sales revenue of $185.9 million and sales receipts of $192 million. The Western Australian producer reported sustained demand for Lynas Neodymium-Praseodymium (NdPr) products and strong market pricing as governments outside China seek to diversify supply…

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Australia’s ‘prototype’ for regional transformation

Newcastle’s mission to diversify its economy and capitalise on a rapidly shifting export market through innovation is a “prototype” for the rest of Australia, according to Newcastle Port chair Professor Roy Green.

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VEEM to develop Hunter class frigate propeller

Western Australian marine engineering firm VEEM is to develop a prototype propeller to be fitted to the nine Hunter class frigates now under construction in Adelaide. BAE Systems Maritime Australia has let a contract worth about $180,000 to develop a prototype propeller blade, following an initial feasibility study in 2020. VEEM manufactures a wide range…

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Pact and Cleanaway to recycle food grade plastics

Packaging group Pact Group and waste processing company Cleanaway today announced they would build Australia’s largest post-consumer polyethylene recycling plant converting locally collected kerbside materials into high quality food grade rHDPE and rPP resin. The $38 million project to be constructed at Laverton, Victoria will accelerate the inclusion of locally processed recycled resin into food,…

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Marketing for manufacturers — What makes a good story? Thought starters on what’s worth sharing with the world

Where to begin? In the opening day of Marketing for manufacturers, Jack Mallen-Cooper answers that question for you, with a list of suggestions to get manufacturers thinking on what’s worth sharing about what they do.

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E-bus competition hots up with BYD on the way

By Peter Roberts A number of companies are now lining up in a race to secure major orders for electric buses from states such as New South Wales determined to electrify their fleets. Led by our largest bus maker Volgren, the market includes Bustech, Germilang Australia and Custom Denning all offering various levels of local…

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Manufacturing news briefs – stories you might have missed

BHP to supply Tesla with nickel Mining group BHP will supply electric vehicle manufacturer Tesla with nickel from its Nickel West operation in Western Australia. The company has been ramping up production in the west in anticipation of rising demand from EV manufacturers. The company increased output by 11 per cent to 89,000 tonnes in…

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Saving through smarter energy use – a future for our coal regions by James Bradley

With @AuManufacturing’s Saving through smarter energy use series coming to an end, we look at the big question for regional Australia – how to replace fossil fuels such as coal. Here James Bradley looks to a future for NSW’s Hunter region. With the largest coal export port in the southern hemisphere, it is no secret…

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Saving through smarter energy use – in three steps by Ben Waters

@AuManufacturing’s Saving through smarter energy use series is coming to an end. Here Ben Waters offers three simple steps to reducing your energy costs. Australian manufacturers face the twin challenges of high energy costs and the need to decarbonise their operations and demonstrate a path towards net zero emissions. A ‘Reduce, Displace, Replace’ strategy can…

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Quickstep improves operations in year of modest growth

Composites manufacturer Quickstep Holdings significantly improved internal operations during FY21, a year characterised by modest growth and the loss of a major prospective aerospace contract. The Sydney company announced FY21 sales of $85.1 million, up 3.4 per cent on the prior year. Appreciation of the US$ dampened the year on year growth, with an average…

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Carbon Revolution grows despite pandemic woes

Single piece carbon fibre road wheel manufacturer Carbon Revolution managed a 2.7 per cent increase in wheel sales in the fourth quarter of FY21 to 3,218 despite Covid-19 and global computer chip shortages slowing automobile production worldwide. The company said in a market update it had progressed key manufacturing and technical improvements at its Geelong…

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Federal grants boost key value-added industry developments

Analysis by Peter Roberts More details are emerging of a significant boost to key projects adding value to Australia’s vast mineral resources under the federal government’s modern manufacturing initiative and related industry programs. Today Lynas Rare Earths, the only significant manufacturer of rare earths critical to high technology industry outside China, revealed details of a…

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Applications sought for listing in defence export catalogue

The federal government is calling for Australian defence industry businesses to lodge their applications for inclusion in the 2022 Australian Defence Sales Catalogue. With numbers of companies in the catalogue increasing every year, defence industry minister Melissa Price highlighted the benefits of inclusion. Price said: “The catalogue is a powerful reference for Australian defence businesses…

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Wine exports drop on China slump, growth elsewhere

Strong growth in wine exports to the United Kingdom and Asian countries failed to make up for a 45 per cent fall in the mainland China trade in FY 21, according to figures from Wine Australia. China’s punitive tariffs on Australian wine saw overall export volumes drop five per cent and their value drop by…

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Bisalloy looking as tough as its steels

By Peter Roberts When industry minister John Button in the Hawke government took the first steps to reform Australia’s over-protected and under-performing industries in the 1980s he focused on developing new sunrise sectors and giving the sick men of industry – steelmaking, car manufacture and textiles clothing and footwear – a chance to survive. Since…

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Manufacturing news briefs – stories you might have missed

JWA Oilfield Supplies launches Flamingo concentrated solar Composite products developer JWA Oilfield Supplies and its collaborative partners are preparing to transport the first of the company’s Flamingo concentrated solar water treatment units (pictured) to a customer site in South West Queensland. Designed to improve the rates of water recovery and re-use in mining, the water…

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Titomic continues 3D part production, reveals issues with a major sale

Additive manufacturing technology group Titomic has notched up a number of significant milestones at its Melbourne production bureau with global companies across high technology industry, however has reported issues with a previously announced sale. In a market update Titomic said it had recently completed defence, aerospace and armoured vehicle projects for a range of customers.…

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ASM project launched as our second rare earths producer

Australian Strategic Materials (ASM) has kickstarted its Dubbo, NSW rare earths project with the signing of a $340.7 million ($US250m) framework agreement with a South Korean consortium. A consortium of South Korean Investors will receive 20 per cent of the equity in the holding company owner of the Dubbo project, with the partners planning a…

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Australian Made logo now legally protected in Indonesia, Vietnam

The Australian Made, Australian Grown logo is now a registered trademark in Indonesia and Vietnam. The Australian Made Campaign announced on Wednesday that the logo was now protected under the laws of Indonesia and Vietnam, and can only be used by licenced makers and growers. “The iconic green-and-gold kangaroo logo is a valuable marketing tool…

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Defence supply chain review launched

The federal government is to review the program that identifies opportunities for Australian manufacturers to enter the global supply chains of eight large multi-national defence prime contractors. The minister for defence industry Melissa Price today announced the independent review of the Global Supply Chain Program which affects companies supplying large systems to defence such as…

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Saving through smarter energy use – Seeley evaporative cooling outshines refrigerated systems

@AuManufacturing’s Saving through smarter energy use series turns to a revolution in air conditioning costs now penetrating commercial and industrial markets. Peter Roberts profiles evaporative air cooling manufacturer, Seeley International. Many of us see refrigerated air conditioning systems as the gold standard for hot climates, with our only experience of evaporative systems those portable air…

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15 manufacturers awarded $7.16 million in Commercialisation Fund grants

Federal grants of up to $1 million each and worth $7.16 million in total have been announced, supporting 15 manufacturing businesses through the Advanced Manufacturing Growth Centre’s Commercialisation Fund.

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Local mask maker forgotten as buyers go back to imports

One of the examples of local manufacturing resilience highlighted by the Covid-19 pandemic has seen staff numbers and orders dwindle as hospitals return to imported suppliers, according to a report. The ABC reported on Tuesday that Shepparton’s Med-Con went from 150 staff at its peak to 25 now. At the beginning of last year, it…

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Queensland, Woolworths invest in manufacturing

The Queensland government and supermarket Woolworths have separately invested in early stage venture and development capital to support manufacturers. Queensland treasurer Cameron Dick announced the state had backed a $61 million capital raising by Gold Coast-based rocket manufacturer Gilmour Space Technologies. He did not reveal the size of the state’s investment, however the capital injection…

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Matrix emerges from Covid downturn

Composite manufacturer Matrix Composites & Engineering has pulled through a Covid-19 drop in sales of its traditional buoyancy products for the offshore oil and gas industries. The Perth company, which diversified its traditionally underwater composites manufactures to onshore mining sectors, has seen a rebound in oil prices generate greater activity in the oil and gas…

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Manufacturing news briefs – stories you might have missed

AnteoTech signs SEA distributor for EuGeni Nanotechnology company AnteoTech has appointed South East Asian distributors for the Brisbane company’s EuGeni SARS-CoV-2 antigen rapid diagnostic test (pictured). Biomed Global Sdn. Bhd will distribute the EuGeni reader platform and rapid tests in Malaysia. Singapore, Indonesia, Vietnam, Thailand and Myanmar. AnteoTech specialises in surface chemistry, and has core…

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EOS achieves $20m sales to Australian defence

Space, communications and defence manufacturer Electro Optic Systems has notched up sales of more than $20 million to the Australian Defence Force over the past month. The company told investors the contracts cover advanced technology research and development activities in electro-optic sensors, Cobra satellite terminals from its EM Solutions subsidiary and sustainment contracts. “The contracts…

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Exports and immigrants have masked Australia’s poor R&D record. Here are some simple fixes

Australia’s long run of economic growth from the early 1990s to early 2020 inspired much boasting by incumbent politicians. But behind the hubris and headlines lies a less flattering story — about Australia riding a wave of dumb luck, with exports to China and relatively high levels of immigration masking mundane economic performance.

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CRC program stands alone in federal industry backing

Comment by Peter Roberts The cooperative Research Centres (CRC) program has assumed even greater importance to the future of manufacturing with the likely demise of the growth centres initiative, though the CRCs too need further federal commitments in the short term to continue their good works. The CRC’s match federal money with cash and in…

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BioCina joins the mRNA vaccine manufacturing race

By Peter Roberts Adelaide pharmaceutical group BioCina has joined the race to manufacture mRNA vaccines in Australia such as those made by Pfizer and Moderna which have proved effective in preventing infection from Covid-19. The Adelaide company, backed by the University of Adelaide, is one of a number of groups who have responded to a…

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Manufacturing news briefs – stories you might have missed

DroneShield sells to Australian army, receives US infrastructure order Drone detection and countermeasure company DroneShield has has sold a quantity of its RfOne MKIITM long-range sensors to the Australian Army (pictured). The capability is being delivered immediately to allow the Australian Army to assess its future counter-drone requirements and options. The company has also received…

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v2food goes on sale in China

Australian plant-based meat manufacturer v2food has continued its product range and market expansions announcing an entry into the Chinese food market. The company has established an operations team in China to deliver Wodonga-made plant-based foods to consumers there, adding to export markets New Zealand, Japan, Korea, Thailand and the Philippines. v2food was established by the…

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Australian Makers series sonnen Australia – video

The Australian Made Campaign’s Australian Makers video series has debuted a new video manufacturer profile – of solar home battery manufacturer sonnen Australia. Housed in the former Holden assembly plant at Elizabeth in Adelaide, the company manufactures the residential sonnenBatterie system, which now boasts more than 60,000 residential installations worldwide. The sonnenBatterie is an intelligent…

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Say goodbye to industry growth centres, strap in for government grant rorts

By Peter Roberts All the signs are bad for any small hope we may have had that the six industry growth centres would be replaced by something more like the highly successful UK Catapult centres or German Fraunhofer Institutes. The signs coming from Canberra are that no-one is pushing for an extension of the growth…

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Manufacturing news briefs – stories you might have missed

Austin Engineering appoints new CEO Mining equipment manufacturer Austin Engineering has appointed David Singleton (pictured) as CEO and managing director after a period acting in the position. Singleton is credited with internationalising Perth shipbuilder Austal and taking it into new areas of technology including naval shipbuilding and construction using steel instead of its more typical…

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Wintermute Covid treatment for further US development

Biopharmaceutical company Wintermute Biomedical has had its novel Covid-19 therapy included in the US Biden administration’s $3 billion whole of government program with a focus on accelerated development of next generation COVID-19 treatments. Melbourne-based Wintermute, which in April revealed a new anti-microbial chemistry now on sale in Australia as a hand sanitiser and surface cleaner…

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Launch pad licence means all systems go for Southern Launch

Three test rockets are set to be launched from South Australia within months, after the company behind the launchpad complex secured a licence from the Australian Space Agency.

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State government announces $1 million for Central Victorian Advanced Manufacturing alliance

The Victorian government has announced $1 million in support for what it calls a “ground-breaking partnership” between the Bendigo Manufacturing Group, La Trobe University and the City of Greater Bendigo.

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Planet Innovation continues expansion, opens second cleanroom

Medical technology commercialisation and manufacturing business Planet Innovation officially opened its second cleanroom on Tuesday.

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PFi launches advanced titanium industrial filter

Diversified automation and manufacturing company Products for Industry (PFi) has launched an Australian-first titanium membrane filter (pictured) suitable for use in a wide range of industries. The Darra, Brisbane machine automation products, systems and solutions provider has won its first export orders for the new filter into the UK spirits market. Developed by Gilbert Erskine,…

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“Heavy hitter” industrial decarbonisation project awarded $3 million funding from ARENA

Roughly a year after its announcement, the Australian Industry Energy Transitions Initiative (ETI) has received $3 million in support from ARENA

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Saving through smarter energy use – Calix revolutionising industrial energy use

@AuManufacturing’s editorial series – Saving through smarter energy use – looks today at the biggest of big picture Australian industrial technologies which is transforming the production of those most products most critical to our future, cement and lime. Here Peter Roberts profiles Calix Ltd. Since building products group Adbri opened its Brighton cement works in…

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Inland rail supporting regional manufacturing

The continuing construction of the ambitious Inland Rail project linking Melbourne and Brisbane continues to provide benefits to regional manufacturers, with the letting of a $67 million contract for culverts to be manufactured in Tamworth, NSW. According to the Australian Rail Track Corporation (ARTC) the Narrabri to North Star (N2NS) section of Inland Rail is…

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Defence seeks RFI to speed sovereign guided weapons development

The defence department has moved to the next stage of its development of a $1 billion Sovereign Guided Weapons and Explosive Ordnance Enterprise, issuing a Request for Information seeking input from industry and academia interested in participating in the enterprise. Feedback is also being sought on the potential roles that organisations could play to assist…

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Gold Coast manufacturing hub opens

Queensland’s Gold Coast Manufacturing Hub was officially opened on Tuesday. The hub is headquartered at Nerang, received $4.5 million in funding from the Queensland government, and was “open and ready to service manufacturers in the areas from Beenleigh to the New South Wales border, and west to the Gold Coast Hinterland,” said state environment minister…

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Bisalloy receives first order for Boxer armour

Wear and armour steel manufacturer Bisalloy Steels has received its first significant order from Rheinmetall for specialised armour steel for the Boxer combat reconnaissance vehicle (pictured). Specially developed by Bisalloy to meet the protection level required for the Boxer, the steel has been tested and certified by the German government. It will be used by…

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Constellation provides IoT solutions to Fujitsu, QTEQ

Industrial internet of things hardware and software systems provider Constellation Technologies has signed a Master Services Agreement with Fujitsu Australia to develop IoT solutions. Constellation is now accredited to deliver its full suite of services to Fujitsu over the next three years. The company has received an initial purchase order from Fujitsu for a quantity…

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K-TIG expands in the UK and Europe

High speed welding technology manufacturer K-TIG is expanding into the United Kingdom and Europe, appointing former KPMG corporate strategist Benjamin Hall to lead its expansion globally. The company’s new subsidiary, Keyhole TIG (UK) follows the company’s successful penetration of the United States market, where it partnered with Key Plant Automation, a manufacturer of welding equipment…

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Former car factory deepens tech hub credentials

Adelaide’s Tonsley Innovation Precinct, constructed within the former Mitsubishi Motors vehicle assembly plant, is deepening its credentials as a centre of high technology with smart home technology company Nice Australia relocating to the site. Nice is a leader in smart home automation systems, including intelligent gates, garage doors, awnings, shutters, alarms and lighting that can…

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BAE frigate prototyping forges ahead

The first prototype unit to be built up into prototype ship blocks of Australia’s Hunter class frigates has progressed down the ‘pulse line’ at BAE Systems Australia Maritime’s Osborne Naval Shipyard. The pulse line (pictured) is a production line in the Steel and Unit Fabrication Hall at the new purpose-built shipyard where the nine Hunter…

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Tradiebot announces new CEO

Automotive and trades-focussed software company Tradiebot Industries has announced a new CEO, with co-founder and former CEO Mario Dimovski shifting his focus to growing the company in North America.

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Introducing our new editorial series – Saving through smarter energy use

Today we launch our new editorial series – Saving through smarter energy use. By Brent Balinski.

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ICN makes industry collaboration easier

Industry Capability Network (ICN) today relaunches the ICN Gateway after undergoing a comprehensive overhaul making it easier for project owners to promote their projects and suppliers to find work and promote their capabilities. The relaunched gateway, dubbed ‘New Business, Upgraded’, tackles the challenge for small to medium enterprises (SMEs) in breaking into new or expanding…

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Hawkei issues resolved, gains operational approval

Defence and Thales Australia have resolved a braking issue identified with the Hawkei protected mobility vehicle identified in late 2020, allowing the approval of Initial Operational Capability. Defence minister Peter Dutton said in a statement that the vehicle had reached a significant milestone with a technical solution to the issue being rolled out across the…

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Manufacturing news briefs – stories you might have missed

AML3D to join factory of the future Additive manufacturing equipment manufacturer AML3D will set up a R&D facility as part of the Line Zero factory of the future established by BAE Systems Maritime Australia and Flinders University. The facility, which is developing and testing cutting edge shipbuilding systems to be used constructing Hunter class frigates…

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Hydrogen hub gets $7 million federal boost, will feature “Australia’s first large fuel cell manufacturing line”

The federal government has officially announced $7 million in support for the Hycel Technology Hub at Deakin University’s Warrnambool Hub, which it says would help support the national economic goal of ‘H2 under $2’.

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Lithium Australia produces advanced cathode materials

Second-generation lithium manganese ferro phosphate (LMFP) battery cathode powder produced by Lithium Australia has met industry performance and physical property specifications. Electric vehicle manufacturers including China’s BYD, VW and Tesla are transitioning to the use of lithium ferro phosphate (LFP) cathode materials in lithium batteries. Both LFP and LMFP batteries are cheaper and safer than…

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New RMIT Sars-Cov-2 test promises result in under a minute, with planned commercial release early-2022

RMIT has announced that a rapid Covid-19 test based on R&D at Micro Nano Research Facility will be manufactured in Australia with planned commercial release early next year.

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SEA Electric plans stock exchange listing, Volvo delivers E-truck

Australian turned US-based electric drive train manufacturer SEA Electric is planning a public listing as it further accelerates growth, according to a company post on social media. At the same time Volvo has delivered the first Battery Electric Volvo truck in Australia to the Linfox fleet where it will be used to deliver Victoria Bitter…

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Evos raises cash to develop EV charger for fleet applications

A new electric vehicle charger company founded by three former employees of Tritium has raised $1.7 million in a seed funding round.

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Confidence in clean energy down as government clings to fossil fuels

Grid connection issues and unhelpful and unpredictable government intervention are behind falling clean energy investment confidence by senior business leaders, according to the Clean Energy Council. The industry also rated network capacity and transmission concerns, lack of long-term federal energy policy and future market design uncertainty as major challenges. The council’s bi-annual Clean Energy Outlook…

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Five medtech manufacturers awarded total of $36 million in federal grants

Five medical products companies have been awarded a total of $36 million in federal grants, including a developer of rapid Covid-19 tests and a maker of radiopharmaceuticals for disease diagnosis.

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Noumed to build Adelaide pharmaceutical plant

Noumed Pharmaceutical is to build an $85 million generic drug manufacturing plant in Adelaide. The company, part of UK’s Noumed Life Sciences, will build its first production plant in Australia at Salsibury following news it would receive $20 million to support construction under the federal government’s Modern Manufacturing Strategy. Noumed is an integrated generics pharmaceutical…

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H2X hydrogen vehicles resurface – but future in Australia in doubt

By Peter Roberts In June last year I reported that a new company H2X Australia would begin manufacturing a range of hydrogen fuel cell powered vehicles in Australia, including the exciting Snowy SUV. Today that future looks rather clouded with the company renamed as H2X Global, a new website appearing and CEO Brendan Norman paying…

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Our ambition to produce a ‘How it’s made Australia’ video series – by Bill Macartney

ADVERTISING FEATURE Since @AuManufacturing and Cahoots announced their proposal for a How it’s made – Australia video series, we have had great feedback from readers and companies. Here, Bill Macartney of Cahoots explains what we are trying to achieve by putting manufacturing in front of Australian audiences. An ability to envisage and communicate a future…

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Manufacturing skills Australia to support innovation skills development

Industry skills council Manufacturing Skills Australia has announced its Industry Development Fund is seeking applications from around Australia for grants to improve innovation skills in the sector. MSA, which develops courses for students in the manufacturing sector, is offering individuals between $1,000 and $10,000 to develop their skills and knowledge through research, education and/or training…

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CEFC provides $16.5 million in support to billion-bottle recycling plant in Albury-Wodonga

The Clean Energy Finance Corporation has announced it is providing up to $16.5 million in debt finance for the Cleanaway/Pact Group/Asahi Beverages factory currently being built in Albury-Wodonga. “The project will draw on $16.5 million in debt finance from the Commonwealth Bank of Australia, for a total debt finance package of $33 million, to build…

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Govt consults on patent box scheme

The federal government’s patent box scheme will only apply to new inventions created after May, while it is still considering how best to target it at the BioTech and medical sectors and whether to expand the scheme to apply to low emissions technologies as well.

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Fortescue delivers on hydrogen and decarbonising technology development

Fortescue metals Group’s future industries division (FFI) has hit the ground running delivering major progress in a series of decarbonisation initiatives committed to by company chairman Andrew Forrest in March this year. FFI CEO Julie Shuttleworth said Forrest had led two major overseas expeditions including 50 experts testing the hypothesis that green hydrogen was a…

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Spiral Blue deploys edge computer aboard space satellite

Edge computer developer Spiral Blue has successfully launched the first prototype of its Space Edge Zero (SEZ) computers into orbit as part of two aboard 2 SatRevolution satellites. The satellites were deployed into a 500km altitude sun-synchronous orbit by Virgin Orbit’s air-to-space LauncherOne rocket. Launched from the Mojave Air and Spaceport in California, the satellites…

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Calix and Tarmac to cut CO2 emissions in lime production

Industrial technology company Calix is moving ahead on yet another front, announcing an agreement to implement its calcination process to reduce in-process carbon dioxide emissions in the production of lime. The company, which is developing a world-first zero emissions lime kiln with Australian group Adbri, will co-develop a project with construction materials manufacturer Tarmac to…

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MMI grants worth $13.8 million announced for space projects

The first tranche of grants under the Modern Manufacturing Initiative’s Integration and Translation streams has been announced, with four companies awarded federal funding for space-related projects.

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Australian wine production rebounds in 2021 vintage

Australian wine production has seen a big rebound in the most recent vintage, with a record crop of 2.03 million tonnes, according to Wine Australia’s National Vintage Report 2021.

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Big rise inapprenticeships but statisticians unsure why

There was a big rise in apprentice numbers during 2020, but on issuing the boom figures the National Centre for Vocational Education Research warned of the need to interpret the results with care. NCVER reported that there were 297,920 apprentices and trainees in-training as at 31 December 2020, an increase of 13.9 per cent from…

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Amaero to build strategic titanium alloy powder plant

Metal additive manufacturing company Amaero International will invest $8 million to build what it calls the world’s most advanced titanium alloy powder manufacturing plant in Victoria. Using proprietary technology the alloy gas atomisation plant will produce aerospace grade titanium powders used in advanced additive manufacturing, and provide an alternative in global markets dominated by China…

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Diagnostics company Lumos to debut on ASX today

Point of care test developer and manufacturer Lumos Diagnostics will begin trading on the ASX at 1230 AEDT today, following a $63 million IPO.

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Calix and RHI Magnesita to cut CO2 emissions in refractory materials

Industrial technology company Calix has signed another deal to implement its calcination process to reduce in-process carbon dioxide emissions – this time in the production of refractory materials. Calix will work with a global leader in refractories, Vienna-based RHI Magnesita NV to utilise a Calix Flash Calciner in producing refractories, allowing the separation of CO2…

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@AuManufacturing can help you access $800m manufacturing grants

Advertisement The guidelines for the collaboration stream of the federal government’s flagship Modern Manufacturing Initiative have been released, with grants of between $20 million and $200 million for transformative projects to be accepted from next month. $800 million in grants will be available under the stream which emphasises collaboration between Australian manufacturers and with universities…

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AML3D’s straightforward 3D printer gaining traction

By Peter Roberts Simple ideas are often the best. And in manufacturing, if they are based on one of the world’s best accepted and understood industrial technologies, all the better. This is the path Andy Sales, CEO of additive manufacturing technology company AML3D took when he saw how conventional wire arc welding could be automated…

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Manufacturing news briefs – stories you might have missed

Fleet Space satellite deployed The payload of Fleet Space Technologies sixth nanosatellite, Centauri 4, launched on SpaceX Falcon9 mission, has been deployed in space and switched on. CEO Flavia Tata Nardini took to social media and said: “This usually takes weeks if not up to a month, so to achieve this in only a few…

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Tasmania to get three new plastic recycling facilities

Three Tasmanian plastic recycling plants that received grant support under the Recycling Modernisation Fund have been announced.

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Australia-US in talks on space technology treaty

The Australian government will negotiate a bilateral treaty with the US for protections of space technology, in a bid to attract more American investment and access to sensitive technology and data into the local market.

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Equipping Australia’s armed forces – Novafast piping aboard frigate build

Our editorial series – Equipping Australia’s armed forces – ends today where we began two weeks ago – looking at the benefits for SMEs of meeting the stringent demands of defence prime contractors. Here Peter Roberts profiles Novafast International. BAE Systems Maritime Australia is working around the clock to commission one of the world’s first…

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Quickstep in herculean aerospace milestone – video

Advanced composites manufacturer Quickstep has notched up a new aerospace milestone, delivering its 200th shipset of wing flaps for the C-130J Super Hercules military transport aircraft (pictured). The Sydney company has a five-year contract with US manufacturer Lockheed Martin to provide wing flaps for the aircraft, which is in service with the RAAF, until 2024.…

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It’s a record: Australian manufacturing expanded at fastest pace ever during June according to PMI

The Australian Industry Group’s Performance of Manufacturing Index survey has recorded its best result since its 1992 beginning, with each activity index and each sector in growth.

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Govt opens $50m supply chain grants program

Semi-conductors, water treatment chemicals and telecommunications equipment are being considered for the next round of grants, with between $50,000 and $2 million in matched funding on offer.

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HILT CRC to decarbonise heavy industry

The federal government has announced $39 million in funding to an ambitious project linking researchers, miners and heavy industry aimed at decarbonising the sector. The Heavy Industry Low-carbon Transition Cooperative Research Centre (HILT CRC) has also attracted $210 million in cash and kind contributions from universities and companies involved. Leading business players include ADBRI cement,…

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Guidelines released for collaboration project grants worth up to $200 million each

Guidelines were released on Wednesday for the federal government’s Modern Manufacturing Initiative “collaboration” stream grants, worth between $20 million and $200 million and supporting large-scale Australian manufacturers with “large, transformational projects.”

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Rural R&D Corporations – unsung heroes of collaboration

By Peter Roberts @AuManufacturing has written a lot about the federal government’s industry growth centre initiative, from its undoubted benefits to the companies the six centres touch, to their underfunding and sub-optimal program design. With the growth centres threatened with replacement by grants issued by ministers offices – with the all too-obvious risks of their…

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Equipping Australia’s armed forces – Silentium makes it quiet

As our editorial series – Equipping Australia’s armed forces – nears its close @AuManufacturing takes a fresh look at a familiar technology – radar. Peter Roberts profiles passive radar developer, Silentium Defence.

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Manufacturing news briefs – stories you might have missed

Line Zero factory of the future architect selected Adelaide-based Das Studio has been selected to design the industrial scale factory of the future project at the Tonsley Innovation District in Adelaide. Stage one of the project is a research and training facility collaboration with BAE Systems Maritime Australia, the Innovative Manufacturing Cooperative Research Centre, Cisco…

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Collaboration to develop liquid hydrogen tanks

A collaborative partnership has received Advanced Manufacturing Growth Centre (AMGC) funding to develop two new types of propellant tanks for storing cryogenic liquid fuels for commercial and civil satellite programs. Aerospace giant Lockheed Martin, Australian composites manufacturer Omni Tanker and UNSW Sydney plan a “Type IV” fluoropolymer-lined carbon fibre composite tank and a “Type V”…

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Industry growing but suffering worst skills shortage in 14 years: survey

Despite clear momentum, manufacturers are currently dealing with materials disruptions comparable to the 1970’s oil shock and skills shortages “not seen in 14 years” according to research from the quarterly Australian Chamber-Westpac Survey of Industrial Trends.

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Marine bioproducts, heavy industry decarbonisation R&D get backing in CRC round 22

Three new CRCs have earned funding under the Cooperative Research Centre Program’s round 22, with a total federal government investment of $158 million and estimated total investment of $664.6 million over their lifespans.

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Equipping Australia’s armed forces – Strength from Bisalloy steel

Our editorial series – Equipping Australia’s armed forces – continues today with a look at the interaction between defence and civilian industrial sectors. Here Peter Roberts reports on wear and armour steel producer Bisalloy Steel. Bisalloy is one of those companies that operates in Australia in a niche of one – in this case as…

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Super funds back Gilmour Space Technologies

Australian superannuation funds HESTA, Hostplus, and NGS Super have backed the latest capital raising for Gold Coast rocket manufacturer Gilmour Space Technologies in good news for high-tech manufacturing. The funds joined Australian and global venture capital firms pledging $61 million to Gilmour in what is the biggest capital raising ever by an Australian space business.…

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Calix and CSL in Victorian biotechnology developments

Industrial technology company Calix has been awarded $1 million in federal funding to develop its biotechnology manufacturing operations at Bacchus Marsh in Victoria. At the same time pharmaceutical giant CSL has set aside several floors at its new 18-storey headquarters building in Melbourne’s Parkville (pictured) for a new biotechnology incubator. Calix, best known for its…

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Manufacturing news briefs – stories you might have missed

Atomo Diagnostics gets FDA clearance Medical device company Atomo Diagnostics has received Emergency Use Authorisation from the US Food and Drug Administration for its one of its rapid COVID-19 tests developed with Korea’s Access Bio. The company’s CareStart EZ COVID-19 IgM/IgG test detects recent or previous Covid-19 infection. The rapid antibody test combines Atomo’s rapid…

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Austin Engineering rationalises Mackay operations

Mining equipment manufacturer Austin Engineering is continuing its strategic review, announcing the consolidation of two sites at Mackay in Queensland to a single location. The company, which recently moved its headquarters from Brisbane to co-locate with its largest factory at Kewdale in Perth, will close its repair and maintenance workshop and consolidate at its Progress…

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Barrett Releases the HF Radio Mailbox

HF radio manufacturer Barrett Communications has released its new 4020 HF Radio Mailbox. Part of Barrett’s HF Fax and Data System used worldwide for the past 15 years, the new Radio Mailbox delivers IMAP synchronised email over HF Radio and onto users’ smart devices. A feature previously unavailable to the HF radio user, it allows…

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Queensland machinery maker achieves first Chilean export

Phibion, a former Queensland Export Award Winner, will ship the first of its machines bound for Chile this week.

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Liveris calls for innovation policy overhaul

Australia needs a fundamental change in its approach to innovation and exports to capitalise on the government’s $1.5 billion Modern Manufacturing Initiative, according to the scheme’s chief architect Andrew Liveris, who says the federal policy should guide an overhaul of the national economy.

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Can manufacturing escape new Covid strains?

By Peter Roberts Sitting in my hotel room in Melbourne I am beginning to feel anxious at being away from home with the onset of a Sydney lockdown that bodes ill for this latest round of Covid-19. With just over three per cent of our population vaccinated fully, and government and citizens in Sydney clearly…

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Manufacturing news briefs – stories you might have missed

CardieX prepares for blood monitor sales Health care monitoring company CardieX has split into two divisions as it moves to commercialise five products in development (pictured). The company has developed PPG sensors to allow blood pressure monitoring with a touch, and a home blood pressure monitor and wristband for vascular patients. CardieX has a new…

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It’s official – Saputo’s Coon cheese becomes Cheer

The much anticipated disappearance of Coon brand cheese is underway, with Saputo Dairy announcing the renamed brand range has begun rolling out across major and independent Australian supermarkets, with more products appearing on shelves nationally over the coming weeks. Saputo commercial director Cam Bruce said: “We are excited to confirm that shoppers can now purchase…

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US university invests in Australian-made Spee3D metal printer

Australian metal additive manufacturing company Spee3D has achieved another export, with the installation of a LightSpee3D machine at Penn State University’s Applied Research Laboratory in the United States.

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Austal primed for swell of autonomous vessels – by Paddy Gregg

Our editorial series – Equipping Australia’s armed forces – looks today at the trend towards autonomous naval vessels, part of a wider move to autonomous systems. Here Austal CEO Paddy Gregg outlines the Australian prime contractor’s leadership position. Austal’s recent US$44 million autonomous capability contract with the United States Navy is just the tip of…

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Killing growth centres will enable ‘rorts’: Labor

Labor has accused the government of trying to kill off the Industry Growth Centres to gain control of their grant programs for political purposes as the Opposition ramps up attacks on the industry portfolio.

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Gupta holds off court action during Whyalla steelworks refinancing

Sanjeev Gupta’s GFG Alliance says it has negotiated a six-week standstill agreement with Credit Suisse while it finalises the refinancing of its Australian operations, which include the Whyalla steelworks.

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Townsville company awarded state government support to make water treatment chemicals

Cleveland Bay Chemical Company (CBCC) has earned support under the Essential Goods and Supply Chain Program to begin production of a chemical used in water treatment. The industrial chemical manufacturer was awarded an unspecified amount, according a statement from the Queensland government on Wednesday, to begin producing aluminium chlorohydrate (ACH) at its Townsville factory. The…

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Covid brings Victorian vaccine and pharmaceutical innovation

By Peter Roberts The pieces are beginning to fall into place for the production of mRNA vaccines in Victoria, and possibly Queensland. Driven by the success of the first vaccine’s developed using the novel technology by Pfizer and Moderna, both states are backing local mRNA technology development, with Victoria in April committing $50 million. A…

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Manufacturing news briefs – stories you might have missed

Senate rejects ARENA fossil fuel plans The Senate took advantage of the absence of Senator Pauline Hanson to reject government plans to extend the remit of the Australian Renewable Energy Agency to allow it to invest in so-called ‘low-emissions technologies’. The opposition, greens and cross-benchers feared this would divert funds set aside for investment in…

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Austal snares third US Navy contract

Perth shipbuilder Austal has snared its third contract from the US Navy in less than one month, announcing it will develop a preliminary design under the USN’s light amphibious warship (LAW) program. The navy envisages a fleet of between 28 and 30 LAW warships to support the Marine Corps from 2023. The requirement is for…

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Seaweed cattle feed to be used at new $90m plant in South Australia

Construction of the first processing plant to use a seaweed-based feed supplement for cows to reduce their methane production by 90 per cent will begin near Port Pirie towards the end of this year.

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Three QLD companies awarded $840,000 under Manufacturing Hubs Grant program

Three north Queensland companies have earned a total of $840,000 in state government grants under the Manufacturing Hubs Grant Program.

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Investment NSW gets an innovation war chest

The New South Wales government’s newest agency has been allocated more than $400 million to attract investment and foster innovation in the state, less than three months after being set up.

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ADN infant formula plant nears completion

Australian Dairy Nutritionals Group has announced that installation of infant formula production equipment will be completed by the end of the month at its new $6 million plant nearing completion at the Camperdown dairy park in south-west Victoria. Commissioning works will then begin along with the installation of the final section of roofing. Operations are…

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Connecting Australian manufacturers – by Alexander May

By Alexander May Over the past few years, the ongoing effects of globalisation have changed the manufacturing landscape in Australia, resulting in increased offshoring and importing. This has led to Australia ranking near the bottom in the OECD for manufacturing self-sufficiency, due to a significant amount of manufactured equipment and goods being sourced from overseas.…

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Manufacturing recovery is here, it’s just not very evenly distributed

A report by the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO) has tracked a recovery in global manufacturing output, but with pronounced differences across countries and industries. UNIDO’s World Manufacturing Report found overall year-on-year growth for manufacturing at 12 per cent for the first quarter of 2021.Different countries experienced different rates of recovery, which UNIDO…

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Queensland’s Inside Advanced Manufacturing tour to run July 12 – 16

The state government-run Inside Advanced Manufacturing tour will resume this year and run between July 12 to 16, with 20 companies hosting “behind-the-scenes” tours at their factories. The week would “showcase the new design and innovative technologies, processes and practices” transforming the sector, according to a statement from Queensland manufacturing minister Glenn Butcher, providing insights…

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NSW to unveil $480m EV package

By Joseph Brookes The New South Wales government will commit nearly half a billion dollars in today’s budget to the uptake of electric vehicles, including limited $3,000 rebates and the removal of stamp duty on some new cars. The reforms will bring down the cost of a new electric vehicle by as much as $5,500…

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Equipping Australia’s armed forces – the minnow and the defence prime

Our series – Equipping Australia’s armed forces – continues today with a focus on deepening relationships between defence prime contractors and relatively small Australian SMEs. Peter Roberts profiles Lockheed Martin Australia and Varley Group. It is easy to trace back the increasing complexity of relationships between foreign prime contractors and local SME suppliers to a…

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Reshoring solar cell production – by Shane West

Achieving net zero carbon emissions by 2050 is a credible target, but if it is to be achieved with local manufactured solar PV cells we need to mobilise the research and manufacturing sector as never before. Here Shane West us of the early history of solar cell production in Australia and the future demand to…

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Equipping Australia’s armed forces – Xtek switches into higher (more protective) gear

Our series – Equipping Australia’s armed forces – continues today with a focus on new materials and technologies for the battlefield. Here Peter Roberts interviews Philippe Odouard. Polyethylene seems a rather mundane word coming from Philippe Odouard who has long been associated with advanced materials, first leading composites manufacturer Quickstep and now as managing director…

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Manufacturing news briefs – stories you might have missed

Skykraft completes first spacecraft Smallsat manufacturer SkyKraft has released a picture (below) of its first spacecraft nearing completion and preparing to move to AITC, Mt Stromlo, for testing. SkyKraft, a spin-off from the University of New South Wales Canberra, plans a satellite constellation for space-based Air Traffic Management services with operations commencing in 2023. Meanwhile…

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Childbirth monitor, battery tech companies among winners in $3.2 million Accelerating Commercialisation round

Eight companies have been awarded Accelerating Commercialisation grants totalling $3.2 million.

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Lunar rover and space thruster supported with Moon to Mars grants

Twenty organisations have shared $4 million in Moon to Mars Demonstrator Feasibility grants supporting projects ranging from university testing facilities to the development of a Lunar Construction Rover and an in-space chemical thruster. The grants will help transform concepts into space products and services, building an ecosystem of companies supporting the Australian Space Agency’s $150…

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Record number of nominations in Good Design Awards

The Australian Good Design Awards are now showcasing this year’s finalist, with winners to be named at the Good Design Awards Ceremony on September 17 in Sydney.

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Fleet Space to progress its nanosatellite wide area network

IIot nanosatellite communications services provider Fleet Space Technologies will improve the capabilities of its hybrid satellite low-powered wide area network (LPWAN) following the award of a Mars Supply Chain Capability Improvement grant. Part of the Australian Space Agency’s $150 million Moon to Mars initiative, the grant will boost collaboration to miniaturise and ruggedise sensors in…

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Australia needs construction waste recycling plants — but locals first need to be won over

Strong community opposition to a proposed waste facility in regional New South Wales made headlines earlier this year. The A$3.9 million facility would occupy 2.7 hectares of Gunnedah’s industrial estate. It’s intended to process up to 250,000 tonnes a year of waste materials from Sydney.

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Australian made composite masts bound for Tokyo Olympics

Filament-wound tubing specialist CST has displayed a collection of boat masts bound for the Tokyo Olympics.

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National Space Qualification Network launched

A National Space Qualification Network (USQN), a new system of certification for satellites and other systems destined for space, has been launched with backing from the federal government. The University of Wollongong (UOW), the Australian National University (ANU), Australian Nuclear Science and Technology Organisation (ANSTO), Steritech, Nova Systems and Saber Astronautics will contribute to a…

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Green hydrogen production and vehicle refilling station for SW Melbourne

Modular hydrogen production developer Hydrogen Fuels Australia (H2FA) has launched Australia’s first integrated hydrogen production and refuelling station to be built at a greenfields site in Truganina near Laverton, south-west of Melbourne. Rainwater and renewable power will be used along with Green Hydrogen Systems of Denmark electrolysis equipment, with the site’s micro-grid managed by Sweden’s…

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Alstom, CAF and Downer Rail shortlisted for next phase of QLD rolling stock program

Alstom, CAF and Downer Rail have been shortlisted for a $600 million project to build 20 six-car trains at Maryborough. The Queensland government made the announcement on Wednesday, following an expression of interest process led by the Department of Transport and Main Roads (TMR.)The winner of the contract will be named next year.The…

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Manufacturing news briefs – stories you might have missed

LAVO to deploy hydrogen storage for vineyards Hydrogen storage device manufacturer LAVO is to collaborate with wine producer Duxton Vineyards Group on the use of LAVO hydrogen storage solutions at its vineyards in the Mildura and Sunraysia region of New South Wales. DV owns and operates over 2,400 hectares of vineyards, as well as a…

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Swinburne’s Professor Bronwyn Fox named as incoming CSIRO Chief Scientist

Swinburne University’s Professor Bronwyn Fox will be CSIRO’s next Chief Scientist, the university announced on Wednesday afternoon. Fox joined Swinburne in 2015 — as the head of its Factory of the Future — from Deakin University. Following a Directorship of its Manufacturing Futures Research Institute, Fox has been Deputy Vice-Chancellor, Research and Enterprise since February…

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Coal to urea plant closer at Leigh Creek

Leigh Creek Energy has raised $18 million to progress the first stage of its energy and urea project in the mid-north of South Australia. The capital injection will be used to progress the production of commercial syngas and power generation from lignite resources at the former Leigh Creek coal field. The placement was supported by…

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Great Wrap, Voronoi, Good360 among winners at first Circle Awards

The first Circle Awards were held on Tuesday night, with winners announced from circular economy leaders in Australia and New Zealand.

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ARENA and Rio study hydrogen to refine alumina

Rio Tinto will study whether hydrogen can replace natural gas in alumina refineries to reduce emissions with a $1.2 million feasibility study. Equally funded by the Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA), the study will use clean hydrogen to replace natural gas in the calcination process of refining at the Yarwun alumina refinery in Gladstone. The…

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Australian Missile Corporation Announces More Signings

The Australian Missile Corporation (AMC) has signed up two new SME partners in its collaboration developing an indigenous consortium to develop a sovereign guided weapons enterprise. AMC, a subsidiary of Queensland munitions manufacturer NIOA, has added Milspec Manufacturing and Thomas Global Systems to its partners. They join a collaboration that includes Quickstep, Black Sky Aerospace,…

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Reimagining Regional Manufacturing Innovation – by Robert Masters

The growing dynamism of Australia’s regional cities has not been well recognised or appreciated. Here Robert Masters suggests linking regional manufacturing growth to the Modern Manufacturing Strategy through a campaign to highlight the regions. Regional Australian manufacturers often underappreciated – yet they must play a key role in future if Australia is to be recognised…

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Applications for $43 million industrial energy study grants to open next month

Grants will open on July 6 for an Australian Renewable Energy Agency-administered program aimed at identifying opportunities to reduce industrial greenhouse gas emissions. The $43 million Industrial Energy Transformation Studies Program was announced in the May federal budget, and its first round — budgeted at $25 million — will support feasibility and engineering studies for…

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Patriot Hydrogen production units for Port Anthony, Victoria

Hydrogen technology company Patriot Hydrogen is to supply two modular hydrogen production units to Port Anthony Renewables which is developing a green energy and green hydrogen hub at the port, 180 kilometres south-east of Melbourne. Patriot will supply two P2H hydrogen units (pictured), each with a capacity to produce one tonne of hydrogen a day…

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Australia’s submarine comedy of errors

By Peter Roberts It is getting harder by the day to continue thinking that Australia is not making a hash of our most expensive and complex defence program – building 12 Attack class submarines at a cost of $90 billion. The government has finally given clarity whether three or all six of our Collins boats…

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The next step for industry growth centres – by Paul Hodgson

A secret report into the future of industry growth centres has pointed to design weaknesses in the growth centre model and inadequate funding to affect outcomes at a sectoral level. With the federal government believed to favour abolishing the centres, Paul Hodgson points the way ahead.

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Manufacturing news briefs – stories you might have missed

Archer progresses biochip design Archer Materials has established chip testing and measurement operations (pictured) to support its development of a graphene-based biochip for point-of-care medical diagnostics. The capability has been established at a cleanroom at the University of Sydney’s semiconductor research and prototype foundry. The establishment of the facility allows Archer to progress to the…

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QLD unveils $2b renewables and hydrogen boost

By Joseph Brookes The Queensland government has announced a $2 billion renewables and hydrogen fund, quadrupling its previous clean energy commitment in a bid to attract more industries to the state and create jobs as part of the Covid-19 recovery. The boost comes as the Queensland Labor government begins work on its own 10-year energy…

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Three FNQ manufacturers awarded $930,000 in Manufacturing Hubs grants

Three far north Queensland businesses have been awarded a total of $930,000 in grants through the state government’s Manufacturing Hubs Grant Program. The funding will help create a claimed 142 new jobs at the three companies, which produce cleaning chemicals, high-tech signage, and steel products. Northern Chemicals was awarded $127,590 for a new 2000-litre ribbon…

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Applications sought for grants of up to $150,000 through Activate program

The Innovative Manufacturing CRC is inviting applications for its Activate program, which offers grants between $50,000 and $150,000 to support SME projects running between six and 12 months.

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Stawell Gold and Gekko Systems prove novel technologies

A Victorian gold mine and a regionally based mining equipment manufacturer have collaborated to develop sophisticated technologies to automate gold processing plants. Since 2018 Stawell Gold Mine and Gekko Systems of Ballarat have installed new equipment and developed new processes to optimise processing. SGM, owned by private equity group Arete Capital Partners, first installed a…

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Manufacturing news briefs – stories you might have missed

Probiotec grows as suppliers onshore production Pharmaceutical manufacturer and packing company company Probiotec has increased its sales and earnings guidance for FY21 following its acquisition of packing business Multipack-LJM and interest from customers in onshoring their production. The company expects to make an underlying operating profit (EBITDA) up 75 per cent to more than $29…

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South Australian craft producers toast $47 million pay day

Melbourne-based drinks business Mighty Craft has announced plans to buy South Australian producers Adelaide Hills Distillery, Mismatch Brewing and Hills Cider in a deal worth $47 million.

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Austal faces civil case over alleged disclosure breach

The Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) has begun civil penalty proceedings in the Federal Court of Australia against Perth shipbuilder Austal and its former CEO David Singleton (pictured). Austal revealed it had been notified this morning of the case, which follows an investigation by ASIC of the company’s disclosures to the stockmarket regarding its…

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Pelican Products gains quality tick

Specialty case manufacturer Pelican Products has gained ISO 9001:2015 certification for its Erina, NSW manufacturing facility. The company, which manufactures more than 500 standard sizes of cases used by aerospace companies, military personnel, first responders and outdoor enthusiasts, joins eight other Pelican sites globally with the certification. Pelican’s Australian managing director Christian Nyman said: “In…

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Finally, venture capital wakes up to innovation in manufacturing

Analysis by Peter Roberts For a very long time now in Australia it has been possible to get venture capital for a yet-another gold mine or some fintech app. But when manufacturing innovators go looking for capital, other than a few angel investors, the cupboard has been bare – this despite us sitting on one…

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Manufacturing news briefs – stories you might have missed

New Cellmid hair growth products to be launched Bio-technology developer Cellmid will collaborate with Pump Haircare for the supply of its FGF5 inhibitor hair growth products which will be sold under the Pump brand. Cellmid subsidiary Advangen will manufacture and supply Pump branded hair lotions including the company’s hair loss prevention and hair growth technologies.…

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NERA plan to boost SME success in energy and resources supply chain

The energy and resources industry growth centre is to launch GeneratER, a new open innovation challenge aiming to boost SME manufacturers in the energy resources supply chain. With similar programs successful in a wide range of industries, National Energy Resources Australia will launch GeneratER next week in Perth, offering SMEs the opportunity to capture a…

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Covid disruptions spark boost to beleaguered TCF sector

Australia’s textile clothing and footwear industries, one of the principal victims of unfettered and often unfair import competition from China, has been the surprise beneficiary of Covid-19 disruptions, according to new figures from industry analysts IBISWorld. With Chinese exports disrupted Australia’s knitted product manufacturing industry achieved a 13.2 per cent increase in revenue to $90.6…

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Carbon capture and use given go ahead

The federal government has awarded six companies a share in the Government’s $50 million Carbon Capture, Use and Storage (CCUS) Development Fund. Part of a $1.9 billion new energy technologies package announced in the 2020-21 Budget, the government aims to accelerate the development of the technology in Australia, reducing emissions and supporting new economic opportunities.…

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Darling Downs business group in regional manufacturing hub push

A local business lobby group is making the case for the Darling Downs as a regional manufacturing hub, citing existing strength in machinery production and positive sentiment around reshoring.

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QLD govt commits $20m to vaccine manufacturer

A new vaccine manufacturing facility could be built in Brisbane next year after the Queensland government committed to investing up to $20 million into a “bench to bedside” medical innovation organisation eying a manufacturing and testing expansion in Brisbane.

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BluGlass focuses on manufacturing improvement, raises cash

Semiconductor technology developer BluGlass has announced an $8 million capital raising to further develop its first direct-to-market commercial laser diode product. The company, which is commercialising its Remote Plasma Chemical Vapour Deposition (RPCVD) production technology, plans a non-renounceable rights issue to current shareholders. The raising comes as the company revealed it was experiencing reliability issues…

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Locals EOS and Nioa combine in weapons development

Two of Australia’s leading local defence businesses have joined to further opportunities in remotely operated weapons systems (RWS) and ordinance. Weapons and munitions prime contractor NIOA and Canberra RWS manufacturer Electro Optic Systems (EOS) have signed a Memorandum of Understanding to jointly pursue opportunities to enhance and support EOS Remote Weapon Stations and weapon systems.…

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Manufacturers awarded $3.7 million in grants through commercialisation fund

A tranche of grant funding worth $3.7 million has been awarded to six manufacturers through the Advanced Manufacturing Growth Centre Commercialisation Fund.

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Council trials asphalt using recycled plastic bags, toner, glass

Lake Macquarie City Council has announced a trial road resurfacing using Reconophalt, manufactured at Downer’s Teralba plant. Engineering firm Downer uses recycled products including soft plastics from plastic bags and packaging, glass, printer toner cartridges, crumbed tyre rubber and reclaimed asphalt in Reconophalt. The council said the chip packaging and plastic bags provided a glue…

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Bellevue railcar facility officially opened

The Bellevue Metronet Railcar Facility was officially opened on Monday, with the first train built there expected to be delivered in 2022. Work began in March last year on the $46 million facility, built by Firm Contractors. It was opened by Western Australia premier Mark McGowan and transport minister Rita Saffioti, coinciding with WA Day.…

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Solar PV and wind still the cheapest – CSIRO

Solar photovoltaics (PV) and wind continue to be the cheapest sources of new electricity generation capacity in Australia, even when the integration costs of renewables are included, according to a report released today by CSIRO and the Australian Energy Market Operator (AEMO). Their final 2020-21 GenCost Report, released today estimates the cost to generate electricity…

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Endua to make hydrogen storage bank

Australian clean energy storage startup Endua launches today an ambitious plan to manufacture hydrogen-powered energy storage systems to deliver sustainable, reliable and affordable power. Backed by $5 million from CSIRO’s venture division Main Sequence and Ampol, Endua will build modular hydrogen power banks that can drive power loads of up to 150kW in a single…

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SafeWork announces research on welding fume exposure

The NSW government’s Centre for Work Health and Safety is conducting new research with the University of Sydney and Curtin University on exposure to welding fumes.

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Trade in Trajan shares begins today

Life science and analytical device company Trajan Scientific and Medical will list on the ASX today. Trajan was established in 2011 by husband-and-wife team Stephen and Angela Tomisich, who began by acquiring a pathology industry consumables business. It has made six acquisitions since, and develops and manufactures devices and solutions, mainly for the medical sector.…

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SEA Electric lifts truck production in US

Electric truck drivetrain manufacturer SEA Electric has wasted no time expanding its assembly operations in the United States where it has the potential to assemble more than 60,000 electric trucks a year, according to media reports. A report in truckinginfo.com said the company has upfitting facilities in Illinois, Michigan, North Carolina, Indiana and California. California…

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Growth centres on their own from 2022, likely face extinction

By Peter Roberts The federal government has all but confirmed that the six industry growth centres will be on their own and receive no government funding after June 2022, at which time they are expected to transition to be ‘self-sufficient’. This is a proposition considered to be highly unlikely according to a secret report on…

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Want to buy a brewery, going cheap?

Lion beverages has appointed plant closure specialists Hilco Global APAC to begin selling the major assets of South Australia’s West End Brewery, following Lion’s decision to cease beer manufacturing in the state. Hilco in a joint venture with FA Maker will sell off significant food and beverage and brewing related equipment in a process to…

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Manufacturing news briefs – stories you might have missed

Lithium Australia gains patent cover Lithium Australia has been granted a patent by IP Australia covering its SiLeach process for recovering lithium from clays and mica. The SiLeach process produces lithium carbonate and lithium phosphate which can be used to produce lithium ferro phosphate (LFP) battery anodes. LFP batteries will power the Tesla 3 in…

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Labor skewers industry portfolio’s ‘revolving door’

By Denham Sadler Labor has questioned whether the government is taking the industry department seriously amid a “revolving door” of ministers and machinery of government changes. At a Senate Estimates hearing on Thursday morning, Labor Senator Murray Watt pointed to the fact there has been seven industry ministers under the Coalition government in the last eight…

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Wagners CFT to open first US factory in October

Building products company Wagners Composite Fiber Technologies (CFT) announced this week that it will open its first US site, at Parker County in north Texas, employing 304.

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NanoGel announced as AMGC’s 3,000th member

The Advanced Manufacturing Growth Centre has announced its 3,000th member, a nanotechnology enterprise founded by four female ex-CSIRO scientists.

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Australian in-orbit satellite demonstration of AI

The UNSW Canberra Space M2 cubesat mission has taken a significant step on a path to developing intelligent, networked satellite constellation technologies. Last week the satellite successfully performed on-board artificial intelligence inferencing by correctly recognising hand-written characters on pre-loaded images. The experiment, an Australian first in space, tested the functionality of the AI environment and…

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RENK to assemble armed vehicle transmissions

Tracked vehicle transmission manufacturer RENK has signalled local assembly of its transmission systems should the Rheinmetall Lynx infantry fighting vehicle be selected in a competition to supply the Australian army. German-based RENK would assemble and test transmissions in Brisbane should Rheinmetall be successful in its Land 400 Phase 3 bid. RENK’s facility would supply Lynx…

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ECT to turn brown coal into char

Reduced-emission technology company Environmental Clean Technologies has signed a five year deal for the supply of lignite from deposits at Yallourn in Victoria to supply its Coldry ‘low and zero emission’ char project. The deal will involve the recommissioning of lignite delivery infrastructure including the outfeed conveyor at the former Yallourn power station (pictured) to…

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Bickfords used Covid to expand exports

Diversified beverage company Bickford’s broke the trend away from globalisation during the Covid-19 pandemic, inaugurating exports to eight new countries in the past 12 months. The company, well known for its cordials, has just annnounced its latest new market – Texas. The 175 year old company has begun exporting its new plant-based milk products and…

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Cyber Security and digital twins, a concern – by Michael Haines

Digital twins are the big new thing – design and build a product digitally from a single digital master plan, then operate it and maintain it using the same digital twin. What could possibly go wrong, asks Michael Haines. While it rarely seems to be discussed in the context of ‘Digital Twins’, if we are…

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K-Tig leads a group of Australian industrial technologies

By Peter Roberts It is fair to say that Australia is a country that has not always valued its manufacturing sector, yet we seem nowadays to be producing more than our fair share of innovative industrial technologies. A few recent examples to mind: Calix and its low emissions cement and lime production PPK Group and…

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Manufacturing news briefs – stories you might have missed

Superyacht MY Bold out of the water Perth shipbuilder Silver Yachts has released pictures of its super-yacht MY Bold on the slipway at its Henderson yard south of Perth. The MY Bold was lifted out of the water for service at the yard where it was built in 2019. Silver Yacht boasts a team of…

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ANCA’s surprise move into defence

Australian machine tool manufacturer ANCA Group could make a surprise foray into the defence sector thanks to Hanwha Defense Australia’s bid to supply armoured vehicles to the army. The Korean company revealed the signing of a memorandum of understanding between Korean company Mottrol and ANCA Engineering Solutions of Bayswater in Melbourne. Hanwha will partner with…

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Orbital UAV delivers first engine to Singapore customer

Unmanned aircraft engine manufacturer Orbital UAV has delivered the first unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) engine in a development program for a Singapore defence defence industry customer. The company, which manufactures engines for Boeing offshoot Insitu, is designing, developing and providing initial low-rate manufacturing of multi-fuel engines with the first unit destined for system evaluation and…

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Industry growth centre policy insanity – by Tim Mazzarol

On Monday @AuManufacturing revealed an initial evaluation report of the six Industry Growth Centres had highlighted inadequate funding and the centres’ inability to change the fortunes of the sectors in which they operate. Here Tim Mazzarol looks into the history of growth centre policy in Australia. Albert Einstein’s definition of insanity is continuing to do…

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Bisalloy steel launches customer branding initiative

Australia’s only manufacturer of quenched and tempered steel plate, Unanderra’s Bisalloy has launched a Bisalloy Built customer branding initiative aimed at users of wear steel. The brand will be available to customers to use as a stamp of quality on their products, including truck bodies and earthmoving attachments, indicating they are made of genuine Bisalloy…

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Manufacturing surge continues, growth hits highest rate since 2018

Manufacturing continued to grow at a rapid rate in May, with the Australian Industry Group’s Performance of Manufacturing Index recording its eighth consecutive expansionary result.

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Manufacturing news briefs – stories you might have missed

Sparc granted graphene use patent Sparc Technologies has been granted a patent for the use of graphene in the removal of contaniments such as mercury and arscenic. The patent covers graphene’s abilty to act as a porous matrix to remove heavy metal ions in liquids or gas. The company has already undertaken studies of graphene’s…

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NSW launches new US-inspired SBIR program

The NSW government will today announce a two-year, $24 million program to encourage small businesses and researchers to develop and commercialise solutions, based on the United States’ Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) scheme.

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SPC announces new SPC Care business, focussing on food for aged care

Food Group SPC has announced a new nutritional health care business in response to the Royal Commission into aged care.

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Arnott’s shares recycling, net-zero goals

Food manufacturer Arnott’s Group has shared its sustainability goals, described by its transformation officer as stretching but eminently achievable.

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Secret reportbacks industry growth centres, points to under-funding

By Peter Roberts An initial evaluation report of the six Industry Growth Centres – which has been considered in secret by the federal industry department for seven months or more – has highlighted inadequate funding and the centres’ inability to change the fortunes of the sectors in which they operate. The key findings of the…

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Australian Manufacturing Forum passes 8,000 members, plus Allen Roberts reader survey winner

@AuManufacturing’s social media discussion and networking group, the Australian Manufacturing Forum on Linkedin, has passed an important membership milestone. On Sunday we approved 63 new members for the Forum, Australia’s largest social media group of Australian manufacturers, bringing total membership to 8,042. Membership only passed 7,000 in late January, with a record five new members…

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Manufacturing news briefs – stories you might have missed

Covid-19 hits Cann Group’s outlook Medicinal cannabis manufacturer Cann Group has been hit by Covid-19 interruptions to supply chains, forcing the company to downgrade its earnings outlook for the year. International regulatory timelines for approval have blown out and third-party manufacturing and supply issues have caused temporary delays in shipments to local and export customers.…

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