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feb15 Australian Manufacturing Technology

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Aerospace: A window of opportunity PAGE 36

.Aerospace .Forming & Fabrication .Cutting Tools .Quality & Inspection .Materials Handling

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Volume 15 Number 01 February 2015 ISSN 1832-6080


AEROSPACE Intuitive robot programming Epoxy prepreg streamlines Boeing 777 repairs SynFlyt – Off to a flying start Aerospace showcase at Avalon 2015

40 42 43 43

FORMING & FABRICATION Multiroller – No reset required Press brake fundamentals Proper maintenance can prolong plasma cutter FastBend upgrade for Bertazzo Engineered

48 49 50 52

CUTTING TOOLS Iscar’s SpinJet – Seriously cool (coolant) speed From implants to tomographs Insert failure – addressing eight common modes

56 58 60

QUALITY & INSPECTION Pedders springs into 3D metrology 8tree – Bringing the analysis on-board Mobile precision made easy in automotive applications

64 66 68

MATERIALS HANDLING Konecranes improves productivity and safety for TFG RoboJob lands first Turn-Assist sale in Australia

70 71

From the CEO From the Industry From the Union

10 12 14

INDUSTRY NEWS Current news from the industry


PRODUCT NEWS Our selection of new and interesting products


AMTIL FORUMS Law 72 OHS 73 Finance 74 Logistics 75 Manufacturing History – A look back in time


AMTIL INSIDE The latest news from AMTIL


feb15 AustrAliAn MAnufActuring technology

your industry. your Magazine.

Boeing forecasts demand between now and 2033 for 36,770 new airplanes, valued at US$5.2 trillion. To meet demand, aerospace OEMs are seeking ways to increase capacity by reducing manufacturing time. Page 36


.AerospAce .Forming

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Aerospace – Innovation in flight Amid whopping demand for new commercial aircraft, the aerospace industry is driving a rapid change in manufacturing technologies and processes – calling for more cost-effectiveness and speed. Australia is well placed technically and geographically to shape the aviation ecosystem and its capability in the sector is strong, with more than 800 firms generating an annual turnover of about $4bn.


ONE ON ONE - Professor Stephen Martin Prof. the Hon Stephen Martin is the Chief Executive of the Committee for Economic Development of Australia (CEDA). CEDA is a not-for-profit organisation that undertakes public policy research work. Approximately 700 of Australia’s major organisations are part of the CEDA family.



Aerospace: A window of opportunity

.Quality & Inspection & Fabrication .Cutting Tools


.Materials Handling

AMT February 2015

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Editor William Poole

The US bounces back Here’s a fun fact I unearthed the other day. You’ve probably heard the line “When America sneezes, whole world catches a cold”. But did you know it didn’t originally refer to America? It was first coined by Prince Klemens Wenzel von Metternich, who served as foreign minister of the Austrian Empire from 1809 until 1848. During this time, Metternich remarked: “When Paris has a cold, all Europe sneezes.” The world has changed a lot since then. Today, France is one of several European nations vying for local influence, while co-operating – via the EU – to retain a presence on the global stage. Meanwhile, Metternich’s words were retooled in the 20th century as the US emerged as a global superpower. In recent years, as Washington and Wall Street’s power has dwindled, the phrase has again been amended to see China doing the sneezing. But don’t right off Uncle Sam just yet. Australian manufacturing has entered 2015 much as it began 2014, with pessimism enveloping the industry. Almost exactly a year ago, Toyota became the last car-maker to announce plans to close operations in Australia, and today the uncertainty that had hung over local automotive manufacturing has shifted to our shipbuilders. And, as in 2013, the Ai Group’s Australian Performance of Manufacturing Index ended 2014 with the sector recording the briefest flicker of growth before again returning to contraction. But we’re not alone. JP Morgan’s Global Manufacturing PMI for December recorded its weakest performance since August 2013, with contractions in South Korea, Indonesia, Italy and Brazil, and disappointing data from China, the Eurozone, Russia and the UK. The broader macroeconomic picture is similar. The era of soaring Chinese growth seems over, Europe, Russia and Japan face significant difficulties, and a sharp fall in oil prices has hit emerging economies hard. But for America, the picture is rosier. In December the US Commerce Department estimated GDP growth at 5%: its quickest pace in 11 years, and many economists expect better still in 2015. The US was also one of the brighter stars of the Global PMI, its manufacturing sector recording 19 months of continuous expansion, helped by supportive government policies, low energy prices, and the reshoring of operations and jobs previously shifted abroad. So, while much of the world economy does appear to have caught a cold, the US seems to have finally shaken off the sniffles that had dogged its economy since the GFC. And say what you like about the rise of China or the Asian Century – the US is still a big player whose resurgence has implications for everyone. For Australia, this could be most keenly felt in terms of the dollar. The US Federal Reserve finally ended its quantitative easing policy in October, and is strongly tipped to raise interest rates this year. With the US dollar gaining strength on the back of the economic recovery, its Australian counterpart has fallen significantly in recent months, hitting a five-year low against the greenback in early January. A weaker Aussie dollar is by no means good news across the board for our economy. However, it certainly offers some long-awaited respite for our exporters, and in particular our manufacturers. That might just be grounds for optimism. ***

Editor WIlliam Poole Contributors Barbara Schulz Sales Manager Anne Samuelsson Publications Co-ordinator Gabriele Richter Publisher Shane Infanti Designer Franco Schena Prepress & Print Printgraphics Australia AMT Magazine is printed in Australia using FSC mix of paper from responsible sources FSC© C007821 Contact Details AMT Magazine AMTIL Suite 1, 673 Boronia Rd Wantirna VIC 3152 AUSTRALIA T 03 9800 3666 F 03 9800 3436 E W Copyright © Australian Manufacturing Technology (AMT). All rights reserved. AMT Magazine may not be copied or reproduced in whole or part thereof without written permission from the publisher. Contained specifications and claims are those supplied by the manufacturer (contributor)

Disclaimer The opinions expressed within AMT Magazine from editorial staff, contributors or advertisers are not necessarily those of AMTIL. The publisher reserves the right to amend the listed editorial features published in the AMT Magazine Media Kit for content or production purposes. AMT Magazine is dedicated to Australia’s machining, tooling and sheet-metal working industries and is published monthly. Subscription to AMT Magazine (and other benefits) is available through AMTIL Associate Membership at $165 (inc GST) per annum. Contact AMTIL on 03 9800 3666 for further information.

In the last AMT we finally closed the book on Fred Colvin’s ‘Sixty Years of Men and Machines’, and this month we’re thrilled to begin serialising ‘Big Wheels & Little Wheels’ in its place on our History Page. Our thanks to Graeme Sinclair of Parish Engineering for recommending Sir Laurence Hartnett’s memoir. We’ve found it fascinating reading over the summer break, and we hope you enjoy it too. The story begins on page 76.

Need Gears Need Gears on Time? on Time? 8 |

AMT February 2015

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CEO Shane Infanti – Chief Executive Officer AMTIL

A little perspective Many years ago I published an article which related to thinking about our views and perceptions of the world we live in. As we say goodbye to 2014 and head into a new year I thought it may be worthwhile reprinting this article, with the hope that it puts a little more perspective into our lives. The following numbers may be disputed however I believe they are quite likely essentially correct. If we could shrink the earth’s population to a village of precisely 100 people, with all the existing human ratios remaining the same it would look something like this.

people in the world that cannot. If you woke up this morning with more wealth than illness you are more blessed than the million or so that will not survive this week. If you have never experienced the danger of battle, the loneliness of imprisonment, the agony of torture or the pangs of starvation, you are ahead of 500 million people in the world. If you can attend a church meeting without fear of harassment, arrest, torture or death, you are more blessed than three billion people in the world. If you have food in the refrigerator, clothes on your back, a roof overhead and a place to sleep, you are richer than 75% of the people in the world.

There would be 57 Asians, 21 Europeans, 14 from the Western Hemisphere and 8 Africans. Fifty two would be female, 48 would be male, 70 would be non-white and 30 would be white. Seventy would be non-Christian, 30 would be Christian, 89 would be heterosexual and 11 would be homosexual. Six people would possess 59% of the entire world’s wealth and all would be from the United States. 80 would live in substandard housing, 70 would be unable to read, 50 would suffer from malnutrition, one would be near death and one would be near birth. One (yes only one) would have a college education and only one would own a computer. When one considers the world from such a compressed perspective, the need for acceptance, understanding and education becomes glaringly apparent. The following are some things to ponder about the real world in which we live…. If you can read, you are more fortunate than the over two billion

If you have money in the bank and wallet and spare change in a dish somewhere, you are amongst the top 8% of the world’s wealthy. If your parents are still alive and still married, you are very rare, even in Australia. So when we look at what we have in this country from a manufacturing viewpoint, yes we have to work hard, yes things appear tough at times, yes we wonder about what the future holds and yes it can be depressing sometimes when we have an ordinary week or two. When this happens, just remember to put things into perspective. Give somebody a smile, say something nice to a colleague, give somebody you love a hug and live like it’s your last day on Earth. Yes, I believe, we still are a very lucky country.

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AMT February 2015


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Industry Innes Willox – Chief Executive Australian Industry Group

A great white hope for the industry? “Advanced manufacturing” – or some of its other iterations – has entered the lexicon over the past 18 months as the great white hope for the industry. Unfortunately, it seems to sweep away great swathes of Australia’s manufacturing sector as being of the past, not the future. That which we have built up is seen as belonging in the dustbin of history, as if manufacturing can start again in some sort of Year Zero construct.

• The leadership and management skills of employees in Australian manufacturing fall short of the leading advanced economies and have been identified by Manufacturing Skills Australia as a priority area for skills development.

The substantial issue is that here we have the old “picking winners” trap in a new guise. We risk denying recognition; turning away the interest of financers; and having the negotiators of international trade agreements turn a blind eye to all manufacturing not seen to be “advanced”. If we instead focus on advancing manufacturing rather than assessing whether this or that industry or business passes an ‘advanced manufacturer’ test, we begin to look at all available opportunities for transforming industries; building on strengths; and establishing new manufacturing businesses and industries.

Policies to both boost foundational skills and promote excellence in STEM skills would help ensure a seamless transition towards the higher skill levels required for Australian manufacturing to be globally competitive. Graduates need to be work-ready, equipped with the skills and experience businesses need. And businesses need to recognise the importance of investing in their staff.

So, what is needed to advance Australian manufacturing? We should think broadly. Sound government policies that effectively and efficiently promote investment and productivity growth are, of course, essential. A restrictive labour market has topped the list of business impediments in Australia in each Global Competitiveness Report since 2008-09. Australia is also going backwards in terms of regulatory costs and taxation, with our ranking for the “burden of government regulation” falling to a rather startling 124th place out of 144 countries – particularly disappointing when you consider we were ranked 60th as recently as 2010-11. Ai Group’s own policy work indicates many manufacturing businesses are also frustrated by the lack of government investment in infrastructure. Further, most investment in digital and telecommunications, transport and energy infrastructure has been in metropolitan areas, but manufacturing businesses are increasingly being squeezed out to areas where lack of infrastructure is a barrier to competitiveness. There are positive measures in the Government’s Industry Investment and Competitiveness Agenda to lift productivity, encourage innovation and reduce red tape. But there is much more work to be done to implement these measures and build on them. Moreover, we need to look beyond government. There is an enormous amount that industry can do to facilitate change. Globally, the most successful manufacturing sectors have access to a sophisticated mix of skills and capabilities, and a high diversity of embedded knowledge. Continued growth and competitive advantage will require higher skill levels and genuine interaction across a range of disciplines and specialisations – both within and between businesses. Australia faces trouble here. The facts are grim: • Manufacturing employees are more likely than in other sectors to have no tertiary qualifications and less likely to have higher-level tertiary qualifications. • Levels of numeracy, literacy and problem-solving skills for a technology-rich environment are lower in manufacturing than in virtually every other sector. • 22% of manufacturing employers report that graduates with higher level qualifications in STEM subjects have a lack of workplace experience and difficulties applying their skills.

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AMT February 2015

This is starting to bite. In a 2012 Ai Group report, for example, manufacturing firms were 5% more likely than firms in the services sector to report IT skills shortages. They were also more likely than any other sector to report lack of skills as a barrier to innovation. There is an urgent need both to attract more skilled workers and boost the skills and knowledge of current workers. This will require the combined efforts of government, industry and academia to address barriers to attracting and retaining skilled workers in manufacturing; ensure graduates are work-ready; and boost the STEM, non-technical and foundational skills of the manufacturing workforce. Similar collective effort, in terms of networking and collaboration in research, is also important in advancing manufacturing, but this is another area in which Australia continues to struggle: compared with the OECD average, nearly 40% fewer Australian R&D-active businesses collaborate on innovation. Compared with the all-business average for Australia, manufacturing businesses are approximately 15% less likely to collaborate on innovation, and nearly 40% less likely to collaborate with a public research institution. These facts are particularly concerning when you consider that only 30% of Australia’s research personnel work in industry – approximately half the OECD average. If we want our manufacturing sector to be advanced this needs to be addressed. The Industry Investment and Competitiveness Agenda includes a welcome aim to build greater collaboration between research and business – but it must do better than previous efforts. Investigating the barriers to collaboration will be crucial. Greater action is also needed by Australian manufacturers to connect with local and global knowledge flows. The priority here is increasing collaboration beyond their immediate supply chain, which is currently limited. We continue to rely heavily on the US and Europe for ideas, investment, innovation and technology. These connections should continue, but Australia also needs to embrace new opportunities in Asian markets. I firmly believe there is tremendous potential for Australian manufacturers of every size and sector, whatever they produce, to adapt by being smarter and more agile. Of course, it’s substantially about innovation, collaboration, adding value, global supply chains and the like, but it includes the old-fashioned gems as well as the shiny new bling. It would include a textile company like Textor Technologies, a foundry like Keech Australia, a ‘traditional manufacturer’ like Amcor, and an ‘advanced manufacturer’ like Cochlear. We need diversity in our manufacturing sector just as we need it in the broader economy, and advancing manufacturing is important to both.


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AMWU Paul Bastian – National Secretary Australian Manufacturing Workers Union

New ideas needed for the New Year The New Year brings with it many challenges and some opportunities, but the manufacturing sector still needs direction and a concerted and coordinated policy effort to modernise, expand capability and grow jobs. There are significant issues that the sector, governments and unions will have to confront. Value added in manufacturing fell by 1.8% in 2014, after a fall of 2.6% in 2013. The likelihood of this being turned around in 2015 depends on how the balance between several forces plays out, and crucially as always, on government policy decisions. The first challenge for manufacturing is energy supply, in particular gas supply. This year is the first year in which experts project the looming gas crisis will hit consumers. As LNG exports start, domestic supply will increasingly be put under pressure while at the same time domestic east coast prices move towards export parity. Already we are hearing of industrial users who cannot secure new long-term supply contracts as old contracts expire. In addition, falling oil and gas prices are conspiring with environmental concerns to put a brake on new supply, ensuring that regardless of what happens to prices, the east coast domestic gas market may face actual gas shortages in 2015. And it will be industrial customers that pay the brunt of the costs of any supply shortage, as governments will ensure residential customers maintain access while the big energy companies ensure they meet contracted LNG supply. If this happens, gas-intensive businesses – and especially those that use gas as a feedstock – will face a huge threat to their operations, almost independent of the price issue. This is a situation where a lack of government leadership and blind faith in markets has led to an otherwise avoidable crisis. The AMWU, along with the Australian Workers’ Union (AWU) and the Construction, Forestry, Mining and Energy Union (CFMEU), have called for a domestic gas reservation policy to at least ensure Australian gas users are not left high and dry due to our gas being exported, largely by foreign-owned corporations. Australia, unlike other gas exporting countries, has no national policy to ensure Australian customer needs are met before any gas is exported. This is long overdue. This year will be the year when governments and the Australian public will finally have to take notice of this looming issue. Australia’s shipbuilding industry remains in a precarious position, with the Federal Government refusing to provide the sector with either sufficient work or any certainty. In light of the future of the automotive manufacturing industry, to lose our shipbuilding industry would represent a massive blow, not just for the economy and for tens of thousands of jobs, but also for the sophistication of our industrial base and for our national security. Yet this is a fate the Federal Government seems happy to flirt with. In 2014 we already saw the well-documented collapse of investment in Australia’s renewable energy sector, at its lowest point in 13 years as the world leaves us behind. This isn’t likely to change in 2015, even if the ALP and the government can agree on a scaleddown Renewable Energy Target. The only impetus for clean energy investment remaining is the Clean Energy Finance Corporation, which is quixotically fighting for more clean energy investment against the backdrop of an openly hostile Federal Government. In fact, the investment outlook overall isn’t providing much comfort. The continued wind-down of mining investment is looking increasingly disorderly, with tens of thousands of job losses expected in the mining

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AMT February 2015

The outlook for the economy and manufacturing in particular remains difficult in 2015. We can expect to see a continuation of the pressures that have characterised the sector’s fortunes in the last few years, as well as the new pressures… states in the coming year. In addition, without a positive outlook for demand, businesses of all types are holding off on investing, preferring a wait-and-see approach. Along with the government’s talk of debt and deficit disasters, and their extremely poorly received and poorly designed 2014 Budget, these factors are conspiring to create a negative economic outlook likely to weigh heavily on manufacturing. At least the long-awaited and welcome depreciation in the Australian dollar is set to provide some relief to industry, if not to consumers. However, the headline exchange rate depreciation against the US dollar isn’t being matched by the depreciation relative to a tradeweighted basket of currencies. The AUD depreciated by 9% relative to the USD in 2014. This is much larger than the depreciation relative to a trade-weighted basket, which stands at just 4%. So while we can expect a welcome boost to competitiveness from the depreciation, it may fall short of what we would expect if we just paid attention to the USD exchange rate. The outlook for the economy and manufacturing in particular remains difficult in 2015. We can expect to see a continuation of the pressures that have characterised the sector’s fortunes in the last few years, as well as the new pressures of a looming gas crisis and more intensive competition due to trade agreements with South Korea, Japan and China. The NSW election should see a renewed focus on jobs and manufacturing issues, particularly regarding local content on train and ferry builds, but whether this will translate to changes in policy at the state and federal level remains doubtful. These are issues that cannot be allowed to drift, issues that need to be tackled by robust political leadership. The AMWU will continue to be an advocate for growing jobs and manufacturing. It is up to the industry to join us and put its case strongly to the Federal Government for a more creative, adequately funded industry policy that more effectively targets and supports innovation. The companies that are looking to expand into new markets with new products need and deserve that support. The depreciated currency has given manufacturing a positive start to 2015, but it will take a fresh approach if we are to turn the corner to a growing, strong sector.



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industry news

Australian PMI: Manufacturing slips back into contraction The Australian Industry Group Australian Performance of Manufacturing Index (Australian PMI) fell by 3.2 points to 46.9 in December, indicating another contraction in conditions across the manufacturing sector. The dip follows a modest expansion in the sector during November, when the PMI increased by 0.7 points to 50.1 (readings below 50 indicate a contraction in activity, with the distance from 50 indicative of the strength of the decrease). In October the index had recorded a third consecutive month of contraction, having increased by 2.9 points to 49.4. “We would have hoped to have seen a stronger Australian PMI in the lead-up to Christmas, but the finding is consistent with other publicly released data,” said Ai Group Chief Executive Innes Willox. “Respondents to the Australian PMI welcomed the further depreciation in the Australian dollar, but noted that the level of the dollar continues to encourage strong import competition.” In December only two of the seven activity sub-indexes – those for employment (up 4.7 points to 52.5) and exports (up 2.9 points to 51.0) – were above 50 points. The new orders sub-index fell sharply (down 10.6 points to 43.7) following two months of mild expansion, reflecting slower growth or a decline in new orders across the manufacturing sub-sectors. Manufacturing production also contracted for a second month (down 1.4 points to 46.0). Reflecting the weak trading conditions, supplier deliveries (down 3.5 points 48.5) and stocks (almost unchanged at 45.4) also contracted in December.

As in November, four of the eight manufacturing sub-sectors expanded in December. The large food, beverages & tobacco subsector continued to expand (up 1.3 points to 60.4), as did the smaller wood & paper products sub-sector – albeit at a much slower rate, dropping 10.5 points to 51.1. The textiles, clothing & furniture (up 4.2 points to 58.6) and non-metallic mineral products (up 12.4 points to 62.6) sub-sectors also expanded for a second consecutive month. The machinery and equipment (down 1.7 points to 42.9); petroleum, coal, chemicals & rubber products (up 3.0 points to 42.9); printing and recorded media (down 2.6 points to 40.1) and metal products (down 2.3 points to 40.9) sub-sectors all continued to contract this month. In the face of rising input costs (steady at 70.3 points), selling prices contracted at a faster speed in December (down 3.9 points to 45.1) and continue to place significant pressure on manufacturers’ margins. The wages sub-index was almost unchanged at 53.7 points. “Business sentiment and appetite for investment remain weak,” added Willox. “The closure of Australian automotive assembly facilities now under way, plus the rapid decline in mining investment activity, are also weighing heavily on demand for locally made machinery inputs and components.”

Global manufacturing growth cools further at year end The growth rate of the global manufacturing sector continued to moderate at the end of 2014, with production and new orders both rising at the slowest pace in almost one-and-a-half years. The JP Morgan Global Manufacturing PMI – a composite index produced by JPMorgan and Markit Economics – posted its lowest level in December since August 2013, reaching 51.6, down from 51.8 in November. Global manufacturing production rose for the 26th successive month in December. North America remained the prime driver of the expansion, as growth stayed relatively muted in both the Eurozone and Asia. There were also signs of further slowing in North America, however, as rates of output expansion eased in both the US (11-month low) and Canada (three-month low). The trend held up better in Mexico, with growth accelerating to a two-year high. Among the Asian manufacturing economies, Indonesia and South Korea all reported contractions of production, while China stagnated. India continued to perform strongly, with growth hitting a two-year peak, and a modest expansion was also seen in Japan (according to flash PMI data). Eurozone manufacturing production rose only marginally and at the weakest pace during the current one-and-a-half year sequence of expansion. Solid growth in Ireland, Spain and the Netherlands, alongside mild expansions in Germany, Austria and Greece were partly offset by accelerated rates of contraction in France and Italy. Elsewhere, growth slowed in the UK and Turkey, Russia stagnated and Brazil contracted. Commenting on the survey, David Hensley, Director of Global Economics Coordination at JP Morgan, said: “The global PMI showed signs of stabilisation in December after having pulled back from a more elevated level at mid-year. Notably, output gains have bucked the downtrend in the PMI, gaining speed in recent months.

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AMT February 2015

The near-term outlook for production is positive, as the slide in oil prices boosts household purchasing power and retail sales.” Price pressures remained muted in December. Average input costs rose at the slowest pace in eight months, while output charges fell for the second time in the past three months. Meanwhile, stocks of purchases and finished goods both fell moderately.

industry news

GP Graders awarded Australian Exporter of the Year AMTIL member GP Graders has been named as the winner of the 2014 Australian Exporter of the Year. Speaking at the awards ceremony in November, Trade and Investment Minister Andrew Robb said: “Exporter of the year, GP Graders – from my home-state of Victoria – should be especially proud of the innovation and imagination they’ve demonstrated in order to capture international attention for their machinery products.” The Minister noted that the awards highlight international business excellence at a time when opportunities offshore have never been greater, adding: “The businesses recognised by these awards make a huge contribution to our economy, and I congratulate the winners – indeed all the finalists – for their commitment, creativity and drive.” GP Graders is an Australian-owned business dating back to 1963, when founder Geoff Payne began a small manufacturing and grading packaging machinery business to cater to local apple and stone fruit orchards. Today, under the guidance of Geoff’s son Stuart, GP Graders is Australia’s leading supplier of fresh produce grading machinery. The company exports to Turkey, Greece, the US and Chile, helping time-poor agricultural businesses to cut costs, improve quality and save time. “This is a great honour and is testimony to the hard work the GP Graders team has put into product innovation and customer service,: said Stuart Payne on accepting the award. “We have been at the forefront of grading machinery technology for a long time and we make continuous improvements to technology by listening to our clients’ needs. This has built up goodwill with our many clients across the globe, and we hope to continue our push for excellence in this field whilst contributing to the improvement of efficiencies in the agriculture industry.”

GP Graders Director Stuart Payne (right) accepting the award from Trade and Investment Minister Andrew Robb.

Ronson Gears celebrates 60 years in Australian manufacturing Australian gear manufacturer Ronson Gears has celebrated 60 years in business with a vow to ensure its continued prosperity by maintaining its long-established focus on quality and customer service. When Ronald New opened a small workshop in suburban Melbourne in 1954, he set about providing a quality service that set the foundations for the modern company. Ronald named the company Ronson – in the hope that one of his sons would carry on the business. Today, brothers Gordon and Terry New agree that their father’s foresight was, on many levels, uncanny. According to Gordon, now Ronson’s Managing Director, Ronald’s focus on quality and customer service earned the small company a reputation for innovation and excellence, which has continued into the present. When Gordon and Terry took over the company’s management, they realised the importance of a global outlook – in all areas of the business – and they insist that this international focus has had the most significant impact on shaping Ronson’s growth ever since. It was this international outlook that led to Ronson’s decision to invest in state-of-the-art

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AMT February 2015

for its expansion into new markets internationally. The same sustained effort that earned the company these formal accreditations is evident in Ronson’s Continual Improvement (CI) program. With the assistance of the Federal Department of Industry, the company is about to commence the Supplier Continual Improvement Program (SCIP), designed to accelerate the competitiveness and raise the performance of individual Australian companies. equipment, which has been a cornerstone of the company’s sustained success. At the same time, there’s been broader recognition for the company within the industry through formal accreditation processes, most recently last year, when Ronson was awarded accreditation to AS9100C Quality Management System Standard (Aerospace), paving the way

Today, Ronson strives to ensure every machinery purchase, every customer order and every decision is tailored towards the company’s and customer’s future wellbeing. As part of its strategic planning, Ronson has recently commenced a Succession Plan that sees longstanding and proven key staff joining the management team to guide the company’s future direction.

industry news

Australian-made tails installed on F-35 Lightning II The first vertical tails manufactured by Australian company Marand have been installed on the F-35 Lightning II fighter jet at Lockheed Martin’s manufacturing plant in Fort Worth, Texas. The installation of these first major air-frame components marks an important production milestone for Marand, BAE Systems and Australia, demonstrating the significant industrial benefits that the F-35 program brings to the growing Australian aerospace industry. The work on the F-35 vertical tails is subcontracted to Marand by BAE Systems and is one of the largest planned manufacturing projects for the F-35 in Australia, with 722 ship sets planned. “We are proud of this incredible milestone for our team and for the work our company has done to establish a unique capability in the field of aerostructures manufacturing,” said Marand Chief Executive Officer, Rohan Stocker. “The Marand team has risen to the challenge of doing incredible work thanks to the support from BAE Systems. Our work not only serves the Australian Defence industry, but also creates high-technology Australian jobs.” Based in Moorabbin, in south-east Melbourne, Marand designs and manufactures complex, innovative equipment for the aerospace, defence, automotive, rail and renewable energy industries. Its customer base includes

companies such as Lockheed Martin, BAE Systems, Boeing, BHP Billiton and Rio Tinto. The F-35 Lightning II aircraft will provide the Royal Australian Air Force with a transformational fifth-generation fighter

capability and provides significant benefits to the Australian aerospace industry, with more than $412m already contracted.

Call for measures to support WA manufacturers The Chamber Of Commerce and Industry of Western Australia (CCI) has called on government to remove barriers to innovation and growth to ensure the state’s manufacturing sector can capture significant international opportunities on its doorstep. The CCI’s ‘Future of Manufacturing’ paper cites a number of success stories involving manufacturers in WA who have developed highvalue, niche products off the back of the state’s thriving resources and agriculture industries. “There is a misconception that manufacturing is no longer a viable industry in Australia – today’s report shows this is absolutely not the case,” said CCI Chief Executive Officer, Deidre Willmott. “Our research shows that the opportunity now is to move beyond local markets to the global marketplace.” The Future of Manufacturing paper recommends: • Reinstatement of the Federal Government’s R&D Tax Incentive for companies regardless of size. • Reform to depreciation rules on assets. • A reduction in the company tax rate to 25%. “For WA manufacturers to seize the opportunities of the urbanisation and development of Asia and the broader Indian Ocean Rim region, the Government must shift its policy agenda away from providing direct assistance to businesses and industries,” added Willmott. “Instead, it should focus on getting the broader policy settings

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right to allow the sector to prosper in its own right. This means encouraging growth in the sector through policies that incentivise R&D, help businesses to access markets overseas, and improve our competitiveness through tax reform and the removal of regulatory barriers.” Currently, the manufacturing sector is a significant component of WA’s export base, representing 17% of the state’s export earnings. It is also a major employer, providing work for more than 91,000 people across the state. The release of the paper comes as CCI members, including local manufacturers, prepare to join a Federal Government trade mission to India with Minister for Trade and Investment Andrew Robb. Willmott said India was a particularly important market. “There are opportunities throughout Asia for WA’s manufacturing industry to build on our growing expertise in resources and agriculture production,” she said. “Perth is a trade gateway for Indian Ocean Rim countries so we are very well positioned globally to take advantage of opportunities in these markets – particularly India, one of the world’s fastest growing economies.”

industry news

Make work health and safety your New Year’s resolution Safe Work Australia Chief Executive Officer Michelle Baxter has encouraged all Australians to make work health and safety their 2015 New Year’s resolution. “The beginning of the year signifies the ‘fresh start’ the majority of us use to make personal improvements or strive to be better,” said Ms Baxter. “So in 2015 rather than committing to just a personal change, focus on something that will also benefit your work-mates, family and the broader community. Improvements to workplace health and safety don’t have to be difficult or expensive tasks. They can increase productivity, and could save someone’s life.” If you have not already done so, Safe Work Australia recommends introducing a system of managing the health and safety risks in your workplace using a risk management approach. The model Code of Practice on ‘How to manage work health and safety risks’ provides a step by step guide to: identifying hazards, and assessing, controlling and reviewing risks. If you want to improve your management of health and safety, Safe Work Australia recommends: • Make health and safety the first agenda item on both your management and team meetings. • Review your risk management systems. • Consult workers to identify areas for improvement. • Organise training or refresher training. • Organise speakers from work health and safety regulators, industry associations or professional bodies relevant to your workplace.

• Host or attend work health and safety training sessions or events. You could also view some of the educational presentations and information from the Australian Strategy Virtual Seminar Series on the Safe Work Australia website, or visit the Commonwealth, state or territory work health and safety authorities for resources. “Getting people committed to health and safety only happens if they really understand why it matters to them, their workmates and their employers,” said Ms Baxter. “This year why not make sure everyone at your workplace knows the real costs of getting safety wrong and the real benefits when we do it right. “By focusing on these issues employers, workers and the broader community can bring about real change not only for the New Year but for years to come—helping us all achieve the Australian Work Health and Safety Strategy 2012-2022 vision: healthy, safe and productive working lives.”

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industry news

New additive research hub launched at Monash A $9m dollar research and development hub officially opened in Melbourne in November with the potential to boost Australian manufacturing by optimising 3D printing. Jointly funded by the Australian Research Council (ARC) and industrial partners, the ARC Research Hub for Transforming Australia’s Manufacturing Industry through High Value Additive Manufacturing, based at Monash University, will bring together experts from research and industry to transfer new technologies to various industries such as aerospace and biomedical engineering.

Professor Xinhua Wu

Led by Professor Xinhua Wu, from the Department of Materials Engineering, the hub will focus on research and development projects for additive manufacturing, also known as 3D printing. The technology builds components from metal alloy powders by selective laser. Producing components from computer design files in one step, 3D printing produces parts rapidly and with minimal waste compared to current methods. The hub will also train skilled people, in order to keep up with demand for this burgeoning technology. An internationally recognised leader in her field, Professor Wu, who also heads the ARC Centre of Excellence for Design in Light Metals, said additive manufacturing could revitalise Australian manufacturing. “Aerospace, biomedical and automotive industries are just a few of the sectors that are looking for new and innovative techniques to produce high-performance, complex engineered components,” said Professor Wu. “Through this hub, researchers will work to resolve issues surrounding process optimisation to achieve all required mechanical properties in 3D printed metallic products that can be used commercially for flying or in the body. The aim is help boost Australia’s manufacturing industry by securing markets in high value sectors, such as aerospace and biomedical.” Partner organisations of the hub include Deakin University, the University of Queensland, the Australian Nuclear Science and Technology Organisation (ANSTO), Safran-Microturbo SAS, Metallica

Minerals, AW Bell, Amaero Engineering, International Seal Company (ISCA) Australia and Kinetic Engineering Services. Monash University President and Vice-Chancellor, Professor Margaret Gardner AO said the hub represented an important collaboration between higher education and industry. “This initiative will foster research and development projects that could help solve some the big problems facing our industries today,” said Professor Gardner. “The support from the ARC and industry partners to create this hub means cutting edge research on new technologies with the potential to lead to economic and social transformation is now achievable.” The ARC Industrial Transformation Research Hubs scheme is designed to engage Australia’s best researchers in issues facing the new industrial economies and training the future workforce.

Sandvik raising funds for Peter MacCallum Foundation Sandvik Coromant’s carbide recycling service has helped to raise $10,000.00 in funds for the Peter MacCallum Cancer Foundation. Through Sandvik’s carbide recycling service, carbide inserts and solid carbide tools are collected from all customers and recycled in an environmentally friendly way, reducing energy requirements, emissions and waste. In 2014, Sandvik donated $1 from every kilogram of scrap carbide recycled from its customers to the Peter MacCallum Foundation, a major centre for cancer treatment, professional oncologist training and oncology research in Australia (www.petermac. org). Ally Pekin, Events & Third-Party Fundraising Coordinator at the Foundation, stated that Sandvik’s contribution would help provide some of Australia’s brightest cancer researchers with the state-ofthe-art tools and specialised equipment needed to take great leaps forward in the fight against cancer. “Your generous support will play a critical role in helping us to find new and better ways to prevent, detect, and treat cancer,” said Pekin. In a statement, Sandvik thanked its customers who supported the recycling program, adding: “We had an overwhelming response. We look forward to another successful recycling year and hope to raise over $10,000.00 in 2015.” Sandvik’s carbide recycling program has been offered to the metalcutting industry for almost 20 years. Customers can make tens of thousands of dollars annually in profit by selling their worn-out

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inserts and round tools to Sandvik, which sends them to its carbide recycling facility in Singapore for processing and reuse. In 2012, Sandvik recycled the equivalent of 70% of all the carbide tools it sold globally, with most of its solid carbide tools coming from recycled carbides. Making new tools from Ally Pekin (centre) of the Peter MacCallum recycled solid carbide Foundation visited Sandvik’s head office to requires 70% less energy receive the donation. than making them from virgin raw materials that are scarce and finite – estimated reserves of tungsten currently around 7m tonnes, or 100 years of consumption. Meanwhile production from recycled materials emits 40% less carbon dioxide. The production in the recycling factory is certified with ISO 14001 and OHSAS 18001.

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government news

Australian industry report highlights opportunities in transition December saw the publication of the Australian Industry Report 2014, which highlighted the need for Australia to refocus its economy on new growth in areas of competitive strength. The Australia Industry Report by the Department of Industry’s Office of the Chief Economist provides an annual assessment of the changing face of Australian industry. Minister for Industry Ian Macfarlane welcomed the report’s findings. “This groundbreaking report from the Chief Economist in the Department of Industry reinforces that Australia is in the box seat to grasp new economic opportunities as industry continues its transition to higher value-added manufacturing and professional services, so long as we recognise the changes that are occurring and act to capitalise on them,” said Macfarlane. “Australia has a dynamic and resilient economy. While industry changes are significant and will require ongoing co-operation between Government and local communities, they present new opportunities for Australia and for Australian workers.” The report provides a unique insight into the two million businesses that make up Australian industry. Every year around a million Australian workers change jobs and a quarter of a million businesses enter and exit the market. Business services is now the largest sector in the economy. Two decades ago manufacturing was the largest sector. It has continued to grow, but has been outrun by more rapid growth in business services, construction and mining. The report shows this is a pattern common across the OECD. The report also shows that the number of manufacturing jobs shrank by 90,000 in the last decade. However, these job losses were offset by more than a million new jobs in higher paying industries. A key theme of the report is that structural change is ongoing and must be embraced if we are to sustain economic growth and future prosperity. “Australia’s economic adaptability and resilience have underpinned more than two decades of continuous economic growth and a huge

improvement in our living standards – and we must welcome ongoing change if we want this prosperity to continue,” said Chief Economist Mark Cully. “We must capitalise on the opportunities provided by new technologies, an emerging Asian middle class and an ageing population.” The report examines the prospects for the five growth sectors announced by the government in October in its Industry Innovation and Competitiveness Agenda – food and agribusiness; mining equipment, technology and services; medical technologies and pharmaceuticals; oil, gas and energy resources; and advanced manufacturing. It finds these sectors are growing more strongly than other sectors, have high productivity levels and account for more than a quarter of all exports. Continued growth will depend on the ability of these and other sectors to be globally competitive. Cully noted that progress is already being made in this regard, saying: “There are promising signs that our competitiveness has turned around in the past couple of years.” “The report also provides further evidence that Australia is now entering a third wave of economic development, based around higher value-added manufacturing, niche product development and growth in professional services,” added MacFarlane. “The resources sector continues to be a vital economic contributor, but we can’t continue to rely on it to do all of the heavy lifting as our economy undergoes further transition. “Australia is not alone in meeting this challenge. All major developed countries are experiencing this transformation, therefore we must act quickly and decisively to carve our place in changing global markets.”

NSW EPA recycling rebates open for business Small businesses in New South Wales (NSW) looking to reduce their waste costs can take advantage of up to $25,000 in generous government rebates being offered through NSW Environment Protection Authority (EPA). Businesses can apply for a rebate for up to half the value of small-scale recycling equipment such as compressors, organics processors, shredders, grinders and dehydrators, worth between $4000 and $50,000. The rebates apply until 2016. “It’s great to see that NSW EPA is committed to helping businesses manage their waste more effectively and reduce the cost burden for waste management,” said Shaun Scallan, Recycling Programs Manager Planet Ark. To qualify, businesses must undertake a free BinTrim audit prior to applying for a rebate. The project is supported by the Environmental Trust as part of the NSW EPA’s Waste Less, Recycle More initiative, funded from the state waste levy. Given that Australian businesses are generating an average of 1.7 tonnes of waste per employee yet only recycling half that amount, incentives such as the NSW EPA rebates are an important tool for encouraging businesses to minimise waste and recover resources. A growing number of businesses are telling of their recycling success stories, from councils and employment services to shopping centres, hotels and even hair salons. Planet Ark’s is an online directory and hotline specifically designed to make it easy for Australian businesses to find local recycling services for more than 90 different materials. It also hosts details on the BinTrim program (

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The Recycling Equipment Catalogue, available at businessrecycling., contains information on a wide range of machinery to help businesses make fully informed decisions when choosing their recycling equipment. Suppliers of recycling equipment are encouraged to list their products on the site, which has been designed for direct entry by suppliers and allows on-line editing, modification and additions to be made by each supplier for their respective equipment listings. New suppliers can register at

Government news

Vic Hall of Fame to focus on jobs, growth Victorian Minister for Industry Lily D’Ambrosio has announced the opening of nominations for the 2015 Victorian Manufacturing Hall of Fame Awards. The Hall of Fame recognises Victoria’s most advanced and export-oriented manufacturers who excel in business innovation and productivity and contribute to the Victorian economy. The Manufacturing Hall of Fame Award categories include Manufacturer of the Year, Company Induction, Honour Roll, and Young Manufacturer of the Year. “The 2015 Victorian Manufacturing Hall of Fame Awards present an opportunity for all manufacturers to be recognised for their industry success,” said Minister D’Ambrosio. “Manufacturing contributes $25bn to the Victorian economy. This award recognises forward- thinking manufacturers who are raising the bar in the industry, to help ensure the future of manufacturing in Victoria.” The Victorian Manufacturing Hall of Fame Awards were established in 2001 to celebrate manufacturing excellence in Victoria. At last year’s awards ceremony, SRX Global (Australia), Future Fibre Technologies of Mulgrave and Thermofilm Australia were named as Manufacturer of the Year in the large, medium and small categories respectively. In addition, AMTIL members APT and Maton were among nine companies

inducted into the Hall of Fame with a total of 16 individuals or companies receiving recognition as representing the very best of the state’s manufacturing industry. This year there will be six new categories reflecting the six sectors with potential for extraordinary economic growth: medical technology and pharmaceuticals; new energy technology; food and fibre processing; transport; defence and construction technology; international education and professional services. These sectors of the economy are central to the Victorian Government’s plan to create 100,000 jobs, assisted by its $200m Future Industries Fund.

The judging panel will be seeking creative solutions to manufacturing challenges, especially those which use innovation to improve productivity and access new markets. Nominations close on 23 February, with awards to be announced at a gala ceremony on 26 May. “I would encourage Victorian businesses across the six sectors which have potential for extraordinary economic growth to nominate for the awards by visiting the Business Victoria website,” added Minister D’Ambrosio.

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Tech news

Australia: Panel-powered car A car powered by its own body panels could soon be driving on our roads after a breakthrough in nanotechnology. Researchers have developed lightweight “supercapacitors” that can be combined with regular batteries to dramatically boost the power of an electric car. The supercapacitors - a “sandwich” of electrolyte between two allcarbon electrodes - were made into a thin and extremely strong film with a high power density. The film could be embedded in a car’s body panels, roof, doors, bonnet and floor - storing enough energy to turbocharge an electric car’s battery in just a few minutes. After one full charge this car should be able to run up to 500km and more than double the current limit of an electric car. Queensland University of Technology

US: First major release of an EV in Australia Last December the first deliveries of US-based Tesla’s all-electric Model S sedan - which won car of the year in the US last year were completed in Australia. Tesla’s Supercharger network rollout around Australia also commenced, with ten (as at last December) fast-charging units established – with more to come. Throughout 2015, Tesla plans to connect Canberra, Melbourne and Sydney with a Supercharger network. Tesla expects to sell 33,000 EVs this year and is building a $5bn battery manufacturing plant in Nevada. Tesla may have a competitor when Hyundai rolls out its ix35 emissions-free hydrogen powered car in Australia, and attempts to woo back buyers by installing Australia’s only hydrogen refuelling station at its headquarters in Macquarie Park by 2015. Mixed

Germany: Versatile bonding for lightweight components An alternative joining method to welding is now available – gradient adhesives. These adhesive bonds hold up considerably better in crashes than other types of bonds and possess better damping characteristics than metal. This kind of adhesive has been available for some time, but the products have always provided a constant elasticity and the same rigidity at every point. However this is a dualcure adhesive with variable elasticity and can be contained to very specific areas. The gradient rigidity is elastic on the outer edges and handles stresses better and stress peaks are absorbed. Fraunhofer

Japan: Metal 3d printing: First platinum-based powder Tanaka Holdings has become the world’s first company to succeed in the development of platinum-based metallic glass powder supporting selective laser sintering 3D printers. They also succeeded in developing platinum group metallic powder using nickel-based alloys with platinum and iridium additives, and manufacturing objects using them. Platinum group metals have a high melting point and are durable, but have poor workability, and there were limitations in the shapes available using existing forming methods. Enabling these materials to be formed using 3D printers makes it possible to manufacture complex products using materials with different melting points. Tanaka Holdings

Germany: Health screening for industrial machines In the future, industrial machines will be capable of detecting problems and predicting failures themselves. Scientists have developed a prototype of an information-based predictive maintenance system that enables operators to determine when a component or entire plant is likely to fail, providing real-time online monitoring of unprecedented quality. The technology uses virtual sensors which receive input both from computer-simulated models of the machine and from real sensors. Virtual sensors are deemed the only economical way to obtain a complete picture of the forces acting on the material. Fraunhofer

USA: Measuring stress in 3D printed metal parts Researchers have developed an efficient method to measure residual stress in metal parts produced by powder-bed fusion additive manufacturing. Residual stress is a major problem during the fabrication process because large temperature changes near the last melt spot and the repetition of this process result in localised expansion and contraction. A method for accurate residual stress measurement has been developed that combines traditional stressrelieving methods (destructive analysis) with digital image correlation (DIC), providing fast and accurate measurements of surface-level residual stresses. DOE/Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory

Germany: Super-repellent surface A new material - fluoropore (a new class of highly fluorinated superrepellent polymers) - allows both water & oil to roll off its surface. This is a well-known phenomenon, but does not work for oil. When combining the chemical properties of fluoropolymers with the roughness of the lotus plant, surfaces from which both water and oil droplets will roll off are obtained. Karlsruhe Institute of Technology

Germany: Live images from inside materials Researchers are developing an X-ray detector – the MULIX - capable of delivering particularly high-quality 3D images in real time. This will make it possible to precisely reconstruct the processes occuring inside materials and provide a reliable way of detecting minoscule faults. The benefits of the single-line detectors and flat-panel detectors have been combined. The new equipment is based on a detector with multiple lines. MULIX uses 256 lines, allowing it to scan larger objects such as car body parts very quickly. The new detector delivers images so quickly that it becomes possible to use CT techniques to make a 3D-scan of the object almost in real time. Fraunhofer

Canada: Closing in on next-gen EV battery Lithium sulphur (Li-S) batteries can theoretically power an electric car three times further than current lithium-ion batteries for the same weight – at much lower cost. A chemistry professor’s team has announced a breakthrough based on chemical process discovered in 1845. According to the professor: “very few researchers study or even teach sulphur chemistry anymore. It’s ironic we had to look so far back in the literature to understand something that may so radically change our future”. Their discovery that nanosheets of manganese dioxide can maintain a rechargeable sulphur cathode helps to overcome a primary hurdle to building a Li-S battery. University of Waterloo

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product news

Techni unveils dual-tank waterjet for high-production applications Techni Waterjet has developed a new waterjet cutting machine to suit high-production applications. The dual-tank system was originally designed for large fabrication company Abcor to increase its capabilities, and is now available as a standard product from Techni. The new machine is an I713 Dual Station, five-axis waterjet cutter, and is equipped with a Quantum NXT55D Electric Servo Pump (ESP), also from Techni. The Dual Station allows for continual operation, as one station can be loaded or unloaded while the other continues cutting. The system incorporates features that enhance efficiency while reducing noise and mess. Founded in 1971, Abcor is an industry leader in the fabrication and assembly of truck and transport welded metal components. Its products range in size and complexity, from chassis rails and cross members, to stainless steel grab rails, aluminium bull bars, bumpers and audio brackets. Abcor has continually invested in the latest technology to develop a state-of-the-art manufacturing centre capable of producing products in steel, stainless steel and aluminium. The new machine from Techni will predominantly be used to cut 12mm-thick aluminium bull bar components before they are welded together. Due to the versatility of waterjet cutting, the system will also be used to cut a wide range of other components, from a variety of different materials and thicknesses. Waterjet technology offers the greatest flexibility and versatility of any profile cutting system available. Waterjet can cut almost any material up to 200mm thick. Techni machines are designed to be the cleanest, quietest and most efficient waterjets on the market. These features make a Techni waterjet system ideal for a production environment like Abcor. Techni pioneered the use of a tank equipped with a built-in air chamber, for rapid raising and lowering of the water level. This innovation enables submerged cutting, eliminating the abrasive mist that other waterjet machines produce. Submerged cutting also means sound is ‘trapped’ underwater, reducing noise levels from over 100dB to below 78dB. In addition, Techni’s Electric Servo Pumps (ESP) are the quietest available, while taking up less than half the floor space occupied by an average

hydraulic intensifier, with a lower profile, a more ergonomic design and up to 60% more efficiency. “I can’t believe how quiet the Quantum waterjet pump is from Techni,” says John Kaias, Director of Abcor. “This piece of equipment has not added unnecessary noise to our production floor.” Finally, Techni’s Tech-Sense abrasive monitoring device enables true “Lights Out” operation, removing the need for a person to stand idle watching the machine in case of problems. Tech-Sense warns the operator with an audible alarm and flashing light if a machine is not running efficiently, and will pause operations if the problem could damage the part. This is a key innovation which enables a dualcell production system to be operated with a single person. When integrated with SMS Offsite Notification, the operator is free to leave the site altogether.

New deep-hole drill launched by Dormer Dormer has launched a new solid carbide drill for applications up to 8xD. Suitable for machining a variety of materials including steel, stainless steel, cast iron, copper and aluminium, the R459 has been specifically developed to overcome problems typically associated with deep-hole drilling. The drill also broadens Dormer’s existing MP-X range, which already consists of 3xD and 5xD solid carbide multi-material drills. A key feature of the new drill is its Continuously Thinned Web (CTW) geometry which increases both flute volume and cross sectional strength. Ricky Payling, Dormer’s Drilling Product Manager, explains: “The combination of these elements ensures consistent forces throughout the drilling cycle, with little or no increase in power requirement as the drill penetrates deeper into the hole. This, in turn, allows increased cutting speeds and greater performance

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effective solution.” A special outer corner design provides added protection against wear and chipping, especially when under extreme conditions, such as cross drilling applications, while a specially designed 140º point angle makes for easier centring and reduces thrust requirements.

reliability without compromising tool life. Including an 8xD drilling option to the current MP-X range enhances our customer offer and provides a reliable, versatile and cost-

The R459 also incorporates a consistent edge preparation, which protects against premature chipping and flaking. In addition, internal coolant holes allow for effective cooling of the cutting area and efficient swarf removal, minimising machine downtime. Dormer’s R459 is available in diameters from 3mm to 16mm, including 0.1mm increments up to 10.0mm, and features a titanium aluminium nitride (TiAlN) coating.

Product news

Coolant Saver boosts your bottom line Dimac Tooling, a leading supplier of accessories and workholding solutions for CNC milling and turning machine tools, is also the agent for the award-winning Wogaard Coolant Saver units. With today’s increasing manufacturing costs, all users of CNC machine tools are looking for ways to minimise ongoing running expenditure. One of the many fixed costs of these machines is coolant – an area where all operators are looking to extend usage and minimise wastage. Traditionally CNC machine operators have had to use a drain tap to remove any coolant from the swarf bin, using a drum to catch it and pour the coolant back into the tank, hopefully without spilling too much on the floor. As the drain hole is usually located above the bottom of the bin, there is always a residue left in the bin so it is not an ideal method. Additionally, whenever swarf was collected by a recycling company, whatever coolant was left in the bins had to be poured into intermediate bulk containers (IBCs) for correct disposal. This of course incurred an additional cost. “One of the best things about the Wogaard Coolant Saver is its simplicity,” said Dimac Managing Director, Paul Fowler. “The unit is compact, easy to install and powered by the machine tool’s existing on-board coolant pump, so no external energy source is needed. “Connected to the coolant pump by a flexible line, the Coolant Saver is simply placed in the machine’s swarf bin. When the machine is running, the coolant pump is used to generate a vacuum by the Wogaard unit, which simply draws the coolant back up from the bin and back into the machine’s tank. This also puts an end to coolant fluid leaking from larger chip containers, creating potential health and safety issues.” Users of CNC machines that are fitted with the Coolant Saver report that the swarf bins are now practically empty when they check

them. Where a company may have been topping up the tank with 25 litres once a day, this has been reduced to once a week. The significant savings achieved with the Coolant Saver provides payback in a very short period of time. The unit also requires very little maintenance. Dimac has over 30 years’ experience in CNC machine tool accessories and are agents for many highly respected brands such as Kitagawa, Cooljet, Jergens and Eron. The company also manufactures soft and hard jaws in its own CNC-equipped machine shop. “Like all the products we sell, Wogaard Coolant Savers are supported by the full back-up and support of Dimac technical personnel to ensure the right product is specified for the job and the machine operates at optimum performance,” Fowler concluded.

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product news

Mazak launches Smooth Technology Mazak’s new Smooth Technology is a complete process-performance platform, spanning the entire partproduction landscape from programming and set-up, to metal removal operations, to automation, to monitoring, data collection and transfer. Key elements of the technology are the latest Mazatrol SmoothX CNC, as well as new machine hardware and servo systems. Every function of the Mazatrol SmoothX CNC was developed in direct response to real-world issues and customer input. According to Mazak, its functionality and ergonomics make it the industry’s most progressive machine tool control as well as the world’s fastest. The Mazatrol SmoothX CNC’s processing capability is four times faster than its fastest predecessors. With such high performance and new Seamless Corner Control and Variable Acceleration Control functions, shops can shorten machining cycle times, especially in fine increment programs for simultaneous five-axis machining and freeform die-mould machining. With Seamless Corner Control, the Mazatrol SmoothX CNC reduces vibrations and helps shorten part-machining cycle times via cutter path adjustments made when machining into corners. Rather than moving the cutter directly into a 90-degree corner, the function inserts a preset radial tolerance. This tolerance eliminates any dwell resulting from a rapid deceleration in the axial movement often associated with conventional corner machining. Thus, corner surfaces are smoother, the risk of cutter gouging is reduced and cutters can feed much faster. Through its Variable Acceleration Control, the Mazatrol Smooth CNCX maintains maximum acceleration/deceleration for a set of combined axes in real-time. As such, this optimised acceleration/deceleration control may reduce machining cycle times. Other features and functions that add to the control’s productivity and operability include the Quick programming screen, intuitive human/ machine interface (HMI), five-axis virtual machining and Intelligent Pocket Milling. The Mazatrol SmoothX CNC’s Quick Mazatrol programming screen uses a 3D-assist feature to streamline part programming via a 3D CAD input and features designation for the company’s proprietary Mazatrol programming language. The intuitive touch operation also requires less action to create programs. Users also benefit from a high-speed tool path check for EIA programming, as well as axis reversal point analysis. The control’s intuitive HMI includes a 19” panel with a Process Home screen that presents all critical data to operators within a single page view. In fact, screen functions are similar to those of a smart

tablet. In terms of the control’s five-axis virtual machining, new advanced voxel simulation technology allows for fast complex machining simulation. Such technology also generates three-dimensional graphics for gaming systems. The control’s Intelligent Pocket Milling function engages a high-efficiency tool path for Mazatrol programming language when milling out part cavities. As opposed to conventional offset milling, the function consistently maintains a constant angle of tool engagement and cutting loads to ensure optimum machining conditions. This results in the full use of a machine tool’s power capabilities and up to 35% faster and more efficient machining of even the most difficult-to-cut materials. Additionally, a Mazatrol SmoothX CNC featured on one machine can also monitor up to five additional machines that may be together in a cell or near each other. Thus, operators responsible for multiple machines can easily track their status from one machine display to eliminate the need to physically go to each machine in the group. For digital manufacturing functionality, Smooth Technology supports the MTConnect open-source, royalty-free manufacturing protocol, which means machines can have an MTConnect adapter and that users can collect data from the CNC.

Headland enters partnership with Zinser Headland has entered a partnership with Zinser, enabling it to offer Australia and New Zealand some of the finest and innovative welding and cutting technology around. “This new partnership with Zinser will see a greater variety of technology on offer to our clients in Australia and New Zealand,” said Annaliese Kloé, Managing Director at Headland. “Headland Machinery offers a great variety of brands that can assist all manufacturers no matter what the industry. Zinser joins our fabrication team with the likes of other new partners Kaltenbach and Kasto to bring Australia and New Zealand the largest range of precision fabrication machinery. A German-built company, Zinser has been around since 1898 and has established itself as a world-leading specialist in high-end oxy-fuel technology, hot air welding devices for professional use, and a wide range of cutting systems. An independent family business, Zinser prides itself on a focus on customer satisfaction and quality product, and continuously keeps up to date with technology to provide the very best machinery to the industry.

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“Being able to provide our customers with these exclusive brands from Germany will enable our customers to grow and gain a competitive advantage with the assurance that the equipment will be fully serviced and supported around the country,” added Kloé.

Product news

Take a closer look – Sonatest’s new flaw detector series Sonatest has released its next-generation Sitescan and Masterscan series of flaw detectors. Retaining the best features of the established series, the new range has evolved in response to the requirements of users and their applications. The new instruments combine simplicity of use with improved capability and reliability. New features provide flexibility to customise the instrument exactly as is needed. All units are now fieldupgradeable, so the adaptability of Sonatest’s Flaw Detectors can be increased over time. New and standard software options can be customised to meet work requirements. The new generation of flaw detectors offers features to boost the productivity of the inspector. Menus are customisable and intuitive to create a smooth workflow. The instruments give simplified PC interfacing and new UT-lity reporting software makes post-inspection report writing and result processing immensely easier and more streamlined. The new range comprises of just four models. The Sitescan 500S and D-50 models offer entry-level broadband UT performance. Meanwhile, the Masterscan 700M and D-70 variants have eight filter settings from 100kHz to 22MHz, with 100-450V square wave transmitter and 20-metre range, resulting in the highest-specification flaw detector in the market. These models come in two shapes allowing you to select between traditional table-top style or the more recent handheld portable D Series case with the rotary wheel menu driver. DAC functionality, available on all models, now enables up to three custom DAC curves on-screen. Adjustable DAC curves increase the available dynamic range. Using the same reference indications DAC curves can now be converted to TCG and back again with ease. The unique Split DAC option gives up to three zones of additional gain to permit single-pass scanning of lossy materials and thicker sections. Angle Measurement Mode is a new standard feature which simplifies beam plotting. Using the built-in peak detection mode the beam profile for any transducer can be confirmed in moments. UT-lity Pro also provides the user with the ability to create and manage inspection plans, location notes, historical data and other asset management information. Software options across the range include TCG, DGS(AVG), AWS, API, Interface Trigger, Backwall Echo Attenuation, Split DAC, Corrosion Software and Dryscan modules.

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product news

Cut costs with compressed air contracting At a time when the world’s economies are experiencing extreme change, it is well worth considering compressed air contracting as an alternative to investment into one’s own compressed air system. Compressed air contracting offers several advantages to businesses over the conventional route of purchasing and paying to operate their own compressed air supply systems. With contracting, customers immediately enjoy cost-effective, energy-saving compressed air supply without having to make any initial investment. In fact, the compressed air partner takes care of all aspects of planning, installation and operation in accordance with the customer’s specific needs. Users effectively save the cost of investing in their own compressed air system, yet never have any personal or financial responsibility for maintenance and repair. This option also has balance sheet advantages. Since users purchase only the compressed air they need, at a contractually agreed price per cubic metre, fixed costs are transformed into variable operating costs – with immediate tax benefits. By having the compressed air system provider take care of operation and maintenance of the compressed air supply system, maximum dependability and energy efficient performance are assured at all times. This is because the provider itself has a vested interest in adapting the system to meet the needs of changing operating conditions and to ensure that it is equipped with the very latest technology. There are also advantages when it comes to maintenance. For example, the Kaeser ‘Sigma Air Utility’ compressed air contracting service, can communicate with the Kaeser Service Centre via Teleservice. Therefore, compressed air contracting ensures optimum efficiency and compressed air availability by taking advantage of the latest energy-saving technology combined with cost-effective remote diagnostics and preventative maintenance. Users who choose to purchase just the compressed air they need at the required quality and quantity rather to buy their own compressor system, also enhance the cost transparency of their business. Instead of a mixed calculation, they have a reliable basis for calculation in the fixed price per cubic metre of compressed air – which is contractually agreed over the long-term. This base price, which remains the same for the entire duration of the contract, covers system and operating costs as well as the purchase of a predetermined set base volume of compressed air. And, in the event that additional compressed air is required in excess of this set volume, a contractually agreed overage rate applies. Precise measurements guarantee that only the volume of compressed air that is actually drawn from the air distribution network is calculated.

In addition, compressed air contracting is a highly attractive compressed air supply option if there is a need to rapidly realise energy efficiencies. For example, if a company’s management board specifies a short amortisation period of two years, for example, to achieve such infrastructure improvements, the number of potential energy saving measures that can be taken is very limited when it comes to system modernisation. Compressed air contracting, on the other hand, provides a far more expedient solution. The potential for saving energy with compressed air contracting depends on the specific situation. When a company ‘changes over’ to compressed air contracting, the contracting partner usually installs a completely new compressed air system in order to be able to fully tap-in to the available energy saving potential. The actual amount by which compressed air costs can be reduced depends on the system being replaced, but it is not unusual to achieve savings of 30%or more. And that is continuously, over the long-term, since the contracting partner (who is providing the compressed air at a fixed rate) has the greatest interest in ensuring that the system operates as efficiently and cost effectively as possible. As a result, contractors will always use the most advanced technology, such as high efficiency compressors and intelligent, PC-based compressed air management systems. These innovations enable maximum system pressure to be reduced, which in turn dramatically cuts energy consumption.

Tungaloy unveils Australia relaunch Cutting tools brand Tungaloy has been relaunched in Australia and is planning a range of expansion activities amid changing market conditions. Owner/director Andrew Schultz believes that the relaunched Tungaloy offers a number of advantages: it is locally owned and operated with locally held stock; it boasts industry-leading technology; and it is customer-focused, with a dedicated customercare service team and an ethical commitment to its clients. “Focusing on helping local industry through the use of innovative tooling and technical support is the name of the game,” says Schultz. “Tungaloy Australia is more than up to the challenge. We thrive on it.” Tungaloy has always been known for industry-leading cutting tools, and the new Australian operation matches this with best-inclass technical support and local stock-holdings to ensure it can offer true benefits to the industry. Schultz says that the company’s backup services are designed to be available when the customer

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needs it, delivered by people who have tooling running through their veins and on the shelf, adding: “The cutting tool industry has changed and we are ready to support our customers.” With regard to tool management, Schultz believes a single-source commitment linked to a free vending machine is “old school”. Over the last few years, Tungaloy has been helping its customers recover and move away from uncompetitive single-source practices. “Our customers are benefiting from the realisation that competition is healthy,” says Schultz. “Tungaloy Australia offers outright purchasing of Matrix as well as our new Toolport vending solution, starting at $9000. No need to sign up for spend commitments; our products and technical expertise will earn your business.”

Product news

Motoman MA3120 welding robot provides extra reach The new Motoman MA3120 is the world’s longest robot arm designed for arc welding, featuring an extra-long reach arm that reduces the need for tracks. Available in floor, wall or ceiling-mounted configurations and ideal for multiple robot layouts, the MA3120 has been improved over the previous MA3100 model robot with twice the payload, longer reach and improved through-arm wrist design for arc welding. The MA3120 has a 6kg payload, a horizontal reach of 3121mm, and ¹0.15mm repeatability. Its integrated through-the-arm cabling eliminates cable interference, simplifies programming and reduces cable wear. It has heavier payload capacity and an increased through-hole wrist diameter, making it easier to integrate pull-torches or welding sensors. Welding utilities (gas hose and feeder signals) can be routed through the robot base and the wire feeder mounts to the upper arm to reduce the torch length. The MA3120 is perfectly suited for use in workcells with larger workpieces, as well as for applications that require access to parts in tight spots or those with possible interference from fixtures. The MA3120 robot uses the Yaskawa Motoman DX200 controller, which features patented multiple robot control technology to easily handle multiple tasks and control up to eight robots (72 axes), I/O devices and communication protocols. Its extensive I/O suite includes integral PLC and HMI pendant displays, high-speed Ethernet communication, 4096 I/O addresses and a graphical ladder editor that can provide system level control. The DX200 has been designed to improve process capability, reduce energy usage, and improve maintainability and safety. An enhanced Functional Safety Unit (FSU) provides control reliable zone and tool position monitoring, stand still monitoring and speed limiting. This can reduce costs for safeguarding hardware and provides new capabilities such as collaborative tasks. It is compliant to ANSI/RIA R15.06-2012 and other relevant ISO and CSA safety standards. With over 300,000 Motoman robots installed globally, Yaskawa Motoman provides automation products and solutions for virtually every industry and robotic application; including arc welding, assembly, coating, dispensing, material handling, material cutting, material removal, packaging, palletising and spot welding. It is exclusively represented in Australia by Robotic Automation.

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Amid whopping demand for new commercial aircraft, the aerospace industry is driving rapid change in manufacturing. With ever-evolving new materials and calls for quicker throughput and more cost-effective production, manufacturing technology and processes must adapt to keep pace. By Barbara Schulz.

Boeing forecasts demand between now and 2033 for 36,770 new airplanes, valued at US$5.2 trillion. Of these, 15,500 will replace older, less efficient airplanes. The remaining 21,270 will be for fleet growth, stimulating expansion in emerging markets and development of innovative airline business models. Single-aisle airplanes command the largest market share. Approximately 25,680 new single-aisle airplanes will be needed over the next two decades, driven by fast-growing low-cost carriers and network carriers. The wide-body fleet will need 8600 new planes, with a new generation of high-efficiency aircraft helping airlines open new markets that previously were not economically viable. To meet demand, aerospace OEMs are seeking ways to increase capacity by reducing manufacturing time.

airlines like Qatar for both cabin comfort and better economics, and the first of 778 orders to date was delivered after almost a decade in development. Airbus’s $15bn dollar answer to the Boeing 787 ‘Dreamliner’ - the A350 - represents another milestone in the battle for the widebody market. Both aircraft are the result of the industry adapting to market forces, in particular fuel prices, economic developments and environmental regulations. According to Boeing, fuel is now the largest component in an airline’s cost structure, spurring manufacturers to produce lighter, more efficient airplanes, and encouraging airlines to optimise other cost and revenue centres.

A new chapter

“We will not be manufacturing aircraft in the future the same way we do today,” says Colin Sirett, head of research & technology, Airbus UK.

On 22 December 2014, Airbus opened a new chapter in commercial aviation with the delivery of the world’s first A350 XWB to Qatar Airways. The Airbus A350 represents the latest industry benchmark in terms of reduced noise, emissions and maintenance. It also marked a strategic shift by Airbus, prompted by demand from

Less material will be used per aircraft, as materials contribute around 60% to total aerostructure costs. Machining represents a mere 20% of overall costs, due to technology and operational advances related to machining, Sirett adds. However, there is still room for CNC machining to improve.

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Last December, Airbus delivered the world’s first A350 XWB to Qatar Airways.

Lifting capacity The key to reducing manufacturing time is to maximise tool service life, minimise machine load, and optimise metal removal rates. Considerable potential lies in efficient heavy machining – roughing at high cutting speed – but also in the machining of hard-to-cut materials like titanium alloys, nickel-based materials or stainless steel, which are standard materials in the aviation and aerospace industry. Two common obstacles to milling productivity are chatter and tool wear. The challenge for process engineers is to select the proper machining parameters to minimise these. Dr Tony L Schmitz of the University of North Carolina at Charlotte explains: “Lots of things stand in the way of productivity in machining, and tool wear is one of the challenges we face in titanium machining. Fixturing must be rigid, tooling selection is important, so is cooling management, the machine has to be accurate, quasi-static, and dynamic performance has to be considered. Thermal stability has to be managed, and vibrations like chatter can affect my machining performance. All of these parameters affect the way I set up my CNC program at the process planning stage.”

All the machining system’s elements contribute to the so-called ‘stability lobe diagram’, which controls the performance of many metal-removal operations. Competitive machine shops need stability data for all tools in all machines. For example, in titanium machining, where tool wear can limit surface speed, stability lobe diagrams may be used to maximise spindle speeds, increasing the chatter-free axial depth of cut to maximise productivity while preventing unnecessary tool wear. “At low spindle speeds the tool is ‘dragging its feet on the surface’, dissipating energy that would have otherwise gone to cause the tool to vibrate,” adds Schmitz. “That’s what we call ‘process damping’.” Experimental results for milling tests in 1018 steel (with a coated carbide single insert) show that a four-fold increase in chip width can be obtained for speeds below 700rpm. “As we reduced the spindle speed we saw the process damping effect take over,” Schmitz says. “That’s an effect you might be able to take advantage of in titanium machining applications.” Continued next page

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Novel composite materials, structures and robotics technologies are being used in Boeing’s new 787 Dreamliner. Continued from previous page

While adjusting spindle speeds to achieve high metal-removal rates by quieting chatter has been known since the 1970s, few machine shops are taking advantage. According to Sirett, there is 20% latent capacity waiting to be achieved through methodology improvements on existing CNC machines, without any new capital investment.

Support from the CNC Fortunately help is at hand from CNC suppliers to reduce chatter and make heavy machining and roughing more efficient, even in hard-tocut materials such as titanium, corrosion-resistant nickel-based alloys (such as Inconel), and other materials used in aerospace. The forces resulting from machining place extreme loads on machines and tools, often observed as process-induced vibrations. The goal is to increase metal removal while extending tool life and reducing machine load. For instance, with its Dynamic Efficiency concept, German company Heidenhain combines functions that help make heavy machining and roughing more efficient while enhancing process reliability. The combination of active chatter control, adaptive feed control, and trochoidal milling exploits the potential of the machine and tool while reducing mechanical load. Changing machining conditions, such as interrupted cuts, various material dipping treatments or simple clearout, also show these features pay for themselves. In practice, removal rate increases of 20%-25% are possible, Heidenhain claims.

Materials: From aluminium to composites The use of aluminium in aircraft is declining, but not completely. Standard aerospace aluminiums and traditional aerospace metals still have applications in the sector, explains Michael Standridge, an aerospace specialist at Sandvik Coromant in the US. These metals, however, are ceding territory to new alloys designed to improve cost and performance. Such metals aren’t always new; some have been

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available for decades. What’s new is their practical application in production, as machine tools, tooling technology and insert coatings have advanced sufficiently to tackle difficult-to-machine alloys. Composite materials also represent a growing piece of the pie, says Standridge. They reduce weight and increase fuel efficiency, while being easy to design, handle, shape and repair. Once only considered for light structural pieces or cabin components, composites’ aerospace applications now extend to true functional components such as wing and fuselage skins, engines and landing gear. Next-generation materials include ceramic-matrix composites (CMCs). Now finding practical uses after decades of testing, CMCs comprise a ceramic matrix reinforced by a refractory fibre such as silicon carbide (SiC). They offer low density/weight, high hardness, and crucially, superior thermal and chemical resistance. Like carbonfibre-reinforced polymers (CFRPs), they can be moulded to certain shapes without extra machining, making them ideal for internal engine components, exhaust systems and other “hot-zone” structures – even replacing the latest in heat-resistant super-alloys. Metals and composites alike continue to be developed for improved performance, whether that’s lighter weight, greater strength or better heat- and corrosion-resistance. Accelerating this evolution, advances in machining and cutting technology give manufacturers unprecedented access to materials previously deemed impractical to machine, Standridge emphasises. Meanwhile, one-piece designs are reducing the overall number of components, whether formed or additively manufactured, instead of machined.

Additive – beyond prototyping The growing availability of amenable materials – such as nickelchromium alloys and titanium-powdered metals – means additive manufacturing is no longer confined to parts-prototyping, limited by the characteristics of plastic resins. Today, 3D printing can


DMG Mori’s Lasertec 65 3D is a hybrid machine that combines laser deposition welding with five-axis milling.

A cabin bracket for the Airbus A350 XWB made of titanium.

produce complex, lighter, end-use components with intricate internal geometries that cannot be made cost-effectively by other methods. For example, GE Aviation uses direct laser melting to build LEAP engine fuel nozzles that are up to 25% lighter and five times more durable than traditionally manufactured nozzles. These parts are not just destined to be laboratory test samples. GE aims to produce more than 100,000 additive-manufactured components for its LEAP and GE9X engines by 2020. The new Airbus A350 XWB also benefits from lightweight construction, exemplified by a cabin bracket manufactured via a process called Laser-Cusing, developed by Concept Laser. Previously this component was milled from aluminium; now it is printed in titanium, with a weight reduction of more than 30%. Lightweight construction is intended to help airlines operate aircraft more economically. As well as lower fuel consumption, for retaining elements such as brackets, the achievable weight reduction offers the potential to increase the aircraft’s load capacity. The omission of tools reduces costs and shortens the time until the component is available for use by up to 75%. In addition, it’s now possible at an early stage to produce functional samples of components that are similar to seriesproduced components, so errors can be identified early in the design process, allowing process optimisation within the project as a whole. Peter Sander, Head of Emerging Technologies & Concepts at Airbus, remarks: “Previously we budgeted around six months to develop a component – now, it’s down to one month.”

many more opportunities besides metal aviation components, such as design, avionics or composites.

Aviation/ Aerospace Australia (A/AA) chairman Adam Burford.

“One initial driver behind the National Commercial Aerospace Hub was an unprecedented demand for commercial aeroplanes, largely due to the growth of the airline sector in Asia,” he explains. “We had a look at the global supply chain and our current participation levels, and while there are some welldeveloped networks fostered by government and agencies in the defence sector, there needs to be more co-ordination when looking to secure increased opportunities in commercial aerospace.” As part of its Aerospace Manufacturing Support Program, A/AA has been working with industry for the past 12 months to grow aerospace manufacturing in Australia, taking advantage of significant global supply chain opportunities. One key initiative is the development of an Aerospace Growth Plan, which aims to bring together industry leaders to provide input into a national strategy.

The advent of hybrid platforms that combine ‘subtractive’ machining capabilities with 3D printing technology is the latest, highly promising evolution for additive manufacturing, offering an efficient means of finishing parts in one set-up. DMG Mori’s Lasertec 65 3D machine combines laser deposition welding with a five-axis milling system. On completion of laser welding, parts can be milled to final dimensions; alternatively, milling can be interspersed with the additive process to finish areas that become inaccessible after welding is completed. Hybrid manufacturing offers significant potential to increase throughput via lights-out production with the development of machines can operate 24/7, unsupervised.

“Our main objective at the moment is to work on a commercial aerospace growth plan,” Burford explains. “It will offer a kind of flight plan of where the industry needs to go. One of our key recommendations involves developing a national strategy. There is a precedent for this – the UK has done it, with government and industry working together on a commercial aerospace strategy. We are proposing the same process for Australia.”

Australian manufacturers to take advantage

“We’re working with Austrade and Manufacturing Skills Australia (MSA),” he says. “Austrade is involved in work on a trade development strategy, while MSA are helping us to assess the skills needs.

Australian capability in the aerospace sector is strong, with more than 800 firms generating an annual turnover of about $4bn. Australia is well placed technically and geographically to shape the aviation ecosystem across the Americas, Europe and China. The National Commercial Aerospace Hub is a new initiative established to help local manufacturers gain a greater slice of the $50bn global aerospace market. Bringing together manufacturing businesses and researchers, along with Aviation/Aerospace Australia (A/AA), the Aerospace Hub aims to increase Australia’s share of the global industry for metal aviation components from its current level of $200m. A/AA chairman Adam Burford adds that there are

According to Burford, a national strategy is critical for Australia to identify its capabilities and marry them to specific market opportunities. The Aerospace Hub is intended to act as a vehicle to promote this conversation among industry leaders.

“It is a long-term plan,” Burford adds. “The order books at Boeing and Airbus are based on 20-year projections, so in terms of developing long-term business, jobs and exports, the opportunity shouldn’t be missed. The demand is indisputable. We have the ability to provide services in this supply chain if we market ourselves successfully over the next couple of years, and opportunity will follow.” AMT February 2015

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Intuitive robot programming for flexible aerospace manufacturing Robots are poised to transform the aerospace industry the way they revolutionised automotive assembly in the 1970s and 1980s. Increased productivity and cost savings are fuelling the move toward flexible robotic automation. By Tanya M Anandan. Robots are highly flexible tools for aircraft manufacturing and assembly. Their full potential, however, can be limited by the challenges of programming a robot in a CAD/CAM environment. Software that integrates offline programming, simulation, code generation, and path optimisation makes the process seamless and error-free. Unlike their land-bound cousins, aircraft have key differences that defy the automation paradigm. Aerospace manufacturing tolerances are much tighter, while the subassemblies tend to be significantly larger and heavier. Compared to automotive, aircraft production volumes are lower, while the life expectancy of commercial aircraft is measured in decades, not years. “Sales of commercial aircraft are increasing,” says Ben Morgan, head of the Integrated Manufacturing Group at the Advanced Manufacturing Research Centre with Boeing (AMRC). “The majority of manufacturers have pushed their production capacity to the absolute limit and further capital investments are needed to reach the targeted rate. For some platforms we’re working on, this might be up to 60 aircraft a month, which is an incredible amount. So a step change in manufacturing is needed.” That step change is coming in the form of flexible robotic automation. For years robots were peering over the shoulders of their CNC counterparts. Now the focus has shifted.

Prime for robotic machining The AMRC was established in 2001 as a collaboration between Boeing and the University of Sheffield in the UK. It employs more than 400 researchers and engineers focused on modernising manufacturing by testing and proving different technologies, and has more than 100 member companies ranging from global aerospace giants to local small businesses. “With advances in robotics over the last 10 years, serial-arm devices are becoming a more feasible option,” says Morgan. “There’s been a boom in interest in robotic trimming, routing and machining. By developing concept robotic trimming systems and the facility we have at the AMRC, we’re starting to prove to high-end automotive and aerospace manufacturers that flexible cells are an alternative to some traditional, expensive CNC machine tools. We’re talking maybe $15m for some of the big CNC machines that are being used to manufacture

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these aerospace parts. For a robotic cell we would probably be looking at a couple of hundred thousand dollars.” The cost of deploying robots continues to decline, while their rigidity and accuracy is improving. Robotic technology can now compete for a broad range of aerospace applications previously limited to custom machinery, including one-up assembly, drilling and filling, automated tape lay-up (ATL), and automated fibre placement (AFP).

Robot programming the hard way Most top-tier aerospace suppliers recognise the advantages of deploying robots for subassembly operations. But for some, robot programming is a quagmire. Singularity, calibration, collisions, reach limitations, and motion granularity are uniquely complex to robotic systems and can make programming robots for machining operations particularly cumbersome. Navigating around the errors can be time-consuming. Companies accustomed to CNC machine tools get stuck when they try to deploy a robot for the first time. They often try to use the robot manufacturer’s software for programming. However, this software is typically intended for simulation, not programming. In a simulation environment you can see the error, but the difficulty lies in identifying the cause and how to fix it. A different approach is the use of CAD/ CAM point converters, which create robot trajectories for various applications via a quick, inexpensive conversion. However, there is no way to validate kinematics and check for errors. The main problem with these methods is the lack of a path optimisation tool. Once the

program is applied to the robot, there may be a lengthy prove-out period. “When we decided to buy a new solution to tool composite parts with a robot, we could not have imagined how different the robotics world was from our traditional CNC machine world,” says Eddy Coubard, CAD & CAM production engineering manager at Sogerma Composites Aquitaine. “New vocabulary, a new working method and new problems – it was a challenge.” Composites Aquitaine is based in France with 475 production and R&D personnel supporting more than 100 major suppliers with high-performance composite products. “We tool aeronautic composite parts in small quantities, which means we have to get the robot programming right the first time,” says Coubard. “Otherwise, our costs increase dramatically. The first robotic software we tried was not efficient at all. It required making the tool path in CAD/CAM software and writing a kind of G-code with a postprocessor, then reading this G-code on a simulator, only to realise most of the time there were errors. Then we had to go back to the CAD/CAM software and write the robot code through another post-processor.” This scenario is typical. A company acquires a robot, tries to deploy it for a machining operation, only to realise that they don’t have the proper software for the job.

First step, software A better strategy: Consider the robot programming software up front, either upon acquisition, or even prior to the purchase. CAD/CAM software specifically designed for programming robots addresses issues with


Continued from previous page

singularity, collisions, joint limits, reach issues and wrist flips, automatically optimising trajectories, seamlessly integrating external axes, and providing instant visual feedback. It should be easy to use, even for operators new to robotics. The software should also support offline programming without interrupting production other than for the final test and fine-tuning, so changeovers become parallel, rather than sequential, operations. Robotmaster is a product of Jabez Technologies, which has specialised in dedicated software solutions for industrial automation, manufacturing and robotics since 1996. It integrates CAD/CAM-based robot programming, simulation and program generation. Robotmaster provides innovative new tools to optimise robot programs, producing error-free robot paths avoiding singularity zones and collisions, working around joint and reach limitations, and optimising tool orientations throughout the trajectory. With all major robot models supported, Robotmaster is suited to robot tasks such as trimming, 3D machining, deburring, polishing, welding, dispensing, grinding and painting, and supports most industrial robot models. The latest version streamlines

programming, simulation, code generation and path optimisation into one integrated solution. “A robot can be a difficult device to manage,” says Chahe Bakmazjian, president of Jabez Technologies. “It consists of six rotary joints stacked one on top of the other, so it’s very difficult to anticipate errors. Usually you encounter the error when it happens. There’s no warning.” Coubard says that by replacing Composites Aquitaine’s old software, programming time was reduced by half or even third. “Robotmaster allows us to work in the same way we used our CNC machines to tool parts,” says Coubard. “Since Robotmaster also interfaces with Mastercam software, we were able to quickly and easily perform full seven-axis milling and drilling.” Composites Aquitaine uses Robotmaster to program a rail-mounted six-axis robot. Applications include tooling thermal protection parts made of glass-fibre for the Airbus A330 airliner, and honeycomb for the Airbus Super-Puma MK II helicopter. Without Robotmaster, Coubard says the company would probably have abandoned robotics and gone back to old CNC machining methods.

“With Robotmaster we’re able to embrace the world of robotics,” says Coubard. “Now we can tool our composite parts in the same easy way we used to tool them with the CNC machine.”

Error-free programming At the AMRC, Morgan’s group uses robotics and metrology to develop new methods for assembling complex products for aerospace and other high-value industries. “We’ve been working with Robotmaster for three years,” says Morgan. “The software has allowed our operators and engineers to quickly and effectively reprogram the cell, as well as optimise the machine path. It has great flexibility and control. Using this software lends itself to the research environment in particular. We don’t manufacture anything here, so often we end up doing one, two, or three parts and then move on to another part. But the aerospace sector itself is demanding reconfigurability as well, so we’re meeting that requirement with Robotmaster.” Robots have proven their airworthiness. They just need the right software to realise their full potential. Tanya M Anandan is a freelance technical writer.

Feathers inspire anti-turbulence technology Inspired by nature’s own anti-turbulence devices – feathers – RMIT University researchers have developed an innovative system that could spell the end of turbulence on flights. Researchers from RMIT’s Unmanned Systems Research Team have lodged a provisional patent on the system, which mimics the way feathers help birds detect disturbances in the air. Research supervisor Professor Simon Watkins, said flight testing on a micro plane showed that the system significantly reduced the effects of turbulence. “By sensing gusts and disturbances in air flow through their feathers, birds are able to fly gracefully rather than bouncing around in turbulent air,” said Professor Watkins. “The system we have developed replicates this natural technology, with the aim of enabling planes to fly smoothly through even severe turbulence – just like birds.” The system is based on the concept of phase-advanced sensing, in which flow disturbance is sensed before it results in aircraft movement. This can be achieved by early sensing of the pressures from gust effects on the leading parts of the wing or by measuring the gusts ahead of the wing.

Professor Watkins said the system had great potential for all sizes of aircraft and could not only reduce the effects of turbulence on passengers, but also reduce loads on plane wings. This could lead to lower fatigue and hence longer life. “While we need to explore new sensor arrangements to apply this technology to larger and faster aircraft, we have proven the idea on the most challenging problem of keeping small, lightweight planes steady – since these are the ones that get bounced

around the most,” said Professor Watkins. The patent submission for a turbulence mitigation system for aircraft represents the successful outcome of PhD research by Abdulghani Mohamed, supervised by Professor Watkins and Dr Reece Clothier in RMIT’s School of Aerospace, Mechanical and Manufacturing Engineering. Mohamed’s theoretical contributions in the field of turbulence and its effects on flight vehicles aided the development of this invention.

The prototype system in wind tunnel tests.

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Epoxy prepreg streamlines Boeing 777 repairs Based in Dandenong South, Victoria, GMS Composites has developed a tooling system that is proving ideal for repairs to Boeing 777 composite parts. An ongoing challenge for aviation maintenance, repair and overhaul (MRO) service providers is how to make durable low-temperature cure-tooling easily and cost-effectively that is suitable for accurately repairing damaged small-to-medium-size composite parts or for fabricating new replacements. For reverse-engineering MRO jobs, the tooling needs to match exactly the composite part taken off an aircraft for the best fit. Moreover, the tool must provide structural support during the autoclaving stage at moulding temperatures of up to 177 degrees Celsius.

A GMS EP-250 system is now used as an autoclave support tool for repairing a variety of composite parts, including a Boeing 777 leading edge wing flap section.

Wet-resin tooling systems are well established. However, these are not ideal for many composite MRO production units, where shop-floor operators are much more familiar with handling and using prepregs. Custom prepreg manufacturer GMS Composites has developed GMS EP-250, a low-temperature epoxy prepreg tooling system. GMS EP-250 has proved to be a good solution for a major aerospace production operation based in Melbourne that repairs Boeing 777 composite parts, as well as reverse engineering other aircraft components. Switching to using the GMS EP-250 epoxy prepreg tooling system with its extended shelf life has eliminated the mixing, mess and handling issues associated with a traditional wet-resin tooling system. At the same time, GMS Composites says it has improved reverseengineering fabrication capabilities by enabling more dimensionally accurate MRO aircraft parts to be moulded. A GMS EP-250 epoxy carbon-fibre prepreg tooling system is now used as an autoclave support tool for repairing a variety of composite parts, including a Boeing 777 leading-edge wing-flap section autoclaved at 177 degrees Celsius, and a nose cone part. The following two-stage tool making procedure was implemented by the MRO production team to ensure that a fully cured autoclave support tool was fabricated that would ultimately produce a dimensionally accurate replacement MRO leading-edge wing-flap part to fit the aircraft, with the flight performance properties required by Boeing. The damaged leading edge part was first patch-repaired to recreate the exact dimensions prior to damage. Then, the GMS EP-250 carbon-fibre prepreg system was applied to the patched-up part (surface pre-treated with mould release agent) and low-temperature cured at around 65 degrees Celsius to create the new tooling mould copy imprint of the complete part (Stage 1). After this initial low-temperature cure stage was completed, the partially cured new tool was then removed from the damaged part. The next step was to cure the new epoxy prepreg tool fully, free standing, at 200 degrees Celsius (Stage 2). The final new carbon epoxy prepreg tool was a perfect size match to the original leadingedge wing-flap part from the aircraft.

With a fully cured, fabricated tool, the MRO team was then able to remove the patch from the damaged part, lay up the qualified repair material and complete the repair process with a full autoclave cure. According to the company, using the GMS EP-250 epoxy prepreg system has not just made MRO tool making easier, quicker and cleaner. For repetitive MRO jobs needing multiple identical replacement parts to be fabricated, overall mid-to-long-term manufacturing costs have been reduced since the GMS EP-250 epoxy prepreg tools have proved much more durable, lasting for well over 50 pulls with no cracking or loss of vacuum integrity on the tool, while at the same time maintaining end-part surface quality and dimensional stability. GMS EP-250 epoxy prepreg tools have proved sufficiently longlasting that both OEMs and first-tier convertors are increasingly using the GMS prepreg tooling systems, not only for MRO composite parts, but also as cost-competitive tooling in preference to wet lay-up or aluminium for shorter-run manufacturing jobs requiring up to around 100 off parts. For even higher-volume production tooling needs, GMS Composites also offers GMS BP-190, a bismaleimide matrix (BMI) prepreg with a maximum Tg of 310 degrees Celsius. GMS Composites says that EP-250 prepregs typically have a shelf life of around three weeks at a 23 degrees Celsius ambient temperature and 12 months in -18 degrees Celsius cold storage conditions. This long shelf life allows them to be air-transported to anywhere in Asia, India, the Middle East and beyond, while still giving MRO service providers sufficient processing time. The company says that GMS EP-250 epoxy prepregs can be considered in practice as a cost competitive, feasible alternative to other tooling systems.

GMS EP-250 epoxy prepreg tools have proved much more durable, lasting over 50 pulls with no cracking or loss of vacuum integrity on the tool.

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SynFlyt – Off to a flying start By using 3D printing, an Australian flight simulation group was able to reduce its potential manufacturing costs by 90%. Australian flight training businesses have always faced challenges in offering adequate simulated training to cadets because of the limited facilities available and a lack of economic resources. Most flight schools can only provide outdoor practices, with minimal indoor simulation training because the cost of the average flight simulation system exceeds most budgets. SynFlyt, a Sydney-based specialist flight simulation company, was formed in 2011 to improve this situation by developing and building its own range of three-degreesof-freedom (3DOF), full-motion aircraft simulators. SynFlyt’s products are designed to simulate light aircraft, gliders, single-engine jets, touring aircrafts and chase planes. However, finding a way to reduce production costs was no easy task, because everything on the simulators had to be customised. Costs could easily exceed $100,000 for one customised simulator. To tackle this problem, SynFlyt employed a uPrint 3D Printer to produce parts and components for its newly developed simulators. “In the initial phase of selecting a 3D printing solution, Stratasys emerged as an early leader through its outstanding level of service,” says Ross Maclennan, Managing Director and Engineering Director at SynFlyt. “But it was soon clear that our functional requirements were best matched through the uPrint system and its ABSplus thermoplastic. The plastics are durable, and the printer is easy to manage.” Leveraging uPrint’s fused deposition modelling (FDM) technology, SynFlyt’s specialists printed a range of aircraft components, such as levers, control buttons and connection parts. SynFlyt then assembled them in a replicated cockpit to

Aerospace showcase at Avalon 2015 The Australian International Airshow and Aerospace & Defence Exposition will be held from 24 February to 1 March, at Avalon Airport near Geelong, Victoria. Avalon 2015 is billed as the essential aviation, aerospace and defence showcase

provide realistic interaction with any aviation model housed. Coupling innovative software for flight dynamics that optimised the craft’s movements with movable 3D-printed gadgets, SynFlyt’s simulated training system lets trainees feel as if they’re operating a real plane.

itself and its clients. Previously, purchasing one circuit breaker off the shelf could cost around $80. Using 3D printing, a specialist can produce the same part for around seven dollars, saving more than 90% – all while compressing production and communication time.

Flexibility and cost savings

Today, SynFlyt is ready to establish itself as a supplier of affordable 3DOF flight simulators for local flight academies in Australia and New Zealand. The adoption of 3D printing technology has provided the company with the ability to respond to clients with quick and cost-efficient solutions to their problems, benefiting both flight schools and cadet pilots.

After its success in printing small parts, SynFlyt began producing more complicated components to address different flight settings. For more complex assemblies such as circuit boards or mechanical parts, a specialist could 3D-print two or more concept models to compare different designs before coming to a final decision. Changing designs could be as simple as making a few iterations in the 3D printer’s software. SynFlyt continued to prototype different parts of an aircraft cockpit, such as housings for electronics, gears and instrumentation panels. Now a 3DOF flight simulator may include more than 80 3D-printed components with varying levels of intricacies. The uPrint 3D printer has also achieved SynFlyt’s primary goal: cost savings for

for Australia and the Asia Pacific region. The popular public airshow will have a special theme this year, commemorating the ANZAC Centenary, paying homage to a century of service by Australians in the defence of the nation. It will also feature an array of the latest military hardware from Australia and overseas, including supersonic jet fighters and attack helicopters. The industry-only trade exposition will showcase a range of the latest products, technologies and services from right across the spectrum from general aviation to airlines, air forces and space. The event boasts an extensive list of exhibitors, both local and international, including a number of AMTIL members. “This coming show will be our biggest and best yet and I’m expecting bumper

“Our uPrint 3D printer ensures our clients are happy with our products, which are highly accurate, functional and durable,” says Maclennan. “And we have been able to put more effort into R&D and building the parts we need rather than buying expensive, offthe-shelf-type, specific aircraft parts. Without our uPrint 3D printer, it would be impossible to obtain.”

crowds,” said Airshow CEO Ian Honnery. “Airshow 2015 will be pure excitement. It will deliver a totally unforgettable and emotional experience and will be an event you won’t want to miss.”

AMT February 2015

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We may not be the biggest supplier out there, but year on year we are growing. And we are proud of the fact we are a 100% Australian owned company. We supply to a broad range of industries, including; aerospace, defence, marine, motorsport, precision and general engineering. For the type of product we supply, we consider ourselves to be a niche supplier in the Australian and New Zealand markets, with a focus on structural applications. We supply to a broad spectrum of customers, including prime defence contractors (such as BAE Systems Australia, Thales Australia and Boeing Aerostructures Australia). We have worked on both small and large scale supply contracts.

tooling plate products. By utilising state-of-the-art technology, equipment and processing systems - with Vista Metals products - we offer a unique cast aluminium tooling plate that is specified for a wide and diverse range of manufacturing applications. Due to its versatility, and consistent mechanical and dimensional characteristics, ATP-5™ is the product of choice for those applications where flatness and dimensional control are critical. This product has outstanding machinability, excellent high speed cutting rates, and exceptional feed rates, all of which contribute to reducing machining time and improving efficiency. ATP-5™ offers improved performance characteristics when compared to standard cast tooling plate, including stringent flatness tolerances that are unsurpassed in the industry.

Laurie Sutton, who heads up the sales team (among many other roles within the business), started Calm Aluminium over 12 years ago. Now, with over 35 years of industry experience, Laurie has a wealth of knowledge. Over that time Laurie - and Calm Aluminium - have built up a strong relationship with many suppliers across the globe, including industry leaders such as Kaiser Aluminum, Alcoa Inc., AMAG Rolling Gmbh, and Vista Metals.

One of our key advantages is our in-house processing capability. With our Precision Plate Saws from MetlSaw Inc. (USA) we can cut with high precision and close tolerance. It is one of the largest - and fastest - saws of its kind in Australia. In many cases, due to the close tolerance precision cuts, it eliminates/reduces secondary machining of parts.

Michael Sutton, one of Laurie’s sons, started with the company 8 years ago. Michael’s main focus areas are within Internal Operations, a key focus being Quality Management. Calm Aluminium’s Quality Management System is certified to ISO 9001:2008 and verified to be compliant to AS9120 by our key customers, so quality is a big focus area for us. We are well under way in the implementation of an in-house developed Inventory Management System. Even though our in-house processes already comply with industry standards, one of the biggest areas for innovation was within our internal systems, specifically traceability… a key focus in the aerospace industry. We believe our new system will take us to the next level, being able to process orders with the speed and accuracy that our customers need, coupled with the relevant documentation required at the push of a button.

Sheet/Plate Rod/Bar

Teresa Sutton, one of Laurie’s daughters, also works in the business. Some staff we have known for over 20 years. The recent starters to our team are also made to feel more than welcome. So it really is a family business. And that is what makes the difference. We have the flexibility, the drive, and the skillset to go the extra mile. Whatever it takes. We supply a variety of metal, with a focus on Aluminium. However, we have regular contracts for supply of other metals including; mild steel, stainless steel, copper, brass, titanium, and molybdenum. If there is a unique or exotic alloy that you require, chances are we will be able to source it for you. Aluminium products we stock: Rod Plate Bar Sheet Tread Plate Cast Plate

2011, 6061 & 7075 2024, 5083, 6061, 7050 & 7075 6060 & 6061 2024, 5005, 5251, 6061 & 7075 3001, 5052 & 6061 ATP-5, Duramold-2 & 5, ACP 5080

We also stock various extrusions including; hex bar, angle, channel, hollow sections, and various custom extrusions. As well as other grades and products on request. We are the sole Australia distributor for Vista Metals cast

In-house saw cutting capability: Up to 310 mm thick Up to 450 mm thick

Project History Supply of forged stainless steel pipes to BAE Systems for upgrades to the periscopes in the Collins class submarines. Material for the NULKA Decoy Program. The Nulka active missile decoy is the most sophisticated soft-kill defence system against anti-ship missiles available for the protection of surface warships. It is currently deployed on over 150 Australian, US and Canadian warships. Supply of metal for the Typhoon Eurofighter program to BAE Systems. The Typhoon Eurofighter is the world's most advanced new generation multi-role/swing-role combat aircraft available on the market. Material requirements for sub-contractors in Australia to Lockheed Martin for the JSF (Joint Strike Fighter) program. Stainless Steel components for the ESSM (Evolved Sea Sparrow Missile) project. ESSM provides self-defence battlespace and firepower against high-speed, highly manoeuvrable anti-ship missiles in the naval environment. So the sky really is the limit… and 2015 is going to be a big year! Calm Aluminium 28 Saggart Field Rd, Minto NSW 2566 Australia Tel 02 9603 6486 | Fax 02 9603 8409

One on one

Professor the Hon Stephen Martin is the Chief Executive of the Committee for Economic Development of Australia (CEDA). He spoke to William Poole. AMT: Let’s start with your professional background and how you came to your current role. Stephen Martin: Well, I was a Federal Member of Parliament representing the Wollongong area, which of course was a great manufacturing base for Australia. In fact I put myself through university by working in the steel industry, and my grandfather was a coalminer. So in terms of what historically underpinned manufacturing in Australia, I had some background. I represented Wollongong for 18 years in Parliament. I was Speaker of the House, Parliamentary Secretary for Foreign Affairs and Trade, and Shadow Minister in various areas including terms in Defence and in Trade. After 1996, during my time in opposition, I completed a PhD in economics part time through the University of Wollongong, which examined financial deregulation under the Hawke/Keating Government. I left Parliament and took up various senior roles in universities. I was at the University of Wollongong in Dubai as a chief executive/president, I was Pro Vice Chancellor International here at Victoria University in Melbourne, Deputy Vice Chancellor (Strategy and Planning) at Curtin University in Western Australia. I also did some consultancy work in higher education. Then four years ago I was appointed to the role of chief executive of CEDA. I knew CEDA was a highly respected organisation and I was delighted to become part of the furniture. AMT: So tell us about CEDA and its key activities. SM: CEDA is Australia’s leading independent, membership-based organisation responsible for looking at what is good public policy from an economic and social perspective. We do this by undertaking research, publishing four pieces of work on an annual basis. We also try to engage people in discussion of public policy, through events and forums that we put on around Australia. We attract people from the Prime Minister, to premiers, federal and state ministers, to senior businesspeople, academics, departmental heads and so on, who come along to present or take part in panels on a variety of issues. CEDA has elevated itself to be regarded as the premier independent economic public policy entity in Australia. It’s a membership-based organisation – approximately 700 of Australia’s major organisations are part of the CEDA family. We also have pretty much all the universities in Australia, and a number of prominent individual members, but essentially it is the top corporates that make up that member base. I think it needs to be clearly understood that we’re a not-for-profit organisation that really is about undertaking good public policy research work. AMT: What would an ordinary day in the job entail? SM: Probably starting at home in the morning, over my Sultana Bran, reading the major newspapers online, particularly the economics sections. That would kick off my day. By the time I get to work, certainly by eight in the morning, on a normal day it would involve again rechecking the newspapers.

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During the day there would be any number of meetings, either internally with staff here, particularly my research team, or out and about meeting our principal trustees. We have a number of categories of membership, and with our premier national members I take some responsibility in terms of relationship management. It could be going out and talking to them, or somebody we need to engage with, potentially to become a CEDA member, or to speak at a forum. A typical day in the office would end around 5.30 or so, and during the course of the evening I would continue to monitor what’s happening by watching copious news bulletins. Probably two days a week involves travelling interstate. We have offices in every state in Australia, and if we have ministers – particularly Federal ministers – or significant business-people speaking at our forums, I try and be there to host those events. AMT: CEDA highlights advanced manufacturing as a key source of economic growth for Australia. How can we make the transition from more traditional forms of manufacturing? SM: CEDA identified early on that there was a lot of media attention on the fundamental proposition that Australian manufacturing was dead, particularly around the time of the decision to cease car production here in 2016. Having seen what had happened to the steel industry in Wollongong, I was aware that remnants of traditional industry would continue in Australia – albeit in much modified form – but that a new advanced manufacturing was well and truly alive and well. It just hadn’t been spoken about. The simple fact is that Australia is an economy in transition, underpinned by economic questions around where the dollar is going to end up, interest rate regimes, job prospects and training opportunities. All that gels to the fact that advanced manufacturing is going to offer an opportunity to Australia if there is support from industry and government and an embracing of the fact that you have to be involved in global supply chains to really see benefits flowing to the industry itself, but more importantly to the Australian economy. The fact is most advanced manufacturing in this country is going to be much smaller in terms of number of people employed. They’re going to be much more highly skilled than ever before – and we have to continue to support our education. It’s going to be very much confined to SMEs, so again this is a break from tradition. When people see manufacturing, they see big plants, they think of car-makers, and steel-makers. That’s gone. That’s not what Australia is going to be! We can’t compete in a high-volume, low-cost environment any more. We are in a high-cost, low-volume, export-oriented environment with high levels of R&D and innovation. We already have advanced manufacturing in this country. We do mining engineering better than most. We have a pharmaceutical industry that does it better than most. We have a whole raft of cuttingedge stuff coming out of innovative organisations like the CSIRO or DSTO. But people don’t seem to know this, they don’t recognise it. And certainly there are questions whether the government will continue to support that, particularly things like our defence industry and what’s

going to happen with submarine building in South Australia – are we really going to trade it away to the Japanese or Germany? Are we going to lose all that intellectual capacity and the capability we already have in Australia? Are we not going to sustain our industrial base by having something that we can do ourselves? That’s just one example that gets me excited about lack of clear vision and foresight and what government is really all about in sustaining advanced manufacturing. So that’s why CEDA got involved and published our report last year. AMT: So what should government be doing? SM: What they need to do is clearly spell out in their industry plan what it means in a real sense. It’s all well and good making glib statements about supporting six sectors and understanding advanced manufacturing is important, and then in the next breath looking at ways to continue to support the mining industry. You’ve got to put your dollars where your mouth is. You’ve got to have a clear and fundamental commitment to improving education opportunities, particularly in STEM. The cuts in last year’s budget for the CSIRO, as one example, I just find incredible. If we’re trying to compete internationally, why would you cut funding to organisations at the cutting edge in developing advanced manufacturing techniques? Industry has to lift its game in terms of R&D, but most of the players in advanced manufacturing are SMEs; their capacity in R&D is not the same as the big corporations. Where is the support to the private sector? Should there be some incentives given there? What about the marrying together of Australia’s university sector, integrating it much more with private industry, where they do the intellectual work at university, but turn it into commercialised reality within the private sector? Let’s see some more opportunities there. Let’s really work out how you can have those very bright people at work in the fabulous universities here in Australia, taking them to work for industry. There’s going to have to be a partnership between industry, the university sector and the government.

industry, but we don’t do the same in terms of high-tech, value-adding advanced manufacturing. AMT: And what are Australian manufacturing’s greatest strengths? SM: The intellectual capacity of people here, and the fact that our universities and vocational education and training areas generally turn out highly skilled, highly qualified people. But some of those skills are undervalued in this country. If there were more opportunities to work within an industrial base here, rather than going offshore to find their niche in life, that would be a useful thing. But we have a highly skilled workforce, and a committed workforce. The other advantage is that our location geographically gives us a terrific opportunity to engage with the fastest-growing economic region in the world: Asia. There are all sorts of opportunities that can create for Australian advanced manufacturing. It doesn’t matter if it happens to be in mining services, or computer-generated technologies, or pharmaceuticals. There is a market there, and the integration within that market is an opportunity that we can’t drop. AMT: Where do you see Australian manufacturing in ten years’ time? SM: I’d like to think it’s going to be a major contributor to Australia’s economic wherewithal. I’d like to think in ten years we’re not still going to be regarded as either a quarry or a farm. I’d like to think it’s recognised by government, by industry itself, that this is a sector with a clearly defined innovation and R&D strategy, supported by government, that has clear employment opportunities, and that has been integrated into a global value chain, with markets not only in China, or Indonesia, or Japan, but throughout Europe, Africa, even North America. In ten years’ time is all that going to happen? I’d like to think it is.

AMT: What do you see as the biggest challenges for the sector? SM: One is getting the media to understand first and foremost that advanced manufacturing is alive and well in this country and should be supported. There should be more stories about how well it’s going, instead of negative stories about smelters closing down or carmakers quitting Australia – that’s old news. They have to talk up what is happening. The digital revolution that the media itself is involved in is an entire new advanced manufacturing industry. Start talking about that sort of stuff. Secondly, government policy: clear, unequivocal commitment to innovation, to R&D, supporting those organisations like CSIRO, supporting universities so they can continue to do cutting-edge research. That has to happen. Not using CSIRO and universities as scapegoats in terms of cutting funding because of perceived budget imperatives. Thirdly, industry itself must be prepared to commit to this. Industry has to recognise that to be successful in the world now, it has to take a much stronger role in global supply chains, global value chains. We’ll find is that we may be able to manufacture things here in Australia – as we do – that end up on the tail of an A380 jet that flies back to Australia. We may not assemble it here, but we’ve made it here. Industry needs to recognise where these niches could be, and they can do that, with support from government. And of course, part of that whole policy question is: are there incentives through the tax system that might be relevant to Australia’s future economy? We seem to give all sorts of concessions to the mining AMT February 2015

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forming & Fabrication

Multiroller – No reset required The new Weil Multiroller is a new programmable multi-roll bending system that can produce short tubes with different diameters and geometry without mechanical adjustment, opening up new opportunities previously not possible with roll bending machines. In recent times, flexibility has overtaken productivity as the most important criterion for investment and equipment. The new target is economical, flexible production for batch quantities of as few as one. The requirement is a machine that needs very little or no set-up time or tooling costs. The Multiroller achieves this in the production of tubular components in a manner previously not achievable. The demand for increased flexibility prompted Weil Technology, the German manufacturer of tube production machinery, to develop the first parameter-controlled, multiple roll-forming machines in the Multiroller series, thereby creating a launchpad for the development of flexible product flow from flat blanks to finished product. Due to Weil’s design concept to enable automatic bending of cylindrical shapes from flat blanks, these machines can now produce anything from a simple tube shape to the most complex tubular geometry in almost any shape, without needing mechanical setting or readjustment. Variation in diameter and geometry are achieved exclusively through parametric programming. Weil has developed various Multiroller models covering a large range of diameters and material thicknesses, achieving diameterto-material-thickness ratios previously not possible. For example Multiroller 150/2000 is able to produce tubes with a diameter of 60mm from high-tensile material in 1.5mm thickness and a maximum length of 2000mm.

The key innovation of Weil’s Multiroller technology is its ability to manufacture diverse tube diameters or tube geometry using simple parametric programming with built-in process safety. By simply changing machining parameters it is possible to produce a variety of tube geometries, giving the user maximum flexibility to react to varying production requirements.

Automated production

The Weil Multiroller with CNC control is able to change the diameter setting during the bending process allowing the production of polygonally shaped tubular components such as oval shapes or even shapes with a number of varying radii.

Weil can offer solutions for the fully automatic production of tubes from material with a thickness of 0.2mm to 3mm. The range of diameters goes from 50mm to 600mm with tube lengths from 80mm up to 2150mm, at material tensiles up to 980 Newton per square millimetre. It is also possible to process material thicknesses up to 3.5mm, though it may be necessary to pre-bend the edges if perfect roundness is required. Apart from cylindrical tubes, the Multiroller can easily produce oval or polygonal tubes. Typical applications are the manufacture of bellows, tubes for ventilation and fume extraction, or automotive exhaust systems, cylinders for hot water services and boilers, as well as tubes used for IHU forming. Rear-axle tubes for passenger cars and similar products that were previously made by pressing and appropriate tooling can now be produced with Weil’s Multiroller technology. The upper vending roll is supported along its entire length, with the ability to pre-bend the roller in a process similar to crowning. This allows the manufacture of thick-walled tubes with diameter to length ratios that previously could only be produced by the U-O bending process without the need for special, single-purpose tooling and multiple process steps.

Programming is simple and should take no longer than 10-15 minutes, even with complicated shapes. Previously used programmes can be simply recalled in case of repeating product runs. High-quality roundness and repeatable shape accuracy is ensured by the machine design and control capability combination. Variations in material consistency can be easily compensated by parameter tuning. Depending on the length of the components produced, it is possible to increase output by bending multiple parts simultaneously side by side. The Weil Multiroller has been designed to be adaptable to a multitude of production requirements such as the addition of peripheral materials-handling equipment and linking to additional processes such as welding or folding. The Multiroller can be used as a standalone machine or expanded into a tube-manufacturing cell with a varying degree of automation at any stage in the future. The Weil Multiroller comes with an optical sensor to control bend accuracy. Further sensor technology is available to meet individual quality control needs and to enable maximum process control of the bending cycle.

Flexibility and productivity The Weil Multiroller can produce cylindrical components with different parameters without set-up time losses as it is not necessary to change tools. Depending on the required diameter, typical cycle times range between 15 and 30 seconds and a corresponding output of up to 240 tubes per hour. In case short tubes are required it is possible to bend multiple parts side by side, with corresponding higher output rates. Typical applications are cylindrical bodies for pressure vessels, tanks, hot water systems and chimney tubes. As the bending radius can be varied within a bend cycle it is also possible to produce oval shells or any other irregular shape as found in automotive muffler assemblies.

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forming & Fabrication

Press brake fundamentals: The three types of bending If you’re a newbie to metal fabrication, here’s a refresher on the essentials of bending. Air bending, bottom bending and coining are the three main types employed by precision metal fabricators. Coining The term ‘coining’ comes from coinmaking. To put Lincoln’s profile on a penny, machines using extremely high tonnage compressed a metal disc with enough force to make it conform to the image inscribed on the die set. Similarly, coining with a press brake involves using enough tonnage to conform the sheet metal to the exact angle of the punch and die. In coining, the metal is more than just bent, it is actually thinned by the impact of the punch and die as it is compressed between them. The theory is that with enough tonnage, your sheet metal will bend to the precise angle of your tooling, so your tooling should be an equal match to the angle required.

Bottom bending In bottom bending or ‘bottoming’, the punch and die are brought together so the material makes contact with the punch tip and the V-opening sidewalls. It differs from coining in that the punch and die don’t fully contact the metal, and tonnage isn’t enough used to actually imprint or thin the metal. Because bottom bending uses less tonnage than coining, the material doesn’t entirely

conform to the tooling’s bend angle. In fact, the metal experiences “springback”, naturally relaxing to a wider angle after bending. With bottom bending, to get a certain angle, you need tooling that has a slightly more acute angle to account for springback once the sheet is released. For example, you may need your punch and die to be at 88° to achieve a 90° finished form. Different materials and thicknesses result in different amounts of springback.

Air bending With air bending, even less contact is made with than with bottom bending. The tooling only touches the material at the punch tip and die shoulders, so the actual tooling angle is relatively unimportant. The bend angle is determined by how far the punch descends into the die. The further the punch descends, the more acute the bend angle. Because the depth of stroke determines the bend angle, one set of tooling can deliver a range of bend angles. However, the bend angle cannot be equal to, or smaller than, the angle of your punch and die. Since tonnage doesn’t produce the bend in air bending, you don’t need as much as with coining. And as with bottom bending, air bending will entail some degree of springback, so you may need to bend to a slightly more acute angle to get the desired bend.

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Innovation Through Passion AMT February 2015

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forming & Fabrication

Proper maintenance can prolong plasma cutters Plasma cutters are often overlooked when it comes to maintenance, but regular attention can deliver benefits in terms of a system’s lifespan and performance. By Clayton Gould, Marketing Manager, Aftersales, Hypertherm. The list of items needing regular maintenance in your shop is probably long. It probably seems there is always something to be done. Unfortunately, while most shops are great at inspecting items like cranes, forklifts and air compressors, an item that tends to slip through the cracks is the plasma cutting system. It might be that the old adage “the squeaky wheel gets the grease” proves true here. Plasma systems, at least good-quality systems, don’t tend to be troublesome. The systems go about the job day in and day out, slicing through whatever metal is thrown at it, but while your plasma system may appear to work just fine, failure to properly maintain it is quietly impacting its performance and life. Mechanical parts will start to wear out, causing rough machine motion. Part tolerances will deviate. Cut quality, particularly at higher speeds, will suffer. It is kind of like the tyres on your car. To get the best life and performance, you need to make sure your tyres have the right amount of air and are rotated regularly. If you don’t do those two things, will your car still roll? Sure. Will the ride and mileage suffer? Will your tyres last as long? No. Are you more apt to get a flat tire at the worst possible time? Yes. It’s the same thing with your plasma system. If you don’t take good care of it, it’s going to break down when you need it most. Like when you’re in the middle of the largest plate-cutting job you’ve ever had for your most lucrative customer. Not only have you just let down an important customer, you’ve just cost your shop a lot of money.

The other problem is when components in the machine fail, as troubleshooting and servicing can take days. This brings us to another old adage, “an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure”. Fortunately, it doesn’t take much to keep a plasma system up and running. A small investment of your time is often all it takes to keep your system in good shape. The key, though, is to establish a regular preventive maintenance routine.

Cleaning and inspection Your routine should contain two components: routine cleaning and inspection; and replacement of common wear items. Part one of your program can be divided into daily, weekly, and monthly tasks. Let’s start with the daily tasks. There are four things you’ll want to do for every single day your system is turned on. First, verify inlet pressure of gases in both the “test pre-flow” and “cutflow” modes by making sure your regulator dial reaches the recommended PSI. Second, inspect the air filters. You’re checking for moisture, oil, and particulates. If you see moisture, oil, or a lot of metal dust for example, you’ll need a new filter. If you only see a little dust or dirt, try to lightly vacuum it off. All air filters need eventual replacement, but if you’re going through more than your fair share, then you probably have an issue with the quality of your air and should check its purity. Step three is to check your coolant level and condition. If the level is below the neck of the tank, add more. If the coolant looks dirty, flush out your tank and refill it with fresh coolant. The final daily task it to inspect your torch. Hypertherm strongly recommends taking your torch into an office or other clean place to do this. Also, wash your hands. Typically, the two items requiring careful inspection are the O-ring and coolant tube. Remove the O-rings from the torch and check for damage. If all looks good, apply a very small amount of lubricant to your fingertips and lightly rub this lubricant onto the O-ring. The O-ring should look shiny but you should not see any lubricant. If you do, you’ve applied too much and should wipe some off. Replace all O-rings so they fit snugly, then inspect all threaded consumables and remove any dirt that you see. You’ll also want to inspect the water tube to make sure it isn’t out of round, bent, or pitted. Inspect the nozzle and electrode mating surface for damage, then take a clean cloth and wipe off the torch, both inside and outside. Use a cotton swab if needed to clean hard to reach areas. Next up are the weekly tasks. First step, inspect all air hoses, coolant hoses, and torch leads. Look for scrapes and cuts, punctures, chemical spills and burns, or any kinks or bends that would restrict flow. Second, check for gas leaks by conducting the built-in leak and flow tests. Before doing this last test, make sure you are using the right consumables and have selected the correct plasma process for the test. Finally, check your coolant flow. If you have an auto-gas console, this can be done right from your CNC. If you have a manual gas console, go to your console to read the flow rate. If the CNC detects a problem, then you’ll need to perform the specific Coolant Flow tests found in your owner’s manual.

Inspect the air filter daily, and do a replacement every six months.

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forming & Fabrication

A cotton swab can be used to clean hard-to-reach areas.

Monthly tasks include cleaning the inside of your power supply, inspecting electrical components, and checking your ground and table-to-work piece connections. First, turn off the power to your power supply, then remove the top and side panels. You’ll probably see a lot of metal dust and other particulates that you’ll want to either blow out or vacuum. Don’t forget to vacuum any build-up on the fan and fins. Next, gently remove dust and particulates from your circuit boards, taking extra care not to damage them. The next step, with your power still off, is to check the main contactor for excessive pitting, or a blackened or rough surface. If you see any of these things, replace your contactor. Third, though you should check your coolant flow once a week, you’ll want to conduct a more thorough test each month. Typically, this test is more comprehensive and should be conducted by a trained service technician or other specially trained resource. At the same time, you’ll want to inspect all connection points—for example where the hose connects to the ignition console, the torch body, and the power supply. The fourth task you should do once each month is to inspect the pilot arc relay. Remove the cover, and inspect the contacts for excessive pitting. Again, if you see a lot of pitting, you’ll want to replace the relay. Next, inspect your gas line connections by spraying them with soapy water. If bubbles appear on a gas line, tighten or replace it as necessary. Lastly, inspect your ground and work lead connections. Verify that all system components are individually grounded to a driven earth ground and that your work lead connection—particularly the connection at your cutting table—is clean and tight. There should be no paint or oil directly on the connection, as you need a clean metal-to-metal contact.

Replacement of common wear items With your routine maintenance out of the way, you’ll now want to focus on common wear items. Because plasma systems are precision machines with moving parts like torches, main contactors, relays and such, these parts are going to wear out. The frequency of part replacement will vary depending on system usage, but typically you’ll want to replace items after a set number of months or arc hours. Recommendations are as follows: Every six months (or 500 arc hours): 1. Torch O-rings and bullet plugs 2. Air filter 3. Coolant filter Every 12 months (or 1,000 arc hours): 1. Torch main body 2. Pilot arc relay 3. Main contactor

Clean the inside of your power supply by blowing out contaminants.

Every two years (or 2,000 arc hours): 1. Torch receptacle 2. Coolant pump 3. Torch leads Every three years (or 3,000 arc hours) 1. Check valves 2. Cooling fans 3. Coolant pump motor 4. Gas and pilot arc leads To make part replacement easy, some manufacturers have put together comprehensive preventive maintenance programs, along with annual replacement kits. Companies such as Hypertherm have taken it a step further by providing this information with every system we sell and establishing a dedicated webpage that offers customers the ability to download a complete maintenance program from their system. Like your forklift, crane and air compressor, your cutting system requires care to operate at peak efficiency. Regular, ongoing maintenance is the smartest and most efficient way to optimise output, reduce unplanned downtime and minimise the operating costs of your cutting system. It’s an active approach as opposed to a costly reactive approach. This way, you’ll not only extend the life of consumables, but also, the life of your entire cutting machine.

Cleaning and inspection checklist Daily 1. Verify inlet pressure of gases 2. Inspect all air filters 3. Check coolant levels and condition 4. Inspect torch for leaks (o-rings and water tubes) Weekly 1. Inspect hoses and leads for cracks 2. Inspect gas fittings for leaks 3. Verify coolant flow Monthly 1. Clean inside of power supply 2. Check with main contactor 3. Conduct a more thorough coolant flow test 4. Inspect pilot arc relay 5. Inspect gas line connections 6. Inspect ground and table-to-work piece connections

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forming & Fabrication

FastBend upgrade for Bertazzo Engineered Wodonga-based Bertazzo Engineered needed a machine to help the company increase production of folded parts for its customers. The solution – a Prima Power FastBend supplied by IMTS – has surpassed all expectations. Established in 1996, Bertazzo Engineered has forged a strong reputation in the Albury & Wodonga area, on the border between Victoria and New South Wales (NSW), by delivering high-quality component fabrication and installation services. After almost two decades in operation, the company remains a family-owned business employing approximately 30 people at its facility in Wodonga. “Basically, we’re a complete one-stopshop,” says owner and Managing Director Raymond Bertazzo. “From 3D modelling with AutoCad Inventor right down to fabricating and dispatching – we build, we cut, we fold, we weld, we blast, we powder coat, we assemble, and we deliver customer satisfaction. The company concentrates on trying to offer clients improvements and cost savings to their products using the latest technology that’s available.” Its technical expertise in advanced laser cutting and automated folding allows the Bertazzo team to deliver highly accurate, costefficient solutions for any project specification. By maintaining a strong focus on customer satisfaction and adding value, Bertazzo has established long-lasting relationships with its clients, including blue-chip companies such as Mars, Vita-Soy, National Foods, Ingham’s, Federation Centres, Lion, AGL, Komastsu, CSE Uniserve and Wilson Transformers. Nonetheless, Raymond and his wife Trudie are always on the lookout for opportunities to improve processes, enhance efficiency, and provide a safe work environment for their staff. They found that one of the biggest obstacles impeding the company’s production levels was in the operation of its two standard press brakes, which were operating 8-10 hours per day, as well as creating a major burden in terms of personnel requirements. “The press brake area was always a bottleneck to that process, in particular for

the larger panels we do – at one stage we even lost a contract for some higher-volume work,” explains Raymond. “Not only was it slow in the traditional sense of using a CNC brake press, but it was also hard work on the guys themselves. We might be doing batches of 40, and each panel weighs between 40 and 60kg.” Having conducted his own research into the various solutions available on the market, Raymond turned to IMTS Machinery for assistance. After initial investigations by IMTS specialists, all requirements clearly pointed to the FastBend, a highly flexible, efficient, productive and user-friendly servoelectric bending solution from Prima Power. The FastBend is designed to serve as a productive step from press brakes towards fully automatic bending. The machines are prized by customers in a wide array of sectors, ranging from automotive manufacturing to producers of office furniture, air-conditioning systems, electrical cabinets and food display units. Bertazzo even visited Prima Power’s headquarters and manufacturing facility in Italy to find out more about the machine firsthand. “They made me feel like family,” says Raymond. “We sent our own people over, not only to learn how to program and operate the machine, but to sit down with their design guy to see what new things we could actually do with it, rather than just doing the same thing with $1m worth of machinery. It really suited our purpose.” IMTS had also noted that there was another significant time-consumer in Bertazzo’s production cycle, with the manual toolchanging of the press brake and the handling of large parts. Moreover, this presented several occupational health and safety (OHS) issues associated with folding large parts on a press brake. Most production runs required two operators, multiple manual

tool changes, and an overhead crane to complete the part. The FastBend allows for automatic tool changing, typically taking less than 15 seconds depending on the overall tool change required. Moreover, the system requires only one operator, while the risk of injury is eliminated. Once the FastBend was in operation, Bertazzo began reaping immediate benefits. It was able to reduce cycle times for some parts from more than 20 minutes to less than a minute. As the FastBend is completely servo-electric, it runs on 65% less power usage, while offering a greater degree of precision, with each axis programmable to 0.01mm. In addition there is less need for maintenance, and the stresses on the machine are reduced due to lower levels of heat from hydraulic pumps. The machine’s compact physical footprint means the overall impact on the manufacturing environment is reduced, while noise levels are significantly lower. “It’s not only to increase our productivity and get costings down to make us more competitive,” adds Raymond. “It’s also so we’re not flogging the hell out of our guys. For example, we had 187 panels cut on a lights-out arrangement on the laser the other night, and one guy folded it up in 5.5 hours. It used to be at least a week’s worth of work for two guys.” A further benefit lies in the maximum bending height, with an increase of 35mm over the opposition – the FastBend has a maximum bending height of 200mm, while rival machines are restricted to 165mm. The machine can also be put into a ‘press brake’ mode, which allows the folding of thin parts. This is achieved by using the ASP blades as the back gauges and avoiding the use of the suction cups. The system offers greater flexibility by not requiring automation at the start, which

Bertazzo Engineered’s facility in Wodonga, Victoria.

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forming & Fabrication Right: The Prima Power FastBend in Bertazzo’s workshop. Far right: The FastBend has slashed the time required for production of folded components, while enabling the production of much larger parts.

means it is possible to fold abnormal shapes. With the standard automation, Bertazzo could only fold rectangular or square-shaped parts. With Fast Bend, the company is now able to fold parts with angled sides. It also offers the possibility of adding a robotised system for automation in the future. The system’s modular design allows for the growth of the machine as the business expands, a unique feature of the Prima Power product line that provides added flexibility for the end-user. Overall, the Prima Power system offers significant ease of use compared with

systems from other manufacturers. The team at Bertazzo were quick to note that the Fast Bend was a very user-friendly system. And Raymond and Trudie have been very happy with the level of service they received from IMTS and Prima Power. “They were great all the way though,” Raymond remarks. “The Prima people and IMTS were fantastic. If the guys had a problem, we could send an email or ring them and they could sort it out. It was a very good experience, I can assure you!” Meanwhile, the FastBend continues to deliver

a level of performance that impresses both the team at Bertazzo, and their customers. “It’s amazing!” says Raymond. “It blows people away with what we can do with it. Our biggest problem now is keeping the work up to it. It’s very hungry. Its capacity is phenomenal.”

Complexity and hassle OR simplicity and efficiency The recent acquisition of a state-of-the art Swiss-built Bystronic fibre laser-cutting machine is helping Sydney-based FountainLine IMS deliver procurement and logistic efficiency and accuracy for its clients.

Traditionally, OEMs have relied on multiple suppliers for products made from multiple parts. Cut-price suppliers require a ‘leap of faith’ and an experienced purchasing manager to place and monitor the orders. Some companies are completely dependent on suppliers they do not know and trust. Apart from leaving the business exposed to additional challenges, there is an added ‘unknown’ in the quality, logistics, storage and warehousing. Most importantly, the certainty of delivery is questionable, and there are no guarantees that the components will assemble as planned.

The single source would be local and accountable for 100% of components and be industry benchmarking as ‘business-as usual’. Photo: Parker-Wood Communications Pty Ltd 2014.

Manufacturing has been in a state of transition for decades. Lower tariffs, changing technologies and the outsourcing of tasks to low-cost economies have adversely affected the industry. As 21st century manufacturing continues to evolve, there is a move away from heavy industrial manufacturing towards higher value-added, technologically advanced production. FountainLine aims to answer the local needs of Australian OEMs, with its ‘Integrated Manufacturing Solution’ (IMS).

According to FountainLine, in an ideal world, the OEM would have access to an integrated manufacturing solution. All components would be available from a single source that conforms to your requirements as well as Australian and international standards.

The new Bystronic machine is helping Fountainline meet that need. The flexibility of the new technology allows for the cutting of a broader range of materials, including aluminium, copper and brass, and improves the existing IMS process. The new machine is 60% faster, reducing manufacturing lead times and ensuring on time delivery. FountainLine’s finished products can be made to order and delivered without complicated warehouse logistics. For every finished product, each component design is loaded and cut to order with lightning speed. Product assembly is easily made on-timeevery-time. Every step in the manufacturing process is completed under one roof and delivered to the client complete, meaning that procurement is easier than ever before. The results for FountainLine’s clients are improved lead times, reduced inventory costs, design flexibility and Swiss-built laser accuracy. AMT February 2015

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FIBER Technology

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PLATINOÂŽ Fiber can be used to cut a wide range of materials and is more effective than other laser sources for cutting highlyreflective materials e.g. aluminium alloys, copper, brass. Varied thicknesses (up to 20 mm of mild steel) can be cut with efficiency and quality. Productivity increases particularly with thin and medium-gauge sheet metal. With zero setup time the machine can change from cutting flat sheet metal to processing tubes and profile.


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Cutting tools

Iscar’s SpinJet – Seriously cool (coolant) speed The SpinJet HSM jet spindle provides true high-speed machining at a fraction of the cost of a high-speed machine, and with great ease of use. It enables manufacturers to increase productivity very economically. When it was first introduced, CNC machining was a game changer, revolutionising the metalcutting industry and making it possible for machined parts to be cut with greater speed and precision than ever before. As a result, productivity and production were greatly increased. Back then, technology and equipment were such that the spindle rotated faster than the cutting tool, which was typically made of high-speed steel. With time, other harder metals were used, and new ones, such as submicron hard metals, were developed. The increasing speed possible for cutting tools eventually outstripped the spindle speed attainable on standard CNCs. This affected small-diameter cutting tools even more since they need to be operated at higher rotational speeds. The industry addressed this change in circumstances through development of highspeed machines and high-speed auxiliary spindles. Though an obvious next step, high-speed machines are expensive, take up valuable shop-floor space and may often sit idle. Auxiliary spindles, while more flexible and less expensive, have performance issues. This is where the SpinJet HSM jet spindle comes in.

Delivering results A highly innovative breakthrough in spindle technology, Iscar’s SpinJet HSM jet spindle delivers the results manufacturers seek, making it a real alternative to investing in a high-speed machine. The SpinJet HSM uses a coolant pressure of 20-40 bar to attain high speeds. As coolant pressure increases, it generates higher and higher spindle speed, reaching up to 50,000rpm. At rotational speeds like these, manufacturers can save up to 70% of machining time. Manufacturing also requires somewhat lower speeds, and to accommodate these, two other SpinJet models offer speeds of up to 20,000rpm and 30,000rpm. Compact enough to be held in the operator’s hand, SpinJet easily attaches to any milling or turning machine. In fact, the spindle is stored in the tool magazine and is as easily accessed and connected as any other standard tool. The SpinJet plug and play spindle kit includes a wireless receiver that monitors revolutions per minute, allowing machining to be followed and for on-time intervention to take place, if needed.

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Performance, versatility and quality Comparison tests of machining with and without the SpinJet HSM show highly significant time savings and extended tool life with this spindle. For example, in thread milling on an SAE 4340 workpiece, per-part machining time was cut by 70% and the tool life was extended by roughly 200%. In milling a mould of V2 material, overall machining cycle time was reduced by over 60% and the polishing process time was cut in half. The SpinJet HSM also offers sustainable advantages. Not only do the shorter cycle times achieved with the SpinJet HSM save energy and costs, but chip removal is efficient, tool life is extended, and the machine tool’s regular spindle is exposed to less wear and tear. Iscar’s SpinJet HSM is ideal for semi-finishing and finishing operations including various milling applications, drilling, grinding, engraving, chamfering and more, on a wide range of materials. In addition, the smaller diameter tools needed for these operations can cut at the speeds required. Here CAM developers can get into the act in a big way since the new and more efficient tool paths they create are extended further as the SpinJet HSM can be relied on to execute high-speed moves and thereby achieve faster cycle times. Moreover, the SpinJet HSM does not sacrifice precision or part and surface quality for high-speed. Along with the higher rotational speed, Iscar’s unique technology has a run-

out of only a few microns, which translates into cutting accuracy. Its machining is high on precision and results in excellent surface quality, an especially important attribute for finished parts. Iscar’s SpinJet HSM marries speed with accuracy to result in rapidly-produced highquality parts – the goal of every manufacturer. With its technology and performance, the SpinJet HSM not only leads to greater machining efficiency and flexibility but as a true alternative to investing in a high-speed machine, it is the key to significant savings for manufacturers.

cutting tools

From implants to tomographs The medical industry requires reliably safe instruments. Demanding materials, complex workpiece geometries and frequently occurring, small batch sizes – the machining of specialist medical components poses specific demands on the machining tools used. Precision tools from Walter are well known in the sector, writes Michael Fink. Medical components such as implants and artificial limbs play an important role in the success of surgical interventions. They help surgeons to achieve excellent results. If, however, the surgeon uses deficient instruments, this will, in serious cases, endanger the health of the patient. The tools used to manufacture such components make a decisive contribution to their quality. The list of applications is therefore long and varied. Machining the housing of a large device – for example, a computer tomograph – ranks among the easier tasks. The team at Walter can draw on expertise from other sectors, such as mechanical engineering or the automotive industry to good effect. The manufacture of implants and workpieces represents a greater challenge, such as for repairing a cranium or bone fracture.

Precision: the highest imperative For tolerances in the micron range, as is often the case in the medical industry, selecting the right tool requires a lot of intuition and comprehensive expertise. On the one hand, it is important, even when drilling the smallest of holes, to reduce friction using lubricant, and to reliably dissipate the heat and dispose of the swarf. On the other, cutting tools that are both sharp and smooth-running are essential for burr-free production of high-end medical engineering products, so that the required high surface quality can be attained. The tools used most often for this are boring tools made of HSS or solid carbide. Demanding materials such as titanium, stainless steels, precious metals or even composites can be machined using drills with the specialist Walter brand Titex. These have a standard size of 0.05mm to 46mm for drilling core holes. Drills with internal coolant supply are already available with diameters from 0.75mm.

As well as supplying PVD Tigertec inserts for ISO turning, Walter also supplies them for grooving and milling. The black rake face is smoothened using a special process in order to counteract the formation of built up edges.

Milling and drilling: dental prostheses Walter Prototyp is an established supplier to the medical industry. Its Protostar solid carbide cutter family covers a diameter range of 0.3mm to 20mm. The taps and thread mills are used especially for machining titanium alloys, for instance for bone screws or hip joints. Another application for the thread mills, available in diameters from 1.6 mm, is the production of dental prosthetics.

Turning tools for producing implants Walter turning tools found their way into the medical industry quite some time ago. Typical applications are small components such as bone screws and implants that require maximum precision. The carbide indexable inserts WSM10, WSM20 and WSM30 are used predominantly on multi-spindle machines. The combination of the Tigertec coating and a fine grain substrate provides maximum process stability. Other benefits of the temperature-resistant Al2O3 coating include maximum hot hardness, and with it the highest level of wear resistance. In addition, the sharp cutting edges ensure burrfree components as well as a reduction in built-up edges. Since titanium is one of the materials most machined for the medical industry, the new geometries NFT, NMT and NRT are used when machining it. NFT is used for finishing, NMT for intermediate work and NRT for roughing. Simple handling is ensured by tool systems such as Walter Cut XLDE, which allow the user problem-free access to the machine.

Save time and money with combination solutions As in every other sector, companies in the medical industry are finding themselves subject to ever-increasing cost pressure. For a company to survive on the competitive international stage, it needs to produce

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top quality and maintain cost efficiency in its manufacturing processes. When it comes to implants, which are normally made of high-alloy steel, titanium or titanium alloys, the particular material and often complex geometry of the workpiece present a particular challenge in terms of the precision required. The typically small batch sizes of many smaller companies are an additional obstacle in the path towards achieving maximum productivity. The solution in this case is multi-purpose tools. Whereas three standard tools would have been required before, only one is needed now, which saves two out of three processes. The bottom line is an enormous reduction in costs for the manufacturer: a time saving of just two minutes per application, for example, means that for 1500 workpieces, you have won back 50 hours of machine capacity. The disadvantage is that such combination solutions are not normally in the standard tool catalogue range. This is where Walter comes to the rescue with its special offer on special tools. Instead of the usual six to eight weeks, the customer receives their delivery within a period of 14 days. The basis for this exclusive offer, also called the CATexpress service, is a special software program. After you go online and enter all the information, such as application or machine type, the system outputs a record containing the required parameters. The production of the special tool can begin shortly after the order is received. Even more ways of making savings open up to the user once they begin a machining partnership with the precision tool manufacturer. This close co-operation guarantees the right special tool for every complex application. Michael Fink is Manager of Product Marketing for Rotary Tools at Walter.


We’re excited about our new square shoulder mill. Providing a true 90 degree wall, Square T4-08 has the ideal balance of high performance and cost effectiveness. You’ll discover that the new cutter design gets rid of more metal, faster, for most cast iron and steel applications.


cutting tools

Insert failure – addressing eight common modes Insert failure and its negative impact on manufacturing equipment is similar to an athlete exhausting a good pair of running shoes. Much like a shoe under the weight of the runner wearing it, an insert endures tremendous stress over and over again, creating wear and tear. If not addressed, wear can cause pain for an athlete and inaccurate processes or poor productivity for a manufacturer. By Don Graham, Manager of Education and Technical Services at Seco Tools. Manufacturers, however, can analyse used tooling to achieve maximum tool life and predict tool usage, thereby maintaining part accuracies and reducing equipment deterioration. Early insert examination is important in determining the root cause of its failure as is careful observation and reporting. By not taking these important steps, it’s possible to become confused between the different types of failure modes. To assist in the insert examination process, a stereoscope, with good optics, good lighting and a magnification of at least 20X, can pay great dividends in identifying these eight common failure modes that contribute to premature insert wear.

Flank wear An insert will fail due to normal wear in any type of material. Normal flank wear is the most desired wear mechanism because it is the most predictable form of tool failure. Flank wear occurs uniformly and happens over time as the work material wears the cutting edge, similar to the dulling of a knife blade. Normal flank wear begins when hard microscopic inclusions or workhardened material in the workpiece cut into the insert. Causes of such wear include abrasion at low cutting speeds and chemical reactions at high cutting speeds. In identifying normal flank wear, a relatively uniform wear scar will form along the insert’s cutting edge. Occasionally, metal from the workpiece smears over the cutting edge and exaggerates the apparent size of the wear scar on the insert. To help slow down normal flank wear, it’s important to employ the hardest insert grade that does not chip, as well as use the freest cutting edge to reduce cutting forces and friction. Rapid flank wear, on the other hand, is not desirable, as it reduces tool life and the normally desired 15 minutes of time in cut will not be achieved. Rapid wear often occurs when cutting abrasive materials such as ductile irons, silicon-aluminium alloys, high temp alloys, heat-treated PH stainless steels, beryllium copper alloy and tungsten carbide alloys, as well as non-metallic materials such as fibreglass, epoxy, reinforced plastics and ceramic. The signs of rapid flank wear look the same as normal wear. In correcting for rapid flank wear, it becomes key to select a more wearresistant, harder or coated carbide insert grade, as well as to make sure that coolant is being applied properly. Reducing cutting is also very effective, but counterproductive as it negatively affects cycle time.

Cratering Often occurring during the high-speed machining of iron- or titaniumbased alloys, cratering is a heat/chemical problem where the insert essentially dissolves into the workpiece chips. A combination of diffusion and abrasive wear causes cratering. In the presence of iron or titanium, the heat in the workpiece chip allows components of the cemented carbide to dissolve and diffuse

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into the chip, creating a “crater” on the top of the insert. The crater will eventually grow large enough to cause the insert flank to chip, deform or possibly result in rapid flank wear.

Built-up edge Built-up edge occurs when fragments of the workpiece are pressure-welded to the cutting edge, resulting from chemical affinity, high pressure and sufficient temperature in the cutting zone. Eventually, the built-up edge breaks off and sometimes takes pieces of the insert with it, leading to chipping and rapid flank wear. This failure mechanism commonly occurs with gummy materials, low speeds, high-temperature alloys, stainless steels and nonferrous materials, and threading and drilling operations. Built-up edge is identifiable through erratic changes in a part’s size or finish, as well as shiny material showing up on the top or the flank of the insert edge. Built-up edge is controllable by increasing cutting speeds and feeds, using nitride (TiN) coated inserts, applying coolant properly (e.g. increasing the concentration), and selecting inserts with forcereducing geometries and/or smoother surfaces.

Chipping Chipping originates from mechanical instability often created by nonrigid setups, bad bearings or worn spindles, hard spots in work materials or an interrupted cut. Sometimes this occurs in unexpected places such as during the machine of powder metallurgical (PM) materials where porosity is deliberately left in the components. Hard inclusions in the surface of the material being cut and interrupted cuts result in local stress concentrations and can cause chipping. With this type of failure mode, chips along the edge of the insert are highly noticeable. Ensuring proper machine tool set-up, minimising deflection, using honed inserts, controlling built-up edge, and employing tougher insert grades and/or stronger cutting-edge geometries will deter chipping.

Thermal mechanical failure A combination of rapid temperature fluctuations and mechanical shock can cause thermal mechanical failure. Stress cracks form along the insert edge, eventually causing sections of the insert’s carbide to pull out and appear to be chipping. Thermal mechanical failure is most often experienced in milling and sometimes during interrupted-cut turning, facing operations on a large number of parts, and operations with intermittent coolant flow. Signs of thermal mechanical failure include multiple cracks perpendicular

cutting tools to the cutting edge. It is important to identify this failure mode before chipping begins.

area can also occur. The depth of cut line on an insert is often in tensile stress, making it sensitive to impact.

It’s possible to prevent thermal mechanical failure by applying coolant correctly or, better yet, removing it from the process completely, employing a more shock-resistant grade, using a heat-reducing geometry and reducing feed rate.

This failure mode becomes noticeable when notching and chipping starts showing up in the depth-of-cut area on the insert. To prevent notching, it’s important to vary the depth of cut when using multiple passes, use a tool with a larger lead angle, increase cutting speeds when machining hightemperature alloys, reduce feed rates, carefully increase the hone in the depth-of-cut area, and prevent build-up, especially in stainless steel and high-temperature alloys.

Edge deformation Sources of edge deformation include excessive heat, combined with mechanical loading. High heat is often encountered at high speeds and feeds or when machining hard steels, work-hardened surfaces and high-temperature alloys. Excessive heat causes the carbide binder, or cobalt, in the insert to soften. Mechanical loading happens when the pressure of the insert against the workpiece makes the insert deform or sag at the tip, eventually breaking it off or leading to rapid flank wear. Signs of edge deformation include deformation at the cutting edge and finished workpiece dimensions not meeting the required specifications. Edge deformation is controllable by properly applying coolant, using a more wear-resistant grade with a lower binder content, reducing speeds and feeds, and employing a force-reducing geometry.

Notching Notching occurs when an abrasive workpiece surface abrades or chips the depth of cut area on a cutting tool. Cast surfaces, oxidised surfaces, work hardened surfaces or irregular surfaces all can cause notching. While abrasion is the most common culprit, chipping in this

Mechanical fracturing Mechanical fracturing of an insert occurs when the imposed force overcomes the inherent strength of the cutting edge. Any of the failure modes discussed in this article can contribute to fracturing. It’s possible to avoid mechanical fracturing by correcting for all other failure modes besides normal flank wear. Utilising a more shockresistant grade, selecting a stronger insert geometry, using a thicker insert, reducing feed rates and/or depth of cut, verifying set-up rigidity and checking the workpiece for hard inclusions or difficult entry are all effective corrective actions. By understanding these eight common failure modes and developing failure analysis skills, manufacturers stand to gain a lot. Increased productivity, improved tool life and tool life consistency, improved part tolerance and appearance, less wear and tear on equipment, as well as a decreased chance of catastrophic insert failure that shuts down production and damages an important job are all important benefits.

Intelligent monitoring technology to make manufacturing more efficient Researchers at Nottingham Trent University in the UK have developed a new artificial intelligence system that detects problems with cutting tools on manufacturing lines with 100% accuracy. A study led by Professor Amin Al-Habaibeh – of the School of Architecture, Design and the Built Environment – found that by combining infra-red cameras and artificial neural networks it was possible to consistently detect when cutting tools were broken or missing. The technology – which does not require any contact with the manufacturing machinery – could provide live feedback via computer to alert operators in order to help prevent catastrophic tool damage. The study was supervised by Professor Al-Habaibeh and Professor Ahmad Lotfi, of the university’s School of Science and Technology and developed by PhD researcher Milad Elgargni. It has been published by the International Journal of Advanced Manufacturing Technology. Professor Al-Habaibeh, a professor of intelligent engineering systems, said: “This could be a very efficient method for manufacturers to maintain the productivity of their manufacturing lines and the quality of their products in an automated way. The real advantage is that the system can detect problems in real time, which is difficult to achieve by common methods. Because the artificial intelligence system can learn, it’s possible for it to monitor various cutting tools, making it flexible for consumers to use.” “As the technology is based on using a simple infrared camera, it should be easy for manufacturers to put it in place without any

upheaval in relation to their existing equipment,” Elgargni added. “We believe, also, that it would be possible to develop the technology further to help detect gradual tool wear, which would help provide operators with increased awareness of the condition of the tools.” AMT February 2015

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company focus

Broens – Reinventing excellence Over the course of more than three decades, Broens has become an icon of Australian manufacturing by bucking trends and reinventing itself in the face of adversity. Now it has entered the latest phase in its evolution, as it becomes part of the Forgacs Group. By William Poole.

Carlos Broens founded his company in 1979, initially operating out of the back of a ute, providing subcontract toolmaking and general engineering services to a range of clients. With a loyal customer base soon established, the company moved into a modest factory unit in Prestons, in Sydney’s south-west suburbs. Soon it was also renting the unit next door, and then the one across the road as well. Initially thriving as a manufacturer of precision tooling, dies and general engineered products, Broens was quick to diversify, branching into sectors such as automotive, aerospace, medical, mining and heavy industry. One key aspect of the company’s growth has been a willingness to defy the prevailing wisdom of the time. In 1987, as Australia languished in one of its worst-ever recessions, Broens purchased land in Ingleburn and built a larger factory, having outgrown the units in Prestons. The company was on the move again less than a decade later, building a state-of-the-art facility, again in Ingleburn, this time twice the size of the previous factory; it doubled again in 2002 with the construction of a new assembly bay area on the same site.

and test machinery for the manufacture of power steering equipment, exported to vehicle manufacturers worldwide, is a testament to its commitment to research & development. The plants in Ingleburn and Elizabeth boast a staggering array of equipment, encompassing just about any metalworking process you could name. This is backed by state-of-the-art R&D facilities, quality certification to AS/NZS ISO 9001:2008 and Aerospace AS9100-C international standards, and a project management and MRP set-up that places the needs of the customer first. Nonetheless, like so many manufacturing businesses in this country, Broens has faced its share of challenges in recent years. The aftermath of the GFC and the impending departure of the three remaining carmaking companies mean Australian manufacturers today face an industrial landscape that continues to undergo radical change. In meeting this challenge, Broens, a company that has thrived on its ability to adapt, underwent its latest reinvention last August when it was acquired by another iconic Australian manufacturing company, the Forgacs Group.

The ever-expanding factory footprint was matched by a bullish acquisition strategy. In 2003 it acquired the assets of Kirby Engineering, a designer and manufacturer of special purpose machining, assembly and testing equipment for the automotive and manufacturing industries. In 2007, it completed the takeovers of Static Engineering, a leading manufacturer of ground support equipment and Calbic Engineering, a precision engineering company. Fortuitously located on neighbouring sites in Elizabeth, northern Adelaide, the two companies were consolidated to form Broens SA.

A new episode

Today, Broens is a globally respected provider of design, manufacturing and engineering solutions, employing around 110 personnel across its NSW and SA facilities, with sales and support offices in China and Europe. Exporting to more than 16 countries, it has supplied tooling for the Boeing 787 Dreamliner, and lifting jacks for the gearboxes on the F35 Joint Strike Fighter. One of its core products is a range of ground support equipment for the defence sector, while its assembly

“The two businesses complement each other very strongly, a lot of good synergy,” explains Joe Cabello, recently appointed as Broens’ General Manager. “What we’re looking forward to is being able to tap into each other’s resources. As a group we engineer and manufacture almost anything, from surgical devices to hull modules for naval vessels.”

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In business for more than 50 years, Forgacs is Australia’s largest privately-owned engineering and shipbuilding company. With headquarters in Newcastle and five sites in NSW and Queensland, it currently has approximately 900 employees servicing the defence, mining, infrastructure and energy sectors. The addition of Broens to the Forgacs fold strengthens its existing capabilities, while adding to them as well.

company focus

The two companies have many shared characteristics, but the advantages of their joining forces lie in the contrasts between them. Forgacs brings the benefits of being a very stable company, providing a secure foundation that is crucial for dealing in defence contracts in particular. Moreover, as might be expected given its long history in shipbuilding, Forgacs has extensive experience of major projects and heavy engineering, larger machinery and greater fabrication capability. However, Broens offers a number of added dimensions, notably in the field of precision and automation. “The core of our DNA is precision,” says Cabello. “High precision lends itself obviously to things like defence or aerospace. There’s less requirement in mining, for instance, but we’re seeing more and more companies are appreciating the value of the high-quality results we deliver and precision is at the core of this. Machinery built to a high precision runs smoother and with less wear. Our clients are looking for more holistic value, in addition to a competitive price. The high cost of replacing a failed part and the lost productivity through downtime mean they’re starting to see the real value of high-quality, high-precision work.” Another factor that made Broens an attractive prospect for Forgacs was its culture of innovation. “It’s a term often loosely used – too many people say they’re innovative without real results,” says Cabello. “The combination of skill sets that we have here allows us to do things in a more creative way to find new solutions to everyday problems, to do things more efficiently. Customers like us because they know they can come here and see what’s the ‘leading edge’ around the world. We can offer those solutions.” Therefore, while technically an acquisition, Broens’ entry into the Forgacs Group seems more like a mutually beneficial pooling of resources, consolidating various contrasting but complementary attributes. Broens will continue to trade under the name ‘Broens’. The combination of companies that have been brought together under the Forgacs Group represent a slice of Australia’s engineering heritage and it’s this heritage of innovation that will be the foundation for the development of the next generation of products and services from Broens.

Meeting future challenges “My experience is that you can’t be second-best in Australia,” says Cabello. “So this combination with Forgacs does place us in the toptier both for precision and heavy engineering and fabrication. We’re in the box seat in that respect.”

Nonetheless, while targeting overseas markets is a key strategy, moving operations offshore definitely does not figure in the company’s plans. As Cabello stresses, both Broens and Forgacs started out as Australian-owned family businesses, and maintaining an ongoing in this country here remains a priority and a point of pride. “At the end of the day, we’re all Australians, we have an interest in developing our communities,” he says. “And we’ve got tremendous skills and capability in this country to be innovative, to be solid engineers, to be creative.” To make this feasible, Broens continues to invest heavily in state-ofthe-art technology, in particular automation and robotics. It’s an area where the company has for a long time been at the forefront, thereby helping to offset the relatively higher costs of labour in Australia compared with many countries overseas, while also allowing its personnel to be more productive and safe. “The realistic position is that the more you automate, the less difference it makes in the cost of labour. Yes, the cost of operating the machines here is a little higher than overseas, but the skill levels that we get out of our people and the productivity we can achieve with our people go a long way to compensate for the additional cost of their labour. The more we go up in the technology levels, the more we can stay in this country and that’s quite a good incentive.” Cabello makes frequent mentions of “the first 100 days” and “the first 200 days” following Broens joining Forgacs, and it is clear that there is an urgent desire for the company to start life under its new ownership by pressing on with various strategic priorities. Along with the aforementioned pursuit of export markets and the drive for efficiencies through automation, there is a sustained focus on R&D and product development. “We’ve already kicked off a new product development program and we keep what we call a product review calendar, going back through hundreds of designs that we have in our heritage to review what is applicable to modernising. In the same vein we’re also developing a strategy to look at new inventions. We’ve already recognised one that we’re going to register and patent. Nothing can be divulged, but it’s a fantastic invention that’s has generated a lot of interest!” Above all, however, Cabello emphasises that the overall goal is to release the energy that’s already inherent in the business, and the talent and creativity of its people. “We’ve recognised there are certain individuals within the company who, because of various circumstances before, may have been held back. These are amazing people, well qualified, very smart, lots of energy. What we’re doing now is looking at restructuring our organisation so that these people are not held back, so that we all face the one way. “We want to put as much blue sky in front of them as possible,” he adds. “It’s about releasing the energy that’s already there”.

One key area of strength for Broens has been its success in export markets. As it moves forward in this new phase in its history, the company is continuing to look abroad. “The reality is we have to face a global market,” Cabello explains. “The opportunity though is that once you have the quality to become competitive in Australia, you can be competitive everywhere else. So forward-thinking companies are saying ‘You know what? We can sell our product anywhere in the world’. That’s why we’re very focused on export business.”

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Quality & Inspection

Pedders springs into 3D metrology Pedders Suspension went from humble beginnings to become an internationally recognised brand by continually adapting and innovating. The Pedders organisation began back in 1950, when Roy Pedder opened Pedders Die-Cast Welding Service at a site on Hawthorn Road, in the Melbourne suburb of Carnegie. Roy, an ex-RAAF welder, began the business by fixing general household items, and with his skills in welding die-cast materials, he soon found his niche in the automotive market, specialising in smash repairs and shock absorbers. Pedders moved with demand and its reconditioning work gained wide acceptance. In 1964 Pedders was massproducing its own brand of shocks by simply modifying overseas designs to suit local needs. In 1972, Roy’s eldest son Ron took over the running of the company, and two years later he took the next significant step by utilising what the company had learnt in reconditioning others’ shocks, and began designing its own. To support this radical step, Ron understood that the only way to ensure good distribution of his product was to open Pedder’s own stores. Today, Pedders is headed up by Ron Pedder’s eldest son Mark, who took on the role as Managing Director in early 2006. Pedders now operates from over 120 locations Australia-wide, many of which are franchised, and has expanded its export markets to include shipments to distributors in South Korea, Mauritius, Thailand, Indonesia, Kenya, South Africa, Malaysia, China, Cyprus, the UK the US. Collectively the Pedders group employs over 500 people Australia-wide.

Recently the decision was made to invest in 3D scanning technology, and the Pedders team embarked upon an exhaustive evaluation of potential suppliers. With local support being a high priority, Pedders finally reached the decision to purchase a Romer SI scanning arm, supplied by Hi-Tech Metrology. The fact that Hi-Tech has a number of engineers providing both initial training and ongoing technical support around Australia was a key factor that influenced Pedders in making its final selection. The decision was made even easier when Pedders also factored in that Hi-Tech Metrology maintains its own in-house repair and calibration facility, thereby dramatically lowering the ongoing cost of ownership. Pedders prides itself on manufacturing its quality range of products to exacting tolerances and with the use of the Romer SI scanning arm, it is now able to identify critical design features and ensure their total conformance across the design and manufacturing processes.

Time to market is another feature that sets Pedders apart from its competitors. With the implementation of the Romer SI scanning arm, significant time and cost savings are being realised through streamlined R&D and manufacturing processes, all helping to ensure the shortest possible time to market. The PolyWorks software and training, also provided by Hi-Tech Metrology, has helped Pedders to reap a number of additional ongoing benefits, such as quick and efficient analysis of tooling, compliance with GD&T principals, and traceability of measurements, among others. The investment in such a leading-edge technology may have been unimaginable when Pedders Die-Cast commenced operations in Hawthorn Road over 60 years ago. It is however symbolic of Pedders’ continued commitment to quality and technology – a factor that has seen it evolve into the great Australian company that it is today.

Breuckmann expands smartSCAN range Modular systems customised to individual project requirements – this is the concept Breuckmann’s smartSCAN product range, sold and supported by Hi-Tech Metrology, stands for. Now Breuckmann has introduced another member to the range: the smartSCAN with two powerful 8 Megapixel GigE cameras, offering unprecedented resolution and precision. The smartSCAN R8 is available with field of views ranging from 65mm x 50mm (measuring depth 40mm) up to 1065mm x 870mm (measuring depth 660mm). It provides an even higher data quality and resolution than the already-available smartSCAN systems. The system control, with OPTOCAT high-performance software, ensures easy handling and flexibility. The new scanner configuration is particularly well suited for applications that are more demanding in terms of resolution requirements, for example, in the fields of quality inspection or reverse engineering. Overall, the smartSCAN system series delivers a very high level of feature accuracy for any type of 3D scanning project. Even under temperature fluctuations, the system operates stably and reliably. All measurement systems are characterised by a fast rate of data

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acquisition – even complex surfaces of fragile or deformable component parts are captured at a high level of precision in a matter of a few seconds. Thanks to the LED light in the colours blue (standard), white, green and red, the optimum illumination is available for every surface!

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Quality & Inspection

8tree – Bringing the analysis on-board A young company based in the US and Germany - 8tree - makes 3D scanners designed to cut the time it takes for manufacturers to analyse and interpret data. Across the manufacturing industry, 3D scanners are becoming more widely used in a range of vastly different applications and environments. From the point of view of 3D scanner manufacturers, it makes the most sense to develop general-purpose devices that simply capture 3D data and offer little in terms of analysis. This approach makes product development much easier for the scanner manufacturer. However, unfortunately it places the burden of interpreting and analysing the 3D data onto the customer or end-user – a complex and costly task. This also has the unintended consequence of actually making 3D scanning technology less readily accessible to new markets and industries. Recognising the burden general-purpose 3D scanners place on customers, both in terms of the additional overhead required in analysis, as well as the time, training and cost needed to configure and operate such systems, 8tree has adopted a completely different approach to scanner design. Rather than a ‘one size fits all’ 3D scanner, 8tree develops application-specific 3D inspection tools targeting chronic issues encountered in the manufacturing process. The company’s philosophy is to create scanners that are as easy to use as possible, while delivering the same or better performance as existing systems. A major factor in achieving this goal is reducing the time it takes to produce and present meaningful data that the operator can instantly act upon to make a decision, such as whether a part should be accepted or rejected on the manufacturing line. To achieve this, 8tree’s application-specific 3D scanners perform all the required analysis on-board – external analysis tools and software are not required. However, if the customer needs to perform additional analysis, the captured data can also be exported like a traditional scanner.

The surface becomes the screen With the aim of making results easy to interpret, 8tree has taken a new approach in presenting the results to the operator. Typical 3D scanners either present measurement data via external analysis software running on a PC, or using an in-built display. In both cases, it can be challenging, and often difficult to interpret the data into a meaningful result. Additionally, relating the resulting information back to the real-world object under inspection is another time-consuming challenge, which further delays the customer from making a decision. To address this, 8tree’s scanners have the unique ability to project the results directly on to the surface being measured, thereby delivering an instant ‘go/no-go’ result. The operator can immediately see exactly where on a surface problems may exist without having to compare images on external displays to the actual part. Currently, 8tree offers three fully self-contained portable batterypowered systems that produce immediate ‘go/no-go’ results of surface metrology measurements: dentCHECK, fastCHECK and gapCHECK.

8tree’s current 3D scanner product line-up.

These systems can respectively be deployed to accurately measure dents, fasteners and panel alignment. 8tree’s system uses structured light scanning to measure the 3D surface topology. This involves projecting a sequence of stripe patterns onto the target surface, typically for about one-tenth of a second. The shape of these projected lines will deviate depending on the shape of the object. By simultaneously capturing each projection with a high-resolution camera from a different perspective, the 3D data at each camera pixel can be calculated via specialised algorithms, thus creating a 3D map of the entire scene. The colour of the projected patterns can also be changed to optimise for the colour of the surface being measured. All 8tree systems leverage an architecture comprising a photonics micro-electro-mechanical-systems (MEMS) semiconductor chip and a Gigabit Ethernet camera. The MEMS device projects successive patterns onto the target surface, which are simultaneously captured by the high-speed Gigabit Ethernet camera. The captured data from the camera is then processed by an on-board computer to create a 3D topology of the surface. After analysis, results are then projected back onto the surface using the projector. The entire process, from scan-to-result projection, typically takes no more than two seconds, giving the operator almost immediate feedback. Metrology data from the scanner is available to the user in various formats. The first is the actual scanned image of the surface under inspection with the annotated results overlayed. A corresponding XML file is also produced, which tags each point of interest in the measured surface. For each point of interest, there is a dedicated line item in the XML file that details the time at which the measurement was taken, the x, y and z co-ordinates of the surface, angular orientation and a variety of other measurement information. For archiving or internal engineering purposes, an STL file of the 3D data captured by the scanner is also available. Should users then choose to duplicate the analysis performed by the scanner to validate the results from it, they can do so using third-party analysis software. The scanner itself is totally self-contained and does not require an external power supply or any other external equipment to operate. With an approximate weight of 3kg, the scanner can be used in previously hard-to-measure situations (such as remote areas) and can also be easily mounted to robotic manipulators for automated use. Network connectivity is also provided by wi-fi, which allows the scanner to be remotely operated and result data to be easily accessed.

Performance across applications

8tree’s scanners project the result data directly on to the surface being measured.

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Working closely with early adopters of the system, 8tree performed detailed Gage Repeatability and Reproducibility (Gage R&R) analyses to assess the performance of their scanners. Gage R&R is a statistical tool that measures the amount of variation in the measurement system arising from the measurement device and the people taking the measurement. 8tree has demonstrated that the Gage R&R analysis results sit well below the required quality benchmark. In terms of system accuracy, using a high-accuracy touch probe as a reference, recently conducted certified laboratory testing has shown that measurement deviations are well below 20µm for the fastCHECK system.

Quality & Inspection

Typically 4-12 line patterns are projected onto the target surface and captured by a camera from a different angle.

dentCHECK is also currently being used to inspect and quantify damage on the body of an aircraft caused by birdstrikes, food-service trucks, jetbridges and luggage cars. Until today, assessing such damage has been a labour-intensive task performed by measuring many individual points with a handheld dial gauge. All of 8tree’s scanner systems allow already-created config-urations to be changed on-the-fly via QR codes – no keyboard or complex user input is required. This is especially useful when scanning different parts that each have different defect tolerances – this feature relates back to 8tree’s overall goal of increasing productivity when using a 3D scanner.

Result projection with an overlayed annotation of the measured dent in a pipe.

8tree is committed to delivering incredibly easy-to-use 3D inspection tools that solve chronic problems in different industries by developing innovative products and gamechanging technologies that empower customers to become more productive, more efficient and more satisfied. The company continues to study industries where its approach to application-specific scanner design can deliver significant value. 8tree is exploring new ways to increase its systems’ usability by implementing voice control, gesture control and intelligent tracking systems to locate the system in space. 8Tree products are distributed in ANZ by Met Optix.

dentCHECK allows instant viewing of surface uniformity.

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Mobile precision made easy in automotive applications For an industry such as automotive manufacturing that carries out high volumes of inspection daily, 3D co-ordinate measurement is indispensable to its operations. By Anthony Lur, Product Marketing Specialist, FARO Technologies. The world has witnessed three Industrial Revolutions, with all signs pointing toward an impending fourth one. Each revolution saw significant jumps in productivity and efficiency, and corresponding reductions in costs. Today, manufacturing practices are evolving to include ‘cyber-physical’ production systems controlled with smart products and the internet ‘cloud’. With regard to quality control for the automotive industry, the ‘smart factory’ revolution has brought about changes in manufacturers’ measurement needs. The conventional factory and its methods are no longer ideal. Increasingly, climate-controlled metrology labs are making way for in-line inspection systems that enable quick assessment and prompt corrective action. Single-use measurement tools and template-type productivity tools such as check fixtures are also slowly becoming obsolete. Replacing them are new devices that cater to multiple application needs, and that allow for machine-tomachine collaboration, cloud-based data inspections, and digital engineering processes. Here are some ways that 3D co-ordinate measurement technology contributes to better-running automotive production in the new manufacturing environment: 1. In-line inspection. Amid changing market demands, the automotive industry’s measurement needs have evolved over the years. Manufacturers used to rely on fixed co-ordinate measurement machines (CMMs) to perform inspection checks. While highly precise, a great drawback was the devices’ inability to provide accurate results in thermally unstable environments like the shop floor. In response to automotive manufacturers’ cost-control needs, metrology suppliers began to develop devices that maximise efficiency by eliminating the time and effort spent transporting components to and from measurement rooms. The portable CMM – a robust device that provides highly accurate readings even under the harsh conditions of the shop floor – was born. In essence, inspection checks are being moved closer to the production line, to a point where manufacturers demand the ability to complete tasks without even moving components off the line. 2. Production part approval process. The digital data that 3D coordinate technology provides is exceptionally useful for manufacturers that practise a Production Part Approval Process (PPAP). Regardless

of where a component supplier is along the supply chain, the PPAP industry standard requires that each item of output fulfils design specifications consistently, as spelt out by the client. In that way, the automotive manufacturer is given full assurance of its component suppliers and their production processes. 3D co-ordinate technology has facilitated the execution of PPAP in the automotive industry today. The speed An articulated arm and consistency with with a laser line which measurements scanner attachment. are acquired by CMMs enable manufacturers and suppliers to communicate their requirements and results clearly and easily. 3. Machine-to-machine (M2M) collaboration. In a smart factory environment where machines ‘talk’ to one another, precision and automated inspection are key factors for manufacturers to achieve efficiency. Today, there are 3D measurement devices that provide those capabilities to make M2M collaboration a reality. 4. Highly-flexible mass production. Changes in market demand for non-standard auto parts imply that manufacturers need to possess highly flexible production systems. To cope with varied needs, manufacturers seek out versatile tools that handle multiple applications and flexible part volumes, so as to cater to as many options as possible at the lowest cost. 5. Digital engineering. With the emergence of this engineering discipline, manufacturers have been able to improve and develop their production processes and output with better accuracy and consistency. Advancements in 3D co-ordinate technology, in particular point cloud solutions, have caused the trend to escalate further. 6. Big data, cloud computing. A key factor supporting the change in the new manufacturing landscape is the growing popularity of cloud computing and big data analytics. The availability of cloud-based applications for 3D co-ordinate measurements enables data consistency and integrity, allowing resources (e.g. software information) to be readily shared. Different 3D co-ordinate measurement devices suit different needs. Here are some real-life examples of how automotive players use Faro solutions.

Mitsubishi – Research & development

The OVEC-ONE at the Automotive Engineering Exposition 2013.

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Mitsubishi Motors Corporation, the world leader in mass production of electric vehicles (EVs), has one of its production bases in Okayama, Japan – a place where many other automobile-related companies choose to locate. Founded in 2011, Okayama Vehicle Engineering Center for the next EV (OVEC) is a network of 16 companies from Okayama prefecture, formed in response to the changing automobile

Quality & Inspection Far left: Using the FaroArm for alignment checks on the Center Axis of the Conveyor Trolley Left: Accurate measurements can be obtained right on the shop floor with the FARO Laser Tracker Vantage.

“To begin with, accuracy levels achieved are lower with hand tools,” says Zhou Tingzhi, an engineer from the Assembly Shop Maintenance department. “At times, complex measurements would require several procedures, and these would accumulate large error margins. It would also take us a long time to perform the measurements and calculations manually.”

industry. OVEC was built with the next EV in mind, equipped with the latest, industry-endorsed production systems. Since its inception, OVEC rolled out its prototype vehicle, known as the OVEC-ONE, at the Automotive Engineering Exposition 2013. The development of OVEC-ONE was based on Mitsubishi’s Galant Fortis model. To convert it into an EV, unwanted components such as the car engine had to be removed and replaced with other components (e.g. inverter, battery, compressor, heater.). The challenge was to lay out ten new components of varied sizes and shapes thoughtfully in the available space. To ensure that all the equipment fits in the space under the hood, the team acquired 3D data of each item with non-contact measurement using a FaroArm. With the 3D CAD data, the team decided on the layout virtually, checking that the components do not interfere with each other. “3D measurement of the various components was necessary as they varied so widely in shape and size,” says Shiro Aikawa, Co-ordinator of OVEC. “Many of them were hard to measure with a calliper or tape measure. The FaroArm allowed us to efficiently complete the layout of the hood interior in a short period of time.” Several individuals from the automotive industry have expressed admiration for the EV’s logical equipment line-up beneath the hood.

FAW-Volkswagen – In-line inspection Founded in 1991, FAW-Volkswagen is a Chinese joint venture between FAW Group Corporation and the Volkswagen Group. At its Chengdu plant in China, FAW-Volkswagen specialises in the production and assembly of the Jetta and Sagitar car models. A large component of the assembly line is the conveyor system on which all the vehicles are transported. Any failure in this system would effectively cripple all other departments within the facility, so to ensure that each plant operates at its optimum, the company put in place a number of processes to minimise downtime on its shop floor. FAW-Volkswagen utilises an overhead conveyor to move vehicles around the plant, and regular inspection and alignment checks on the equipment are necessary to ensure optimal performance. Common areas of interest requiring inspection include anchor points on the cradle support structure, corresponding anchor points on the conveyor trolley, and relative distances between workpiece and centre axis. These measurements vary in nature and range between two and four metres in length. Traditionally, the technicians rely on hand tools such as tape measures, gauges, micrometers and spirit levels to get the job done. However, these traditional methods were not ideal in more ways than one.

The company now deploys a 12-ft FaroArm on the maintenance platform, located right next to the assembly line. Whenever a glitch occurs, the team would use the device to pinpoint the precise problem area before zooming into it. Since then, FAW-Volkswagen’s inspection and alignment checks on its manufacturing systems have become much more precise and simple. This, in turn, has kept the plant operating at its best. “Now, equipment alignment and inspection of check fixtures can all be done with just one tool,” adds Zhou. “With the FaroArm, we can accomplish our measurement task, which has a volumetric size of four metres and below, at an accuracy of up to 0.02mm. We have eliminated the possibility of human error, and greatly increased precision levels by switching to Faro.”

Komatsu – Large component inspection Mining and construction equipment manufacturer Komatsu develops and produces large dump trucks and wheel loaders at its Ibaraki plant in Japan. One of the main challenges that the Quality Assurance (QA) department at Ibaraki faced was in the inspection of large parts. As the plant manufactures large-sized construction machinery, even the parts that the team has to deal with are enormous. It is common for a machinery frame alone to exceed two metres, which makes inspection both labour-intensive and time-consuming. Importantly, the QA team faced problems with accuracy and repeatability when they relied on hand tools and a layout machine for measurement checks. Komatsu also found the quality management of parts provided by partner companies to be a challenge. Whenever a large part is deemed defective after arriving at the Ibaraki plant, it would have to be returned for rework, which would delay final delivery and also incur extra transportation costs. Through recommendations by colleagues from other Komatsu plants, Yoshioh Nihei from the Inspection Section (QA Department) invested in a Faro Laser Tracker Vantage. Since its implementation, the team reduced measurement time for machinery frames from 1.5 days to just a day, with an added capability to measure complex features like mounting holes on a part. Among the benefits enjoyed by Komatsu, most appreciated is its portability, because measurements can be performed directly at partner companies’ production sites. By identifying defects early, before a faulty part is introduced into the manufacturing process, the team eliminates the extra costs and time that would have been incurred for rework. It also greatly enhances the production and delivery time for the company. Manabu Kobori, the foreman of the Component Inspection Centre (Inspection Section, QA Department of Komatsu’s Ibaraki Plant) agrees: “When we visit partner companies and take measurements on-site using the Vantage, we are able to manage the processes from production to quality assurance in a consistent manner, thereby enhancing the quality of our products.” AMT February 2015

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Materials Handling

Konecranes improves productivity and safety for TFG Konecranes has installed two new five-tonne CXT overhead cranes with wire rope hoists at specialist welding and fabrication company TFG, in Perth, Western Australia. The two cranes, each with a 14m span, will be used in TFG’s new production facility to lift a wide range of parts for general engineering projects. The cranes will enable TFG to optimise quality and safety, while maximising usable space and uptime. “Konecranes not only gave us excellent productivity and safety with their cranes, but their sales team were very professional and experienced,” says TFG’s Managing Director, Justin Anderson. “They made the effort to come and see the facility so they could ensure we got the best product for our specifications.” TFG performs a range of engineering and fabrication services for food and beverage, energy, oil and gas, mining, minerals processing and bulk handling industries at its WA facility. The company is the stainless steel accredited fabricator for Water Corp in WA and has a specialised expertise in welding, fabrication and exotic metals. “The CXT cranes maximise our usable space,” says Anderson. “They allow us to use every square inch of the workshop by giving us more floor space and being able to fit into smaller spaces.” TFG is also planning to install TruConnect remote monitoring and reporting on both cranes, which will provide real-time data via a modem so the company can log in and see exactly how the equipment is operating. Konecranes Managing Director Brad Hyem says that TruConnect provides users with a clear view of their crane’s usage through continuous data collection. “For the customer, this means improved safety and higher efficiency because crane maintenance can be planned according to the crane’s actual usage,” says Hyem. “TFG has a strong focus on quality, which fitted well with Konecranes’ corporate culture. Businesses like TFG make highly specialised parts, so it is essential that everything is done with the utmost level of safety, which Konecranes was able to provide.”

CXT wire rope hoists CXT wire rope hoists utilise the latest advanced technology from the Konecranes group to extend hoist operation cycles, safety and durability. The versatile hoist can be adapted to a huge variety of applications and ensures reliably operation, regardless of the conditions. Its compact dimensions allow the CXT to utilise smaller spaces more efficiently, and different trolley configurations maximise the lifting height potential. To further optimise the efficiency of the crane, the empty hook can be driven with up to 50% higher speeds compared with the loaded hook, allowing the operator to choose the most efficient way to operate the hoist. CXT hoists also come with a range of optional features for customers who are looking to further increase their efficiency and performance. The latest CXT wire rope hoists are available with smart features including: • Adaptive Speed Range (ASR) – This allows very slow speeds, which are important in the moment of load lift-off and lowering. It also has the ability to lift up to 50% faster than traditional hoisting control. ASR is typically used in light-to-medium lifting. • Extended Speed Range (ESR) – This is an extension of the ASR that allows even slower speeds. ESR is typically used in heavyto-very-heavy lifting. • Load control – Designed to make the operator’s work safer and more productive.

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• Positioning and area control – Designed to assist the operator in positioning the load more efficiently and accurately. It also allows the crane’s working area to be adapted to the varying physical layout of individual facilities and production lines. Operating under the global marketing signature ‘Hooked on Safety’, Konecranes has a worldwide culture of safety as a first priority for all customers and staff. Its crane condition and compliance inspections are designed to ensure compliance with local regulations, and to identify issues that may affect safety and productivity. The inspections provide information for planning predictive maintenance actions designed to improve the reliability and safety of cranes, leading to optimum uptime and whole-of-life efficiency. As well as ongoing crane maintenance services for many of Australasia’s leading companies, Konecranes has introduced dedicated Crane Reliability Surveys and Third Party Inspections services to ensure that users of all makes and models of cranes are fully compliant with the latest Australian Standards.

Materials Handling

Okuma lands first RoboJob sale in Australia RoboJob’s partnership with Okuma in Australia and New Zealand has resulted in a first sale, just a few months after the relationship was officially signed into effect. Belgian robotics technology and solution company RoboJob is a market-leading specialist in the automatic loading and unloading of CNC machinery. It commenced its activities in the ANZ region last year after it reached an agreement with the Australian branch of Okuma, the Japanese market leader in CNC turning and milling machines. Under the terms of their partnership agreement, Okuma is selling, installing and servicing RoboJob automation solutions throughout Australia and New Zealand. RoboJob’s Turn-Assist and Mill-Assist series of equipment are integrated solutions that enable the automatic loading and unloading of turning and milling machines. A key element of each is the interactive controller, whereby basic dimensions are asked for and input by the operator, allowing quick set-up or changeovers to occur, making important short batch work much more viable. Both systems can be used for a wide range of dimensions (standard ø 5 to 400mm) and weights (up until 70kg). The portability of the equipment between machines is also a major advantage. Once set up, ‘after hours’ performance monitoring can be added via the internet or simply by phone for alarms or completion signals. Now, only a few months after its partnership with RoboJob was made official, Okuma has already secured its first sale of a Turn-Assist system. “Our customer is a typical technical parts supplier,” explains Phil Hayes, Managing Director of Okuma Australia. “A family business in Adelaide, South Australia, that specialises in high-quality and very precise parts, which are applied in various industries. With nearly 50 years’ experience they have excellent machinery, which they use to offer turning and milling services. “Flexibility, quality and short delivery times are very important to them, which has led them to invest in their machinery to further improve those strengths. So we will now install a Turn-Assist 250 at an Okuma LB4000 EX x 1500.” In addition to landing the actual sale, Okuma will also perform the installation of the system itself, having completed extensive training at RoboJob. “We have certified the Okuma Service Team after their technical team received an extensive training at RoboJob,” explains RoboJob cofounder and CEO Helmut De Roovere, and he is fully confident that everything will go smoothly with the first installation.

“Our installation specialist travelled to Melbourne this autumn, to install a Turn-Assist 250 on an Okuma CNC lathe in the showroom of Okuma Australia,” he adds. “That installation was performed together with the service team of Okuma. We are therefore convinced that the installation at Okuma’s customer will run as smoothly as the installation at Okuma. After all, their people have all the necessary theoretical knowledge and practical experience that is needed.” RoboJob was founded in 2007 as a subsidiary of Aluro Group in order to autonomously focus on increasing the profitability of the manufacturing industry. In recent years, this industry has faced significant erosion of gross margins as a result of changing market conditions. With over 25 years of experience in the manufacturing industry, and more than 40 years in machine building, RoboJob draws on a wealth of industry experience and technical know-how to build highly user-friendly standard solutions that can help the machining industry maintain and build its profitability. Okuma Australia and Okuma New Zealand are both subsidiaries of the Okuma Corporation, based in Japan, and a worldwide leader in the production, sales and service of highly productive CNC machine tools, factory automation and support services. Hayes is optimistic that this first sale represents the start of what will be a long series of successful results for his company’s partnership with RoboJob. “This confirms our belief that here ‘Down Under’ there is a rapidly expanding demand for automation of small and medium parts production,” says Hayes. “Our customer quickly understood how flexible the Turn-Assist is. RoboJob has seen to it that the programming only takes a few minutes, which allows for an easy switch from one job to the next. Since we have also installed a Turn-Assist in our own showroom, it’s even easier to convince customers of the qualities of this flexible and compact solution.” “The first hurdles have been taken in Australia,” De Roovere concludes. “We are all ready to further assist our customers in 2015, wherever they may be.”

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forum – Law

Eight steps to sell your business Grant Guenther sets out a basic summary of a sale transaction for buisness owners retiring. Stage 1 - Structure & tax considerations The chosen structure of the sale is very important and may have significant ongoing risk and tax implications. There are two main forms of a sale: a sale of assets (sale of business) or a sale of shares (some sales can be a combination of both). The structure will affect: • The relevant tax treatment of the sale. • Transfer considerations (contracts, licences, permits, consents). • Transmission of employees. • Regulatory and jurisdictional issues. • Risk allocation. These considerations are also important for a buyer – and their requirements may be different to yours. So it is best to approach any negotiation firm in your choice of your preferred structure or understanding of the consequences of accepting something else.

Stage 2 - Planning There are many things to consider when planning for a sale, including: • Tidying up non-business related items in accounts, such as director/shareholder loans, personal assets and related party transactions. • Divesting business divisions not form part of the sale. • Developing a business plan and forecasts. • Preparing an Information Memorandum. • Ensuring legal aspects of the business are in order and properly documented, such as leases, supply and customer arrangements, employment contracts and IP rights.

Stage 3 - Going to market In order to describe the opportunity to potential buyers, a document containing the key information regarding the business, an “Information Memorandum” should be prepared, containing: • Background of the business. • Corporate and organisational structure. • Business financials. • Location of the business and lease details. • Number of employees and details of key staff. • Market and future opportunity information as well as key risks. • Intellectual property or technology owned or used. • Key supply or customer arrangements. • Details of the seller’s intent as to pricing, structure, timing and process for the sale.

Stage 4 - Target selection & intent Your advisors will play a key role in identifying potential targets that might be interested in acquiring your business. Information Memorandums are sent to target buyers only after appropriate confidentiality deeds and undertakings are signed. This is especially important if the potential buyer is a current competitor. A non-binding ‘Letter of Intent’ or ‘Letter of Offer’ will be obtained from the potential buyers who have received the Information Memorandum, asking the buyer to provide information regarding: • the buyer • price offered and valuation methodology • conditions attaching to the offer • structure of acquisition (form and timing)

Stage 5 - Due diligence Letters of Intent will assist in determining which offer(s) are most attractive and which targets you are willing to take through the due

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diligence process. You may insist on a binding document (such as a Memorandum of Understanding or Heads of Agreement) before buyers participate in due diligence, although this is becoming less common. You will also need to decide if you are willing to allow one potential buyer to do due diligence exclusively, or whether multiple targets will be permitted access to information simultaneously and on a non-exclusive basis. A buyer’s due diligence investigations will commonly focus on 3 separate aspects of your business: financial due diligence, legal due diligence, and operational due diligence. Due diligence starts with an Information Request from the buyer. You must then collate the information requested and respond to questions. To pre-empt, we advise on the types of information that a buyer will generally request, so you are prepared. The due diligence process requires a significant time and financial commitment. You should ensure you have allocated appropriate resources to either assist the buyer with their due diligence, or to cover for your ‘absence’ from the business. Protection of confidential information, costs and the ability for any party to ‘walk away’ (and any penalty for doing so) are always key considerations before and during the due diligence process. M+K helps guide sellers through these issues along the way.

Stage 6 - Documentation The due diligence process will have identified: • Issues that need to be addressed. • Key conditions for the transaction. • The final pricing structure of the transaction and any necessary adjustments to the price at completion. • Key risks and exposures for both parties. Transaction documentation is then prepared, and can include a variety of different contracts and documents including: • Sale documentation. • Shareholder agreements. • Key employment contracts. • Premises leases. • Loan and/or security documentation (if price not all paid up front). • Assignments or consents.

Stage 7 - Completion Completion is when the deal becomes final, ownership is handed over and payment is (usually) made. The time between execution of transaction documentation and completion can be months, days or hours. The timing will depend on any conditions that need to be satisfied prior to completion (assignment of contracts or consents from third parties such as landlords or financiers). In the lead up to completion, other documentation that needs to be executed includes: • Transfer documentation. • Resignations and appointments. • Change to bank authorities. • ASIC and other regulatory forms. • Minutes and resolutions. • Waivers.

Stage 8 - Post completion After completion, there is often more work to do, including purchase price adjustments, which are done post completion to account for movements such as in liabilities assumed, stock movements, cash movements. These figures are usually calculated within the 3-month period following completion. Please contact Grant Guenther or James McLaughlin of M+K Lawyers on (03) 9794 2600.

forum – OHS

Will an Australia-China FTA impact Australian health and safety? Australia will be forced to compete with Chinese companies who admit that their OHS standards are not enforced, as explained by Brendan Torazzi. If you lie down with dogs, you may rise up with fleas. This is a wellknown statement that conveys one clear message: when you go into business with another entity, their practices reflect on you. When they get fleas, you are at risk of getting fleas as well. If you apply that to foreign trade agreements, when you connect with another country to extend privileges for trade of goods and services, you are potentially at the mercy of business practices within that country. Australian businesses have had a couple major concerns about the push to quickly enter into a FTA with China, potentially before the New Year rings in: 1. Australian businesses have not had much input into the negotiations. Most have very little idea what could be included in the agreement or how it would impact their business. According to Innes Willox, Chief Executive of the Australian Industry Group, only 11% of business owners polled in his group’s study believed that this trade agreement will benefit their companies. There were more business owners concerned about the agreement than in support of the agreement. 2. Business in China is not conducted in the same manner as it is conducted in Australia. Many businesses are owned by the government, and there is a tendency to support some businesses and industries through government subsidies. This will impact every country entering into trades with China because companies are forced to compete against government-backed Chinese companies while they do not benefit from subsidies or other government supports. Australian business owners simply feel that they are going into this potential FTA with blinders on. They don’t know the details of the agreement, and likely won’t know until it is finalised and they are forced to catch up quickly in order to survive changes in the market which will definitely come after the FTA becomes official. That is discomforting on a financial level because businesses don’t want to suffer at the hands of powerful companies backed by governments when they have no such backing. There are some benefits for both Australia and China if an FTA can be formed. In particular, the farming industry in Australia could benefit from access to some products from China. Some businesses will benefit, but only if the terms of the agreement are carefully structured. The concern right now is that the terms will be skewed in the favour of China, and that fear comes largely from the secrecy which has surrounded negotiations.

What about safety in the workplace? Remember, you get fleas when you lie down with partners who have fleas. The flea with China is the quality of products offered for trade and the standards for safety and health within manufacturing environments. When you go to the US and other countries which accept tonnes of imports from China in many different industries, you realise that their quality standards are far lower than what is required for products created within the US, Australia and many other countries. If Australian businesses are forced to compete with the poorly made, cheap goods imported from China, will they feel the pressure to cut corners and make products as cheaply as possible to keep up? The same goes for safety within the workplace. Australia has extensive workplace health and safety guidelines that dictate how companies must operate on a daily basis in order to prevent accidents and protect employees and citizens in surrounding communities. China hasn’t

been as tough with their manufacturing industry, and it shows in recent workplace accidents. For example, approximately 75 people were killed and 186 were injured when a Chinese metal works plant caught fire in August 2014. A spokesperson of the China Labor Bulletin spoke out about the incident, stating in the Chinese government media that there are laws in place to protect workers against such tragedies, but those laws are not enforced within businesses. The plant involved in the fire produced automotive parts which were exported to the US. This accident no doubt impacted the US economy as the company involved scrambled to recover from the fire and get parts moving out of China to fulfil orders. This is the type of impact that Australian businesses may also look forward to absorbing in the event the Australia-China FTA is secured. While accidents in plants can and do occur in any country, there is heightened risk in Chinese factories where professionals within the country admit that health and safety standards are not upheld. China can create cheap exports and fulfil massive orders for those lowcost products because businesses are backed by the government, standards on ingredients for inclusion in products are more lax than in other countries, and businesses are not under pressure to comply with health and safety regulations at all times. Since Australian companies are forced to comply with health and safety laws for the workplace and are committed to not using ingredients which are potentially hazardous to consumers, it is understandable why some businesses are concerned about their ability to compete with Chinese imports. The main concern is that the FTA is going to favour the Chinese side. If Australian authorities are not willing to open up regarding the terms of the agreement as they stand today, there is no way to ease that fear for Australian business owners. Australian businesses are in no danger of slacking on workplace health and safety regulations, but they will be forced to compete with Chinese companies that aren’t putting their resources into complying with those same regulations. This is just one more concern that some may think about as the push to wrap up the FTA negotiations by the end of the year continues. Brendan Torazzi is CEO of AlertForce - a Registered Training Organisation. AlertForce specialises in compliance training for Workplace Health and Safety by offering quality online, facetoface and/or blended training approaches to create fast, flexible and competitive OHS training & compliance solutions. Ph: 1800 900 222

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forum – Finance

Helping manufacturers grow overseas SMEs looking to expand their business internationally often face the challenge of accessing finance. Andrew Watson cites a typical example of how this problem was overcome. Australian SMEs are the backbone of our economy and are often leaders in their field, manufacturing products which are distributed around the world. However, in many cases, even established exporters face challenges in securing the finance they need to grow their business overseas, which can hold back SMEs from achieving their export ambitions.

An Australian success story One such established Australian exporter is Fibre King, an 88-year old Queensland-based engineering company that specialises in the design and manufacture of packaging machinery for the food and beverage, pharmaceutical, fresh produce and household goods industries. Fibre King’s history of innovation dates back to when they were one of the first Australian companies to design and manufacture automated packing equipment, quickly establishing themselves as a leading provider in the Australian market. Today there are Fibre King packaging machines in operation around the world, and they have won many export and packaging awards, recognising their innovation and leadership in the industry. Despite this experience and strong track record, when Fibre King was recently awarded a contract to supply equipment to a major multinational company that is building two factories in Dubai, they faced difficulties in accessing finance to secure the contract. In order to proceed, Fibre King’s customer required advance payment bonds as security for upfront payments received. While their bank, NAB, was supportive of the opportunity, securing this finance through them would have reduced Fibre King’s operating capital facility by an amount equivalent to the bonds, impacting their working capital and directly affecting their ability to pursue new business and complete existing orders. To overcome this challenge, NAB suggested that Fibre King approach Efic for assistance with securing finance for the project. As Australia’s export finance agency, we were able to assist Fibre King through providing advance payment bonds, allowing them to successfully complete the contract, which also resulted in additional orders from the same customer in Thailand and Malaysia.

A common problem Access to finance is a common problem for SME’s who are looking to grow their business internationally. Much of this difficulty is related to the fact that SMEs’ funding requirements often don’t match the standard lending criteria of banks, making it difficult for them to attain the credit they need. Typically, banks will be looking for ‘bricks and mortar’ collateral, or significant assets to lend against; requirements that SMEs often aren’t able to meet. The lack of access to finance can often result in SMEs leaning on other sources to grow their business, from drawing down on home loans to leaning on family and friends for financial support.

A range of solutions Fortunately, as Australia’s Export Credit Agency, our commitment to unlocking finance for export success means that we are in a position to provide a range of products and services to assist Australian companies that manufacture products for export markets. In the case of Fibre King, we were able to provide advance payment bonds as security for upfront payments received. As this example indicates, it’s common for an overseas buyer to require a supplier to provide one or more bonds (or guarantees), as part of an export contract.

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Another type of bond we provide is a performance bond which gives the buyer of a product or service assurance that if the supplier doesn’t meet their obligations under a contract, the buyer can call on the bond to reduce their losses. We also provide warranty bonds that protect buyers from loss if the exporter doesn’t meet contractual warranty obligations after the contract is completed. These bonds not only assist Australian exporters with winning more overseas contracts, but also unlock working capital which can help finance additional export contracts. The provision of these bonds also help prevent business being lost to overseas competitors that have available security to have bonds issued by their bank. Efic also supports exporters with working capital guarantees. These guarantees can also help manufacturers fulfil export contracts if an exporter doesn’t have the security that the bank requires to approve further working capital finance. While this is often because the manufacturer doesn’t have the required security, banks may also be concerned that the payment terms are too risky, based on the upfront costs involved. A working capital guarantee can be especially useful where a contract requires a large upfront investment, for example, in purchasing raw materials or packaging for a high-volume manufacturing run. Additionally, working capital guarantees ensure that the manufacturer is able to continue servicing their local customers, while fulfilling a significant export contract. It is through facilitating these types of transactions that Efic is able to foster the growth of Australian manufacturing through helping secure the finance needed to grow their business overseas. Andrew Watson is Executive Director, SME, Efic (Export Finance and Insurance Corporation). Efic is a specialist financier committed to unlocking finance for export success. It delivers simple and creative solutions for Australian companies – to enable them to win business and grow internationally. As Australia’s export credit agency, Efic operates on a commercial basis and partners with banks to provide financial solutions for: Small and medium enterprises (SMEs) that are exporters Australian companies in an export supply chain Australian companies operating in emerging and frontier markets. Through its loans, guarantees, bonds and insurance products, Efic has helped many Australian exporters and subcontractors take advantage of new contract opportunities that may otherwise have been out of reach. ph: 1800 093 724

forum – Logistics

End-to-end supply chain - How does your business measure the true cost of your goods? Janice Chua explains the importance of focussing on the entire supply chain to minimise costs by improving efficiencies. To achieve this, it’s important to “think outside the square”. Generally, when we speak with customers about optimising their supply chain, they mainly focus on the international air/sea, local warehousing and domestic distribution in order to find savings or improved efficiencies. However, it is critical to consider the ‘entire’ supply chain – especially with multiple overseas suppliers, origin locations and value-added services as well as their end-customer order fulfilment requirements. Let’s break this down, so as to make it clearer… 1. Multiple Suppliers: If you purchase a range of products from different suppliers, there may be a number of flexible options available to you at origin, which may not have previously been considered. 2. Origin Locations: Of course, not all your suppliers are located in the same town, province or, for that matter, even the same country. This still allows potential for further optimisation/cost reduction. 3. Value-added Services: So your product/s need to be labelled, wrapped, or even repackaged as a kit with other products? This can commonly be achieved off-shore – before it arrives in Australia, for a greatly reduced price (but is heavily dependent upon the correct foundation of SOPs and visibility systems). 4. End-Customer Order Fulfilment: Do you really need to have all your products in an Australian warehouse or warehouses, for your staff to ‘pick orders’ and then despatch pallet-loads to your customer stores or locations? What if we could also have ‘Store/Location Pallets’ pre-sorted and loaded at origin consolidation points? These could then be despatched from your Australian warehouse, or even shipped directly to store from origin hubs. Of course, every organisation will have its unique supplier and endcustomer requirements, so all of the above scenarios have to be considered on a ‘case-by-case’ basis. BUT, just imagine implementing even one, or a few of the above supply chain innovations – what savings and efficiencies could be discovered if your business is willing to think outside the square. The real difference in cost-effective and efficient supply chains isn’t obtaining the cheapest freight or warehousing space, it’s about ‘truly’ understanding how all the pieces of the puzzle fit together – your suppliers, right through to your end customers (and beyond, if you include customer returns or reverse logistics). The first step in achieving true optimisation potential is to really understand and analyse every step and milestone in your supply chain. The next step is to develop a range of possible frameworks to consider – by ‘consider’ we weigh up each of the ‘pros & cons’ for each proposed strategy. Once a suitable framework has been decided upon (or hybrid combinations), then the critical step is map out each and every piece of the puzzle so that everyone knows their part and how it all fits together.

Of course, it’s always best to use supply chain professionals to manage all of the stakeholder interests and ensure correct implementation, which is then transitioned into regular monitoring and reporting to allow for a continual improvement process to be adhered to. Although Australia is well known for developing innovative products, we have to come to terms with the fact that we are one of the most expensive countries in our region to introduce supply chain innovation. By leveraging the capabilities and cost structures of other regional areas, we open up a vast range of optimisation possibilities which, when matched with suitable service providers (such as consolidators, forwarders and alike), can radically transform not just supply chains, but can have a huge impact on inventory costs and the overall customer experience. As we enter 2015, it is up to the owners and senior management of Australian organisations to think about the future of their supply chains and have the inspiration and courage to do things differently. In the very near future, your customers will demand (if they haven’t already), greater flexibility, reduced delivery costs and faster turnaround times on their orders as part of their ongoing transactions with your business. With the rapid rise of e-commerce, many organisations have simply ‘bolted on’ an e-fulfilment component to their existing warehousing model. Although this may provide a short term solution, it must also force management to consider and accurately monitor where the future of their sales and order processing lies. In closing, why not make 2015 a year of supply chain innovation and efficiencies? You may be surprised at the range of possibilities you can achieve – for your business and for your customers. Janice Chua, Supply Chain Analyst, is part of the new team of experts at Logistics Results Pty. Ltd. Logistics Results is an Australian-owned and operated company. This team of supply chain, logistics and international trade experts will increase your efficiencies and reduce the costs to your organisation. Ph: 1300 13 17 18 or

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manufacturing history

Part 1

Big wheels & little wheels – The story of Sir Laurence John Hartnett (1898 – 1986).


ir Laurence Hartnett was known as the ‘Father of the Holden’. But he was more than that. His contributions to Australia included serving as Director of Ordnance Production in World War II, and setting up the Commonwealth Aircraft Corporation, which between 1942 and 1945 manufactured the Boomerang combat aircraft – the only fighter plane designed in Australia. He also advocated the creation of a national standards laboratory, and more thorough exploitation of Australia’s mineral resources. Australia was the adopted country that the UK-born Sir Laurence loved and took calculated risks for as he dedicated himself tirelessly to a visionary “Made in Australia” campaign. It was he who in 1934 transformed Australia’s ailing General Motors-Holden into an important and thriving company. The subsequent onshore automotive manufacture placed Australia in the league of the industrial nations of the West. His efforts drew the respect and gratitude of industry and political leaders, winning him a knighthood in 1967. Ben Chifley, Australian Prime Minister from 194549, said of Sir Laurence: “It would be hard to find anyone who has done so much for Australia in such a relatively short time. I watched you with pleasure in Munitions and I worked alongside you for two years when the Ordnance Production Directorate began. The Labour Party does not grant honours, but if we had a scroll of men whom we consider have done a fine job for this country, you’d be the one at the top of it.” Yet Sir Laurence is barely known in our time. AMT is rectifying that by presenting his story in a series of excerpts from his autobiography ‘Big Wheels & Little Wheels’. We commence at the beginning.

But my schooling taught me how to work and how to play sports. Gradually, I turned against the idea of a medical career; I loved mechanical things. The hands which my relatives thought would make me a surgeon were extremely dexterous with any tools that came my way, and even during grammar school days, I had rebuilt bicycles and sold them at a profit. I developed a passion for motor-cycles that gripped me for years. The sound of an old Douglas motorcycle (owned by the father of a friend) with its ear-shattering backfires thrilled me. I wanted to know more about it: how it worked and why. Before long I was subscribing to the journal - Motor Cycle - and the articles in the magazine, with its talk about valves and magnetos and spark-plugs and revs per minute, meant much more to me than anything ever published in medical journals. As I moved into my early teens, my interest in engines and engineering became more intense, and my determination that I would become an engineer grew more fierce. Having made up my mind, I became increasingly obstinate whenever my mother or anyone else suggested medicine as a career. When I finally convinced them that I would be unhappy in any other calling, they reluctantly accepted my decision. And then - bless them - they agreed that if engineering was to be my life’s work, they would do everything they could to get for me the best possible start. Whom did they know in engineering? Who could help young Laurence?

To be continued…

Scalpel or spanner? I lived during the turn of the century (1898) with my mother, my Aunt Florrie and my Uncle Michael in his house, on the outskirts of London. My father – an eminent doctor - died before I was two. After my mother, the person who wielded the greatest influence on me was my Uncle Michael. It was he who encouraged me to seek the answers to things which puzzled me and to be fair and honest in all things, becoming the father I had never known. My first interest in things mechanical probably sprang from the many childhood walks I enjoyed with him. He would stride on to the platform at Kingston railway station, and with me trotting beside him, would go up to the engine and hand two or three pipes to the driver, and say: “Blow some steam through these for me, please.” As the driver held the pipes one by one to a steam-jet in the cabin, Uncle Michael would lift me up to the footplate. I’d stand there gripping a rail, fascinated by the gauges, the pipes and the hissing steam, and deeply impressed by the man in the grimy overalls who controlled this pulsing mass of steel. At five or six years of age I announced that I’d be an engine-driver when I grew up. But Uncle Michael and my mother laughed at that childish pronouncement, and said “Oh no, young man! You’re going to be a doctor like your father.” So, after four years at Kingston Grammar School, I was enrolled at Epsom College – the school for budding doctors. Overall, it was a hard nine years. We were underfed, frozen stiff for four months, tired at times to the point of almost falling over. Looking back and comparing today’s schooling. I wonder how I and the other boys survived the typical English public school of the 1900s.

Laurence Hartnett, 1917 (age 19), Probationary Flying Officer at the Royal Naval College, Greenwich, UK.

This is an extract from ‘Big Wheels & Little Wheels’, by Sir Laurence Hartnett as told to John Veitch, 1964. © Deirdre Barnett.

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Performance without compromise.





With a broad range of sheet handling device and a full complement of feeding and unloading connections, Salvagnini components automatically and seamlessly optimize throughput - eliminating non-productive operations and costs, while assuring a rapid and pradictable return on investment. Salvagnini’s modular, building block strategy of automation allows users to evolve their manufacturing strategies, anywhere from standalone products to the highest levels of lean automation.

Machinery Forum NSW Pty Ltd 43 Brodie Street, Rydalmere NSW 2116 Phone: +61 2 9638 9600 - Email:

Shane Infanti – Chief Executive Officer AMTIL

Bring on 2015 Welcome to a New Year. It is only early February but already I am hearing a few good reports from the industry. Some good machine tool orders have been reported and a positive vibe has been exuded from the conversations I have had with members over the past few weeks. As far as AMTIL is concerned we have a number of key activities to focus on over the coming 12 months. Austech, which is running from 26-29 May in Melbourne, is shaping up to be the “Super Show” we expect it to be. Now that Austech only runs every two years, it is apparent that exhibitors are keen to promote the latest technology available to our manufacturing sector and this should allow visitors an excellent opportunity to view and discuss what difference these technologies can bring to their business. Most of our Technology Suppliers have booked space, and with Austech not scheduled to run again until 2017, this year will be a bumper show. Within Austech will be the Manufacturers Pavilion, a dedicated area for Australian manufacturers to showcase their capabilities to an audience expected to top 10,000. This area will also feature OEM’s and multinationals that are keen to identify local manufacturers that can enter their supply chain. We are very focused on delivering opportunities to our local engineering and manufacturing firms and the Manufacturers Pavilion aims to do exactly that. We have also joined forces with Meckler Media, the organisers of the worldwide series of Inside 3D Printing events and they will be running the Inside 3D Printing Conference alongside Austech this year. Of course, Austech is still co-located with National Manufacturing Week, with which we have had an excellent partnership with for well over a decade. Another key activity for AMTIL this year is to provide a greater suite of services to our growing membership. Our motto of Connect, Inform, Grow reinforces what we want to achieve for our members. Connect them with relevant people depending on the need. Whether it is a need around technology, research, management, training or business opportunities - we will continue to connect people via events, networking, email communication or direct introduction. Informing our members on topical issues, government mechanisms, relevant opportunities and activities that will assist them will continue through the AMT magazine and a number of communication methods. Helping our members grow through major project opportunities, local supply chains, overseas trade missions and providing marketing and promotional services will also continue to be services we focus attention on. Providing a voice to Government is also a key priority for AMTIL this year. We are already a key Partner Organisation to the Federal Government in the delivery of its Entrepreneurs Infrastructure Programme and a Portal Partner to the proposed Innovative Manufacturing CRC. We are heavily involved in the discussions around the development of Industry Growth Centres, particularly for Advanced Manufacturing, and this consultation process with Government has enabled stronger relationships to be built. We will continue to lobby AMTIL’s three key undertakings with Governments at all levels in order to gain assistance where possible. These undertakings are - to encourage investment in technology, boost education and knowledge transfer to improve capability and increase business growth through new markets and opportunities. So, I look forward to the New Year with renewed vigor and determination to help our manufacturing sector grow. For more information on AMTIL membership, or to register your attendance at Austech, please visit or email


Compass – foreign exchange made easy In our modern, interconnected global economy, businesses are making more payments in foreign currency than ever before. You may simply be participating in a trade show overseas and need some funds in the local currency. Or you may be an exporter, receiving payments from customers in US dollars, yen, euros or sterling. You may even fancy playing the markets a little, moving your money from one currency to the next to hedge against losses and make the most of exchange rate fluctuations. The currency markets are a complicated business, however, so it helps to be able to obtain expert assistance whenever you can. To help AMTIL members negotiate the best deals available on currency exchanges both large and small, Compass Global Markets - the leading Australian foreign exchange specialist - has now been appointed as a service partner for AMTIL. Under the terms of the service partner agreement, Compass will offer all AMTIL members preferential exchange rates, fee-free payments on amounts over $10,000 and a dedicated Account Manager. The team at Compass fully understands the need for Australian manufacturing firms to stay competitive in the global economy. Compass will help increase your business’ competitiveness through preferential rates and the highest service standards. For more information about Compass Global Markets or any other of AMTIL’s corporate partnerships, please phone our Corporate Services Manager Greg Chalker, on 03 9800 3666, or emailing

William Buck links up with AMTIL For many of us, either as small businesses or as individuals, our dealings with accountants are often confined to that once-a-year discussion about tax returns, or perhaps a company audit. A good accountancy firm, however, can offer so much more than this: everything from advice on securing finance, help with the challenges of restructuring a growing business, or support in navigating through times of financial trouble. The top companies can even assist you in identifying and accessing government grants that you may not have even realised were available to your business, such as the Export Market Development Grant (EMDG) or the Research & Development (R&D) Tax Incentive. For that reason, AMTIL has entered into partnership with William Buck, a leading firm of chartered accountants and advisors with offices across Australia and New Zealand. William Buck’s relationship with AMTIL commenced in the mid-1990s, when its predecessor firm Bell Partners was appointed as the auditor of the organisation. Since that time, the firm has built a strong relationship with AMTIL, assisting the organisation in meeting its statutory obligations, but also helping out with a range of other financial and consulting issues that have arisen from time to time. Building upon this long-standing, stable relationship, it was agreed that AMTIL members be provided with the opportunity to benefit. Under the sponsorship arrangement with AMTIL, it will provide its knowledge and expertise to the membership. The arrangement will provide members with access to newsletters, industry articles, presentations and other networking opportunities to discuss issues that affect the manufacturing industry. It also provides members with the ability to engage directly with William Buck in relation to their business affairs.

William Buck offers a wide variety of accounting and business services including specialist tax advice, audit, wealth creation and superannuation. As an AMTIL member, you will get direct access to a Director at William Buck. The company’s advisory services incorporate an array of necessary business solutions beyond the regulatory and compliance requirements. Its advice extends across a broad range of areas, from asset protection strategies, equipment and property financing, budgeting, profitability analysis and product costing. In addition, William Buck has a corporate finance team that specialises in buying and selling manufacturing businesses. The team is on hand to provide important support to AMTIL members who may be considering exiting their businesses. As an AMTIL member, your first meeting with William Buck would be complimentary and you will meet with one of its Directors who specialise in this area - Tony Mitchem or Damian Sutherland. For more information about William Buck or any other of AMTIL’s corporate partnerships, please phone our Corporate Services Manager Greg Chalker 03 9800 3666, or emailing gchalker@amtil. AMT February 2015

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Austech 2015 – Registrations now open Registrations have now opened for those planning to attend Austech 2015, Australia’s premier advanced precision manufacturing and machine tool exhibition, in Melbourne this May. Austech will once again be a must-attend event for manufacturing professionals from around Australia in 2015. Austech will be held at the Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre from 26 to 29 May. As the show’s organiser, AMTIL is looking forward to welcoming the entire Austech community, comprised of more than 10,000 industrial decision-makers, to interact, see the latest technology, and find answers to their manufacturing problems and challenges. Reflecting the strong support from AMTIL members, early results on participating exhibitors is ahead of the Austech 2013 pace, with more than 75% of the overall floor space already booked. “With the recent move to a two-year cycle, early signs indicate that we can look forward to a robust event,” Austech Exhibition Manager Kim Warren said. “Austech is the place to be in May. About 87% of the attendees at Austech are in middle- or senior-management positions. This group is an important audience segment, not just because of its size but also because these professionals play a key role in shaping the future of Australian manufacturing.” In order to better serve this key group, AMTIL launched the Manufacturers Pavilion at its 2013 edition in Melbourne. The Pavilion will once again be an important part of the 2015 show, highlighting the capabilities of Australia’s precision engineering and advanced manufacturing industry and providing Australian component manufacturers, precision engineering firms, toolmakers, advanced manufacturers and general engineering companies the opportunity to exhibit their unique capabilities. AMTIL is currently organising a comprehensive four-day speaker program in the Manufacturers Pavilion, after its huge success in 2013.

Austech provides a forum for visitors not only to view the latest technology available today but also to talk about applications that help them provide value-added, innovative and high-tech solutions. The principal focuses at the fair are machine tools for metal cutting and forming, production systems, high-precision tools, CAD/CAM, and accessories. Austech 2015 will also be co-located with National Manufacturing Week (NMW), Safety First Expo and the Inside 3D Printing conference. Inside 3D Printing is the largest professional 3D printing and additive manufacturing event worldwide. Conference attendees will be able to explore the business applications of 3D printing through conference sessions led by industry experts, demonstrations of the latest 3D printers and services, and programming for designers, professionals, and makers. With all of these shows and events under one roof, this is an event not to be missed. More than 70 exhibitors have already registered for Austech and many of the key industry players and major machine tool companies are back at next year’s show, underlining the importance of Australia’s advanced manufacturing industry. “Be sure to put Austech on your calendar 26 to 29 May,” added Warren. “And join us in Melbourne where you will meet the people that are moving Australian manufacturing forward. For more information about Austech 2015 or to enquire about booking exhibition space, please call AMTIL on 03 9800 3666, or email Events Manager Kim Warren on au. Alternatively, visit the Austech website, where you can now register as a visitor.

Big names on show at Austech Some of the biggest names in Australian manufacturing will be exhibiting at Austech and making preparations to deliver a spectacular show. More major companies are booking space so don’t delay if you’re planning to exhibit. At time of writing, the exhibitor list is as follows: • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • •

3D Printing Systems 3D Systems AB CADCAM Acra Machinery Action Tools Corp ) Alfex CNC Amada Oceania Amaero Additive Manufacturing Applied Machinery Asset Plant & Machinery Ausee Machines & Tools Ausfork BDMS Bennett Precision Tooling Benson Machines Camtek Pacific

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• Capital Equipment Machinery Sales • Carl Zeiss Pty Ltd • D&D Barry • Delcam Australia • Dimac Tooling • DMG Mori • Euromac Australia • Fabrication Equipment Supplies (DAVI/FES) • Fountainline IMS • Guhring • GWB Machine Tools • Hare & Forbes Machinery House • Harrop Engineering • Hi-Tech Metrology • IMTS Machinery • ipLaser

• • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • •

L S Starrett Company Laser & Sign Technology Laser 3D LEAP Australia Lightwave Technology Live Tools & Evermore Machinery Magnum Machinery Mastercut Technologies Modern Tools MTI Qualos Multicam Systems NC Computer Systems NCT Accessories Nichol Industries Objective 3D Okuma Australia OSG Asia Peddinghaus

• Power Machinery • Rapid Advanced Manufacturing & S.A.F.E • Raxo Machine Tools • Raymax Lasers • Renishaw • Romheld Automation • Sheetmetal Machinery Australia • Sigmatek • SNC Solutions • SolidCAM ANZ • Stamac • Sutton Tools • SWI Engineering • Techni Waterjet • Ultimate Laser • Zeal CAD Services

ManufactureLink proudly owned and operated by AMTIL

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Go Get linked! Manufacturelink is your directory for all things Manufacturing. processes. services. technology.


We’ve got the link to make it happen. Visit to learn more.


BDMS Pty Ltd 1 Kiwi Court Lonsdale, SA 5160 Ph: 08 8186 6333

New AMTIL Members

Impact Machinery PO Box 7202 Mount Annan, NSW 2577 Ph: 0432 545 081

Simon Williams joins AMTIL’s EIP team AMTIL appoints Simon Williams as a Business Adviser under the Federal Government’s Entrepreneurs’ Infrastructure Programme (EIP). Simon will deliver business advisory services in metropolitan South Australia. Simon has a background in finance and brings extensive experience, both domestically and overseas, in all aspects of sourcing, evaluating, funding and developing opportunities. His formal qualifications include a Masters in Entrepreneurship, a Masters in Environmental Studies, and Undergraduate Degrees in Economics and Ethics; he has also lectured nationally and internationally. Over the course of his career, Simon has been a company director, investor, small business owner, and has worked in large corporations. Previous roles include stints as the CEO of Itek, the commercialisation company for University of South Australia (UniSA), and as the State Manager of the Australian Institute for Commercialisation. Simon has also founded several small businesses. Directorships include six companies in the fields of clean-tech, biotechnology and ICT. Simon brings considerable know-how in areas such as managing equity, knowledge transfer, intellectual property and negotiating partner agreements across research organisations and industry sectors both here and overseas. Simon can provide an array of professional facilitation services specialising in value chains and accelerating commercialisation. He has served as a chairman of two and director of three equity-funded companies commercialising intellectual property. He was also involved at board level in four incubator programs, and has been the architect of multiple capital raising, patent, licensing and exit strategies. He managed several earlystage projects linking science to industry with disciplines including engineering, genetics, bioscience, ICT, chemistry, mining, and environmental remediation.

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Seeing in the festive season AMTIL members had a chance to get together and celebrate ahead of the Christmas holidays, with a number of events organised around the country. Members in New South Wales attended a Christmas dinner on 25 November at Criniti’s Italian Restaurant in Parramatta. This was followed on 28 November by a lunch for our Queensland members at Breakfast Creek Hotel in Brisbane. Finally, AMTIL’s ever-popular corporate golf day and lunch was held at Riversdale Golf Club in Mount Waverley, Victoria, on 5 December. Congratulations to Capral Aluminium, who fielded the winning team for the second year running.

Simon is highly commercially astute, with a strong track record in: drafting and negotiating commercial contracts and agreements; reviewing business plans for investment opportunities; and sourcing new funding opportunities both in Australia and abroad. He is financially qualified and experienced in the preparation and interpretation of financial information for board approval, governance, risk management and insurance. He has supported and engineered numerous capital raisings, investments and exits, and subsequent expansion into the USA. Further experience encompasses: creating and marketing government programs; creating project pipelines, project triage and pathways for future applications; referrals to alternative programs or grants; and cross pollination with other advisers and networks. A confident and adept public speaker, Simon has extensive experience of presentation, mentoring, mediation and networking. For more information about the Entrepreneurs’ Infrastructure Programme (EIP), please contact AMTIL’s Corporate Services Manager Greg Chalker, by telephoning 03 9800 3666, or emailing

Australian Manufacturing Technology Institute Limited

Keeping it Simple. One Membership, Many Benefits.

connect.inform.grow. MeMbershIp pAckAges AvAILAbLe AMTIL membership for companies, individuals and supporters within the precision engineering and advanced manufacturing sector. For more information visit or contact corporate services Manager greg chalker on 03 9800 3666 or


industry calendar

Please Note: It is recommended to contact the exhibition organiser to confirm before attending event

INTERNATIONAL 3D Printing - Next Revolution in Multi-Material Fabricated Parts USA, Las Vegas 17-19 February 2015 3D Printing reshaping the manufacturing base and promises to be the 21st Century’s industrial revolution.

Industrial Automation Malaysia, Kuala Lumpur 25-27 March 2015 Platform for manufacturers and providers of components, production systems and processes. Co-located with Electric, Power and Renewable Energy Malaysia 2015.

TIMTOS Taiwan, Taipei 3-8 March 2015 Includes metal cutting/forming machine tools, accessories, welding, surface treatment equipment, tube & wire processing, measuring, software, China pavilion.

Shenzhen International Machinery Manufacturing Industry Exhibition South China, Shenzhen 30 March – 2 April 2015 Includes metal-cutting/forming machine tools; intelligent robot integrated tools/ moulds, special steel, precision products, 3D technology. Forum: “Advanced Manufacturing changing China”

Fastener Fair Stuttgart 2015 Germany, Stuttgart 10-12 March 2015 Exhibition for the fastener and fixing industry, bringing together manufacturers and suppliers of machines and tools with distributors, suppliers, engineers and other industry experts

Metal & Steel Saudi Saudi Arabia, Riyadh 6-9 April 2015 Leading B2B gathering in the Gulf region for steel, steel fabrication and metallurgy industries

China International Industrial Automation & Instruments Exhibition China, Tianjin 12-15 March 2015 Automation exhibition. Includes automation & IT solutions, instruments, control systems, robotics, components, accessories.

Industrie France, Lyon 7-10 April 2015 Equipment, products, consumable and services necessary to any industrial production factory. Additive manufacturing, forming, cutting, sheet metal working, robotics, materials handling.

WIN Automation Turkey, Istanbul 19-22 March 2015 Leading trade fair for the high-growth automation, electrotech, hydraulic & pneumatic and materials handling sectors

Metal Japan Japan, Tokyo 8-10 April 2015 Includes alloy, metal, metalworking equipment, testing/analysis; recycling. Concurrent shows: Plastic Japan;FilmTech Japan; Finetech Japan; Photonix Expo

Automate USA, Chicago 23-26 March 2015 Demonstrates the full spectrum of automation technologies and solutions for a broad array of industries. Blech Russia Russia, St Petersburg 24-26 March 2015 Exhibition for sheet metal working which encompasses all core sectors of the sheet metal working process MECSPE Italy, Parma 26-28 March 2015 Where production technologies and supply chains meet. Eight trade shows running concurrently: Macchine e Utensili (machine tools); Eurostampi (moulds); Plastixexpo (plastics show); Subfornitura (subcontracted industrial processing); Motek Italy (Installation, assembly and manipulation); Logistica (logistics); Control Italy (metrology); Trattamenti e Finiture (Surface treatments and finishing); FABBRICA DIGITALE (digital factory).

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Hannover Messe Germany, Hannover 13-17 April 2015 Covers the industrial value-adding chain – from individual components to the complete smart factory. Current hot topics such as Industry 4.0, energy efficiency and lightweight construction will be discussed. MTA2015 Singapore 14-17 April 2015 Asia’s leading precision engineering exhibition. Serves high-value sectors such as aerospace, complex equipment, electronics, energy, medical technology and oil & gas, marine & offshore engineering. Meets these industries’ growing demand for fully integrated precision engineering capabilities. Intermold Japan 15-18 April 2015 Includes machine tools; metal forming/grinding/ moulding machines, CAD/CAM and related equipment

CIMT China, Beijing 20-24 April 2015 14th China international machine tools show. Brings together the most advanced machine tool products in the world. PMTS USA, Ohio 21-23 April 2015 Precision Machining Technology Show. For manufacturers of precision machined parts. Includes cutting tools, automatic screw machines; lathes, CNC turning centres, EDM equipment, accessories. Blech India India, Mumbai 22-25 April 2015 Exhibition for the sheet metal-working industry. Aistech USA, Ohio 4-7 May 2015 Iron & steel technology conference and exposition. Includes ICSTI 2015 the International Congress on the Science and Technology of Ironmaking. aistech Fabtech Mexico Mexico, Monterray 5-7 May 2015 Co-located with AWS Weldmex, METALFORM Mexico and COATech. Includes latest innovations in the metal forming, fabricating, welding and finishing industries. Eastec USA, Massachusetts 12-14 May 2015 Includes design, engineering & rapid technologies tooling, workholding & machining accessories, automation, precision manufacturing equipment. Intermach Thailand, Bangkok 13-16 May 2015 Sheet metal fabrication technology and machinery exhibition. Co-located with Subcon Thailand and Sheet Metal Asia FEIMAFE Brazil 18-23 May 2015 International machine tools and integrated manufacturing systems trade fair. Showcase for machine-tools and quality control in Latin America Metaltech Malaysia, Kuala Lumpur 20-23 May 2015 Event for the machine tool, metalworking and manufacturing industry, hosting providers of metalworking and machine tools technologies

industry calendar local Avalon 2015 Victoria, Geelong 24 February 1 March 2015 Australian international airshow and aerospace & defence exposition The Australasian Oil and Gas Exhibition & Conference Perth Convention & Exhibition Centre 11-13 March 2015 Australia’s largest oil and gas event Auspack Melbourne Convention & Exhibition Centre 24-27 March 2015 Packaging and processing machinery Australian Motoring Festival Melbourne Showground 26-29 March, 2015 Cross-section of new, historic cars and motorcycles, SUVs, and special interest vehicles. Australian Auto Aftermarket Exhibition Melbourne Exhibition Centre 16-18 April 2015 Auto parts, equipment, accessories tools Safety in Action Brisbane Exhibition & Convention Centre 22-23 April 2015 Dedicated workplace health & safety event DesignBUILD Sydney Showground 28-30 April 2015 Australia’s largest and most comprehensive trade event for the domestic and international design and building industry.

CeMAT 5-7 May 2015 Sydney Olympic Park Materials handling and Logistics exhibition, including materials handling, intralogistics and logistics solutions in the process manufacturing, retail and FMCG Australian Construction Equipment Expo Brisbane, Eagle Farm 14-16 May 2015 A broad spectrum of the latest equipment and innovations in the construction sector. Austech Melbourne Convention & Exhibition Centre 26-29 May 2015 Australia’s premier advanced precision manufacturing and machine tool exhibition. Specifically targeted at the metalworking, machine tool and ancillary market held in Australia. Concurrent show: The new Safety First Conference & Expo: Safety event, dedicated B2B exhibition showcasing the latest technologies, products and services improving WHS standards and compliance and reduce safety expenditure. Includes Safety First conference where high-level speakers will deliver essential information for the protection of businesses from workplace safety hazards. National Manufacturing Week Melbourne Convention & Exhibition Centre 26-29 May 2015 Fully integrated annual manufacturing exhibition showcasing the latest products and evolving technologies in the manufacturing market

Avalon Airshow

Australian Energy Storage Conference & Exhibition Sydney, Australian Technology Park 3-4 June 2015 Deals with the energy storage industry at all levels – utilities, energy businesses, building management and the emerging electric vehicle markets. The expanded conference will incorporate ‘Lighting & Building Automation’ and ‘Emergent Business Technologies’ zones. AIMEX Sydney Showground 1-4 September 2015 Asia-Pacific’s international mining exhibition. Featuring the latest in mining innovation Safety in Action Melbourne Exhibition Centre 15-17 September 2015 Australian Sustainability in Business Melbourne Convention & Exhibition Centre 7-8 October 2015 Will look at the core fundamentals for a company’s sustainable future and how sustainable innovation improve their profitability and social responsibility while reducing their impact on the environment.


Advertiser Index Hare & Forbes 27 Alfex CNC 13 Hi-Tech Metrology 33 Amada Oceania 86-87 IMTS 54-55 AMTIL AMT 10, 65 Industrial Laser 15 AMTIL Austech 2-3 ISCAR 9 AMTIL Membership 83 Machinery Forum 77 AMTIL ManufactureLink 81 MAPAL 7, 21 Applied Machinery 34-35 MTI Qualos Cover, 29, 67 BAC Systems 25 OSG Asia Pty Ltd 4-5, 88 Bristow Laser Systems 19 SECO Tools 59 Calm Aluminium 44-45 Techni Waterjet 49 Complete Machine Tools 31 Teco Tooling 57 Compressed Air Australia 17 Tungaloy 50-51 ECI Solutions 23 Walter AG Singapore 11 Hardman Brothers 8

Would you like to advertise in Australia’s No. 1 precision and manufacturing magazine? Call Anne Samuelsson of AMTIL on 03 9800 3666 or email

Australian Manufacturing Technology

Your Industry. Your Magazine.


MOTORSPORT & AUTOMOTIVE We take a look behind the scenes of the V8 Supercars touring car championship, and the manufacturing technology driving the sport. ADDITIVE MANUFACTURING MATERIAL REMOVAL SAFETY SOFTWARE

AMT February 2015

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Expanding the support SERVICE


Amada continues to grow our service and support within Australia. We currently have 27 staff in 4 locations Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane and Perth. We have recently invested in the latest service management software to improve our efficiency and give a better customer experience.

We have expanded and added Customer Engineers to provide a more advanced level of support. Our CE’s can provide assistance with anything from machine demonstrations and comparisons to advanced cutting conditions. This enables our customers to get the most from their machines. We also offer overseas tours to visit other Amada users throughout the world.


We currently stock over $2 million in Parts & Tooling, this enables us to offer shorter lead times. Our comprehensive range of tooling and technical expertise ensures you have a ‘one-stop’ supplier to meet all your tooling requirements. Amada’s goal is simple; to provide quality long lasting tooling that maximizes productivity.

Amada Oceania Pty Ltd

of the sheet metal working industry MACHINES

EG 6013

The new EG offers high speed, ultrahigh accuracy processing achieved by easy operation.

Amada has an increasing and comprehensive range of sheet metal machinery available. We invite you to one of our showroom locations to attend one of our monthly shows or even come over for a one to one visit. Please call us or visit our website to arrange a visit.

View the EG at Our Sydney Solution Centre

LCG 3015 AJ r e s a L er Fib

The new LCG AJ Fiber Laser offers high speed cutting, low energy costs and an affordable price.

View the LCG-AJ at Our Melbourne Technical Centre

Sydney 02 8887 1100 Unit 7, 16 Lexington Dr., Bella Vista NSW 2153 Melbourne 03 9020 1400 Unit 1, 3-4 Anzed Court Mulgrave VIC 3170 | Perth | Brisbane

AMT FEB 2015  

AMT Magazine February 2015

AMT FEB 2015  

AMT Magazine February 2015