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December 2017 / January 2018

Need High Quantities of Prototypes Fast? www.nzmanufacturer.co.nz FORWARD 10 GOING 2018


2018 and beyond for manufacturers.


14-15 INNOVATORS 2017

BOOKS Holiday reading.

Standing out in the crowd.

Five digitalisation trends to drive the benefits of automation Down Under Industry throughout Australia and New Zealand can gain huge efficiency, quality and safety advantages from emerging trends in digitalisation and automation technology. In this article, Simon Pullinger, Lapp Asia Pacific, provides insight from the global technology leader LAPP Group on five trends providing signposts to the future.

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1 Trend towards intensified networking and miniaturisation Digitalisation is changing the connection technology environment in the sense that an increasing number of products and even individual components can and need to communicate. This means that an increasing volume of data has to be transmitted at increasingly fast speeds - something familiar in offices for years is now moving into the factories. Continuous increases in the performance of microchips is not only driving digitalisation but also - in conjunction with efforts to improve resource efficiency - is resulting in a move towards increasingly smaller and more compact products and devices. A smartphone now has the processing power of a 1990s super computer but has a fraction of the size, energy consumption and price. This is having a big impact on industrial connection technology.

Innovation needed What are businesses doing to stay competitive, remain manufacturing and providing jobs in New Zealand? Since the GFC, our manufacturers have gone through a particular tough set of circumstances: slow global demand for many products, and a period of considerable overvaluation of our currency - our manufacturers have had to become leaner and adjust business models to survive – relentless innovation. That is not going to change, and the industry is facing some structural challenges beyond our overvalued dollar. Lack of scale is one of them. In one sense smaller manufacturers are more nimble and able to change quickly, but innovation is a resource-hungry activity and SMEs often struggle to get things changed on top of dealing with every-day challenges.

Robots and other machines are becoming more compact and demanding an increasing number of data connections. Special cable designs and technical tricks, with the insulation for example, help to save space. As a result, we are seeing increasingly continued on Page 12 The age structure in our manufacturing leadership, combined with and sometimes insufficient succession planning, is another factor we cannot ignore. Having said all that, there remains the important factor in manufacturing of an ecosystem of capability and supply chains. While supply chains are more global than they have ever been, local supply chains remain vital to the success of manufacturing. This means that we need to maintain a solid base of diversified manufacturing capability capacity in New Zealand. Without that, it will be nearly impossible to grow other forms of advanced manufacturing and production in the future that we need to create well paid jobs and earn export income.

Look after your health and get active Contact publisher@xtra.co.nz to find out more or Phone 06 870 9029

-Dieter Adam, NZMEA

Inspiring Manufacturing and Innovation Excellence

1-3 May 2018

ASB Showgrounds, Auckland

www.emex.co.nz Interested in Exhibiting? Contact our Sales Manager Aad van der Poel

Aad@xpo.co.nz | 021 314 199

With a 40 year history in New Zealand, EMEX is the largest technology trade event for the manufacturing, engineering and electronic industries. Bringing 1000’s of industry professionals and innovators together: • To Showcase, Educate & Sell to the industry professionals • To see and touch the latest products and technology for the sector • To better understand regulatory change within the industry



Media Kit including Editorial Calendar

Materials for Smart Manufacturing / Disruptive Technologies / Export Success / Trade Show Previews and Reports – EMEX 2018 / Company Profiles / Analysis / Interviews / Food Manufacturing / Infrastructure / Productivity / Regional Development / 3D Manufacturing / Climate Change / The Circular Economy / Skills & Talent / Robotics / Design for Manufacturing / Preventative Maintenance / Construction / IIoT / Cyber Security / Additive Manufacturing / Logistics & Distribution

For a copy of the 2018 Media Kit please email publisher@xtra.co.nz


1 ANALYSIS Five digitalisation trends to drive the benefits of


automation Down Under.


Strong export markets keep us flush.

NEWS 5 BUSINESS Confidence increases as Kiwi exporters widen the net.

Craig Carlyle



Is Director of Maintenance Transformations Ltd, an executive member of the Maintenance Engineering Societyand the Event Director of the NationalMaintenance Engineering Conference.

Workforce robots on the horizon.

3D printing trends to watch in 2018.

Catherine Beard

FactoryTalk Analytics from Rockwell Automation.

Is Executive Director of Export NZ and Manufacturing, divisions of Business NZ, NewZealand’s largest business advocacy group, representing businesses of all sizes.

10 GOING FORWARD 2018 2018 and beyond for manufacturers.

11 IN LIGHT OF RECENT EVENTS. 13 BOOKS Put down the lawnmower, have a read.


14-15 INNOVATORS 2017

Dieter Adam

Chief Executive, New Zealand Manufacturers and Exporters Association has a Ph.D. in plant biotechnology, consulting and senior management roles in R&D, innovation and international business development.

They did it their way.

16 SMART MANUFACTURING Let’s turk about Cape Adare.

Can a tech company build a city? Ask Google. Scene 7.1 enables VR experience.


Connexionz wins contract to connect US transit. Lewis Woodward

How the IoT will reshape future production systems. Autodesk and Forge – powering the future of manufacturing and construction.



Is Managing Director of Connection Technologies Ltd, Wellington and is passionate about industry supporting NZ based companies, which in turn builds local expertise and knowledge, and provides education and employment for future generations.

Supply chain visibility.

24 FOOD MANUFACTURING Production automation opens up new thermoplastics opportunities. Dairy not all about milking it.

22 Dr Wolfgang Scholz

– AND BEYOND 26 2018 These five industries will be first to do business

Is HERA Director and a Fellow of the Institute of Professional Engineers NZ.

in space. AI intelligence goes bilingual – without a dictionary.



Considerations for manufacturers exporting to the US.

VIEW 30 REAR Australia’s luck is running out. Could the Fourth Industrial Revolution change that?


Strong export markets

keep us flush


Media Hawke’s Bay Ltd,1/121 Russell Street North, Hastings, New Zealand 4122.

Here we are again at the pointy end of the year with a lot to look back on with satisfaction and to look forward to with eager anticipation.

MANAGING EDITOR Doug Green T: +64 6 870 9029 E: publisher@xtra.co.nz


It is too early yet to know the new government’s abilities and plans until they work out what they are. But it is fair to say businesses want some decent detail about the tax structure and they need to come to grips with such issues as increasing the basic minimum wage and what that means.

Dieter Adam, Holly Green, Vishnu Rayapeddi, Simon Pullinger, Sarah Barns www.mscnewswire.co.nz


Doug Green T: + 64 6 870 9029 E: publisher@xtra.co.nz

DESIGN & PRODUCTION Kim Alves, KA Design T: + 64 6 870 8133 E: kim.alves@xtra.co.nz

When I look at the manufacturing and business developments for the year, we have a lot to be happy about. Our trading partner relationships are strong with much continual success across countries such as Australia, China, the United States and Japan.


Bruce Metelerkamp E: bruce@hha.co.nz

PUBLISHING SERVICES On-Line Publisher Media Hawke’s Bay Ltd

DIGITAL SUBSCRIPTIONS E: info@nzmanufacturer.co.nz Free of Charge.

On pages 14 and 15 of this issue some of the innovators of the year are profiled. This diverse group are but some examples of just what this country does well.

MEDIA HAWKES BAY LTD T: +64 6 870 4506 F: +64 6 878 8150 E: mediahb@xtra.co.nz 1/121 Russell Street North, Hastings PO Box 1109, Hastings, NZ NZ Manufacturer ISSN 1179-4992

Dr Wolfgang Scholz, HERA Director is retiring after 31 years of service (the last 17 as Director) and has been replaced by Dr Troy Coyle who takes up the role from the beginning of next

Copyright: NZ Manufacturer is copyright and may not be reproduced in whole or in part without the written permission of the publisher. Neither editorial opinions expressed, nor facts stated in the advertisements, are necessarily agreed to by the editor or publisher of NZ Manufacturer and, whilst all efforts are made to ensure accuracy, no responsibility will be taken by the publishers for inaccurate information, or for any consequences of reliance on this information. NZ Manufacturer welcomes your contributions which may not necessarily be used because of the philosophy of the publication.

NZ Manufacturer December 2017 / January 2018

Dr Coyle has extensive experience in innovation, research management and product development, most recently as Head of Innovation and Product Development & Pacific Islands Export Manager at New Zealand Steel. Looking forward, I’d like more of New Zealand’s manufacturers to share their stories. You may have your own website of customers, but you need the diversity of wider audiences to gain greater market exposure and success. Best wishes to you and your families and employees for a relaxing holiday period.

Who knows, next year there may be examples of alternative food manufacture which seems to be generating a lot of interest?

Vol.8 No.11 December 2017 / January 2018


Wolfgang has been an Advisor to this publication over the years and his contribution has been invaluable.



Doug Green

Success Through Innovation



“I have learned over the years that when one’s mind is made up, this diminishes fear.” -Rosa Parks

Confidence increases as Kiwi exporters widen the net orders this way.

• 71% of Kiwi exporters expect international orders to increase over next 12 months • Over half (55%) have seen international orders increase over last 12 months • Trade with the USA has increased, despite Trump

China continues to grow in importance

• Strength of competition biggest concern for exporters (42%) • Help with R&D considered key way NZ Government could assist • Online orders and marketing still have a long way to go. The 2017 ExportNZ DHL Export Barometer shows Kiwi exporters are feeling confident and expecting orders to increase in the next twelve months. Optimism is very positive with 71% of New Zealand exporters expecting international orders to increase – this is a jump from 63% in 2016. The research shows that overall 2017 has been a good year, with just over half (55%) of exporters achieving an increase in international orders. While the survey was carried out prior to the NZ election, ongoing political support for the export environment will be crucial to ensure Kiwi businesses achieve the perceived upcoming boost to orders.

Exporters responding to the survey cited several key ways in which assistance from the New Zealand Government could help their business. Research and development assistance came out top at 26%, closely followed by help attending trade shows with other NZ companies, and more free trade agreements (both 25%). The results show that trading with the USA has increased significantly over the past year, with more than half of Kiwi exporters sending orders to the USA and over half (55%) seeing the Trump administration as having a neutral impact on exports, while 41% thought it had a negative impact on exports.

There is still plenty of room for growth as 26% said that none of their export orders are generated online.

The fact that R&D has been flagged up as a key area for assistance is significant as more than half (52%) of exporters developed new products and services in a bid to boost export orders. Innovation can be a powerful tool for overcoming the ‘strength of competition in overseas markets’, which is the number one concern among exporters (42%).

Online commerce holds steady The Barometer shows that while some exporters have embraced online commerce, not much has changed in the last two years. One-fifth of exporters generate more than half of their international orders online, including 6% who generate all export

While Australia remains by far our number one trading partner (72%), we are shifting towards the ever-growing China (30%) and away from our traditional chief trading partner, the UK (26%), post-Brexit. However, overall, Kiwi exporters don’t expect any major changes to our top ten trading partners in the coming years. A joint initiative between ExportNZ and DHL, a total of 379 New Zealand exporters were surveyed for the ExportNZ DHL Export Barometer 2017. This research aims to provide Kiwi businesses and Government officials detailed feedback on exporter sentiment plus barriers to exporting and how to help reduce them where possible.

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NZ Manufacturer December 2017 / January 2018



“The most difficult thing is the decision to act, the rest is merely tenacity.”-Amelia Earhart

Workforce robots on the horizon Primary sector and manufacturing employees may find themselves with some interesting new colleagues in the next few years as researchers develop robots that can be trained to work alongside people in factories and the great outdoors. A two-year, $2m project funded by the Science for Technological Innovation National Science Challenge Board is examining how next-generation robots can work with humans in a safe and flexible manner. Researchers will focus on developing robots to work in small-scale manufacturing and unforgiving outdoor environments. Such technology could become a global specialty of New Zealand robotics businesses, with great export opportunities and long-term solutions for the country’s economic needs. The interdisciplinary research programme involves robotics experts from Lincoln Agritech and Scion, as well as researchers and PhD students from the universities of Auckland, Canterbury, Massey, Otago, Victoria and Waikato.

The programme is laying the groundwork for follow-up projects over the next few years that will focus on making New Zealand a competitive country for the production and use of robots in small-scale, flexible manufacturing businesses and challenging environments such as those found in agriculture and forestry. “We will advance the science required for a new generation of industrial robotic solutions,” says Lincoln Agritech Group Manager in Precision Agriculture, Dr Armin Werner. “These robots can provide enormous benefits to the primary and manufacturing sectors. Both industries require fast adaptation to different products and markets, and constant responsiveness to changing outdoor environments. “The robots can assist with complex tasks such as pruning tree or vine crops, safely felling trees on steep slopes or assembling small batches of appliances on demand.” To develop the technology, researchers will investigate how sensors and artificial intelligence can allow robots

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to perceive and understand their surroundings, flexibly handle new situations through learning or training by humans or other robots, and work in challenging environments. All the while, the robots will work collaboratively with humans, behaving safely around both people and animals. “The robots will be adaptable and create new solutions for the often small-scale and highly flexible production environment in New Zealand and many other comparable regions in the world,” says Dr Werner. “The targeted innovation represents a major shift from the notion of isolated robots solving single tasks.” The technology is expected to help the country’s industries thrive globally and create an international hub for innovative robotics development. To ensure industry-informed science, project coordinators Dr Werner, Associate Professor Will Browne of Victoria University of Wellington, and Associate Professor Johan Potgieter of Massey University, will work closely with an industry advisory group that

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“If opportunity doesn’t knock, build a door.” -Milton Berle


Wintec students engineer their future through new scheme Taking advantage of a chance to gain relevant, practical on-the-job experience has paid off for two Wintec engineering students. The cadetship programme starts IN 2018 and is a result of a partnership with Wintec to create employment opportunities for civil engineering students and develop highly-skilled and well-rounded Council staff members. Under the scheme, Cameron and Brendan will work and study part-time for two years before completing one year of bonded employment with Waikato District Council. Brendan, an 18-year-old Bachelor of Civil Engineering Technology student, applied for the cadetship as he thought it was a perfect opportunity to gain some hands-on experience within his field of study. “From when I was first told about this opportunity I thought it was too good to be true,” he says. “Being a successful applicant is such a blessing. I was back at home in Gisborne when I heard the news and when I told my mum she was jumping up and down in excitement.” Gaining




Waikato District Council to reinforce the theory and skill sets he has acquired in his study was the main reason Cameron applied for the cadetship. “I’m excited to be given such a unique opportunity to excel in my career as an engineer that most students wouldn’t get,” says Cameron, a 23-year-old former Thames High School student. Waikato District Council General Manager Service Delivery Tim Harty is looking forward to welcoming the pair to the organisation.“The selection process was difficult because there were a number of quality candidates among the 25 applications we received,” he says.

most of the opportunities provided to them by the cadetship. “This will be my chance to get ahead of the game,” says Brendan. How the Waikato District Council cadetship programme works: • The programme is open to Wintec students studying the civil elements of the New Zealand Diploma in Engineering and the Bachelor of Engineering Technology courses. • Successful cadets are placed in various teams within the council including roading, waters, parks and facilities, land development

and programme delivery. • As well as gaining civil engineering operational experience, cadets will learn skills in project management, managing budgets, ethics and contract management. • Cadets are supported by mentors throughout the programme. • Cadets are paid a salary and their course fees funded by the council. • Waikato District Council aims to have six Wintec student placements within two years.

“We’re thankful that Wintec has partnered with us for this cadetship because they’ve produced two outstanding applicants who I’m sure will thrive when they take on the challenge of developing a range of skills, knowledge and technical experience with us.” Cameron and Brendan, who both share a love of the outdoors and keeping fit, will start their cadetship in January. They are looking forward to meeting Cameron Foubister and Brendan Koevoet are the first successful applicants for Waikato District their new workmates and making the Council’s cadetship programme.



NZ Manufacturer December 2017 / January 2018


The shortest way to do many things is to do only one thing at once. 3 D

-Samuel Smiles



3D PRINTING TRENDS TO WATCH FOR IN 2018 By Jonathan Zyzalo, Fuji Xerox New Zealand It’s a given that 3D printing lets designers and engineers develop products faster than conventional methods. Invention is the key characteristic of the bold and imaginative, and one person with a 3D printer and an idea can produce a viable product concept quickly and cost-effectively.

3D is here and now As we enter an age of mass customisation, advances in 3D technologies and materials push the limits of what can be achieved in the world of parts manufacture. New Zealand has trailed behind USA trends in 3D printing, but we benefit from an ability to think outside the box with innovative design. By presenting concepts as working 3D prototypes, Kiwi start-ups are engaging stakeholders from the outset – resulting in business success. More recently, companies with access to desktop entry level 3D printers have been experimenting with production-grade thermoplastics in-house. Many of these entry-level 3D devices are slow with marginal print quality. The price point of professional 3D solutions has now made improved options available to those determined to accelerate product development and customisation.

Jonathan Zyzalo, Fuji Xerox New Zealand – 3D solutions specialist.



Thinking for a new generation The education sector has already embraced 3D printing to help students think conceptually and turn ideas into physical form. Even primary schools provide apps with touchscreen interfaces so students can design basic 3D shapes on tablets. There will be a greater school and classroom level demand for access to entry-level filament-style 3D printers like the ZMorph. But many schools will progress to the professional 3D product range for accuracy, quality and repeatability in 2018. This will also grow application areas, as academic providers buy 3D devices and software to create more innovative, high-quality products and display models.

Manufacturing and ROI Directly manufacturing 3D parts is an on-going trend in New Zealand, supported by the introduction of solutions such as the Kreon 3D scanning arm. This portable, highly accurate device allows manufacturers to scan and monitor product quality in real-time. Combining it with Geomagic scanning software gives even faster data processing and reporting. The outcome is 3D scanned, reverse-modelled, and rare or hard-tosource parts printed on demand. And ‘good parts’ being stored digitally, rather than on the shelf. More businesses will assess the potential ROI of 3D printing, with many will invest in 3D printers for in-house R&D and production teams. Investment in SLS plastic and metal machines by those serious about additive manufacturing will grow. I see core applications continuing to be prototyping, patterns for moulds, direct one-off and short-run tooling. The growth of end-use parts is emerging thanks to new print material developments and exciting products from 3D Systems.

The ProX DMP 320 high-performance metal additive manufacturing system; a heavy duty alternative to traditional metal manufacturing processes. Also seen is a 316 grade stainless steel impeller printed by the unit.

3D materials advancements are a determining factor to make capital investments and mind-set change around designing for 3D manufacturing. Whether a company needs to produce individual 3D printed components or wants small batch runs, the technology is here to achieve this. Users can produce unique products that are customisable, high-value and complex, that can’t be made using traditional methods.

Healthy growth in the medical sector The use of customisable parts is already increasing in the healthcare industry, supported by the development of medical-grade 3D substrates. I expect even more testing of 3D printed tooling for body implants, surgical jigs and injection moulding applications. The dental industry will lead the way, with individual practitioners converting to 3D once they see the potential ROI.

Advanced engineering Also, engineering fields will drive the development of 3D materials and push the limits for printing applications. Economies of scale will

December 2017 NZ Manufacturer December 2017 / January 2018



increase machine-build envelopes to produce bigger parts and SLS metal printers will have larger print beds. World-leader, 3D Systems, has already announced a range of new materials and machine variations for direct part manufacture, offering scalability and expanded applications. One of these is the new DMP 8500 metal printer that can run multiple materials and has a 500 x 500 x 500 build size which should open up some great opportunities and new markets.

Minimising risk and increasing value Your choice of partner is critical to your business’ 3D printing success. As 3D Systems’ exclusive partner, Fuji Xerox New Zealand has made a serious investment in 3D technology. We’ve built our own team of certified service technicians to support our clients in the event of technical issues and maintenance. We carry a full stock of the most popular 3D substrates, so our clients don’t need to import their own materials. Most importantly, we have the depth of technical expertise and industry experience to help you choose the right solution for your business from our large range of professional and production printers.

“A year from now you may wish you had started today.” -Karen Lamb


FactoryTalk Analytics from RA Cloud-based system from Rockwell Automation provides intuitive access to machine information The Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) has increased the availability of information throughout the enterprise by orchestrating data from multiple sources and applying machine-learning applications. But the power of new IIoT tools to improve machine performance is limited when those with access to information are not experts on the machine, leaving powerful machine information untapped. 

 To better connect industrial producers with expertise outside their production environment, Rockwell Automation offers the FactoryTalk Analytics for Machines cloud for OEMs. Cloud-enabled analytics provide machine data organized in intuitive dashboards that pull from machines deployed across the globe. 

 “By bringing the expertise of OEMs into a producer’s ecosystem, smart machines perform better, and critical

process anomalies can be quickly resolved,” said Todd Smith, product manager at Rockwell Automation. “Cloud-based machine analytics give OEMs real-time and historical insights into how their equipment is operating from anywhere, so they can collaborate with customers to help reduce downtime.”

 An IIoT-enabled packaging machine from Cama Group showcases the value of increased collaboration to both OEMs and end users. The machine offers independent cart technology for fast changeovers, while the FactoryTalk Analytics for Machines cloud relays critical KPI data to the cloud. Real-time performance insights are displayed to Cama Group service engineers in five, easy-to-navigate screens.

 A primary display shows a global map indicating every machine at all

customer sites the OEM has subscribed to the service. In addition to the display is summary information on machine status and recent OEE performance. A simple search function then allows service engineers to filter by specific end users, locations or machine types for further analysis. At the machine level, OEMs can also view information about machine states, top events, production counts, cycle time attainment, and custom process variables and counters for the last three months on pre-configured dashboards and drill-down screens.

minutes. A subscription-based model allows OEMs maximum flexibility and low, predictable costs. 

 The FactoryTalk Analytics for Machines cloud is part of a larger, expanding ecosystem of analytics offerings from Rockwell Automation.

The system requires minimal setup from the OEM, and can be deployed and fully functional in a matter of

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SCANNING HAS NEVER BEEN SO INTUITIVE To learn more about the high precision Kreon Ace measuring arm and scanner, contact: Fuji Xerox NZ Ltd, Head office: 79 Carlton Gore Road, Newmarket, Auckland, Tel 09 356 4200 www.fujixerox.co.nz/3D http://betterbusiness.fujixerox.co.nz/kreon-scanning/



NZ Manufacturer December 2017 / January 2018



The difference between ordinary and extraordinary is that little extra.” -Jimmy Johnson

2018 and beyond for manufacturers Dieter Adam, CE The Manufacturers’ Network

Looking forward to 2018 and beyond, the potential impact of changing technology on business processes appears to be one of the most significant opportunities and challenges New Zealand manufacturers face. Industry 4.0/networked manufacturing brings the potential for productivity improvements, product customisation and even changes in business models, with new revenue from added services, for example. At The Manufacturers’ Network, we can add value by helping our members navigate through the multitude of new manufacturing technology developments, the promises and the hype. We provide platforms for peer-to-peer learning about how to adopt and adapt these new technologies to help manufacturers grow into the future. 2017 was a big year for our efforts into Industry 4.0/networked manufacturing. In April, we took 12 New Zealand manufacturers on an industry study tour to Germany in collaboration

with Callaghan Innovation. Feedback from the delegates told us that they gained a lot of insights during the tour, involving visits to the Hanover Fair and a number of Germany’s leading Industry 4.0 developers and practitioners. The delegates expressed a strong desire to see an on-going and more formally established effort to continue the work we have been doing since mid-2016 to help our manufacturers get their head around how they could benefit from all the advanced / digital manufacturing technologies coming their way. In response, we created the Advanced Manufacturing Initiative (AMI). As one of its first activities we organised a study tour to Melbourne to visit a number of companies implementing Industry 4.0 technologies in a variety of

ways, as well as Swinburne University, a leader in developing courses focused on practical learning in this space. This trip drove home the realisation that there are numerous ways to use Industry 4.0 technology, and at different cost points, and companies will have to make their own calls which technologies are affordable to them and provide a good return on investment. The trip also confirmed what we already saw in Germany: before bringing in more robots, or cobots, and networking your machines, for example, we need to make sure that we are (close to) best-in-class for the ‘traditional’ methods to improve productivity – 5S, Lean, etc. In the political sphere in 2018, we need to see some real commitment from Government to try and implement measures to address our long running productivity problem across a number of industries, including manufacturing. From what we’ve seen so far, there are some initiatives that may help somewhat, but we are sceptical that core problems will be addressed. For manufacturers, finding ways to keep improving lean processes and potentially making use of technology that is becoming more cost effective will play a role in this. We do expect R&D tax credits to be introduced, which may start to help move this in the right direction, especially for our smaller and medium sized businesses, who have often found it hard to apply for and receive grants under the existing system. We’ll also continue to argue the case for accelerated depreciation for machinery and equipment to reflect the much shortened technological and economic life cycle of modern manufacturing equipment. Finding skilled staff to fulfil existing and growing orders is another core challenge going into 2018. We have yet to see whether the introduction of free one year post-secondary school education will make a difference or simply drive even more young people into seeking to obtain a


NZ Manufacturer December 2017 / January 2018



university degree – any university degree, for that matter. We still think that Labour really failed an opportunity to help address industry skills shortages by not targeting areas where the needs of the economy are greatest with their fee-free education and training initiative. Also, there were promises made before the election about improving the quality of careers advice in schools, but we are not yet convinced that this can address the existing issues of students not seeing or being made aware of the opportunities in manufacturing. At The Manufacturers’ Network, in addition to our work in advanced manufacturing technologies, we have continued our usual work to support, connect and speak up for manufacturers. This includes, for example, a number of successful Network Assist projects and the development of a Health & Safety benchmarking service. This service is being piloted at the moment with the input from a number of members to make sure it will be practical and useful. Our plans for 2018 include rolling out that service to the wider membership and to develop more generic benchmarking that will capture the key operational parameters that determine productivity and profitability of our manufacturers. In our advocacy work we managed to make good progress in presenting our cause in events and meetings with the PM, Bill English, and Minister Paul Goldsmith. Our challenge now will be to build the relationship with the new Government, which will undoubtedly be helped by our informal Manufacturing Alliance that we have created with a number of like-minded industry organisations. There are a number of areas where we believe input from manufacturers will be vital for forming effective policy. We are also putting together a range of events, from the factory floor sessions and training courses for 2018 that we are excited about – keep an eye out for these in the New Year.


“A mind is like a parachute. It doesn’t work if it isn’t open.” -Frank Zappa

Health and Safety has not improved since Pike River claims Engineering Society Health and Safety has not improved since Pike River claims Engineering Society Fronting a groundswell of opinion from industry, society Chair Barry Robinson stated “Prior to Pike River the Maintenance Engineering Society was a lone voice saying that workers were no safer. Pike River provided the opportunity to make major change which has indeed happened but our recent survey and field work confirms that key players have failed to grasp the need to do some essential things differently if we are effect change. “Our recent interaction with industry is alarming and disappointing.” Mr Robinson pointed to health and safety professionals and management who continue to promote a downwardly driven rules based approach to safety (clerical safety) rather than an upwardly driven people based (actual safety) approach. “Health and safety in New Zealand has a major PR problem. You only have to ask a worker to get validation on that point. The opportunity existed to take a fresh approach to managing health and safety, taking heed of the learning’s and challenges of other countries. WorkSafe considered this too difficult and is instead focused on supply chain pressure, incongruous with our local content of 80% small to medium enterprises. “Health and safety professional groups are more interested in who is “in” and who is “out” than improving the quality and direction of positive health and safety culture. We have yet to see a single piece of value from this sector after 3 years.” As a follow up to their 2010 paper, “The Emperor is Wearing Fluro Clothes” in which it was stated that New Zealand’s statistics had worsened by 41%, the

society surveyed 5000 New Zealand businesses. While 91% of respondents now have a health and safety system, the issues with staff attitude, culture and managing systems long term remain unchanged.

the same trap as the health and safety professionals. Our survey and ongoing field work clearly shows there is no improvement momentum and illogical and imposed safety controls remain at the forefront.

Maintenance Engineering Society health and safety spokesman Craig Carlyle points out that pivotal changes have been made that

“Worse still, small businesses blindly follow the big players, buying into their spin and spreading the illogical management. The answers are very simple and the PR message can be improved but it requires a level of humility that clashes with the ethos of protecting your patch. Health and safety should be a positive continuous learning component of any

“Health and safety professional groups are more interested in who is “in” and who is “out” than improving the quality and direction of positive health and safety culture. We have yet to see a single piece of value from this sector after 3 years.” underscored the need for a step change, with new legislation, inspectorate, regulations and guidelines. Carlyle is supportive of WorkSafe who are unrecognisable compared with the former Crown Agency and the society is committed to continuing working alongside them. But he adds, “Worksafe are in danger of falling into

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to 3 out of the 100, reflecting the high

“There are positive stories out there with organisations empowering staff by providing safety rather than requiring safety, but the mainstream remains occupied by corporate platitudes and health and safety fashion. “While health is undeniably scientific,

safety is about logic and man management and certainly does not require 3 letters after your name to manage effectively”. Aside from the professionals, Carlyle pointed to the blossoming health and safety services and supply industries and capital investment in safety related assets. “These sectors continue to feed the smoke and mirrors for their own gain. While the safety theatre looks impressive, without a significant improvement in our statistics it must be judged as a colossal waste of resource. “Companies are spending significant money on health and safety controls where no real risk lies.” In their presentation to engineering delegates from around New Zealand, the society offered alternatives to staff faced with safety rules that were not in fact keeping them safe, including using the directors due diligence requirements of the new Act to inform the business owners that the workers are NOT being adequately protected by the problematic management and professionals. They reasoned that downwardly-driven enforcement of illogical and unnecessary rules and actions could be challenged as breaching the requirements of the legislation. They key message is that workers must have major input into, and ownership of, decisions surrounding their own well-being.

global Future Energy Leaders

Bennet Tucker from emsTradepoint, and Daniel Gnoth from Powerco were chosen by the World Energy Council to join its Future Energy Leaders’ Programme - the FEL-100 - an exclusive group designed to help shape, inspire and grow energy leaders of tomorrow.

bringing the New Zealand contingent


Barry Robinson

ways of thinking and frame the future of our energy systems. It brings together a network of exceptional individuals from across the globe who represent the different players in the energy sector, including government, energy industry, academia, civil society and social entrepreneurs.

Daniel Gnoth



Bennet Tucker

NZ Manufacturer December 2017 / January 2018



“Running a startup is like being punched in the face repeatedly, but working for a large company is like being waterboarded.” -Paul Graham

continued from page 1

Five digitalisation trends to drive the benefits of automation Down Under frequent use of hybrid cables, which combine the power cable, data cables and even hoses for pneumatics and hydraulics in a single sheath. Where large data volumes are being transmitted, one high-speed Cat.7 Industrial Ethernet cable can replace several slower varieties and one fibreglass cable can replace even more copper-based ones. Connectors are also having to slim down. Circular connectors are getting leaner, and modular connector systems combine numerous contacts for different cables in a single housing. Special materials and optimised internal cable constructions are also necessary for other reasons, as the standard cable types used in offices are simply not suitable for production environments. In those environments, the cables have to withstand lubricants, hot vapours, millions of bends and torsion.

2 Connectors instead of direct wiring

modular. They combine contacts for high currents - for drives for example - with Gigabit speed data connections and in some cases even with pneumatics or hydraulics. Everything is easy to configure and can be reassembled again and again, for example if a machine is upgraded.

3 Trend towards system solutions

While electrical connections were previously fixed, soldered installations that were subsequently not touched for many years, today’s flexibility calls for connectors that can be disconnected thousands of times and still create a reliable contact. Connectors are also becoming more

insulation and cable sheaths age differently under the influence of the fields generated by direct current. Research projects are currently exploring these issues.

This requires more than just changing priorities in the traditional quality, cost and time framework. Today’s optimum processes bring about improvements in all three dimensions.

5. Coexistence of cable and wireless

4 DC replacing AC

Industry 4.0, Internet of things, open innovation processes: the tasks facing machine builders are growing remorselessly. This makes it even more important for companies to concentrate on their core competences. These do not normally include assembling cables - shortening cables, attaching connectors and creating complete energy chains. As a result, machine manufacturers are increasingly demanding tailored ready-to-use assemblies that they can easily incorporate into their machines.

A TV set today, a vacuum cleaner tomorrow - on the same production line. Industry 4.0 means that production is becoming more modular and flexible. Individual production modules are exchanged or rearranged in next to no time. This has consequences for the connection technology.

manufacturers. They have to introduce efficient, ideally automated processes and must be capable of quickly delivering highly complex customised one-off solutions.

Ready-to-use assemblies are also more durable as the supplier guarantees the quality of the entire system, and the user does not have to worry about installation errors, such as forgotten end sleeves or damage to the insulation. With assemblies direct from the manufacturer, customers can also benefit from expert know-how and always be sure the technology they use is top notch. The development work that manufacturers of connection systems engage in would not be economically viable for users. Which does not mean, however, that the challenge is less significant for the

AC’s days are numbered. On the one hand, photovoltaics generates direct current, which is converted into alternating to be fed into the network and, on the other hand, an increasing number of electronic devices (TVs, computers, smartphones, LED lights etc.) demand direct current, which first has to be rectified from the AC network. This raises the question of whether it still makes sense to use AC. The conversion involves huge energy losses - numerous power stations could be shut down if DC voltage networks were to be installed in industry and households. Of course, bringing about the paradigm shift is not as easy as it may sound. Conventional switches and connectors are not suitable for DC voltage because the polarity of the voltage does not change and there is no arc breakage when switching off - this is hazardous. New connectors and automatic switch-off mechanisms are needed, but these issues can certainly be resolved. There are challenges for cable manufacturers too. There are strong indications that the plastics used for

These days, wi-fi is almost ubiquitous in households, while wireless technology for data exchange is also gaining its adherents in factories. Wireless technology is generally cost-effective and offers great flexibility when systems are modified.

However, this does not mean that cables will no longer be used, as some people are predicting. On the contrary: advancing electrification and networking in factories will, if anything, require even more cables to guarantee the high transmission rates. In addition, cables have the edge where data reliability and latency are important, as industrial production is based on strict cycles and information has to be reliably transmitted in the millisecond range. This is very difficult to achieve using wireless solutions without disproportionately high costs. This is because multiple wireless connections can easily interfere with and eliminate one another and can also be interrupted by moving objects such as forklift trucks. Cables are also less susceptible to malicious disturbances or hacker attacks. As a result, there is little prospect of wireless technology pushing out cable-based systems in the future - in fact they will increasingly complement one another.

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NZ Manufacturer December 2017 / January 2018

5/10/17 4:35 pm



As you start your journey, the first thing you should do is throw away that store-bought map and begin to draw your own.” -Michael Dell


Books for the holidays If you have time to mow the lawns or defrost the fridge, you have time to read a book. Here are some to propel you forward in the new year: T h o m a s Friedman, Thank You For Being Late, links personal stories to an analysis of the state of business, innovation, economics and world politics.

Andrew Lo’s Adaptive Markets is a critique of the “efficient markets hypothesis” that is “dazzling in both its erudition and its charm”. Sheelah Kolhatkar’s Black Edge describes how Steven Cohen’s former hedge fund, SAC Capital, built its Wall Street dominance before facing insider trading charges. David Enrich’s The Spider Network offers a comprehensive account of the Libor rate-rigging scandal. Janesville, by journalist Amy Goldstein, which explores the deeper social — and political — impact of business decisions on ordinary working people. She digs into what happened to people in a small Wisconsin city when General Motors stopped producing cars, overturning the residents’ lives.

Brad Stone’s The Upstarts, about Airbnb and Uber.

Fast/Forward by Julian Birkinshaw and Jonas Ridderstrale when best practice goes bad.

Wild Ride, Adam Lashinsky’s lively analysis of Uber’s rise.

Freek Vermeulen’s Breaking Bad Habits, about what happens when best practice goes bad.

Self-driving cars — one of the technologies being explored by Uber — feature in Vivek Wadhwa’s The Driver in the Driverless Car (written with Alex Salkever).

Economics for the Common Good, by French winner of the Nobel economics prize Jean Tirole makes the case for economics as a positive force on the everyday existence of people and businesses.

Ellen Pao’s Reset tackles the red-hot topic of diversity in Silicon Valley — or lack of it — recounting her experience as venture capitalist and chief executive of Reddit, the social platform.

Stephen King’s Grave New World underlines that globalisation is under unprecedented threat.

A sceptical view of the implications of technology comes in Jonathan Taplin’s Move Fast and Break Things, reviewed previously in NZ Manufacturer examines the “monopoly platforms” built by Facebook, Google, Amazon and others and how they have “cornered culture”.

Franklin Foer’s critique of the tech sector World Without Mind; Machine, Platform.

Crowd (the latest from 2014 shortlisted authors Erik Brynjolfsson and Andrew McAfee).

The Fuzzy and the Techie by Scott Hartley on the relevance of the liberal arts in a tech-led world.

The Wisdom of Finance by Mihir Desai uses literature, history, movies and philosophy to shed light on dry financial theories.

A Man for All Markets, by Edward Thorp, a mathematician who applied his skills, from Las Vegas to Wall Street, from the blackjack tables to the world of hedge funds.

Kate Raworth, in Doughnut Economics, makes the case for a new economic model that pays more attention to human and environmental pressures. The One Device: The Secret History of the iPhone by Brian Merchant This examination of the iPhone includes analysis of both the enormous cultural impact of the device and a history of its manufacturing process. It was on the shortlist of finalists for the Financial Times and McKinsey Business Book of the Year. ’The One Device’ is a road map for design and engineering genius, an anthropology of the modern age and an unprecedented view into one of the most secretive companies in history. This is the untold account, ten years in the making, of the device that changed everything,” the Financial Times says. The Captain Class: The Hidden Force That Creates the World’s Greatest Teams, by Sam Walker The deputy editor for enterprise at the Wall Street Journal and a former sports columnist, Walker identified the preeminent sports teams throughout history and determined they all had an influential captain at the time they reigned supreme. He then analyses the seven commonalities of those captains.



NZ Manufacturer December 2017 / January 2018



“Give me a stock clerk with a goal, and I will give Give me a man without a goal, and I will give you -James Cash Penny

Companies need to shape, not predict, the market Instead of just gradually improving or creating new products and services, businesses now need to look at everything that impacts on what they make and how it is used – and shape that wider ecosystem. Nearly always, this will involve collaborating with other firms and players - sometimes even with competitors. It’s called “market-shaping” or “market innovation”. New Zealand firms seem to have the fundamentals of what it takes to shape markets, but very few are doing it – which is likely resulting in many lost opportunities and product failures. These are some of the conventional-wisdom-busting conclusions reached by University of Auckland researchers, Associate Professor Suvi Nenonen and Professor Kaj Storbacka, from their three-year research project into market innovation. Market innovation means deliberately shaping existing markets or creating whole new ones. It often involves tech innovations, but not necessarily. It is about identifying the bottlenecks in the wider system – points where the need for a particular resource holds everything up - and fixing them. For instance, switching your business model from selling to leasing machinery means that customers need less capital to acquire the machinery, which makes the market bigger.

Connexionz wins contract to manage New York ferry service New York commuters are boarding a new transport service integrated with technology developed by Connexionz of Christchurch. The contract, awarded to Connexionz in a competitive international procurement process, commenced roll out in February with on-going service and support until 2022. Connexionz specialises in the development and delivery of Real Time Passenger Information (RTPI) and Intelligent Transport Systems (ITS) solutions for managing transport networks - including bus, rail and ferry services, as well as developing solutions for transit infrastructure, including terminal and garage management systems. Connexionz solutions are highly regarded for their reliability and accuracy.

Engineering and IT graduating students showcase creativity Final year student projects for Bachelor of Engineering, Bachelor of Information Technology, were presented recently in Wellington. The projects represent more than 450 hours of each student’s time have been completed with and for industry as part of the final year of study. Depending on the size of the company or organisation, the projects were undertaken with Research and Development specialists and teams or with individual managers who are seeking to improve processes or looking to have new and original ideas applied to their business. The student projects covered a wide range of areas and proposed solutions for many real-world problems. They included an automated system for opening and closing existing household curtains, an Android App called “Raise your Game” for former Black Sticks Captain Suzie Muirhead where athletes can input their data and this can be used for planning and development with coaches. A group of students developed an App which allows the Wellington South Community Patrol to automate reporting to NZ Police. A weather monitoring system for remote locations and a wireless sensor network for forest fire detection were showcased alongside seismic strengthening projects, designs for medium density housing and “Green” house design. “Emugeddon” – an online game built from scratch entertained visitors to the exhibition.

Engineering the exoskeleton - from aliens to mechanically enhanced humans Inspired by the ‘power loader’ exoskeleton worn by Sigourney Weaver’s character in Aliens, Richard Little set out to design and build a pair of robotic legs. The resulting REX Suits are operated by a joystick that allows the wearer to walk, move sideways, turn around, climb stairs, and exercise. Exoskeletons are hyped up as devices that will allow the injured and paralysed to walk, elderly and stroke sufferers to remain independent for longer, the military to get more from soldiers, and even turn all of us into mechanically enhanced humans. They have captured the imagination of researchers across the world, from start-ups to NASA. A Scots-born engineer, Richard says he was motivated to develop the system after his childhood best friend Robert Irving was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis. Little and Irving co-founded Rex Bionics in 2003. Now NZ based, Richard is passionate about using technology and particularly robotics to help people. Little said it was hard to describe the experience of watching someone stand and walk after being in a wheelchair for years.

IMAGR secures investment to roll out shopper experiences Shoppers around the world are one step closer to experiencing artificial intelligence in action when they fill up their supermarket carts following a private investor’s buy-in to a leading AI start-up in the Southern Hemisphere. IMAGR, an AI company from New Zealand, has secured Sage Technologies Ltd as a cornerstone investor. The investment is a significant commitment to accelerate the development of IMAGR’s retail product, SMARTCART. SMARTCART is an image recognition retrofit solution designed to eliminate the queues at checkouts and is set to revolutionise the shopping experience for consumers and retailers. IMAGR founder, William Chomley (28), who founded the company in Sydney, Australia in 2015, before returning to his home country to set up the business in Auckland 12 months ago, says the new partnership will fast-track the company’s product developments. William Chomley


NZ Manufacturer December 2017 / January 2018




you a man who will make history. u a stock clerk.” Laid back design success

Otago Polytechnic student, Jeremey Metherell, had a good excuse for lying around all summer. He calls it product testing … but the reality is he deserved a relaxing break after spending all of last year designing a hammock for the New Zealand brand Cactus Outdoor. It’s unusual for a student to successfully take a product to market while still studying. The first two batches of hammocks quickly sold out, and Cactus Outdoor is now onto its third. Daryl Warnock, Cactus Outdoor General Manager, says the hammocks are still in production, and will have another push next summer. “We’re getting great feedback from our customers” he says. Jeremy’s stoked that people are enjoying his hammocks. “I really couldn’t have asked for a better result, I’m so glad I took on the project.” Tim Armstrong, Otago Polytechnic Design Lecturer, says Jeremy’s perseverance helped him succeed. He refined his hammock 12 times before it was ready for market! “He also has strong sustainability and social ethics in design – so a similar ethos to Cactus Outdoor” Tim says.

Pertronic wins gold award for R&D Lower Hutt-based Pertronic Industries won the Discovering Gold Award at the Wellington Gold Awards, which recognise excellent Wellington Region businesses. The Discovering Gold category is for major research and development achievements. Pertronic’s win celebrated the development of a new fire alarm control panel for the Australian market. The project was triggered partly by the introduction in Australia of new standards requirements for fire alarm control panels. However, Pertronic also took the opportunity to introduce innovative new features to the Australian fire systems market. As a result, the Pertronic F220 offers a combination of features and benefits that set it apart from the competition. The F220’s seven-inch (800 x 480 pixel) colour LCD display provides a great deal more information than the small monochrome displays on competing products available in Australia. This is especially beneficial on large projects such as shopping malls and residential skyscrapers, which have complex networked fire alarm control panels monitoring thousands of sensors and control devices. Large complex projects also demand powerful high-speed information-processing capability, which is why the Pertronic F220 has a 456 MHz ARM9 microprocessor and large memory resources.

RAM3D recognised globally Tauranga-based Rapid Advanced Manufacturing (RAM3D) is a hi-tech manufacturing company producing full-strength metal 3D printed products. RAM3D is recognised globally as a world-class 3D metals printing facility where production parts and prototypes are easily, efficiently and cost effectively produced. Warwick Downing, the CEO of RAM3D has been involved since 2008 with the decision by BoP Dental company, Triodent to invest in the technology. . “We have always been a pioneer in the 3D printing industry. We had one of the first 3D metal printing machines in the southern hemisphere. In those days, the software and laser tools were basic, but technology has advanced very quickly since 2013 which is when RAM3D was set up”, said Downing. “3D printing is now a recognised mainstream method to produce end-use parts as well as prototypes, and with the right design can be very cost competitive”, he said. “In a recent project where replacement parts for a manufacturing process were required, RAM3D not only delivered the parts in a shorter period but the parts worked out cheaper to 3D print than having them machined”. RAM3D have broad capabilities. They print in Titanium 6-4 (Ti 6AI 4V), the most common titanium alloy used for medical and aerospace applications. They can also print in a high strength food grade 15-5Ph Stainless Steel

Student designing own solutions to new challenges Mark was a shepherd and began coming up with ways which would allow him to still use a ute. He needed a hoist to get his electric wheelchair into the restricted space in the back, but could find nothing available which met his needs, so he made his own device. He designed and built a large arm which lifts his chair neatly into the back cabin, just above where the sheepdogs fit. Mark faced another issue with the ute, however. He needed to be able to easily access the vehicle cab when he left his chair, but most off-the-shelf solutions required extensive modifications to the ute, which he wanted to avoid. With the help of an engineering firm in Nelson, he solved that problem too. He came up with another design utilising a support platform which fits into the seat frame, allowing him to get in and out of the driver’s seat. But he didn’t stop at the ute.

Mark Cooper is a person who gets on with things.

Mark has designed a wheelchair hoist for his jetboat too. With no engineering background he has gone through a process of trial and error, with some help from the professionals.

To have good ideas, remember to get bored Manoush Zomorodi explores the creative power of boredom in her TED talk, “How boredom can lead to your most brilliant ideas.” Like any TED talk, it’s littered with vague anecdotes and factoids about brain chemistry, but there’s also practical advice like deleting an addictive app for a day, or using a tracker app to realise just how much time you’re spending on your phone each day. There is plenty of practical advice for snapping out of the info-addiction habits that keep you from creative boredom. It could that tap on the shoulder: “Hey, maybe put down your phone today.” Many of us who’ve struggled with creative work know that we have to allow ourselves to get bored, that we can’t simply work on them when we’re “in the mood.” That’s the difference between a hobby and something bigger.



NZ Manufacturer December 2017 / January 2018


“Nothing works better than just improving your product.” -Joel Spolsky, cofounder of Stack Overflow

Let’s turk about Cape Adare Some good old-fashioned kiwi ingenuity is in hot demand for the coldest place on earth. Arrowtown adventurer, Erik Bradshaw, with the support of New Zealand Antarctic Heritage Trust, has designed and is building three temporary huts for Cape Adare in Antarctica … out of plastic water tanks! An avid adventurer, Mr Bradshaw designed a prototype for an emergency backcountry ski hut in Arrowtown. Antarctica New Zealand has commissioned him to provide three for the southern continent. The tanks, called ‘turks’ (not a tank,

not a hut, not a yurt!), have a 10m² floor area and cost about $15,000 each. They’re being transformed into a living area, a work shed and a store room for Cape Adare. They’ll stay put there for the next four years as a temporary base for New Zealand Antarctic Heritage Trust experts conserving the first building on the continent - the hut of early explorer Carsten Borchgrevink.

also relatively light, so we can move them by helicopter. We’ll have the whole camp set up in a day.”

Mr Bradshaw is well aware of the conditions his huts will face.

“Cape Adare is also home to the world’s largest Adélie penguin rookery, so we have to time the turk’s arrival for when the birds have finished nesting” says Mr Bradshaw.

“Temperatures reach -30 degrees, winds can get over 200 km/hr … these huts need to be sturdy! We’ll fill their bases with 2 tonnes of gravel, so they won’t go anywhere in the harsh Antarctic conditions” he says. “They’re

Jack Ma says that this one mistake could destroy your start-up He is the founder and leader of Alibaba, the Chinese online selling platform that had revenue of more than $8 billion for the third quarter of this year. The company is now within striking distance of overtaking Amazon as the world’s largest e-commerce firm by market capitalisation. Ma is a philanthropist and a visionary and he shared one of his management philosophies with entrepreneurs gathered at the JumpStarter conference in Hong Kong. Don’t, he said, be tempted to hire top executives from large companies. Team work Building a team that is passionate Opinion Manufacturing Profiles Letters to the Editor Politics of Manufacturing Trade Fair World Diary of Events World Market Report Q/A Export News Machine Tools Business Opportunities Commentary As I See It Business News Appointments Around New Zealand Australian Report New to the Market Lean Manufacturing Equipment for Sale Recruitment Environmental Technology Manufacturing Processes


The turks take six weeks to assemble, and are being built in Lyttelton. They’ll be transported onto the Chinese ship Xue Long On November 26th for a long trip to Antarctica. They’ll eventually arrive in February next year.

Kiwi ingenuity doesn’t stop there! Antarctic Heritage Trust staff will sleep in ‘Polar Pods’ (see image below)

designed by Programme Manager, Al Fastier, specifically for Cape Adare. He describes them as ‘wooden mountain tents’ – built to withstand the extreme weather conditions. “They’re double skinned and insulated. They even have double glazed polycarbonate windows, so you can watch the storms go by outside. They’re kind of like human-sized dog-boxes!” says Mr Fastier. The newly placed huts and polar pods will sit at Cape Adare for a year until the Antarctic Heritage Trust returns to continue their restoration of Borchgrevink’s hut.

Jack Ma is a global icon in business, ranked second on Fortune’s list of the World’s 50 Greatest Leaders and one of the richest men in China, with a personal fortune of nearly $30 billion, according to Forbes.

about the firm’s mission is more important, he said, than bringing in experienced and highly paid experts.

“Work with a good team and train the team, and the team will also train you,” he said.

“Don’t try to put a Boeing 747 engine inside,” he warned. “It will destroy you.”

Alibaba was established in 1999 by 18 founders led by Ma, a former English teacher. In less than two decades, the e-commerce business has become one of China’s greatest corporate success stories.

“Work with a good team and train the team, and the team will also train you.” What he does advise is finding people who are a good fit for the company, people who will pull together as a team and who are willing to make sacrifices for each other and the company.

Although the firm didn’t initially employ big names, it now boasts some of the best talent from around the world. Its president is a former vice chairman of Goldman Sachs Group, while its chief marketing officer Chris Tung was previously vice president of marketing at PepsiCo China.

Jack Ma says optimism is what entrepreneurs need most.

Glass half full Another key insight that Ma offers is about attitude. “You should be optimistic, always optimistic,” he told the gathered business leaders. “A great entrepreneur is optimistic for the future and asks what problem you can solve, and how you can solve it different from the others, better than the others,” he continued. And having the right staff – not necessarily renown business leaders – is a key part of solving those problems well.

NZ MANUFACTURER • February 2018 Issue • Features


Design for Manufacturing

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NZ Manufacturer December 2017 / January 2018



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At NZ MANUFACTURER our aim is to keep our readers up to date with the latest industry news and manufacturing advances in a tasty paper morsel, ensuring they do not get left behind in the highly competitive and rapidly evolving manufacturing world.

ADVISORS Sandra Lukey

Mike Shatford

Sandra Lukey is the founder of Shine Group, a consultancy that helps science and technology companies accelerate growth. She is a keen observer of the tech sector and how new developments create opportunity for future business. She has over 20 years’ experience working with companies to boost profile and build influential connections.

is an expert in the field of technology development and commercialisation. His company Design Energy Limited has completed over 100 significant projects in this vein by consulting for and partnering with some of New Zealand’s leading producers. Among Mike and his team’s strengths are industrial robotics and automated production where the company puts much of its focus.

Phillip Wilson

Phillip Wilson of Nautech Electronics has over 25 years of experienced in the development, commercialisation and implementation of advanced manufacturing technology, robotics, automation and materials. Serving companies operating within the aerospace, automotive, offshore, defence, medical and scientific industries on a global basis. More recently specialising in change management and business re-alignment for a range of commercial entities from medium sized SME’s to divisions of large corporates.

Chris Whittington

Senior Lecturer at AUT, Chris Whittington is a versatile Engineer, Educator and Researcher. Chris has had many years experience in senior engineering and product management. Chris has a strong background in computational modelling, 3-D scanning and printing, and a strong interest in engineering education.



NZ Manufacturer December 2017 / January 2018


“Champions keep playing until they get it right.” -Billie Jean King

Can a tech company build a city? Ask Google Sarah Barns Engaged Research Fellow, Institute for Culture and Society, Western Sydney University Sidewalk Labs, the urban innovation startup owned by Google’s parent company Alphabet, has announced a partnership with the City of Toronto to develop a new waterfront precinct. Time to ask Google: can you build a city?

Australian government’s A$50 million Smart Cities and Suburbs Program.

just about helping you find an empty park, as many smart parking systems

is only possible when Sidewalk Labs owns and operates the city space where it can trial its products. This is the premise of Sidewalk Toronto.

The Quayside precinct, dubbed “Sidewalk Toronto”, is to become a 500-hectare sandpit for testing a suite of new tech products. The aim is to radically re-imagine the way a city is made. Even if only a fraction of the ideas being touted work, Sidewalk Labs will be expanding the possibilities of tech-enabled urbanism to far loftier heights than many run-of-the-mill smart city strategies. Best take note. Any city mildly interested in using technology smarts to improve cities should be paying very close attention.

Learning from smart city failures Sidewalk Toronto plans to grow phoenix-like out of the ashes of failed smart cities. Smart cities are based on the idea that cities can be made more liveable, sustainable and efficient by making better use of information and communications technologies. This idea promises a lot, but so far has failed to deliver much. The biggest failures in the 20-year history of smart cities – notably China’s Dongtan and South Korea’s Songdo – are testament to the hard-boiled truth that good cities can’t be built out of a technology mainframe. Even if they have tech smarts, they haven’t been places people have learned to call home. And, as companies like IBM, Cisco and Microsoft have learnt, it’s not easy to redeploy the large-scale operating systems used by big organisations into complex urban environments. Cities are messy places. They’re a heady mix of privatised utilities, legacy infrastructures, resource-constrained public authorities and opinionated voting publics. These ingredients have made it hard to sell a data platform that can operate at the scale needed to produce any real efficiency benefits. Instead, what has so far been delivered are cities abounding in prototypes of smart parking and smart lights. More were announced last week under the


No longer ‘us and them’

Cities Plus Data illustration by Elin Matilda Andersen for the Platform Urbanism project.

Re-imagining cities from the internet up We have seen very little of the “game-changing” disruption spruiked at smart city conferences worldwide. This is also why Sidewalk Labs matters. Led by CEO Dan Doctoroff, who was deputy mayor of New York under Michael Bloomberg, the company is on a mission to “re-imagine cities from the internet up”. Crucially, this is Google’s version of the internet – the one you’re most likely occupying most of your waking hours.

Best take note. Any city mildly interested in using technology smarts to improve cities should be paying very close attention. Instead of trying to sell a clunky operating system that fits legacy infrastructure with new data points, Sidewalk Labs is building products it thinks will change how citizens use the city. And let’s not forget it will own and monetise the data created when people use these products. Rather than upgrading what we have already, the thinking behind Sidewalk Labs is more focused on the core of how people behave in cities. For instance, its parking app, Flow, isn’t

NZ Manufacturer December 2017 / January 2018


do. It introduces a new pricing model that lowers the cost of parking for people who have had to travel further. And it penalises those who really should have walked. The point of using sensors to monitor air quality and temperature isn’t just to generate real-time data, which governments may or may not use. It proposes to use the data to create optimised environments that reduce the need for restrictive zoning, allowing for “radical mixed use” zoning. City Block Health, another startup spun out of Sidewalk Labs, is a personalised health system in the US for Medicaid or Medicare members. Presumably, though it’s a bit hard to tell, this will allow these people to be supported across many different (data-driven) interactions as they shop, commute and go about their daily lives. This is human-centred product design for an era of not just digitally-enabled but “Google-powered” citizens. The solutions offered here take in the full span of city regulation, pricing, planning, building and human interaction. This is not just tinkering at the edges of urban systems with new technology; this is redesigning the system with the technology at the core. Of course, the scope to experiment with and ultimately reshape Google-powered urban behaviour

Sidewalk Toronto is being built as a beacon for other cities to follow. The way Sidewalk Labs sees it, the idea that technologists and urbanists can’t get along has to change. The company is integrating urbanists and technologists into its product planning. It’s including residents and workers in beta testing, with a city government giving it social licence to operate. Instead of a cartel of architects, urban planners, consultants, developers and regulators mapping out the future of the city behind closed doors using the standard master planning process, the company will spend US$50 million over the next year to support an open conversation between citizens, governments, universities and others about what Sidewalk Toronto should be. Sidewalk Labs is building offices across the US. It’s recruiting a cavalcade of new product managers, partnership and business development managers, machine-learning specialists and forward-thinking urbanists. If its aggressive recruitment strategy is anything to go by, Sidewalk Labs is aiming for its tech products – focused on urban disruption, powered by the data it hoovers up from our daily lives – to raise the bar for city-making around the world. Doctoroff describes his desire to expand to other cities as “insatiable”. No doubt there will be lots of ideas that go nowhere. But one thing is clear: Sidewalk Labs is thinking about cities like no other technology company has done before it.

W h e t h e r it succeeds in actually building one is everybody’s Sidewalk Labs CEO Dan Doctoroff loves Toronto as part of an ‘elite class’ business. of American cities it plans to expand its products into.


“Being an optimist after you’ve got the very thing you want doesn’t count.” -Ken Hubbard

Virtual reality Scene 7.1 for construction, design and forensics Faro Scene 7.1 enables an immersive VR experience with integration of detailed photographic textures, i.e., surface details of an object and rendering of 3D scan data so quickly that it appears to be generated in real time. While Scene 7.1 is optimised for the Faro laser scanning product portfolio, e.g. FocusS or Freestyle, it is also device agnostic, so it can seamlessly accept and manage 3D scan data from other, non-FARO laser scanner products.

Immersive Virtual Reality Scene 7.1 enables users to view an entire project, i.e., the full range of related scans in full 3D virtual reality through a compatible VR headset from the comfort of the user’s office or

workstation chair. This significantly elevates the beneficial use and reduces project cycle time by enabling architecture, engineering and construction professionals, public safety forensics experts and product designers to quickly simulate and compare reality for such tasks as evaluating as-built documentation, reconstructing crime or accident scenes, or optimising design plans.

It enhances productivity by enabling users to take/capture screenshots, tag comments or notes specific to images and navigate the system overview map in real time, all without needing to exit the Virtual Reality environment.

Merging of Faro Terrestrial and Handheld Scanning Data

Productivity Enhancements in Virtual Reality

Historically, Faro Focus and Freestyle products have had their own unique, coded targets (markers that identify scan areas/specific targets), which could not be shared by the other scanning device.

Scene 7.1 advances well beyond the “see it better to understand it better” concept common in most industrial VR solutions.

With Scene 7.1 enhanced functionality, not only can both devices share coded targets, but they can also now verify registration of scans from both devices

in a single, real time registration report. This ensures not only a more cohesive workflow between these devices but also enables projects to be completed faster. Faro has been actively pushing the agenda to integrate high value VR capability and compatibility into their reality capture products. This is their third major introduction in this area over the past year.

Connexionz wins contract to connect multiple transit agencies across three States Integrated rural transit solution enhances community mobility, improves traveler experiences, increases driver and passenger safety, improves operational processes and access to important vehicle diagnostics. Connexionz, a leading provider of smart transit innovations, has been awarded a unique contract to deliver a multi-agency regional passenger information system. The new “iTransitNW” portal and smartphone app will connect several transport networks across three US States to enable passengers convenient access to real-time information on all rural and intercity transit and transfer connections. Connexionz will initially manage and support seven partner agency fleets, with potential to scale and link up to 18 separate transport operators across Washington, Oregon and Idaho. Valley Transit based in Walla Walla County, Washington is the lead agency

in the contract. General Manager Dick Fondahn says, “We have an excellent interconnected public transportation network that provides a lifeline for people to important services, such as medical appointments, human services, and government offices. “But, despite brochures and websites, transit providers kept receiving feedback from medical providers and social service offices that their patients and clients did not have transportation for appointments, even though a transit service was available.” Valley Transit and its partner agencies wanted a solution that would provide a single point of entry for current riders and prospective customers to access relevant information for where they live and want to go. Accurate bus arrival prediction times would also enable riders to confidently minimize their time spent waiting at bus stops. With several parties involved in the project and more joining over time, the iTransitNW contract is one of the

most thorough proposals ever presented and won by Connexionz. Connexionz CEO Rhod Pickavance explains, “The solution is based on the TransitManager ITS suite. However, instead of managing just one agency network, the iTransitNW system will manage multiple networks across a wide geographical area. Live data feeds from multiple regional transit operators across the three US states will be captured and shared on both a website and a smartphone app, enabling riders to see all the connecting rural and intercity public transport services in the region.”

counting, farebox integration, and more. Automatic vehicle location (AVL) systems with covert alarms and audio/video capability will also be installed to allow dispatch centers to direct first-responders to the precise real-time location of the bus in the event of an emergency.

The contract includes the provision of on-board technologies for partner agencies with optional add-on services such as multimedia, next stop audio visual alerts, vehicle diagnostics, automatic passenger

“In addition, the system will input feeds from regional agencies that have their own existing real-time service information to provide a fully connected regional transport service,” says Pickavance.



NZ Manufacturer December 2017 / January 2018


When I work fourteen hours a day, seven days a week, I get lucky.” -Dr. Armand Hammer

How the Internet of Things will reshape future production systems By Vineet Gupta and Rainer Ulrich Rich data, ubiquitous connectivity, and real-time communication are changing the way companies work. For leaders, that transformation will extend much further than the machines on the factory floor. For decades, many of the world’s best companies have used their production systems as a source of sustainable competitive advantage (see sidebar “What is a production system?”). But such a system isn’t just about doing things well, with fast, efficient manufacturing processes and consistently high quality. What differentiates benchmark organisations like Danaher or Toyota is their ability to improve those operations continually, at a pace their competitors struggle to match. Strong production systems have other powerful benefits too. They give companies a clear, precise picture of their own performance, allowing direct comparisons among plants, for example, and encouraging internal competition. They provide a common culture, vocabulary, and tool set that facilitates the sharing of best practices while minimizing confusion and


misunderstanding. And by developing the skills of existing staff and creating an attractive environment for talented new hires, they help people contribute to the best of their ability. The best production systems are simple and structured, and built around a company’s specific strengths and challenges. That requires a good deal of self-knowledge. A company must not only understand what it wants to achieve but also identify the methods, resources, and capabilities it will need to get there. Ultimately, a good production system is a unique, bespoke management approach that’s difficult for competitors to copy. Today, even the highest-performing companies can boost their performance still further. That technology-driven opportunity comes from data— specifically, the huge volumes of data on processes and performance generated by new generations of network-connected devices: the Internet of Things (IoT). To capture the opportunity, companies must revisit and reassess many of the processes and principles that have been so successful for them in the past.

Four dimensions of the IoT’s impact

NZ Manufacturer December 2017 / January 2018


The advent of IoT technologies— and the more general move to digital tools that support operations, communication, analysis, and decision making in every part of the modern organization—won’t change the fundamental purpose of production systems. It will, however, transform the way they are built and run, offering improvements across four main dimensions:

fast digital connections will allow the whole system to operate as a seamless, cohesive whole.

• connectivity

Companies will store the output of those sensors in a single, central data lake, together with a host of additional data from other internal sources, as well as external ones (supplier specifications, quality indicators, weather and market trends).

• speed • accessibility • “anchoring”

Connectivity Traditional production systems embody a collection of separate tools bound together loosely by the rules governing their application. Usually, these rules are at best defined only on a paper document or a corporate intranet site. In the future, such links will be much tighter and more automated, and


Integration will change production systems in two ways. First, performance measurement and management will be based on precise data. Sensors will monitor the entire production process, from the inspection of incoming materials through manufacturing to final inspection and shipping.

All these strands of data will combine to set the production system’s targets and measure its performance continually, so the staff will be able to see, at a glance, if the system is performing as it should. Second, connectivity will support better fact-based decision making.

Happiness is an inside job.” -Anonymous

Access to comprehensive, up-to-date production information, together with a complete historical picture, will take the guesswork out of changes and improvement activities. As the collection and reporting of data are increasingly automated, frontline operators and managers will play a larger role in solving problems and improving processes. Root-cause problem solving will be easier: aided by advanced analytical techniques, staff will be able to identify the changed operating conditions that precede quality issues or equipment failures. Furthermore, stored information about similar issues solved elsewhere will help identify appropriate solutions.

Speed Today’s production systems are necessarily retrospective. While they aim to maximize responsiveness by emphasizing discipline, standards, and right-first-time practices), the reality falls short. Manual measurement and management mean that most opportunities for improvement cannot be identified until a shift ends and the numbers come in. With the introduction of comprehensive, real-time data collection and analysis, production systems can become dramatically more responsive. Deviations from standards can immediately be flagged for action. The root causes of those deviations can therefore be identified more quickly, as will potential countermeasures. The entire improvement cycle will accelerate. It isn’t just the management of day-to-day operations that will get faster. Capability building will, too, thanks to focused, online training packages customized to the specific needs of individual employees. Finally, IoT technologies will speed improvements in the production system itself—for instance, by automatically identifying performance gaps among plants or updating processes throughout the company whenever new best practices are identified.

historical data. These portals—with responsive, customised interfaces ensuring that the right employees get access to the right information and tools at the right time—will simplify and accelerate the operation of the production system. If it identifies a deviation on a production line, for example, it will be able to alert the team leader, show current and historical data on that specific process, and offer appropriate root-cause problem-solving tools, together with a library of solutions applied elsewhere. Using secure and tightly controlled interfaces, the production-system portal will also be accessible beyond the organisation’s boundaries: it will allow suppliers to track consumption and quality issues in materials, for example, or external experts to review current and historical performance to find improvement opportunities. Using online support and predictive analytical tools, manufacturers of equipment will increasingly operate, monitor, and maintain it remotely.

Staff won’t need to improvise production plans or override machine settings if the optimum settings are just a button click away. Second, future production systems will help the organisation to collaborate more effectively. An end-to-end view of performance will break down barriers among functions and ensure that decisions reflect the interests of the business as a whole.

For companies that succeed, the reward will be greater efficiency, rich new insights, and dramatic, continual improvement in performance.

their businesses, plants, or production cells. The result will be genuine transparency—not just about where the value is being created, but also about how.

Adopting IoT: Early wins Although the fully integrated digital production systems described in this article don’t yet exist, many of the building blocks are already in place. The oil-and-gas industry, for instance, is rolling out industrial-automation systems that can monitor the health of expensive capital assets in remote locations. These systems facilitate timely preventative maintenance by using sensor data to generate real-time performance information and provide an early warning of potential problems. Automakers already have production lines where hundreds of assembly-line robots are integrated with a central controller, business applications, and back-end systems.



The communication and sharing of information will be greatly enhanced, since a central knowledge hub and social-media tools will let staff in one area access support, ideas, and expertise from another.

Back-end data storage isn’t the only thing that will be unified in the production systems of the future. So will access. Staff at every level of the organisation will get the tools and data they need through a single application or portal.

One of the most powerful effects of IoT and digital technologies, we foresee, will be to anchor the production system in the organisation’s psyche. This will overcome the most critical challenge many companies struggle with today: sustaining change, so that the organization improves continually.

Finally, future production systems will make performance far more visible: when the whole leadership can see the direct link between operational performance and profitability, for example, the production system will no longer be considered the concern solely of the COO.

The next challenge for manufacturing companies is to complete the integration process. This will mean taking the tools and capabilities that now work on individual production lines or assets and extending them to the entire enterprise and then its entire supply chain.

That anchoring effect will be achieved in several ways. First, the unified data, interface, and tool set will not only help enforce the adoption of standards but also ensure that the right way of doing things is the easiest way.

Digital dashboards on computers, mobile devices, and even smartwatches will show staff in every function and at every level exactly how the organisation is performing, as well as the precise value of the contribution of

For companies that succeed, the reward will be greater efficiency, rich new insights, and dramatic, continual improvement in performance.

That portal will be the organisation’s window into the system’s dynamic elements—especially minute-by-minute performance data— as well as more static parts, such as standards, improvement tools, and

The portal will even allow companies to benchmark their own performance automatically against that of others.



This technology helps companies to maximize uptime, improve productivity, and build multiple models (in any sequence) without interrupting production.


NZ Manufacturer December 2017 / January 2018


“If you aren’t going all the way, why go at all? Joe Namath

Autodesk powers the future of manufacturing and construction with Forge Partnership with Dropbox and an Investment in Assemble Systems enables better cloud collaboration By Brian Roepke, senior director, Forge Product Management

At Autodesk University, Autodesk announced that developers and customers of all sizes are adopting its Forge developer platform to build and deploy apps and services to drive the future of making things in manufacturing and construction. A new platform update has also been launched to make building on Forge even easier. Next-generation framework



The design and engineering world is undergoing a major disruption from a single-user, file-based, desktop CAD experience to a deeply collaborative, highly tailored and simple-to-use database in the cloud CAD environment. To help with the ongoing efforts in streamlining end-to-end workflows, the Reality Capture API is now available. Autodesk will soon launch a host of new capabilities on Forge, including enhancements to the BIM 360 API and the Design Automation API will soon be available for integration with Autodesk Revit and Autodesk Inventor. Additionally, a new Webhooks API will let Forge users quickly and easily connect their applications to popular 3rd party apps. Autodesk is also working to release new platform solutions that sits on top of a powerful cloud service that enables our customers to build on the Forge platform and deliver custom solutions and workflows to their

audience. The Forge Application Framework Software Development Kit will contain re-usable and modular components including High Frequency Data Management, Solid Modelling and Web Graphics to customise the Forge experience, as well as tools for easy app building and publishing. Cloud-native and always connected, Forge is the platform from which Autodesk is building industry specific experiences spanning design, make and use for each of our major industries, including manufacturing and industrialised construction. In a new partnership with Dropbox, Forge is being leveraged to enable native .DWG preview capabilities directly within Dropbox. With 35 new .DWG files being added every second, Dropbox is one of the largest repositories of Autodesk design files and is working with Forge to enable better collaboration for its business users.

Forge Fund Invests in the Future of Construction Also,




the fourth Autodesk Forge Fund investment in five months by leading the funding round for Assemble Systems, Inc. Assemble Systems provides a SaaS platform that consumes BIM models, drawings and point clouds enabling construction professionals to condition, query and connect the data to key workflows. These include bid management, estimating, project management, scheduling and finance as the adoption of BIM and cloud technologies continues to accelerate across the construction industry. The Assemble Systems investment and integration with Forge strengthens

the BIM 360 pre-construction offering and accelerates our support for data management, quantification, estimation and other associated workflows. Assemble extracts and federates models from Autodesk Revit, AutoCAD and other design systems into a project. This enables the customer to group, sort and filter the data from multiple models easily into usable construction packages. These can be used for quantification, estimating, shared subcontractor views and other workflows. As the design models change, Assemble checks for those changes and reports on the impact to the project quantity, cost and schedule. This use of Building Information Models makes construction much easier and more reliable. Recently, the Autodesk Forge Fund invested in three startups building the future of industrialised construction. To meet growing demand and improve profitability and productivity in the construction industry, Autodesk invested in SmartVid. io, ManufactOn and Project Frog. Construction is beginning to look a lot like manufacturing, which will reduce risk and increase margins. Autodesk calls this industrialized construction, and the Forge Fund is creating an ecosystem of companies to make the job of construction smarter, simpler and safer.


NZ Manufacturer December 2017 / January 2018




I don’t lose any sleep at night over the potential for failure. I cannot even spell the word.” -James Mattis

Supply chain visibility As technology brings supply chain data into focus, the ability to access and interpret business information moves from nice-to-have to must-have! Better visibility: It has been on the wish lists of supply chain executives for as long as there have been supply chains. But the definition of visibility tends to vary: Is it visibility to inventory? Orders? Assets? Information? Events? Nodes? In theory, visibility leads to a host of benefits: saving money, reducing inventory, increasing turns, boosting customer satisfaction, lowering risk, enhancing compliance, streamlining transportation, and enabling agility and resiliency.

business case to get it done.” The purpose of end-to-end supply chain visibility is to provide “controlled access and transparency to accurate, timely, and complete events and data—transactions, content, and relevant supply chain information— within and across organisations and services operating supply chains,” according to Gartner’s January 2015 research report, Evolving Concepts in Supply Chain Visibility.

But until recently, many shippers had difficulty connecting those dots.

Best-in-class retailers have greater supply chain visibility than peers. A survey by Aberdeen Group shows leading retailers not only possess better visibility of their in-transit shipments but also have a clearer view of supplier quality and manufacturing processes than their competitors.

“For years, analysts have reported that among IT spending goals, visibility has been at, or near, the top of the list,” says Scott Fenwick, senior director, product strategy for Manhattan Associates, a supply chain software developer based in Atlanta. “But technology initiatives have tended to be the first projects cut, often because there has not been a clear return on investment or strong

With supply chains that stretch around the globe, retail companies are finding that they are increasingly vulnerable to disruptions such as delayed shipments, capacity shortages, and product recalls. Having greater visibility into what is currently happening in their inbound supply chains can help them deal with these disruptions faster and more effectively.

According to the report, there is a big gap between the level of visibility that best-in-class companies have and that for the rest of the retailing world. A survey of 135 retail supply chain managers found that 85 percent of best-in-class companies can see the status of their in-transit shipments, while only 58 percent of all other companies have that ability. Even fewer respondents had access to more granular information, such as information about what products and orders are connected to a particular shipment. The survey found that 78 percent of best-in-class companies had

access to the type of inbound supply chain data needed to make decisions in the face of a disruption (such as where to allocate limited inventory or whether shipments could be rerouted) versus 48 percent of other companies. One particular point of weakness for retailers was a lack of visibility into supplier quality and manufacturing processes, according to Aberdeen. While 68 percent of best-in-class companies have visibility into their suppliers’ quality and manufacturing processes, only 30 percent of all other companies did. With the advent of the Internet of Things (IoT) digital supply chain solutions are now providing real-time IoT-based vs. latent EDI-based visibility. Despite these advances, however, few people realize that supply chain visibility has become the shadow of a much greater value driver. While it’s nice to know the real-time location of a shipment in-transit, it’s far more valuable to accurately predict when it will reach its destination, or to understand current and predicted lead-time and throughput variability to effectively match dynamic supply to dynamic demand. These predictive and prescriptive capabilities are driving far more value than stand-alone supply chain visibility ever did.

Attain Global Certifications in Supply Chain, CPIM, CLTD and CSCP

with the help from NZPICS! Enrol now! Contact us Now! Phone: (09) 525 1525 (09) 525 1535 E: info@nzpics.org.nz OR enquiries@nzpics.org.nz Web: www.nzpics.org.nz



NZ Manufacturer December 2017 / January 2018



“There is no such thing as luck. There is only adequate or inadequate preparation to cope with a statistical universe. -Robert A. Heinlein

Production automation opens up new opportunities for thermoplastics As production automation seeks to drive down the cost of manufactured and processed products, machinery engineers must find materials that enable their designs to achieve faster, more efficient and more reliable applications. The search for high performance materials that are also low cost, safe and sustainable has led some producers away from traditional metal solutions and into engineered thermoplastics, which can in many cases be carefully formulated to precise and clean, green performance characteristics for applications. One example of such new age materials offering outstanding service life as OEM and metal component replacements is the Wearlon family of thermoplastics from Cut to Size Plastics, which are used for machine building, process automation, drive and conveyor equipment and ancillaries used in such industrials as food and beverage processing, manufacturing and materials handling.

whether they be metals or engineering thermoplastics - but it is certainly essential to consider all the options.” Where required, Cut to Size can draw on the globally respected expertise of its international suppliers, including Licharz GmbH, producer of Linnotam and other members of Cut to Size’s Wearlon family of polyamides. Licharz’s applications laboratories and its 50 years of thermoplastics engineering experience complement Cut to Size’s own decades of experience in researching operating conditions for materials and finding the correct thermoplastic for installations. Cut to Size’s Wearlon family of LiNNOTAM HiPERFORMANCE polyamides – including 612 and 1200 grades – are partially crystalline, thermoplastic high-performance polyamides which, using carefully formulated additives and modifiers, have been specially designed for the demanding requirements of specialty

There is much more research going on now into the correct materials to use for production automation, because it is a major investment that may be key to a company’s future. So it is no longer good enough to do things the old way they have always been done, because the rate of change in automation is accelerating and it would be very easy to be left behind completely. Sometimes change is driven in automating industries by pure economics, while, in other cases, issues such as HACCP food safety requirements are important. It is important to say there is no one ideal answer to all applications –

components in machinery design. Engineering thermoplastics are demanding consideration as machinery OEM and maintenance replacement components

These include production-critical applications, such as production automation and high-volume product processing and conveying where downtime costs are considerable and producers wish also to avoid the hazards of replacing heavier and more labour-intensive machinery

components. Wearlon LiNNOTAM HiPERFORMANCE components particularly shine in applications requiring good dimensional stability and fatigue strength, and excellent damping properties. The material can be machined well and is used, for example, for highly loaded wheels, crane float pads and near net shape cast components. LiNNOTAM HiPERFORMANCE 612 is a polyamide with greater impact resistance, less water absorption and improved creep resistance compared to pure LiNNOTAM cast polyamides. L i N N O T A M HiPERFORMANCE 1200 is a cast polyamide based on the Laurinlactam organic compound, offering very good impact resistance, toughness, excellent dimensional stability, lowest water absorption, very good creep resistance, hydrolysis resistance and good chemical resistance. These high-performance polyamides are part of Cut to Size’s nationally available Wearlon ranges from the international manufacturer and fabricator of engineering plastics, Licharz, which produces the globally proven LiNNOTAM family of light but rugged polyamides for easy machining and especially long service lives.

The cast polyamides of the Wearlon LiNNOTAM family are virtually free of internal stress. Proprietary lubricants and additives give the polyamides special characteristics which can, for example, improve the sliding properties or torque transmission. They are materials which can be used in very different application areas. The LiNNOTAMHiPERFORMANCE members of the Wearlon family represent the peak of performance for the universally proven family of polyamides, which includes globally recognised types such as nylon and Kevlar.

Component applications LiNNOTAM components can be integral packaging machines, slaughterhouses, transportation or bottling plants, bakery, pasta and confectionery processing machinery, meat, fish and poultry processing machines or machines for cutting and portioning: Parts such as grippers, guide elements, track rollers, support rollers, guide rollers and return rollers, cutting boards, and general engineering parts and components from LiNNOTAM are highly regarded in the food industry because of the following properties: • light weight • colour stability • low cost of production • high corrosion resistance • chemical resistance (acids/alkalis) • high wear materials)



• long service life and dimensional stability

Synlait can now make twice the amount of infant formula Synlait Milk has opened its new Wetmix kitchen, which will enable it to simultaneously run both large-scale infant formula spray dryers.

infant formula powder which can be produced at the Dunsandel site, from 40,000 metric tonnes (MT) to 80,000 MT per year.

and minerals) are mixed into the liquid milk. That mixture is then sent to the dryer, where it is dried into infant formula base powder.

This will double the amount of

“We were at the point where our current Wetmix facility was at capacity, and our consumer demand was continuing to grow. Building this new Wetmix kitchen will relieve that pressure,” says John Penno, Managing Director and CEO.

Mixing the dry ingredients into the liquid milk before drying ensures a superior blend quality.


Synlait has invested $37 million in the new Wetmix kitchen, which is at the core of the production process.

The project has been in planning since December 2015 and contractors began work on site in February 2017. At times there were up to 125 contractors on site per day, but the construction of the Wetmix kitchen did not disrupt the activities of other areas on site.

It’s where the dry ingredients (such as dairy proteins, carbohydrates, vitamins

“We’re really happy with how the build went,” says Mr Penno “it was a smooth

NZ Manufacturer December 2017 / January 2018



process which was completed on time and within budget, without the need to alter our day-to-day operations.” Designed with staff in mind, some manual steps (e.g. lifting and tipping large bags of ingredients) have been reduced with the help of automation. This creates a safer environment and provides operational efficiencies. “It was really important for us to make this new facility as user-friendly as possible. We want our employees to be safe at work, and to work under the best possible conditions,” he says.


“Nothing is more expensive than a missed opportunity.” -H. Jackson Brown Jr.”

Dairy not all about milking it A Lincoln University pilot study is backing the importance of environmental and social responsibility, as well as the bottom line, to dairy farmers.

Their own work-life balance and social interactions, responsibilities to their employees in terms of their work-life balance and integration into the rural community.

Seeing themselves as “guardians of their land” and adopting environmentally friendly ways of farming is a key component of the farmers’ personal convictions.

• All of the respondents saw animal health and welfare as important priorities. For some, their reason for being a farmer was their “passion for animals”, for others they saw their role in looking after their livestock as an important objective and factor in decision making, such that any changes they planned to make to the business should benefit their livestock.

The study, What really drives dairy production systems: economic rationale or social and environmental responsibility? surveyed owners, share milkers and managers, to format a questionnaire for much larger sample of interviews with farmers, due to take place in January. Co-author, Professor of Farm Management Alison Bailey, who teaches primary industry systems in the Bachelor of Commerce (Agriculture) degree, said all the study subjects recognised social and environmental responsibilities as key areas that have to be integrated into their objectives and decision making.

• All of the respondents have also

taken measures to manage their nutrient application, not only for environmental reasons but also because it represents a significant expense item. Different techniques to also increase water use efficiency are being implemented including precision and variable rate application. • They are aware of the impact of their practices on the environment


and understand the necessity for regulation, but feel better coordination between policy makers and farmers would be beneficial for reducing environmental impact further.

A point of difference in today’s busy FMCG market.

However, profitability and financial performance remains the basis of their system and their first objective. “In the context of changing internal and external pressures on agriculture it is important to determine whether the dimensions of sustainability economic, social, environmental - can be integrated successfully at the farm level. “Having this knowledge is critical if we are to more fully understand the social and environmental consequences of changes in agricultural management,” Professor Bailey said. One of the farmers’ objectives was to leave the land in a better shape than when they took it on themselves so that the next generation could also benefit from it as a productive resource.

Developed by AsureQuality, inSight™ provides shoppers with independently verified information about the products they are about to buy. After a successful application process, producers can place the inSight™ logo and a QR code on their product packaging.

When shoppers scan the QR code at the point of sale they can access information about the product, including: • • • • •

Environmental sustainability Social and ethical concerns Nutritional information Safety and quality Origin

It was generally agreed amongst all respondents that, in the long term, equal importance should be given to all three areas, financial, social and environmental. Most of them also mentioned sustainability concerns as one of their main objectives, and they wanted a system that is productive in the long term, resilient and environmentally friendly.

Why the Need for inSight™? inSight™ takes product assurances into the 21st century

Key findings • The farmers interviewed were all reasonably optimistic about milk pay-out after a number of difficult years and consider their business as financially stable and secure. However, the majority also had other sources of income, for example, investment in rental properties and partners working off-farm. • Social responsibility is seen as a key factor to success. Three main areas emerged as the areas of importance.

inSight™ is a new brand developed by New Zealand Government owned AsureQuality, global experts in food safety and quality. We know how important food safety and quality is to you. We wanted a way that you could get independently verified information about a product, that would give you confidence in it before paying for it. inSight™ makes sense because: • You want to know more about the food you are eating

A new innovation taking product assurances into the 21st Century

Freephone 0508 00 11 22 | www.aqinsight.com



NZ Manufacturer December 2017 / January 2018



“The best way to predict the future is to invent it.” -Alan Kay

Infinite possibilities ... space presents a vast marketplace.

These 5 industries will be first to do business in space Companies around the world - in transportation, exploration, energy, construction or hospitality - are all looking upwards for the next growth opportunity. Space is quickly becoming a place where the industries that power our global economy will conduct business. What do we call an economic area like this, that is not limited to a single planet, and no longer has physical boundaries? We can’t call it an industry, when private industrial groups can generate revenue and profit not only from the Earth but from near-Earth asteroids (NEAs), the Moon and Mars and beyond. It is simply a medium in which humanity conducts commerce. Let’s take a look at the industry sectors that will be the first to take advantage of our expanded economic sphere, and some of the specific opportunities for growth.

Energy Valued at over $8.4 trillion and growing at a 4.1% compound annual growth rate, energy is the largest industry on Earth. Humans are prolific energy consumers, and soon there will be more humans in space. Jeff Bezos, Founder and CEO of Amazon, anticipates “millions of people living and working in space” in the coming decades. Bezos is so confident of this outcome that he is investing more than $1 billion per year into his space transportation firm, Blue Origin. An in-space population of this magnitude will require enormous amounts of energy to live, work, and transit. This energy will come from solar power, which is more effective when gathered in space due to the lack of a filtering atmosphere; and chemical rockets, which will be the primary transportation mechanism for the foreseeable future. The most efficient chemical rocket propellants are composed of cryogenic liquid oxygen combined with liquid hydrogen or methane. Initially, the propellant needed to fuel the space economy will be launched from Earth, as both the United Launch


Alliance (a joint-venture of Lockheed Martin and Boeing) and SpaceX have proposed to do in the near future. However, there is a much more attractive way to source the propellants needed to support a sustained human presence in space: mining it.

Mining The global mining industry has tumbled in recent years from a market value of more than $1.6 trillion in 2010, to $714 billion in 2016, but this may change quickly once the “global” definition of mining is transformed by the emerging space resource industry. Space resources can be extracted from celestial bodies, most notably asteroids and the Moon. Goldman Sachs released a report earlier this year that declared asteroid mining is more realistic than perceived, with costs “comparable to traditional mines”. The Goldman report also noted that “while the psychological barrier to mining asteroids is high, the actual financial and technological barriers are far lower.” The Government of Luxembourg believes so strongly in this emerging industry it recently created the $227 million Space Resoruces initiative to establish Luxembourg as a European hub for space resources. Its aim is to contribute to the peaceful exploration and sustainable utilization of space resources for the benefit of humankind. Space mining activities will initially focus on water and water-derived propellants to enable in-space infrastructure. Once this propellant is readily available, companies will begin sourcing structural metals for construction projects and eventually precious metals needed for in-space manufacturing or possibly for return to Earth.

Transportation The most important resource that will be mined in space is water. Water is critical for all life-support functions in space: sustenance, hygiene, and food production. Water can serve as an effective shield from the dangerous radiation present in

NZ Manufacturer December 2017 / January 2018


space. Water is also the single most important feedstock for in-space refineries, which will produce rocket propellants for sale to transportation providers. Making propellants available beyond Earth’s gravitational influence will lead to the creation of the first in-space superhighway – a series of fuel depots placed in strategic locations throughout the solar system. Imagine the growth potential of the energy, mining, and refining industries once they are freed from the constraints of an economy that is limited only to Earth. The in-space transportation and logistics firms who will consume these products are already well established and are headed by titans of industry: Jeff Bezos (Blue Origin), Elon Musk (SpaceX), Richard Branson (Virgin Galactic), and Tory Bruno (United Launch Alliance). The door is now open to in-space mining firms like Planetary Resources (backed by industrial giant Bechtel and the Government of Luxembourg) to capture this increasingly important market by providing water and water-based propellants to the space transportation industry.

Construction Today, the global construction industry competes with the energy industry for the title of the world’s largest industry, and this rivalry will continue in space. The first orbital construction systems will be deployed before the end of the decade. These robotic spacecraft will be capable of assembling large structures in orbit and repairing or refueling existing satellites. When combined with zero-gravity additive manufacturing techniques, this enables construction systems which can “print” and assemble massive structures in the medium of space. The future of construction in space will look nothing like it does on Earth, but it will be equally valuable because the techniques and service offerings will apply across the entire in-space value chain. A propellant refinery can be assembled on orbit.


Asteroid mines can be repaired autonomously. Solar power plants can be massively scaled and upgraded to meet the requirements of almost any project.

Hospitality and real estate Humans can only live, work and play in space if they have shelter from the harsh environment of space. Today, the International Space Station (ISS) has had a sustained human presence for over 10 years, but this too will soon change. Numerous commercial space station companies, including one created by billionaire hotel-chain-founder Robert Bigelow, are competing for lucrative contracts that range from supporting sovereign astronauts and high-net-worth tourists, to leasing space-in-space for orbital manufacturing and research and development programmes. This new industry is anticipated to generate $37 billion in the next decade alone. Space habitats will be launched from Earth initially, but as the resource supply chain expands and metals from asteroids and the Moon become available, this sector will also come to rely on resources sourced from space. Construction firms will combine high-quality metallic feedstocks with robotic orbital assembly fleets as we gain the ability to create orbital megastructures: hotels, factories, and permanent settlements that are no longer limited by size. The first cities in space will become possible as markets for real-estate on orbit emerge. Space will become affordable and profitable for developers. Our global economy is limited by its very name. When we realise that Earth’s economy is only the beginning, our concept of growth changes exponentially. For industrial firms who have the foresight to view space not as a stand-alone industry but as the next medium to conduct their business, the sky is not the limit. The only limitations are the ones we put on ourselves.


“Even if you fall on your face, you’re still moving forward.” -Victor Kiam

Artificial intelligence goes bilingual—without a dictionary Automatic language translation has come a long way, thanks to neural networks—computer algorithms that take inspiration from the human brain. But training such networks requires an enormous amount of data: millions of sentenceby-sentence translations to demonstrate how a human would do it. Now, two new papers show that neural networks can learn to translate with no parallel texts—a surprising advance that could make documents in many languages more accessible. “Imagine that you give one person lots of Chinese books and lots of Arabic books—none of them overlapping—and the person has to learn to translate Chinese to Arabic. That seems impossible, right?” says the first author of one study, Mikel Artetxe, a computer scientist at the University of the Basque Country (UPV) in San Sebastiàn, Spain. “But we show that a computer can do that.” Most machine learning—in which neural networks and other computer algorithms learn from experience—is “supervised.” A computer makes a guess, receives the right answer, and adjusts its process accordingly. That works well when teaching a computer to translate between, say, English and French, because many documents exist in both languages. It doesn’t work so well for rare languages, or for popular ones without many parallel texts. The two new papers, both of which have been submitted to next year’s International Conference on Learning Representations but have not been peer reviewed, focus on another method: unsupervised machine learning.

like a giant road atlas with words for cities, the maps for different languages will resemble each other, just with different names. A computer can then figure out the best way to overlay one atlas on another. Voilà! You have a bilingual dictionary. The new papers, which use remarkably similar methods, can also translate at the sentence level. They both use two training strategies, called back translation and denoising. In back translation, a sentence in one language is roughly translated into the other, then translated back into the original language. If the back-translated sentence is not identical to the original, the neural networks are adjusted so that next time they’ll be closer. Denoising is similar to back translation, but instead of going from one language to another and back, it adds noise to a sentence (by rearranging or removing words) and tries to translate that back into the original. Together, these methods teach the networks the deeper structure of language. There are slight differences between the techniques. The UPV system back translates more frequently during training. The other system, created by Facebook computer scientist Guillaume Lample, based in Paris, and collaborators, adds an extra step during translation. Both systems encode a sentence from one language into a more abstract representation before decoding it into the other language, but the Facebook system verifies that the intermediate “language” is truly abstract. Artetxe and Lample both say they could improve their results by applying techniques from the

other’s paper. In the only directly comparable results between the two papers— translating between English and French text drawn from the same set of about 30 million sentences— both achieved a bilingual evaluation understudy score (used to measure the accuracy of translations) of about 15 in both directions. That’s not as high as Google Translate, a supervised method that scores about 40, or humans, who can score more than 50, but it’s better than word-for-word translation. The authors say the systems could easily be improved by becoming semisupervised– having a few thousand parallel sentences added to their training. In addition to translating between languages without many parallel texts, both Artetxe and Lample say their systems could help with common pairings like English and French if the parallel texts are all the same kind, like newspaper reporting, but you want to translate into a new domain, like street slang or medical jargon. “This is in infancy,” Artetxe’s co-author Eneko Agirre cautions. “We just opened a new research avenue, so we don’t know where it’s heading.” “It’s a shock that the computer could learn to translate even without human supervision,” says Di He, a computer scientist at Microsoft in Beijing whose work influenced both papers. Artetxe says the fact that his method and Lample’s—uploaded to arXiv within a day of each other—are so similar is surprising. “But at the same time, it’s great. It means the approach is really in the right direction.”

To start, each constructs bilingual dictionaries without the aid of a human teacher telling them when their guesses are right. That’s possible because languages have strong similarities in the ways words cluster around one another. The words for table and chair, for example, are frequently used together in all languages. So if a computer maps out these co-occurrences

Computers might soon translate between many more languages.



NZ Manufacturer December 2017 / January 2018



“There is only one way to avoid criticism: do nothing, say nothing, and be nothing.” -Aristotle

Nuance Power PDF fuels efficiency and productivity at NZ food company The merger between Foodstuffs Wellington and Foodstuffs Auckland Co-operatives prompted Foodstuffs North Island Limited to review its software. This process included assessing the various PDF solutions which were already in use by staff, as well as alternative PDF solutions available in the marketplace. Foodstuffs North Island’s goal was to identify and implement a PDF solution that delivered value for money, capability and easy deployment. Their quest led them to Nuance Power PDF. “As a result of the merger we discovered that staff were using a mix of software particularly when it came to PDF solutions. These included various versions of Adobe Acrobat, Nuance PDF Converter, PDF Create and a whole host of other PDF software. Supporting all these PDF solutions was untenable and we needed to identify the best PDF fit for our people,” explained Rachael Butterworth, Foodstuffs North Island, Software Asset and IT Administrator. One of the key criteria the chosen PDF solution had to deliver was value for money. “We have a large number of finance staff who are our primary users of PDF software, so we needed a solution that was monetarily viable given the quantity of licenses required. We looked at the free PDF software available but it lacked functionality. This was also true for many of the cheaper PDF products on the market. “Some of the other solutions we looked at were cloud based and required both a license fee and an annual subscription, making them

an expensive option. So we focused on non-cloud options and zeroed in on Nuance Power PDF. This solution was highly competitive. In fact, after examining costs we found that Nuance Power PDF was up to 80% cheaper than some of its competitors,” said Rachael. However, while Nuance Power PDF was cost competitive, Rachael was also keen not to forgo functionality for price. The chosen software had to provide other important features including allowing staff to easily mark up PDF documents, highlight sections, make changes, add and delete pages, search documents as well as convert, extract and import data. In addition, because the software was primarily used by the finance team, the ability to manipulate numerical data without losing or distorting figures, tables and diagrams was a must. After examining Nuance Power PDF, it was apparent that the software could more than meet the needs of Foodstuffs North Island. “Nuance Power PDF is very feature-rich and reliable. Staff can do a lot with the software, including extracting numerical tables and diagrams and dropping them into their financial reports without fear of them becoming corrupted. In fact, I don’t think we realised the extent of the software’s capability until we rolled it out,” remarked Rachael. Joanne Matthews, Manager of Non Stock – GRIR for Foodstuffs North Island agrees. “Nuance Power PDF offers the user ample capability and this has greatly helped us improve the efficiency of our processes.

“We use the software to electronically process invoices that accompany statements, but which have no purchase numbers attached to them. In the past, these invoices were printed, the purchase number written on the invoice, then scanned and resubmitted into the system. “This was frustrating and very time consuming. With Nuance Power PDF, this is all now done electronically and within minutes, and has helped us save time, be more productive and improve processes.” The team also uses the software to compare documents side-by-side explained Joanne. ‘Past invoices can be compared side-by-side with current invoices. If anything needs to be queried it is highlighted or extracted with a few simple clicks before emailing it back to the supplier. In the past, all of this was done manually, which again was both laborious and time intensive.’ Foodstuffs’ finance team also uses the software to convert PDFs to Microsoft Word, Excel and PowerPoint. Nuance Power PDF does this with ease and most importantly, accurately. This in turn helps to increase the team’s productivity as information is not lost

or corrupted. Nuance Power PDF has also helped the organisation become increasingly paperless. “Although this was not a goal that we identified, it is nevertheless a very welcomed by-product of using the software. As staff no longer have to print documents to get their work done, we have cut back on paper, which is helping us become increasingly paper free,” said Rachael. Apart from helping staff save on time and paper, and improve internal processes, Nuance Power PDF is also easy to use according to Rachael. “From an individual user perspective you don’t need to be an IT guru to work Power PDF, you only need some common sense. And it’s just as simple to deploy and manage. We just add or delete it to our Active Directory Group. It requires minimal management and maintenance which is very much appreciated when you’re busy providing IT services and support to a large number of staff.”

HERA welcomes new CEO Dr Troy Coyle joins the HERA team as its new CEO from the beginning of next year. within the Australian university and Government systems. Troy has strong leadership and communication skills and has great experience formulating policies and getting key messages across the line.

Troy was the standout for the position. The role is rather demanding as we are not only a research provider but also an industry association requiring a multitude of skills and Troy ticks all of the boxes.”

Troy comes to HERA with extensive experience in innovation, research management and product development, most recently as Head of Innovation and Product Development & Pacific Islands Export Manager at New Zealand Steel.

HERA Executive Chairman Mike Lehan says “following the announcement at the Metals Conference that HERA Director Dr Wolfgang Scholz was retiring after some 31 years of service (the last 17 as Director), it was great to see that there was high level of interest for the position.”

She has also held numerous positions and roles with the Australian parent company BlueScope Steel and

“All of the shortlisted candidates were of exceptional quality and showed a high degree of capability, however,

“Troy is no stranger to HERA as she has served on the HERA Executive for four years, she was elected Deputy Chair last year and now joins us as HERA’s first female CEO. During her time on the Executive she has contributed a great deal to the association including leading the way in setting up the framework for HERA’s future strategy and governance.”


NZ Manufacturer December 2017 / January 2018


“The challenge for HERA now is to


continue “Innovation in Metals” and fulfil our mission to be the catalyst for innovation for our members. Being industry owned, HERA is in a unique position to influence this and Troy’s qualifications and experience will bring fresh energy to this endeavour.” “I would also like to acknowledge Wolfgang’s exceptional dedication and contribution to the development of HERA and our industry over the last 31 years. We are fortunate that Wolfgang, although entitled to retire owning a gold card and wanting more time for his hobbies and family, looks forward for a change in di


“The more I want to get something done, the less I call it work.” -Richard Bach

Two considerations for manufacturers looking to export to the US Andrew Watson, Executive Director, Export Finance, Efic Australia’s largest export markets in 2025 will be China, Japan, India and the USA, according to a new report from Austrade. Such forecasts are crucial for small businesses thinking about ensuring access to the growth markets of the future.

prepared for it when it comes. Your export strategy should look at the capital you will require for growth overseas, what costs and expenses you estimate you will encounter, and how you will source the finance to support your plans.

For Australia’s manufacturing industry, the US has been a significant export market for many years. American consumers in general have a favourable view of Australian made products. Yet reputation alone, however, is not enough to make it in a new market.

To avoid a funding shortfall, it’s important to understand the financing options available. If it’s a cashflow issue, you should consider protecting your business with strong contracts with the buyer and favourable payment terms.

Manufacturers thinking about exporting should be aware of some core challenges before making the decision to export. Not the least of these is understanding the capital needs of your business and where to access finance. Pared Eyewear, a QLD-based eyewear design studio which exports to the US, is a great example of an Australian manufacturer that has overcome challenges and successfully launched into a new market. The company’s journey provides useful learnings for other manufacturers who are looking to break into the US. 1. Be prepared for substantial growth It’s one thing to want growth for your business, it’s another thing to be

Since its inception, Pared Eyewear has grown rapidly. By its third year of business, Pared Eyewear’s export sales outweighed its domestic sales by almost two to one. In 2016, the company secured a coveted order from a top-tier department store in the US, Nordstrom. “When you’re manufacturing sunglasses, the minimum orders are high – about 500 per style,” Baker says. “Nordstrom ordered 12 styles, which meant we had to order 6,000 pieces. But I didn’t know how we would fund that order,” says Baker. “You need to place deposits, get stock delivered from the factory, and cover ongoing operations such as paying for freight, labour, and travel costs to visit warehouses and get things set up. We wouldn’t see payment until 45 to 60

days after delivery.”


Efic’s online Small Business Export Loan (SBEL) provided Pared Eyewear with quick access to the cashflow it needed to deliver on the order. The loan gives small businesses access to finance through an online process, whereby companies can access from $20,000 to $350,000 to support export contracts. The application can be completed online through Efic’s portal, EficDirect, which reduces both time and cost for companies who need to get export finance quickly.

“Networks can encompass everything from friends, peers and other companies operating in similar markets, professionals such as lawyers and accountants, mentors and advisers, government contacts, and critically, market partners,” says Baker.

2. Build your networks with key partners The US has a population of 321 million. In such a large and competitive market, a small business cannot expect to take on the whole of the US and expect their products to be widely received by consumers. It’s therefore crucial to make connections with the right partners who can fast track your journey, put you in touch with useful contacts, and help map out the exact market segment of the US you would like to target. According to Pared Eyewear co-founder, Edward Baker, “Expanding and investing overseas takes a lot of work, which is why it is crucial you have the right relationships to make it

At the suggestion of its business mentor, Pared Eyewear attended US tradeshows to meet customers face to face and build its network. “Your networks in the US are crucial. We are well-known for our partnerships and collaborations, so without strong relationships and networks, we wouldn’t be in the position that we are today. If you don’t know where to start, Austrade has on-the-ground representatives in a wide range of markets who can help you with introductions by setting up appointments with buyers that are a good fit for you,” says Baker. The US will continue to remain a key market for Australian manufacturers, and for those who have an export plan that takes finance and network contacts into account, the chances of achieving success will increase dramatically. For more information on the small business export loan, please visit: https://www.efic.gov.au/sbel/

Canterbury-based rehab innovators achieve international medical device certification With a mission to bring comfort and functionality to people living with complex rehabilitation needs, Canterbury-based company Medifab, who design, manufacture and export specialist seating and disability equipment, have achieved ISO 13485:2016 certification – the internationally recognised standard that guides medical device manufacturers in implementing quality management systems to achieve industry distinction. Trusted and recognised by regulatory authorities across the world, ISO 13485 demonstrates a commitment and excellence to producing medical devices that meet rigorous safety, quality and efficacy standards: a certificate that most major markets require from medical manufacturers looking to sell products in their country. “We’re thrilled to attain the ISO 13485

certification,” explains Medifab’s Managing Director, Roger Mascull. “Now Medifab is globally compliant to the highest applicable industry standard, we can advance our global aspirations. The certificate offers peace of mind for local government healthcare procurement and gives us the licence to operate internationally.” The disciplines involved in attaining and maintaining this prized certification outcome has elevated Medifab’s processes, systems and procedures, which Roger says will continue to enhance the company’s developments. “We’re always committed to improving our products and processes. And now we have this certification, we can continue to shape better lives on a global scale. This is a huge achievement and is a credit to the dedication of everyone at Medifab.’” With the addition of ISO 13485 to its

impressive list of ISO 9001 and 14001 certifications, Medifab’s commitment to quality, service and the environment is reinforced and places it as one of the highest quality manufacturing facilities in the whole of New Zealand. ‘We’ve been working very hard for the past 12 months to earn this certification. The whole company, from the engineers and production teams through to the sales and logistics teams, have demonstrated great collaboration and determination to achieve this certification on our first application’ says Stuart Clook, Medifab’s Quality and Regulatory Manager.

Established in 1990 and built from the ground up by a Kiwi family, the company’s innovation and success comes down to their genuine desire to help people living with disabilities. Working closely with therapists, carers and clients, their customer-focussed approach and ‘whatever it takes’ attitude has enabled them to provide break-through technologies that shape better lives every day.

Grown from small beginnings, Medifab’s story has been driven by a single-minded purpose – to bring comfort and functionality to people living with disabilities.



NZ Manufacturer December 2017 / January 2018



“It’s a very sobering feeling to be up in space and realise that one’s safety factor was determined by the lowest bidder on a government contract.” -Alan Shepard

Australia’s luck is running out

Could the Fourth Industrial Revolution change that? Australians have much to be proud of regarding their country’s economic success. In June, the country broke the developed world’s record for the longest run of uninterrupted growth. Yet the uncomfortable reality is that Australia is not where it used to be, nor where it could be. According to the IMF’s analysis, Australia’s average growth is almost a full percentage point lower per year than before the global financial crisis; growth in non-mining sectors is weak despite declines in real interest rates; and wage growth has been disappointing. The IMF calls this confluence of factors “symptoms of the new mediocre”. In this light, Australia’s consistent run of growth, while positive, could be seen as fortuitous complacency rather than genuine dynamism. Perhaps it’s worth remembering that the phrase “the lucky country” was coined by David Horne in 1964 as a kick in the pants to a parochial, regionally disconnected country relying too heavily on natural resources to buttress its quality of life. Given that after decades of global technological growth, over 80% of Australia’s exports by value are minerals, metals, stone, foodstuffs and wood, it might be time to again ask, as Horne did: “Have the conditions that led to so much success also weakened adaptability and slowed down the reflexes of survival?” The question is apt, because we are

currently witnessing the emergence of a range of extraordinary new technologies. Artificial intelligence, distributed ledgers, additive manufacturing and many more herald a range of radical transformations that won’t just affect how we do business. They are also in the process of challenging our identities and institutions, radically altering how we relate to one another, and even raising the question of what it means to be human. This period of social, economic and political change, marked by the convergence of digital, biological and physical technologies, is what we call the Fourth Industrial Revolution. It represents a huge opportunity for Australia, one that can make use of Australia’s best asset: a highly-educated population.

Australia’s consistent run of growth could be coming to an end. How should the country react?

on digital capabilities and to innovate in ways that can help Australians not just adapt to a new world, but to shape it directly.

intelligence approaches such as deep learning leads to higher growth rates, at least for firms fully committed to them.

The Fourth Industrial Revolution is not about simply promoting innovation writ large, or espousing the benefits of digital technology, although both are important. Around the world today, entrepreneurs and organizations are building entirely new systems to create, exchange and distribute value.

Assuming we do take this opportunity: what’s in it for Australia? Faster growth is certainly one outcome. Research by NESTA for the UK found a tight correlation between firm-level innovation and firm growth rates - in effect, a virtuous circle for value-adding enterprises that were willing and able to scale both investment and employment simultaneously.

The prize is large. A recent report from AlphaBeta estimated that Australia could boost its national income by more than $2 trillion between now and 2030 if it doubles investments in automation technologies such as artificial intelligence and robotics.

The opportunity presented by the Fourth Industrial Revolution is to build

And, while data is scarce, McKinsey reports that adopting recent artificial

While such a transition will require providing support to millions of workers whose jobs will change, failure to adapt to global trends in automation will result in a less competitive industry and shift stress onto other areas of the economy. But growth rates are a means, not an end. The GDP numbers reported quarterly by the Reserve Bank are, after all, just a way of keeping score. For Australians to feel that new technologies, new business models and new labour market structures are truly beneficial, they should improve people’s lives in meaningful ways.

So what should Australians do to keep the luck flowing? First, we need to collaborate better and more often – both across firms and across sectors.

You will need to keep an inventory of all the hazardous substances in your workplace.


NZ Manufacturer November 2017



Australia’s Industry Monitor 2016 reports that the level of collaboration between Australian firms is well below the OECD average, while the percentage of Australian firms collaborating with universities and other non-commercial research


“Success at the highest level comes down to one question: Can you decide that your happiness can come from someone else’s success? “ -Bill Walton

right ingredients to make the most of the Fourth Industrial Revolution. Second, we need to accelerate both the development and adoption of new technologies across Australian businesses, non-profit organisations and the public sector. One challenge is cutting through both the hype and fear around emerging technologies; demystifying topics like artificial intelligence, for example, to encourage more Australians to have a go and put them to use to solve local challenges.

organisations is among the lowest in the OECD. Meanwhile, trust levels across sectors are low: only 40% of the general public have trust in Australian institutions, according to the Edelman 2017 Barometer, and only 26% of Australians find CEOs to be credible – a drop of 13% on the previous year. Conversely, Australia’s biotech sector contains

growing all the

elements for success: highly skilled labour, collaboration with research institutions, robust entrepreneurship, government support, and industry partnerships. Working together across stakeholder groups can be a huge boon for innovation, given that innovation often requires seeking out alternative sets of knowledge and a mixing of institutional and social cultures, emerging from new perspectives on

familiar objects and problems. How automation is set to change the way Australians work Image: AlphaBeta

AusBiotech’s Industry Position Survey 2017 highlights that this last year was the strongest on record, with more than 77% of companies expecting to grow. From investors to policy-makers, collaboration within the biotechnology sector shows that Australia has the

Having a go means investing in people - not just future generations, but today’s workforce and ourselves. As Australian entrepreneur Jeremy Howard has shown with his non-profit training programme fast. ai, deep-learning approaches are accessible to anyone with a little coding experience and access to low-cost cloud computing services. Atlassian’s Mike Cannon-Brookes has called out the need for more resources in technology training, specifically software engineering, and has highlighted the challenge of having to import almost half of the senior positions in a technology-driven company because of a lack of local expertise. Finally, and perhaps most importantly, we need a deep and engaging public conversation about what we want from the new technology age. We are lucky to live at the beginning of the Fourth Industrial Revolution. The opportunity exists to shape our future relationship with technology to be more inclusive, and to enable a fair and sustainable future. But this opportunity must be grasped, and requires thinking deeply and discussing broadly what matters most for cultivating a flourishing society and charting a new course for prosperity. We owe it to ourselves to make sure that the Fourth Industrial Revolution not only generates a dynamic economy but also serves the public interest. And as George Megalogenis alluded to in his 2016 Quarterly Essay, we can’t afford to panic at the prospect of describing our shared future. Here, we can turn again to what Horne saw as the virtues of the Australian public. In the Fourth Industrial Revolution, perhaps even more so than in the 1960s, we should build on the good qualities of Australians: their tolerance, sense of fair play, adaptability, scepticism, courage and talent for improvisation. It’s good to be lucky. In turbulent times, making our own luck is even better.



NZ Manufacturer November 2017


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