COMMENT Finding the right direction in times of great change.
COMPANY PROFILE Connection Technologies Limited – the next 20 years.
23 CLIMATE CHANGE What’s not to disrupt.
Transform manufacturing from Offshoring to Rightshoring in three easy steps CAD Software for clever designers and smart manufacturers
-Pavaavo Kakela After two decades of offshore productions in low-cost countries, manufacturers are now struggling with the rapidly growing salaries and counter-effects of cheap production.
New 2020 version due for release next month
The question that industries are asking today is: do we continue offshoring or should we consider reshoring? The right answer, according to Paavo Kakela, the CEO of EID Robotics, who provides modular micro-factory systems, is that manufacturers should transform their operations to rightshoring. In this article, he explains the three steps you need to establish a profitable rightshoring model – a business case, strategy, and technology! In the 1990s, the US manufacturers were sold by the lower cost of Asian labour. This is how the global offshoring boom started in Asia. In the millennium, offshoring peaked, and it maintained this growth trend until 2010 – the year when the US domestic manufacturing employment rates reached the all-time lows.
Offshoring Troubles How times have changed. Since then, manufacturing salaries in Asia have risen dramatically, and manufacturers have experienced the flip side of cheap overseas production: these include low quality, high duties and taxes, expensive freight costs, bloated inventories, and long lead times. China’s 2017 National Intelligence Law, which requires Chinese companies to contribute to national intelligence, has made intellectual property thefts a nightmare. Environmental and social issues are causing substantial damage to manufacturers’ reputations. Lastly, the rise of protectionist policies and continuous global uncertainty has turned the tide for offshoring – it simply doesn’t guarantee profits anymore.
Brilliant, Affordable, Easy to learn, Easy to use. Rapid advancements in automation technologies, robotics, and predictive analytics have propelled reshoring, since 2010 to become a more prominent alternative for offshoring. According to pro-reshoring industry coalition, Reshoring Initiative, for the first time since 1970, reshoring generated more manufacturing jobs in 2016 in the US, than what was offshored overseas. In 2017, a record number of 170,000 manufacturing jobs were announced in the US. A year later, a total of 145,000 jobs were announced by 1,389 companies.
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Benefits of Reshoring The benefits of reshoring sound great. How can you, as manufacturer resist these perks: tax incentives, higher quality, shorter lead times, smaller inventories,
continued on Page 8
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2020 with Editorial Calendar
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The Circular Economy
www.nzmanufacturer.co.nz Emex 2020
CONTENTS 1 4
DEPARTMENTS LEAD EDITORIAL EMEX is 40 years old.
MANUFACTURING TECHNOLOGY Soul Machines raises capital to advance collaboration. How viable is additive manufacturing? Retrofitting legacy equipment. How 3D manufacturing will transform design and engineering in the future.
5G is about to change the world in ways we can’t imagine yet.
Everyday designs you probably have never noticed. Marsden Fund grant supports UC study on ‘killer robots’ debate. Discovering your own strengths in industry. Rocket Lab to use Siemens software.
Cheap lookalikes. Food secure products globally compliant with hygiene and food safety regulations. Voumard 1000 new standard for ID grinding in manufacturing.
Dr Troy Coyle
Is HERA Director, she 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.
ANALYSIS Factories no longer the sure route to prosperity. Electric car sales tripled last year. Here’s what we can do to keep them growing.
Recycling breakthrough set to save environment from toxic acid waste. New trade deal will boost NZ tech.
Is the executive director of The Manufacturers’ Network. He has a Ph.D. in plant biotechnology, consulting and senior management roles in R&D, innovation and international business development.
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.
CLIMATE CHANGE This is what we can really do about climate change. What’s not to disrupt? Affordable energy storage lacking.
Is Chief Executive of BusinessNZ, New Zealand’s largest business advocacy body. He has held a range of senior positions at Westpac and is a barrister and solicitor.
Is the Chief Executive of the Canterbury Employers’ Chamber of Commerce (the Chamber).and is a strong voice for Canterbury business.
Young women encouraged to engineer a career.
Connection Technologies – the next 20 years.
Dr. Dieter Adam
A year in focus for HERA.
Finding the right direction in times of great change.
Transform manufacturing from Offshoring to Rightshoring in three easy steps.
EMA chief executive Brett O’Riley has a background in technology and economic development. Brett actually grew up with manufacturing, in the family business, Biggins & Co. He currently holds board roles with Wine Grenade and Dotterel Technologies and is also on the NZ Film Commission board.
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Good will come from climate change – we just don’t know how yet. The way we adapt and the technologies and tools we use will determine our future. And – because technology change is so rapid – keep us on our toes as we continue to refine our products and our companies’ future direction.
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In Australia, after a devastating few months, rebuilding has commenced throughout the regions of the east coast. It is believed that with the impact of the bushfires there will not be the possibility of a similar event for four years. Hopefully never again! It gives some space – a window of opportunity for the Australian people to consider different and new ways to deal with Climate Change and review the way they have been allowed to tackle bushfire clearance methods and burn off.
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This year sees the 40th anniversary of EMEX, the major manufacturing and technology exhibition in New Zealand. Held every two years, EMEX places prominence on our manufacturers and technology which supports company success and forward planning.
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EMEX also brings together industry technocrats and experts who speak on issues which affect our day by day operations. NZ Manufacturer, as a media partner with XPO Exhibitions will again run Preview issues of this trade show – in March and April, with a Review in May issue.
Vol.11 No. 1 FEBRUARY 2020
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 February 2020 /
Welcome to February issue of NZ Manufacturer – the first issue of the year. At the end of 2019, I put together the Media Kit for this year and, as always, was the challenge of gathering feedback on what readers want to read and be informed about. Needless to say, Climate Change sits right up the top of the list as a major area of concern. It involves refocussing our business strategies, environmental care and the way in which we develop our products for key markets.
Holly Green, Dieter Adam, HERA, Lewis Woodward, Gail Broadbent, Graciela Metternicht
EMEX is forty years old
Contact me if your company would like to be included. Very favourable rates apply, and articles are published free of charge on products and services your company as an exhibitor will display at the show. firstname.lastname@example.org If you would like a copy of the Media Kit 2020 send an email and we will send one to you.
Success Through Innovation
COMMENT Finding the right direction in times of great change -Dieter Adam, The Manufacturers Network
Returning from Europe recently, I found myself on an airplane watching Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid. If you don’t know the story it is loosely based on two Wild West outlaws Butch Cassidy played by Paul Newman, and his partner the “Sundance Kid” played by Robert Redford. The pair are on the run from a crack US posse after a string of train robberies and forced to flee to Bolivia in search of a more successful criminal career. I had seen the film before, but this time I watched it from a manufacturing perspective.
girlfriend, played Katherine Ross. When they eventually realise they need to adjust their business model, they do so half-heartedly and use their first failure as an excuse to revert to the ‘tried and true’ method, only to ultimately fail spectacularly in the face of overwhelming regulatory action. This movie could act as a great ‘how not to’ guide for manufacturers in times of uncertainty and change.
combustion engine model, just like Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid. It is safe to assume that the increasing pressure to account for and reduce greenhouse-gas footprints in Europe will also increase for New Zealand’s manufacturers in the near future. Sooner for some industries than others. Even where we sell B2B, consumer pressures will be pushed down the supply chain without warning, something we are already seeing in the German car industry.
These two ‘experts’ run a small, highly specialised and profitable business. They could be considered leading operators in their field and they have impressive brand recognition.
A living example of this in the real world is in the German car industry, which has largely been accused of napping at the wheel’ when it comes to switching from internal combustion engines (ICE) to electric power.
As the regulatory environ¬ment changes, they ultimately realise that their business model is unsustainable, but instead of changing the model, they opt to take their current operations to a different market.
An article I read while in Germany detailed job cuts in the German economy in 2019. Four out of the top five companies listed were car manufacturers - Audi, Continental, VW and Ford. Between them they have announced job cuts totalling 28,500.
Borge Brende, President of the World Economic Forum, recently pointed out that the pressure to operate responsibly will not only come from customers, it will be driven by employees, and those we are keen to attract as employees. That will be the time to put down your pistols and stop robbing trains.
That is initially unsuccessful, mainly because of a lack of understanding of local conditions, including language, and a lack of ability and willingness to acquire the necessary knowledge, in spite of the best efforts of their ‘consultant’, the Sundance Kid’s
The downsizing was attributed chiefly to a move to electric vehicles - the manufacture of an electric motor is much simpler than that of a modern diesel engine. While this change was inevitable, there was obvious resistance to let go of the internal
A priority for The Manufacturers Network in 2020 is our commitment to work with members to help prepare for a ‘carbon-constrained’ future. We will begin a series of meetings on the topic soon so please look out for more details.
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NZ Manufacturer February 2020
Metal 3D printing for jigs & fixtures Essential to lean manufacturing, the production of custom jigs and fixtures is often deprioritized against a long list of manufacturing needs. In-house metal 3D printing enables the rapid production of a jig or fixture that is optimized for a specific need. Typically, a full production line includes multiple manufacturing operations—broaching or boring holes, welding, assembly, and machining critical dimensions. An increase in production volume also increases the need for consistency and reliability across all operations to ensure parts and assemblies perform as intended. Designed for a specific part or task, custom jigs and fixtures are critical to ensuring repeatability and precision at each stage of manufacturing to render parts that are optimized for their application.
traditional manufacturing can present significant limitations to the design—prohibiting the development of a custom part that is better suited for the job.
Often, in order to manufacture custom jigs and fixtures, engineers are forced to piece together off-the-shelf components as a temporary solution while they wait for the custom tools to be machined and assembled. In addition to long lead times,
In-house metal 3D printing allows engineers to produce jigs and fixtures quickly using a design optimized for the specific need. And the ability to produce replacement parts on-demand is critical to operational efficiency.
3D printing conformal jigs & fixtures Conformal jigs and fixtures are designed to adhere to the shape
of the part that is being manufactured while enabling an even distribution of the clamping forces. Often, this includes intricate designs that are difficult—or nearly impossible—to machine. One of the key benefits of additive manufacturing is design flexibility. With 3D printing, part cost and fabrication time do not increase with design complexity, so custom jigs and fixtures that meet the needs of the application are easier and cheaper to produce. Additionally, processes like Bound Metal Deposition™ (BMD™) enable print-in-place assemblies, part consolidation, and part light-weighting with the use of closed-cell infill for lightweight strength. Bringing the benefits of metal 3D printing in-house reduces lead times associated with the production of custom jigs and fixtures—compared to machining or leveraging a third-party print shop. Manufacturers can more easily prototype parts to further
optimize the design and produce replacement parts on-demand so to avoid disrupting the product development timeline.
Metal vs plastic Many jigs and fixtures must be made of metal to comply with the conditions of the manufacturing environment. Plastic parts will distort under high heat or when exposed to abrasives. Metal is much stronger, stiffer, and more durable than plastic so, if it will be subjected to significant forces, metal jigs and fixtures are required to prevent deflection and preserve repeatability. Alternative metal additive manufacturing methods, like Powder Bed Fusion (PBF), present processes that are too costly due to expensive hardware and materials. Also, they require several secondary operations which add to labor costs and lead time. Even for manufacturers who have PBF machines in-house, using them to produce parts in low volume is too cost-prohibitive and time-consuming to be a viable solution. The Studio System enables rapid iteration and allows manufacturers produce parts in-house and on-demand at a lower cost-per-part. Designs are optimized for the specific need— enabling the production of custom jigs or fixtures that are built to perform while contributing to an increase in overall operational efficiency.
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MANUFACTURING TECHNOLOGY continued from Page 1
Transform manufacturing from Offshoring to Rightshoring in three easy steps while also meeting fluctuating customer demands quickly, easier collaboration, skilled and innovative workers, and protected intellectual property. Selling locally made, premium-priced products, eliminating import duties, and reducing transportation costs can increase profits substantially. So, the benefits of reshoring can eventually exceed the savings that firms get due to low overseas wages. Despite its lucrative benefits, however, reshoring is not as easy as you think.
Reshoring Challenges Many companies have reshored at least a part of their production. However, most companies still continue their manufacturing in Asia – simply because it’s often more cost-efficient, due to the vast infrastructure that has been built up in the region over the past decades. Some countries have lost skilled manufacturing engineers, technicians, and tooling specialists as a result of offshoring. The recruitment could become a severe roadblock for large-scale reshoring. Further barriers include the high labour costs of the West, and, in turn, the expensive energy costs found in Europe. Interestingly, a survey by the Manufacturing Group of the University of Warwick, which was conducted for the industry body, Reshoring UK, found that only 13 percent of companies have directly reshored. However, 52 percent have reshored indirectly – this means, instead of rather bringing the bulk of production home, they built additional capacity at home. Reshoring in large volumes to Europe or the US is difficult and costly. As a result, the forerunner industries have stopped thinking of whether to offshore or reshore. Instead, they have moved onto seeking strategies for rightshoring! A smart rightshoring strategy can generate positive economic net-value and deliver a competitive advantage in the long-term and help to contribute to a more sustainable future.
How Can I Build a Profitable Rightshoring Model? There is no single rightshoring model that works for every manufacturer. We developed a 3-step approach to plan rightshoring: this involves having a business case, a strategy, and technology. We suggest you start by calculating the Return on Investment (ROI) to see if there is a business case that will work for your company!
Business Case Rightshoring is just like any other investment – it must pay back the initial costs, or otherwise, it’s not worth pursuing. Calculate the ROI for local manufacturing to determine if reshoring makes economic sense for your company.
has been inferior product quality, which increases the costs in multiple ways – through customer reclamations, re-production, waste, and lost sales. For example, an LED tube manufacturer with an annual production capacity of one million units, could reduce the share of faulty units from 3.5 percent to 0.5 percent - by moving production from a Chinese factory to a fully automated micro-factory in the US.
Supply Chain Benefits The simplified supply chain is a crucial benefit in rightshoring. It saves money because of the lower working capital. In the case of the LED tube manufacturer, the delivery time was reduced from 5 weeks to 1 week by radically streamlining the supply chain. You can stack up savings from reduced logistics costs, shorter lead times, more accurate forecasting, better flexibility, smaller inventories, and reduced waste and obsoletion.
Additional Sales through Higher Brand Value
Automation Technology Let’s face it, reshoring or rightshoring won’t work out simply by moving your overseas production lines home. Cost-efficient and competitive manufacturing in the Western continent requires a lean, centralized organisation, one that is extensively robotised, with automated production, big data, and predictive maintenance algorithms. By harnessing advanced manufacturing technologies, you can minimise the initial CAPEX and risks, reduce operational costs in the long run, and gain maximum flexibility in your operations. Agility and scalability are crucial for efficient rightshoring. To get this right, you will need a modular micro-factory platform, which allows you to increase the investment gradually, in line with the
Even in the commoditised LED tube market, the price of a local product was estimated to be 12 percent higher compared to Chinese products.
You can add additional modules later if, for instance,
Additionally, domestic products can sometimes open you to the public procurement markets.
If there are several distribution plants involved, a
the operational team and remotely support the
Micro-factory lines can be installed in one workday. If you need to change your product design suddenly, they allow for easy modifications and updates. testing or packaging is needed. The setup time for installing new modules can be counted in hours. Cloud-based control solution allows you to centralise
To create a rightshoring strategy in today’s complicated, highly competitive, and globally networked world, is not easy. By asking yourself the right questions, it can help to you approach the strategy – for example, by answering ‘yes’ to these questions might help you decide the case for reshoring or rightshoring:
on-site field engineers to guarantee minimum
• Do you want to protect your immaterial property rights by manufacturing locally? Or do you want to develop a new manufacturing process in conjunction with your R&D?
For an uninterrupted operation, big data is
• Are you making high-margin, short-run products designed for local markets? Or are you serving multiple seasons with regional variations?
they stop the production line.
• Do you need to reduce lead times because of customised products, frequent updates, or highly variable regional demands?
Since the beginning of history, manufacturing
• Does your company have a global system for sourcing raw materials with regional manufacturing, and local distribution?
manufacturers quickly started to board the reshoring
One of the biggest offshoring disappointments
• Do you have significant production volumes,
NZ Manufacturer February 2020 /
Cost Savings due to Higher Quality
manufacturing, or special logistics requirements?
As a local manufacturer, you can tag a Made in New Zealand, Made in USA or Made in Europe label on your products. Depending on the sector, the selling price for domestic products can be as high as double compared to imported products.
• Do you have exceptionally high transport costs, or are you transporting a lot of individual parts? Could you optimise costs by manufacturing pre-assembly modules near the needed raw materials if there were cost-efficient, highly robotised micro-factories?
Here are the three primary value contributors to consider:
downtime in the process with lower OPEX. When new, updated parts are needed, regardless of a different size or form factor, vision-guided general feeders can enable quick and easy changes to new parts. continuously collected from your product lines and analysed in the Cloud. In case of any deviations in the process, problems can be fixed remotely before
In Conclusion has been in a continuous state of transformation. When the global offshoring boom came to its end, strategy. However, the world is becoming an ever-changing and complicated business environment. In the future, the winning manufacturers are those who are the quickest to harness the new technologies, including automation, robotics, and data analytics – and those who can carve out a smart, agile, and scalable rightshoring strategy!
MANUFACTURING TECHNOLOGY Nintex rolls out enterprise-class capabilities for robotic process Nintex RPA Central is a valuable set of enterprise-grade robotic process automation (RPA) capabilities to help organisations accelerate their digital transformation. Nintex RPA Central features an intuitive, powerful web-based interface and includes robust enterprise-grade encryption and role-based access controls. The new enterprise-class RPA offering provides end-users a sophisticated, centralised location to orchestrate, administer and secure RPA bots. RPA Central delivers advanced role-based security and control features, giving users access to the power of Nintex RPA while ensuring that IT and Operations professionals have full control. Nintex RPA Central provides a one-stop location for securely administering your RPA bots, task assignments and users. Nintex’s process platform and RPA capabilities make it fast, easy, and cost-effective for every organisation to successfully manage, automate, and optimise enterprise-wide business processes.
Designed from the ground-up on modern technologies, Nintex RPA Central paves the way for deeper integrations between process mapping and management, workflows, and RPA. Benefits to administrators include: -- Quickly and easily manage bots, tasks, licenses, and users -- Efficiently publish and unpublish botflows -- Authority to review, approve or deny bots from joining Nintex RPA Central -- Protected, encrypted communication between Nintex RPA Central and RPA bots -- High security requirement with Active Directory Authentication -- Botflows are fully encrypted and protected in an on-premise SQL database Nintex RPA is a capability of the Nintex Process Platform, a complete, powerful and easy-to-use process management and automation solution that thousands of organisations in every industry use to turn manual, time-consuming processes into
automated ones. Nintex customers and partners that leverage the Nintex platform gain immediate competitive advantages by delivering process apps in hours or days to expedite digital transformation and improve the customer experience. Nintex also announced the availability of the new Nintex RPA for SAP Connector for on-premises SAP implementations. This powerful connector allows organisations using SAP solutions to access on-premises SAP implementations through their user interfaces, mimicking human keystrokes and mouse clicks to enable enterprise-grade automation without the use of application programming interfaces (APIs).
Soul Machines raises capital to advance collaboration Soul Machines, the ground-breaking company re-imagining how humans connect with machines, has announced its US$40 million series B financing. Soul Machines is an AGI Research company developing the world’s leading Autonomous Animation platform to help humanise brands and the ways people engage with them. The investment was led by Temasek from Singapore, with participation from Lakestar, a leading European Venture Fund, and Salesforce Ventures, along with further investment from existing investors Horizons Ventures, University of Auckland Inventors Fund and others from their earlier rounds. With the funds, Soul Machines plans to continue expanding globally with specific focus on R&D and increasing its operating footprint around the world to meet growing demand. Soul Machines was founded by Academy Award winner Mark Sagar and serial entrepreneur Greg
Cross in 2016 when it was spun out of the University of Auckland. Together, technology pioneers Sagar and Cross are fusing AI, computational brain models and experiential learning to usher in a new era of customer experience. With Soul Machines’ technology, their clients’ Digital Heroes are able to democratise personal experience in a way that has not been previously possible. Soul Machines has deployed its HumanOS platform and created Digital Heroes for some of the biggest global brands in retail, automotive, banking and finance with customers including Procter & Gamble, Bank ABC, The Royal Bank of Scotland and more. Key initiatives in the education and healthcare fields are underway as well with Soul Machines. The Soul Machines’ technology creates a new kind of customer experience and overall engagement. Brands now have the opportunity to create a digital
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version of their ambassadors or an entirely digitally employee, like a service agent, to more effectively interact with their fans and customers in meaningful ways. Soul Machines is a ground-breaking, high-tech company of AI researchers, neuroscientists, psychologists, artists, and innovative thinkers, re-imagining how we connect with machines. The company brings technology to life by creating incredibly lifelike, emotionally responsive, Digital Heroes with personality and character that allow machines to talk to us face-to-face. Their vision is to humanise artificial intelligence to better humanity.
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MANUFACTURING TECHNOLOGY How viable is additive manufacturing? ~ The manufacturing and legal issues surrounding additive manufacturing ~ In 1984, Charles Hull invented the first 3D printer, which used stereolithography to build up a plastic product layer by layer. Over 35 years later, additive manufacturing (AM) is drastically altering a range of industries, from manufacturing to the medical sector. But what are the limitations of the technology?
In some applications, component manufacturing is shifting away from traditional subtractive machining methods and towards additive manufacturing techniques. The broadening of the applications of AM is causing manufacturers to assess the viability of using it in their own facilities. To do this, there are a few considerations to make before turning to 3D technology.
Quality not quantity When moving from one manufacturing method to another, quality is a huge factor, particularly in highly regulated industries like aerospace and medical devices. In fact, quality has been one of the major hurdles to the widespread adoption of AM. One critical
consideration is that quality and consistency must be the same machine to machine, regardless of location. Powder bed fusion is one of the most frequently used additive manufacturing methods and there is a possibility that it may introduce defects. However, if the process has a constant thermal gradient, it can prevent warping of the product, avoiding the introduction of defects due to incorrect temperatures. Another concern is that unsintered powder will degrade as a result of heat exposure and that this could impact quality, although regular changing of the powder can prevent this from becoming an issue. When investing in an AM system, manufacturers can overcome quality concerns by working with an experienced partner, who provides training and support on best practice. Those looking to invest in AM parts produced elsewhere should be mindful of their supplier’s approach to quality, to ensure that what they are purchasing meets specifications.
The perfect material Polymers, ceramics and metals can all be 3D printed, although plastic 3D printing remains the most popular. While it is feasible to print many materials, some are more suited to the process than others — choosing the wrong material will also impact quality. If you are manufacturing a product from a material unsuited to AM, you may have to rethink your options, either to change the material or opt for a
subtractive process. Ultimately, it won’t usually make good economic sense to switch to AM from conventional manufacturing, unless AM offers significant benefits to the application, for example by making it lightweight. However, if your design is extremely complex and will require expensive custom tooling, AM may be a better option. Additive manufacturing is a fantastic technology that has brought great design freedom to many applications. However, it is not a one size fits all approach. Companies should think carefully about whether a component really needs to be produced by AM, considering the cost, productivity and practicality of incorporating AM into their process. In many situations, producing and sourcing parts the old-fashioned way — ordering them from a reliable supplier — is the best approach.
Retrofitting legacy equipment ~ Updating legacy machinery to add smart capabilities ~ After her mother took away her devices, a teen girl went viral after allegedly tweeting from her fridge. The reason this was so entertaining is because it’s unexpected — you don’t typically associate fridges with communication, just as you don’t with legacy equipment. Here John Young, APAC director at automation equipment supplier EU Automation, discusses the issues and solutions surrounding retrofitting legacy equipment with smart technology. Legacy equipment was not designed to communicate, but it can be given a new lease of life by retrofitting smart technology — even if it is
20 years old. Retrofitting avoids replacing an entire system by instead adding the required capabilities to equipment that is already installed.
Issues with legacy equipment Functional legacy equipment, such as drives, sensors and PLCs, are often the backbone of a factory. As technology progresses, these machines may need to be integrated with newer machines, which come equipped with data collection and communication capabilities. This can cause issues for manufacturers in connectivity and interoperability. New machinery is being produced and saturating the market at an accelerated rate, despite the lifespan of older models not being complete. As technology advances, we don’t want legacy machinery to be left behind — replacing the backbone of the facility would be costly and time-consuming. However, manufacturers don’t want to be held back from collecting data on their processes and equipment that could hold valuable insights. So, asides from ripping entire systems out and replacing it all with new versions, what can we do?
Finding a solution Design engineers should aim to implement a roadmap of the factory’s existing digital capabilities and focus on aims, targets and prioritising actions that will effectively increase business value. Some machinery may need replacing with new technology, however, retrofitting viable legacy equipment, with smart technology, can be far more
NZ Manufacturer February 2020 /
cost effective than replacing the entire production line and will can extend the lifespan of equipment. The ultimate dream for many manufacturers is full digitisation, vertically and horizontally, across the company, as well as its suppliers and distributors. Thankfully, manufacturers working towards this do not have to invest in a haul of new equipment. One step to take when upgrading systems is improving human to machine interaction, by retrofitting a human machine interface (HMI), with an easier-to-use graphical interface, such as a touch screen, or additional capabilities. For example, an HMI could be easily integrated into system by connecting a USB, RS-232, RS-485 between the HMI and PLC. If the units have wireless capabilities, it can be even easier. Smart sensors, which can measure vibrations, temperature and pressure can be fitted onto legacy machinery, allowing data to be collected and made available across the whole factory network. This can feed into a predictive maintenance approach to glean insights on machine performance and upcoming maintenance needs. If a smart sensor detects that a piece of equipment may break down, the manufacturer can take steps to order a replacement. While these simple steps might not meet visions of tapping into every piece of equipment from your smart fridge, it does provide a good starting point to access, monitor and control information remotely in factories.
MANUFACTURING TECHNOLOGY How 3D printing will transform design and engineering in the future 3D printing is now mainstream within schools and businesses because of its flexibility and ability to unleash users’ creativity. 3D printing offers a fast, inexpensive way to create prototypes, test ideas, and even manufacture components and products for commercial sale or use. This is triggering a change in the way organisations build and design their products. The results include cost reductions and the ability to improve products by applying design thinking principles such as latticing, part consolidation, and light weighting. On top of this, savings in supply-chains, product storage, and waste can be realised. 3D printing is maturing and changing quickly, and so too is the future of engineering and design. For example, the automotive industry can now benefit from much shorter lead times when using 3D printing, which allows for much faster development
and testing of components. As 3D printing technology evolves, and new materials are developed, products that were previously not viable to print because of size, accuracy and material constraints become feasible. There has been a huge surge across the industry recently towards end-use parts. 3D printing’s ability to manufacture and combine parts has become more effective and is increasingly being integrated into an augmented manufacturing process. For example, dentistry companies can embed 3D printing into manufacturing process to create digitally engineered molds for patients. 3D printing has made this process much more cost effective. Eric Holtsmark, general manager – strategy, transformation and technology, Konica Minolta Australia, said, “The future of product development can also be aided by 3D printing. The design of consumer goods such as electronics depends heavily on current market needs. As these needs change, 3D printing not only offers manufacturers a way to adapt quickly by shortening the design stage, but also the ability to produce cost-effective short production runs to test the market, or
offer customised versions of a product. “Rapid prototyping in the pre-manufacturing stage lets businesses manufacture faster and reach markets sooner. Businesses also benefit from improved risk reduction and agility as they can study prototypes to reduce faults and optimise the product before it goes to market.” To maximise and understand the freedom that 3D printing allows, the industries that will be directly impacted should invest time to rethink and rebuild their workflows and processes as they relate to the opportunities presented by 3D printing. As these industries must keep up with a relentless pace of innovation, it is important for businesses to prepare their internal systems before they integrate 3D printing to ensure a smooth, successful adoption. Likewise, education institutions must explore 3D printing technologies in more depth to prepare future designers and engineers for the realities of the future workplace. 3D printing will continue to evolve and cover more ground in manufacturing processes, so it is important that tomorrow’s workers are equipped with the expertise needed to drive the rapid development of end-use parts in manufacturing. Eric Holtsmark says “the evolution of 3D printing can help to power the world of design, health, engineering and manufacturing, create new jobs and increase innovation on a global scale. Promoting sustainability, efficiency and innovation, 3D printing can deliver complex, accurate prototypes and end-use parts.”
Free to Attend *trade only
Celebrating 40 years of engineering and manufacturing innovation
5-7 May 2020
ASB Showgrounds, Auckland
New and Returning Features Innovation Quarter, EMEX Wall of Fame, The Lab Free to attend Seminars - Industry 4.0, Advanced Manufacturing and more....
NZ Manufacturer February 2020
ANALYSIS A year in focus for HERA In 2019, HERA imbedded its new focus on automation and Industry 4.0 within its new strategy. Delivering solutions + Developing & maintaining a skilled workforce + Connecting and inspiring = HERA members who are prepared for the future.
Improving productivity and capability Last year, we also initiated welding productivity and automation capability assessments for our members. This identifies improvement opportunities and benchmarks performance relative to the rest of the industry. Supporting this focus on improving productivity, we hosted world renowned international expert on the Theory of Constraints (bottlenecks), Arrie van Niekerk. He delivered training in Auckland and Christchurch. In addition, we commenced a multi-year quality and productivity research program. This program aims to establish a system for continuous monitoring of quality of fabricated steelwork, optimising inspection requirements and managing compliance risks based on big data analysis.
A community hub for innovation In support of this, it was announced that we’ll build a new Innovation Centre. This will address the strategic need for the physical facility to facilitate technology transfer, prototyping, research and training to prepare our member companies for the Industry 4.0 transformation.
This includes a number of sub-projects in co-collaboration with the University of Auckland. For example, we are undertaking a multi-year research project on Industry 4.0 and in-process quality control using advanced welding power sources and digital twins.
Recognising the other underlying issues within the sector, we also created Kotahitanga, a HR Innovation Cluster (to address the skills crisis); Matauranga, the Digital Innovation Cluster; (to address industry communications) and Whakamarumaru, the Defence Innovation Cluster (to explore future pipeline opportunities within the Australian Defence program). We also launched “Stirring the Pot”, our new industry-focused podcast. Episodes include: • “Ensuring you’re a ‘factory of the future’ in New Zealand”; • “The future of manufacturing in New Zealand”; • “Addressing the skills gap through diversity”; • “The new breed of smart industryadvanced manufacturing”; and • “Avoid death by a thousand cuts and automate!”.
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As the only International Institute of Welding (IIW) authorised body in New Zealand, we issued 46 qualification diplomas. We were also audited by the IIW and it was confirmed that our scheme delivers the highest standard of training and certification to our New Zealand Metals industry. 190 professionals attended our technology forums, 66 professionals completed our Welding Supervisor and Inspector courses, and over 120 professionals attended seminars on advanced weld design.
A team transitioning to meet our member needs
This will also propel our NZ Welding Centre into the only Welding 4.0 facility in New Zealand - and support its rebrand to the Centre for Innovative Fabrication. Supporting the creation of the Innovation Centre was the appointment of our new Innovation Centre Manager, Greg Buckley. He will work closely with Holger Heinzel, our Industry 4.0 Engineer and will see him oversee construction of our Innovation Centre which will commence in early 2020, as well as enhance industry engagement in Industry 4.0, and create a community of practise around this thinking.
assist students who may be considering work in a metals-related field.
Four new staff joined the team. • Greg Buckley, Innovation Manager, who comes with a wealth of experience in digital technologies;
The Diversity Agenda Recognising that greater workforce inclusion will be a pre-requisite for addressing the skills crisis, we focused on diversity and inclusion. Launching our Whanake scholarship to support greater Maori inclusion in Engineering, becoming a founding member of the Diversity Agenda, and carrying out a whole lot of advocacy work in this area. This included joining the Diversity Panel at the 2019 Manufacturing and Design Conference and ensuring our podcasts included a diversity focus. We also ran another Women in Engineering campaign, showcasing the amazing leaders in our industry who also happen to be female!
Industry focused initiatives and connections We’re glad to have re-invigorated the Sustainable Steel Council, with our CEO, Troy Coyle, elected as the new Chair. This aligns strongly with the research and work we’ve done to increase awareness of metals contribution to the New Zealand Economy using the Living Standards Framework as the assessment tool. We also ran our second cohort of Innovation READY training, with three companies progressing to Innovation SET from the first cohort. Participants in Innovation READY this year included MJH Engineering, Atlantic Engineering, Otahuhu Engineering, Dixon Engineering, Stainless Engineering, and Jensen Steel Fabrication. In FY19, we welcomed 44 new members to HERA, and created a new student membership category to
• Volkan Yakut, Senior Engineer, who brings over 15 years’ global experience to the table as a Mechanical Engineer and International Welding Engineer; • Andrew Pennington, Structural Engineer, who re-joins HERA with a unique background in software development and structural engineering perfect for where we are heading; and • Michelle Gutierrez-Smith, Administration Officer, who is just about to complete her undergraduate degree in Economics and Psychology. Together we’re looking to the future, and 2020 will be another big year for us. Kicking it off in February with our Future Forum 20/20 VISION conference in Auckland. This has a line-up of several international key-note speakers, such as Australian-based futurist Chris Riddell; CEO of Dutch leader in additive manufacturing, MX3D, Gijs van der Velden (know for printing the steel footbridge in Holland); and Des Watkins from Des Watkins Steel (who is an amazing and passionate case study for digitalisation). We are also asking young Engineers to join a panel to provide a mirror to our industry and tell us straight out why they would or would not be attracted to our industry. We want to hear this straight from their own mouths versus a baby boomer consultant telling us what Millennials think! We are also looking forward to construction of the HERA Innovation Centre starting and being in a position to announce more exciting Industry 4.0 initiatives throughout the year.
Blue sky thinking: We don’t yet know what wave of change 5G will create
5G is about to change the world in ways we can’t even imagine yet • 5G networks were rolled out in 2019 and will expand rapidly in 2020. • 5G will connect everything and everyone. • 5G will underpin remote surgery, self-driving cars and movies you can download in seconds. We live in a time when words meant to represent significant or unique ideas are so overused, they have been trivialised. “Revolutionary” is such a word, a victim of hyperbolic marketing that has rendered meaningless a term meant to evoke profound change to our world. When everything is “revolutionary,” nothing is. Yet here I am, unable to find an alternative as comprehensively descriptive of 5G and the infinite number of ways the newest generation of wireless technology will change our world. In fact, the revolution has already begun. The global deployment of 5G networks got a running start in 2019 and is set to rapidly expand beyond anything we expected a year ago. But the public understanding of 5G hasn’t caught up. While 3G put the mobile Internet in your hand and 4G gave us mobile broadband – redefining how we interact with our world – 5G will connect everything and everyone.
The technologies within 5G were and continue to be designed to vastly expand network capacity so cars, utility grids, appliances, medical devices, industrial machinery, homes, cities, farms and more can all be connected. And 5G will reduce delays and improve reliability, thereby enabling mission-critical tasks such as remote surgery, self-driving cars and enhanced public safety, to make possible secure connections so lightning-fast that an entire movie can be downloaded in seconds. The faster smartphones and always-connected personal computers that consumers are already using on the initial 5G networks are just a hint of the transformations to come. While 3G and 4G technology were designed to put the world in our hands, 5G was and continues to be designed to take the hand out of the equation. The industries and areas of daily life already starting to be changed by 5G include: *Private networks for factories and industrial facilities: This includes the 5G-enabled Internet of Things with many devices, sensors, applications and mobile connectivity all aimed at improving product quality, increasing productivity, lowering costs and enhancing safety in industrial workplaces. This new connectivity will include factories and facilities away from cities where remoteness and
physical complexity hamper wireless connections. *Agriculture: 5G technologies’ promise of expanding and accelerating connectivity without sacrificing battery life will be particularly beneficial to farmers, and are already improving veterinary diagnostics, crop protection, reduction of fertiliser use and smart irrigation systems that conserve water. 5G is also expected to provide new solutions to the disparity between broadband Internet connections in cities and those in some rural areas, the geographical digital divide. *Sustainability: 5G is being deployed to make energy and water use more efficient, while cities are preparing to use 5G to monitor air and water quality in real time, and connected-car technology is designed to minimise traffic jams and reduce emissions while improving safety. *On-device artificial intelligence (AI): One example is how the combination of AI and 5G allows wearable medical devices and phones to work together in ways that are fast enough and smart enough to identify health problems detected by a wearable device and alert your doctor. *Extended reality (XR): 5G technology is vastly increasing the video bandwidth for XR with powerful computing and minimal delays to close the gap between the real and virtual worlds. Education, health care, retail, tourism, and manufacturing are just some of the fields expected to benefit. These examples provide only a partial picture of what 5G will make possible. Between the time I write this and when you read it, new use cases will, no doubt, be introduced. This innovation on top of innovation will likely continue for a decade or so when the successor to 5G is expected to debut. What most people forget – or are too young to remember - about 3G and 4G is that we had no idea of what new business models and industries would be created in response: the car-hailing services, streaming of movies and live events instantly to and from your smartphone, and so much more we now take for granted. That’s why I refer to potential 5G use cases as infinite, or at least only as finite as the frontier of human innovation. So here’s the question I now find myself and others increasingly pondering: If 4G was to Uber, WhatsApp and Waze the way 5G will be to X, solve for X.
NZ Manufacturer February 2020
COMPANY PROFILE Connection Technologies Limited – looking forward to the next 20 years The founder of Connection Technologies, Lewis Woodward, started the business in December 1999. The aim then and still now is to work with the customer and assist them in achieving their goal. “I knew that without a successful customer, I was going nowhere”. 20 years ago, business conditions were different to what they are today. Business then relied on personal contact and who you knew. Then there was no internet and business was largely done with New Zealand based companies. Technical input and having people who knew your business was important. Today “faceless” internet websites located outside NZ shores compete with each other for business. In the “old” days the customer did not need to know the part number of the item they needed, just a description. Today, you must have the part number to order on the web and so often you are drowned with the range of products available “Our aim was to be the best pro-active supplier with a finite range of product focusing on connectors and supporting tooling as might be required for the industrial, military and aviation market”. This was further narrowed down on the basis that Lewis recognised the OEM PCB market in any volume was dying in NZ. The data reticulation industry he had previously been part of was being. fought after at minimal margins, much of the coax market had moved to the data industrial markets. Getting the right staff in any business is always a challenge. Lewis said he was fortunate that an ex-employee from the same industry wanted to move back to Wellington and “this was exactly what we needed. “Hiring knowledgeable staff with industry background has always been a challenge. We needed people who saw sales different from the normal perspective of selling “nuts and bolts” and
making their target in this manner. “I have always promoted that we understand the customer and their business and then see if there is a way that we can assist them and their business with what we have to offer. The right staff can do this”. Connection Technologies has always been focused on connectors, plugs and sockets and the necessary tooling to put all this together. To add products that do not fit this market area moves the company away from that focus and puts the company in the area so many others fit. With a singular focus, we can offer the most cost effective and reliable connector solution to match the customers business. “Part of the expansion of the overall business has been to establish a new company when we were given a new product range by one of the company’s existing suppliers. Weicon who manufactures cable stripping tooling, asked us to distribute a range of adhesives, sealants and plastic metal products. Based in Germany and a leading supplier in that market, this seemed a good offer.
belong to The ConTech Group which in turn combines the overall management, structures and supports for the two companies. ‘Whilst talking about structures, we also have an assembly arm within the Group, Conmitto Ltd is the division of Connection Technologies that offers the assembly of the connectors in whatever fashion may be required. “As you can appreciate, New Zealand is a small market internationally and tooling can be very expensive so with our knowledge, our range of assembly tooling we get calls to build anything from one bespoke assembly through to 100 pieces. We let the customer get on and do the business they specialise in”. “Connection Technologies clientele come from across the market, be it manufacturers or infrastructure operators with our connection with many of them going back 20 years or more. “I am always heartened by the amount of word of mouth support and references we get.
“They recognised our focus”, says Lewis “and wanted us to offer their chemical product into New Zealand. It was in order not to water down the connector business and service that I decided to establish Industrial Technologies and have the Weicon product line as a focus.
“We have found the best way to promote our products is through our in-house specialised staff. Trade shows, for example, can be very expensive and whilst they give exposure, I cannot recall an occasion where due to our attendance we have picked up a measurable piece of new business.
“Like us, Weicon focusses on a finite industrial market, an area where you cannot afford to make mistakes with choice of product and need to come back in three months and do the job again so looked to be a great opportunity.
“However, we attend trade shows about every two three years to meet many of the people from around the country that we deal with. This way at least, mingling with our business peers allows a sharing of the products and services we have available. And is also a good way of keeping in touch with each other’s growth, plans and market share.
Connection Technologies and Industrial Technologies
“The future is more of the same, working with the customer, getting to know what they want out of their business and then checking to see how we might be of assistance. With the recent employment of a Sales Manager, this allows me to focus on Industrial Technologies and other things within the business. “When asked about expansion of the business we already do, the only way to grow is looking for new ways of helping customers grow, as they grow so do we. “These days, sitting tight is actually going backwards. A company must be looking for ways to grow as I have seen with the growth of technology, product demand will change so business’s must always be looking for areas of growth. Morning tea celebrating Company 20th Celebration. Some staff, Errol, Lewis, Robert, Steve, Leanne, Kelly and company support people, Daryl from The Alternative Board and David from Honda.
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“For us we have just been asked to become the NZ distributor for the Interflux Electronics range of
NZ MANUFACTURER solder products. Made in Belgium, Interflux have in their range a new low melting point solder product and with the shrinkage of electronic components and multi-layer boards, less heat on a PCB at manufacturing time will do two primary things, save money in power cost for the manufacturer and reduce heat damage during assembly. “This is a really exciting area to grow and like all our other products, allows for specialisation and focus. More on this to come”. Lewis Woodward, the key protagonist, has a story to tell…of his life in business “My working life started as an apprentice TV service person with Tisco back in black and white days. “During the years of servicing there was always the thought how could we improve this item” and so any component I sell now days, is sold with a technician in mind, not the salesman making his numbers. After this 19 years was with another connector company, firstly as Product Manager then as a Regional Manager so when things changed in 1999, he was able to bring huge knowledge to Connection Technologies. During servicing days and with 40 years of connector experience, one primary thought was always in the background. If we do it right first time, then we will get a call back for other problems and opportunity to make input. There is also the situation that only one company that sells product can be the cheapest so why work for minimal return, work on the basis the customer chases you as what they want is the long term solution, not one where although it is the cheapest, you are back every week.
pay tax in NZ and generally support our economy. As I look around the market now, most companies that existed when we started have closed their doors or are now owned by overseas companies.
March 2020 Issue
“We are very particular as to the products we offer. How they fit our market, which can be one of the most corrosive in the world on the basis of either the hydron-sulphide environment or closeness to the sea and the effect these have on the reliability of end product or market where used.
THE CIRCULAR ECONOMY REGIONAL DEVELOPMENT
“One of our German suppliers proudly makes the statement of their products, “not made in the east” when talking about reliability and this really strikes a chord with me, especially as an ex service man. I have frequently made the comment to customers, “with the right product you only need to do the job once.”
COMPANY PROFILE PRODUCTIVITY
Where to from here? “In the end, the thrill of the job is knowing that the service and knowledge we impart is appreciated by the end customer, knowing that we do make a difference to our market, our community and to our staff so we will be around for some time to come.
INNOVATORS SMART MANUFACTURING
“The singular focus will remain the same; we can assure the end customer of the best knowledge and support from a kiwi company so looking forward to many more years of providing a valued service”.
EMEX 2020 PREVIEW (5-7 MAY 2020) Advertising Booking Deadline – 12 March 2020 Advertising Copy Deadline – 12 March 2020 Editorial Copy Deadline – 12 March 2020 Advertising – For bookings and further information contact: Doug Green, P O Box 1109, Hastings 4156, Hawke’s Bay Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
“Customers in the areas we work in know that we offer more that product, in fact I frequently see that the knowledge and options we offer is greater than the actual value of the shipment.
Editorial material to be sent to : Doug Green, P O Box 1109, Hastings 4156, Hawke’s Bay Email: email@example.com Tel: 06 870 9029
“When CTL was established there were several locally owned competitors but looking at the market today, the bulk of our competition is now overseas based web retailers. “I feel strongly that New Zealand should support NZ based companies, companies that employ and educate kiwis,
At NZ MANUFACTURER our aim is to keep our readers up to date with the latest industry news and manufacturing advances in a tasty morsel, ensuring they do not get left behind in the highly competitive and rapidly evolving manufacturing world. Errol Mann, Sales Manager demonstrating a large set of cable shears to Robert Jones from Customer Service while Leanne Severin, Finance Manager looks on.
Connection Technologies has a singular focus, to offer the most cost effective and reliable connector solution to match the customers’ demands within their business.
As I See It
Letters to the Editor
Politics of Manufacturing
Around New Zealand
Trade Fair World Diary of Events World Market Report Q/A
Australian Report New to the Market Lean Manufacturing
Equipment for Sale
NZ Manufacturer February 2020
DEVELOPMENTS Young women encouraged to engineer a career Being a young woman in a male-dominated field hasn’t stopped Bella Franks carving out a successful international career as an engineer. Recently, she spoke about her experiences to a group of female students keen to follow in her footsteps. Bella was one of four guest speakers at the Women in Engineering Canterbury (WiE Can) event hosted by the University of Canterbury (UC). WiE Can gives 60 female Year 13 students from high schools across New Zealand the opportunity to find out more about engineering by attending a series of hands-on workshops. Bella, who graduated from UC in 2010 with a Bachelor of Civil Engineering with Honours and is now working for Aecom as Associate Director of Buildings and Places, says engineering offers a varied and exciting career path. She advises young women considering the profession to “go for it”. “It’s such a rewarding career. So many of the world’s most pressing issues need smart young women to solve them and drive human innovation forward. “It’s rare in today’s work environment to have such a tangible outcome to your efforts, such as a beautiful building or public space, so it’s very satisfying to be able to see the results of your work.” Bella spent four years living in New York working on one of the United States’ largest private real estate developments, the Hudson Yards project in Manhattan, and she is currently working on the City Rail Link in Auckland. The 30-year-old says there is a certain amount of “proving yourself” as a young, female engineer, particularly in the construction world. “People can be very quick to write you off as inexperienced or out of your depth and it takes time to earn respect. Young males face this challenge too but often to a lesser extent.”
WiE Can’S Elizabeth Franks.
UC College of Engineering Pro-Vice-Chancellor Professor Jan Evans-Freeman says the WiE Can initiative is part of the university’s commitment to boosting the number of female engineering graduates and increasing diversity in the profession. “Often young women have skills and interests that are very relevant to engineering but it might not be on their radar as a career option or they’re not sure how viable it is. The aim of this event is to let them know they are wanted and there are amazing possibilities in this field. Anna Manning, 18, from Whakatane, attended WiE Can last year and says it played a major role in her
Only 14% of all our engineers are women. We want to change that. Join us and scores of other Kiwi organisations that have galvanised around one common goal: 20% more women engineers by 2021. www.diversityagenda.org
NZ Manufacturer February 2020 /
decision to enrol in Forest Engineering at UC in 2020. “Engineering was one of my ideas but I never really knew exactly what it involved, and I didn’t know there were so many different types of engineering, and different career pathways you can follow. “I’m quite focused on the outdoors, the environment and sustainability, so Forest Engineering really appeals to me and I hadn’t even known about it until WiE Can. “The workshops gave me a clearer idea of what I would be doing on a day to day basis in an engineering career which was really cool.”
ADVISORS Mike Shatford
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.
Managing Director, Objective3D Matt has extensive hands on experience as a user and supplier of 3D Printing technology. He comes from a mechanical design and engineering background with 25 years’ experience in multiple high end 3D cad applications across a range of industries, including aerospace and automotive. He has been heavily involved in the 3D printing evolution - from initial early prototyping to todays advanced 3d printing technologies producing production parts straight off the printer. As Managing Director of Objective 3D, he provides Stratasys, Desktop Metal and Concept Laser 3D printing solutions to a host of industries across Australia and New Zealand.
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.
Greg founded Motovated Design & Analysis in 1999 with a vision to “cost effectively engineer our client’s vision”; through the use of advanced techniques, superior tools, and boundless enthusiasm. Working for VW & Audi as a mechanic, and then with Boeing & Hercules Aerospace as an Engineering Analyst, provided Greg with 40+ years of real world design and analysis experience. Greg is a world-class analyst and provides training and advanced technical support to manufacturers and some of the FEA resellers throughout New Zealand.
NZ Manufacturer February 2020
Datalogic AV500 industrial scanner enhances efficiency and accuracy A new industrial scanner that extends the functionality of unattended data capture solutions is being introduced to Australasia and South East Asia by automatic data capture and process automation leader, Datalogic. The AV500 2D image-based reader incorporates several industry-leading features that allow the scanner to be used in a wider range of logistics, transport, distribution, retail and airport applications than were previously possible, without compromising on accuracy.
are no longer needed, because this powerful scanner covers a large area within a single image,” said Mr Svetal. “Additionally, the variable dynamic focus of the optical system increases the working depth of field of the camera, and its toggle mode provides variable focus for applications without the need for distance input, reducing overall system costs without sacrificing performance.” The rugged scanners come with IP65 rated metal enclosures, suitable for harsh environments with operating temperatures from 0 to 50 °C (32 to 122 ºF). In-built active cooling maintains optimal processor performance and ensures a long lifecycle, even in the most extreme operating environments.
PackTrack efficiency advances
Automated data capture systems radically advance the efficiency and reliability of inputting data, which used to be a time-consuming manual practice. Unattended data capture advances this further, with the automated processes and technology not requiring supervision from a person. “Advantages of unattended data capture solutions include improved accuracy and speed, improved cost-efficiency, reduced errors, faster turnaround times and reduced frustrations with paperwork or tedious tasks,” says Mr Mike Svetal, Senior Product Manager, Datalogic. “Datalogic’s new AV500 scanner enables unattended data capture to function to the highest levels of precision and efficiency, due to its industry-leading high-resolution 5 MP sensor, image acquisition at 32 frames per second, dynamic or adjustable focus, and multiple lens options,” he said. “The AV500 means that multiple reading attempts
Datalogic’s new AV500 scanners further enhance logistics efficiencies by allowing parcels to be accurately tracked while positioned closer together. Integrated into the scanners is Datalogic’s patented PackTrack technology, which allows parcels to be accurately scanned, even at high speeds, with distances as little as 10cm between objects. “PackTrack technology ensures the precise assignment of labels to the right parcels, no matter the shape of the object. By incorporating this into the reading station, Datalogic can provide accurate, error-proof object sorting in real time, with a conveyor loaded to maximum capacity,” says Mr Svetal .
Easy integration With rapid advances in automation and Industry 4.0, it is essential to integrate technologies into larger systems, and have them report back with important data that can be used to optimise operational efficiencies.
Datalogic’s new high-performance AV500™ 2D image-based reader enhances scanning efficiency and accuracy for high speed logistics conveyor applications, airport baggage handling systems, as well as static reading applications
AV500 scanners have been designed with an intuitive, multi-language interface for simple installation and configuration. They are fully compatible with WebSentinel PLUS for real time performance monitoring. For further communication and connectivity benefits, the AV500 scanner interfaces directly with PROFINET and Ethernet IP enabled PLCs with two Ethernet TCP/ IP and two serial communication interfaces. SyncNet Technology with Master/Slave allows enables a simplified way to network multiple devices in a solution with a single interface. “The setup of AV500 scanners is highly flexible and customisable. Datalogic has invested significant research and development in developing an industry-leading industrial scanner that can adapt to suit each application’s unique requirements,” said Mr Svetal.
Broad applications The AV500 scanner’s outstanding flexibility, precision and efficiency, combined with leading technology for communication and reporting, mean that it can be used in a broader range of applications than previously possible with a scanner of this calibre, including: transportation and logistics, distribution and retail, airports.
Everyday designs you probably have never noticed The pen lid While you may have attempted to whistle through your pen lid either at school or in the office, this isn’t the function of the hole in the top or why it was introduced. It did, however, come about because of our tendency to put pen lids in our mouths and was designed to stop children in particular from choking should they accidentally swallow it, with the hole preventing suffocation. The can ring-pull The primary function of the ring-pull on a can of fizzy drink is to open it, and that’s all right? Wrong. The reason there is a hole in the ring pull isn’t just to allow more purchase when opening it, it was actually designed and implemented to turn around and double up as a straw holder so you can enjoy your drink with greater ease. That odd piece of fabric with an item of clothing How often do you get a new shirt or blouse and it comes with a puzzling square of spare fabric? Many of us live our lives believing this is used to replace any holes, rips or tears in the clothing and this is its
NZ Manufacturer February 2020
secondary use. However, you might not have realised it’s actually there so you can test washing the fabric with your chosen conditioner and temperature to ensure it isn’t damaged before you wash the item of clothing itself. The doorknob While your doorknob may now be made of PVC plastic or similar, there was a good reason they used to be made from brass or another type of allow metal. These metals help prevent antibiotic resistance in bacteria from spreading, so in essence, this means that doorknobs help prevent the spread of ‘bugs’ as they are antimicrobial. Wooden clothing hangers Another design innovation that may no longer be in wider use, but the original wooden clothing hanger was made using Cedarwood. Why? Cedarwood was a natural bug repellent and helped protect clothes from hungry moths. The car fuel gauge When we start out driving we may spend a lot of
time looking at our car fuel gauge, usually due to it being illuminated a lot of the time. We also spend as much time when first driving a car pulling up to the pump and then realising the fuel cap is on the opposite side. What you might not have noticed is that the majority of cars have a little arrow pointing at the fuel pump icon to indicate which side it is situated. Stapler Being caught without a staple remover is a pain and can cause it as well when trying to remove them with your fingers. But did you know most staplers come with a built in remover? Just bend up the two short prongs on the back of the staple, then after turning your papers over, slide it under the wide front side and remove the staple. Job Done.
Seequent partners with innovative 3D blast modelling Seequent has partnered with OreControl Blasting Consultants, the Denver-based developer of OrePro 3D software. OrePro 3D software allows geologists to model the movement of ore during blasting in order to delineate ore and waste more accurately for efficient downstream handling.
adopted by many large mining companies who are using the solution to improve yields and operating efficiency, which in turn reduces the operation’s environmental impact.
The software’s use of 3D modelling and visualisation techniques revolutionises how geologists determine ore boundaries and select dig directions, yielding significant improvements over traditional 2D methods.
“Seequent has formed a product partnership with OreControl Blasting Consultants, whose OrePro 3D product fits perfectly with our solutions. This is another area where best of breed geoscience modelling techniques and 3D visualisation create value for our customers.”
OrePro 3D easily embeds in a mine’s ore control process with seamless data integration with up-stream and down-stream systems, and intuitive workflows. The software contains a tool showing the financial impact for the mine of different mining scenarios. Seequent’s GM Mining & Minerals, Nick Fogarty, says: “Mining companies continue to look for ways to improve their operating efficiency. By reducing ore loss and dilution, more valuable rock can be sent to the processing plant. OrePro 3D has already been
“OrePro 3D can be used without direct measurement, removing the need for transmitters and the need to put staff on to muck piles with the safety risks that involves.” Shaun Maloney, CEO of Seequent, says: “We’re excited to announce OBC as our latest partner. Partnerships are an important way in which we sponsor new technologies and innovations into the mining and exploration industries to deliver significant value for our customers.”
William Hunt, Co-founder and President of OreControl Blasting Consultants, says: “By accurately highlighting where the pay material is located post-blast and then optimising dig blocks accordingly, operating efficiency and commercial returns can be dramatically improved. “The value of additional recoveries after a single blast can represent an immediate return on investment and resources can also be extracted using less energy and water.
Shaun Maloney, CEO of Seequent.
Marsden Fund grant supports UC study on ‘killer robots’ debate First there was gunpowder, then nuclear weapons. Now another revolution in warfighting is underway with the rise of algorithmic warfare using robots and precision targeting technology. Their use is highly controversial but to date there has been no systematic attempt made to map the debate unfolding in academic, intergovernmental, corporate and social media domains. Internationally, the use of lethal autonomous weapons (LAWS) or so-called ‘killer robots’ is being debated at the highest levels. A new University of Canterbury (UC) study, which has recently received a generous grant from the 2019 Marsden Fund/Te Pūtea Rangahau a Marsden, aims to map and analyse this fast-evolving debate.
Their research has attracted a prestigious 2019 Marsden Fund grant of $842,000. Around 12 countries are known to be developing LAWS, among them the United States, China, Russia and Israel. While the perception in those nations is that LAWS are needed to maintain geopolitical balance, groups such as the Campaign to Ban Killer Robots and other international bodies are seeking a global ban on their use.
Its findings could help shape the development of effective and ethical regulation of these sophisticated weapons.
“Proponents argue that autonomous weapons could decrease civilian casualties through enhanced targeting precision and reduce the risks for human soldiers,” Associate Professor Fletcher says.
Dr Jeremy Moses and Associate Professor Amy Fletcher, from the Department of Political Science and International Relations at UC, and Dr Geoff Ford, a political scientist with the UC Arts Digital Lab, aim to delve deeply into this issue in a three-year project starting this year.
“Opponents fear a world of ‘algorithmic warfare’ in which robots can make decisions to kill in the absence of human oversight and in which the speed and complexity of war accelerates to the point that international rules of conduct are rendered irrelevant.”
This project will apply innovative text-mining tools, some of which have been developed by Dr Ford, to analyse the debate with the goal of producing comprehensive and insightful data that could better inform regulators and decision-makers. As Dr Jeremy Moses notes, “virtually all nation-states, including New Zealand, must now grapple with the implications of algorithmic warfare and the ethics and lethality of autonomous weapons.” This is one of 12 UC-led research projects to have received funding from the 2019 Marsden Fund/Te Pūtea Rangahau a Marsden. A total of $6.54 million was awarded across four of UC’s five colleges. A rigorous selection process was used in awarding the grants and selecting projects of the highest international quality. The grants recognise UC as a world-class research-led teaching and learning university.
Associate Professor Amy Fletcher
NZ Manufacturer February 2020
Discovering your own strengths in industry While some of us may always have the image of a dream job set in our heads, and take steps towards pursuing that vision, for others, careers can be a journey of discovery. Following the paths that open up along their twists and unexpected turns can lead to outcomes more rewarding than one could image. For Jasmin Perry, a job in industrial automation opened up after a career shift.
in-depth knowledge through being hands-on with customers in their factories and facilities.
“I took an administrative role at an industrial automation and process control instrumentation company.”
“A lot of learning for me has been out on the field,” noted Perry. “You’re learning something every day; the average inquiry comes along and then you are applying what you learnt the next time it comes around.”
Being immersed in the world of automation and process control for the first time, Perry discovered a field that rewarded her interest in customer service, while also having the technical complexity to continue to challenge her. Seeing the potential for herself within the sector, when a chance for advancement came up, Perry seized the opportunity. “I just took an interest in the automation industry. When a technical support role opened up, I put my hand up and my boss saw I had a natural knack for it,” said Perry.
Remaining open to acquiring new knowledge as experiences come along, Perry overcame expectations that others had about her. “People say to me all the time, ‘Oh, I thought you had a degree?’” It’s the assumption that people have based on the years that I’ve been in industry and all the things that I’ve learnt along the way.” The next step was moving to senior sales support engineer, which involved leading the internal sales
up. Adopting a slightly unconventional approach, and with the training that Rockwell Automation provided her in her new role of key account manager, Perry brought her passion for customer relationships and solutions to the fore. “My role for me is more than just sales; I prefer to be a consultant and an advisor, not just someone that’s selling something. That’s always been my mentality, and that come from my customer service background, where I’ve been trying to help people,” said Perry. At Rockwell Automation, Perry has been focussed on connecting with the customers of Rockwell Automation based in the food and beverage sector and original equipment manufacturers (OEM). In a field such as this, where tailored solutions and precision is key, Perry has been able to work with customers to radically improve processes. “I’ve got some clients where I’ve taken them from having minimal formal processes or migration strategies in place, to developing a plan and introducing automated processes to make their plant more efficient and profitable,” said Perry. Working with clients on these solutions, Perry returned to her philosophy of being a consultant and advisor. “I think, traditionally, a lot of people would see sales people as just ‘sales people’, but I don’t believe that’s true, especially with industrial automation. We’re not just box sellers; we are solutions providers,” said Perry. “We’re not just here to sell them something and then say, ‘See you later’. We have an obligation and a responsibility to support our client in their digitisation journey, from being completely inefficient and manual, all the way through to being a profitable automated site.” Last year, Perry was nominated as a finalist for the Rising Star award at the Women in Industry Awards. This accolade brought home the journey that she had been on from her first role to where she was now, and how she’s had to put herself into situations where she had to be confident in her abilities.
Moving from the position of sales administrator to sales support engineer, Perry approached the role and the requirements having had a background in the highly-customer focussed industry of event management. Perry saw the parallels in the outcome-oriented nature of the position. “For me it was that satisfaction of being able to be part of something whereby I’m solving someone’s problem. They’ve got an application that they need a solution for and I’m putting that solution together for them,” said Perry. Augmenting her previous training, Perry was supported to study, and gained knowledge of the technical side of the process and automation control field. Perry completed her Certificate in Instrumentation, Automation & Process Control while working, yet at the same time was acquiring
NZ Manufacturer February 2020
team. Drawing on her experience and strengths, Perry trained and mentored other members of the sales team. In addition, Perry streamlined internal processes for improved efficiency while implementing SAP training across Australia and New Zealand. As Perry was developing her skills and expertise in the Industry, others began to take notice. “I was with Yokogawa about six years and then Rockwell Automation tapped me on the shoulder. They were looking for someone to come in that they could groom into the position and I just happened to fit what they were looking for.” While Perry had been gaining an understanding of the technical and practical sides of the sector she was in, new ways of approaching sales began to open
“It was such an honour to be nominated because it’s a challenging industry and over time I’ve learnt to not be afraid to speak up and to have a voice,” said Perry. Being nominated for this award reinforced the successful work that Perry had done since she had initially put her hand up to move up in her role. “To be recognised on how hard I’ve worked, and all the things I’ve achieved, for the company to recognise that, it was a really big deal for me. It gave me that reassurance that I am doing a good job,” said Perry. Looking back on her career, Perry highlighted that being confident in her abilities has been what has led her to succeed. “Don’t ever underestimate yourself,” said Perry. “As a woman in this industry you need to be resilient and confident, and if you think you know the answer, speak up”.
Rocket Lab to use Siemens software to explore new frontiers of space Rocket Lab will start using Siemens software to scale up production and continue its growth trajectory. To date, the company has launched 40 satellites to space and is expanding services. Rocket Lab plans to implement Siemens hi-tech industrial software to help digitally manage the lifecycle needs of the business. The software is from the Xcelerator portfolio, which is from Siemens Digital Industries Software and includes Teamcenter digital lifecycle management software, and NX software for computer-aided design (CAD) and manufacturing. This announcement comes as Rocket Lab prepares to integrate all its design, engineering and production systems to establish an end-to-end digital thread that enables increased transparency and efficiency across various offices. Speaking on the decision, Rocket Lab’s Vice President of Global Operations, Shaun O’Donnell, said: “As we’ve grown, so has our production capacity and the platforms associated with various products and processes. Using Teamcenter, we’ll be able to combine various aspects of data related to the same part, assembly and system to maintain a single source of truth across the life cycle of the product. Also, as we grow, NX will give our designers increased performance and stability to cope with larger assemblies.”
“Investing in the right digital platforms that allow us to easily scale with growth is critical to the sustainability of our business. With offices around the world, we rely heavily on the access of relevant information that impacts the efficiencies of our production processes,” said Mr. O’Donnell. Investing in the right digital platforms that allow us to easily scale with growth is critical to the sustainability of our business. Rocket Lab will use the same software that the top 20 global aerospace manufacturing companies have implemented to drive digital transformation across all phases of operations. With Xcelerator, Siemens offers the most complete digitalisation value chain to aerospace manufacturers – from the initial concept through to performance in the field –enabling innovation and next-generation design and manufacturing. Speaking on the announcement, Samantha Murray, Managing Director of Siemens Digital Industries Software in the region, said: “The space race is becoming increasingly important globally and here in Australia and New Zealand. While the real race will
Peter Beck, Rocket Lab CEO, and Samantha Murray, Managing Director of Siemens Digital Industries Software in Australia
be played out way above us, here the pillars driving competitiveness will be digital and dependent on how technologies support access to global supply chains.”º Rocket Lab will use Siemens solutions across the product life cycle including for CAD Management, BOM and configuration management, Engineering Change and Document Management. Siemens Xcelerator software portfolio is an integrated portfolio of software, services and application development platform that can be personalized and adapted to fit customer and industry-specific needs to help companies of all sizes become digital enterprises. It is widely used to develop some of the most sophisticated global products and systems in industries including automotive, aerospace, shipbuilding and high-tech electronics.
SkyDrive launches test flights of first-ever cargo drone SkyDrive Inc., a leading flying-car developer, has successfully launched test flights of a cargo drone which could revolutionize the way heavy goods are transported and speed up the movement of equipment in remote locations. The first operational testing took place Toyota. It was carried out to test the technology by moving heavy equipment in remote locations.
This new technology has been tested with a load capacity of 30kg--utilizing SkyDrive’s world-leading aircraft development technology to achieve high safety standards.
There is the potential to develop this further and achieve greater capacity loads of up to 50kg and 80kg, according to demand. The cargo drone also has the potential to change the way products are moved from manufacturers to warehouses and onto depots. SkyDrive is developing the cargo drone for use in industries that carry heavy materials on complex terrain such as slopes, mountain valleys, overpasses, power transmission towers, civil engineering/ construction sites, agricultural fields, etc. Usage of cargo drones will help avoid dangerous works, save personnel and shorten the term of works. SkyDrive can contribute to responding to labour shortages and improving labour productivity sagging. Cargo drone can be used by companies for transporting materials to hard-to-reach places such as slopes, mountain valleys, overpasses and sites of steel tower maintenance. The total length is 1.3m x total width 1.7m x total height 1.0m -Recommended payload: 30kg -Flight speed: 40km/h -Flight time: 15min. Winch mechanism to move up and down without landing.
NZ Manufacturer February 2020
This is what we can really do about climate change Despite efforts to achieve net-zero by 2050, global emissions are still rising. • A new study suggests ways to fast-track efforts to decarbonise the planet. • Building a business case for sustainable energy could drive the transition. It’s not too late to stop climate change. According to new research, decarbonising fast enough to stabilise the climate and fast-track the planet to net-zero rests on all of us changing how we think and act – and doing it fast.
Moving from the fossil fuels that drive global warming to cleaner energy sources, such as wind or solar power, is at the heart of global efforts to decarbonise. Yet emissions from power generation continue to increase.
The report, published in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States (PNAS), identifies six “tipping dynamics”, or interventions, that could act as catalysts to bring about rapid societal and technological change towards a sustainable future. The study highlights the importance of intervening to make fossil fuels less economically – and morally – attractive. A step-change of this kind could bring about tipping points that divert investment and consumer demand away from fossil fuels towards more sustainable energy sources. It says this can be done by: • Removing fossil-fuel subsidies and boosting incentives to move to decentralised energy systems and make clean energy production and storage systems more economically competitive. • Encouraging financial markets to divest of assets linked to fossil fuels, to divert investment towards less-polluting technologies, leaving investors keen to avoid the prospect of holding ‘stranded assets’ tied to fossil fuels. • Building sustainable cities powered by renewable energy. • Revealing the “moral implications” of fossil fuels. • Disclosing greenhouse gas emissions information. • Strengthening climate education and engagement. While awareness of the climate emergency is growing, global efforts to reduce carbon emissions are not moving fast enough to avoid irreversible damage to the planet.
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Energy-related carbon dioxide emissions worldwide (in gigatonnes). Image: Statista Carbon dioxide emissions from the energy sector have more than doubled since the 1970s and remain on an upward trajectory. Once we reach a point where sustainable energy generates higher financial returns than coal and oil, the world should reach the critical mass needed to halt increasing CO2 emissions levels, and begin to reverse the trend.
Think again But building a business case for clean energy is only one part of the challenge. The study also identifies the importance of changing social values and behaviour. Progress in combating climate change rests on
converting awareness of the problem into action, so the transition to a carbon-free lifestyle is made easy for the global population to achieve. For this to happen, a new world view is needed that embraces a climate-friendly and sustainable stance, which demands a fundamental overhaul of existing social, political and economic norms. And this new perception needs to be contagious so it is adopted globally. The paper’s authors suggest greater transparency could produce tipping points that change what’s considered normal or acceptable, by revealing the moral implications of fossil fuels and disclosing greenhouse gas emissions information. At the same time strengthening climate education and engagement among the global population. Climate action was a key theme at the World Economic Forum Annual Meeting 2020 in Davos. Klaus Schwab, the Forum’s Founder and Executive Chairman, and the heads of Bank of America and Royal DSM, sent a letter to all summit participants asking companies and investors to make a commitment to act on climate change, which is more urgently needed than ever before. The Forum’s ongoing work on climate change includes Mission Possible, a platform to help industries make the transition to net-zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050. The climate challenges facing the planet transcend national boundaries, requiring urgent action from policy-makers, businesses, organisations and communities to speed up the transition to a net-zero future.
CLIMATE CHANGE What’s not to
After more than 10,000 years of relative stability—the full span of human civilisation—the Earth’s climate is changing. As average temperatures rise, climate science finds that acute hazards such as heat waves and floods grow in frequency and severity, and chronic hazards, such as drought and rising sea levels, intensify. Physical risk from a changing climate is already present and growing. Physical climate risk is: Increasing: The level of physical climate risk increases by 2030 and further by 2050 and increases in socioeconomic impact of between roughly two and 20 times by 2050 versus today’s levels. Physical climate risks are increasing across even as some countries find some benefits (such as expected increase in agricultural yields in countries such as Canada). The planet’s temperature has risen by about 1.1 degrees Celsius on average since the 1880s. This has been confirmed by both satellite measurements and by the analysis of hundreds of thousands of independent weather station observations from across the globe. Scientists find that the rapid decline in the planet’s surface ice cover provides further evidence. This rate of warming is at least an order of magnitude faster than any found in the past 65 million years of
paleoclimate records. The average conceals more dramatic changes at the extremes. In statistical terms, distributions of temperature are shifting to the right (towards warmer temperatures) and broadening. That means the average day in many locations is now hotter (“shifting means”), and extremely hot days are becoming more likely (“fattening tails”). For example, the evolution of the distribution of observed average summer temperatures for each 100-by-100-kilometer square in the Northern Hemisphere shows that the mean summer temperature has increased over time. The share of the Northern Hemisphere (in square kilometres) that experiences an extremely hot summer—three-standard-deviation hotter average temperature in a given summer—has increased from zero to half a percent. Averages also conceal wide spatial disparities. Over the same period that the Earth globally has warmed
by 1.1 degrees, in southern parts of Africa and in the Arctic, average temperatures have risen by 0.2 and 0.5 degrees Celsius and by 4 to 4.3 degrees Celsius, respectively. In general, the land surface has warmed faster than the 1.1-degree global average, and the oceans, which have a higher heat capacity, have warmed less.
The affected regions will grow in number and size Looking forward, climate science tells us that further warming is unavoidable over the next decade at least, and in all likelihood beyond. With increases in global average temperatures, climate models indicate a rise in climate hazards globally. These models find that further warming will continue to increase the frequency and/or severity of acute climate hazards and further intensify chronic hazards. Climate change affects human life as well as the factors of production on which our economic activity is based. We measure the impact of climate change by the extent to which it could disrupt or destroy human life, as well as physical and natural capital. Climate change is already having a measurable socioeconomic impact.. • Livability and workability. Hazards like heat stress could affect the ability of human beings to work outdoors or, in extreme cases, could put human lives at risk. Increased temperatures could also shift disease vectors and thus affect human health. • Food systems. Food production could be disrupted as drought conditions, extreme temperatures, or floods affect land and crops, though a changing climate could improve food system performance in some regions. • Physical assets. Physical assets like buildings could be damaged or destroyed by extreme precipitation, tidal flooding, forest fires, and other hazards. • Infrastructure services. Infrastructure assets are a particular type of physical asset that could be destroyed or disrupted in their functioning, leading to a decline in the services they provide or a rise in the cost of these services. This in turn can have knock-on effects on other sectors that rely on these infrastructure assets. • Natural capital. Climate change is shifting ecosystems and destroying forms of natural capital such as glaciers, forests, and ocean ecosystems, which provide important services to human communities. This in turn imperils the human habitat and economic activity.
NZ Manufacturer February 2020
CLIMATE CHANGE EPDs to kickstart climate change action In the race to meet our obligations under the Paris Agreement and mitigate the worst effects of climate change, management and minimisation of your carbon footprint is as important today as it ever will be. In the manufacturing sector, increasing customer demand, pressure from investors and new government policy are all helping to put climate change at the forefront of the agenda. The Government’s increased commitment to a low carbon economy is highlighted by the introduction of the Climate Change Response (Zero Carbon) Amendment Act and the establishment of an independent Climate Change Commission at the end of 2019. New Zealand’s gross emissions increased around 23 percent between 1990 and 2017, based on the Ministry for the Environment’s Greenhouse Gas Inventory. Emissions from the energy sector were a significant contributor to this increase, with the carbon footprint from fossil fuels for manufacturing and construction growing by over 46 percent during this period. Achieving our Paris Agreement commitments will require significant changes to be made. Environmental Product Declarations (EPDs) set a baseline for climate change action. They also help manufacturers to understand what matters most from an environmental perspective by identifying hotspots across the full life cycle of their products, from ‘cradle to grave’ or from ‘cradle to cradle’. Environmental impacts that are already locked in through manufacture (i.e. embodied impacts, such as embodied carbon) are clearly separated in an EPD from those that the customer can influence. EPDs are internationally standardised under ISO 14025 and every EPD is independently verified. EPDs quantify potential environmental impacts using a technique called Life Cycle Assessment (LCA).
LCA accounts for all flows of materials, energy and waste needed to make the product, to get it to the customer, to use it, and to eventually dispose of it. To help avoid passing the buck, EPDs assess the potential impacts of these flows using a wide range of environmental indicators, from carbon footprint to water consumption, summer smog to freshwater eutrophication (algal blooms). Collectively, this data provides a baseline from which to assess progress. Once you know where the hotspots in your product’s life cycle are, you can then start to act on them. Sometimes the biggest opportunity for improvement is directly within your control. As an example, Tasman Insulation – manufacturer of Pink Batts – reduced its carbon footprint by 30% from 2010 to 2018 with improvements in plant efficiency, driven by a reduction in consumption of natural gas. These savings were calculated by comparing the results from its EPD prepared by thinkstep-anz to those from an earlier LCA study. Sometimes the biggest opportunity lies upstream in your supply chain, or downstream with your customer. Asaleo Care – a leader in personal care and hygiene products in Australasia – commissioned
thinkstep-anz to produce EPDs for some of its favourite products. One of the key outcomes was that, when disposed of in landfill, the carbon footprint of its Tork hand towels can exceed the carbon footprint of manufacturing them. A creative business partnership followed with local company Low Impact, manufacturer of Hungry Bins. The collaboration enabled Asaleo Care to help its customers divert waste from landfills to composting in on-site worm bins, reducing the carbon footprint of Tork hand towels by 40-60% across their full life cycle. There are thousands of EPDs available worldwide and New Zealand companies have already started to benefit from them, whether through improving their manufacturing processes, helping to secure large tenders, or helping to attract and retain talented staff. David Trubridge, New Zealand Steel, Fletcher Building, Holcim, Allied Concrete, WPMA and Asaleo Care are examples of organisations across New Zealand that have experienced the benefits of EPDs first-hand. For more information www.think-epd.com
Affordable energy storage lacking BusinessNZ Energy Council executive director Tina Schirr welcomes the release of the World Energy Council’s (WEC) Innovation Insights Brief - Five Steps to Energy Storage. The brief suggests mainstream storage technologies are likely insufficient to meet future flexibility requirements resulting from further decentralisation and decarbonisation efforts. A narrow focus on lithium-ion batteries is putting the development of more cost-effective alternative technologies at risk, WEC discovered after interviewing energy leaders from 17 countries. “With major decarbonising efforts to remove thermal electric power generation and scale up renewable energies, the adoption of energy storage is a key focus the world and for New Zealand,” Ms Schirr says. “However, the brief shows affordable storage systems are a crucial missing link between intermittent renewable power and 24/7 reliability net-zero carbon scenario.”
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Ms Schirr says while there is visionary thinking in terms of energy storage, recent progress has focused on short-duration and battery-based energy storage for efficiency gains and ancillary services. Meanwhile, there has been limited progress in developing daily, weekly and even seasonal cost-effective solutions.
affordable clean energy for all.
Ms Schirr says energy storage presents an opportunity for collaboration between sectors like mobility and industry and clean electricity. Different vectors of energy can be used, including heat, electricity and hydrogen.
WEC’s recommends five steps to energy storage:
“Breaking down these silos was also one of the key takeaways of our BEC2060 project that investigated two possible outcomes for New Zealand’s energy future.” Ms Schirr says the energy sector must adopt more aggressively technologies aligned with the end-goal:
Relying on investments by adjacent sectors such as the automotive sector is not enough. Future-proofing our energy systems means considering alternative solutions and ensuring technologies have equal market opportunities, Ms Schirr says.
1. enable a level playing field; 2. engage stakeholders in a conversation; 3. capture the full potential value provided by energy storage; 4. assess and adopt enabling mechanisms; and 5. share information and promote research and development.
NEW PRODUCTS Cheap, lookalike hydraulic cylinders give NZ companies headaches Global advanced industrial tools and services leader Enerpac says the NZ market is falling victim to cheap, lookalike hydraulic cylinders that are causing significant headaches when they fail in service.
“At the end of the day it’s a case of ‘cheap comes out expensive’ because when you add up all the bills, a lookalike cylinder ends up causing far more costs, downtime, delays and other problems.”
Enerpac New Zealand Hydraulic Specialist, Mr Neville Stuart, says that unlike genuine Enerpac branded gear, lookalike cylinders have not been engineered for rugged conditions and optimum durability and are not backed by Enerpac’s nationwide service and warranty commitments.
Mr Stuart has been raising awareness of New Zealand’s lookalike cylinder problem for years but says that the lookalike brands are persistent because they know they can make a quick dollar, then disappear before things go wrong.
“Everyone is conscious of working within budget limitations, so when a $2,500 cylinder is available for under $500, it looks like a good deal. But what costs are incurred when that cylinder breaks down prematurely?” asks Mr Stuart. “It can be ten times that amount in terms of lost time, and hundreds of times that amount in terms of safety liability if they fail.” “Not only does production grind to a halt, but you now have to seek a replacement part, because there is no warranty or service with lookalike brands,” he says. Enerpac equipment is used in major projects where safety, precision and uptime are critical, in industries such as building, construction, civil and mechanical engineering, electrical utilities, manufacturing, mining and exploration, metal processing, oil and gas and transport maintenance.
“The lookalike cylinders are usually painted in an almost identical yellow, and catalogues can even use similar part coding systems, but at the end of the day, if it isn’t genuine Enerpac gear, it can’t be serviced or covered under warranty by us, and companies are often left out of pocket due to dodgy cylinders,” he said. All Enerpac products undergo rigorous testing to ensure total Standards compliance and top levels of safety when working on projects where there is no margin for error.
Steps to protect against lookalikes Ways in which buyers of industrial products and services can protect themselves include: • Nominate the use of only named, quality equipment when they specify and order – dealing with OEM products and authorised distributors with full service backing and the guarantees
Cheap comes out expensive – lookalike cylinders cause downtime headaches
and traceability that companies such as Enerpac provide. • Build a relationship with a reliable supplier who is prepared to supply the names of established customers in similar industries to the one being quoted. Experience and input from customers – a true knowledge partnership – are fundamental to the design, development, production, supply and service of standard and custom-made hydraulic solutions for safe, precise control of movement and positioning of heavy loads, for example • If in any doubt, check with major distributors and OEMs such as Enerpac to ensure that the products being quoted are the products that they are represented to be. • Thoroughly familiarise staff with correct safety procedures through on-site training courses run by reputable suppliers.
THE FACTORY OF THE FUTURE WILL MAKE THE IMPOSSIBLE, POSSIBLE SINGLE PASS WELDS IN THICKNESSES UP TO 200MM WITH NO CONSUMABLES
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NZ Manufacturer February 2020
NEW PRODUCTS Food secure products globally compliant with hygiene and food safety regulations Plastics used in food preparation and processing areas need to conform to a special set of regulations, to ensure that all food they come in contact with remains safe to eat. To optimise food equipment hygiene compliance, engineering plastics leader Cut To Size Plastics is introducing the globally proven Wefapress Beck + Co. GmbH Food Secure Products (FSP) range to Australia and New Zealand. The FSP range has been certified to EU Regulation 10/2011, which is among the strictest standards in the world. EU Regulation 10/2011 covers areas such as starting substances, production aids, migration tests, declaration of conformity, traceability and good manufacturing practice. “Because these plastics meet all the requirements of the EU standards, which are some of the strictest globally, they set a very high standard locally for food safe materials,” said Mr Laurie Green,
Managing Director, Cut To Size Plastics, which has been distributing plastics from leading German supplier, Wefapress, for decades. Work in the food industry is subject to strict hygiene standards that also apply in interaction with plastics. Plastics in this segment must be physiologically harmless in order to come in contact with food. This not only protects the health of the consumer, but also the composition of the food and its organoleptic properties. Wefapress has been a leader in food safety for decades. When the latest regulations came out, some of the items considered to be new standards of best-practice had been a matter of course for them for many years already.
Key elements of Food Secure compliance Regulations around what materials can be used on food preparation surfaces and equipment centre around five key points: 1. List of starting substances and production aids. Defines the materials to be used for production: Authorised are only the starting substances and production aids from the ‘Union List’ (approx. 800 in total). 2. Migration test. Requires standard tests with food simulants, times and temperatures which should reflect the actual situation. Testing covers the OML (Overall Migration Limit), which is the maximum quantity of substances that a material is permitted to release into a food, as well as the SML (Specific Migration Limit), which is the maximum quantity of a particular substance that is allowed to be released into a food. 3. Declaration of Conformity. Contains information on regulations related to food laws and statements on the suitability for possible use. It is valid until a material has been changed and therefore the migration also changes or until new scientific findings are available. 4. Traceability. It must be possible to trace the material through all value creation stages. 5. GMP (Good Manufacturing Practice). The manufacture must take place in accordance with the provisions of Regulation (EC) No. 2023/2006, also known as GMP (Good Manufacturing Practice), which regulates the quality system, quality control system and documentation. Wefapress Food Secure Products can be coloured in a distinctive blue to make them easily identifiable as compliant All of these materials are accessible from Cut To Size by Australian and New Zealand companies, says Mr Green. Wefapress and Cut To Size can also provide Individual calculation of migration.
Wefapress food grade plastics conform to all global food and hygiene regulations
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NZ Manufacturer February 2020 /
NEW PRODUCTS Go-anywhere aluminium cylinders offer extraordinary power-to-weight Global advanced industrial tools and services leader, Enerpac, is extending the versatility of its RAC-Series lightweight aluminium cylinder range, with new 10t and 15t models for smaller lifts requiring outstanding portability and power-to-weight ratios. The cylinders, with strokes from 50-250mm, weigh from just 1.3-2.0kg for the new 10-ton models and 1.9-2.9kg for the new 15-ton models, through to a maximum of 41.3 kg for the range-topping 150-ton models.
on machines or applications where the weight of the hydraulic components is important. Because of their weight, aluminium hydraulic components can be more easily moved or removed for maintenance and repair.
“The new 10t and 15t models, which further extend the range, are particularly useful for maintenance tasks, and in situations where they need to be moved from job to job,” says Enerpac Asia-Pacific Marketing Manager, Mr Tony Cooper.
Their non-magnetic properties can also be useful in uses around high technology, equipment and magnetically or electronically sensitive instruments and applications in resources, processing and exploration.
The RAC-Series has been proven globally for years on lifts between 20 and 150 tonnes, where it provides the same lifting performance and safety in half the weight of equivalent steel hydraulic cylinders.
“Additionally, because it is non-corrosive by design, aluminium has always been a good material for use in many caustic environments, including those encountered in the production of food, electricity, manufactured goods and resources,” said Mr Cooper.
Frequently used in workshops, fabrication and manufacturing applications, Enerpac’s range of RAC single-acting, spring return aluminium cylinders are one of the most widely used ranges in Australasia. “Cylinders often need to be carried for field maintenance, elevated platform work, up stairs or across processing plants. The light weight and outstanding portability of the RAC-Series cylinders are highly valuable in these situations, especially on remote sites, where they may need to be carried in by air or 4wd,” says Mr Cooper. The aluminium versions are also perfect for mounting
RAC-Series cylinders are comprised of composite bearings on all moving surfaces to prevent metal-to-metal contact, resist side loads and extend cylinder life. Complementing the high power-to-weight ratios of the RAC-Series cylinders are Enerpac’s lightweight hand pumps, models P-392 or P-802, which are constructed of composite materials including aluminium to comprise the optimum lightweight pump and cylinder set. The cylinders can also be powered by fast-acting Enerpac electric, air and petrol pumps.
The new 10t and 15t models complement Enerpac’s proven range of RAC-Series lightweight aluminium cylinders, in capacities up to 150t at 700 bar pressure
Voumard 1000 new standard for ID grinding in manufacturing Hardinge has introduced the Voumard 1000 Universal CNC Internal grinding (IG) machine. The machine offers a high-performance, economical grinder for the widest range of universal internal grinding requirements to obtain fine surface finishes and tight tolerances. The Voumard 1000 is a new standard in ID grinding, providing customers with the ultimate combination of precision, performance in an affordable machine designed to optimise production costs when manufacturing high-precision parts for industries ranging from aerospace to medical. For over 80 years, the Voumard brand has been a global leader in innovative ID/OD grinding with almost 10,000 installed internal grinding machines around the world. Typical applications are grinding operations on parts for hydraulic components, spindles, bearings, or gears as example.
Customers can now get the following benefits and features: Innovative Hydrolin hydrostatic guideways provide the highest smallest diameters to enhance productivity. A unique design that does not have coupling joints to perform without any backlash, offers superior positioning accuracy-less corrections, as well as optimised thermodynamics in its direct drive linear motor system for better cooling management.
“table turret” collision-free dressing. New compact, ergonomic machine design for better overview during grinding process and accessibility for best in class tool and work piece management. Fanuc 31i control for improved operator access, fast programming and retooling, even for inexperienced operators.
Unique, compact hydrostatic spindle turret configuration for ideal accessibility and larger spectrum of parts. The new system offers a hydrostatic B-axis, with benchmarking positioning repeatability. Advantages in high precision also in non-round grinding and improved accessibility with compact
NZ Manufacturer February 2020
DEVELOPMENTS Manufacturing talent: what can you do to bridge the gap? From 3D printing to blockchain, automation to predictive analytics, the fourth industrial revolution is changing how the manufacturing industry is operating. However, with this rapid transformation comes manufacturing talent challenges, exacerbated by an industry that has struggled to recruit the right people. 29 per cent of manufacturing vacancies are hard to fill and with a rapidly ageing workforce, it becomes increasingly hard for leaders in manufacturing to know where to start when it comes to talent planning. Engineering businesses have always required a unique combination of technical and soft leadership skills, and it remains in short supply. The fourth industrial revolution is affecting all aspects of business because process is no longer about machines and people, but now about data. It is crucial that employees have the imagination and creativity to realise the full potential of digitilisation and end-to-end integration. Finding the right balance between the skills new technology requires and upskilling existing talent pools is the key challenge
Gap in the middle when it comes to manufacturing talent Siemens went through a period of structural reorganisation in 2014 to prepare it for the challenges facing the manufacturing industry, with industrial digitalisation being a key component of its Vision 2020 strategy. Commenting on the reasoning behind the changes in 2018, Siemens president and chief executive Joe Kaeser called digitilisation “the greatest transformation in the history of industry”.
Brian Holliday, managing director of Siemens’ Digital Factory, the German manufacturer’s data integration wing, says: “From a talent perspective, many new roles are emerging in app development, connectivity and software engineering. Technology won’t replace people in future factories, but it will augment human effort through artificial intelligence and ‘co-bots’ [robots that work alongside people on the shop floor], so finding the right balance will be crucial to our survival. We won’t build factories in the future without full digital simulation and we will be increasingly reliant on data for decisions. Our engineers and managers will need to continuously develop new capabilities and embrace new tools. Siemens is hoping to create industry-ready graduates by partnering with universities on research and qualifications. However, as with many industrial companies, Siemens’ workforce largely consists of mature engineering talent, and apprentices and graduates, with a significant gap in the middle.
Manufacturing talent gap is a challenge to be embraced Dealing with this manufacturing talent gap is a major headache for an industry already struggling to meet demand. The single most exciting thing about the fourth industrial revolution is the breadth of manufacturing
talent that can find expression, the breadth of skills that can be developed and where these attributes are taking the industry. There are barriers to overcome, but the biggest risk comes in not embracing the challenge.
Key to beating talent shortage is training How about a two-pronged approach to manufacturing talent planning with inward and outward strategies? Investing in the people you have is hugely important. Your people already understand what you do, but do you really understand what they could do if given the right opportunities? Offering your people the chance to learn and further their own careers also makes you more appealing to other skilled talent you’ll need to recruit. The other half of the equation is about looking into the future and outside your company to understand the skills you’ll need down the line. Some of these skills can be redeployed through the use of automation technologies to free up existing workforces, but industry in general still needs an influx of engineers for the future. Perhaps this is the crux of the issue. While digitalisation is certainly the future of manufacturing, in talent terms the present is still a challenge.
Perhaps this is the crux of the issue. While digitalisation is certainly the future of manufacturing, in talent terms the present is still a challenge.
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DEVELOPMENTS Recycling breakthrough set to save environment from toxic acid waste An industrial prototype to recycle acid waste from Christchurch’s galvanised steel industries is just the beginning for researchers at the University of Canterbury who have a global vision for their eco innovation. Called Zincovery, their exciting project is a finalist for Callaghan Innovation’s prestigious C-Prize. Zincovery is the brainchild of UC Associate Professor of Engineering Dr Aaron Marshall and Chemical and UC Process Engineering Master’s student Jonathan Ring, whose prototype process is poised to make a big impact as a new low-cost industrial recycling technology. Their solution for recycling spent acid and recovering pure zinc is a true leap forward towards a cleaner global future for industries reliant on galvanising, a process that involves applying a protective zinc coating to steel. They have their sights set on tackling the hundreds and thousands of tonnes of zinc and acid released into landfill and wastewater every year through the steel galvanising process.
The 10 finalists, selected from 140 entries from across New Zealand, were each awarded $10,000 to support their project, along with business mentoring. The grand prize winner will be announced in June. Dr Marshall first became aware of the need for new low cost zinc recycling technology after being approached by a local galvaniser, who was frustrated with high disposal costs and a lack of good recycling alternatives. After seeing the potential value for recycled zinc dissolved in waste acid, he invited Master’s student Jonathan Ring to join him in
researching the opportunity. “After a year in the lab we had a breakthrough: we have developed a low-cost recovery method for pure zinc. We’re very excited about the environmental and commercial potential of this project,” says Dr Marshall. Until now, there have been few affordable recycling options for the galvanised steel industry as the existing technologies are expensive and recovering zinc has simply not been economic. Jonathan Ring is also working on the business side of Zincovery as part of the UC Centre for Entrepreneurship Summer Startup Programme. The programme gives students the opportunity to fast-track their commercial or social enterprise under the guidance of local business mentors.
Using their industrial prototype, currently under construction, Zincovery aims to offer an innovative recycling service for acid waste at a lower cost than what businesses would pay to dispose of it. Their prototype will be capable of recycling 15 per cent of the acid waste produced by Christchurch’s galvanised steel industry. Next year, the goal is to build a commercial treatment plant for New Zealand. Zincovery’s long term ambition is to expand into international markets. If successful, potential returns could run into hundreds of millions of dollars with a significant portion of that directed back to New Zealand. Callaghan Innovation, New Zealand’s innovation agency, has recognised the project’s potential with Zincovery named as a C-Prize finalist. The C-Prize challenge aims to foster new technologies that tackle complex global problems with a particular focus this year on solving tough environmental challenges.
New trade deal will boost NZ tech The New Zealand, Singapore and Chile digital economy partnership deal will significantly help Kiwi companies grow their digital trade, NZTech chief executive Graeme Muller says. Digital trade is growing rapidly in New Zealand and worldwide, Muller says. “Technology is the fastest growing sector in New Zealand and digital trade is especially important for the New Zealand economy,” he says. “The New Zealand economy is largely made up of small and medium businesses and being able to trade digitally opens up the global market which was previously only accessible for larger firms. “As more small Kiwi businesses understand how to access global markets this will accelerate their
expansion and the growth of the economy. “So, it is critical to have positive global digital trade policies and agreements in place, the work that the New Zealand government is leading in this space is excellent and the New Zealand tech ecosystem is fully supportive.” According to a recent report by the OECD, a 10 percent increase in bilateral digital connectivity raises traditional trade in goods and services as well by two to three percent so stimulating digital trade is also important for our traditional export sectors as well.
NZTech is a non-governmental organisation that is supported by more than 1000 organisations that work together to help create a prosperous New Zealand underpinned by technology.
NZ Manufacturer February 2020
Countries once grew rich through manufacturing - but today there is more than one way to effect structural transformation.
Factories no longer the sure route to prosperity Think about countries growing out of poverty and you probably picture something like this: underemployed workers leaving inefficient farms for factories that make textiles and clothing for domestic and export markets. Over time, this shift raises productivity and wages across the economy, while countries’ production and export baskets diversify into more sophisticated goods and services. For the past several decades, this image would have been broadly on the mark. South Korea is a prime example: through the 1950s, a large share of its population still worked in the agricultural sector. Its manufactured exports a decade later were mostly textiles, clothing, footwear and wigs. Two generations on, in 2017, Korea was the world’s fifth-largest merchandise exporter and its ninth-largest importer. Even if your mobile phone and household electronics weren’t made by a Korean company, they almost certainly contain integrated circuits that were. In varied ways, and to differing extents, countries from Bangladesh to Colombia to China have trodden this path. Since the dawn of the Industrial Revolution in late 18th century England, ‘structural transformation’– a term economists use for the process of shifting people and resources out of subsistence work into more productive activities – has begun with labour-intensive manufacturing. And starting in the 1950s, trade has been a key accelerator of structural transformation in developing countries, enabling much faster growth and poverty reduction than would otherwise be possible.
Good enough to compete Trade matters in this story because in most developing countries, internationally tradable sectors are typically much more productive than the rest of the economy. Pulling more people and capital out of non-tradable activities and into firms dealing in tradable goods and services therefore makes for better jobs and a more productive economy overall; after all, the global marketplace offers far greater levels of demand than small home markets, and is a source for ideas, inputs,
NZ Manufacturer February 2020 /
and knowhow. Meanwhile, the discipline of international market competition serves as an ongoing test for businesses’ operational efficiency: to succeed, they need to be good enough to compete. Beginning in the 1990s, a twist emerged in manufacturing and trade: improved communications technology combined with predictably open markets to spur a dramatic increase in multi-country supply chains. Companies could more easily coordinate operations across far-flung production facilities and be reasonably confident about the access terms their goods would receive in destination markets. This made it possible to disaggregate activities that used to occur within a single factory across regions and even oceans, locating each step of production wherever it could be done at the best quality and for the best price. This ‘value chain revolution’ did not just lower costs for businesses and prices for consumers; it lowered the bar for developing countries to break into world markets. Countries and companies no longer needed to produce finished goods: they could tap into the benefits of international trade by producing or processing components within larger value chains.
Two serious challenges Trade-led structural transformation can reshape countries’ economic possibilities and prospects for eliminating extreme poverty and creating large numbers of jobs, as envisaged by the Sustainable Development Goals, but today it faces two serious challenges. First, the open global economy itself is under threat.
New trade restrictions have been placed on hundreds of billions of dollars of traded merchandise, and the very notion of rules-based cooperation on trade has come under sustained political attack. Second, increasingly sophisticated labour-saving automation means that manufacturing does not require as many workers as it used to. This diminishes the importance of labour costs as a factor in where to locate production. Even in labour-intensive industries like garment manufacturing, changing business models are ‘nearshoring’ some investment back towards advanced economies. As for services, the digital revolution has made cross-border trade feasible for everything from programming to accounting and legal services. But value addition and trade in services aren’t just about technology parks in Bangalore or call centres in Dakar. Allowing global markets to slam shut will diminish growth opportunities around the world, especially for the people and places that need it most. Yet irrespective of what happens to trade, robust manufacturing sectors will now be just one component of economic growth and development. To generate better jobs in the numbers needed, developing countries will need to broaden their growth strategies.
Robust manufacturing sectors will now be just one component of economic growth and development.
REAR VIEW Electric car sales tripled last year. Here’s what we can do to keep them growing A total of 6718 electric vehicles were sold in Australia in 2019. That’s three times as many as in 2018, but it’s still small beer. More than a million fossil-fueled light vehicles (including SUVs and utes) were sold in the same period. The sales figures were published in the wake of UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s announcement that sales of petrol or diesel cars will be banned in the UK by 2035. The UK’s isn’t the only right-of-centre government to see the benefits of going electric — in 2016, New Zealand’s Conservative party introduced a wide-ranging program to encourage drivers to get off fossil fuels. If Australia wants to head in the same direction, we can learn from what others have done. Why should we go electric? And why don’t we? The main argument for electric vehicles is often about cutting greenhouse gas emissions. But even leaving those aside, there are plenty of reasons to move away from oil as an energy source for transport, among them energy security, better health outcomes, and spending less money on petrol imports. Australians have been slow to adopt electric cars, however. Our previous research indicates the top two reasons are the fear of not being able to find a fast recharger on long trips (“range anxiety”), and the higher purchase price of electric cars.
Obstacles are clearing Range anxiety should be on the decline. Fast rechargers are beginning to be installed on major routes and higher capacity batteries are increasing vehicle range. In any case, the average distance travelled by Australians is just 34.5km per day. Prices for electric vehicles are also on the way down. Bloomberg has predicted that larger electric and fossil-fueled cars will cost about the same in Europe as soon as 2022. Even when upfront costs for electric vehicles are higher, ongoing costs are generally much lower. An average Australian car travels 12,600 kilometres in a year, consuming 1360.8 litres of fuel at a cost of about A$2,000 (assuming fuel costs $1.50 per litre). For a typical electric car, the same amount of travel would cost $250 if recharging using off-peak electricity (assuming it costs 11 cents per kilowatt hour), or $567 if recharging with more expensive electricity (at 25 cents per kilowatt hour).
Lessons from New Zealand In 2016, New Zealand’s Conservative transport minister Simon Bridges introduced a suite of policies to encourage electric, especially for passenger vehicles. Since then, electric vehicle sales have been doubling every 12 months. In 2019, 6545 light electric vehicles were brought into New Zealand and registered for the first time. That’s not far off Australia’s tally, but in a population of 5 million compared to Australia’s 25 million.
So what did the Conservatives do to encourage motorists to go electric? They took advice from the experts and introduced a multi-faceted group of measures. These included: exemption from the Road User Charge, worth about $600 per year; government procurement programs; installing a public recharging network; investment in a five-year promotional campaign including TV ads, online information and “ride and drive” events. They also established a leadership group across business and government and a funding scheme to encourage organisations to go electric.
1. Gail Broadbent PhD candidate Faculty of Science UNSW, UNSW
In NZ they have just about thought of everything, even ensuring there is a facility to recycle old batteries. But possibly the most important factor has been that the government has enabled imports of high-quality secondhand electric cars from Japan. In 2019 they accounted for more than half of electric vehicle sales (4155 used compared to 2390 new). This measure enables motorists with lower budgets to buy electric vehicles. Our unpublished research shows electric vehicles have been especially popular with multicar families who use their EVs as much as possible as it’s so much cheaper than using petrol or diesel. When those happy customers tell their friends and family about how much better it is to drive electric, it’s an important feedback loop that helps people overcome their fear of change. Maybe it’s time Australia took a “Leaf” out of the Kiwi book and got on board with some sensible policies and legislation to speed up the transition to electric cars.
2. Graciela Metternicht Professor of Environmental Geography, School of Biological Earth and Environmental Sciences, UNSW
In 2016, New Zealand’s Conservative transport minister Simon Bridges introduced a suite of policies to encourage electric, especially for passenger vehicles. Since then, electric vehicle sales have been doubling every 12 months. www.nzmanufacturer.co.nz
NZ Manufacturer February 2020
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