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published by John Murphy. All material in Manufacturers’ Monthly is copyright and no part may be reproduced or copied in any form or by any means (graphic, electronic or mechanical including information and retrieval systems) without written permission of the publisher. The Editor welcomes contributions but reserves the right to accept or reject any material. While every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy of information, Prime Creative Media will not accept responsibility for errors or omissions or for any consequences arising from reliance on information published. The opinions expressed in Manufacturers’ Monthly are not necessarily the opinions of, or endorsed by the publisher unless otherwise stated. © Copyright Prime Creative Media, 2018 Articles All articles submitted for publication become the property of the publisher. The Editor reserves the right to adjust any article to conform with the magazine format. Head Office 11-15 Buckhurst St South Melbourne VIC 3205 P: +61 3 9690 8766 Sydney Office Suite 3.06, 1-9 Chandos Street Saint Leonards NSW 2065, Australia

Behind the cover As Australia moves ahead with the largest peacetime upgrade to its armed forces, the defence industry is positioned to greatly benefit from taking part in the military acquisition projects. The 2017-18 budget saw the government committing $200 billion investment to build up Australia’s military capabilities over the next decade, which includes expansion of naval, air force and army capabilities.

With the government looking to invest much of that commitment in Australia, many small and medium companies are taking part in the projects, building more experience and export capabilities in the process. In this issue we have covered the role of Australian SMEs in Rheinmetall Defence Australia’s recent contract to make more than 200 combat vehicles for the army, as part of the army’s $5 billion Land 400 Phase 2 contract.


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At a time when the car brands have closed local manufacturing facilities and other industries have seen manufacturing go overseas, we are PROUD to still be here. As part of the massive CNH Industrial organisation we have the flexibility to manufacture in numerous plants around the globe, however we’re proudly continuing to make certain IVECO Truck models in Australia for several very good reasons. Creating top trucks for down under Australian trucking conditions are among the toughest in the world, so having the ability to test, design and make trucks specifically for local conditions simply makes good sense. IVECO Trucks Australia’s Dandenong manufacturing plant is home to a large product engineering department that features a dedicated facility for building and testing prototypes designed for Australian conditions. Expertise and solutions, right here and right now Local research, development and production means the level of local technical expertise is second to none - which also means our dealers and customers get the benefit of the right answers and solutions, right away. Built local to benefit local We are passionate about all the local communities we operate in around the globe and we know that industrial areas of Victoria need manufacturing investment to protect jobs. Through our IVECO plant in Dandenong we not only provide local employment but also provide business for the many component and services providers that we partner with. In our hugely popular Acco, for example, 85% of the components are sourced from local suppliers.

Andre – Production Leader, IVECO Trucks Australia

A strong history in Australia IVECO Trucks Australia has a long and proud history of local truck manufacturing in this country, which began with the opening of our Dandenong manufacturing plant in 1952. Since then, over 230,000 trucks have been manufactured at Dandenong - more than any other truck manufacturer in Australia – and today the plant continues to build trucks, including ACCO and Stralis models, along with the Metro and Delta bus chassis. IVECO Trucks is proudly and successfully building a good product in Australia for the Australian market – and with production of even more models set to commence in our Dandenong plant throughout 2018, we look forward to building an even brighter future for Australian truck manufacturing. Thanks to those who support local manufacturers.



SYED SHAH – Managing Editor, Manufacturers’ Monthly

Stepping out of the comfort zone


s we approach the mid-year mark of 2018, we should probably be making sure that those new year resolutions are being achieved. Whether it is kicking old bad habits to buying that new lawn mower, there are many reasons we decided to implement these goals. For manufacturers, it could be investing in energy-efficient air compressors to the next $100 billion order of aircraft. Whatever it is, we could find these changes too drastic or difficult – and they end up falling through or fading out. The point is, while we dream big, it can be hard to get motivated to embrace something new. For traditional manufacturing, doing things “the way they’ve always been done” feels more simple and comfortable. However, change can be good, and sometimes, it is a necessity. Let’s apply this concept to a manufacturing plant. Maybe the owners have spent so much time operating in a specific way that imagining any other method can be stressful. However, the manufacturing industry is facing

6 MAY 2018 Manufacturers’ Monthly 

a slew of changes and challenges – from rapidly evolving technology through to new regulations. But, that is looking at it from just one vantage point. In the aftermath of the global financial crisis in 2008, Australia experienced a net loss of 6000 manufacturing firms, according to the latest AMGC report “Building Resilience in Australian Manufacturing”. Job losses and an immediate restructure were needed with reskilling of workers at the top of the government agenda. Australia’s automotive industry was hit the hardest with big brands moving their vehicle production lines overseas. However, the industry has been slowly recovering turning negatives to positives. A quarter-to-quarter review by the Australian Bureau of Statistics revealed that from the first quarter of 2016 to 2017, the number of manufacturing jobs increased from 874,000 to 914,000. That number would be close to the million mark by 2018. How did we address these concerns? The answer was (and still is) change.

Change keeps a manufacturer competitive. Implementing new technology improves operations, sustainability initiatives save on costs, while diagnostic analytics leads to better data gathering and analysis. The government and think tank agencies have long lobbied to local manufacturers to make these changes, because after the rough patch of transitioning from one method to another, there will be an improvement to operations. However, it would still be wise to know when and how much to implement. In February this year, I visited Dana’s assembly plant in Keysborough, Melbourne to have a look at its automotive parts assembly plant. I wanted to know what had kept it profitable all these years. From what I observed, while there were many processes that were still manual, there were lean manufacturing processes in those jobs more efficient. It was monthon-month, year-on-year reviews of its factory floor processes that kept the production flow efficient, which lead to increased output. Nick Stavrakis, managing director of Dana Australia,

told me that while it was true that new technologies like automation can help processes, it was done on a “need to” basis. At the same time, the company resisted outsourcing any of its assembly work, believing in the commitment to retain jobs locally. Of course, sometimes we have a choice in making the change, and other times changes are thrust upon us especially economic climate shifts driven by politics (think about the ongoing TPP saga). In either case, it is important to focus on not just the desired goals of your operations, but the necessary changes. Whether we choose these changes, or they choose us, the call needs to be madeeither way. Personally, I always encourage change in organisations. Refining processes, policies and purchasing systems is always a necessity to move forward. Why? Because that change keeps you competitive – the mainstay key to success in business, whether it is to improve lengthy or complicated processes, or saving money and time by increasing efficiency. Other times, change may be the only option to stay afloat during challenging times.

News@MM CSIRO scoops Boeing award for second year running Global aerospace giant Boeing has named CSIRO as technology supplier of the year for 2017. It is the second consecutive year that Australia’s national science agency has picked up the top award, building on the recognition it received as Boeing’s academia supplier of the year in 2010. Selected from a field of more than 13,000 suppliers from 50 countries, CSIRO was one of 13 organisations (and the only one from Australia) to be recognised this year. Delivering technology innovations that “were instrumental to Boeing worker safety”, helped advance production efficiency and “delivered Boeing’s competitive advantage in the avionics business” were cited as some

of the reasons for CSIRO retaining the Technology Award it won in 2016. The Boeing relationship is one of CSIRO’s most enduring and productive. Since 1989 the organisations have invested in projects that take in everything from software to safety systems, cyber security to space science, production efficiency to advanced materials. In January 2018, the two parties announced an agreement to perform joint research and development in space technologies, signalling a new phase in the partnership. This was followed by the announcement that CSIRO and Boeing’s respective investment funds were backing Australian nanosatellite communications start-up Myriota.

“We greatly value our long and strong relationship with Boeing because it’s built on shared values, including trust and respect, safety of our workers and striving for excellence in everything we do,” CSIRO chief executive Dr Larry Marshall said. “Like Boeing, CSIRO was founded to deliver national missions – we are united by a common purpose to make life better, whether it’s on the ground, in the air, or on Mars. “We’re excited to be expanding our partnership into space, creating opportunities for not only new knowledge about our Universe, but new opportunities for humankind.” Over the course of their 29-year partnership CSIRO and Boeing have

delivered a range of technological breakthroughs, creating jobs and growth in Australia and the US. CSIRO’s “Paintbond” technology, for instance, has been applied to more than a thousand Boeing airplanes, including some in the skies above Australia, saving millions of dollars in maintenance costs. The strong relationship with CSIRO was a key factor in Boeing choosing Australia as the location for its largest research and development operation outside the United States. Last year, the two organisations signed a new $35 million five-year deal to work together on a broad range of areas of mutual interest including space sciences, advanced materials and manufacturing.

The two parties announced an agreement to perform joint research and development in space technologies, signalling a new phase in the partnership.

8 MAY 2018 Manufacturers’ Monthly


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News@MM Helping Australian manufacturers build resilience The report defines resilient firms as those that outperform their industry in a downturn, with higher earnings than average companies.

The Australian Manufacturing Growth Centre (AMGC) has released a new report, outlining opportunities for Australian companies to protect themselves against global economic volatilities. The Commonwealth supported report by AMGC, titled “Building Resilience in Australian Manufacturing,” highlights that 26 per cent of Australia’s most profitable manufacturers were the lowest performing after the Global Financial Crisis. The report defines resilient firms as those that outperform their industry in a downturn, with higher earnings than average companies. The report identifies three strategies for building resilience and how manufacturing leaders can use these approaches for continuing success. The three strategies focus on superiority firms offering technically superior products or services, diversity, and flexibility. “The AMGC’s Sector Competitiveness Plan identified ways to drive competitiveness for Australian manufacturers, but there was an ingredient we found that needed to explain long-term performance, namely resilience,” said AMGC’s managing director, Dr Jens Goennemann. “Instead of seeing parts of Australia’s manufacturing base being wiped out in the next

downturn, let’s rather learn how some of our manufacturers adapted and survived in such times of contraction.” From 1996 to 2015, the period examined by the report’s researchers, and even without a recession, the manufacturing sector expanded to above and below 20 per cent of its trend size. This 20 per cent deviation compares to 14 per cent in the UK, 10 per cent in the US, and 8 per cent in Germany. For one in three Australian manufacturing businesses, the loss of one customer would have a moderate to significant impact on their business. For one in 10 manufacturers, the loss of one customer would force their business to shut down. Building Resilience in Australian Manufacturing outlines what drives resilience, with 70 per cent of resilient manufacturers exhibiting technical leadership. Also, 64 per cent produce a diverse product offering, and 54 per cent have business models that allowed for high flexibility. The AMGC is an industry-led organisation established through the Australian Government’s Industry Growth Centres initiative. The vision of the organisation is to develop an internationally competitive, dynamic and thriving Australian advanced manufacturing sector that is critical to the long-term health of the economy and the nation.

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Manufacturers’ Monthly MAY 2018 11

News@MM Australia leading global energy storage race New research by Greentech Media (GMT) shows that Australia is leading the global race in energy storage, having installed the most storage technology in the world during 2017, ahead of Germany, the United States and Japan. According to GMT’s “Global Energy Storage: 2017 Year in Review and 2018-22 Outlook” Australia installed an astonishing 246 megawatts (MW) of energy storage power capacity, enough to power almost 400,000 homes at one time, while also taking second place for energy capacity (MWh). “Australia is on an energy storage winning streak and was also recognised as having the biggest household storage market anywhere in the world last year,” climate councillor and energy expert Greg Bourne, the former President of BP Australasia said. “Our transition to clean, reliable and affordable renewable energy and

12 MAY 2018 Manufacturers’ Monthly 

storage technology is already in full swing, with the nation home to the most powerful lithium ion battery in the world plus a collection of new storage projects in the pipeline.” Bourne said renewables plus storage technology was a winning combination for tackling worsening climate change, while also making economic sense. “In the past eight years the price of

lithium-ion batteries has dropped by 80 per cent and is tipped to halve again by 2025, which is driving investment in this booming industry both here and abroad,” he said. Earlier, the United Nations also released the latest renewable energy data for 2017 where Australia again was ahead of the pack, with investments jumping 147 per cent to

Renewables and energy storage such as batteries will ensure Australia’s grid is fully charged.

$11 billion. “Renewables and energy storage such as batteries will ensure the nation’s grid is fully charged, especially during extreme weather events,” he said. “Our states and territories are leading the renewables and energy storage race, transitioning us to a 21st century energy grid Australians can be proud of.” “Unfortunately, the Federal Government’s proposed National Energy Guarantee (NEG) could put all of this at risk.” He also pointed out that this new data shows exactly what Australia is capable of and that where Australia is a global leader in renewables and battery storage. “Let’s keep the momentum going and continue to move away from ageing, polluting and inefficient fossil fuel power,” said Bourne.

News@MM World’s first e-waste microfactory launched at UNSW UNSW has announced what it says is the world’s first microfactory that can transform the components from electronic waste (e-waste) items such as discarded smart phones and laptops into valuable materials for re-use. Using technology developed following extensive scientific research at UNSW’s Centre for Sustainable Materials Research and Technology (SMaRT Centre), the e-waste microfactory has the potential to reduce the rapidly growing problem of vast amounts of electronic waste causing environmental harm and going into landfill. In launching the microfactory at the SMaRT Centre laboratories last week, NSW Minister for the Environment Gabrielle Upton said it was exciting to see technological innovations that could transform

waste management and recycling. “I am very pleased to launch the UNSW e-waste microfactory today, a NSW home-grown solution to the waste challenges facing communities all over the world,” Upton said. “It is exciting to see innovations such as this prototype microfactory and the potential they have to reduce waste and provide a boost to both the waste management and manufacturing industries in NSW.” SMaRT Centre Director, Professor Veena Sahajwalla, said the e-waste microfactory was the first of a series of microfactories under development and in testing at UNSW that can also turn many types of consumer waste such as glass, plastic and timber into commercial materials and products. For instance, from e-waste, computer circuit boards can be

transformed into valuable metal alloys such as copper and tin while glass and plastic from e-devices can be converted into micromaterials used in industrial grade ceramics and plastic filaments for 3D printing. “Our e-waste microfactory and another under development for other consumer waste types offer a costeffective solution to one of the greatest environmental challenges of our age, while delivering new job opportunities to our cities but importantly to our rural and regional areas, too,” Sahajwalla said. “Using our green manufacturing technologies, these microfactories can transform waste where it is stockpiled and created, enabling local businesses and communities to not only tackle local waste problems but to develop a commercial

The e-microfactories can transform waste where it is stockpiled and created. opportunity from the valuable materials that are created.” Sahajwalla said microfactories presented a solution to burning and burying waste items that contain materials which can be transformed into value-added substances and products to meet existing and new industry and consumer demands. She described it as sustainable solution to the growing waste problem, which also offers economic benefits.

Manufacturers’ Monthly MAY 2018 13

News@MM Bisalloy, BlueScope begin trial steel production for SEA1000 Naval Group Australia has signed a contract with Australian steel manufacturers Bisalloy and BlueScope to produce up to 250 tonnes of specialised steel as part of a trial for the Royal Australian Navy’s Future Submarine Project (SEA 1000). According to the Naval Group’s announcement, the unique grade of steel will be tested to determine whether it meets the specification for the pressure hull of the new submarines, which is an essential safety requirement. Minister for Defence Industry Christopher Pyne said over the past 12 months, French shipbuilding major Naval Group has been working with Bisalloy and BlueScope to develop and qualify Australian steel to meet the demanding specification required for the submarines. “This will be the first time

Australian industry has attempted to make this particular type of steel, demonstrating the ongoing opportunities for local industry within the Future Submarine Program,” Pyne said. “It’s great news for local workers and shows the confidence we have in Australian companies to contribute to this massive $50 billion-dollar program.” In December 2016, Australia and France formally sealed a $50 billion agreement under which Naval Group will build a new fleet of dieselelectric submarines based on its nuclear Barracuda-class submarines. The variant was named Shortfin Barracuda Block 1A. The submarine was selected as the winner of the Future Submarine Program (SEA 1000) competition, a program undertaken by the Royal Australian Navy to replace its fleet of

Collins-class conventionally-powered attack submarines. The construction of the 12 submarines will be done in a new, dedicated Submarine Construction Yard at the ASC shipyard in Osborne, Adelaide, South Australia. The

workforce of 2800 people will be needed for the construction. The construction is expected to begin in 2022-23 and will extend into the late 2040s. The first submarine is likely to enter service in the early 2030s.

The unique grade of steel will be tested to determine whether it meets the specification for the pressure hull of the new submarines.

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14 MAY 2018 Manufacturers’ Monthly

ADVERTORIAL AMGC At NMW 2018 National Manufacturing Week is the largest annual gathering of Australia’s manufacturing community and returns to Sydney in May 2018. This three-day event promises inspiration, advice and connections for the thriving sector. The opening morning of 9 May is not to be missed. Dr Stephanie Fahey, CEO, Austrade, will deliver the opening keynote at 10.20 AM. Followed by a panel moderated by Advanced Manufacturing Growth Centre Managing (AMGC) Director, Dr Jens Goennemann, in conversation with some of the country’s most innovative manufacturers. Titled Innovation Stories, the discussion will involve businesses who are taking on the world in a diverse set of areas. The panel features Australian disruptors in sustainable eyewear (Dresden Optics), 3D printing for auto repair (Plastfix), industrial monitoring (Movus) and engineering solutions (Evolve Group and Austeng). This takes place at 10.40 am at the Industry 4.0 Theatre. For those interested in what Industry 4.0, the fourth industrial revolution, means, and how to future-proof their business, the AMGC and the Innovative Manufacturing CRC are hosting free marketplace workshops each morning from 7.30 AM. A convergence of the cyber and physical worlds is reshaping workplaces, and the consensus among experts is that companies ignoring this do so at their peril. The marketplace workshops will help attendees benchmark their current capabilities with an online tool, gaining a personalised report and advice on how to digitalise their production and business models. It is

the perfect place for those who are curious about Industry 4.0, but don’t know where to begin. Joining the fourth industrial revolution will be a popular topic at NMW 2018. Being competitive on the world stage means getting on board; according to a 2016 PwC survey, 72 per cent of industrial companies surveyed expect to achieve high levels of digitisation within five years, compared to 33 per cent at the time. The issue is particularly relevant here in terms of lifting competitiveness. According to AMGC’s Sector Competitiveness Plan, Australian manufacturing labour productivity is at a level of 60 - 65 per cent of the international benchmark. “Studies in international contexts have indicated potential productivity gains of up to 25% in excess of conversion costs, and an overall gain of 5 – 8% from the adoption of Industry 4.0 technology,” the report says. Manufacturers wanting advice on how the compete and win on the world stage will have access to top government experts at NMW. Represented will be Austrade, EFIC (financial help when banks refuse), the Entrepreneurs’ Programme, the Centre for Defence Industry Capability, the Innovative Manufacturing CRC, Defence Materials Technology Centre and the AMGC. NMW is unmissable for manufacturers looking to extend the industry’s current growth streak, and to unlock the next wave of productivity gains through advanced technologies and processes.

Advancing Australian Manufacturing All the experts in one place Î Export advice

13 28 46

Î R&D collaboration Î Funding and support Î Defence opportunities Î On-site workshops to benchmark competitiveness

9 – 11 May 2018

Sydney Showground

Manufacturers’ Monthly MAY 2018 15

Storage & Safety Safety in the strap Manufacturers’ Monthly paid a visit to the Actrol facility in Melbourne to learn more about the importance of safety in a warehouse and why a good strap device makes all the difference.


CTROL is a leading wholesaler of air conditioning and refrigeration equipment with a network of more than 60 branches across Australia, and one of the many companies owned by the Reece Group. Reece Australia owns a number of strategic businesses in areas of HVAC-R, irrigation, onsite and civil industries; in addition to being Australia’s largest supplier of bathroom and plumbing products.

Many of Actrol’s products are bulky and heavy, including refrigeration hardware, condensing units and compressors. Storing and handling these products in a warehouse could be a challenge because of their size and weight making them unstable. “Most of these parts are on pallets and if you try to access them, and if the pallet is shrinkwrapped, you would need to remove the shrink wrapping to get to the desired product and then re-do the

wrapping before placing it back,” Gerard Webb, safety and wellbeing coordinator, Reece Australia, told Manufacturers’ Monthly. To get around this, the company has found a practical solution in the VELCRO® Brand LOGISTRAP® fastener, a strap solution that eliminates the need to re-wrap any palleted item once it has been received in the warehouse. These fasteners are nylonbased and have a metal buckle that offers flexibility and safety in

securing goods in the warehouse environment. They are also costeffective as they are re-usable, creating considerable saving in plastic wraps and shrink wrap over the long term. “With the VELCRO® Brand LOGISTRAP® fastener, it is much easier to access the products and it is a legislative requirement that any product stored on pallets should be locked into the wrapping and secured to the pallet. In this case anything above 1.5 metres stored

The Recce Group owns Actrol which has more than 60 branches all around Australia.

16 MAY 2018 Manufacturers’ Monthly

Storage & SAFETY

on a racking system needs to be secured with either plastic or steel strapping or stretch wrapping,” Webb said. Ever since Reece found out how convenient and cost-effective it was to replace shrink-wrap and plastic wraps with these fasteners, they have been using it across all of their businesses and distribution centres. Reece Australia first became aware of Velcro Companies’ strapping solutions when they purchased Actrol along with Metalflex, an air-conditioning, ducting and componentry company – about four years ago and found that Actrol had already been using the VELCRO® Brand LOGISTRAP® fasteners in their warehouses. They then instigated the use of these fasteners via there OH&S assessments and set up a (SOP) standard operating procedure across the group. “We thought, ‘wow, this is pretty good’. So, we contacted our distributor Kleenpack, who was coincidentally also a distributor for Velcro, and begun using the product throughout their distribution centres. “Kleenpack have been supplying Reece with anything from toilet paper through to tapes and cleaning products, packaging lines and janitorial lines for some years and we came onboard as a Velcro distributor,” Don Feiam, senior account manager, Kleenpack told Manufacturers’ Monthly. “The VELCRO® Brand had had an eye on Reece for a while with the view of getting in there with these straps, and then we went out there and because Reece was already our client, we started looking after Reece as Velcro Companies doesn’t approach clients directly. They go out through distributors. So, we’ve been putting their product all around Australia on to Reece,” Feiam said.

Velcro Companies, have more than 50 years of experience in design, process and logistics and they ofofer a diverse portfolio of products that incorporate hook and loop technologies. “We first started using the fasteners at twelve of our branches but from there it has now gone to all of their businesses,” Webb said. “So, when we sell bathroom supplied through our more than 450 showrooms, customers engaged in building construction purchase supplies for the entire house. But if say the plumber asks for delivery of parts of the order for bathroom installation, we can easily remove the products from the packed order and dispatch them separately. Before this, when we used shrinkstraps, they would be all strapped together, making the process more time-consuming,” he explained. Velcro Companies, having more than 50 years of expertise in design, process, and logistics, offers a diverse portfolio of products that incorporate hook and loop technologies. These straps which now conform to the following standard – to AS2400.11., are designed as load restraint stabilising and centralising strap. “Whenever you place goods on layered tiered racking system above

1.5 meters high, the regulations require them to be restrained with either plastic or steel straps or stretch wraps,” Lee Rufus, account manager, Velcro, told Manufacturer’s’ Monthly. “The fasteners provide an alternative to those mediums which is reusable and re-adjustable, allowing you to save time and money. This is because instead of cutting the plastic or steel strap and removing the stretch wrap, you can now simply take the desired product out and wrap the pallet again using the same strap.”

Cost-effective solution “The process is also cost-efficient, as you can use the same strap up to a thousand times or more, saving a lot of money in stretch-wrap costs over the long term,” Rufus added. “It has been demonstrated that using VELCRO® Brand LOGISTRAP® fasteners for a certain product creates about a 30 per cent saving in time compared to using stretch wraps for the same product. When you’ve got a number

of pallets that need consolidation, stack or store or move about, 30 per cent reduction in time from one pallet gives you the ability to do a lot more a lot quicker and you can save time in manning and labour and costs or, if you need to ship things out urgently, you can do all that internal consolidation,” Feiam said. Velcro Companies currently offers the straps in two sizes of 50 mm and 100 mm width and five meters in length. While the fivemetre length is the standard product offered by the company, Rufus said Velcro Companies is capable of producing varying lengths as per orders, albeit for specified minimum order quantities. “Reece currently has plumbing products that are oddly-shaped as well as solar panels that are bulky. They have asked for customised straps that are seven meters in length and we are currently trying to work that out,” Rufus said. While the fasteners are best suited for warehouse internal environment, Velcro Companies Manufacturers’ Monthly MAY 2018 17

Storage & Safety The process is also cost-efficient, as you can use the same strap up to a thousand times or more, saving a lot of money in stretch-wrap costs over the long term does have the VELCRO® Brand Heavy Duty Tie Downs, which is better suited for use in external environments and heavier

applications. These fasteners conform to the required - AS / NZS 4380 – C3.2 + C3.3 standards. With a breaking strength of

1000N, Rufus said the strap system was basically not meant for handling and lifting, but mainly for stabilising goods on the pallets and forklifts. “The VELCRO® Brand LOGISTRAP® fasteners is rated, so for example if you are restraining four 240L drums of chemicals, those drums by themselves are pretty heavy. You’ve got four in a pallet and you put the straps around the top or around the middle of the product. The strap itself is rated about 100kg, so it’s light-duty and meant to be attached firmly. So, it’s not like your load-binder strap where you want to send out a pallet load of bricks. It is an internal strap not meant for shipping or transporting products outside on the road, purely for movement and transporting product internally within a warehouse or a distribution centre,” Rufus said. “When there is forklift movement on the site, the forklifts have got a particular speed rating that they are not allowed to go over. In this case, they are generally picking things up, putting things down in a careful motion and the strap itself is intended to reduce the movement and shifting of product. If something happens or if something moves and there’s a bit of instability, the centre of gravity is low and the straps just provide that stabilisation factor, so the weight doesn’t quite correlate on the actual weight of the product that it is restraining,” he said.

Safety in the focus

When the forklift is picking up or putting things down, the strap is intended to reduce the movement ad shifting of the product.

18 MAY 2018 Manufacturers’ Monthly 

Safety is another area where VELCRO® Brand LOGISTRAP® fasteners help warehouse managers and material handling personnel. Velcro Companies currently offers straps in a bright florescent orange colour, which helps them to stand out and help warehouse managers confirm that goods are secured properly. “Previously, some people weren’t as compliant, so there were cases when the shrink strap was cut, and staff had forgotten to re-shrink wrap it or neglected it as it was

very time-consuming,” Webb said. “Also, with these fasteners being bright orange in colour, they are easily noticed by safety regulators and inspectors when they do routine checks,” he said. “The safety aspect is more or less done from what we can see as done on a site-by-site assessment, not only with Reece but with a number of other companies. Each company has its own OH&S committees that deem what is practical, what is safe and what to use for due diligence,” Rufus said. Rufus mentioned that these companies follow the regulations in their state and government regulations to make sure that they meet those standards. However, he pointed out that there are a few cases where compliance managers have come in and asked Velcro Companies to check to make sure that is suitable and appropriate. “Once we have done the checks and those reports have come back and said ‘yes, it’s suitable and appropriate’, we then give the go ahead. So, it’s ticking off those OH&S requirements on a site-by-site basis,” he added.

Ongoing popularity of the VELCRO® Brand LOGISTRAP® fasteners Rufus added that the popularity and the effectiveness of the fasteners as a product is sufficient proof that it’s suitable and gets the job done right. “Companies wouldn’t be purchasing them or re-ordering them if they were not saving time and money,” said Rufus. He mentioned that the icing on the cake is the environmental aspect of the products. “At the end of the day, you’re cutting down on landfill with plastic wrapping and stretch wrap that you’re not using, which is a good thing.” “If the VELCRO® Brand LOGISTRAP® fasteners were not providing those benefits overall and providing a good solution, companies wouldn’t continue – not only Reece, but other companies in the marketplace wouldn’t continue to purchase them.”





Events @MM Advanced manufacturing to meet global vinyl demand The worldwide demand for polyvinyl and its supply is growing closer. Manufacturers’ Monthly attended the PVC Australia 2018 conference to find out more.


HE world’s supply of polyvinyl chloride versus its global demand is tightening, according to a market intelligence expert. Surplus stock is diminishing, the latest research has indicated, with the current supply – sitting at around 10 million tons above demand – set to fall to five million by 2022. Eddie Kok, director for the market specialist IHS Chemical, said that the PVC industry could afford to make more – while there are also calls to scale back on its production from environmental activists. China (and Northeast Asia in general) is the biggest export region for PVC. Among its biggest markets is India, while other regions including North America and Europe are also meeting high demands around the globe. Among the biggest manufacturers of PVC resin include Shin-Etsu (Japan/US), FPG (Taiwan), Westlake + Axiall (US), Ineos-Solvay (UK/ Belgium), and Mexidiem (Mexico). In Australia, the market is small – though, according to the Australia Vinyls, it is looking to build a high-density resin that can meet demand in sectors including automotive, food manufacturing, and medical products. “When you add up the numbers of supply and demand today, there is roughly about 10mmt spare capacity of PVC in the world,” Kok told the PVC Australia 2018 conference, held in Sydney. “However, if look down the road to around 2020, our expectation is that the surplus regions are going to reduce in terms of the amount of supply while, in terms of the regions that consume the most PVC, there will be an increase in the deficit.”

20 MAY 2018 Manufacturers’ Monthly 

At PVC Australia, many of the biggest PVC manufacturers gathered to debate on existing demand issue. By 2022, the surplus will have reduced to below 5mmt. Kok says that, if the world doesn’t create around 2mmt more capacity by 2021, there could be a period when supply is going to be very tight. “If you are integrated vinyl producers, you will be a beneficiary of this outlook,” Kok continued. “If you are a standalone PVC user, you will find yourself on the tail end of the situation. “With a tightening market, the industry is actually in a position to get peak stocks. In terms of the supply side, we can definitely afford to expand.”

Vinyl longevity Cristian Barcan, vice president for Sustainbility and Industry Affairs at the Vinyl Institute, discussed the sustainability of vinyl. “By definition, being sustainable is the combination of being environmentally, economically, and socially aware and striking a balance between all three of those areas,” Barcan said. “There is a big difference between being green and sustainable – having a green product doesn’t necessarily make it a sustainable product.

“This is part of the way we are going to push back on the rhetoric and activists we have been facing for the last few years.” Advancements around recyclability in plastics will help this stance, he said. For example, Dennis Collins, of PVC Separation, and Stuart Douglas, of Innovyz, presented a method using new chemical technology that can separate PVC laminated products. “The world is changing and we are facing unprecedented challenges to meet demands,” Barcan said. “It’s not a matter of how sustainable we are today but about showing continuous improvement towards doing more with less.”

Australia’s additive manufacturing The introduction of new technology and processes is allowing for the production of more bespoke systems and mechanisms, according to Neil Wilson, founder of Romar Engineering. With the advent of Industry 4.0, manufacturing in Australia is looking to connect automation to make operations more sustainable and increasingly efficient.

Eddie Kok, director of IHS Chemicals said the world’s supply of PVC is tightening. Working with technology such as 3D printing, Wilson says that there is room to take advantage of and meet the world’s new demand for PVC. “We are finding that sustainable operations, particularly in manufacturing, has been hard to maintain here in Australia but there have been a lot of people who have worked hard to create that sustainability,” Wilson said. “By becoming more digitally enabled and more connected, the IIoT is giving us more connectivity across our organisations, and even some predictability of how their operations are running.” Additive manufacturing has the capacity to create new powders for manufacturing, selective laser sintering, and electron bean melting. Around vinyl, Chemson Pacific is already designing and manufacturing bespoke products with the use of PVC printing. “Digital methodology is most apparent in things like additive manufacturing and 3D printing, Wilson continued, “and some of our knowledge, as of today, is around the digital information required to run a piece of equipment like a 3D printer.”

Events@MM Senator Carr calls for Australian import ban on combustible cladding

pointing to “deficiencies” in Australia’s

Senator Kim Carr has reaffirmed Labor’s

a Senate inquiry into non-conforming

position on what he calls a “widespread

building products, opened in 2016.

abuse” of combustible materials in the

National Construction Code (NCC), during

Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull had

construction industry, calling for a ban

asked Premiers and Chief Ministers to

on all imports of aluminium cladding

urgently audit their high-rise buildings

to Australia.

in regard to non-conforming combustible

The proposal follows the Victorian Government’s announcement that it will ban the majority of cladding considered

cladding, according to an interim report released in September last year. The report recommended a total

dangerous from being used on state

ban on the importation, sale and use of

buildings, including the use of aluminium

polyethylene-core aluminium composite

cladding panels with a polyethylene core of

panels “as a matter of urgency”, stating

more than 30 per cent.

that the committee does not consider there

Speaking at PVC Australia 2018 conference, the shadow industry minister appeared to want to go a step further,

to be “any legitimate use for the material on any building type”. The Grenfell Tower fire, which killed

promising a blanket ban on imports of the

more than 70 people in London last June,

flammable material if Labor gained power.

has been at the centre of most of the

“I know this is a matter of concern to you, in terms of trade policy,” Carr said. “Frankly, there is no trade agreement

discussion around flammable cladding used in multi-storey buildings. In addition to a ban, Carr is also calling

we [Labor] would ever sign that would

for a reform to national licensing for all

allow us to import dangerous products that

construction practitioners, where licences

would put the lives and safety of the public

to practice can be revoked if a company is

at risk.

proven to be abusing the NCC.

“We can’t say to people that we will ban

Following his remarks, the senator was

it all but you can have a loophole. If we do

pushed on whether Australia should remove

that, I am afraid that, once again, the herds

a product out of supply chain altogether on

of elephants will walk through.

the basis of a “regulation issue”, when the

“The abuse of the material is too widespread, I couldn’t say with any confidence that it is being used properly.” He noted “a lack of independent third-

material is also used in other areas, such as signage and refrigeration. “The amount of product used for signage is so small that we believe

party certification” at the centre of the

alternative products are available,”

issue, commending the Vinyl Council for

Carr added.

At the conference, Senator Carr promised for the ban of flammable material if elected in the next elections.

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Industry FOCUS Military upgrade creates new prospects for defence manufacturers German defence company Rheinmetall won a $5.2 billion contract in March this year to supply over 200 new combat vehicles to the Australian Army. Tara Hamid investigates opportunities for the Australian manufacturers taking part in the contract.


HE government’s ongoing upgrade to the defence force and military modernisation program, introduced since 2016 and estimated at about $200 billion, has provided an unprecedented opportunity for the local industries to expand their global reach and capabilities. While the global military industry giants compete fiercely to grab the lucrative acquisition projects to

22 MAY 2018 Manufacturers’ Monthly 

replace the military’s ageing fleet with new, high-tech equipment and vehicles, it opens new doors for Australian manufacturers to showcase their capabilities and expand their global reach. The government announced in mid-March that it has awarded Rheinmetall the $5.2 billion contract to deliver over 200 combat vehicles to the Australian Army as part of the second phase of the Land 400 project,

Photo courtesy of Queensland Government

Rheinmetall’s Combat Reconnaissance Vehicles (CRVs), known as “The Boxer”, will replace the Army’s ageing fleet of Australian Light Armoured Vehicles (ASLAV).

which will see the government acquiring a total of 675 new military vehicles over the next 15 years at an estimated cost of about $1420 billion. Under the contract, Rheinmetall Defence Australia will deliver 211 Combat Reconnaissance Vehicles (CRVs), known as “The Boxer”, to replace the Army’s ageing fleet of Light Armoured Vehicle, known as ASLAV.

Rheinmetall will be manufacturing the majority of the Boxer CRVs at its Australia-New Zealand headquarters, referred to as the Military Vehicle Centre of Excellence (MILVEHCOE), which is under construction at Redbank industrial estate near Ipswich in Brisbane. As a centre of excellence, the MILVEHCOE, will be the focal point for the Land 400 combat


vehicles, Land 121 logistics vehicles, and other complex defence projects being delivered by Rheinmetall. It will also draw on a supply network across Australia to deliver products and services from local industry into Rheinmetall’s global supply chain, according to a company statement. Rheinmetall has announced intentions to turn MILVEHCOE into a regional hub with an expected program of continuous design, build and support for up to 5000 military vehicles in Australia and the Asia Pacific. The government’s decision to select Rheinmetall followed a three-year tender process and rigorous testing, which pitted the German company’s Boxer CRV model against AMV35 CRV, offered jointly by the British BAE System and Finland’s Patria. With Rheinmetall selecting Redbank area as the site for its manufacturing complex and BAE’s decision to set base at Melbourne’s old Holden factory site in Fishermans Bend, both Queensland and Victoria governments had lobbied extensively to support the project, which according to an analysis by PwC, is expected to create more than 2,000 production and maintenance jobs over the vehicles’ 30-year lifespan. Rheinmetall Defence Australia

managing director, Gary Stewart said that selecting Queensland as the home for its MILVEHCOE – which will be their biggest presence outside of Germany – was a natural choice given the proximity to the largest Army presence in the nation, the existing heavy vehicle precinct, the skilled and ready workforce, and the ecosystem of high-tech defence companies already established there. But while the MILVEHCOE is located in Queensland, the local supply chain is spread across Australia and the economic benefits are not limited to one state. PwC has estimated the economic impact of the Land 400 Phase 2 project to include a $5.1 billion growth in Gross Domestic Product (GDP) from investment in Australian industry during acquisition and sustainment over the 30-year lifespan of the vehicles. According to PwC’s analysis, as much as 69 per cent of the total program costs are being invested in the Australian industry. The Land 400 is part of the largest peacetime upgrade to Australia’s armed forces in history, which includes expansion of naval, air force and army capability over the next 20 years to boost the size of the Australian defence force to more than 62,000. The government’s Defence Export

Strategy, launched in January this year, sets to turn Australia into one of the top 10 defence-exporting countries in the world by 2028. The Government’s 10-year defence budget plan grows the defence budget from $32.4 billion in 2016-17 to $58.7 billion in 2025-26, providing an additional $29.9 billion to defence over this period than previously planned. In January, Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull announced to the press plans by the government to establish a $3.8 billion fund that will offer loans to local arms manufacturers in a push to rapidly grow Australia’s defence export industry. The government’s defence export programs will maximise opportunities for competitive and innovative Australian businesses and create new export potentials. The involvement of Australian SMEs and defence manufacturers in the army’s acquisition programs such as Land 400, will place them at a desirable position to benefit from the export markets.

SMEs to win big While Rheinmetall’s appointment as the supplier of the combat vehicles is significant in terms of high-level

job opportunities in Queensland and elsewhere, the biggest winners are the local manufacturers and small and medium enterprises involved in the supply chain, as the deal harbingers a new era for introducing their capabilities to the global market. More than 40 Australian suppliers are involved in the delivery of the Boxer CRVs, from supplying mechanical assemblies and armour steel to systems engineering and supplying sensors, weapon systems and fire protection systems. “This is just the tip of the iceberg for the potential that exists for expanding our business and a stepping stone for the manufacturers who will be pushed to develop new products as other defence forces come forward with their upgradation programs,” Ron Mason, director of Redcat Industries, one of companies shortlisted by Rheinmetall, told Manufacturer’s Monthly. The Queensland-based wheel safety products manufacturer is already supplying to Rheinmetall as part of the defence force’s Land 121 phase 3B project, for which Rheinmetall is delivering more than 2,500 trucks and their associated modules and shelters to the Australian army.

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Industry FOCUS

The benefits are not limited to the military manufacturing sector. As most of the supply chain companies provide, or have the capacity to provide, dual-use goods, the recognition by global manufacturers such as Rheinmetall means more lucrative business deals in other manufacturing sectors. “We are undergoing rapid expansions and broadening the scope of our business. We recently signed a deal with a Singaporebased public services bus company and we are offering our wheel

safety products to the new Mercedes G-series,” said Mason, who believes the global recognition is due to a large part to collaborating in the military upgrade projects. Since the beginning of the tender process in 2015, Rheinmetall’s executives started building their local footprint by sourcing and qualifying Australian defence manufacturers from all over the country. The process ultimately led to Rheinmetall involving more Australian companies in their Land

Photo courtesy of Queensland Government

A 3D impression of Rheinmetall’s centre of excellence, under construction in Redbank area near Brisbane.

400 proposal than they originally expected, to deliver a range of products and services to support the manufacture of the Boxer CRV. This is while Rheinmetall was previously manufacturing the trucks for its Land 121 Phase 3B from its manufacturing facility in Vienna, Austria. Brisbane-based G&O Kert is another company shortlisted by Rheinmetall. While the scope of the company’s involvement in the project remains to be fully revealed, G&O Kert’s managing director

Ian Melville says it is certainly beneficial to get recognition form a global defence manufacturer such as Rheinmetall. “We will probably need to adopt new quality systems to ensure that our products comply with the Germans’ stringent quality standards,” Melville told Manufacturers’ Monthly. Apart from sourcing and qualifying companies to assist production in Australia, Rheinmetall also identified some companies that it could engage immediately

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to start providing equipment and material into their production lines in Germany, highlighting the huge export potential that remains to be tapped. This includes Cablex, a Melbourne-based manufacturer that was picked up last year by Rheinmetall to supply electrical wiring harnesses and electrical sub-assemblies for the German company’s Infantry Fighting Vehicle (IFV) Project in Lithuania. Early in 2018 the company also signed a second contract for supply of additional cabling for the same project. Cablex will be contributing to production of lighting systems as well as harnesses and looms for Rheinmetall’s Boxer CRV, according to the PwC report. Tectonica, a Melbourne-based defence and security systems integrator, was another successful collaborator whose Local Situational Awareness System (LSAS) technology has been adopted by Rheinmetall to integrate into their Boxer CRVs to improve protection for soldiers. Tectonica’s managing director, David Levy told Manufacturers’ Monthly that their three-year long collaboration with Rheinmetall has

been very positive and has led to opportunities for the company in Germany and UK. The latest model of Tectonica’s LSAS technology has already been integrated into the autonomous Boxer vehicle in Germany—which is owned by the German Army—and will also be used in Rheinmetall’s deliveries to the Australian Army to assist the crews and operators with better tools to perceive their surroundings.

Opportunities for steel industry The steel industry could be another big winner of the Rheinmetall’s new contract. Australian steel manufacturers Bisalloy and BlueScope are currently undergoing a certification and qualification process to meet the stringent performance standards of armoured steel required by Rheinmetall for the Boxer CRVs. Once certified, Bisalloy and BlueScope will be the first companies in the southern hemisphere to be qualified to deliver this grade of steel. Currently, only two steel companies, both in the northern hemisphere, have qualified to deliver this steel. Once approved, the certification

Bisalloy and BlueScope are undergoing qualification process to supply armored steel. will open a whole new market for the Australian steel industry, enabling it to supply armoured steel to many countries for their military programs and compete on the global stage. Bisalloy business manager Justin Suwart says that receiving the certification would bring opportunities to the company beyond just the Land 400 deal. “Rheinmetall has a strong global footprint, with markets in Southeast Asia and Europe. Qualifying the high German standards of quality would enable us to reach markets that were not open to us before and the scope is very far-reaching,” he told Manufacturers’ Monthly. Rheinmetall recently placed an order with Bisalloy for the procurement for approximately 15 tonnes of armoured steel. This material will be shipped to Germany for mechanical, blast and ballistic testing as part of the next step in the qualification process for use in the boxer CRVs and in global Rheinmetall programs through the

company’s global supply chain. Additionally, Rheinmetall’s proposed centre of excellence provides a great platform for research and development in area of military manufacturing. Marc Hodge, CEO of Defence Manufacturing Materials Centre (DMTC), told Manufacturers’ Monthly that he was expecting significant benefits to industry as a result of the initiative. “We are keen to see the centre of excellence to start its work as soon as possible as it offers a unique opportunity for advancements in technical capabilities in the defence industry,” he said. The first deliveries of the 211 vehicles will happen by 2020, with the first 25 vehicles being manufactured at Rheinmetall’s headquarters in Germany to enable transfer of technology to Australian engineers, as well as to offer enough time for it to build MILVEHCOE, which is expected to become operational in 2020.


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Photo of our Sydney Manufacturing Centre Manufacturers’ Monthly MAY 2018 25

Issues &INSIGHTS Getting over the fear of automation There have been concerns over the safety of autonomous vehicles but there are good reasons why they are still a safe bet on the factory floor. Tara Hamid reports.

Automated Guided Vehicles (AGVs) have been moving and handling materials, parts and products for decades.


BER was recently forced to suspend its self-driving car trials in North America following a fatal accident in Arizona in March, where a woman was killed

26 MAY 2018 Manufacturers’ Monthly 

after being hit by an Uber selfdriving sport utility vehicle. The accident, which marked the first fatal crash involving a selfdriving vehicle and a pedestrian,

once again raised critical questions over the safety of autonomous vehicles and whether the technology is ready for large-scale adoption in the urban environment.

But while driverless cars still face legal and technological challenges to overcome before being safely adopted on the roads – with Uber’s CEO Dara Khosrowshahi recently

Issues&INSIGHTS predicting driverless cars to be at least a decade away – autonomous vehicles have been extensively and increasingly adopted in industrial and logistical applications for over 50 years. Automating the movement of materials within manufacturing operations is nothing new. Indeed, automated guided vehicles (AGVs), conveyors, sorters and shuttles have been moving and handling materials, parts and products for decades, according to “Industrial mobility: How autonomous vehicles can change manufacturing,” a new study from PwC and The Manufacturing Institute “Thanks to advancements in sensor technology, 3D camera systems, software and artificial intelligence, these machines are increasingly capable of seeing their environments and, more importantly, learning to identify what they’re seeing,” the PwC report’s co-writer, Bobby Bono wrote in PwC’s US blog. While the early model AGVs were guided using wires and tape, over the years the technology has become more sophisticated and today automated vehicles are mainly laser navigated, sometimes termed as Laser Guided Vehicle (LGVs). Advanced laser scanners such

as those developed by SICK provide collision protection from AGVs. Prior to the advent of laser techniques, obstacles were physically detected by deformation of contact bumpers, which activated an associated mechanical switch. Thus, the approach speed limited the impact force required to activate the collision detection system before the AGV could cause harm. By introducing a compact safety laser scanner, the AGV was immediately allowed to travel faster as the collision prevention system could detect oncoming obstacles some distance before impact. This meant the AGV could increase its hourly load capacity and still ensure safety. Manufacturers’ Monthly got in touch with Gary Milburn, product manager-industrial safety systems at SICK Australia to discuss how adopting laser scanners has helped improve safety in AGVs and where the technology is headed in the near future. “After the introduction of laser scanning technology in the 1990s to replace the earlier collisionbased detection systems, further developments have brought about dramatic improvements in reliability,” Milburn told Manufacturers’ Monthly.

“Over the more recent years, advancements in laser scanner technology have focused on eliminating false detections, filtering out and ignoring false responses from obstructions such as dust particles, leaves or birds.” What this means is that the AGVs will only detect real risks, such as humans crossing their path, and will therefore ignore invalid obstructions that could lower their productive working time. “The laser scanning technology has become a lot more intelligent, allowing it to interpret the optical data it receives back from the target more intelligently and differentiating between valid and invalid obstructions to a greater extent than we could do in the past,” Milburn said.

Automation to lower worker injuries Apart from the obvious benefits of improved productivity and reduced labour costs, adopting AGVs for material handling has another benefit in that they help eliminate accidents and personal injuries. In material handling operations, injuries often occur due to drivers’ lack of attention, operators driving too fast, or personnel not paying attention. Obstacle detection is

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therefore a key to allowing AGVs to interact with personnel safely while optimising vehicle speeds. “Incidents are inevitable when people are driving forklifts. So if you have an automated forklift transporting goods from the storage location to the dispatch location, you obviously lower your risks because first of all you are taking people out of that area – as AGVs don’t need anyone to operate them – and in addition to that, you are taking the human error out,” Milburn said. Statistics from WorkSafe Australia show that between 2003 and 2015 there were a total of 61 forklift fatalities nationally across a wide variety of industries. Additionally, there have been a number of serious injury claims during the time frame, ranging from around 800 to more than 1,100 serious injuries per year. While adopting more autonomous vehicles could help lower the number of such casualties, there’s still a long way to go by Australian industries to automate their processes. The Department of Industry, Innovation and Science’s Office of the Chief Economist recently published “Industry Insights: 1/2018 flexibility and growth” where it used

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Manufacturers’ Monthly MAY 2018 27

Issues &INSIGHTS data gathered by AlphaBeta advisory group to examines the major economic factors shaping Australia’s industries, regions and the economy. AlphaBeta’s study, “The automation advantage,” analysed 20 billion hours of work in Australia to understand how every Australian job is being changed by automation and concluded that Australia could seize a $2 trillion opportunity from automation by 2030. Dr Andrew Charlton, director of AlphaBeta research firm who undertook the study, says Australian policy makers and companies must take action now to embrace technology while also taking steps to reskill Australia’s most vulnerable workers. According to the study, currently only nine per cent of Australia’s listed companies are making sustained investments in automation, compared with more than 20 per cent in the US and 14 per cent in leading automation nations globally. “It would be dire for Australia’s competitiveness if companies continued with a business as usual approach,” Charlton said. “Slowing down the pace of automation, rather than accelerating it may do more

28 MAY 2018 Manufacturers’ Monthly 

Only nine per cent of Australia’s listed companies are making sustained investments in automation, according to a study.

harm than good, depriving Australia of the resulting productivity benefits and potentially reducing the global competitiveness of local industries.” Automation covers a broad range of technologies including advances in Artificial Intelligence (AI), robotics and the Internet of Things (IoT). While the AlphaBeta

report uses a very broad definition of automation as “the process of using machines to perform tasks that would otherwise be done by humans,” the low percentage of Australian companies investing in the technologies is still indicative of the opportunities remaining to be seized.

AGVs in high-risk environments In addition to reducing risks of human error, AGVs can operate in conditions that humans either aren’t able to operate in, or in conditions that humans don’t operate optimally in, such as in extreme heat or cold or around hazardous materials.

The laser scanning technology has become a lot more intelligent, allowing it to interpret the optical data it receives back from the target more intelligently. “By their very nature, automation systems are designed to remove humans from menial and dangerous tasks. In the mining industry especially, the nature of work is inherently dangerous, and it has long been desirable to remove people from positions where there are risks to their safety,” Sean Carter, SICK’s product manager-identification and management told Manufacturers’ Monthly. Driverless vehicles have already been well integrated into the mining industry in Australia. Rio Tinto introduced the Autonomous Haulage System (AHS) into its operations nearly a decade ago. Now they operate a fleet of 71 AHS trucks across three of its Western Australian Pilbara iron ore mines. Rio Tinto recently announced that since commencing operations in 2008, their AHSfitted haul trucks have moved a billion tonnes of ore and waste materials across five sites, about a quarter of the total material moved in the area during the period, with zero injuries, highlighting the significant safety advantages of the autonomous system. Production facilities where the goods have a high potential risk to human life are other areas where automation is helping reduce threats to human life. Countries like China have already begun adopting robots and artificial intelligence to replace the workers in dangerous environments such as ammunition factories. A recent report by South China Morning Post claimed that nearly 25 per cent of China’s ammunition factories have had their human workers replaced with smart machines because the factories were lacking in people who actually wanted to work in such dangerous environments. Paper and printing industries, aircraft manufacturing, diesel engines manufacturing, railways, and healthcare facilities are some other sectors where AGVs are being successfully adopted in Australia, according to John Brittain, managing director of Materials Handling, a distributor of materials handling solutions and turnkey systems  across Australia

for over 35 years. “Unlike driven materials handling equipment, which rely on the alertness of the driver, non-contact collision prevention laser scanners are normally mounted on all sides of AGVs and will detect personnel and product,” Brittain said. “Audible and visual alarm/warning signal, together with obstacle detectors, alert personnel of an approaching AGV and assure their workplace safety. The obstacle sensors also protect property and other equipment. If there are obstacles in the threatening area of the laser sensors, the AGV will reduce speed in expectation of a stop.” Advancements in AGV technology are mainly focused on optimising the AGV flow within the factory floor with a view on maximising efficiency and safety. SICK has been working on speed control measures that ensure the AGVs slow down gradually, rather than stopping abruptly, when they encounter obstructions. The future developments in laser sensing technologies focus on enabling the AGV scanners to create 3D maps of their entire field of view, including the boundary walls, storage racks, etcetra, to be able to safely navigate around the obstructions. CSIRO, in its “Advanced Manufacturing— A Roadmap for unlocking future growth opportunities for Australia” report predicts that in the near future assistive robots will work collaboratively with humans and each other, with improved sensing, awareness and decision‐making capabilities that allow full autonomy and self‐learning behaviour. According to the report, the fast-growing mobile robots segment – with autonomous self-guiding vehicles – is expected to grow at an annual rate of 70 per cent by 2020. The report further predicts that automation adoption is expected to spread throughout the manufacturing industries as robotics converges with other technologies such as data analytics, sensors and machine learning. Manufacturers’ Monthly MAY 2018 29

IOT @MM Catching up to the digital race Bosch recently launched a new operating unit, Bosch Connected Industry, to extend its industrial internet software portfolio. Bosch’s newly established Industry Consulting unit assists businesses transition to connected manufacturing.


IGITALISATION and connectivity are transforming manufacturing at breakneck speed. Connected production lines permanently monitor their own condition and warn experts before breakdowns. Robots are collaborating ever closer with workers in manufacturing and logistics, boosting productivity. Findings from research firm International Data Corporation (IDC) predicts that the global market for Internet of Things (IoT) technologies will rise by 15 per cent this year, and will be worth a trillion dollars by 2020. The potential in the long term is not only in hardware or device connectivity, but also in smart software – the essential enabler of IoT applications. The IDC research describes how software and services will play a major role in the success of IoT. “By 2021, more than 55 per cent of spending on IoT projects will be for software and services. This is directly in line with results from IDC’s 2017 Global IoT Decision Maker Survey where organisations indicate that software and services are the key areas of focused investment for their IoT projects,” said Carrie MacGillivray, vice president, IoT and Mobility at IDC. “Software creates the foundation upon which IoT applications and use cases can be realised. However, it is the services that help bring all the technology elements together to create a comprehensive solution that will benefit organisations and help them achieve a quicker time to value,” she added

Bosch extends its Industry 4.0 portfolio Bosch recently extended its industrial internet software portfolio to complement its digital manufacturing offer. 30 MAY 2018 Manufacturers’ Monthly 

Bosch teaches apprentices how to work with robots. The APAS assistant can work side-byside with humans without the need for a safety guard and relieve them of monotonous tasks.

At the beginning of January 2018, Bosch launched a new operating unit, Bosch Connected Industry, with 500 associates in Germany, Hungary, and China. Bosch is pooling all its Industry 4.0 activities in this new unit, including the fields of software and services. “We want to make the most of the potential inherent in connected industry, which means we need to assemble the best possible team,” said Bosch board of management member Dr. Stefan Hartung, whose responsibilities include manufacturing coordinating and, in turn, Industry 4.0. By 2020, the Bosch Group aims to generate more than a billion euros (A$1.6 billion) with Industry 4.0.

Connectivity throughout the value chain Bosch’s Connected Industry unit’s objective is to support customers in connecting the value chain from end to end. The portfolio of software that Bosch offers allows companies an entry point into the connected factory that is tailored to their needs, from starter kits and retrofit solutions to the complete package. That means that individual lines can be combined, and factories and plant networks, including their

internal and external logistics, interconnected. A variety of apps and software solutions support workers in their daily tasks. Relevant manufacturing data are more quickly accessible using mobile devices, which ultimately leads to greater machine availability in production. Internal transport processes and flows of goods outside the company can be seamlessly monitored and traced back. Workers are kept permanently informed of the location, condition, and delivery time of goods. The result is increased productivity and agility, which boosts competitiveness. Under the leadership of Bosch engineer Stefan Aßmann, who heads the new operating unit, numerous Industry 4.0 solutions have already been commercialised, including the automated production assistant APAS, for example. The APAS assistant mobile is a collaborative, flexible, and mobile robot for the Smart Factory. It can be used independent of location and can adapt to different tasks. The intelligent robot system is primarily intended for end users, who require a fast and budget-priced realisation of new operations, as well as a highly robust, easy-to-handle and intuitively controllable system.

Advisors help businesses enter the Industry 4.0 age The newly established Bosch Industry Consulting unit assists businesses and their employees along the path to a transparent, efficient, and connected factory. Businesses that seek to transition to connected manufacturing are often faced with the question of which solution is best suited for their specific needs. For instance, how can machines be interconnected in a manufacturing environment that has grown organically over decades? Bosch offers a broad range of services and consulting including collaborative projects to test new business models. The systematic analysis of huge data sets leads to new, predictive service strategies that increase the availability of manufacturing equipment. London-based IHS Markit recently published an ebook, titled “The Internet of Things: a movement, not a market,” in which it predicts serious growth for IoT: “The number of connected IoT devices worldwide will jump 12 per cent on average annually, from nearly 27 billion in 2017 to 125 billion in 2030,” it said. According to the ebook, that growth “is impacting virtually all stages of industry and nearly all market areas — from raw materials to production to distribution and even the consumption of final goods.” What’s clear from the IHS Markit’s and IDC’s studies, as well as from similar studies worldwide, is that IoT will continue to grow dramatically over the coming years— powering the digital transformation of enterprises and creating opportunities for technology vendors properly positioned to exploit this growth. Any companies still sitting on the fence regarding the IoT should take note.

Manufacturing IN THE CLOUD Transforming businesses with HCI cloud services Manufacturers’ Monthly takes a look at how adopting the Hyper Converged Infrastructure (HCI) is transforming a company’s cloud services and ability to offer data security to customers.


ONSULTEL Cloud was launched in 2015 as its clouds services division to help their customers understand the new technology landscape. After thoroughly investigating different infrastructures, a decision was finally made to partner with NetApp to enable customers to benefit from the comprehensive range of cloud portfolio offered by the company. Leveraging Data Fabric–ready products from the NetApp portfolio, including NetApp Hyper Converged Infrastructure (HCI), Consultel Cloud built its cloud platform inside Equinix. The new platform provides customers with choice in cloud connectivity and the flexibility to scale seamlessly according to their business needs. Today, Consultel Cloud leverages NetApp HCI in Equinix data centres across Melbourne, Sydney, New York, London and Singapore. The Equinix Cloud Exchange Fabric provides access to more than 180 cloud service providers, including SAP, Microsoft Azure, and AWS. This infrastructure eliminates bottle- necks, guarantees data security because data never leaves Equinix, and provides access to any cloud. Within NetApp HCI, Consultel Cloud can manage mixed workloads, provide customers with the flexibility to scale up and down as needed, and guarantee performance. Manufacturers’ Monthly spoke to Benjamin Molloy, division lead at Consultel Cloud, and Matthew Hurford, chief technology officer of NetApp to discover how NetApp’s platform provides customers flexible, risk-free cloud connectivity. MM: What is the nature of the relationship between Consultel Cloud and NetApp? MH: Consultel Cloud and NetApp have been working together for over 12 months. The relationship

Within NetApp HCI, Consultel Cloud can manage mixed workloads, provide customers with the flexibility to scale up and down as needed, and guarantee performance.

started with Consultel Cloud purchasing our next-generation storage platform – SolidFire – that simplifies operational management and provides guaranteed service levels to all of their customers. With the investment in NetApp’s HCI solution, built on the SolidFire data management platform, Consultel Cloud have a platform that enables them to build a differentiated solution – providing flexibility, scale and unique service benefits. MM: Which manufacturing industries are targeted with the HCI solutions offered by Consultel Cloud? BM: Consultel Clouds HCI as a service is perfect for industries such as manufacturing that require highly available and high performing infrastructure that has guaranteed performance (guaranteed metrics). MM: Through the adoption of the HCI infrastructure, does this spell the demise of traditional storage systems? MH: While HCI certainly provides unique benefits, by reducing the complexity and therefore the cost of management of the IT platform, we do need to see this as the end of the traditional storage platform.

Customers are demanding more from their vendors than “just storage” and NetApp is responding with NetApp HCI, but we are also seeing huge growth in dedicated “all-flash” storage systems because they provide tangible business benefits. This combined with demand for new types of storage solutions including object storage means we still see demand for traditional storage systems in the ANZ market. MM: In terms of investment in the new infrastructure, is it true that the investment in HCI could easily exceed an upfront investment? If so, what would be the advice around this to ensure smooth transition in? BM: Consultel Cloud now deploys new environments for customers that are faster and more cost effective than ever before. The faster we can deploy them; the faster customers can implement into their businesses. With a templated approach based upon our own infrastructure, Consultel Cloud can deliver a proof of concept in days and we have shortened deployment time for a new environment from seven weeks to just four. Moreover, we have minimised data migration time. When we migrate

data from any stream, be it a physical server, a virtual server, etc., we create a replication from the source to the destination and then we only cut it across when we are happy with it, with the actual outage time being less than an hour. This methodology ensures that there is minimum down time as well as guarantees zero data loss. MM: What are the various use cases of HCI in an organisation? What are the cost benefits? MH: HCI provides a number of key benefits that span the current virtualised workloads and the containerised solutions now being developed. The HCI platform is all about providing business agility, reducing time to market for application development and reducing the complexity of the platform so that customers can focus on the things that matter; their business and the services they offer to their customers. When you run a HCI platform as a cloud service, the customer receives the benefits of the reduced management effort in the form of a competitively priced cloud service – that’s exactly what Consultel Cloud have built with NetApp HCI. Manufacturers’ Monthly MAY 2018 31

Material HANDLING Managing risks of hazardous materials with help from professionals Manufacturers’ Monthly speaks to Mark Henderson, director of Hazkem on the importance of taking expert advice for storage and handling of dangerous goods and hazardous materials.


O company or business can afford to neglect the importance of safe storage and handling of dangerous goods and hazardous materials. The issue is one that involves not only the safety of the companies’ workforce and their compliance with regulations, but also the greater responsibility that all companies share towards environmental protection. Dangerous goods exist in almost all businesses big and small. Put simply, they are substances that may pose an immediate hazard to people, property or the environment. But not all manufacturing companies are well equipped with the knowledge and expertise required for handling dangerous goods and hazardous material. The required knowledge can be highly complex and involves many parameters, neglecting any of which could lead to catastrophic consequences for companies. This is where consulting companies can help businesses understand the requirements and regulations that pertain to each specific case. Hazkem, a Melbourne-based company, has been offering professional advice to companies throughout Australia and overseas for nearly 35 years on matters concerning the compliance requirements associated with the storage, handling and transportation of hazardous materials. From design of storage facilities for hazardous material to site auditing, risk assessment and obtaining permits and certifications of compliance from state councils and fire authorities, Hazkem offers a wide range of services to businesses. “Anyone who uses, or stores, or transports materials classified as dangerous goods should be aware of the regulatory standards that need to be adhered to and therefore may require the service

32 MAY 2018 Manufacturers’ Monthly 

of consulting companies,” Hazkem’s director, Mark Henderson told Manufacturers’ Monthly. “Issues such as how much of a product can be stored on the site, or what products can be stored in conjunction with each other and in what condition are all important issues that require professional supervision and consultation,” Henderson said. Hazkem has been engaged by national and multinational companies including Shell, BP, 7/11, ELGAS, Air Liquide, Supagas, Kleenheat Gas, Origin, BHP Billiton and XStrata, among others. The company has wide ranging experience in the fuel, aviation, chemical, gas and manufacturing sectors as well as well-trained consultants, all of whom are registered with the Australian Institute of Dangerous Goods Consultants (AIDGC). Quantities of hazardous material to be stored within a plant as well as the types of materials that are to be stored in conjunction are all important factors that determine the safety parameters to be considered. “A company might have been storing certain chemicals in accordance with best practices, but when they decide to store more of the same product or add new products to their storage facility, the safety needs to be reassessed by an expert,” said Henderson. At this point, the companies contact experts like Hazkem for consultation, who send a team to inspect the facility for risk assessment. “Our teams visit the plant to find out what dangerous goods are being stored and in what quantities. We also assess the storage condition and then prepare a report containing the required control measures to rectify possible shortcomings before issuing them a compliance certificate,” Henderson said. While some companies take

advice from consulting firms for storing dangerous material on their existing plants, site auditing to assess a physical location for takeover by companies is another area where consulting firms play an instrumental role. “As an example, we recently proposed a storage design for a company dealing with cyanide gas contained in cylinders. Cyanide being a very harmful gas, the client needed advice on the suitable location and the best way to store the product,” Henderson said. “We did our research and found that our advice is that the product had to be either kept outside or in a extremely well-ventilated space. It also needed to be stored away from any water sources and above any recorded flood level.” “Without our advice, the company had no way of knowing where and how to store the product. We provided them with the storage design that fulfilled the requirements for ample ventilation. We also provided them information on security and access regulations; including how much space they needed to maintain from the property boundaries and from the protected places within the property, such as offices, etc,” said Henderson. Councils and Shires across Australia require businesses who handle dangerous goods or hazardous materials to adhere to a range of regulations relevant to their area. Hazkem works with these businesses

to ensure they comply with the codes set by local authorities and ensure the permits, approvals or certifications are obtained in line with town planning regulations. “For example, all sites storing or handling dangerous goods in Western Australia require licensing under Dangerous Goods Storage Regulations. Companies intending to apply for a license need a licensed consultant to submit the application on their behalf, to ensure compliance with all relevant regulations,” said Henderson. Logistics transport and storage is another area where particular care needs to be taken. “The transport companies need to ensure that the dangerous goods they transport and/or provide 3PL storage and distributions services for are dealt with appropriately and in accordance with regulations. These could even be retail products, such as aerosols, which are potentially being stored in large quantities and therefore pose risks that need to be addressed cautiously,” Henderson noted. With strict regulations, harsh penalties and serious dangers, all companies need to understand the risks associated with dangerous goods. Consulting companies like Hazkem can help companies keep their workplace safe as well as to avoid financial losses, insurance problems and the harsh penalties that can result from an accident.

Material HANDLING Light crane system offers flexibility to all industries Manufacturer’s Monthly spoke to MHE-Demag Australia’s sales engineer, Robert Silveri, on why the company’s KBK light crane systems are still growing in popularity five decades after being introduced to the market.


HE-DEMAG’S KBK light cranes have been present in the Australian market for over 50 years. Being the first of its kind, the KBK series has been setting the standard for light crane systems ever since. Despite the growth over the past decades in import of foreign goods, sending the notion that the demand for cranes and lifting equipment by manufacturing industries might be falling, the MHE-Demag have seen their KBK systems being in demand and finding new applications within industries times and again. The secret, the MHE-Demag believe, lies in the flexibility of KBK system. “We can configure a KBK system to suit many light materials handling applications from under 50kgs up to 2,000kgs. We can also help from conceptualising the idea of what needs to happen in a workshop or production line to the design and operation of the crane,” MHE-Demag sales engineer, Robert Silveri told Manufacturers’ Monthly. “Almost every workshop – regardless of whether it is a large-scale business or a small operation—is likely to have some form of material handling challenges to overcome. A vast majority of these challenges have two criteria in common: firstly, they are customised processes and secondly, they include handling of items that are comparatively low in weight.” While many of these organisations may refrain from purchasing a fixed installation to aid their lifting tasks and prefer to deploy floor-bound lifting devices or even manual handling, MHE-Demag and their customer base are convinced that the KBK light crane system is the ideal solution for these companies. “By freeing up floor space that is occupied by say fork lifts, workshops can increase their productivity by more than they would expect.”

Over the years, the KBK system has found applications in many industries that require precision and ergonomic design for their crane systems. “For example, in the glass industry it is not enough to just lift, move and lower pieces of glass. The key word here is ‘ergonomic.’ The workers need to be confident that the glass can be handled precisely and is not going to be damaged. MHE-Demag have shown on numerous occasions and in various industries that these types of highly specified requirements can be met with KBK.” Flexibility has allowed KBK system to be successfully utilised from light applications such as pallets handling and recycling, to heavy-duty applications in the plastic-moulding industry, where sometimes dye barrels weighing up to two tonnes are lifted up. “We have even been able to apply KBK within semi-automated storage and retrieval warehouses. The KBK systems combined with our ergonomic, high-speed electric chain hoists have provided a cost effective solution to handle pallets used within the warehouse,” Silveri said.

Improving safety By minimising manual handling, KBK helps reduce risks during operations that would otherwise be too risky for human operators. “KBK should be a key consideration when a decision is being made on whether items can be safely handled by a person or by a machine,” Silveri said. “When using a KBK light crane system, the vast majority of effort is removed from the operator and placed on the crane. At the same time, the manoeuvrability and efficiency of the load movement is maintained. In this way the risk of injury is diminished or eliminated and in many cases productivity actually increases.”

MHE-Demag’s KBK light cranes offer flexibility and can be configured to suit many light materials handling applications.

We see systems out there in use for decades. Apart from wear and tear parts, a KBK system can live as long as the workshop around it and can grow and change with it. MHE-Demag also offer a training program for crane operators to make sure they are competent in using the KBK cranes. “While the training program is not a mandatory requirement, it is a service we offer to clients to ensure safe operations of the cranes,” Silveri said. Efficiency and durability are other qualities that KBK system has demonstrated over the years. “KBK light crane system utilises Demag’s high efficiency three-phase electric motors which immediately have advantages both from the perspective of running costs and environmental impact compared to a fossil fuelled forklift or even a battery electric forklift,” Silveri said. “Furthermore, many KBK systems, particularly at the lighter end of the spectrum, say less than 1000kgs, can travel down and

across the workspace manually with minimal effort by the operator thereby eliminating all external power sources.” While there is no one-sizefits-all approach to maintenance, MHE-Demag provides detailed maintenance proposals, individually for every piece of equipment to reflect its actual usage and criticality. Noting that there is no bigger mistake than over- or under maintaining a machine, Silveri said, the majority of a KBK system is more durable than one might think. “We see systems out there in use for decades. Apart from wear and tear parts, a KBK system can live as long as the workshop around it and can grow and change with it. This is one of the key reasons why we see businesses coming back to us, wanting to increase their installed base of KBK, because it so durable.” Manufacturers’ Monthly MAY 2018 33

3D PRINTING Taking 3D to the next level Manufacturers’ Monthly got in touch with Bilby 3D’s chief operating officer, Lee Bilby, to discuss the latest advancements in 3D printing and how it is transforming manufacturing.


ILBY 3D prides itself as being the biggest and one of the oldest 3D printer retailers in Australia. “We are the old boys on the block, working in the industry for close to a decade now,” Lee Bilby told Manufacturers’ Monthly. Over these years, Bilby 3D has seen advancements in material invention transform 3D technology and has adapted to the new technologies. “What excites me the most is the material development; because this has dramatically expanded the possibilities for 3D printing. Material development and 3D printing innovation go hand in hand because the materials get developed that allow machines to do more things and machines develop more capabilities that allow them to deal with more materials,” said Bilby. Bilby 3D has been manufacturing filaments for the past six years and has partnered with companies like Proto-Pasta in the US for manufacturing metal materials with filaments. “We started manufacturing filaments in the very early days when the only material available for 3D printing was Acrylonitrile, Butadiene, and Styrene polymers (ABS). Being the traditional material used for injection moulding, ABS is not a great material for 3D printing because it can cause uneven shrinkage in the printed parts, so that you don’t get the desired precision. “So, polylactic acid (PLA) was invented and has really become the backbone of 3D printing in many ways. PLA material actually does a full state change from a solid to a liquid when you print with it. PLA is actually a great material for a few reasons. From a global perspective, it is a great material because it is biodegradable, unlike ABS which is a petroleum bi-product. “Today, we are no longer

34 MAY 2018 Manufacturers’ Monthly 

restricted to ABS or PLA plastics and we can manufacture in metals, rubber-like flexible, heat-resistant materials, through to new innovative materials like matte fibre,” said Bilby.

Raise3D’s Australian distributor Bilby 3D is the Australian distributor for Raise3D, a global 3D printer brand whose latest printer series has won the title of “Best 3D Printer for 2018” by Make Magazine. Bilby said Raise3D’s Pro 2 would officially launch in Australia at the National Manufacturing Week expo, held in Sydney from 9-11 May. Raise3D Pro 2 is an industrial grade components printer that combines unprecedented resolution capabilities with large build areas, onsite servicing and support, and minimal maintenance requirements. Some key benefits and design innovations that distinguish Raise 3D Pro 2 include an electronic driven lifting dual extrusion system that is accurate to five microns (<0.005mm) and switches within less than one second between materials, wide filament compatibility (300°C), builtin air filtration, filament run-out detection and the ability to resume printing after power outage. “Raise 3D Pro 2 model can print to a resolution of 10 microns per layer, that is previously unheard of within the industry, as the standard resolution for 3D printers is generally about 100 microns per layer,” said Bilby.

Sharing knowledge with the industry 3D printing being an emerging industry, consulting is an important part of Bilby 3D’s business. Bilby 3D supports customers with sales, support and consulting through its wide network of resellers and offices in Sydney, Brisbane and Melbourne. “From very early on, we at Bilby

Bilby 3D is the Australian distributor for Raise3D, whose latest Pro 2 printer series has won the title of “Best 3D Printer for 2018” by Make Magazine.

3D saw our role as investigators. We researched and talked to industry to determine what they needed and how they could use 3D Printing. Our team draws on a diverse range of industry backgrounds, so that our clients can benefit from specialised experience both within their industry and with 3D printing. It is through these strong ties to industry that we have learned, developed and shared back that knowledge, to see Australian companies grow through their adoption of 3D printing,” said Bilby. She also said that she enjoys seeing how 3D printing can make the impossible possible. “To watch an idea that never would have been viable through traditional manufacturing, become a reality because of the small scale production capabilities of 3D printing is great,” said Bilby. “One example is DreamFarm, who utilised 3D printing from

the beginning to iterate and test products on the path to traditional manufacturing. From their small beginnings 3D printing has helped them become a large international company.” 3D printing could in fact be economically feasible, particularly for small quantity productions. She said 3D printing only uses what it needs because it’s an additive manufacturing versus a subtractive manufacturing. Comparing it to CNC-ing a part where the part is cut out of a larger block of material, 3D printing only uses the exact material as needed so it becomes cheaper eventually. “Many companies need to have parts in order to supply warranty. 3D printing allows them to only manufacture the required quantity rather than having to stock a large quantity, as is common practice through traditional manufacturing,” said Bilby.

Pneumatics @MM Eliminating workplace injury with monitored safety valves Manufacturers’ Monthly spoke to Fluidsentry operations manager Jason Hodges, on how monitored valves technology helps eliminate workplace accidents during hazardous operations.


HILE setting up any production line, the most important objective is to protect the health and safety of the people working in the plant. People are particularly vulnerable while performing tasks such as maintenance, repairs, installation, or service operations that require them to step in the path of the production line. Fluidsentry’s monitored pneumatic and hydraulic valves are key components in safety related parts of fluid power control systems. The company’s monitored valve technology is primarily designed as an interface between the fluid power operation of a machine and the electrical safety circuits, monitoring gates, guard and emergency stop circuits. Fluidsentry valves are used to eliminate workplace accidents and ensure machine operators are kept safe especially during the most hazardous operations. “Our main objective is to prevent machine operators from losing fingers or other body parts while intervening with machine operations,” Fluidsentry operations manager Jason Hodges told Manufacturer’s Monthly. “Our products interlock with other safety devices, such as light curtains, and act as the link between the machine and the operator to ensure that the machines are de-energised and are safe for access.”

Meeting safety standards The story of Fluidsentry began in 2001 when founder Murray Hodges noticed the challenges system designers were facing in meeting safety requirements with regard to the integrity of fluid power safety control systems.

While there were a number of products available in Europe and Australia for safety applications, the manufacturers could not demonstrate compliance with the key standards that outline the requirements for the safety related parts of control systems. “There were many electronic safety devices in the market but nothing that could safely interlock with pneumatic or hydraulic devices,” Jason Hodges said. So, Fluidsentry developed its first monitored pneumatic safety valve, using positive driven high precision safety switching for the monitoring function, which is a global first solution. Since then, Fluidsentry has continued to expand the range of its monitored hydraulic and pneumatic valves to assist industry in complying with AS4024.1 and ISO 13849 requirements. Fluidsentry currently manufactures a wide range of hydraulic and pneumatic monitored safety valves, with the pneumatic products covering a range of ½”, ¾” and 1” valves and the hydraulic models in the Cetop 3, Cetop 5, Cetop 7, and Cetop 8 sizes to cover almost all industrial applications. While Fluidsentry is currently targeting the food and beverage industry, Hodges says their products have applications in a wide range of industries. “We were supplying many units to automotive manufacturing companies, including Toyota, Holden and Ford, before they were shut down. We have also worked closely with the Australian Nuclear Science and Technology Organisation (ANSTO), Coca-Cola Amitil, Carter-Holt Harvey, and Bluescope Steel.” Ever since the car manufacturers

shut down their production in Australia, Fluidsentry has focused on expanding its exports, which currently account for about 45 per cent of the company’s sales.

Focus on durability Durability of products is something that Fluidsentry prides itself on. “We’ve been around for about 17 years and servicing our existing units is only now becoming a growing sector for us. Our units have been working for many years without requiring any major repair,” Hodges said. “Our valves have a lifetime of 10 million cycles, which is up to five times higher than the average lifetime of comparable products in the market. Our products are all made by hand and under stringent quality checks.” After sales service includes Fluidsentry providing servicing for purchased units, where they are serviced and reinstated to certified standard. “We don’t often have valves returned for repair, but would recommend a service every five years, depending on the application and the environment it is installed in,” Hodges said.

used our valves in zoning their equipment, so if errors occur in a part of their production line, they’ll be able to shut down certain sections rather than the whole production line.” Fluidsentry offer their products as a “plug and play” package, to make sure that the clients have everything they need to install the product. “For example, if you purchase our new PX2M model, which is a dual ½” pneumatic valve unit, Fluidsenty has taken it one step further to now include a lockouttagout valve and a filter regulator, in addition to their standard inclusions,” Hodges said. Fluidsentry will be launching the new PX2M ½” pneumatic safety valve system in June 2018.

Efficiency in operations While safety is the main objective in using monitored safety valves, Fluidsentry’s customers have also been able to increase efficiency using their products. “Some of our customers have reported increased efficiency using our valves, mainly in the area of maintenance, as the maintenance person accessing the machine would require less time to carry out the lockout-tagout procedures,” said Hodges. “Some of our customers also

Fluidsentry operations manager Jason Hodges displays the new PX2M ½” pneumatic safety valve system, which the company will launch in June 2018.

Manufacturers’ Monthly MAY 2018 35

Packaging @MM Science in motion Fromm Australia’s new packaging technology is set to take the guesswork out of load stability in Australia. Manufacturers and supply chain businesses hate returns and product damage because they eat away at bottom line.


OR Richard Layton, managing director of packaging company Fromm Australia, 2017 was full of experimentation. He spent the year putting the company’s new US-built load stability machine to the test. “We’ve acquired a piece of equipment that simulates the conditions a pallet goes through during transport,” Layton explained. “It enables us to do in-house testing on load stabilisation and stress on load in transit – a first for the packaging industry in Australia.” The technology allows Fromm to make a science of pallet building, stretch wrapping and load handling, and gives customers concrete advice on reducing material wastage and returns due to damage in transit.

Worth its weight “Manufacturers and supply-chain businesses hate returns and product damage because they eat away at the bottom line,” says Richard. “The industry average is around four per 36 MAY 2018 Manufacturers’ Monthly 

cent, and a lot of it can be improved simply by stretch wrapping their palletised goods correctly. – they don’t know how to do it. “When you’re a large manufacturer, that translates to a huge amount of wastage from the goods you’re shipping across the country or overseas.” He explains that Fromm uses its new equipment to tailor advice for secure shipping. “We look at the products our customers are currently wrapping, how they’re wrapping them and the trip to the end destination,” he said. “Then, using our new machine, we simulate the g-forces that would be experienced in transit. “No other packaging company in Australia offers this kind of testing,” said Layton. Fromm takes the customer’s pallet, wraps it, places it onto the machine, and observes what happens when it’s tilted to simulate stresses of up to equivalent of 1 G . “If the contents move in our

static test, this means the pallet’s contents could shift when the truck carrying it brakes abruptly or goes around a corner. This could spell damage for the pallet’s entire contents, which is an extremely expensive exercise,” said Layton. Fromm analyses the results of its G-force simulations and shows customers how to get loads to their destinations without damage, and in a more cost-effective manner. “We can give the customer a report with our recommendations on how they should wrap a pallet,” said Layton. This would include what kind of film they should use and what kind of stretch they need to apply on the stretch-wrapping machines to satisfy industry guidelines for shipping goods in Australia, which are set out in the National Transport Commission’s Load Restraint Guide. After demonstrating the optimum wrapping method, Fromm sends its mobile wrapping test device out to its customer’s facility, to help them

replicate the results achieved in the static environment with the Fromm Test Cube.

Put to the test After 12 months of extensive inhouse testing and collaboration with an industry partner experiencing load-stability problems, Fromm is now offering its diagnostic service to customers. “As a value-added service, it will give our customers and potential customers much more confidence,” said Layton. “Beyond that, it will also save them money by reducing their returns and making wrapping processes much more efficient.” Layton notes that Fromm is proud to be at the forefront of the packaging simulation testing “breakthrough” in Australia. “Until now, load wrapping has always been based on historical film usage,” said Layton. “I don’t think that transporting goods should be guess, or luck – there should be a science behind it.”


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Drives AND CONTROLS Driving efficiency with compact drive unit SEW-Eurodrive’s MOVIGEAR-DSM drive unit range offers processing industries a costeffective solution to modernise their operations. SEW-Eurodrive recently added a new drive unit size, suitable for low power ranges, to complete the MOVIGEAR product portfolio.


HE manufacturing and processing industries are forever looking for new solutions to optimise their operations and create savings where possible— be it in energy, space, downtime, cleaning efforts or through optimisation of processes. MOVIGEAR from SEW-Eurodrive is an ideal solution for manufacturers that helps them improve efficiency in their material handling systems with its hygienic design, compact size and high efficiency rating. MOVIGEAR integrates the mechanics, electronics and control in order to optimise its functionality. The integration of these components extends the products’ service life and reliability. This allows MOVIGEAR to be easily retrofitted into most materials handling applications such as conveyor systems.

SEW-Eurodrive’s new drive unit size, suitable for low power ranges, completes the MOVIGEAR product portfolio.

New member added to mechatronics product family SEW-Eurodrive has recently added a new size to its MOVIGEAR-DSM product range, which is ideal for use in conveyor applications that require low torques up to 100 Nm. Together, with the previously available drive unit sizes in the range of 200 and 400 Nm torque classes, the new product completes the MOVIGEAR-DSM product portfolio, which currently has three sizes and four performance classes, to match different applications. The new size 1 MGF-DSM has high overall system efficiency for centralised installations in the lower range. The light and compact drive unit offers a large operating range with constant torque and high overall efficiency.

Retrofitting as an effective measure According to SEW-Eurodrive, MOVIGEAR has a number of 38 MAY 2018 Manufacturers’ Monthly 

advantages over traditional drive solutions that bring about cost savings for manufacturers, among them being the ability to have a low retrofit effort, fast upgrade and communication via standard bus systems. Plant manufacturers and operators, particularly in the food and beverage industry, can look at retrofitting as an effective measure to increase energy efficiency. This means that existing plants can be modernised or retrofitted with new, energy-efficient drive components, which reduces cost without affecting productivity. MOVIGEAR-DSM drive units can be combined with the control cabinet frequency inverter MOVITRAC LTP-B in centralised installation concepts.

By replacing old geared motors with a MOVIGEAR-DSM drive unit in their centralised installation, manufacturers can achieve energy efficiency without the need for a mechanical re-configuration. Retrofitting of the plant using the existing cabling of the drive components reduces the retrofit effort making this a much quicker upgrade and creating savings in energy to existing plants. The SEW-Eurodrive group is a global designer and developer of mechanical power transmission systems and motor control electronics. Its broad spectrum of integrated solutions includes geared motors and gear units, high torque industrial gear units, high-efficiency motors, electronic frequency inverters and servo drive systems,

decentralised drive systems, plus engineered solutions and after-sales technical support/training. The Australian division of SEW-Eurodrive is headquartered in Melbourne and is supported by a network of offices in Sydney, Brisbane, Mackay, Townsville, Perth and Adelaide. SEW-Eurodrive offers a full 24hour emergency breakdown service on its products to put customer’s minds at ease. SEW-Eurodrive can also tailor a training program to equip customers with a comprehensive set of skills to get the most out of motor and drive technologies and applications. The company’s customer base includes large-scale corporations and smaller entrepreneurial enterprises across Australia.


June 2018 Issue

The link between software and hardware has never been stronger, with manufacturers so dependent on having the right tools in place.



MAY 2018

In June 2018 we will speak with providers of CAD, CAM, and CNC Machines, who can offer advice to manufacturers on what factors to consider when upgrading software and equipment.


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Test EQUIPMENT Putting safety to the test Multiple industries adopt a wide range of testing machines for quality control and tests on their products. Test Machines Australia’s CEO Paul Cibotto tells Manufacturers’ Monthly how offering after-sales training and quality services has helped the company grow its sales.


ESEARCH and development is an inseparable part of all industries today; and wherever material tests are conducted, mechanical testing machines play a key role in ensuring a cost effective design that meets the required standards. Test Machines Australia is a company that has been involved in design, manufacturing and distribution of testing machines for various industries including mining industries, plastics and rubber manufacturers, timber industries and automotive testing facilities. In a conversation with Manufacturers’ Monthly, Test Machine

Australia’s CEO Paul Cibotto discussed how his company has grown its customer base and customer satisfaction by offering complete solution packages and training to machine operators. “All of our testing machines are sold with full training packages. We do not just sell the machines, but we set them up and train the operators on how to use the machines,” he said. “We also train operators on good work practices, good maintenance, and teach them a lot of safety parameters to ensure that the operators as well as the people around the machines are safe. “When we train the operators, we explain to them a lot of the whys and the hows so that they walk away with the confidence that they are not going to make any mistakes or injure themselves or others,” he said. Test Machines Australia is the Australian distributor for Tinius Olsen, a USA- and UK-based company whose name has been part of the testing machine industry’s history for nearly two centuries. Partnership with Tinius Olsen has enabled Test Machines Australia to custom-make all tools and fixtures for mechanical testing machines, including Universal Testing Machine (UTM), tensile and compression testers

and impact testers, to meet various applications and needs. Test Machines Australia has teamed up with Japanese company Kyowa for sale of its strain gauges, which are used in many experimental tests. Kyowa’s strain gauges, designed to electronically detect strain, have applications in a wide range of applications, not only in experiments and research but also for industrial measurement and control. Maintenance is an important aspect in ensuring that test data are accurate and reliable. While Test Machine Australia undertakes to maintain the devices and retrofit them to keep them up to date with the latest software, they also emphasise on reducing operator error. “When it comes to the maintenance of testing machines, operator error is the main cause for the machines getting overloaded and crashing. Therefore, we train operators on how to use the machines and how to keep them clean to prevent damages. “Most of our machines come with protective cages to ensure the safety of operators as well as the other people around them in the event of a sample fracturing during the test. “All of our impact testers have protective cages and interlocks to prevent anyone touching them while Test Machines Australia machines are sold with full training packages.

40 MAY 2018 Manufacturers’ Monthly 

operating or get dangerously close to them.” Apart from distributing and maintaining Tinius Olsen testing machines, Test Machines Australia also repairs and modifies machines from other brands in their workshop. Test Machines Australia is currently working on a new machine which is being developed by Tinius Olsen. The machine is a new model of noncontacting video extensometer, a device that measures changes in the length of an object using a highresolution camera to track different points on the specimen. While the testing equipment has been around for some years, Cibotto says the older models of the machine were quite complex and could lose reliability if they were not set up properly. “The new model that we are working on is much faster, more accurate and more operator-friendly, therefore making the data gathered from the test more reliable. Non-contacting video extensometers offer many benefits over the traditional contacting devices as they offer more accurate and consistent results. “Once you record the video, you can play re-runs and even change the target points. It is particularly useful in tests where you have limited number of specimen, and cannot repeat the test if something goes wrong,” Cibotto explained. Test Machines Australia’s video extensometer uses a high resolution monochrome camera, advanced high speed image processing, and cool lighting such that the point to point real-time video processing technology is capable of achieving, and exceeding, ASTM E83 Class B1 and ISO 9513 Class 0.5 accuracy. Over the years, Test Machines Australia has also made sure that their machines are manufactured in accordance with Australian specifications and standards.

BrandBUILDING Why companies need to put more emphasis on quality services Managers from diverse industries share tips on how companies can boost their sales and uphold their brands by offering high-quality value added services.


N today’s competitive and cluttered marketplace, any effort by companies to improve the quality and extent of their client services can go a long way in differentiating them from their competitors and helping them build rapport with clients. Faced with competition from imports from lower-cost countries, along with evolving customer needs, an increasing number of businesses are revisiting their sales policies to put focus on value added and tailorfit solutions to retain customers. From improved customer support to introducing consulting and advisory services, companies resort to various techniques to align their interests with those of their customers and boost customer loyalty. “All companies should focus on value added services that are targeted to suit their clients’ needs. Value-added services will boost relevance and sustained business for the companies as well as help them remain competitive,” Kristine Alleva, co-founder and director

of AcQuum Consulting, told Manufactures’ Monthly. Alleva, whose Melbourne-based consulting company offers technology and business solutions to a wide range of clients, was a finalist in last year’s Women in Industry Awards, which acknowledges the exceptional women who have achieved success through their invaluable leadership, innovation and commitment to their sector. “Being agile, lean, adaptable and value-for-money is what customers are demanding now. They want good suppliers that can deliver on their promise,” Alleva added. Businesses often make the mistake of focusing only on their products’ core functions and forget to put enough emphasis on their brand’s values and reputation. This is while reviewing numerous examples shows that if a brand has a desirable image, it increases customer loyalty and may even allow for a higher price point. “Products or services can be replicated to a degree; so offering value add or tailored solutions are what allows companies to

An increasing number of businesses are revisiting their sales policies to focus on value added and tailor-fit solutions to retain customers.

differentiate themselves and essentially stand out over their competitors,” Sarah Rosales, national retention manager,Toyota Financial Services, told Manufactures’ Monthly. “Companies adopting this approach stay relevant with evolving customer expectation around convenience, value and personalisation and gain new customers in the process.” Rosales was a finalist in the Women in Industry Awards held last June, when she was working as national marketing manager with Hino Motor Sales Australia. “It is almost cliché now to say that good customer and after-sales service is about putting the customer first, but I would go one step further and say that having the infrastructure to deal with customers after the sale is more important in the long term for retaining these customers,” Rosales said. “Companies need to realise that the investment in customer experience needs to extend beyond the purchase and through the life time value of the product and services. These can be things as simple as online tracking, after hours’ support, warranty, and connectivity, ultimately making the customer feel like they are catered for after the sale.” Penelope Twemlow, former chief executive officer for Energy Skills Queensland, suggests that companies should learn to benefit from digitisation and utilise the new technologies to come up with innovative solutions for their clients. “There are two things that companies need to keep in mind: first is to understand the benefits of digitisation and to incorporate them in their services. The second is to know and understand their clients, build a rapport with them and then

use their technological skills to cater to the needs of their clients,” Twemlow, a finalist in the Social Leader of the Year category at last year’s Women in Industry Awards, told Manufactures’ Monthly. Training and coaching employees is a crucial step in taking the companies to the next level. If staff, from the sales department to the technical people, can communicate efficiently with customers and receive feedback, they can transfer this insight to their managers. “Staff are an integral touch point with customers. They are representing and delivering your brand in the way they handle the interaction,” Rosales said. “Ensuring that staff are educated, trained and understand the services or products that a company provides helps uphold a quality output and ensures the company’s overall brand is upheld.” According to Alleva, “The managers should chat with their staff who deal with the customers everyday, as information gets filtered out up the hierarchy of a large company. Recruiting the right staff with the right attitude, work ethic and soft skills is important in maintaining the quality of the company’s services.” In the international race to build a competitive business model, offering multiple services provides firms with better chances to enter into frequent interactions with customers. Provided the job is well done, this helps build a lasting bond that lowers their willingness to look for alternative service providers. The added value from such a customer relationship flows both ways, with the provider benefitting from quicker entry to market alongside direct access to information that can be used to inform product design. Manufacturers’ Monthly MAY 2018 41

Promotional Feature Safety

Improving safety through effective straps Ian Coleman, general manager, VELCRO Australia, shares a little history with Manufacturers’ Monthly about the company and its strong drive to provide the best industrial fastening solutions. MM: Could you share a little more about VELCRO’s history here in Australia and how it has served the industrial sector since it started here? IC: Velcro Companies is a technologydriven, global organisation providing fastening solutions that solve problems in simple, elegant and surprising ways for businesses and consumers around the world. We have a heritage of innovation spanning more than 50 years and own over 400 active patents and numerous trademarks, including the VELCRO® trademark, which is registered throughout the world. The organisation is a leader in industrial, consumer, medical, military, transportation, construction and personal care markets with our innovative fastening solutions. Our extensive product line includes traditional hook and loop fasteners in addition to woven, knot and moulded products suited for a wide range of applications. VELCRO® Brand products are used in everything from roof panels to diapers. What is today an integral part of popular culture, fashion and common home goods was invented on serendipity, inspired by a routine hike in the woods. MM: VELCRO has a global footprint. What is the presence here like in Australia? Any plans for growth in Australia? IC: The VELCRO® Trademark was registered in Australia in 1962. In 1974, Velcro Australia Pty Ltd began operations in Victoria and is now the central hub for the Velcro Companies throughout Australasia and the South Pacific region. Velcro Australia Pty Ltd is part of the Velcro Companies worldwide, forming a global partnership to help achieve its objectives for quality of product and service. Our experience and involvement has panned virtually every industry 42 MAY 2018 Manufacturers’ Monthly 

and product category. Here in Australia we have a warehouse and converting facility and a strong business across many verticals. We develop and deliver solutions for customers through an integrated production and service system that includes manufacturing locations in the United States, Belgium, Canada, Mexico, Uruguay, Spain and China and sales offices around the world. For the industrial business, there is a tremendous amount of opportunity to improve processes and efficiencies for our customers across the board. This includes materials for warehousing, cable management and agriculture. Companies depend on our fastening solutions for a wide range of business operations including bundling produce, organising kilometres of network cables, building a trade show exhibit and keeping homes and workplaces clean and in order. No matter the application, the VELCRO® Brand offers products that balance price, performance and reliability. MM: What is the importance of safety in the warehouse and storage for manufacturers and can the lack of safety in packaging and storage lead to loss in productivity and downtime? IC: The VELCRO® Brand LOGISTRAP® fastener is a revolutionary way to secure goods in a warehouse environment. This product is unique in that it eliminates the need to re-wrap any palleted item once it has been received in a facility. As

such, this tool should help reduce plastic shrink wrap usage in warehouses and distribution centres significantly lowering packaging, recycling and maintenance expenditures. This product is environmentally friendly and will reduce waste when replacing one use alternatives such as shrink wrap, stretch wrap, plastic or metal ties. MM: With regards to the patented straps that VELCRO® makes as compared to traditional wrapping and strapping for material handling, what is the differentiating factor quality wise compared to the next competitor? IC: Facilities using the VELCRO® Brand LOGISTRAP® fastener will receive many benefits; they are improving their health and safety scores because the tool provides a highly visible accessory which eliminates the need for hazardous tools like scissors of knives and reduces the risk of injury from falling goods. The straps can be easily opened and closed reducing the amount of time people will use to secure a load and eliminate time required in movement to, and maintenance of, alternative equipment because there are not tools required to make these straps functional. In addition, the straps are soft and so therefore will not scratch surfaces. The straps do not hide barcode labels and other pertinent information on shipments and so speeds up the process for incoming and outgoing shipments.

MM: What kind of after-sales value can an industrial customer get by choosing VELCRO® Brand as its partner? IC: Available in two sizes 50mm and 100mm in fluoro orange. The VELCRO® Brand LOGISTRAP® fastener can be branded in your own company logo based on minimum order quantities. The VELCRO® Brand LOGISTAP® fastener also has a simple winder tool for easy storage and application. You can calculate your cost savings and waste reduction percentage over the course of 3 years by looking at the amount of shrink wrap used per pallet and replacing that with a VELCRO® Brand LOGISTRAP® fastener. The value proposition provided by the VELCRO® Brand could result in a 55% cost savings and 100% waste reduction over the course of time. This solution has versatility and has proven to be successful across markets and industries from an apparel and outdoors supplier in Australia to a large appliance retailer in the UK. This solution has also resulted in savings for truck and automotive, tile and chemical distributors.

For more information and to calculate your potential cost savings by converting to the VELCRO® Brand LOGISTRAP® fastener, email them at infovaus@ or call 1800 337 024. • AMAZING CONNECTIONS... VELCRO® Brand LOGISTRAP® STRAP VELCRO® Brand LOGISTRAP® offers a revolutionary new way to secure goods in a warehouse environment. The LOGISTRAP® base material is nylon which has a resistance of 1059 N. The metal buckle offers additional strength and has a high vis colour for added safety. The LOGISTRAP® can be tailored for printing and for your own unique individual branding. The VELCRO® Brand LOGISTRAP® eliminates the need to re-wrap any pelleted item once it has been received in your warehouse. Save time, save money and save the planet with this simple, yet effective solution.

Available in Fluro Orange 100mm & 50mm wide

Available at: 1300 737 430 VELCRO Australia PTY LTD 5-11 David Lee Road, Hallam VIC 3803 Tel: (+61) 3 9703 2466 Fax: (+61) 3 9703 2305

1300 VELCRO (1300 835 276) FREE CALL 1800 337 024 Web: E:

Quality ISO 9001

IMPORTANT NOTICE TO PURCHASER All statements, technical advice and recommendations contained herein are based on tests believed to be reliable, but the accuracy thereof is not guaranteed, and the following is made in lieu of all warranties, expressed or implied: Seller’s and manufacturer’s only obligation shall be to replace the quantity of product proved to be defective. Neither seller nor manufacturer shall be liable for any injury, loss or damage, direct or consequential, arising out of the use of or the inability to use the product. Before using, user shall determine the suitability of the product for its intended use, and user assumes all risk and liability whatsoever in connection therewith. No statement or recommendation not contained herein shall have any force or effect unless in an agreement signed by officers of seller and manufacturer. VELCRO®® and other marks are owned by Velcro BVBA. Copyright © 2018 Velcro.

Communication DEVICES­ Machine networks made easy Phoenix Contact’s national marketing manager, John Ortika, shares the company’s approach about their idea of future-oriented communication.


EAMLESS ethernet-based data exchange from field level to office applications is one of the central challenges that Industry 4.0 presents to future machine networks. As communication specialists, Phoenix Contact provides solutions that are not only comprehensive, but also easy to handle, secure and future ready. Whether man or machine, one thing is certain: without communication, nothing works. However, in the practice, it frequently happens that participants do not understand each other, or not correctly. Reasons include many participants speaking at once, different languages or complex ways of expressing themselves. It is a fact that misunderstandings can easily cause errors with unforeseeable consequences. Therefore, a uniform language and regulated communication are fundamental prerequisites for trouble-free information exchange between all participants. And that also holds true for the data exchange in machines and systems. In the past, the amount of Ethernet-capable components was still relatively limited, but thanks to the universal Ethernet communication, their number is continuously increasing. As a result, the risk of unwanted data traffic on the network also increases. Unauthorised devices that are connected or loops that are accidentally established can interfere with the production process. If the user then additionally needs special protocols, such as PROFINET or EtherNet/IP, the devices used have to fulfill special requirements to safeguard reliable data exchange. Technology trends such as cloud-based solutions, IT security, the use of smart devices or the possibility of secure remote maintenance also influence the network communication. For the machine builders, this means that they constantly have to plan and service larger networks that can be supplemented with new technologies. 44 MAY 2018 Manufacturers’ Monthly 

The extensive product portfolio of Phoenix Contact encompasses all components needed for setting up a machine network. And all of that has to stay manageable for both their and the customers’ employees. “PROFINET or Ethernet/ IP protocols will have different requirements for how they might find errors and transmit information deterministically. So, if you just bought a switch off the shelf that did not cater for a certain protocol, then you would be blocking the efficiency of the protocol and cause the system to not operate very well,” said John Ortika, national manager, Phoenix Contact Australia. He explained that because there’s different ways these protocols send the data out, then normal ethernet switches that don’t have the matching protocol in mind when set up, may impact the flow of the production data rather than allowing it to go through as the highest priority.

network, wireless modules are used. Security components are increasingly used to ensure safe integration of the machines into the production network. Additionally, they allow encrypted - and thus secure - remote access to the machines. In machine building, the pressure to be competitive on the global market is high. To answer the customers’ demand for devices that are easy to handle, it makes sense to source all the required network components from a single manufacturer. This allows a uniform control philosophy and creates leeway for price negotiations. With the FL Switch 2000, FL WLAN 1100, FL mGuard und TC Cloud Client product families, communication specialist Phoenix Contact therefore provides the optimal solution for the special requirements of modern machine.

Uniform control philosophy

Diagnosable high-availability networks

To meet these demands, new device types are used in the machine networks, in addition to switches that connect the components and control the data transmission. For example, to connect mobile end devices or transport systems to the automation

In the past, unmanaged switches usually served as the interface between the network participants in machine building. The reasons included their low price and easy startup. However, these devices cannot meet the demands that arise

from the growing communication needs of the constantly increasing number of network participants. For example, unmanaged switches have no mechanisms for network diagnostics or reducing the data load. Therefore they can only be used in modern machine networks to a limited extent. On the other hand, intelligent switches have precisely these functions. Thanks to optimally matched functionality, they combine the advantages of the easy operation of unmanaged devices with the powerful capabilities of the managed switches. The new FL Switch 2000 product family of Phoenix Contact additionally supports redundancy mechanisms for loop suppression, as well the essential functions of the PROFINET and EtherNet/ IP transmission standards. The innovative Unmanaged Mode ensures user-friendly handling. It allows the device to be operated as unmanaged switch, while management functions for stabilising the network are active in the background. With the FL Switch 2100 models, it is additionally possible to set up machine networks for gigabit communication.

Communication DEVICES The compact FL WLAN 1100 wireless module/access point can be used to integrate mobile devices into the network.

Reliable wireless technology The trend to integrate mobile devices and driverless transport systems into the machine network makes wireless data communication essential, for example using WLAN. To ensure that the data is reliably transmitted to the receiver, an access point that sends out a WLAN signal should be installed at the respective machines. Usually, the access point is installed in the control cabinet and at least two antennas are mounted on the machine. With the FL WLAN 1100 product family, Phoenix Contact has created an easy solution for full WLAN reception at machines and systems. The wireless module not only unites an access point and antennas in one device, but, with a little work and using a singlehole mounting method, can also be installed directly on the machine, on the control cabinet or on a mobile vehicle – even as retrofit. The two antennas integrated into the access point support all customary WLAN standards (IEC 802.11a/b/g/n) and frequencies (2.4 GHz and 5 GHz), as well as the MIMO antenna technology (Multiple Input Multiple Output). This ensures fast and reliable data transmission.

Cloud Client and FL mGuard product families make it possible for service personnel to remotely connect to the machines and systems via the Internet. Depending on what is needed, this connection is either established via the operator’s networks, or via the global 4G LTE mobile network. The mGuard Secure Cloud makes it possible to set up a scaleable VPN infrastructure with encryption by means of the IPsec security protocol. This safeguards the confidentiality, authenticity and integrity of all exchanged data. For secure connections between the machine and the production network, the FL mGuard security appliances additionally provide extensive firewall functions that protect the machine network against unauthorised access. “For machines, remote access is often discussed especially if the machine is being leased by an external vendor. So, if access to the network by the external leasing company is needed, that access needs to be secure. The last thing you need is unauthorised access through some backdoor to introduced unwanted elements into your network,” explained Ortika.

Secure remote access

Easy configuration

Connecting the machine to the production network, integration into a cloud-based solution or remote maintenance by the machine builder: regardless of the application, secure and therefore encrypted communication is crucial. The remote maintenance modules of the TC

Many machine builders prefer using devices that are easy to operate in their networks. To avoid the additional time and costs involved in configuring more complex components, the machine builders make conscious decisions to forfeit the advantages of a robust, diagnosable network. As

mentioned above, unmanaged switches with plug-and-play capabilities are frequently used. These simply have to be connected to a power supply and the network. No settings have to be configured. To minimise the configuration work needed for components with management functions, without forfeiting the many benefits they offer, the new devices of Phoenix Contact have been optimised for machine building applications and are easy to configure. In addition to the configuration options usually offered, such as web-based management in a browser and SNMP (Simple Network Management Protocol), the switches of the 2000 product family and the TC Cloud Client are equipped with an SD card. With the card, the configurations created can be replicated as often as needed. And if the user needs to replace a defective component, the extensive work involved in the initial configuration need not be repeated for the replacement device. The wireless modules of the FL WLAN 1100 and FL Switch 2000 product families additionally offer the option of configuration by means of a commandline interface (CLI).

Transparent network management Larger and larger automation networks - this trend is overtaxing an increasing number of machine builders’ ability to manage their networks. Additionally, they complain about the high amount of time needed and the resulting costs. Therefore many companies are looking for a solution that simplifies network management. With the FL Network Manager, Phoenix Contact offers a new software tool that encompasses all important functions for managing switches, as well as WLAN and security components - from the first device configuration and monitoring functions during live operation to userfriendly configuration and firmware management. In the past, it was necessary to perform firmware updates on each individual device. With the FL Network Manager, it is now possible to update all components simultaneously. The device configuration in

the network is just as easy. All configuration files can be saved locally with a single step, to then be loaded onto a (replacement) device when needed. Integrated BootP/DHCP and TFTP server functions eliminate the need to use several different tools to configure the device parameters. The FL Network Manager thus unites all important management functions for an automation network into a transparent tool.

Moving the customer to a newer platform Within the manufacturing space, there is still a need to educate customers on the benefits of having reliable protocols for smooth data transfer. Ortika told Manufacturers’ Monthly that Phoenix Contact believes in advice to what they are transitioning into with a new set up. “What has happened in the past is a customer has put in an Ethernet network that had motors or sensors on Profinet or Ethernet IP. However due to using unmanaged switches on not correctly configured managed switches, they get into difficulty within their systems and wonder where they went wrong. In reality, the real problem is the switches were not set up correctly or able to provide information that could help speed up troubleshooting and hence resulted in longer than expected downtimes ” said Ortika. The fact of the matter, he explained, is that the switch is an important part of the network and many issues could be avoided if the customer had a proper understanding of what PROFINET or Ethernet IP required. Moving forward, Ortika mentioned that the managed switches come with an inbuilt diagnostics system that helps to troubleshoot any issues that may happen along the way. “Should a customer still need technical support with the diagnostics, Phoenix Contact does provide support in interpretating that information,” said Ortika. “Customers can also expect firmware updates with more features being added as they go along in order to accommodate more complex management of data flow,” said Ortika. Manufacturers’ Monthly MAY 2018 45

Endeavour AWARDS Innovative 3D printing company builds on traditions Manufacturers’ Monthly caught up with Aran Fitzgerald, founder and managing director of add+it+tech to find out how his company combines innovative 3D printing techniques with traditional manufacturing methods.


ROM 3D printed spare part solutions for out-ofproduction parts to creating prototypes or casts through reverse engineering, individuals and industries are increasingly finding new solutions in 3D printing to fit their needs. Manufacturer’s Monthly reached out to Melbourne-based high-tech start-up company add+it+tech, which was a finalist in the category of outstanding start-ups as part of the Endeavour Awards, held in May last year. add+it+tech is an additive manufacturing and 3D printing company that offers a complete service from idea to product, with plastics 3D printing and SLM (Selective Laser Melting) metal printing capabilities. In addition, the company has developed its own in-house metal printer, which is used for printing larger, less intricate metal parts. Aran Fitzgerald founded add+it+tech in 2013, while working as the managing director of Steg Engineering, a general engineering company co-founded by his father in 1987. Steg Engineering was also a finalist in last year’s Endeavour Awards, participating in the category of the most innovative manufacturing company. Combining Steg Engineering’s experience and capabilities in traditional metal machining and finishing with 3D printing capabilities enables add+it+tech to offer a onestop-shop solution where modern and traditional techniques can be combined to create the desired results for clients. According to Aran, what sets add+it+tech apart from other 3D printing companies is that they are flexible in the solutions they offer, 46 MAY 2018 Manufacturers’ Monthly 

A functional hand prosthetics add+it+tech 3D printed for a not-for-profit organisation.

keeping in mind the best interests of the clients. “We are technology agnostic in that way. We are not just fixated on 3D printing,” Aran said. “If a customer comes to us with a part they want 3D printed, we do not just give them our 3D printed price. With our traditional engineering knowledge and contacts we are able to help the customer decide what would be the best way to make it so that it could be better value for them, whether this involves a minor redesign to make the part cheaper to 3D print, or the part is perhaps better manufactured traditionally.” “A recent example is a product that we are working on for a sports equipment supplier. They have a part that used to be plastic moulded but the company that produced it cannot anymore and they no longer have access to the moulding dies. They brought us a sample and we have modelled it through reverse engineering. As they require about one to two thousands of this product per year, it would not be feasible to 3D print it. So, we may 3D print a

pattern for a casting or an injection moulding die, which they can then use for production.” “To produce an injection moulding die using traditional techniques would cost thousands of dollars, but we can produce that at much lower costs and much quicker using our in-house SLA 3D printing.” After being founded in 2013, add+it+tech initially offered Australian businesses access to the very costly metal 3D printing services via an ex colleague of Aran’s who provides this service in Switzerland. But as plastics started as an affordable means to promote the business, the demand for this service grew. add+it+tech has since delivered numerous projects for individual and industrial clients, including Crown Melbourne, BlueScope Steel and the ANCA Group. Some of their recent projects include 3D printing gears in Nylon12 as well as crane joystick wear parts for BlueScope steel, which are not readily available in the market. They have also produced ventilation domes for

Crown’s casino gaming tables, dies for a carbon fibre composites company, jewellery castings, micro-electronics casings and flexible rubber prototypes, among other projects. “Most recently we have been involved in a project for manufacturing a tube-forming machine for the ANCA Group from concept to delivery. The project combines traditional engineering and added 3D printed high-temp plastic parts to come up with the best solution.” add+it+tech has also been developing a custom robotic welding machine called Robotic Arc-weld Additive Manufacturing (RoAr-AM), which enables them to 3D print parts in metal of a scale, speed and order of magnitude better than the common SLM technique. RoAr-AM uses a robotically controlled arc-welding process to form parts directly from a computer 3D model file. “This technique fills a gap between casting, which is suited to mass production, and current 3D metal printing techniques such as SLM, which is suited to small, high-detailed parts and is currently common in aerospace and medical applications due to the cost.” While the technology is still in development stage and will probably take another year to be rolled out, add+it+tech has already trialled it successfully on a number of projects. “The technique is suitable for 3D printing parts that require complex shapes, but do not necessarily need high precision surface finishes. It is an ideal method for anything that cannot be cast in a traditional casting method or is a one-off part that is expensive to cast.” Aran said. “I don’t like to say what the technology is best for as I found that my customers have much better imaginations than I have!”





What’sNew Signode’s user-friendly strapping tool saves operational time SIGNODE’S BXT3 friction-weld, battery-operated combination tool is capable of tensioning, sealing and cutting 12mm-19mm polypropylene and polyester strapping. The BXT3 is an ergonomic, lightweight strapping tool that saves time and improves efficiency with its one-button operation. BXT3 has a customisable function that allows users to save their favourite settings for use with recurring packaged goods that have different setting requirements. The tool also features a three-colour display and acoustic signal for tool status. This helps avoid malfunctions during the tensioning, welding and cutting process with easy-to-understand signals. The BXT3 will alert users when the entire process is finished by turning the digital display to green and making an audible beep. When there’s an operating error, the screen goes to orange and with a tool error it turns red. There is also a real time indication of tension force, which improves the reliability of the process and helps reduce operating errors. Users can get an accurate indication of the amount of tension being applied in either Newton or Pound. The full touch display makes it simple to navigate through the adjustable settings. Located on the back of the tool, the operator can change the favourite strapping setting, welding time, soft tension mode and tension force. Users will also be able to switch between automatic, semi-automatic, and manual setting, and lock the entire screen. The BXT3 is designed to work in rough environments and can be used as an alternative to steel strapping application, such as in the construction, wood,

and metal industries. BXT3 can handle up to 300 high-tension cycles or 800 low tension-cycles per charge. Company: Signode Phone: 1800 685 824 Web:

Mitsubishi’s new ceiling cassette system features drought control technology MITSUBISHI Heavy Industries Air-Conditioners Australia (MHIAA) has a new FDT-VG ceiling cassette system that features draught control technology and an optional motion sensor. Draught control technology utilises four additional louvers, which can be individually positioned, to accurately assist how airflow is directed out of the indoor unit. This provides an airflow that is flatter, and directed out of the unit along the ceiling to prevent any hot or cold air from being blown directly on to the user. This system can also include a motion sensor as an optional, additional feature. This sensor will detect the user’s activity in the room and shift the temperature setting according to the amount of activity. When low activity is detected, the unit will switch to energysaving control and this helps to reduce the operating cost of the unit. As an enhanced feature, this motion sensor will also switch the unit off when no activity is detected within a 12-hour period and will restart automatically at the desired temperature when it detects activity in the room. MHIAA is also offering a new zoning solution, Airzone. This allows users to monitor and control the temperature in up to 10 independent zones; delivering high energy efficiencies and huge cost savings. Airzone easily integrates into a range of building management systems offering central control access to the systems data including energy consumption. Company: Mitsubishi Heavy Industries Air-Conditioners Australia Phone: 1300 138 007 Web:

48 MAY 2018 Manufacturers’ Monthly

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PanelSpray systems help reduce waste by accurate application THE PanelSpray systems offered by Spraying Systems use precision spray control (PSC) to ensure accurate application of resin, wax, release agent, moisture and nail lines with minimal waste. PanelSpray systems can help overcome a variety of problems that result from over- or under-application of resin, wax, water and release agents during production. These systems can help ensure the proper volume of fluid is delivered to chips, mats, cauls or belts. The systems reduce use of costly waxes, resins, or release agents by applying only the volume needed. They also increase production by applying the optimal amount of surface moisture to decrease time in the press. PanelSpray systems protect presses against sticking when making the transition to running full MDI products and eliminate the need for compressed air in most wax and pre-press operations. The PanelSpray systems offered by Spraying Systems include: • PanelSpray-RS for PMDI or LPF resin application in the blender; • PanelSpray-MS for surface moisture addition prior to pressing boards; • PanelSpray-WX for slack wax, tallow wax or e-wax applications in the blender; • PanelSpray-NM for nail line marking on oriented strand board (OSB); and • PanelSpray for mixed release agent applications on mats, cauls or press belts when using PMDI resins. Company: Spraying Systems Phone: 1300 079 998 Web:

CRC reignites Brakleen family with non-flammable brake and parts cleaner CRC Industries has expanded its range of heavy-duty mechanical maintenance products with the addition of a non-flammable brake and parts cleaner to its Brakleen family. The new CRC Brakleen NF is a powerful, heavy-duty cleaner and degreaser for brake, clutch parts and general mechanical equipment. CRC Industries Australia managing director, Shona Fitzgerald, said the product had been formulated to quickly and safely dissolve and flush away grease, oil, brake fluid, transmission fluid, hardened deposits and other contaminants. “It can perform these functions without the need for disassembly, thereby reducing maintenance costs,’’ Fitzgerald said. “CRC Brakleen NF is also perfect for degreasing components prior to reassembly, especially prior to thread locking. When sprayed, the break up in the liquid stream assists cleaning by providing surface agitation and maximum wet-out. It is also rubber safe and safe on most automotive plastics. Being non-flammable, Brakleen NF also brings obvious safety benefits to heavily OH&S regulated industries,’’ she said. Other features include being quick cleaning, quick evaporating, non-staining, non-corrosive and silicone free. With its excellent penetration, CRC Brakleen NF helps brakes last longer and perform better, helps eliminate brake squeal and clutch chatter and safely settles and removes potentially hazardous brake dust. Available in 20-litre bulk containers, as well as traditional aerosol spray cans, CRC Brakleen NF joins the trusted Brakleen family consisting of Brakleen, Brakleen Force and Non-Chlorinated Brakleen in delivering superior partscleaning technology. Company: CRC Industries (Australia) Phone: 1800 111 556 Web:

Manufacturers’ Monthly MAY 2018 49

What’s New Phoenix Contact launches new space-saving electronic circuit breaker ELECTRICAL engineering manufacturer, Phoenix Contact, has released a new, highly compact, single-channel electronic circuit breaker – the PTCB. At just 6mm wide by 106mm high, the new, super lean PTCB electronic circuit breaker offers space-saving circuit protection and potential distribution. It also helps technicians save on costs, as less space is required in the control box. The device protects 24V DC loads against overload and short-circuiting. It can be used as a standalone circuit breaker or with Clipline, complete DIN rail terminals and accessories for additional output or with multiples connected together. Adding the PTCB to existing applications is quick and easy as the device does not require users to purchase another set of terminals. Suitable for a range of applications, technicians can adjust the amp values on the device from one to eight to tailor the PTCB to their needs and ensure optimal adaptation to the connected load/application. The device offers flexibility as it can be modified during start up as well as adjusted at any time to respond to changes in the application. The PTCB also offers high reliability even under extreme ambient conditions. It is suitable for use in temperatures ranging from -25º to 60ºC, and is shock and vibration resistant.

Company: Phoenix Contact Phone: 1300 786 411 Web:

FCI’s air/gas flow meters offer precise measurements ENGINEERS responsible for reporting stack gas emissions data to federal, state or local authorities will appreciate the optional Continuous Emissions Monitoring System (CEMS) and Continuous Emissions Rate Monitoring System (CERMS) applications package available with the MT100 series multipoint thermal mass flow meters from Fluid Components International (FCI). FCI’s MT100 series flow meters, when specified with the optional CEMS and CERMS applications package, meet the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s 40 CFR Part 60 and 40 CFR Part 75. This package provides a 24-hour interval automated calibration drift test of low and high span points, and interference sensor check. The MT100 meter’s optional CEMS applications package includes both an automated and on-demand self-checking of calibration drift (CD) and sensor interference. The results of the CEMS tests are presented as a simple pass or fail message on the LCD readout. The CEMS option also includes two relay outputs for connection to external devices, one to signal test in progress and the other to signal a fail-test mode. FCI’s MT100 series air/gas flow meters combine electronics technology with application-proven precision flow sensors in a rugged package designed for demanding plant operating environments. They provide temperature-compensated direct mass-flow measurement of air and gases for precise, repeatable measurement with low maintenance requirements in large diameter pipes, stacks and rectangular duct installations. Company: AMS Instrumentations & Calibration Phone: (03) 9017 8225 Web:

50 MAY 2018 Manufacturers’ Monthly

Gearmotors \ Heavy Industrial Solutions \ Electronics \ Decentralised Systems \ Services

Big things come in small packages Meet the newest member of SEW-EURODRIVE’s family, the MOVIGEAR® MGF1 drive unit for lower power ranges. The new Size 1 completes the MOVIGEAR® generation and enables a compact, maximally energy-efficient solution for applications with lower torque requirements.

Your Benefits: • Gear unit and motor are combined into a compact housing resulting in a low weight, easy to handle Mechatronic drive unit. • Smooth, finless and fanless housing design eliminates the possibility of debris entrapment leading to reduced cleaning efforts and system downtimes • MOVIGEAR® motor complies with IE4 (Super Premium Efficiency) standards, offering impressive energy savings. • Reduction of stock holding for end users due to large operating speed range and constant torque. • Available with various size hollow shaft and TorqLOC® mounting systems. • Operated via compatible Centralised or Decentralised Variable Speed Drive. • Ideal for applications that require low torque ranges between 10 and 100Nm.

Want to know more? Melbourne (Head Office) Sydney I Brisbane Mackay I Townsville Perth I Adelaide 1300 SEW AUS (1300 739 287)

Re-set your energy bills with our VSD+ compressors The GAVSD+ from 7kW up to 110kW delivers an average energy savings of 50%. This all-in-one compressor comes with an IE4 high efficiency motor and deliver unrivaled savings. With up to 80% turn-down, the energy savings are unsurpassed in the market and can cover the cost of the investment in as little as 18 months. Atlas Copco Compressors Australia Call us 1800 023 4693

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