Manufacturers' Monthly May 2023

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AUTONOMY REVOLUTION CATALYSING THE MANAGEMENT >> TECHNOLOGY >> SOLUTIONS INSIDE >> MAY 2023 EOFY tax considerations 36 Official Industry Partners Training program for chains and hoists 34’s-monthly/

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In the May edition of Manufacturers’ Monthly, we unpack a variety of trends and challenges facing Australian manufacturing, from tax incentives to securing supply of critical parts. Training the next generation is critical to our prosperity as an industry, so we hear from the team at Deakin University about the ManuFutures Hub. The project is designed with the aim of promoting innovation and collaboration between different stakeholders in the manufacturing ecosystem. This approach is not just about providing the latest equipment but also fostering a culture of collaboration, knowledgesharing, and innovation.

The facility is part of the university’s broader

strategy to create industry-academic partnerships that drive innovation and support the growth of the advanced manufacturing industry in Australia. The goal is to create an environment that supports the translation of research outcomes into practical, commercially viable solutions.

Elsewhere in the magazine, Kito PWB has launched a new training program, which educates buyers and operators about its extensive product line and safety procedures.

We also learn about two major events impacting manufacturing – the largest electronics expo in the country, Electronex, and the 2023 Workplace Health & Safety Show.

4 Editor’s Note 6 Comment 8 News 18 Manufacturer Focus 22 Engineering Focus 26 Additive Manufacturing 28, 44 Compressors 31, 42 Events 38 Industrial Gases 40 Aluminium Capability 46 Welding Gases 48 What’s New 50 Last Word 2 MAY 2023 Manufacturers’ Monthly Inside MAY 2023 18
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Editor’s Note

Showcasing the art of engineering

WATCHING Melbourne’s Grand Prix event in early April, I reflected on the engineering expertise which is the cornerstone of the event. Having observed days earlier the Alfa Romeo team inside the garage work on a car which will travel over 300 kilometres per hour with relative ease, I gathered perspective for how remarkable advanced manufacturing can be. Formula One is a shiny example for the world to see, but so much of manufacturing has the same fascination, albeit from behind a public curtain.

As we head deeper into 2023, the Australian manufacturing industry contemplates what a proposed industrial

transformation might look like. The current government has made significant investments, including creating a $1.5 billion Modern Manufacturing Strategy and a $1.3 billion Manufacturing Modernisation Fund. How this all plays out largely remains to be seen, but success stories are already emerging of local manufacturers using government funds to grow their local business and compete on the world stage.

After being introduced in the budget last year, the historic passing of laws to establish the $15 billion National Reconstruction Fund (NRF) was recently announced by prime minister Anthony Albanese. Australia has demonstrated

advantages and ability in areas such as clean energy, automation and artificial intelligence, and the NRF is a platform for that to blossom over the next decade. Having the right skills in the workforce, a viable pipeline of companies ready to invest and potential blind spots in the policy are all challenges, but it is an exciting time for new technology.

Kate Pounder, CEO of Tech Council Australia, said the NRF can complement private sources of funding for building long-term strategic, emerging technologies and industries.

“This is a long-term, landmark investment that will help build Australia’s tech industries in strategically important

areas like quantum, AI, robotics and cyber security.

“The $15 billion investment in Australia’s industrial and technological capabilities has only become more important as we face global economic headwinds and continued geopolitical uncertainty.” There’s nothing revolutionary about this sort of role for government. Emerging industries and technologies have always been funded by a mix of private and public capital.”

In this month of Manufacturers’ Monthly, we continue to celebrate Australian Made by showcasing companies with a storied history in this country as well as new kids on the block. Happy Reading!

4 MAY 2023 Manufacturers’ Monthly
Formula One demonstrates the beauty of advanced engineering. Image credit: EvrenKalinbacak / BILLY FRIEND – Editor, Manufacturers’ Monthly

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Renewable energy: challenges and opportunities for Australian manufacturing

THE Australian Government has legislated emissions reductions targets of 43 per cent (on 2005 levels) by 2030 and net zero by 2050. These targets are enshrined in law in the Climate Change Act 2022.

These targets will play a key role in limiting global temperature increases and ensuring Australia’s transition to a low carbon future, consistent with our commitments under the Paris Agreement.

Importantly, these targets will necessitate the construction of new infrastructure on a massive scale. Australia’s existing renewable energy generation of 64GW is forecast to grow to over 218GW by 2050. This will comprise 90GW of wind, 39GW of solar, 18.7GW of water, and 35.9GW of battery storage.

According to the Clean Energy Council, there are currently 106 renewable energy generation projects that are either under construction or due to start construction soon around Australia.

For example, it is expected that over 11,000 wind towers will need to be

produced, each requiring 500 tonnes of plate steel (for onshore wind towers) or 750 tonnes (for offshore wind towers). The annual production of plate steel in Australia is currently 400kt.

According to Australian Energy Market Operator’s (AEMO) 2022 Integrated System Plan, demand for steel from the electricity sector (NEM-wide) is likely to increase by approximately 50 per cent from 2021 to 2027. These demands equate to 8% of Australia’s annual crude steel production, most of which is needed for wind turbine towers.

To connect all this new generation to consumers, AEMO estimates that more than 10,000km of new transmission lines and 25,000 transmission towers (at 30 to 60 tonnes of steel per tower) will need to be constructed around the country.

To support this, the Government established the Rewiring the Nation project in the 2022-2023 Budget as part of the Powering Australia plan, with $20 billion in low-cost finance to expand and modernise Australia’s electricity grids at lowest cost.

A skilled clean energy workforce

However, while funding has been made available for the infrastructure itself, little consideration has been given to the skilled workforce that will be required. The only initiative announced so far is the New Energy Apprenticeships program.

The Federal Government has committed to spending over $95 million to support 10,000 new apprenticeships under the New Energy Apprenticeships program, and another $1 billion on a 12-month Skills Agreement that promises to deliver 180,000 Fee-Free TAFE places to priority groups in 2023.

The Federal Government recently added an extra 39 occupations to the Australian Apprenticeships Priority List. The list has grown to encompass 111 occupations, as Australia continues to struggle with skills shortages across a range of different sectors—particularly welding and fabrication.

Several occupations related to welding and fabrication were added to the Priority List, including Welder, Pressure Welder, Fitter, Metal Fabricator, Metal Machinist,

Metal Casting Trades Worker, Sheetmetal Trades Worker, and Blacksmith. In fact, 11% of the occupations included in the Priority List are now related to welding. Occupations on the Priority List are eligible for financial support through the Australian Apprenticeships Incentive System. A wage subsidy of 10 per cent is provided to businesses in the first and second year, and then it drops to 5 per cent in the third year. Up to $5,000 in direct payments is made to apprentices across two years.

While these initiatives will provide welcome financial incentives for both employers and their apprentices, this is just one small piece of the puzzle. These initiatives alone will not solve the skills crisis.

A veritable army of skilled workers

All this the renewable energy infrastructure will require a veritable army of skilled workers, including welders.

Australia’s renewable energy

6 MAY 2023 Manufacturers’ Monthly

industry will need a raft of additional resources to deliver on these ambitious projects, including: manufacturing and fabrication capacity, raw materials (particularly steel), and contracting and contractor resources. Plus, new technologies will need to be developed and deployed.

The renewable energy industry will require huge volumes of fabrication in the coming years. While this represents enormous opportunities for Australia’s welding, fabrication and manufacturing industries, there are also enormous challenges ahead.

While our governments can wish, and hope, and make public pledges about Australia’s transition to renewable energy, we simply do not have the sovereign manufacturing capability to make this a reality.

The Federal Government and state governments can wish their renewable energy policies into existence, but without a massive investment in fabrication and steelmaking facilities, and skills and training in each state, it will not be achievable.

Local content policy

The main competition for Australian wind tower manufacturers are overseas suppliers from Vietnam, China and Indonesia. The issue is that the quality of imported wind towers is appalling. They do not adhere to Australian Standards. Local fabricators comply to internationally recognised Australian Standards and are certified by the relevant Australian authority. In this way, Government and private clients can ensure the quality and safety of projects. Imported steelwork, which does not meet these requirements, is often of inferior quality and may not meet the Australian safety requirements.

These quality and safety issues will only be exacerbated by increased global demand. The whole world is looking to transition to renewable energy.

Countries like Scotland, New Zealand and Sweden are all investing in wind power. Not only will increased global demand likely reduce the quality of wind towers manufactured overseas, it will also increase scarcity of supply. There are already global supply chain issues— imagine how these will be magnified.

& Hayward cannot win jobs on their doorstep when governments and multinational companies place a premium on price over and above quality and safety.

The Federal Government must commit to building sovereign manufacturing capability for renewable energy—in the same way that it has for shipbuilding. The Federal Government must legislate local content policy. This will create a capacity mechanism that generates a clear, longterm signal for investment by private equity and local manufacturers. The Federal Government must also mandate that all wind towers are constructed, erected and inspected according to Australian Standards.

To overcome the established overseas supply chains and generate investment into fabrication capability, local manufacturers need certainty of demand. This demand must stem from government, project investors and developers, and OEMs. Local manufacturing companies must be assured of the security of sufficient orders to enable them to invest in the necessary plant and equipment to deliver high quality, cost effective wind towers.

Our governments must support macro demand generation. For example, the Victorian Government’s Victorian Renewable Energy Target (VRET) legislation has helped to support the domestic manufacturing industry. In addition, local content policy must

be legislated. Given the huge scale of potential demand, local content need not be 100 per cent—VRET required 64 per cent local content and 93 per cent locally milled steel. With this long-term demand a reality, local manufacturers will have the confidence improved production efficiencies and stability of supply can improve competitiveness.

Only with this commitment in place will industry have the confidence to invest. Unless industry and governments come together now to formulate a plan of attack, when the time comes to manufacture the assets needed for a clean energy transition, there will be no fabrication facilities, no skilled workforce, and no regulatory frameworks in place. There will be no sovereign manufacturing capability.

National Manufacturing Summit

Given the sheer volume of challenges and opportunities on the horizon in the renewable energy industry, Weld Australia, in conjunction with the Australia Institute’s Centre for Future Work, will host the National Manufacturing Summit at Parliament House in August.

With the theme of Renewable Energy: Challenges and Opportunities, the aim of the Summit is to help industry leverage the opportunities currently available in the renewable energy sector, and translate these into action.

The Summit will gather industry leading representatives from all the major stakeholders in Australia’s manufacturing sector—business, unions, universities, the financial sector, suppliers, and government—to discuss the sector’s prospects, and identify promising, pragmatic policy measures designed to support an industrial turnaround. Government Ministers and international experts will delve into the challenges and opportunities of the renewable energy revolution.

Stay tuned for further information, including registration via the Summit website: https://manufacturingsummit.

Renewable Energy Infrastructure Group

Weld Australia is also proposing to establish a Renewable Energy Industry Group. It will bring together existing generators, new players, manufacturers, suppliers, specialists and consultants to: Share knowledge experience, and learnings

Discuss and workshop renewable energy issues Network and collaborate with likeminded industry colleagues

If you’re interested in joining the Renewable Energy Industry Group, please contact Andrew Davies (Manager Technical Industry Networks, Weld Australia) on

Local manufacturers like Keppel Prince Engineering and Crisp Bros. Manufacturers’ Monthly MAY 2023 7
Weld Australia says government initiatives alone will not solve the skills crisis.

What AUKUS means for manufacturing

Prime minister Anthony Albanese has announced the biggest industrial undertaking in Australia’s history alongside British PM Rishi Sunak and US president Joe Biden.

Together in the US, the three leaders emphasised the industry-building aspects of the tri-lateral plan to jointly develop and build nuclear-powered submarines.

In total, Australia will end up with eight of the new nuclear submarines, called SSN-AUKUS.

The current price tag for the entire submarines plan is between $268 billion and $368 billion over the next 30 years.

That includes $8 billion to upgrade the naval base HMAS Stirling in Western Australia as well as $2 billion over the next four years to upgrade the Osborne shipyards in South Australia.

The Federal Government has said the phased approach will result in $6 billion invested in Australia’s industrial capability and workforce over the next four years, creating around 20,000 direct jobs over the next 30 years.

Prime minister Albanese said AUKUS is a historic investment in Australian people and would strengthen the nation’s national security and deliver a superior defence capability into the future.

“We will partner with the United States and the United Kingdom to build the next-generation submarine. They’ll be built by Australians, commanded by the Australian Navy and sustained by Australians in Australian shipyards. In the meantime, we’ll be training and upskilling our people through increased visits and rotational presence from US and UK submarines,” he said.

“With construction beginning this decade, we’ll train more engineers, scientists, technicians, submariners, administrators and tradespeople. Already, Australian personnel are upskilling on nuclear propulsion technology and stewardship alongside British and American counterparts.”

The South Australian Submarine Construction Yard created for the build of the next-generation nuclear-powered submarines will be almost three times larger than the yard forecast for the Attack class program.

At its peak, up to 4,000 workers

will be employed to design and build the infrastructure for the Submarine Construction Yard in Osborne, South Australia.

A further 4,000 to 5,500 direct shipyard jobs are expected to be created to build nuclear-powered submarines in South Australia when the program reaches its peak. This does not include the additional jobs created in the supply chain for the construction or sustainment of submarines.

“The significance of this moment cannot be overstated,” said SA premier, Peter Malinauskas.

“The AUKUS submarines will be the most complex machines that have ever been built in human history. But it is not just the thousands of workers to be employed at Osborne who will benefit. This is a transformational opportunity to increase our economic complexity. We now have a massive task ahead of us to prepare the highly skilled workforce to capitalise on this historic opportunity.”

Innes Willox, chief executive of the national employer association Ai Group said, “Delivering maximum benefit for Australia from this historic agreement will require the highest level of cooperation

between governments, defence and industry.

“Now the deal has been inked, the next major priority for the AUKUS governments will be to work to reduce the trade, regulatory, and bureaucratic barriers that could hinder the historic partnership, to create a cohesive industrial base and build the required workforce. These are among the important issues that must be addressed to underpin AUKUS success,” he explained,

“The AUKUS partnership is much more than submarines. Australia is making a massive technological commitment as part of the agreement. There will be extensive spill-over benefits in technological advancement and technology sharing including around artificial intelligence and quantum technology with its promise of major developments in weapons, communications, sensing and computing technology.”

Willox said it was vital that strong benefits from the AUKUS collaboration are captured for domestic industry.

“We will be looking closely at the details around the local build and

The submarine plan will cost between $268 and $368 billion.

domestic supply chain aspects of the overall program to ensure that these benefits are realised.”

AUKUS industry associations –consisting of Ai Group and the US Aerospace Industries Association (AIA) and ADS, the UK trade association for aerospace, defence, security and space organisations – have agreed on the following priorities for the agreement:

1. 1Enhancing trade and technology transfers;

2. Eliminating bureaucratic and regulatory barriers impeding the timely delivery of capabilities;

3. Building shared, robust, and resilient trade and contracting systems; and

4. Sharing workforce talent and expertise and strengthening international collaboration Greens leader Adam Bandt took to social media to say the $368 billion for nuclear submarines could be used for other priorities.

“Politics is about priorities and choices. With $368 billion we could get: free childcare, mental and dental healthcare into Medicare, fully free public schools, student debt wiped.”

8 MAY 2023 Manufacturers’ Monthly
News @MM

Battery manufacturing key for Australia’s transition to net zero

Minister for industry and


Ed Husic said large-scale uptake of battery storage and battery manufacturing will be vital in the nation’s transition to net zero and to Australia becoming a world leader in clean energy.

Husic said the CSIRO Renewable Energy Storage Roadmap released yesterday shows major investment in storage technologies is needed to meet the growing demand for cheaper renewable power.

“The Government recognises the pivotal role that cheap, widely available energy storage will need to play in the transition to renewable power. That’s why the Government is delivering the Australian Made Battery Plan, spearheaded by the development of Australia’s first National Battery Strategy.

“By 2030, the battery manufacturing industry has potential to be worth nearly $17 billion and create more than 61,000 jobs, according to the Charging Ahead report from the Future Battery

Industries Cooperative Research Centre.

“As the CSIRO roadmap emphasises, we need a pipeline of projects using diverse technologies to unlock the full potential of our renewable energy resources.

“That means there’s a huge opportunity for new systems and technologies to be developed here to manage the production, storage and use of renewable energy.

“The private sector is keen to invest in these innovative storage projects crucial for Australia’s energy transformation, and we’re committed to supporting efforts to bring these projects forward.

“That’s why we are working closely with the states and territories, and consulting widely with industry, the community, academia and experts to shape the National Battery Strategy.”

In welcoming the CSIRO roadmap, Minister Husic added “this report is a great example of the sort of work the CSIRO should be undertaking –

harnessing Australia’s science and research capabilities to tackle major national challenges and grow new industries.”

The Government said it continues to implement other initiatives focused on bringing cheaper renewable energy to homes and businesses and meeting Australia’s international emissions obligations.

This includes reaching 82 percent renewables in Australia’s energy grid by 2030, which will be achieved through the $20 billion Rewiring the Nation Fund through deals with states and territories, as well as unlocking around $10 billion of investment in clean dispatchable power through the Capacity Investment Scheme.

To equip businesses with the skills and technology they need to locally manufacture renewable energy technologies such as batteries, the government is creating a Powering Australia Industry Growth Centre. Manufacturers’ Monthly MAY 2023 9
News @MM or (03) 5940 5913
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Ed Husic wants Australia to become a world leader in clean energy.

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Deakin launches Australia’s most advanced motion simulator

The $9 million simulator is designed to provide advanced research and innovation opportunities for mobility technologies and industry sectors.

Minister for higher education Gayle Tierney today unveiled the simulator at Deakin University’s Institute for Intelligent Systems Research and Innovation (IISRI).

The Genesis Simulator is one of the most advanced mobility simulators in Australia and the only one of its kind in a university in the world.

The simulator will fast-track transport prototyping and improve driver safety and training by supporting complex research into mobility and industry needs, automotive testing and design.

The five-metre-tall 360-degree screen

creates an immersive and realistic experience for researchers to assess how different environmental and vehicular conditions affect specific driving conditions.

This advanced technology will boost training opportunities for students, researchers and industry across Victoria –supporting the pipeline of skilled workers ready to build the future manufacturing industry.

The state government has said it backs Geelong as a global innovation centre of automotive-based research and innovation, with this new project supporting more than 20 jobs, internship opportunities and Higher Degree by Research projects.

The Genesis Simulator was funded by the government’s $350 million

Victorian Higher Education State Investment Fund (VHESIF), developed to help universities respond to the significant impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. The Victorian state government will invest $5 million in the simulator as part of the fund.

The fund supports universities with capital works, applied research and research infrastructure focused on boosting Victoria’s productivity.

“The new Genesis Simulator will boost our existing skills and knowledge in vehicle manufacturing – driving innovation and creating world-first solutions,” Tierney said.

“This will lead to ground-breaking research partnerships with companies and industry bodies across the automotive sector, emergency services,

transport companies, and health bodies.”

Minister for manufacturing sovereignty Ben Carroll said, “Victoria is Australia’s manufacturing state –employing more than 260,000 people. That’s why we’re making sure our local workforce have the skills they need to power our economy.”

Deakin University deputy vicechancellor research Professor Julie Owens, said, “IISRI has more than 15-years’ experience in motion simulation research and is home to Australia’s biggest multi-disciplinary team of world-class mobility researchers and PhD students. Deakin University is excited to launch our new Genesis simulator to support new industry partnerships, research and innovation.”

10 MAY 2023 Manufacturers’ Monthly
The Genesis advanced mobility simulator.

Glyde Metal Industries wins bid for 2023 Australian Grand Prix

The Australian Grand

Corporation required a wide variety of parts and assemblies to be locally manufactured and supplied in

preparation for the Grand Prix in Melbourne

The Australian Grand Prix attracted thousands of visitors and international attention this year.

For the event, Glyde Metal Industries brought its expertise and experience in steel fabrication, supplying debris fences, poles for timing equipment, bridge upgrades, and on-site fabrication. With 25 years of continuous ISO9001 accreditation, Glyde Metal Industries said it is proud to have been chosen for this major project.

“We are thrilled to have been chosen as the supplier for the 2023 Australian Grand Prix,” said general manager, Mark Wood.

“We take pride in our ability to provide high-quality steel fabricated components and services, and we are confident that we can meet the needs of this prestigious event.” Manufacturers’ Monthly MAY 2023 11 → Cobot welding and cutting systems. → NEW intelligent gas mixer analyser. → Gas supply options from VIPR cylinders to POD portable on-site vessels and beyond. → High-performance laser gases, shielding gases and gas management systems. → The Xnet welding quality management system → The latest range of high-quality German welding machines from ewm. → The total welding emissions management portfolio. BOC Limited 10 Julius Avenue, North Ryde NSW 2113 BOC is a trading name of BOC Limited, a Linde company. © BOC Limited 2023. MP23-0628-2 FDAUS | 0323 Making you more productive. Visit us at Australian Manufacturing Week 9–12 May, stand WA340. To find out more call 131 262 or visit 26424 MM Half Page AMW Advert D2.indd 1 29/3/23 2:46 pm News
Victorian manufacturer Glyde Metal Industries were the successful bidder to supply steel fabricated components and services to the Australian Grand Prix Corporation.
Steel fabricator Glyde Metal Industries supplied this year’s Melbourne Grand Prix.

News @MM

Senate passes $15 billion NRF bill

Prime minister Anthony Albanese announced that the National Reconstruction Fund (NRF) bill has passed the upper house, calling it “one of biggest-ever investments in Australian manufacturing”.

The Federal Government’s $15 billion National Reconstruction Fund will now be established in law, after passing the House of Representatives earlier this month.

“Australia has all the resources that go into solar panels, batteries and other finished products. We should be making them here. And that’s what this investment is all about. It will mean more secure jobs and more world-class products made in Australia,” Albanese said.

“Recognising that during the

pandemic, our vulnerabilities at the end of supply chains were exposed for all to see. We’ve been very good at exporting our resources and should continue to do so.

“But where possible, we should be value-adding, creating jobs here, particularly in our regions and in our outer suburbs. And this is about manufacturing. It’s about making sure that we make more things here, that we’re less exposed to the supply chain issues which we continue to see placing pressure on inflation,” the prime minister added.

The NRF was announced by the government in the Federal Budget for October 2022 and will invest $15 billion across priority areas of the economy including renewables and

low emissions technologies, medical science, transport, value-adding in resources, value-adding in agriculture, forestry and fisheries, defence capability and enabling technologies.

Minister for industry and science Ed Husic said it is a big day for Australian industry and for Australian jobs, from our outer suburbs through to the regions.

“We want to create good, secure work for Australians and being able to rebuild Australian manufacturing. It’s time for us to get up off the mat.

“This fund, the National Reconstruction Fund, is about Australians backing Australians in terms of pursuing those ideas. It’s from the factory floor to the lab bench to the boardrooms of this country,

making sure that we’ve got that huge growth capital available to unlock what is really important for the economy and jobs long-term. And the National Reconstruction Fund will be the greatest investment in manufacturing capabilities in living memory.”

Minister for finance, Katy Gallagher, said, “After a decade of uncertainty, the National Reconstruction Fund will support Australian innovation and industry. More things being made here means more jobs for Australians.”

The NRF will be administered by an independent board making independent investment decisions. It is modelled on the successful Clean Energy Finance Corporation.

Senate amendments will now return to the House of Representatives.

12 MAY 2023 Manufacturers’ Monthly
The NRF aims to build Australia’s sovereign capability across multiple sectors.

News @MM

Professor Alex Brown joins CSIRO Board

The Australian Government has appointed Professor Alex Brown to CSIRO’s board of directors, becoming the first Indigenous scientist to serve on the national science agency’s board.

An internationally recognised clinician and researcher with a background in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health, Professor Brown is the Professor of Indigenous Genomics at the Telethon Kids Institute and the Australian National University.

A proud member of the Yuin nation, Professor Brown is the first Indigenous

scientist appointed to the CSIRO Board, bringing a wealth of experience in understanding and overcoming health inequalities and bridging connections across science ecosystems.

Minister for industry and science

Ed Husic said Professor Brown’s appointment puts First Nations representation at the heart of Australia’s national science agency.

Minister Husic said Professor Brown’s appointment would bring a wealth of experience to the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research

Organisation (CSIRO) and signals generational change on the Board.

“Professor Brown has dedicated his research career to understanding and overcoming health inequalities experienced by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Australians, particularly the burden of chronic conditions,” Minister Husic said.

“While he is the first Indigenous scientist appointed to the CSIRO board, I know he won’t be the last.”

The CSIRO Board is responsible to the Australian Government for the overall

strategy, governance and performance of CSIRO.

“His experience in working with Aboriginal communities and bridging connections across science ecosystems will strengthen the CSIRO’s leadership,” Husic said.

“The appointment of Professor Alex Brown will help address skills gaps identified by the Board, facilitate greater collaboration between research agencies and universities, and ensure CSIRO’s future direction benefits from being more inclusive.”

14 MAY 2023 Manufacturers’ Monthly
Alex Brown is the first indigenous scientist to serve on CSIRO’s board.

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Space industry partners chosen for Australia’s first Moon mission

The AROSE consortium and the EPE and Lunar Outpost Oceania consortium will receive $4 million each from the Australian Government’s Moon to Mars Trailblazer Initiative.

Minister for industry and science, Ed Husic, along with dignitaries from the Australian Space Agency and the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) made the announcement earlier this week.

The two consortiums will design rovers for Australia’s first mission to the Moon in partnership with NASA. Each winning consortium is made up of a mixture of Australian industries, space start-ups, major resource companies, universities, and other research partners.

The rover will collect lunar soil from the Moon and deliver it to a NASA payload which will attempt to extract oxygen from the sample.

The rover is part of the NASA Moon to Mars mission which will be a major step

towards a sustainable human presence on the Moon and supporting future missions to Mars. It aims to launch by 2026.

In a continuing sign of the close cooperation between Australia and the United States, NASA administrator Bill Nelson and deputy administrator Pamela Melroy are visiting Australia, the first visit of a sitting NASA administrator since 2014.

“It is great that, with this announcement, Administrator Nelson will get to witness first-hand the extensive knowledge and capability in our space sector, as well as robotics and automation more broadly,” Husic said.

“From those selected to be part of the Trailblazer program, to other industry success stories and our impressive universities and research organisations, Australia has much to be proud of. Programs like Trailblazer are important to growing our space sector, as well as our know-how in robotics and

automation. It also has an important role to play in inspiring more young Australians to consider STEM careers.”

Nelson said he was excited to be working with Australia on this important lunar mission.

“It’s cooperation like this that will enable NASA and our international partners to uncover more discoveries. In this new era of space exploration, every advancement is not an achievement for one country – but for all of humanity.”

Head of the Australian Space Agency Enrico Palermo said this announcement is another step toward Australia’s first mission to the Moon.

“From those selected to be part of the Trailblazer program, to other industry success stories and our impressive universities and research organisations, Australia has much to be proud of. Programs like Trailblazer are important to growing our space sector, as well as our know-how in robotics

and automation. It also has an important role to play in inspiring more young Australians to consider STEM careers.”

The Trailblazer program will help further develop Australia’s robotics and automation capability, aligning with the development of the Australian Government’s National Robotics Strategy.

The EPE and Lunar Outpost Oceania consortium’s lead organisations include BHP, Northrop Grumman Australia, RMIT University’s Space Industry Hub, and University of Melbourne’s Space Laboratory. University of Adelaide, Inovor, Australian National University, Element Robotics, Colorado School of Mines and Saber Astronautics will provide specialist contributions, and Australian Industry Collaborators include Titomic, One Giant Leap, VI AROSE’s consortium is led by Fugro and Nova Systems, with additional support provided by Woodside Energy and Rio Tinto and the Western Australian Government.

16 News @MM
The Moon to Mars Trailblazer Initiative seeks to progress Australian space exploration with remotely operated and autonomous Australian robotic lunar assets.

Cremorne Digital Hub boosts digital innovation in Victoria

The Cremorne Digital Hub is entering a new phase in its development, with the appointment of a new CEO and board, building on Cremorne’s transformation from a manufacturing centre to a magnet for high-tech businesses and innovation jobs.

The Hub aims to strengthen Victoria’s tech offering by encouraging

cross-industry collaboration, growing investments and nurturing the state’s talent and skills. Over 700 businesses and around 10,000 workers are already based in the precinct.

Cremorne contributes more than $4 billion to the state’s economy each year and is already home to some of Australia’s most successful tech

companies, including, SEEK, REA Group and MYOB.

Through its $50 million Cremorne Venture Fund – to be managed by Artesian – the Hub will also play an active role in commercialisation by investing in exciting new digital companies that can take Victorian innovation to the world.

International business leader Mark Sims has been named as CEO and prominent corporate executive and investor Monique Conheady will serve as inaugural chair of the Hub – which was established with support from the Victorian state government.

Sims has worked for numerous Fortune 100 companies and previously served as chief operating officer for Hong Kong-based EdTech company Xccelerate.

Conheady is the co-founder of Australia’s first carshare service Flexicar and chair of JET Charge, provider of electric vehicle charging infrastructure.

Joining her on the board are chief executive of the Melbourne Chamber of Commerce Scott Veenker and cofounder of Artesian and Boab AI Matthew Clunies-Ross.

Shareholders, investment firm Artesian and Melbourne, RMIT and La Trobe universities will also work together on the Hub’s development to boost collaboration between academia and industry.

Minister for Industry and Innovation

Ben Carroll said, “Cremorne is at the heart of Victoria’s digital boom, and we’re backing the Hub to play a critical role in boosting up our tech sector and attracting more investment and jobs to Victoria.

“We welcome Mark Sims and the other highly experienced business and tech leaders to the Cremorne board, knowing they can champion our state’s tech sector and propel Victoria to the forefront of digital innovation.”

News @MM Manufacturers’ Monthly MAY 2023 17
The Cremorne Digital Hub helps commercialise new digital companies.

Manufacturer Focus

Navigating the future

Advanced Navigation is building on its reputation for making ground-breaking inertial navigation systems for land, sea and air. Billy Friend catches up with CEO and co-founder Xavier Orr to learn about the company’s core products and how AI research at university led to deals with Google, Apple and Airbus.

18 MAY 2023 Manufacturers’ Monthly

IN 2008, Xavier Orr was digging deep into the world of neural networks in his final year of artificial intelligence studies at the University of Western Australia. He discovered navigation systems in our phones, cars and homes were using an algorithm from 1967, known as the Kalman filter. This prompted the student to explore an alternative approach to the outdated technology – he completed his thesis on a neural network AI approach to navigation. Like any bright idea, it needs a whole lot of work before it is ready to be commercialised, so Orr spent the next couple of years honing in on the concept.

In 2012, Orr met with co-owner Chris


Shaw to commercialise the technology, and Advanced Navigation was born. Advanced Navigation began with inertial navigation systems and continued to broaden its scope to sonar and photonics. Today, the Australian-based company is making moves in the futuristic worlds of self-driving cars, aerial drones, space launch vehicles and robotics. The algorithm can be used with sensors in any environment, opening up a huge range of applications for the technology.

Advanced Navigation sensor products are sold into commercial and defence industries spanning sea, land, air and space. Two manufacturing facilities in Sydney as well as a larger factory in

Perth work in conjunction with subcontractors around the country to make the innovative range of products. The cCompany’s AI approach allows its solutions to have greater accuracy and reliability while maintaining a small form factor. Today, Advanced Navigation’s solutions are adopted by some of the world’s largest technology companies and defence prime contractors, including Thales, BAE Systems, Raytheon and Lockheed Martin.

“Defence is one of the many sectors we serve, our products are well suited because they are designed to aerospace standards,” Orr said. “They weren’t designed specifically for defence but the

applications of the products are where reliability is absolutely critical. They’ve been built to that extreme level which is why they’re suited to defence as well as commercial markets.”

From farfetched perceptions not long ago, driverless cars, ground robots delivering mail and air taxis are on the horizon. Solène Le Bris at Paris airports operator Groupe ADP recently announced ambitions to launch the first e-VTOL (vertical takeoff and landing) precommercial service in the world in time for the 2024 Paris Olympics. The initiative will use the existing helicopter route network to fly with one passenger and one pilot along two routes, taking short Manufacturers’ Monthly MAY 2023 19

Manufacturer Focus

rides from Charles de Gaulle airport to Le Bourget then to a new landing pad at Austerlitz Paris, and another route from Paris to Sans-Cyr.

As for driverless cars, predictions of the technology being more commonplace have been around for years, to which Orr noted that regulatory hurdles are the last bridge to cross.

“I think we’re going to see the regulatory walls come down in the next five years,” he said. “We’ll start to see strong adoption for driverless cars. Advanced Navigation supplies to pretty much all the fully autonomous cars right now, so we will obviously grow as the market grows.”

As for Australia, Orr said it’s an exciting time for automation and robotics.

“We are starting to adopt the technology more,” he said. “We’re seeing the drone delivery trials in Canberra. The Civil Aerospace Safety Authority (CASA) are starting to allow beyond visual line of sight (BVLOS) drone operations for the first time and we’re seeing driverless car trials across Australia. There’s a lot of government funded programs supporting automation and robotics, and we’re seeing a lot of uptake which is really exciting.”

Being at aerospace and automotive quality control level for its products, testing is of utmost importance. Orr explained that there can be anywhere up to 300 individual tests run on one component before it leaves the factory.

“A lot of the components in our factories and manufacturing houses areis automated all the way from manufacturing through to the quality assurance and testing. We want to minimise the handling time but also really increase the level of quality assurance through automation.”

At the core, Advanced Navigation is determined to be the catalyst of the autonomy revolution. Orr and his team have experienced a rapid rise, which was accentuated by a $108 million Series B funding round at the end of last year. Leading global investment firm KKR announced the funding included participation from new investors such as deep learning venture firm AI Capital and existing

investors, including Main Sequence and the Hon. Malcolm Turnbull AC. With the latest Series B raise, Orr said he expects to spend a significant amount of R&D funding working inhouse and with engineering experts, partners and global institutes on robotic, photonic and quantum sensing technologies.

“We’ve experienced 100 per cent growth for the last few years and seen really strong adoption,” he explained.

“With extreme levels of interest for products developed in the last year it felt like the right time to do a big expansion to grow our international sales and support the disruptive products we have in development.

“This next phase of growth is to help us be a driving force in the autonomy revolution. KKR has significant experience investing in emerging technologies, so we are thrilled to have them lead our Series B funding round and work alongside our team to advance our product and technology innovation and development.”

The funding follows a $20 million Series A round in 2020 led by Main Sequence Ventures’ CSIRO Innovation Fund, which supported a global expansion for Advanced Navigation to accelerate research and development programs for transformative new robotics, navigation, and sensor technologies.

“We are really excited to be pushing forward on our mission to catalyse the autonomy revolution,” Orr added. “There’s a lot going on in Australia right now with autonomy and robotics and Advanced Navigation is really at the forefront of a lot of that. This funding allows us to really turbo charge us on our mission.”

The mission to the moon

The demand for autonomous spacecraft is increasing as space exploration becomes more commercialised, and the push for easier engagement of the cosmic frontier continues. Given the harsh environmental conditions that come with space exploration, the Guidance, Navigation and Control (GNC) system of autonomous crafts have to make rational decisions onthe-fly.

Advanced Navigation has developed its patent-pending light detection altimetry and velocimetry (LiDAV) technology – a revolutionary sensor package for space exploration offering accuracy and reliability several orders of magnitude over current industry standards.

LiDAV uses photonics technology to provide accurate and instantaneous motion information while being totally immune to interference at both the physical and software levels. When visual references are unavailable and cameras fail due to lack of light, dust and other obscurities, LiDAV will provide primary navigation input. The system provides far greater amounts of

Hydrus takes the drone revolution underwater.
20 MAY 2023 Manufacturers’ Monthly

“The team is absolutely thrilled to see years of research in development progress into successful technology. We look forward to being the first Australian company to reach the Moon in early 2023 and 2024, this will be a huge milestone for us,” Orr said. “It has the ability to have quite profound impacts here on earth as well with things like plane navigation for take-off and landing, the flying taxi market, and even improving weather prediction.”

LiDAV is not the only system developed by Advanced Navigation for space exploration. The Boreas X90 is another patented technology which enables positioning and navigation capable of maintaining extreme precision without using relatively fixed references, such as stars, or requiring base station control telemetry. The strategic grade inertial


Underwater drones

A general trend in drone technology over the past decade has been an increase in autonomy, and more acceptance and trust from industry to deploy these autonomous solutions. In the subsea space, however, things are moving much slower, with only incremental changes made to vehicles which have been around for decades. Advanced Navigation is changing this, bringing the drone revolution underwater.

Solving this challenge was largely in part to Advanced Navigation’s ability to work with manufacturers of uncrewed and autonomous systems, as well as the customers of navigation positioning technologies and geospatial data. Standing next to industry helps to create more rapid solutions like its autonomous underwater robot, Hydrus.

Venturing underwater brings tremendous pressure without access to the internet or GPS – the best way to communicate is through sound. The idea for Hydrus stemmed from Advanced Navigation’s sonar and navigation equipment being sold to be installed on other underwater vehicles, which were cumbersome and difficult to use, requiring large ships and qualified crews to operate.

As a fully autonomous underwater drone, Hydrus is programmable straight out of the box, can venture 3000 metres below sea level, and is equipped with advanced sonar, navigation and communications systems. It has a web interface that makes it simple to plan and

execute underwater missions in three dimensions. Crucially, the drone is compact and lightweight enough to be launched by a solo operator, allowing for surveying wind farms, underwater mine detection and classification, routine surveillance and other activities.

“Users of subsea data don’t want to be dealing with these really complex systems to get hold of that data,” Orr explained. “Hydrus is a tool that will actually deliver the data that people want, and it really is the start of the drone revolution.”

Hydrus is equipped with a cinemagrade 4K 60fps camera combined with an AI engine that can analyse image quality and adjust lighting in real-time. Its compact size and minimal weight make it easy to launch and carry-on when flying, even by a single person.

Developing the drone involved significant challenges, including shrinking the technology down to fit within the small size of the drone and adapting to an underwater environment, requiring a significant change in mechanical engineering.

“Anywhere you want to capture data, it can go down and capture it far more quickly, cost effectively and safely than has ever been possible before,” Orr said. “Waterways such as the Sydney Harbour require inspections almost quarterly, surveying bridge footings, electric cables, water pipes and any infrastructure touching the water. This is the first teatherless, handheld device where all you need to do is grab it out of the water. It’s super easy, quick and safe.”

To make informed decisions about sustainable ocean resource use, data on a greater scale and magnitude is needed more than ever before. Hydrus has the potential to help discover why the most significant climate change events in the ocean are occurring, such as CO2 absorption, reef bleaching, new diseases, loss of sea life and biodiversity, coastal erosion, and fishery decline. It can monitor the Great Barrier Reef, build maps of world ocean heritage sites, inspect underwater infrastructure and fish farms, and identify new marine life. Mitigating against the complexity and cost of collecting underwater data can help to restore the health of our oceans.

Advanced Navigation co-founder Xavier Orr. The LiDAV system can indicate a vehicle’s velocity and position relative to the lunar surface in three dimensions. Manufacturers’ Monthly MAY 2023 21

Engineering Focus

Research to commercialisation with ManuFutures

Deakin University’s research innovations regional manufacturing director Mark Curnow sits down with Mignon D’Souza to discuss how the university’s innovation hub ManuFutures works towards growing advanced manufacturing capability in regional Victoria and Australia.

MANUFUTURES is an advanced manufacturing and innovation hub located in Geelong, Victoria. The hub boasts a range of state-of-the-art facilities, including advanced manufacturing technologies, prototyping equipment, design studios, and collaboration spaces. This allows businesses to develop their products from concept to production, all under one roof.

Mark Curnow, research innovations regional manufacturing director at Deakin University said the hub was established in 2018 when Deakin University realised that it was time to progress the ideas that had been incubating within its institutes and faculties to commercialisation.

“The last few years since COVID have really ignited interest in manufacturing in Australia, particularly sovereign capability. With that in mind, the university went into establishing ManuFutures by wanting to transform research into commercialisation and advance regional manufacturing in Australia.”

ManuFutures has been designed with the aim of promoting innovation

and collaboration between different stakeholders in the manufacturing ecosystem. This approach is not just about providing the latest equipment but also fostering a culture of collaboration, knowledge-sharing, and innovation.

The facility is part of the university’s broader strategy to create industryacademic partnerships that drive innovation and support the growth of the advanced manufacturing industry in Australia. The goal is to create an environment that supports the translation of research outcomes into practical, commercially viable solutions.

ManuFutures is focused on supporting start-ups and entrepreneurs. The facility provides a range of resources and support to help entrepreneurs and small businesses to develop their ideas and bring their products to market. This includes access to funding, mentorship, and business support services.

“ManuFutures is a business accelerator. Typically, when a start-up business is in its initial phase, they’re very focused technically on its product and how it’s progressing. But they can probably lack fundamental business

elements and have questions like – how much cash do we need? What’s cash flow about? What sort of investment will we need? How do we create a pitch deck? How do we seek seed investment?” Curnow explained.

“Through ManuFutures, we’ve established a raft of training programs that support those early-stage businesses in developing their understanding and capability and accelerate their journey to commercialisation.”

22 MAY 2023 Manufacturers’ Monthly
ManuFutures has the equipment and facilities to help nurture young businesses.

ManuFutures has four training programs:

• Ignite: A pre-accelerator program strategically designed to help early-stage start-ups and start-up entrepreneurs.

• Accelerate: A program that helps startups to grow and scale-up, with a focus on product engineering.

Engage: A program that engages with small- to medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) for collaborations with Deakin for research and development, identifies gaps that need to be bridged within industry, and connects SMEs with internal and external technology experts.

• Connect: A unique product engineering service designed to leverage skills, capabilities, resources, assets and research outcomes across the university and support manufacturing businesses to maximise their competitiveness and create new global market opportunities.

“The journey of a start-up is not easy. It’s time and resource-consuming, which is why our we lay out the roadmap for start-ups through our training programs,” Curnow said, adding that the ManuFutures training programs were for both individuals and organisations.

“For instance, our Ignite program involves 12 days of training over 12 weeks at no cost to the participant. Here, we map out the start-up journey, the personal time investment needed, and the financial resources needed, so that people and start-ups completely understand what they’re getting into.

“Our Accelerate program is more focused on the business side of things. It could be a smaller business that has a product and needs help to take it from an early-stage product to scale-up ready.


Here, we help them with many elements of product planning, and production line layout – we have full desktop 3D experience capability. So, we can digitally twin their process to help them along that journey.”

One of the several start-ups that has benefited from the resources and support provided by ManuFutures is FLAIM Systems, a company that has developed the world’s first multi-sensory firefighter immersive learning solution to replicate the stress and uncertainty of real-world emergency situations safely and costeffectively. FLAIM is ManuFutures’ first tenant, located at Deakin University’s Waurn Ponds Campus.

“FLAIM is one of our many successful graduates – they’re reaching a level of maturity now with growing global sales,” Curnow said. “And their product is phenomenal. It’s immersive learning for firefighter training, where Virtual Reality (VR) can put scenarios into a training environment.”

Over the last four years, FLAIM Systems has conducted over 141 training scenarios, sold over 500 systems, onboarded over 200 customers, and sold in 43 countries, generating over $10 million in total revenue.

Another company that ManuFutures has supported is Universal Motion Simulation (UMS), which develops and manufactures turnkey reconfigurable driver training simulation solutions for armoured vehicles. The company’s core Reconfigurable Driver Simulator (RDS) is a highly dynamic motion platform consisting of a six-degree-of-freedom robotic arm, interchangeable replica vehicle cabins, haptically enabled control devices and immersive simulation environments featuring detailed vehicle dynamics and terrain modelling.

ManuFutures has helped create

more than $1 billion in company value, incubated more than 17 advanced manufacturing start-ups, helped companies establish export markets in over 45 countries, hosted 500 student placements, and created over 200 direct advanced manufacturing jobs, including in regional areas.

ManuFutures2 expansion

Recently, ManuFutures has expanded its operations with a newly completed $20 million ManuFutures2 building at Deakin University’s Waurn Ponds campus. The hub has doubled in size, offering more tenancy opportunities, product engineering services, training, and manufacturing incubator programs. The Victorian Government and Deakin University jointly funded the expansion with $10 million each, as part of the Victorian Higher Education State Investment Fund (VHESIF), which launched post-COVID.

Mark Curnow stated that the

manufacturing innovation.

“So back in 2020 – 2021, we received support from the state government in the form of the VHESIF grant. With that investment, we built the second ManuFutures facility that houses an additional six manufacturing businesses. Our new ManuFutures2 building includes collaborative working spaces, further rental tenancy bays for manufacturing businesses, and an Innoveering Centre that includes product engineering and development capability, and opportunities for research collaboration and integration,” he said.

“Four new manufacturing businesses have already moved into the new spaces as tenants, with room for two more. A total of 14 successful and emerging global manufacturing businesses now call Deakin’s ManuFutures home.”

With the new expansion further promoting the development of advanced Manufacturers’ Monthly MAY 2023 23
We’re trying to create a full circle experience within the university. While we’re developing manufacturing, we also want to create opportunities for students.
ManuFutures is Australia’s unique advanced manufacturing innovation hub.

Engineering Focus

manufacturing capabilities, ManuFutures has attracted new investment to regional Victoria, boosting the local economy and creating jobs.

“When the second ManuFutures hub was built, we were given a series of

criteria that we need to meet to support the grant we received. And one of them is to develop regional manufacturing and set up satellite operations that will provide education and training in regional Victoria,” Curnow explained.

“Therefore, we have established satellites in Warrnambool and Bendigo, and we are currently actively pursuing cohorts of entrepreneurs and start-up businesses so we can take our training packages to these regions.”

The next phase of ManuFutures will be three more factories of 2000 square meters in size with the key objective of supporting businesses to scale. The factories – known as ManuFutures4, ManuFutures5, and ManuFutures6 – will be constructed within the next two and a half years.

“Instead of a very successful business graduating and flying the nest, we will have the capability to retain them on campus in the future economy precinct at Deakin University’s Waurn Ponds campus. This will retain their connections to research, to students’ learning opportunities, and to graduate students’ work opportunities,” Curnow said.

Collaboration in the manufacturing ecosystem

Collaboration is extremely important to the work that ManuFutures does, according to Curnow. ManuFutures has fostered collaboration among different sectors and disciplines by bringing together industry, academia, and government, which has helped break down silos between different sectors and disciplines, leading to more effective problem-solving and innovation. For instance, in Bendigo, ManuFutures has

24 MAY 2023 Manufacturers’ Monthly
ManuFutures is located in the heart of Deakin’s Future Economy Precinct. Deakin University’s Advanced Manufacturing Ecosystem.

experience within the university. While we’re developing manufacturing, we also want to create opportunities for students. So, we’re collaborating with the schools, faculties, and institutes, where we’ve got many specialists that can help with research or product development problems.”

Curnow added that they encourage their tenants and program participants to collaborate as much as possible with each other. The new ManuFutures building is designed and set up to provide opportunities to do so – from the lunchroom and the areas where they can co-mingle and enjoy their lunch or coffee break, to meeting rooms and collaborative workspaces where they can work together and create learning opportunities for each other.

One of ManuFutures’ targets for the year is to establish firm linkages with more established businesses like Hanwha Group to become part of its ecosystem.

“Let’s say, for Hanwha, we want to do some work in supply chain development. If we can raise their capabilities through


we’re developing an industry-ready workforce, improving the supply chain for smaller start-ups, and helping the talltree businesses deliver what they want to do,” he said.

Education in engineering and manufacturing

Deakin University’s ManuFutures is helping to develop the skills and knowledge of the next generation of engineers and manufacturing professionals by providing access to training programs, research opportunities, industry collaborations, and industry events. Deakin University’s research and development capabilities have played a key role in contributing to the success of ManuFutures and the businesses it supports.

The relationship between ManuFutures and the students at Deakin University is a symbiotic one.

“To have start-ups or entrepreneurs, you need an innovation pipeline and a lot of our innovation pipeline to date has come out of the university,” Curnow said.

“We’d like to say we’re Australia’s unique, advanced manufacturing innovation accelerator. And the uniqueness comes from that connection with the university. It’s a closed-circuit activity where we can rely on each other to support businesses in growth.”

ManuFutures also provides workintegrated learning opportunities for PhD candidates, research assistants, and higher degree by research (HDR) students by connecting them with businesses, which in turn generates employment opportunities in their fields of interest.

This also completes the circle of ManuFutures’ key objective of research to commercialisation, according to Curnow.

“Research has many avenues of impact. While a lot of research occurs to educate people through papers, there’s also research that needs to be converted to commercial reality and has societal impact. Getting the research out of the university and into the commercial world is the piece of the equation that we’re working on.

“We are not landlords. We provide

complete that circle for our students.”

Discussing education in manufacturing in general, Curnow said that generating student interest in manufacturing and STEM careers is an important issue that the industry must come together to resolve.

“We need to teach the emerging workforce of the future that manufacturing is not in overalls and trudging around in boots with grease. Manufacturing is intelligent, challenging, and rewarding work.

“When I see some students today, the work they do in additive manufacturing, 3D printing is their hobby because they are so passionate about it. That’s a great capability that we need to tap into as an industry.

We also need to be well in touch with major industry sectors and employers in any given region and have a good understanding of their skills requirements, so that we can tune our education to suit that direction and focus on those needs. Because if you’re not preparing the students for the workforce, it’s all for nothing,” Curnow concluded. Manufacturers’ Monthly MAY 2023 25
The hub has facilitated more than 500 student placemnts since its establishment.

Additive Manufacturing

The technology behind serial production

Markforged’s serial producing printer – the PX100 Binder Jetting solution – enables manufacturers to build large quantities of high-quality metal parts. Manufacturers’ Monthly speaks with CEO of Digital Metal Christian Lönne during his recent visit to Australia about the capabilities of the printer and the future of the additive manufacturing landscape.

INITIALLY developed by a small team in Sweden, Digital Metal begun as a subsidiary of Höganäs AB as a relative unknown in 3D printing. When Christian Lönne joined the company in 2019, it had grown from its startup roots using completely new technology to having a presence in a number of industries. Digital Metal’s 3D metal printing machines with proprietary, high-precision binder jetting technology, required further commercialisation to get into the hands of industry.

“When I arrived, we were ready to scale,” he said. “I realised we had fantastic engineering capacity and we could see the inherent opportunities of serially producing additive manufacturing. We had mechanical engineers who refined the technology, but didn’t have the expertise in software.”

After many changes, Digital Metal’s biggest move came in July last year, when Makrforged – the creator of the integrated metal and carbon fibre additive manufacturing platform Digital Forge –entered into a definitive agreement with

Höganäs AB to acquire the company. This is what ‘the next step’ looked like for Digital Metal.

The acquisition fit both companies perfectly. Markforged is always looking to solve manufacturing challenges, and a huge problem is the months required for traditional production to move from design to manufacturing, with third party supplier risk and poor unit economics during ramp up and lower volume periods also concerns. Powder binder jetting is a highly scalable technology for production grade parts at the point of need with minimal setup required.

With Markforged’s experience and go-to-market scale, Digital Metal has been able to grow its technology on the mission to help more manufacturers produce the high-volume metal parts they need to drive highly productive and cost-efficient operations. Crucially, Markforged’s Digital Forge platform is helping take Digital Metal’s mechanical solutions to the next level – the easy-to-use platform, best-in-class software capabilities and material expertise felt like a natural fit

together. The now Markforged binder jetting technology brings new capabilities in Australia to the Digital Forge platform – a production system capable of fabricating thousands of complex end-use metal parts.

“We slot into that ecosystem of combining hardware, software and materials,” Lönne explained. “Coming from that more mechanical background where powder metallurgy is very intensive on the engineering side, we have widened our perspective to the bigger picture. I think this is where digital manufacturing is going and the vision which Markforged has is very appealing to become a part of, so we are integrating into that world.”

The keys to serial production

As a batch manufacturing process, metal binder jetting is the exciting technology in the additive manufacturing space with serial production capability. Most 3D printing technologies are built part-by-part, scaling by adding more or less printers, whereas this technology

allows many parts to be built at the same time. There becomes no real difference building one or one thousand parts, which is the magic of metal binder jetting. It has well and truly emerged as a powerful tool for manufacturers to reduce their time to market and increase flexibility. As Lönne explained, the technology enables designers to iterate their designs quickly and produce parts in a serial manner, without having to go through a long industrialisation phase. Markforged’s Metal Binder Jetting 3D printer – the PX100 – aims to bring manufacturing home, offering supply chain resilience and capabilities to manufacture small to large-scale serial production of metal parts at the point of need.

The new version of the PX100 has basically doubled its print-speed without losing the quality of the surface finish on the parts. The machine is also gas-tight, which is important for applications with reactive materials.

“It gives an ability to go from prototyping to production seamlessly,”

26 MAY 2023 Manufacturers’ Monthly
The PX100 Metal Binder Jetting 3D Printer.

Lönne said. “You don’t have to do a lot of lower prototyping at the start to then find a way to produce your part. Once you’re happy with your design and iterations, you’re straight onto serial printing.”

Developed by Digital Metal over nearly 20 years, Digital Metals has made many incremental changes on the platform –including a new technology co-developed with an Australian company – but the base technology remains the same. The printer offers a unique combination of high precision and high throughput to ensure the user gets a robust production solution as well as being a future-proof platform to support manufacturing needs – both foreseen and unforeseen – in the future.

“One of the unique things with Digital Metal platforms is that the owner can upgrade the printer and modify it to the latest specs, so even if you bought your printer five, six years ago, you can upgrade it to the latest standard,” he said. “That means you can protect your investment because you don’t have to buy a new printer when technology updates.”

Simply put, the PX100 allows for change. When a business wants to change design, it can simply stop printing, make the necessary changes and start printing the new design, bypassing the tedious but necessary changes required in other manufacturing processes. For instance, in injection moulding operations, a new design can take up to six months and comes with a hefty added expense. This limits flexibility, as you need to make the same part over and over and do a large


series to pay off that investment. Lönne noted how companies will adopt this technology in the future is one to watch, especially given the shorter product life cycles industry is experiencing.

“People are used to changing designs or changing formats much quicker, which is why it fits very well,” he noted. “I think it will become a mentality – people expect that if you need to change, you won’t have to go through different bottlenecks to reach the end result.”

As the pace of innovation continues to accelerate, more businesses are having to adapt quickly to changing market conditions. The increasing demand for customisation, speed, cost-effectiveness, and sustainability in manufacturing is expected to drive the uptake of additive manufacturing in the coming years. Lönne explained that it will take time to learn how to design components and learn the benefits, but there will be a massive impact on supply chains.

“The cool thing with additive manufacturing is it is mainly capital expenditure, so it negates the different expense of parts from different countries problem,” he said. “The production costs are more or less the same wherever the printer is in the world, which I imagine would be a huge deal for the more remote countries in increasing competitiveness and keeping manufacturing onshore.”

For now, Markforged’s focus is on providing real value, real products with customer applications and lowering total cost of ownership.

“It’s difficult to understand how we will stay with subtractive manufacturing when you see the power of additive manufacturing, but there is a lot of work still to be done,” Lönne said. “The inherent benefits of 3D printing is the sort of freedom that you get to design parts without having preconception in your mind. Today, a lot of leading designers probably did their education and training before additive manufacturing was big. If you come out of university now and you’ve been soaked in additive manufacturing, I think you’re going to

expect to do different geometries and expect the parts of the future to look different.”

Swinburne University’s Aerostructures Innovation Research (AIR) Hub is one of the leaders of this innovation push at both the education and industry level. AIR Hub director Adriano Di Pietro said that Markforged is doing a sterling job of getting the latest tech into the hands of industry, educators and students.

“We want to have this technology for graduate engineers with these skills in mind, because we see it as an application skill set challenge,” Di Pietro said.

“Additive manufacturing (AM) is playing a very significant role, particularly driving innovation in aerospace. We’re hearing aircraft manufacturers, maintenance repair overhaul organisations and all sides of industry show interest in AM. We’ve seen advisory circulars coming from our regulators specifically around AM. We know that Australia is playing a leading role in defence field applications and we’re actually playing a leading role in maintenance repair overhaul organisations as well.” Manufacturers’ Monthly MAY 2023 27
Metal Binder Jetting can additively manufacture precise, high quality metal parts in a variety of metal materials. Christian Lönne says Markforged printers enable quick transition from prototyping to production.


CAPS launches new energy efficient range of rotary screw compressors

Manufacturers’ Monthly finds out about CAPS’ exciting new range of rotary screw compressors and why they are saving manufacturers on total ownership costs.

THE world of industrial manufacturing is constantly evolving, and so are the machines and equipment that power it. Compressors are an essential piece of machinery in many industries, and the introduction of our new BMF range of high energy-efficient rotary screw compressors with variable speed drive (VSD) technology and permanent magnet motors are set to revolutionise the way manufacturers operate.

Energy efficiency and reducing your carbon footprint is a critical goal for any business. This is why CAPS has introduced our new range of rotary screw compressors packed with the latest energy saving technology which translates in to reduced energy costs and less impact on the environment.

This new compressor range is designed to provide maximum energy efficiency and performance, while also reducing operating costs. The VSD technology allows the compressor to adjust its speed to match the demand of the system, reducing energy consumption and lowering costs. Additionally, the permanent magnet motor eliminates the need for energy-consuming mechanical devices, further increasing energy efficiency.

Another benefit of this new compressor is its low maintenance and

easy-to-use design. The compressor is equipped with advanced monitoring and control systems that provide realtime data on performance and energy consumption, allowing for easy and efficient maintenance. The compressor is also built with a user-friendly interface, making it easy to operate and manage.

But energy efficiency and ease of maintenance are not the only benefits of this new compressor range. It also offers several other features that make it an ideal choice for any industrial application. For example, it has a low noise level, making it perfect for use in noise-sensitive environments. It also has a compact design that makes it easy to install in tight spaces.

Our new BMF range is affordable and built to last. With a 2-year warranty on the complete unit and a lifetime warranty on the airend* you can have the peace of mind you are buying a quality product which will keep you up and running.

All the compressors in this range come standard with a variable speed drive (VSD) and a permanent magnet motor

Variable speed drive high efficiency permanent magnet drive motor

The Interior Permanent Magnet (IPM) motor uses DC power via an inverter to seamlessly speed up and slow down the

compressor to match your air demands.

The motor is a specially designed dual-housing oil-cooled motor. The airend lubricant also cools the motor in a design in which the two housings are incorporated into one, with space left for an oil channel between the inner and outer housing. This design helps cool the motor more efficiently than the traditional air-cooling fan system and reduces power consumption (15- 45kw).

The airend and motor use a simple morse connection which is easy for installation and dismantling.

Some of the other advantages with the IPM motor are:

• Soft start

Highest motor efficiency, even outperforming IE3 efficiency levels Variable range of 30-100 per cent No off-load running (37kw – 45kw)

• Direct Drive (1:1 ratio) – eliminates gearing or transmission losses

Controlling the compressor

Right across the BMF range. They are fitted with the same designed specifically for these machines and use Inovance vector VSD control technology.

• Operation screen readings for Pressure/Temperature

• Power/Frequency/Run hours/ Compressor status

• Day time scheduling Start /Finish

Master slave operation

Stop/start remote

• Service intervals/Alarm with service provider details

• Date and Time

28 MAY 2023 Manufacturers’ Monthly
The range

Digital graphs showing usage data (wave form data)

Total KW per hour usage reading

• Operating temperatures-20°C~+60°C

Fault diagnostic read out with problem solving diagnostics

Fault History

• Monitoring alarms

Supports MODBUS RTU protocol

Product support


CAPS fully support our range with genuine spare parts and regular maintenance items stocked across our 10 branches around Australia.


CAPS has you fully covered with maintenance and servicing of this equipment via our fully trained service technicians who service all parts of Australia near and far.

For more information on this new range or to get a quote, please contact your local CAPS branch on 1800 800 878 or email us at You will also find more detailed specification on this range on the CAPS website Manufacturers’ Monthly MAY 2023 29 Compressors BRISBANE CONVENTION & EXHIBITION CENTRE 31 MAY - 1 JUNE 2023 Take your workplace health & safety compliance to the next level Stay ahead of new Work Health Safety legislation to avoid crippling penalties & secure your team’s safety. REGISTER FREE Major Partner Major Exhibition Sponsor 100+ exhibitors showcasing the latest innovations & solutions Presentations from 50+ health & safety specialists Live demos, seminars & interactive round-tables
SPONSORED BY Australia MHD Supply Chain Solutions THURS 8 JUNE 2023


Making new connections at Australia’s largest electronics expo

Electronex – The Electronics Design and Assembly Expo – returns to the Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre from 10 -11 May 2023.

for each event either prior to the show online or at the entrance to the Expos.

Electronex is sold out. In addition to featuring a wide of range of electronic components, surface mount and inspection equipment, test and measurement and other ancillary products and services, companies can also discuss their specific requirements with contract manufacturers that can design and produce turnkey solutions. Many companies will be launching and demonstrating new products and technology at the event with more than 100 local and international companies to be represented at this year’s Expo. The show attracts designers, engineers, managers, and other decision makers who are involved in designing or manufacturing products that utilise electronics and is the only specialised event for the electronics industry in Australia. In a post-show survey at the last Expo in Melbourne in 2019 98 per cent of attendees said that a dedicated exhibition such as Electronex was beneficial for their industry. With many Australian manufacturers now focussing on niche

products and hi-tech applications, the event provides an important focal point for the industry in Australia.

Free Seminars

A series of free seminars will also be held on the show floor with visitors able to attend on the day with no prebooking required. These sessions will provide an overview of some of the hot topics and key issues for the industry. Topics include: From Idea to Electronics Product which will cover potential pitfalls and case studies, Innovations from Touch User Interface to Artificial Intelligence, Additively Manufactured Electronics for 3D Meta-Device Designs with Dynamic Beam-Shaping and mm-Wave On-Chip Radar Applications, Onshoring Manufacturing in Australia, The Importance of Customer Experience in Electronic Manufacturing and Port Protection, First Line Suppression Against Overvoltage Threat. Visit the show website for times and session details.

Trade and industry visitors to the Expo can register for free at www.electronex.

SMCBA Conference

Since 1988, the Surface Mount & Circuit Board Association (SMCBA) has conducted Australia’s only conference dedicated to electronics design and manufacture.

Keynote speaker: Cheryl TulkoffDesign for Excellence SME - Fleet Space Technologies

‘Securing the Electronics Future: Technological Sovereignty Through Innovation & Collaboration’ explores the challenges and opportunities for the electronics industry to achieve technological sovereignty through innovation and collaboration. Cheryl will also present ‘The ABCs of DfX in Electronics Manufacturing’.

Phil Zarrow – ITM Consulting

In over 30 years of consulting, Phil Zarrow and Jim Hall of ITM Consulting have just about seen it all. Join the ‘Assembly Brothers’ for ‘SMT Assembly Troubleshooting and Process Optimization’ – a journey through troubleshooting the most common Manufacturers’ Monthly MAY 2023 31
The Expo brings together leading suppliers of products, equipment and services. Electronex isAustralia’s major dedicated expo and conference for the electronics industry.



ADM Instrument Engineering


AIM Solder Australia

AIM Training


Altronic Distributors


Arno Fuchs*


Chase Corporation Humiseal*


CNS Precision Assembly

congatec Australia

Control Devices Australia

Curiosity Technology*



Dyne Industries

Electro Harmonix*

element 14

Embedded Logic Solutions

Emona Instruments

Epson Singapore


ESI Technology Ltd*



Excelpoint Systems


Flairmesh Technologies



F&S Bondtech*


Glyn Limited

Green PCB

GW Instek*

defects in SMT with an emphasis on identifying the fundamental root causes, and an entertaining overview of SMT assembly process optimisation techniques.

Jasbir Bath – Bath Consultancy

Jasbir has over 25 years of experience in research, design, development and implementation in the areas of soldering, surface mount and packaging technologies. He will present ‘SMT Process Setup’ Jasbir will also speak on SMT Process Development including optimisation of printing of solder paste for different components on the board and development of the reflow profile to reduce soldering defects.

Audra McCarthy CEO Defence Teaming Centre Inc

Audra is the Chief Executive Officer of the Defence Teaming Centre Inc, Australia’s peak defence industry body connecting, developing and advocating for Australia’s defence industry and will present ‘The

role of the Australian electronics sector in establishing a sovereign defence industry capability.’

Matt Wild – Managing Director Future Electronics

Matt’s presentation ‘Supply Chain Strategies’ will cover the latest updates on the market for sourcing electronic components

Chris Turner Senior Test Engineer at ResMed

Chris will share his key insights into Design for Test (DfT), gained from decades in the industry.

Anthony Tremellen - SMCBA

This presentation ‘SMT Component Identification’ seeks to supply attendees with an extensive study of the surface mount components that are used in electronic assembly.

Visit for the full program.

GPC Electronics

Hammond Manufacturing

Harbuch Electronics

Hawker Richardson


HW Technologies

Industry Update

Invertec Performance Chemicals*



Japan Unix*


JS Electronic

Keysight Technologies

Kolb Cleaning Technology*

KOH Young*

Komax Kabatec*

Leach (SZ) Co Ltd


LPKF Laser & Electronics*


Machinery Forum

Marque Magnetics Ltd

Mastercut Technologies

Mean Well*


Microchip Technology Australia



Nano Components

Nano Dimension

Nordic Semiconductor*




Okay Electronics

ONboard Solutions

On-Track Technology



Permark Industries (Aust)

Phoenix Contact

Pillarhouse Soldering*


PPM Test*

Precision Electronic Technologies

Pros kit*

QualiEco Circuits

Quectel Wireless Solutions



Raspberry Pi*

Redback Test Services

Rehm Thermal Systems*

Reid Print Technologies

Re-Surface Technologies

Rigol Technologies*


Rohde & Schwarz (Australia)

Rolec OKW - ANZ

S C Manufacturing Solutions


Shenzhen FastPCB Tech Co

SIMCOM Wireless Solutions



Solar Electronics Company*

Solar - EMC*

Suba Engineering

Successful Endeavours


Sun Industries


TDK Lambda*

Tekt Industries

Teledyne FLIR*

Telit Centerion*

Thermo Fisher*

Topfast Technology


UNI-T Instruments*

VGL - Allied Connectors

Vicom Australia



Whats New in Electronics

Win-Source Electronics


Wurth Electronics



YSX Tech Co Ltd

* Denotes - Co-Exhibitor Company/Brand

Represented by Exhibitor

32 MAY 2023 Manufacturers’ Monthly
The SMCBA Conference featuring workshops will provide insight into key issues for industry.

Skills and training

An academy for hoist and safety excellence

KITO’s Hoist Safety and Repair Training sessions have been developed to add value by providing instruction, technical support, and safety awareness. Manufacturers’ Monthly investigates how the initiative is helping businesses increase work efficiency and uphold the highest safety standards.

KITO PWB’s KITO Academy is a place where customers are trained in the safe use of lifting hoists as well as how to best service & maintain the equipment in accordance to Australian Standards. The academy offers structured presentations, handson demonstration, and certifications to help participants refresh their knowledge and acquire new skills. The highly qualified trainers, together with essential equipment, provide an excellent opportunity for participants to qualify themselves and their employees in repair and maintenance while sharpening their eye for sources of danger at the workplace. With the academy’s help, participants can get a further grasp on what quality and safety mean at KITO and fully understand why KITO has a superior level of safety and performance. Attendees will see side by side comparisons of product and internal components, get a general understanding of routine maintenance or safely handling of lifting equipment according to Australian standards

Safety Orientation Session

The correct operation of hoists requires a focus on safety to prevent occupational accidents. According to studies, improper handling and poor working conditions are the leading causes of accidents in the workplace. To help prevent these accidents, KITO PWB offers a Safety Orientation Session that covers all aspects of how to safely operate electric & manual hoists, the do’s & don’ts of lifting & how to conduct a pre-operational inspection in accordance with Australian standards AS 2550.1-2011 –Safe Use of Cranes, Hoists & Winches. Safety Orientation Session aims to raise awareness of potential hazards in the workplace and educate customers on how to reduce the risk of accidents. The session covers various topics, such as the safe handling of lifting equipment, the use of safety features, and practical tips and knowledge for operating hoists safely. A large percentage of accidents can be prevented by implementing simple measures, and KITO PWB is dedicated to educating customers on these measures.

Hoist operators, operations managers, safety officers and technicians can participate in this important Safety Orientation Session for Electric Hoists and Manual or Lever Hoists. With the ability to be held at a chosen facility, KITO Japan’s resident expert Mr. Satoshi Ito will conduct the training session in person. Ito has rich experience in hoist products worldwide, successfully conducting numerous KITO Academy training courses for the Middle East, Africa, Japanese and Australian markets.

This course will help participants develop a strong understanding of safe handling of lifting equipment, safety features, and will provide practical tips and ways to enhance workers’ safe workplace. Ito will teach operators the importance of a pre-operational inspection and ensure they are conducted correctly for compliance with AS 2550.1-2011 – Safe Use of Cranes, Hoists & Winches. Other key topics covered include how to use a hoist properly and troubleshooting major hoist problems.

Repair Demonstration Clinic

KITO PWB’s Repair Demonstration Clinic is designed to provide service technicians, mechanics and operators with the necessary skills and knowledge to inspect, repair and test KITO lever hoists and manual chain hoists. This hands-on session is a combination of theoretical and interactive training modules that teach the basics of maintenance and repair.

The training program covers directives and standards such as inspection classification, required maintenance work for repairs and preoperational checks. Participants will also learn about equipment technology in detail, including disassembling the hoists into individual parts, providing an opportunity to get to know KITO’s manual hoists down to the smallest detail. It will help to equip maintenance staff with the necessary preventive maintenance and troubleshooting skills so that any unforeseen or sudden breakdown can be quickly resolved by your maintenance staff.

34 MAY 2023 Manufacturers’ Monthly

At the end of the program, it will provide participants with confidence and ability to carry out maintenance & repairs according to manufacturer’s specifications, ensuring that KITO’s manual hoists remain in top working condition. Certification is provided for all attendees on successful completion of the course.

Overall, KITO PWB’s repair and maintenance training program is a comprehensive and valuable resource for anyone looking to gain the skills and knowledge to properly maintain and repair manual hoists.

KITO Product Academy

KITO Product Academy training sessions have been developed to provide the distributors’ sales and marketing employees with a better understanding of the benefits of the KITO Hoists by allowing you to see, hear & touch the products up close, and to compare them against the opposition products. The products involved are KITO wire rope hoists, electric chain hoists, manual chain hoists and lever hoists.

range overview, applications, unique features, users’ benefits, and sales techniques. At the end of the program, participants will be provided with confidence in product knowledge. By

KITO PWB, participants can take the first step towards expanding their knowledge of KITO products, which are consistently developing and improving and embraced by the Australasian sector.

If you think you can benefit from one of KITO PWB’s free training programs, please register online at or call 1300 792 262 to arrange any of the above sessions.

electronics design & a ssembly expo Discover New Technologies in Electronics and High-Tech Manufacturing See, test and compare the latest technology, products and turnkey solutions for your business In Association with Supporting Publication Organised by Co-located with SMCBA CONFERENCE The Electronics Design and Manufacturing Conference delivers the latest critical information for design and assembly. Industry experts will present technical workshops with the latest innovations and solutions. Details at Manufacturers’ Monthly MAY 2023 35
Skills and training
The KITO Product Academy workshops cover range overview, user benefits and more.

Tax Incentives

A manufacturers’ guide for tax time

With the end of the financial year looming, Manufacturers’ Monthly catches up with RSM’s R&D tax incentive expert Simon Harcombe to learn about key considerations and commonly overlooked deductions which can reap big rewards.

COMING from a science

background, Simon Harcombe has worked in Research and Development (R&D) tax incentives for almost two decades. Having moved to RSM nine years ago, Harcombe has enjoyed developing a more diverse client base, including tech-focused startups, resources, engineering and defence manufacturing businesses.

Being a science-orientated mind himself, Harcombe is excited by the work RSM is doing with SME manufacturers, to help grow Australia’s local capability. “We want to see manufacturing progress in Australia and help clients compete and do well on a global scale,” Harcombe said. “I think having experience in science and technology helps with the more technical conversations when we try and understand a particular business. People want to deal with people who understand their world to at least a reasonable level.”

RSM has a particularly strong

manufacturing division, offering the • following services:

Strong accounting systems, processes & records – Accurate accounting is critical for Manufacturers. We have deep experience in manufacturing accounting, and advise on system, process and software solutions for all of your manufacturing specific accounting requirements •

• Transaction Advisory – Through M&A lead advisory, debt advisory, due diligence, and technical services such as valuations, tax advisory and financial modelling we assist Manufacturers from growth and funding stages, through to business sale.

Data Analytics – for insights into your manufacturing chain in areas such as • business process improvement, customer growth, data management and more

• Transfer Pricing – Assistance for manufacturers with international

related party sales and supply chains

• R&D – Access a potential R&D tax offset for clients applying new technology in their manufacturing processes or developing new or improved products, processes and equipment. R&D can be a critical funding source for innovative manufacturers, particularly those in start up and growth phases.

Software – Offering advice on the right digital ecosystem for a manufacturer, including NetSuite and ERP solutions for manufacturers who need more sophisticated platforms for cost accounting, inventory and other manufacturing accounting requirements. We walk you through your digital journey.

• Management Reporting – customised management reporting and dashboarding, tailored to give manufacturing business owners and managers better business oversight and insights

R&D tax incentive considerations

The government’s flagship program to stimulate research and development activity begun in the 1980s as the R&D Tax Concession. In July 2011, the program was replaced by its current iteration, jointly administered by Industry Innovation and Science Australia and the Australian Tax Office (ATO).

36 MAY 2023 Manufacturers’ Monthly
Simon Harcombe has years of experience in R&D tax incentives.

The incentive offsets some of the costs to encourage Australian industry to undertake additional R&D activities. The offset helps to reduce the financial risks associated with industry R&D investment decisions, including uncertainty about the potential longerterm gains from developing products or a potential ‘spill over’ of knowledge to competitors.

The Senate recently passed the Labor Government’s $15 billion National Reconstruction Fund (NRF), which will mean more businesses will be able to access additional funding to invest in R&D, manufacturing and technology capabilities. The government seems to be focusing on renewable energy, medical science, resources, agriculture, defence and transport in the bill, which has been generally well received by industry as an initial step in the right direction to grow Australia’s innovation agenda.

Understanding the R&D claims process is becoming increasingly important for more manufacturing businesses. The government made changes to the tax offset in its budget announcement in 2021, basing the offset on a premium on top of the corporate tax rate. For R&D entities with aggregated turnover of less than $20 million, the refundable R&D tax offset is your corporate tax rate plus an 18.5 per cent premium.

For R&D entities with aggregated turnover of $20 million or more, the non- refundable R&D tax offset is the corporate tax rate plus an incremental premium. The premium increments are based on the company’s R&D Intensity, which is a percentage calculated as eligible R&D expenditure as a proportion of the total expenditure for the year. Harcombe explained what the change has meant for manufacturing over the past couple of years.

“There’s now more incentive to claim for R&D intensive businesses,” he explained. “If you’re 2 per cent or less R&D intensity, the net R&D benefit is 8.5 per cent of the expenditure. For R&D expenditure greater than 2 per cent intensity, then it’s a 16.5 per cent

net benefit. For companies that are in that mid-sized range, claiming the non- refundable R&D tax offset, and are spending a reasonable amount on R&D and product development, they’re likely to get a significantly greater benefit than they would have prior to these changes.”

For manufacturers looking to make the most out of the R&D incentive scheme, it can be daunting and confusing to ascertain whether all the right steps are being followed.

Harcombe explained that the first step RSM takes when working on an R&D tax project is to have a deep-dive conversation to deeply understand a particular businesses’ R&D.

“It’s really important to know that not only are you eligible, but you have the required records to support that,” he said. “That’s records indicating eligibility and records in terms of the expenditure on those activities as well.”

Once an understanding of the business is solidified, RSM sits client side for the actual R&D claim.

“We typically assist with preparing the registration documentation that’s required for AusIndustry, ensuring that the client is happy with how their R&D has been described based on discussions and the supporting documentation that’s been supplied to us,” he noted.

“Once the client has approved we register the project or projects with AusIndustry and go through a process of collecting expenditure information from the client, so we can prepare the R&D expenditure calculations for the company tax return. Once that’s all completed, we provide all the documentation and essentially a summary of the R&D claim that’s included in the tax return.”

A pillar of RSM’s capabilities is to readily identify and manage R&D claim risk issues and provide mitigation plans. There are two regulators in Australia: AusIndustry and the ATO.

“The best way that we found to mitigate claim risk issues is to have regular catch ups with companies during the year,” Harcombe said.

“Rather than at the end of the year, it’s helpful to have quarterly meetings to


ensure companies are doing everything they need to in terms of collecting their documentation, which helps them manage risks.”

Harcombe explained a big focus of the ATO at the moment is related party or associate transactions – businesses need to make sure that any expenditure issues are identified before the end of the financial year.

“There’s also a requirement for any associate expenditure to be paid during the financial year, so that companies can claim it. They can’t actually claim associate expenditure until it is paid. Specific rules like that can trip people up, which is why having a regular catch up with their R&D tax advisor is smart to mitigate these types of issues.”

As a result of the continued impact the COVID-19 pandemic had on the Australian economy, the Federal Government announced as part of the 2020-21 Budget a major overhaul to depreciation tax concessions.

Previously, eligible businesses were able to deduct the cost of certain assets acquired, provided the asset cost was less than $150,000. Not only has the Government provided almost all businesses with access to such concession, but eligible businesses are now able to deduct the cost of eligible depreciating assets with no cost limit, provided the asset is acquired from 7:30pm AEDT on 6 October 2020 and first used or installed ready for use by 30 June 2023.

“You might have a testing facility, or in a manufacturing setting, machinery or plant that had been purchased for pilot scale testing,” he said. “If that’s being purchased and used before 30 June and is installed ready for use or being used for an R&D purpose, then depending on the extent of R&D use these costs could be eligible.

“It’s important for businesses to have all the information available to them before they make purchasing decisions.”

Come talk to RSM at the Australian Manufacturing Week 9-12 May at the MCEC.

We’ll be at stand MS807 Manufacturers’ Monthly MAY 2023 37

Industrial Gases

Powering the toughest bullbars

Manufacturers’ Monthly learns about a local manufacturing success story, and how Air Liquide is supporting TUFF Australia’s growth with quality welding gases.

TUFF Group – a manufacturer of high-quality bullbars, ute trays and canopies – has come a long way from its humble beginnings 20 years ago. The company was founded by Phil and Anton Griffiths, a father-son pair who immigrated to Toowoomba, Queensland from Zimbabwe. Phil’s background in mining engineering and Anton’s experience in business and processes allowed them to combine their skills to develop their own business, starting with only five staff.

It was all hands on deck in the early days, with Phil on the welder making jigs while Anton learned the trade of fitting bullbars. After six years of a growing reputation in Queensland, the company became TUFF Bullbars Australia, now known as TUFF Australia. As the TUFF reputation grew, the number of bullbars increased to the point that TUFF required its own powder coating facility, to reduce lead times for clients and to ensure quality expectations were met. This lead to the establishment of TUFF Coatings in 2008.

Mark Casey, General Manager at TUFF Group, said the family business is proud to reflect on its journey so far.

“We’ve placed importance as we’ve grown on keeping ourselves grounded and maintaining a family atmosphere,” he said. “We see it as a big family, and we have people who’ve worked here for 15 years – those people have helped build the business. The person that started off sweeping the floor as a young guy is now our operations manager. We worked on developing our people, developing our customer base, and the big thing is to deliver what we say we’re going to deliver.”

TUFF Group found a niche in developing premium bull bar products that can withstand impacts in extremely harsh environments. The company’s early footprint in Western Queensland was with customers who needed bull bars to withstand a lot of impact with an extra layer of durability. The farming community in New South Wales continues to be a large customer base. As the company evolved, it expanded into the

market for tradies, people who have Dodge Ram or Ford F trucks and those who want to take caravans around the country.

“Our demographic and the people we serve has expanded quite a lot from our original group,” Casey said. “A big development for us was in 2017 when we started making utility trays. That helped with our diversification ambitions, and that’s expanded very quickly. We do custom canopies and a variety of other types of products as well.”

Underlying this expansion is a clear focus on quality, which has earned the company a strong reputation in the market. Casey explained that the business has worked hard on progressing quality as it grows, which is why TUFF recently employed its own Quality Manager with extensive industry experience.

“We’ve got a strong focus on quality and durability, and that’s something that our customers really appreciate. We’ve had customers come back to us after 17 years and say, ‘I need a new bull bar, and I want it to be a TUFF one.’”

Honesty is the other essential part of the company’s philosophy, both in dealings with their own staff and in dealings with customers. This honesty and integrity is reflected in the fact that TUFF Group has a large number of repeat customers, including car dealers, private individuals, and large businesses who rely on their products for their fleets. Today, TUFF employs over 100 people and is producing more automotive aftermarket products than ever at its Towoomba factory.

Last year, the business forked out heavy investments to increase and improve its manufacturing capacity. TUFF purchased a new 6.5 kilowatt laser and brake press from Japan in order to have a more vertically integrated operation. The new machinery means products can be easily cut and folded with more precision, improving the outcome of products like ute canopies. A new tube bender for bending brush rails and headboards for utes was another major investment with the same intention.

Air Liquide quality

Air Liquide has a long-standing history of supplying high-quality gas for welding purposes. For more than 100 years, it has provided manufacturers with gases that are essential for welding. As technologies evolve, Air Liquide continually adapts its gas solutions to respond to the challenges of metal fabrication and manufacturing processes.

For instance, the LASAL™ range is a full range of lasing gases with the industry’s highest purity standards for every laser resonator. The choice of lasing gas directly determines the reliability of the laser, lifespan and accuracy of the optics and output power. Thanks to its research and development prowess in Japan, France and around the world, Air Liquide has pioneered the laser industry standard for effective and consistent control of impurities.

Upon purchasing a range of new equipment, TUFF started its journey with Air Liquide for the first time.

Air Liquide introduced TUFF to ARCAL™ Speed, a high-performance gas shielding mixture designed for high speed welding processes.

Benefits of ARCAL™ Speed are:

• Low fumes

Low Splatter

Increased productivity due to reduced post weld processing

TUFF is already seeing the benefits of Air Liquide’s EXELTOP™ which leads the industry in Quality, Safety and Efficiency with its dual-stage inbuilt regulator and quick fit gas line connection, meaning no tools are required to change cylinders.

Plans to drive further efficiencies with TUFF planned with Air Liquide’s workshop reticulation offer, which includes a DATAL Semi-automatic manifold that uses multiple packs of any ARCALTM gas mixture and is coupled with a telemetry system (DALIA) that is monitored by Air Liquide.

DALIA communicates with Air Liquide and when a predetermined low setpoint is hit, the system automatically orders replacement packs. This process further strengthens the reliability of the

customers business. The DALIA system can be solar powered and has options for extended antennas to give customers in remote regional areas to be on a level playing field with their competitors in metropolitan areas.

The range of gases can lower the fume reduction that comes from welding, specifically carbon monoxide, which is a toxic gas. As well as this, and crucially for TUFF’s quality uptake, the gases are designed to minimise spatter from the welding process.

“Air Liquide has strong local representation here,” Casey said. “We were introduced to their welding gas products and trialled them. The feedback on the floor was positive, with a reduction in spatter as the key takeaway, so we tried it on one section and then another. We don’t want to waste time cleaning up the spatter, so that was a big win for us.”

Air Liquide’s local presence in the southeast Queensland region was a deciding factor for TUFF. Behind the innovation in which Air Liquide prides itself on is a strong backbone of technical support as well.

“We saw another local manufacturer who had been using Air Liquide for 20 years. We were able to get that testimonial. It was about the quality of the product but also the local representation was really important to us,” Casey explained. “At the end of the day you’re having to deal with another person, shake hands with them and have them take you through the process and communicate effectively. Our dealings with that local representation has been a big positive.”

Casey also conveyed some of the common challenges facing Australian manufacturing – a sentiment shared by many of our local makers.

“We have a great opportunity in Australia now to reinvigorate our manufacturing sector and take back some of the reshored products that mainly go to China,” he said. “I think it’s really important that the government takes a strategic view on supporting manufacturing and keeps an eye on our electricity and gas costs.. The

38 MAY 2023 Manufacturers’ Monthly

federal government is keen to build our manufacturing sector for strategic reasons, but in order to foster that we need to avoid being blown out of the water by energy costs.”

Working towards a sustainable future “ADVANCE”, Air Liquide’s new strategic plan for 2025, is a milestone in the company’s history. It places sustainable development at the heart of the Group’s strategy and is built around four pillars;

1. Delivering strong financial performance

With ADVANCE, Air Liquide is taking action today while preparing the future. The Group is rising up to an ambitious challenge: maintaining its growth dynamic and improving its profitability while meeting its commitments to reduce CO2 emissions and investing in the markets of the future.

2. Decarbonising the planet ADVANCE will enable Air Liquide to consolidate its leading role in the decarbonisation of industry and the advent of a low-carbon society in which hydrogen plays a decisive role.

3. Unlocking progress via technology

Innovation and technology are two of Air Liquide’s major strengths that


assets make it possible for the Group to contribute to the development of five key sectors of the future (Hydrogen mobility, Electronics, Healthcare, Industrial Merchant and High technologies) where it intends to strengthen its positions through the ADVANCE plan.

4. Acting for all

As a civic-minded company, Air Liquide strives to ensure that everything it does is in the interests of its shareholders and, beyond that, of society as a whole.

Mindful of the changing world, Air Liquide understands how to act in the public interest, where its contribution can make a difference.

The Group is involved in long-term community projects in the countries in which it operates. Through the Air Liquide Foundation, it supports scientific projects and employment programs. In partnership with NGOs, the Group is developing initiatives to increase access to medical oxygen.

Air Liquide spends more than €300 million on innovation every year, with more than 50 per cent dedicated to the energy transition and digital technology. Manufacturers’ Monthly MAY 2023 39
EXELTOP™ is available with ARCAL™ premium gas range dedicated to arc welding. Members of the TUFF Australia team in a celebratory mood.

Aluminium Capability

BlueScope Distribution strengthens processing capability

Steel and aluminium distributor BlueScope Distribution has announced the installation of a new CNC flatbed router at its Clayton South warehouse in Melbourne.


2023, the addition of this new capability will complement its existing aluminium routing capability which already exists at BlueScope Distribution in Perth and Brisbane.

As one of the largest of its kind in Victoria, this new machine has the ability to profile complex custom shapes with precision, ease and accuracy, from large format aluminium plate and sheet up to 12.5m long, 3.2m wide and 150mm thick.

The extra-large bed allows BlueScope Distribution to supply a single processed 12-metre sheet, creating efficiencies for its customers by reducing the need for welding multiple sheets in their own production lines.

BlueScope Distribution has said its increased capabilities will better serve customers across a wide range of manufacturing industry segments, such as transport, marine, architectural façade, and leisure.

In November 2021, BlueScope Distribution committed to an investment of $1.01 million to install a custommade routing machine that enables the

company to process aluminium plate and sheet products into custom sizes and componentry for our customers.

“Strategically we are committed to

supporting our customers with their own growth journey. Our new router will no doubt play a sizable role in assisting our customers deliver on their own manufacturing deadlines in a more efficient way. The installation of this new processing capability enables us to better support our customers over the next decade and beyond,” said Sam Gerovasilis, general manager, BlueScope Distribution.

The prime feature of the aluminium router is its ability to process aluminium products with high precision and accuracy. BlueScope Distribution’s experienced programmers work closely with customers to provide workable solutions that assist with design and nesting capabilities, ensuring minimal wastage.

The router’s processing capabilities include profiling simple or complex shapes, milling, hole cuts, and material coding for identification.

BlueScope Distribution can also

supply material to customers in kit form, which provides significant efficiencies when assembling their end user products. Kitting enables the grouping of various products and custom cut aluminium components in the configurations required by customers.

“Our customers told us that labour shortages and a gap in aluminium processing of this kind has created inefficiencies in their own operation. It made a lot of sense for us to invest in state-of-the-art aluminium processing capability to enable us to better support our customers.

“The extra-large bed enables us to process significantly larger aluminium plate which is commonly used by transport and marine manufacturers. We look forward to working closely with them to help them realise new efficiencies this capability will provide.” added Troy Gent, state manager, BlueScope Distribution VIC/TAS.

40 MAY 2023 Manufacturers’ Monthly
The new CNC bed allows BlueScope to supply a ginle processed 12-metre sheet. BlueScope Distribution invests in helping manufacturing become more efficient.


Sept 2023

Melbourne’s leading construction and major infrastructure event


Inside Construction Expo will deliver

Targeted messaging in over 19 industry-leading publications that reach more than 80,000 decision makers across multiple sectors

Digital communications to 28,000+ engaged readers

Premium networking opportunity with industry leaders at the Foundation Awards gala dinner

Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre

Business Chamber Queensland: Why it’s ‘absolutely critical’ that businesses understand the impact of the new Workplace Health and Safety Regulations

New Work Health and Safety legislation has come into effect over the past 12 months and it’s crucial that businesses of all sizes and industries know what changes mean for them and their workforce.

BUSINESS Chamber Queensland workplace relations, people & culture general manager Joanna Minchinton said meeting workplace health and safety requirements was important to protect the welfare of their business and workforce.

“It’s absolutely critical businesses are compliant with workplace health and safety obligations relevant to their business, workforce and industry– to ensure not only can their team operate in a safe workplace, but also the business is protected against any legal risk. This

New regulations and codes

The new Code of Practice for the management of psychosocial hazards, which comes into effect from 1 April 2023, is among the new obligations employers need to familiarise themselves with.

In addition, employers should understand the new protocols relating to the Fair Work Commission’s management of sexual harassment disputes. The Fair Work Commission’s new dispute resolution powers, effective from 6 March 2023, have created a new avenue for pursuing a dispute relating to sexual

“Our role is to help businesses understand the impact of these workplace obligations. It is important to support business so they can plan for the future of their business and workforce,” Minchinton explained.

Not all businesses need a dedicated in-house specialist

While workplace health and safety is critical to businesses of all sizes and in all industry sectors, not every business needs to employ a dedicated workplace health and safety (WHS) expert and can instead

regulations and laws specific to their individual circumstances,” Minchinton said.

“Our role is to ensure businesses have easy access to the information and resources to remain compliant and create a safe and healthy workplace. For example, we provide details on the impact of recent Industrial Relations (IR) legislation amendments, so employers can plan for the future of their businesses and workforces”.


Business Chamber Queensland at the 42 MAY 2023 Manufacturers’ Monthly
The Workplace Health & Safety Show will take place in Brisbane for the first time in 2023.

Brisbane from 31 May to 1 June 2023.

“It is important businesses are aware of the latest rules, tips and resources relevant to their needs. We expect this event will be a valuable platform for businesses wishing to access the latest details in a supportive, engaging and collaborative environment,” she said.


Workplace health and safety is critical to current and future business operations.

“As the nature of workforces and workplaces continue to adapt as communities and markets adapt, workplace health and safety needs will continue to change. We know

businesses are resilient and adaptable and will continue to operate in line with developing workplace health and safety needs, to protect their business and most of all their workforce. A safe, protected and happy workforce is beneficial to the business,” Minchinton noted.

Minchinton’s presentation, Staying across IR changes: What businesses need to know to foster safe and healthy workplaces, is part of the Knowledge Centre line-up on 1 June 2023. Interested professionals can view the complete program and register for free, at www.

About the Workplace Health & Safety Show 2023

The Workplace Health & Safety Show is a live, interactive, two-way learning experience spanning two action packed days and showcasing the cutting-edge technology, ideas and practices of the safety world. The Show provides an interactive space for Workplace Health and Safety professionals to hear from industry leaders on how to best foster

healthy and safe work environments. Taking strong momentum from Melbourne & Sydney 2022, our 2023 events will take place in Brisbane and Sydney.

When and where

Brisbane: Wednesday 31 May and Thursday 1 June 2023, Brisbane Convention & Exhibition Centre

Website: Manufacturers’ Monthly MAY 2023 43
Joanna Minchinton is dedicated to meeting workplace health and safety requirements. Safety professionals can see the broadest range of products and resources under one roof.


World-class sustainable compressed air solutions

ELGi Equipments has a long history of providing compressed air solutions, with a catalogue of more than 400 air compressor products. Manufacturers’ Monthly investigates why the company is making ground in the Australian market with disruptive compressors for a variety of industrial applications.

IN the 1960s, ELGi Equipments began as a garage equipment

manufacturing company in India and added air compressors to its portfolio, with air compressors soon becoming the predominant product line. Today, the brand has a global presence with its range of air compressors, with manufacturing operations and representation in every continent serving markets around the world. At the forefront of design

excellence, ELGi was the first compressor company in the world to be certified with ISO 9001 for quality management systems in 1994, and in 2019 ELGi was the first and only global industrial air compressor manufacturer in over sixty years to be awarded the Deming Prize for excellence in Total Quality Management.

ELGi has been present in the Australian market for over 50 years, consolidating its presence in Australia

twelve years ago – headquartered in Sydney – to grow its presence for its range of compressors that can be found in operation throughout a wide range of industrial sectors, including food processing, healthcare, construction and mining.

Ramesh Ponnuswami, executive director OSEA at ELGi said “We have thousands of customers across a diverse range of industries throughout Australia and New Zealand,” he explained. “Our design capability and quality control results in a large range of products, from time-tested, robust workhorses to extremely sophisticated, high-tech solutions allowing us meet the needs of such a broad range of industry sector applications .”

ELGi manufactures a complete range of industrial air compressors that include oil lubricated and oil-free electric powered rotary screw compressors, oil lubricated, and oil-free reciprocating compressors, dryers, air receiver tanks and other accessories. Ponnuswami attributes the company’s growth to longterm partnerships and excellent customer service within the Australian market.

Since establishing a direct presence in Australia in 2011, ELGi has expanded its footprint through an acquisition and is now present in three states on the east coast, in addition to the already well established and dedicated distribution network around the country. “Many of our distributors have been with us for over 10 years now, which is testament to the quality and reliability of our products and the strong focus we have on building long term partnerships with our distributors,” Ponnuswami added.

Ponnuswami highlighted the importance of providing reliable products and quick and efficient customer service.

“Availability is something we place a very heavy emphasis on and there’s been a really good response from our customers,” he said. “The company ensures that the right parts are available

and that on-time service is provided to its customers. The products are really reliable, so we see next to no issues when products are maintained as per the recommended schedule. The combination of having ready availability and quick response from a service point of view is crucial.”

With a global rise in electricity prices, and with energy costs representing around 80 per cent of the total lifecycle cost of owning a compressor, this is something that cannot be ignored. Compressors are a huge user of energy in industry, so more energy efficient solutions are not only more sustainable, they are absolutely necessary to minimise the impact of rising electricity prices. There simply isn’t enough fuel to go around at the moment, so unfulfilled electricity needs are set to continue, making the pursuit of sustainable processes and improvements essential.

Oil lubricated compressors are the backbone of varied industrial applications. ELGi’s oil lubricated range of compressors offer cost-effective, long-lasting compressed air solutions suitable for light to heavy duty industrial applications.

“The emphasis on lowering the energy footprint is where our products really come into their own. By developing energy efficient, high reliability compressors that have minimal environmental impact, the customer benefits from a very low overall cost of ownership in the long run,” he said. “Fundamentally, we are a technology driven company. In this business, you have to think, act and stay ahead by embracing new technology and continuous innovation. Even very small incremental gains, just decimal improvements make a big difference when it comes to energy savings.”

ELGi’s research and development program is comprehensive, spanning fundamental research to tactical and strategic development. With a team of experts from various disciplines – including multiple PhDs and engineers – the company has sophisticated tools to simulate and

44 MAY 2023 Manufacturers’ Monthly
Ramesh Ponnuswami, ELGi Equipments, executive director – OSEA

model the design and packaging of its products. ELGi’s focus on technology is evident in its annual program called State of the Future Art, which seeks to identify potential ideas from its team across the world, building industry partnerships and receiving input from leading engineering institutions in India.

The company’s investment in R&D is driven by a commitment to environmental, social, and governance (ESG) goals. ELGi places a heavy emphasis on reducing its environmental footprint not only in its operations but also in how its products impact its customers’ operations. ELGi’s in-house expertise in design and testing is critical to its success, of which very few companies have the same luxury.

As well as edging ahead of the competition on stock products, ELGi is invested in being a disrupter for industry. One such example is its Always Better (AB) Series – from 11KW to 110KW – which brings a disruption to oil-free compressed air technology. Years of intense development have resulted in a no-compromise, energy-efficient oil-free solution at reduced lifecycle costs when compared to prevailing oil-free technology, reliability and lower maintenance costs and class zero certified, contamination-free air for sensitive industry applications.

The majority of the compressor market is comprised of oil-injected screw compressor technology. A proven


spectrometers. Mass spectrometers require high-purity nitrogen to analyse chemical molecules in food. Delivered by a nitrogen generator, the compressed air supply for the nitrogen generator needed to be 100 per cent oil-free and certified ‘Class 0’ in compliance with ISO 8573-1.

To find the right solution to meet these stringent requirements, Massey University contacted long-standing compressed air partner Compressed Air Controls, one of ELGi’s authorised partners. Steve Carran, Territory Manager at Compressed Air Controls, said, “We designed a complete skidmounted turnkey solution, including an ELGi AB37 oil-free screw air compressor and an Airmate EGRD200 refrigerated air dryer complete with downstream filtration, and full stainless steel air lines to meet their needs.”

compressors are the significantly higher energy and capital costs. ELGi has set out on a mission to create a middle ground – a compressor which brings all the benefits of oil-free at the cost of standard oil lubricated compressors.

“We have a product which is in between with the AB series, which meets the standards of oil-free but is getting close to the efficiency of an oillubricated compressor,” he said. “It’s now found applications in a number of industries such as food and beverage, pharmaceutical, automotive and chemical process. It’s a very disruptive product in the way we’ve configured the whole package, which we’re very proud of.”

And the way Ponnuswami sees it, the AB series has potential to improve even more over time, with leading brands already investing in the technology.

The AB series is starting to gain a reputation in Australia and New Zealand, with projects such as a fully turnkey

by Massey University in New Zealand.

The new facility includes over 1,800 sqm of research laboratory space that houses a range of hi-tech food science analytical equipment including mass

ELGI’s products are designed for Australian conditions, with a lifetime warranty applied as standard for its air-ends on the EG series (the heart of a screw compressor, equivalent to the engine in a car). The business will continue to leverage its ESG framework to improve the technology and service in the world of compressors. Manufacturers’ Monthly MAY 2023 45
ELGi’s products are designed for Australian conditions, with lifetime warranty applied as standard for its air-ends on the EG series. In 2019, ELGi was the first and only global industrial air compressor manufacturer in over sixty years to be awarded the Deming Prize for excellence in Total Quality Management.

Industrial Gases

capability to deliver complex engineering tasks.

Laurie McCalman, General Manager at Entegra said the business has experienced strong growth over the past 3 years and invested heavily to expand and modernise manufacturing capability at its Swan Hill and Gympie facilities.

“We are transitioning these manufacturing sites to a modern, digital workspace that paves the way for future growth and prepares our business for industry 4.0.”

David Green, Head of Operations at Entegra is managing the transition to industry 4.0 across all facilities, and oversees the modernisation of the team’s welding capability.

“We are big on standardising processes and associated machinery to ensure the outcome from our facilities is predictable.”

Investing in new welding technology is important to Entegra as they understand the value of advanced manufacturing in operations. Entegra engaged BOC’s application specialists to investigate new technology solutions and trial various welders to replace traditional transformer-based equipment.

WHEN it comes to welding, many customers are looking for suppliers that make them more productive and bring them on the journey to understand the new technologies and solutions available to achieve smarter, safer and more efficient welding.

Many Australian businesses are faced with unique challenges, however it is clear many are grappling with common issues including skills shortages, rising inflation and increasing global competition.

Taking action to review welding operations can deliver immediate productivity benefits. It could be as simple as switching the type of gas used for a welding application or upgrading the gas supply method, right through to more complex activities that support changing the welding process and automation integration.

We spoke to several owners of manufacturing businesses in regional New South Wales, Victoria and Queensland to hear how they are innovating welding operations, and strengthening their operational and commercial capabilities.

Gas switch delivers growth opportunity in regional NSW

Custom steel fabrication manufacturer

Rose Valley Steel Works upgraded the welding technology and gases at its Armidale facility, increasing its capability to develop innovative new products including a flat pack animal feeder that is now being shipped nationally.

Owner Phil Macfarlane was interested in the latest welding machines, and positive differences certain gases can have on quality, efficiencies and output.

He invested in a fleet of EWM welding machines including the Tetrix 300AC/DC, Taurus 400, Phoenix 355 progress pulse and a Phoenix XQ 400.

To support the equipment investment, they switched to BOC performance line gases for different applications. These included Alushield®, a helium-blended mixture for aluminium processes and Stainshield® for MIG welding stainless steels.

Since making these equipment and gas upgrades, Rose Valley Steel Works has improved its weld quality and productivity including reduced spatter, reduced weld time and eliminated pre and post welding work. It has also delivered cost savings

on abrasives, filler metals and running costs, while also improving quality and efficiency with a cleaner weld in less time.

“We operate with 14 full-time staff and BOC’s help with upgrading technology and welding techniques has been key,” said Macfarlane. “We can now find many innovative solutions to the most challenging needs and make anything out of metal for our customers.

“Our BOC representative taught us how to maximise our new machines and use the best gases to create top quality outcomes. The added benefit is that the local TAFE now has the same technology resulting in good cohesion between work and training for our five apprentices.”

Victorian manufacturer embraces new era of Industry 4.0

Entegra Signature Structures is a national manufacturer of steel sheds and signature structures with globally patented designs that deliver exceptional quality and reliability.

The team prides itself on its long history but remains firmly focused on the future, investing heavily in research and development to strengthen its position as a leading manufacturer and increase its

“It made sense to go down the path with BOC. We needed a supplier we were comfortable with. They had always been reliable with a good delivery model for getting product in.”

As the exclusive supplier of EWM digital welding machines in Australia, BOC worked with Entegra to replace all welding machines with EWM MIG inverter welders, set up to also use EWM’s industry-leading forceArc Process.

“We trialed the EWM machines a few times, and what interested us the most was the xNet software that could connect them all digitally, produce data and develop welding procedures.

“The buttons that can be installed at each work station to identify who is welding what, when and what their qualification is was also an attractive feature.”

While replacing its welding machines, Entegra also commissioned its first welding automation robot with BOC and Automation & Robotic Services providing a turnkey solution. The automation system included an ABB robot paired with an EWM MIG inverter welder. This was set up to weld Entegra’s Taperflow® high volume box gutter systems.

Regional customers get more productive
Manufacturers’ Monthly finds out about common challenges and innovations in welding operations via testimonials from some of BOC’s regional customers.
46 MAY 2023 Manufacturers’ Monthly

“We see it as an investment in our people. The robot isn’t about making it faster, but rather learning as a team. To manage robots and these new welding tools, we need to ensure we are developing our industry 4.0 experience in-house.”

The xNet software has provided meaningful data for the Entegra management team that is being reported regularly at a board level.

“With this software, we are now on the pathway to industry 4.0. To me this means being able to look at data from a machineby-machine level, and then at an overall operational level. Then using this data to make meaningful business decisions.”

This investment in welding systems and IT infrastructure has delivered a blueprint for the future.

“We now have a robot that we can learn from and train. As we continue to use it and analyse data, we will have a blueprint for rolling-out automation systems at any of our sites nationally.

“If we wanted to install any IoT application down the track, we now have the IT infrastructure in place to be able to do that.”

Cylinder upgrade delivers immediate benefit for QLD business

When Queensland-based Alltype Engineers won its largest ever order to weld aluminium trench shoring boxes, it was essential that they had the best equipment and gases on hand to increase staff productivity and save time.


With up to 12 workers on the floor and out onsite on any given day, a top priority is ensuring premium product quality and production efficiency.

After a survey of the market, owner Darren Aldridge found BOC’s F3 VIPR cylinders exceeded expectations, which resulted in an upgrade of all its G size cylinders.

“We were ordering gas every second day and now with the F3 VIPR bottles, we only order once per week. It has relieved me and my staff as we aren’t moving around huge gas bottles and it saves me money as there is less down time. In essence, it improves the profitability of our own products.”

With an in-built regulator, the innovative F3 VIPR cylinder provides value for money by eliminating the need to replace or service regulators and gauges. The cylinders are also filled to a pressure of 300 bar and contain up to 15 per cent more gas than a G size. This meant Alltype Engineers could get an extra day and a half out of a cylinder.

The cylinders also have improved safety features including a handle, protective casing for the regulator and a shorter height for easier transportation, manual handling and putting on the back of the welders.

“We wouldn’t have been able to do the aluminium trench box project 5 years ago but thanks to our gas and welding solutions, we are the only aluminium panel maker in Australia with panels that are 35% stronger than our US competitors. That makes us very proud.”

Supporting customers into the future

BOC understands the importance of helping Australian manufacturers thrive in an increasingly competitive global market, and is committed to making our customers more productive from gas and welding equipment (including filler metals and welding safety), right through to industry 4.0 welding solutions.

We have invested in Application Technology Centres in Brisbane and Western Sydney to showcase new worldleading technologies that make welding

BOC’s welding and fabrication specialists are also gearing up for Australian Manufacturing Week, where they will be on hand to showcase new technologies, and share their expertise and solutions for increasing productivity. Manufacturers’ Monthly MAY 2023 47
BOC is exhibiting in the Weld & Air Solutions Zones (Stand WA340). Upgrades to welding equipment and gases delivered significant benefits for Rose Valley Steel Works The F3VIPR cylinder helped deliver improved product profitability at Alltype Engineers.


Neousys Releases a Market-leading

Intel® 13th/ 12th-Gen Edge AI Platform Supporting an 130W NVIDIA® RTX™ GPU

Neousys Technology announced its Nuvo-9160GC, a wide-temperature edge AI platform with superior CPU and GPU performance by leveraging Intel’s 13th/ 12th-Gen platform and an 130W NVIDIA® RTX™ GPU card.

Benefiting from the cutting-edge Intel® 7 photolithography, Intel’s 13th/12th-Gen processors can offer up to 24 cores/ 32 threads with 2x the performance improvement compared to previous Intel 11th/10th-Gen platforms, and the latest 130W NVIDIA® RTX™ GPU contributes up to 9 TFLOPS of FP32 performance to fuel real-time AI inference analytics applications for multiple cameras.

Nuvo-9160GC inherits a tested and proven thermal design to guarantee reliable system operation from -25°C to 60°C. The passive-cooling design is coupled with an in-house designed motherboard circuit that strategically disperses heat-generating components, and a patented Cassette module to segregate and ventilate the 130W NVIDIA® RTX™ GPU card. The system has six onboard GbE ports and six USB 3 ports. With the patented MezIO® expansion, Nuvo-9160GC can support up to ten GigE or USB 3 cameras in a compact architecture, making it ideal for consolidating and miniaturizing multiple camera visionbased platforms.

SecurityBridge industrial firewall

The SecurityBridge industrial firewall by Pilz is a product that offers industrial security that protects industrial automation networks from manipulation and unauthorised access. sector. The firewall guarantees the safety of your staff and the availability of your machine by protecting it against cyberespionage and manipulation.

The SecurityBridge firewall now provides complete protection for industrial automation networks thanks to its updated firmware. In addition to safeguarding the automation system PSS 4000 and the adjustable safe small controllers PNOZmulti, it now permits control over data transmission between any additional subscribers outside of the Pilz range. The SecurityBridge was created in compliance with the secure development methodology as outlined in IEC 62443-4-1 and follows the principle of “Zones and Conduits”.

The extensive diagnostic features now include “packet recording”. This can be used to capture data transmissions between subscribers on the unsecured network and the protected controller network. Recording can be restricted to specific communication interactions to enable you to analyse data more efficiently. That saves you valuable time during diagnostics!

The SecurityBridge industrial firewall also ensures that only authorised persons have access to the plant via the network. As a firewall, it keeps an eye on correspondence with the controller and manages data flow. Moreover, SecurityBridge can be used to hold user permissions, which specify which employees have access to which types of information.

How it works:

The PNOZmulti base unit, the PSSuniversal PLC controller, and any other subscribers outside of the Pilz range can all be linked upstream to the SecurityBridge. As a result, the connection between the PC and the device is secure. Changes to a project’s configuration can only be made by users with relevant permissions which prevents unauthorised access to the secured network. This protects the data transmission between Client PC’s and SecurityBridge’s from tampering and manipulation.

Additionally, the SecurityBridge controls the process data traffic and monitors the integrity of the safety system. Changes to the checksum provide information about changes to the projects in the controller project.

Benefits at a glance:

Developed in accordance with the standard IEC 62443-4-1

• Simple to install, no need to adjust the network parameters

Featuring true wide-temperature operation, rich camera connectivity, and flexible expansion, Nuvo-9160GC is ideal for robotic guidance, autonomous mobile robot (AMR), intelligent video analytics or teleoperation in forestry and construction industries.

Company: Neousys Technology

Phone: +886-2- 2223-6182


• VPN connection with role-based user management

Configuration changes can only be carried out by authorised users

• Increased availability, as only data from permitted communication relationships is approved

• Process data is forwarded in wire speed with low latency for time-critical applications

Detects unauthorised changes to the project by verifying the check sum (CRC)

• Comprehensive diagnostic functions

Simple to configure via a web-based user interface

Continuous updates are functionally feedback-free for the protected control system

Company: Pilz Australia

Phone: 1300 723 334


48 MAY 2023 Manufacturers’ Monthly


BOXER-6645-ADS Fanless Embedded Box PC with 12th Gen Intel® Core™ i3/i5/i7/i9 Processor

Interworld Electronics is excited to introduce the BOXER-6645-ADS rugged fanless Embedded Box PC from AAEON. The BOXER-6645-ADS contains exceptional processing capabilities of up to 16 cores and 24 threads with 12th Generation Intel® Core™ i3/i5/i7/i9 Processor platforms, providing limitless potential for applications that demand high-performance computing, alongside a rich I/O featuring four independent display interfaces and multiple LAN ports within a rugged, fanless chassis.

The BOXER-6645-ADS is built to withstand harsh environments, including extreme temperatures (-20°C ~ 60°C), shock, vibration, and humidity. The system is housed in a durable aluminium fanless chassis that protects it from dust and other environmental factors. Along with its wide 12~24V power input range, the BOXER-6645-ADS is ideal for continuous operation in the most extreme deployment environments.

The BOXER-6645-ADS is one of the most well-equipped Embedded Box PCs available, with up to eight 10Gbps USB 3.2 Gen 2 slots for high-speed peripherals, four LAN ports for camera and sensor connectivity, and four independent display outputs, making the BOXER-6645ADS conducive to applications such as traffic management control rooms. Additionally, it is equipped with the latest M.2 expansion capability, housing M.2 2230 and M.2 2252 slots to facilitate both Wi-Fi and 5G modules. This abundance of I/O support makes the BOXER-6645ADS stand out from the competition, and makes it an ideal option for industry 4.0 applications.

The BOXER-6645-ADS also comes with a tapestry of integrated peripheral technologies, including Intel® DL Boost, Time Coordinated Computing, Enhanced SpeedStep® Technology and Intel® Iris® Xe Graphics to enable elite AI inferencing performance.

Complementing its power and ruggedness, the BOXER-6645-ADS also offers incredible speed via a dual-channel SODIMM slot supporting DDR5 4800MHz, providing a 50% increase in bandwidth and data rate transfer speed. This low-latency transmittance capability alongside display interfaces, such as HDMI 1.4b and DP1.4a ports, make the BOXER-6645-ADS an excellent candidate for deployment as an edge-server for IoT Gateway use.

Key Features:

Intel 12th Gen Desktop Processor

• Built-in high-performance Intel Iris Xe Graphic Engine

Dual-Channel DDR5 SODIMM, Total max. 64GB

• Support Quadruple Independent Display (HDMI x 2, DP x 2)

Support SuperSpeed+ USB3.2 Gen2 10Gbps x 8 (A2)

Support M.2 3052 for 5G Module

• Support Quadruple LAN (GbE x 3, 2.5GbE x 1), vPRO and iAMT

Onboard TPM 2.0

For more information contact Interworld Electronics.

Company: Interworld Electronics

Phone: 03 9593 7555


moneo: the IIoT platform for industry and production

Has your business unlocked the value of predictive maintenance? Are you harnessing the benefits that come with live stream analytics? The modern plant needs more than condition monitoring to ensure assets are healthy and meeting production demands. To protect, you need to predict. The IoT moneo platform from ifm is a self-service tool that enables successful predictive maintenance programs through the help of artificial intelligence.

Moneo comprises a package of both software and hardware so that you can start monitoring equipment straight away. Its modular structure means it can be tailored and easily built upon to suit your plant’s individual requirements and ‘grow as you know’. As an IIoT platform, ifm moneo combines the level of operation technology with the level of information technology. The sensor data generated in the production plants can be read and processed easily and used as a basis for sustainable corporate decisions. Moneo also analyses the sensor data and detects deviations. If a machine isn’t running how it is supposed to, this may indicate that there is wear or changes that could lead to failure. Moneo will be able to pick up this deviation and alert you before it’s too late.

Moneo’s modular concept provides a selection of different, easy-to-handle applications that can be linked together. From sensor parameter setting to condition monitoring, moneo offers all the features of a future-proof IIoT software. For over 50 years, ifm has been supporting our customers as a leading supplier of automation solutions. We have now combined our experience in sensor technology with the expert knowledge of our software subsidiaries – this is moneo, “simply made for you”.

Company: ifm

Phone: 1300 365 088

Website: Manufacturers’ Monthly MAY 2023 49

The Last Word

AUKUS Submarine agreement a massive boost for national security and domestic capability

DETAILS of the AUKUS nuclear submarine agreement announced in March have highlighted the critical role the submarines will play in protecting and defending Australia, as well as the profound flow-on impacts the AUKUS trilateral security partnership can deliver for Australian industry and supply chains. The program will contribute to skills development in Australia on a massive scale. Tens of thousands of jobs will eventually be created requiring upskilling as well as skill sharing among our AUKUS partners.

Delivering maximum benefit for

Australia from this historic agreement will require the highest level of cooperation between governments, defence and industry.

The AUKUS partnership is much more than submarines. Australia is making a massive technological commitment as part of the agreement. There will be extensive spill-over benefits in technological advancement and technology sharing including around artificial intelligence and quantum technology with its promise of major developments in weapons, communications, sensing and computing technology.

Now the deal has been inked, the next major priority for the AUKUS governments will be to work to reduce the trade, regulatory, and bureaucratic barriers that could hinder the historic partnership, to create a cohesive industrial base and build the required workforce. These are among the important issues that must be addressed to underpin AUKUS success.

It is vital that strong benefits are captured for domestic industry from the AUKUS collaboration and we will be looking closely at the details around the local build and domestic supply chain aspects of the overall program to ensure

that these benefits are realised.

The confirmation that South Australia will build up to eight of the AUKUS submarines is most welcome. As well, the capacity and capability of Australian supply chains will benefit from the agreement including through the Collins Life of Type Extension project.

It is important to note that a significant percentage of the program spend will come from sustainment and the majority of this will be delivered locally.

Ai Group has joined with partner organisations in the US and UK – the U.S. Aerospace Industries Association (AIA) and the U.K. trade association for aerospace,

50 MAY 2023 Manufacturers’ Monthly
The current price tag for the entire submarines plan is between $268 billion and $368 billion over the next 30 years. Image credit: viper-zero / INNES WILLOX – Chief Executive of the national employer association, Ai Group

defence, security and space organisations (ADS) – to create an industry framework to operationalise the AUKUS arrangement. An important part of that agreement is support from US industry to address a significant barrier in defence industry: the US export control system.

There is much to do in each country to ensure that our respective industries and regulatory systems are fit for purpose. Given our long history of defence trade with the US, we are particularly encouraged by many of the practical suggestions by the AIA in its statement, Operationalizing AUKUS: Recommendations for the US system.

Trade takes two to work and many of the barriers faced by US firms also impact their Australian business partners and we commend AIA for addressing those issues with specific recommendations for AUKUS-friendly changes to the US system. These include:

current exemption for Canada.

• Amending the Defense Production Act (DPA), allowing projects in the United Kingdom, Australia, and New Zealand to be considered domestic projects, which recognizes the integrated nature of the defense industrial bases. The DPA currently only treats the U.S. and Canada as domestic sources. Establishing an “AUKUS Industry Forum”, where the shared industry partners could provide insights into AUKUS capability planning, development and delivery with an additional focus on regulatory processes inhibiting cooperation. Looking ahead, Ai Group and our partner AUKUS industry associations have agreed the priorities should be:

1. Enhancing trade and technology transfers;

2. Eliminating bureaucratic and regulatory barriers impeding the

and strengthening international collaboration.

In terms of the workforce talent challenges that lie ahead, it was very fitting that the South Australian Government recognised 36 graduates from our South Australian Defence Industry Scholarship program on the day following the AUKUS announcement.

Delivered by Defence SA and Ai Group, the scholarship program is creating vocational and career pathways for the next generation of high skilled talent into South Australia’s defence industry. The 36 new graduates were recognised for their endeavours as undergraduate or honours university students undertaking research and project work in the state’s defence industry.

Hosted across seventeen defence industry companies in South Australia, including Defence Primes, around 65 higher education students completing

workforce, many of them moving into defence industry roles following their internships as part of the scholarship program.

With the thousands of new jobs to be created over the next 30 years through the AUKUS partnership, these latest graduates from the Program will have guaranteed work in the defence industry for decades to come.

To find out more about the South Australian Defence Industry Scholarship Program, visit defencescholarships.

Ai Group also delivers the Victorian Defence Industry Scholarship for the Defence Science Institute and DMTC. If you would like more information about this program, visit victoriandefencescholarships.aigroup.

Australia’s defence sector looks forward to a new phase of industry Manufacturers’ Monthly MAY 2023 51
In total, Australia will end up with eight of the new nuclear submarines, called SSN-AUKUS.

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Talk to our team about your aluminium processing requirement including, profile cutting simple or complex custom shapes, milling, holes, material labelling and coding, and much more!

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