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Inside DECEMBER 2021
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Manufacturers’ Monthly Contents 6 Editor’s Note
30 Industry Outlook
26 Energy Management
41 What’s New
43 The Last Word
20 Manufacturer Focus
28 Manufacturing Forecast
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Part of the equation to a low-carbon future rests on an essential technology lithium-ion rechargeable batteries — already widely used in laptops and smartphones that is already in the heart of electric vehicles and much else. Currently, they also help power the world’s electric grids. This is because renewable sources, such as solar and wind energy, simply can’t provide a 24/7 power source. The market for lithiumion batteries is expected to hit $130 billion in 2025 with a lot more vehicle
companies going down the electric vehicle manufacturing road.. What policymakers, industry leaders and researchers need to do quickly is to reduce the unintended consequences of an important technology - the reuse and disposal of batteries. More study is needed around the acceleration of battery reuse instead of, or in addition to, recycling them or disposing of them in landfills. In this edition, we speak to an Australian battery manufacturer who is ahead of the game.
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Sustainable manufacturing for the future
OOKING back a couple of decades ago, the general manufacturing industries in Australia were more concerned with throughput and upskilling. Let’s not get it wrong – these are still right up there on the wish list, but trends related to sustainability were not popular until 10 years ago when rising fuel and energy costs became a concern. Back in those days, safety, continuous improvement, and globalisation of locally manufactured products were the greatest concerns. Today, these still are, with a caveat – the impact on the environment, which is something of great concern and unavoidable. Attention to responsible energy and water usage became dominant in the past few years, and the term sustainability has been widely featured in Manufacturers’ Monthly over the past couple of years featuring interviews with top 6 DECEMBERR 2021 Manufacturers’ Monthly
scientists in varsities like Dr Julia Ciarlini Junger Soares and her work with electricity to clean up heavily polluted wastewater streams as well as electrical and electronic manufacturer Tritium who are pushing forward with promoting electric vehicles on to roads. In short, there’s been no stopping the sustainability force ever since. Australia’s climate policy, under the Paris Agreement, is to reduce emissions to below 26-28 per cent of 2005 levels by 2030 and from a manufacturing perspective, it covers a diverse range of activities: from metal production to the food and beverage industry, and everything else. At climate summits like COP26 or the Paris Climate Accords, targets about decarbonisation are usually made and while there are sectors of the economy that might be relatively easy to carry out decarbonisation, there are
those at the other end of the scale whose many industrial activities are firmly towards the difficult end. For example, in the heavy industry, there might be certain processes in the manufacturing chain that might prove more difficult or simply impossible to electrify with existing technologies, and it might take years of research and innovation before there is a breakthrough for a reasonable sustainable solution for carbon capture and storage of those processes. Currently, there are low energy manufacturing techniques, increased recycling in manufacturing, or what is known as remanufacturing. With remanufacturing, costs can be reduced, raw materials saved, and energy and water can be kept to a minimum. Furthermore, a business can potentially also save money by reducing the amount of waste to be
disposed of. There are also other alternative technologies that are no doubt crucial for the decarbonisation process like wind turbines and electric vehicle batteries – but with the existing level of technology at hand, expend high levels of resources and energy in their production. In other words, the costs are still a lot higher than what we would like it to be. Can they be designed in such a way that they can easily and cheaply be repurposed in the future? This would reduce emissions, resource extraction, and cost. In this edition, we speak to Century Yuasa who supplies the Australian automotive market with more than 1.5 million batteries every year – and they have found techniques that could point the battery manufacturing market in the right direction in terms of manufactuing and sustainability. manmonthly.com.au
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A lack of local skills will impact nuclear submarine manufacture
Australia will need to rely heavily on the experience, skills and technology of the US and the UK in building and maintaining the newly-purchased nuclear submarines.
N 16 September, Prime Minister Scott Morrison announced that Australia would no longer proceed with the Attack Class conventional submarine program to be built by Naval Group. Instead, Australia is set to build at least eight nuclear-powered submarines after striking a trilateral security agreement with the US and the UK. News of the termination of the $90 billion Naval Group contract was the single largest Australian defence industry announcement since the award of that very same contract. When the contract was awarded to Naval Group in 2016, it was quite contentious. Contract negotiations were tough, with some terms and conditions still not finalised five years on. Delays and cost overruns became inevitable. However, the cancellation of Naval Group’s contract is even more contentious, particularly given the Federal Government’s nuclearpowered replacement plans. Australia will need to rely
8 DECEMBER 2021 Manufacturers’ Monthly
heavily on the experience, skills and technology of the US and the UK in building and maintaining these nuclear submarines because we do not have a local nuclear industry. We don’t have infrastructure, skills, or experience in nuclear power—and none of this can be created overnight. There was general consensus that building the Attack Class Submarines would be a challenge for Australian industry—building nuclear powered submarines presents an inordinate number of issues. The skills, knowledge and expertise required to build a submarine are akin to those required to build a space craft chartered for the moon. Building a nuclear submarine is equivalent to building a space craft set for Mars and beyond. It is an entirely new quantum.
Local content requirements Without an existing nuclear industry, it will be difficult for any defence prime contractor building these nuclear-powered submarines to meet the local industry content
requirements that are included in all Defence contracts. While ambitious, the Federal Government’s local content requirements are of enormous benefit to Australian industry. However, without exception, they have been extremely difficult to execute effectively on recent Defence projects. There are a number of reasons for this difficulty. Firstly, the Defence projects are extraordinarily complex, requiring a highly skilled workforce, investments in cutting-edge technology and rapid upskilling. Secondly, the companies delivering these projects are global entities, with priorities that extend beyond Australia’s borders. Lastly, and perhaps most significantly, several of these major Defence projects were announced simultaneously. Local industry hasn’t been given the opportunity to keep up with the speed and scale of delivery expected. In some areas, and across some skillsets, there are gaps in the local industry. And this is in industries in which Australia already
has proven experience – let alone nuclear power. Mandating local industry content requirements is a powerful government tool that affords many benefits, but it is impossible to create industry capability and capacity overnight. As a result, the defence prime contractors can find themselves stuck between a rock and a hard place – the balance between delivering on time and on budget and meeting local industry content requirements becomes unworkable.
A lack of local skills While the Prime Minister has stated that the nuclear-powered submarines will be built in Adelaide, it’s not yet clear whether this will involve manufacturing, or just assembly of US or UK supplied parts. Although, given that there are no welders in Australia certified to the Standards required for nuclear welding, it’s unlikely that manufacture will occur in Adelaide. This will obviously impact local industry content requirements, as well as upskilling, manmonthly.com.au
technology transfer and the shipbuilding workforce in general. Not only that, but Australia will also need to invest in a whole gamut of infrastructure capable of handling nuclear reactors during both the construction and maintenance phases. It’s highly unlikely that the people of Port Adelaide will warm to a nuclear facility located on their back doorstep. So, where is the Federal Government planning to situate this facility? All this is compounded by a lack of skilled nuclear engineers and captains. It takes years and years of experience to captain a nuclear submarine; Australia effectively needs mariners in training now to ensure they’re ready to captain submarines when construction is complete. Australia already struggles to crew its Collins Class submarines, which need up to 50 people aboard. The US Fast Attack submarines require crews of around 130 people. How will Australia bridge this shortfall?
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Given all these challenges, the timeframe for having nuclear powered submarines battle-ready is quite extended. It is unlikely they would be in the water until the 2040s, at which time the technology could already be obsolete. Plus, in the meantime, the lifespan of the Collins Class fleet will have to be extended beyond recommended years.
There are no welders in Australia certified to the Standards required for nuclear welding.
No simple solution While I fully support the local industry content premise, in practice it is just not delivering what the Federal Government intended. While the contract with Naval Group may not have been perfect, the Federal Government’s plan for nuclear submarines is beyond the existing skillsets of Australia’s local industry. The question now is: should the taxpayer be forced to cover the cost of the Federal Government’s pipedream project? Or, will the Federal Government purchase nuclear submarines from our allies in the US and UK? The
Morrison Government has already set a precedence for this—quietly shelving their plans to build the Pacific Support Vessel in Australia, and instead purchasing it next year to fast-track its deployment. Finally, with so much work available for local industry in the wake of recent onshoring motivated by COVID-19 import delays, are local contractors willing to take on defence industry work, which is notorious difficult to win, let alone deliver?
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While there is no simple solution, the construction, operation, and maintenance of nuclear submarines without a local nuclear industry will be challenging. Industry will need to stand by for clarification from the Federal Government. If you have invested time and money into preparing for the Naval Group submarine project, I’d be interested to hear about your experiences. Contact me via firstname.lastname@example.org.
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News @MM New $96 million RNA pilot manufacturing facility for NSW NSW is set to lead Australia with a first-of-its-kind pilot facility to develop mRNA and RNA drugs and vaccines, to combat disease and save lives. The $96 million facility will be established in partnership with all NSW universities, and will include laboratories and pre-clinical trial spaces to enable early-stage RNAbased drug development. The state government’s funding for the facility aims to attract commercial investment in mRNA and RNA production here in Australia, according to NSW premier Dominic Perrottet. “We are the first state in Australia to deliver a pilot manufacturing facility to spearhead the establishment of a local RNA industry,” he said. “The COVID pandemic has demonstrated to the world that it is critically important that we have the capability to develop vaccines quickly and for our country to have sovereign capability. “The advent of mRNA vaccines and the crucial role they’ve played in getting NSW back on the road to a pandemic recovery is just the beginning of what this incredible emerging medical technology can do. There is no better state than NSW to grow Australia’s emerging RNA industry into a global player.” The facility will bridge the gap between NSW’s RNA research and a viable commercial RNA industry, minister for Jobs, Investment, Tourism and Western Sydney and minister for Trade and Industry, Stuart Ayres said. “Our RNA research strengths are unparalleled – we have the research talent, a thriving innovation ecosystem and we as a government are ready to take research translation and commercialisation to the next level,” Ayres said. “There is also the potential for this facility to be scaled up to significantly increase our sovereign capacity in vaccine production, strengthening the state’s resilience against future pandemics. 10 DECEMBER 2021 Manufacturers’ Monthly
The facility will bridge the gap between NSW’s RNA research and a viable commercial RNA industry. “Our world-leading research talent and expertise in RNA R&D will also attract international investment in NSW R&D, bringing companies from all over the world to use our pilot facility.” The facility is an investment in NSW’s position as a global force in medical research and therapeutics, with the medical technology sector contributing $2 million to the state’s economy. The NSW government’s Accelerating R&D in NSW Action Plan will lead future industries and jobs by building strong partnerships between universities and industry. “The NSW government has already announced the formation of the NSW RNA Bioscience Alliance, which brings together the best and brightest at our leading universities
and research institutes to advance RNA research, development and manufacturing,” Parliamentary secretary to the premier Gabrielle Upton said. “This is a significant milestone in the creation of the RNA ecosystem and future R&D commercialisation, with our academics playing a major role in driving developments here in NSW for decades to come.” The NSW Vice-Chancellors’ Committee convener Professor Barney Glover congratulated the NSW government on the significant investment. “Together, we are creating a strong, research-focused RNA ecosystem and research workforce for NSW,” Glover said. “Universities look forward to working closely with government
and industry, to utilise and translate our collective research strengths to achieve real impact for the communities we serve.” The pilot facility will commence subject to the approval of a final business case. Vaccines are only the tip of the iceberg in the range of RNA therapeutics that are revolutionising medicine, UNSW NSW Bioscience Alliance leader Professor Pall Thordarson said. “A manufacturing capability would position Australia as a leader in the development of novel RNA technologies, and the NSW universities are proud to collaborate with NSW government and industry partners to drive the development of the RNA ecosystem in NSW,” Thordarson said. manmonthly.com.au
News @MM Queensland invests $7.1 billion to manufacture trains The Queensland government has announced it will invest $7.1 billion to boost the state’s train manufacturing industry and build and operate 65 six-car passenger trains in Maryborough. The trains will be built in a $239 million purpose-built manufacturing facility to constructed at Torbanlea, north of Maryborough. Delivering the Queensland government’s Rail Expansion Program will create up to 3,000 jobs in construction and manufacturing across Queensland in the lead up to the 2032 Olympics. “We’re investing in manufacturing to create long-term, secure jobs in regional Queensland,” Queensland premier Annastacia Palaszczuk said. “At the election, we committed $600 million to build 20 new trains in Maryborough. It’s now clear we’ll need a full complement of trains to cater for growth in years to come. “That’s why we’re committing to build all 65 trains, right here in Maryborough. I want Queensland to benefit from this $7.1 billion investment. That means jobs for workers throughout our state.” As the Cross River Rail project progresses, which will be Brisbane’s first underground rail system, the next step is manufacturing the trains. Under the Rail Expansion Program, three train manufacturers – Alstom, CAF and Downer Rail – are competing for the existing contract to build 20 trains in Maryborough. They will have the opportunity to bid for the increased order for 65 trains. A preferred supplier to build the 65 trains is expected to be named in the second half of 2022, with construction of the Torbanlea train building facility to follow. “This investment in publiclyowned manufacturing facilities will support thousands of jobs well into the future,” Queensland treasurer Cameron Dick said. “Importantly, this commitment will include minimum local content requirements along with the best industry standards, meaning we’re manmonthly.com.au
supporting Queenslander workers.” The rail investment will lock in secure jobs and training opportunities for a generation of Queensland workers, according to Transport and Main Roads minister Mark Bailey. “We are delivering a pipeline of work over the next decade that will support up to 800 construction and manufacturing jobs here in Maryborough,” he said. “First, we will construct a purpose-built, publicly-owned train manufacturing facility at Torbanlea, north of Maryborough. Not only are we delivering trains, this $7.1 billion investment includes new rail infrastructure in the Southeast
and ongoing maintenance of Queensland’s newest fleet.” Land at Torbanlea has already been selected for the new train building facility. “The process to secure a property at Torbanlea, which is within 25km of the Maryborough CBD, is well underway,” Member for Maryborough Bruce Saunders said. “The Palaszczuk government’s commitment to build 65 trains in Maryborough will lock in jobs and economic growth for our region. “Maryborough will soon be delivering the best new trains in Australia – they’ll be modern and accessible – and the Heritage City should be proud of that.”
The historic train building commitment will benefit the whole Wide Bay region, member for Hervey Bay Adrian Tantari said. “Building this new, publiclyowned factory in Torbanlea will not only help Maryborough, it will also support jobs and businesses in Hervey Bay,” Tantari said. “This investment, on the doorstep of Hervey Bay, will have a massive flow-on effect for years to come.” The investment will also mean more jobs in Rockhampton, which will be part of the supply chain to build trains in Maryborough. Cross River Rail is on track for the first services to begin operating in 2025.
As Brisbane’s first underground rail system is built, the next step is manufacturing the trains.
Manufacturers’ Monthly DECEMBER 2021 11
News @MM AML3D Limited has signed a framework agreement to partner with Deakin University’s Institute for Frontier Materials (IFM) to develop next generation materials and alloys tailored to WAM. The partnership will focus on optimising technology for high strength alloys as wire feedstock for 3D printing and welding markets. It will support the design of alloys that will deliver high strength wire coil for printing, with no need for subsequent post processing. This will open up new markets and applications for WAM, such as maintenance and repair tasks where WAM can be directly applied to existing vehicles and structures (where a subsequent heat treatment might not be feasible). “The successful development of these alternative alloys provides significant potential upside for our business, not only through its application in WAM and providing for other wire-fed DED processes, but the sales as a standalone feedstock product with widespread
Image credit: AML3D.
High strength alloys to be developed by AML3D and Deakin University’s IFM
Deakin and AML3D will optimise technology for high-strength alloys as wire feedstock for 3D printing and welding markets. applications,” AML3D managing director Andrew Sales said. “The intended production of wire feedstock will provide an alternative within the general welding technology market that exceeds current applications. Whilst application through WAM will provide customers greater flexibility in their choice of metal alloys, further enhancing the market leading
position of our technology.” The new technology is anticipated to open new target industries and sectors for AML3D, supporting the geographical and sector-based expansion of the company. For example, AML3D and Deakin’s recent high strength aluminium – scandium wire feedstock project targets expansion into the marine, defence and aerospace sectors. Opportunities
exist in the Asia Pacific, European and North American markets, while creating opportunity for bespoke wire feedstock sales through specific IP and company branded consumables. With projects pertaining to the framework agreement currently underway, AML3D has identified additional alloy development opportunities with commercial outcomes which will be scoped separately under the agreement. “IFM has a long and proud history of partnering with industry to deliver applied research leading to commercial outcomes,” Deakin University senior commercial manager Andrew Rau said. “This exciting partnership with AML3D is perfectly aligned with the unique facilities and capabilities within IFM and collectively we are looking forward to developing a range of unique alloy solutions enabling AML3D to continue to expand the markets and applications for their patented WAM additive manufacturing process.”
Adarsh Australia expands with new Okuma CNC machining centre Adarsh Australia, a Western Australian manufacturing and engineering company, has expanded its facility through the addition of the latest Okuma CNC vertical machining centre. Adarsh Australia is a private family business founded in 1995 and is part of a group of companies employing more than 80 personnel. The group offers CNC machining, casting and forging, fabrication, wire cutting and plastics manufacturing. Adarsh Australia has an established, long-term relationship with Okuma Australia going back more than 25 years. Its new machine, an Okuma Model Genos M660-V-e S15 with OSP-P300MA-H Control, joins 12 DECEMBER 2021 Manufacturers’ Monthly
17 other Okuma machines in Adarsh Australia’s machining workshop. “The performance of the Okuma machines has always been exceptional, and the service we receive from Okuma’s WA branch manager John Dale complements our business strategy of excellent performance, skilled training and quality technical support and advice,” Adarsh Australia director Faz Pollard said. “The new machine provides us with increased capacity and the ability to expand into larger component manufacturing and new business opportunities.” Skilled operators in Adarsh Australia’s machine shop are excited
at the expanded functionality of the new machining centre, and the opportunities it brings for expansion and job security going forward. Adarsh Australia is recognised in WA for producing high-quality components. Its sales are nationwide, with a significant percentage of components going to export via the end clients. The company services a range of industries including mining, defence, sub-sea projects, automotive and agriculture. It is expanding further into the health sector, having been involved in the production of high-quality face shields for WA’s frontline health workers during the COVID-19
pandemic. There, they worked with biomedical engineers from East Metropolitan Health Services Centre for Implant Technology and Retrieval Analysis. “The future looks secure for this advanced manufacturing company, as it looks to expand into additional highquality medical products, and with a development project underway into a recycling paper plant to process waste into finished products,” Okuma WA branch manager John Dale said. “A trusted and strong long-term relationship is so important. At Okuma, reliability, accuracy and fast turnaround times are something we strive for.” manmonthly.com.au
News @MM Rheinmetall unveils the new Australian Made Lynx CSV
Rheinmetall has unveiled the new Australian designed and manufactured Lynx CSV.
(IFV), Rheinmetall managing director Gary Stewart said. “The Lynx CSV was designed by Australian engineers and manufactured at MILVEHCOE using Australian steel and our industry network of more than 100 partners,” Stewart said. “It is uniquely Australian as a ‘work horse’ vehicle, even taking on the distinct function of a ute.” The Australia Made Campaign Limited (AMCL) has also endorsed Image credit: Rheinmetall.
In an Australian first, Rheinmetall – which supplies military vehicles to the Australian Defence Force – has unveiled the Lynx CSV (Combat Support Vehicle) at an event at their Military Vehicle Centre of Excellence (MILVEHCOE) in Redbank, Queensland. The Lynx CSV is the most sophisticated and capable armoured vehicle ever to be designed and built in Australia, and is based on a version of the Lynx Infantry Fighting Vehicle
Rheinmetall and its Lynx CSV, making it the only truly Australian designed and manufactured Combat Support Vehicle. The Lynx CSV provides significant flexibility in how soldiers operate in the field, the type of equipment they can carry and the combat support roles they can perform. “The Lynx CSV is a game-changer for armies and would enable soldiers to complete a range of missions while fully protected,” Stewart said. “With the CSV soldiers can perform recovery, repair, manoeuvre support and support logistics using a vehicle with similarities to the existing Lynx IFV.” The commonality between the Lynx CSV and Lynx IFV provides efficiencies and ease of use for armed forces around the world. Together, the two variants expand the Lynx family of vehicles and provide options for up to ten variants thanks to Lynx’s modular design. According to Stewart, the Lynx CSV features additional onboard fuel capacity to support refuelling other vehicles in the field;
a roof top mounted crane capable of lifting more than five tonnes, allowing it to pull other vehicles utilising the crane, interchangeable power pack; and excavation attachments including a clam shell bucket and rock breaker. The modular remote weapon station can be configured with a range of weapons and ammunition from 7.62mm, 12.7mm up to 40mm grenade. “The Lynx CSV will be positioned for export from Australia to allied armed forces,” Stewart said. Rheinmetall invested in Queensland to establish the Military Vehicle Centre of Excellence (MILVEHCOE) to deliver capability to the Australian Army. Now more than 450 team members are onsite to manufacture BOXER Combat Reconnaissance Vehicles and perform final integration of logistics trucks. Over 100 Australian organisations support Rheinmetall local operations as part of the Australian industry network, employing thousands of Australians who are growing a sovereign military vehicle industry with major export programs underway.
Researcher develops artificial muscle in miniature devices University of Wollongong (UOW) senior professor Geoff Spinks, has been awarded at the global Falling Walls Science Summit for a Science Breakthrough of the Year, for his research on artificial muscle material. The research in question has led to the development of artificial muscles in miniature devices that could be applied in medicine and robotics, such as in miniature tweezers, prosthetic hands or dexterous robotic devices. Spinks and an international research team have developed various types of artificial muscles that bend, rotate or contract in length, by twisting and coiling carbon nanotube or polymer yarns. The science has enabled them to manmonthly.com.au
make artificial muscles as thin fibres or films that are especially well suited to microscopic devices. The most recent breakthrough happened as an unexpected outcome of their studies, thanks in part to the inspiration from nature and DNA supercoiling. “We were investigating microfibres made from hydrogel materials when we happened upon the supercoiling behaviour. It was then that we realised that our fibres were mimicking DNA folding,” Spinks said. “The double helix of DNA is one of the most iconic symbols in science. By imitating the structure of this complex genetic molecule, we have found a way to make artificial muscle fibres
far more powerful than those found in nature, with potential applications in many kinds of miniature machinery such as prosthetic hands and dexterous robotic devices.” As a result of this discovery, the fibre shrank by up to 90 per cent of its original length. When compared to a human muscle, the supercoiling fibre is shown to be 30 times smaller in diameter. A huge benefit to applications where space is limited. “Our discovery offers an exciting new type of high-performance fibres that contract just like our own muscles. These fibres can be easily attached to miniature machines like tools for robotic surgery,” Spinks said.
A number of prototypes have been developed including robotic fish, a micromixer of fluids and using supercoiling muscle fibres to open and close miniature tweezers. “We still have much to do to turn our discovery into practical devices and we are currently working to solve these remaining issues,” Spinks said. Professor Spinks said the recognition of his research on the global stage was a great honour. “The Falling Walls Foundation is doing a fantastic job at promoting advances in all fields of endeavour to a massive global audience,” he said. “It’s a great honour to be recognised by such a prestigious organisation.” Manufacturers’ Monthly DECEMBER 2021 13
News @MM Bosch to deliver a graphene aluminium ion battery manufacturing plant Graphene Manufacturing Group (GMG) has announced that Bosch (Robert Bosch Australia) will design and deliver a Graphene Aluminium Ion Battery manufacturing plant, helping GMG to commercialise their battery technology in Australia. As a global provider of integrated production line solutions, automation, robotics and testing equipment, Bosch will support GMG in learning and developing the automation of the battery assembly process. The results from the new GMG manufacturing plant will support the scaling of these into fully automated plants. The intent is for BOSCH to become Graphene Manufacturing Group’s engineering, design and construction contractor for their near and long-term battery cell manufacturing facility needs. “We are proud and excited to be partnering with Bosch. They are a major, world leading company in this space with outstanding capability to help provide highly automated, efficient and reliable battery manufacturing plants,” GMG
managing director and CEO Craig Nicol said. “It has been great working with the Bosch Australia team so far and we look forward to building a strong long-term partnership with them.” “We are delighted to have been chosen by GMG as its long-term factory automation partner,” BOSCH Australia president Gavin Smith said. “We are excited to bring Bosch’s world class technology and expertise to support GMG commercialise its innovative battery technology, with an automated coin cell manufacturing plant the first cab off the ranks.” GMG’s commitment to an initial commercial battery manufacturing plant, which is planned to produce batteries in coin cell format, is expected to follow successful a commercial Graphene Aluminium Ion Battery prototype development and final investment decision. The location is expected to be in Australia, where GMG’s headquarters and existing operations are located. The pilot plant equipment has been received and GMG intends to commence construction and
Bosch will deliver a new manufacturing plant for GMG, to enable the commercialisation of their battery technology in Australia. commissioning shortly. The company remains on track to develop a commercial prototype coin cell battery before the end
of 2021, and continues to progress preparations for a commercial scale battery manufacturing facility in parallel.
New government fund to commercialise low emissions technology A new $1 billion Low Emissions Technology Commercialisation Fund will be established to back Australian early-stage companies to develop low emissions technology. The Fund will combine $500 million of new capital for the Clean Energy Finance Corporation (CEFC) with $500 million from private sector investors. “Our Plan to reach net zero by 2050 is an Australian one that’s focused on technology not taxes and this Fund backs in Australian companies to find new solutions,” Prime Minister Scott Morrison said. “Australia can become a world 14 DECEMBER 2021 Manufacturers’ Monthly
leader in creating low emissions technology that is both affordable and scalable, helping get emissions down while creating jobs. We are backing Australian businesses by creating an environment for their successful ideas to thrive.” The Low Emissions Technology Commercialisation Fund demonstrates a commitment to achieving net zero emissions by investing in technology, minister for Industry, Energy and Emissions Reduction Angus Taylor said. “The Fund will support Australian innovators to develop their intellectual property and grow
their businesses in Australia,” Taylor said. “It will address a gap in the Australian market, where currently small, complex, technology-focused start-ups can be considered to be too risky to finance. “Together with other new initiatives, like the increased investment in establishing seven Clean Hydrogen Industrial Hubs around Australia, today’s announcement brings our commitment to more than $21 billion of public investment in low emissions technologies by 2030. “Our investment will leverage 3-5 times that amount in co-investment from the private sector and other
levels of government, or between $84 billion and $126 billion in total investment by 2030.” The federal government will introduce legislation to establish the Fund in this term of Parliament. It is expected to earn a positive return for taxpayers. The Low Emissions Technology Commercialisation Fund builds on the CEFC’s success as the world’s largest government-owned green bank. The CEFC has committed $9.5 billion across 220 large scale projects and 23,700 smaller-scale transactions, driving $33 billion in new investments across the economy. manmonthly.com.au
CEFC is investing $25 million to upgrade Orica’s processing plants used to produce ammonium nitrate, by deploying technology that has been proven to abate nitrous oxide emissions in an Australian industry first. It is the first major direct investment by the CEFC in the manufacturing sector and represents one of the largest single abatement projects financed by the CEFC. It will eliminate over 567,000 tonnes per annum of CO2 emissions through the abatement of nitrous oxide, a greenhouse gas that is 265 times more potent than carbon dioxide. Tertiary nitrous oxide abatement technology will be installed in three nitric acid plants at Orica’s Kooragang Island facility in NSW from 2022 – the first time the technology has been used in Australia. The technology is highlighted in the federal government’s Technology Investment Roadmap discussion paper. “The global warming potential of nitrous oxide emissions are much more potent than carbon dioxide emissions. An investment which curtails these emissions to this extent can have a significant impact on our national emissions,” CEFC CEO Ian Learmonth said. “Working with a leading manufacturer such as Orica enables the CEFC to help spearhead emissions reduction measures across a sector that has proven difficult to abate. This investment will also provide valuable insights into how sustainability can complement profitability. The project is commercially underpinned by carbon credit contracts with the Australian government, further catalysing investment in sustainability outcomes.” The CEFC has been instrumental in facilitating the Kooragang Island Decarbonisation Project funding, manmonthly.com.au
Image credit: CEFC.
CEFC invests to abate nitrous oxide emissions in manufacturing
CEFC’s investment will upgrade Orica’s processing plants with Australian-first technology.
according to Orica managing director and chief executive officer, Sanjeev Gandhi. “Having effective emissions reduction technology available is important, but it’s the support and financing from our partners, including the CEFC, that’s critical in allowing us to effectively and efficiently implement this technology across our operations,” Gandhi said. “This project marks an important step towards our medium-term target and long-term net zero ambition, and we welcome the CEFC’s support to facilitate the project.” Orica is an Australian manufacturer and the world’s largest provider of commercial explosives and blasting systems to the mining and infrastructure sectors. It supports the Paris Climate Agreement goals and has committed to reducing scope 1 and scope 2 emissions by at least 40 per cent by 2030 (from 2019 levels). It has also announced its ambition to achieve net zero emissions by 2050, which
covers scope 1 and 2 greenhouse gas emissions and its most material scope 3 GHG emission sources. The Kooragang Island Decarbonisation Project is an important initiative in Orica realising its 2030 emissions reduction target. In April, Orica was awarded a contract by the Clean Energy Regulator (CER) to purchase up to about 3.4 million Australian Carbon Credit Units (ACCUs) for a fixed price over seven years. Orica is also a founding partner of the Australian Industry Energy Transition Initiative, which brings together industry and finance companies working towards emissions reduction in hard-to-abate supply chains. Orica is confident that the sustainability measures at the Kooragang Island facility will serve as a demonstration case for the opportunities to reduce nitrous oxide emissions in the manufacturing industry. The manufacturing sector is responsible for 11 per cent of Australia’s carbon emissions. Globally, industry accounts for
23 per cent of greenhouse gas emissions, with emissions from the sector rising nearly 70 per cent between 1990 and 2014. “While innovation and cost reduction have helped drive the decarbonisation of sectors like property, transport and energy, the pathway to lower emissions in manufacturing has proved more challenging,” CEFC executive director Wind Energy and Manufacturing Andrew Gardner said. “Hurdles including a lack of technological solutions, financial incentives and customer willingness to pay a premium for green products have slowed meaningful progress. “As new advances come to market, manufacturers who are alert to the need to reduce their carbon footprint can take advantage of such technological developments. Orica’s foresight in adopting this innovative equipment and processes to help meet their sustainability goals will lead the way to a much cleaner manufacturing sector.” Manufacturers’ Monthly DECEMBER 2021 15
News @MM Curvecrete to build a pilot facility in Melbourne Curvecrete – a company that manufactures curved, sustainable concrete that produces zero waste – has received a $325,158 Accelerating Commercialisation Grant from the federal government to develop a pilot manufacturing facility in Melbourne. Curvecrete co-founders Daniel Prohasky and Warren Rudd established the company in 2019. With support from Swinburne University of Technology, Curvecrete created a robotic concrete moulding technique to produce bespoke curved concrete panels. The panels can be used in: • non-structural cladding applications – facades, rain screens and non-combustible
cladding replacement • structural applications – modular curved homes, urban art work, seating and balustrading • infrastructure – curved pedestrian bridges, highway sound barriers and pylons. • Curvecrete’s focus is on accelerating Australia’s construction industry to embrace zero-waste, with low or zero embodied carbon emissions, via advanced manufacturing and fitfor-purpose robotic technologies. “Curvecrete’s new factory will be an advanced manufacturing facility,” Prohasky said. “We’re expanding our manufacturing capabilities to deliver on multiple commercial and
infrastructure projects.” The facility is a huge step in the right direction for scaled manufacture of low carbon construction, enabled through fit-forpurpose robotic systems. “Curved architecture has been imagined by architects for centuries. It’s always been complex to build. Curved forms like the Sydney Opera House inspire us,” Prohasky said. Traditionally, manual formwork needs to be constructed to create a form to cast concrete. The material and labour required to create formwork is generally discarded after one use. “Adaptive mould technology or robotic formwork that’s completely reusable eliminates this waste and
effort, making the process simpler and more cost effective,” Prohasky said. He envisions a more sustainable future enabled by making curvature in a totally reusable way: “Traditionally manufactured curvature for architecture is like manually building a boat, then discarding it when you get to your destination.” In the near future, the company hopes to make curved architecture at cost parity with flat panels, and continue to develop manufacturing techniques that minimise waste. “Reducing Australia’s construction waste stream is a huge shared goal to avoid and help reverse environmental contamination,” Prohasky said.
IMCRC Design Robotics team wins Excellence in Innovation Award The Innovative Manufacturing Cooperative Research Centre’s (IMCRC) “Design Robotics for Mass Customisation” team has won the Cooperative Research Centre Association’s 2020 Award, for Excellence in Innovation. Presented at this year’s Cooperative Research Australia (CRA) Collaborate | Innovate 2021 conference, the award recognises outstanding examples of research collaboration that address industryspecific problems for the benefit of Australian industry and the economy. With funding from IMCRC, in 2017, Brisbane-based design and manufacturing company Urban Art Projects (UAP) embarked on an $8 million design robotics research project in partnership with Queensland University of Technology (QUT) and RMIT University (RMIT). By investing in robotic vision systems and developing smart user-interfaces, UAP streamlined its ability to manufacture bespoke artwork and architecture pieces here in Australia. 16 DECEMBER 2021 Manufacturers’ Monthly
As part of the project, UAP also opened its factory doors to local manufacturing SMEs to share research outcomes and education on how robots and other emerging technologies can assist in manufacturing high-value products. This approach led to the formation of the Advanced Robotics for Manufacturing (ARM) Hub in Brisbane. QUT associate professor Jared Donovan, who accepted the award on behalf of the Design Robotics team, thanked all participants for their contributions to the project. “In the IMCRC Design Robotics project, we set out to ‘Make Robots See’ – to combine the power of robotic vision and design-led manufacturing to enable highly custom and bespoke manufacturing,” he said. “This is the 30th anniversary of the CRC program and innovative, collaborative, industry-led, research is more important now than ever. As a researcher, it has been an absolute honour to have worked with such a
fantastic industry partner as UAP. I also want to thank the teams at IMCRC, RMIT and QUT. Without you this would not have been possible.” Matthew Tobin, founder and managing director of UAP, who couldn’t attend the award presentation, said that the Design Robotics project was transformational for UAP. “The outcomes and cultural change that working with QUT, RMIT and IMCRC has delivered to UAP have fundamentally changed the way we think about manufacturing and will continue to influence our digital transformation in the years to come,” Tobin said. “We think about the University staff as explorers, and we think about the IMCRC framework as a discipline. And both those things add great value to our transformation journey.” IMCRC CEO and managing director, David Chuter, congratulated the Design Robotics team on being recognised for addressing the gap between innovation in digital design and the realities of manufacturing.
“The Excellence in Innovation Award is a well-deserved acknowledgment of UAP’s bold move to break with design manufacturing tradition, and the Design Robotics team that pushed so many boundaries by pairing human creativity with the efficiency of robots,” Chuter said. “With many CRC projects, you only start to see the impact of the research years later. The Design Robotics project is different; not only has it already helped UAP to achieve a greater competitive advantage through high-value product development and transformed manufacturing processes, but also by being the catalyst for establishing the Advanced Manufacturing in Robotics (ARM) Hub where manufacturers can explore robotics and design-led manufacturing. “I also want to acknowledge and congratulate Cooperative Research Australia for supporting our industry with this Award, and on reaching its 30-year milestone of facilitating research collaboration.” manmonthly.com.au
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News @MM Thales to expand precision manufacturing in Lithgow Arms facility Thales Australia will invest $6.5 million in the first phase of an industrial plan to transform its Lithgow Arms facility in NSW. This will establish a modern manufacturing integration hub to design, develop and precision manufacture nextgen weapons systems for the ADF, industrial partners and export customers. “Lithgow has been the home of small arms manufacturing for over a century,” Thales Australia and New Zealand vice president Land Corry Roberts said. “Transforming Australia’s manufacturing capability benefits Australia’s self-reliance and evolves the capability of the broader Australian advanced manufacturing sector, which is essential in growing local jobs, and delivering advanced capability advantage to the Australian Defence Force.” Building on Lithgow Arms’ century-long heritage of producing small-arms and weapons systems for the Australian Defence Force, this phase will integrate both traditional precision manufacturing and digital
Thales will establish a modern manufacturing hub for the precision manufacture of next-gen weapons for the ADF. technologies, including 3D printing, and install automated electroplating and other metal treatment capabilities. It will also include a new purpose-built live firing test and evaluation capability to support systems integration, and accelerate the development of digitised smallarms and weapon system platforms. The new development will expand Lithgow Arms’ precision manufacturing capability to support new sovereign manufacturing
partnerships for strategic ADF programs. This includes the recently announced partnership with Rheinmetall Defence Australia to manufacture key components in support of the ADF Land 400 program. Thales Australia’s investment in expanding Lithgow Arms demonstrates its long-term commitment to growing and maintaining an enduring, sustainable and resilient sovereign industrial capability for the Australian Defence
Force in regional NSW. “It’s a real privilege to see our design team push the boundaries of traditional small arms solutions,” Thales Integrated Weapons and Sensors director Graham Evenden said. “Our future systems include automated and augmented features enabled by modern networked sensors and sovereign artificial intelligence, while the system architecture is being developed to support integration with next generation soldier systems. Our industrial plan is designed to support the manufacture, maintenance and upgrade of our future systems and seeing this first phase come to life is very rewarding for our Lithgow teams.” The precinct will also provide facilities to enable collaboration across research institutions, SME partners and key industrial partners to create the soldier systems and small arms of the future. It will help secure the next generation of manufacturing and engineering skills in Lithgow and across the region.
Digital twins and 3D printing could inform paediatric hip surgery Griffith University bioengineer, Dr Martina Barzan, supplied a 60-second pitch that won the Fresh Science Queensland 2021 competition on research using digital twins to design 3D printed components, aiming to remove the guesswork from paediatric hip surgery. Barzan took on 11 other up-andcoming scientists who had to describe their scientific discoveries in under a minute. “Imagine if your little sister, daughter or niece could not walk or even sit due to hip pain caused by a severe bone deformity,” Barzan said in her pitch. “The only treatment is 18 DECEMBER 2021 Manufacturers’ Monthly
surgery. Every two days, one child in Queensland has surgery to correct hip deformities. Most surgeons plan these procedures using static 2D images, like x-rays, and this does not allow to appreciate the 3D deformity or to understand how the planned correction would affect how the child’s hip would move.” Barzan explained the concept of the digital twin, using computerised replicas of a child’s anatomy with the bones and muscles attached. “The digital twin allows surgeons to test surgery options and simulate how the child’s hip would move after surgery,” she said.
They then designed 3D printed guides that matched the child’s bone shape to transfer the virtual plan to the operating room. “Surgery times and radiation dose have been cut in half and, nine months after surgery, all children can sit and walk again,” Barzan said. “They can now live a normal life, pain-free.” This win is a hat-trick for the Griffith Centre of Biomedical and Rehabilitation Engineering team, with Dr Claudio Pizzolato and Dr Antony McNamee winning the Fresh Science Queensland competition in 2018 and 2019. Barzan, who works at the Advanced
Design and Prototyping Technologies Institute within the Gold Coast Health and Knowledge Precinct, said she was proud to take out the Fresh Science Queensland 2021 Judges’ Choice award. “I’m happy I was able to deliver my message. It was a great feeling,” she said. “I’m really grateful and I was quite surprised – there were so many other great finalists.” Fresh Science is a national competition, this year held at Griffith University’s Nathan campus, that helps early career researchers find and then share their stories of discovery. manmonthly.com.au
News @MM QUT’s 3D printed design protects buildings from impact damage A material used in running shoes and memory foam pillows has inspired the design of a 3D-printed product that could help protect buildings from collision damage and other high impact forces, equivalent to a car travelling at 60km/hr. The Queensland University of Technology’s (QUT) Dr Tatheer Zahra from the Centre for Materials Science and School of Civil and Environmental Engineering used off-the-shelf bioplastic to 3D print geometric shapes that mimic the behaviour of auxetic materials. “Rather than flattening when stretched or bulging when compressed, auxetic materials expand or contract in all directions at once, which makes them highly energy-absorbent and load resistant,” Zahra said. “But existing commercial auxetic material is expensive and not locally available, so I designed geometric shapes that achieved the same behaviour.” 3D printing auxetic geometries could potentially replace steel and fibre reinforced polymer mesh reinforcements in composites, and could also be used as a flexible and widely applicable protective wall render. The energy absorption would be
equivalent to a 20mm thick reinforced composite protective render over a full-scale building wall, which could potentially withstand the impact force of a car travelling at 60km/hr. “At scale, composites embedded with these geometries could theoretically resist high impact or shock energy caused by gas explosions, earthquakes and wind forces and car collisions,” Zahra said. “In Australia, there’s an estimated 2,000 vehicular crashes each year. Direct building damage cost at 2.5 per cent would put the damage bill at about $38.65 million/year for housing. Since vehicles also crash into apartments, office building, restaurants and convenience stores, this cost of building damage would probably be higher. Loss of life would be the highest cost.” Zahra said protection for masonry walls was especially important because it was an essential part of most commercial and residential buildings. “Masonry is a very cheap material that is resilient to noise, heat and has better fire protection properties compared to wood or steel, but its mortar joints weaken the overall structural strength,” she said.
Dr Tatheer Zahra used off-the-shelf bioplastic to 3D print geometric shapes that mimic a material used in running shoes and memory foam pillows.
“If auxetic geometries were embedded into the mortar to make protective composites, they would also be protected from microorganisms and temperatures over 60°C, and should last the design life of the structure.” Proven at lab scale, now the aim is to test the designs on full scale masonry and concrete structures at the QUT Banyo Pilot Plant. “The designs would be good prospects for commercialisation through additive manufacturing because the production process is flexible and materials are readily
available,” Zahra said. “3D printing would also allow us to change the material, size or design of geometric shapes to suit different structures and load requirements.” Bioplastics provided a more sustainable, low carbon emission alternative to fibre-reinforced plastic or other non-biodegradable polymers. It was also more cost effective than using available auxetic fabrics, which could cost up to $400 per square metre and were not biodegradable. Zahra’s research was published in Smart Materials and Structures.
Manufacturers’ Monthly DECEMBER 2021 19
Manufacturer Focus Century Yuasa approaches a century of manufacturing Shining a spotlight on Century Yuasa Batteries – the only Australian Made automotive battery manufacturer – Alexandra Cooper speaks exclusively with the general manager of operations, Matthieu Anquetil and discovered how the manufacturer has attained a steady stream of success for so many years.
CCORDING to a recent report released by the Future Battery Industries Cooperative Research Centre (FBICRC), the independent not-forprofit’s aim is to create a diversified battery industry in Australia worth $7.4 billion in value annually, and support over 34,000 jobs by 2030. “Australia has a strong value proposition in meeting the rapidly growing demand for batteries, and a desire to diversify supply chains and to demonstrate high standards of ESG performance,” FBICRC chief executive officer, Stedman Ellis, said in the report. Spanning a deep 93-year history, Century Yuasa Batteries is not only the oldest battery manufacturer
in Australia but also the only fully Australian Made automotive battery manufacturer. From humble beginnings in Sydney in 1928, Century Yuasa Batteries has now expanded across Australia and into New Zealand. Its facility in Brisbane currently produces around 1.2 million vehicle batteries per year, which are both designed and manufactured for a range of applications – such as car, 4x4s, trucks, marine, caravans and defence – and tailored to the specific needs of the consumer and intended application. This also means tailoring the batteries to harness diverging Australian climates. “We design our products
Century Yuasa general manager of operations, Matthieu Anquetil, with the new plate making machine.
20 DECEMBER 2021 Manufacturers’ Monthly
to be especially tailored to the Australian market, inclusive of Australian conditions and Australian consumers,” Century Yuasa general manager of operations, Matthieu Anquetil, said. “We go from a temperate climate in Melbourne to a more tropical one in Darwin. Usually that’s a different environment for the battery; and whether it’s for a deep cycle application, marine application, your day-to-day metro run, or long-haul trucks around Australia, all these products require specific attention and a different mix of elements inside the batteries.” Beginning with raw materials sourced from around Australia, the batteries are produced by making plates that make up the anodes and cathodes. The plates are made of a mesh which is made from different types of lead alloys, where an active material is applied. This includes lead oxide, acid, and different elements depending on the intended application. “If you think about what goes into manufacturing batteries, the key raw materials are lead, acid and polypropylene. On their own, they don’t mean much. But by putting them through a range of processes, transforming them, mixing them with a range of additives, you end up after a week with a finished product which essentially is, electricity in a box. I find this pretty exciting!” With different applications, Anquetil says it’s all about what goes inside the box. This refinement has been achieved through decades of local product testing and development. “It’s a fine balance, because
The Century Yuasa facility in Brisbane produces 1.2 million vehicle batteries per year. ultimately, the end user would like everything – more cranking, more cycling, more vibration. But you can’t have everything,” he said. “One will have to compromise the other and that’s why it’s all about fine tuning to get the best of all worlds for the end user, based on their application. That’s why we have different types of batteries that we market for marine applications, truck applications, four-wheel drives or your normal day to day school runs.”
Australian Made In a celebration of their longstanding company values, Century Yuasa was manmonthly.com.au
officially branded with the Australian Made logo this year in October. The Australian Made logo can only be used on products that are registered with the not-for-profit, Australian Made Campaign Ltd (AMCL). They also must meet the criteria set out in the Australian Consumer Law and the Australian Made, Australian Grown (AMAG) Logo Code of Practice. The company is also recognised as an Australian Border Force Australian Trusted Trader. Century Yuasa works in partnership with Australian businesses to secure borders and supply chains, facilitate legitimate trade and accredit manmonthly.com.au
Australian businesses with compliant trade practices. Despite its challenges, Anquetil finds maintaining the reputation as an Australian Made manufacturer rewarding. “All the lead we buy comes from Australia, primarily from South Australia and New South Wales. The plastic components come from a local supplier down the road in Logan, the acid is produced in Australia as well – all the core components are Australian. “Our local sourcing policy and 93-year Australian heritage is what really made our partnership with the
Australian Made campaign such a great fit.”
A new production record Anquetil is passionate about providing opportunities to the local community and maintaining a high standard with regard to internal responsibility, providing skilled labour employees with both a good work environment and a sustainable one. “It’s not all about creating new jobs, which we have done a lot of in the past two years, but it’s also keeping them and making them sustainable in the long run – that’s
absolutely fundamental for us,” he said. “This means always making sure we put a lot of effort into upskilling and training all the new recruits and making sure that we can keep them for the long run.” Creating and preserving a safe work environment is a high priority for Century Yuasa. “I think the regulations in Australia are probably some of the toughest in the world when it comes to the health, safety and environment,” Anquetil said. “And that’s a great thing, because it means that everything we’re doing has to Manufacturers’ Monthly DECEMBER 2021 21
Manufacturer Focus crisis together without having any face-to-face meetings,” Anquetil said. “Historically, the distribution and sales network are so embedded in the whole Australian and New Zealand footprint, meaning we have a deep connection not only with customers but end users. To me, we have witnessed how critical it is to have strong partnerships with both customers and suppliers. We’ve had a fantastic team effort during this pandemic.”
Century Yuasa Batteries marketing manager automotive (Australia & New Zealand), Andrew Bottoms, celebrating the made in Australia commitment.
Charging up for 2022
be world class in terms of battery manufacturing.” A focus on employee retention and looking after their skilled workers led to Century Yuasa hitting a production record in March this year around their rotary plate making line. The manufacturer began mass production with equipment commissioned through a $7 million capital investment project focused on improving factory efficiencies, equipment utilisation and quality consistency. This resulted in a 58 per cent growth in production. “In October 2020, we added a night shift on one line in our assembly group that created about 11 new positions,” Anquetil said. “Then later on in February 2021, we added another night shift in our charging facility – and that was another seven people. On top of that, we had to increase our coverage in engineering, quality and maintenance. “The record in March 21 was the result of a ramp up after commissioning our investment on the new line in July 20. We reached that maturity in March and were able to hit that all time high throughout the whole factory. Now it’s only onward and upward.”
From strength to strength As many manufacturers experienced, COVID-19 continued to present 22 DECEMBER 2021 Manufacturers’ Monthly
difficulties for businesses with regard to persistent lockdowns and supply chain issues. Century Yuasa Batteries was no exception. “COVID-19 gave us a lot of challenges within the business and having to be responsive about what the regulators and government authorities wanted businesses to do,” Anquetil said. “I’m extremely proud of the team I’m working with – everyone stepped up. We’ve put a lot of measures in place to protect the Century community and make sure they were working in a safe environment; that was number one. I think our biggest strength has been to really stick together with the executive team with daily calls and daily meetings, being responsive to anything coming our way.” The battery manufacturer also had unforeseen reactions from the domestic market during 2021, where there was a sudden uptake in demand. Anquetil believes this may have come down to a combination of factors, including the global shortage of semiconductor chips and the impact that had on the automotive industry. “All the car manufacturers around the world couldn’t produce enough for global demand, and we saw a lack of imports of new cars in Australia,” Anquetil said. During lockdown people were
simply not using their cars as much and when they did it was for short journeys which meant the battery wasn’t being recharged sufficiently by the alternator, resulting in a surge in battery failures. On top of this COVID-19 brought about a major shift in peoples’ attitude towards public transport, creating strong demand for used cars and the flow on effect for batteries. This increase in demand also highlighted some of the extremes that occurred in their global supply chain over the decades. “It just highlighted that fragile balance that we’ve got in our global supply chain,” Anquetil said. “Hopefully that has triggered a lot of people to think a bit more carefully about the best way to do business and support manufacturing in Australia. “We’ve got a team that is extremely strong on the fundamentals and allows us to react to anything – including a pandemic that no one could plan.” Another strength that saw the Century Yuasa team through the challenges of the year was the ability to retain the vital connections with their customers and suppliers. “Obviously, the face-to-face meetings were restricted for a couple of years. But in the end when you have a relationship which is so robust and goes so deep into the roots, you can tap into that and go through the
In preparation for the coming year, Century Yuasa has several projects on the horizon that will ensure sustained growth of the business for the long term. One of these is centred on increasing manufacturing capabilities in the assembly area, having invested in a new intercell welder. Another project will focus on relocating equipment and creating new space with either building extensions or a new building that will facilitate expansion. However, the chief of these is a pilot project that will help to define and design the next step for Century Yuasa. “We already have a pilot project in the pipeline for next year, where we’ll invest around $1 million on really focusing on the way we charge batteries. We want to bring that to a whole new level,” Anquetil said. “That will include all the elements to experiment, trial and design Century Yuasa’s next largescale project. We have some very ambitious plans, and this pilot project is the right first step to confirm our next moves.” This will entail looking at the project from a high level to both increase the capacity and quality of the vehicle batteries, while aiming to insulate the business’ success for another 93 years and beyond. “We always use these opportunities to increase the compliance aspect and make the whole factory absolutely fit for purpose for the long run,” Anquetil said. “There’s still a lot of aspects we can tap into to bring us to the next level in performance and quality.” manmonthly.com.au
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Compressors Atlas Copco introduces the GA VSDS – the most efficient and sustainable screw compressor ever The next-generation VSD offers 60 per cent energy savings and smart, flexible operation. Delfin Perozo, product manager for oil-injected screw compressors at Atlas Copco Compressors Australia, explains.
TLAS Copco has announced the launch of a new generation of its VSD compressors. With energy savings of 60 per cent, the GA VSDS is the most energy-efficient, sustainable compressor ever built. Thanks to its pioneering smart features, it can adapt and optimise its operation for each customer. This new technology will be available first in the 22-37 kW GA oil-injected screw compressor range. The GA VSDS is the third generation of Atlas Copco variable speed drive (VSD) compressors. VSD compressors reduce energy consumption by adjusting their motor speed to the fluctuations in compressed air demand. When Atlas Copco introduced the technology,
a first-generation VSD compressor achieved energy savings of up to 35 per cent compared to a fixed-speed compressor. That number increased to 50 per cent when the VSD+ was launched. Now, the GA VSDS offers energy savings of 60 per cent. “We are used to big numbers when it comes to our Variable Speed Drive compressors, but that 60 per cent is an important barrier to break. The GA VSDS is simply the most efficient rotary screw compressor ever built. Its impact on the energy costs and environmental footprint of our customers will be massive,” said Delfin Perozo, product manager for oil-injected screw compressors in Atlas Copco Compressors Australia. “When Atlas Copco introduced the first VSD compressor more than 20 years ago, we could not imagine that there would ever be another compressor that would so drastically change the industry. And yet, here we are, doing it for the third time with this third generation of VSD technology. It is the result of continuous investment in innovation. But more importantly, it is the result of the expertise and the hard work of our development teams. It is as though they reinvented the compressor – looking at every single component to figure out how we can make a revolutionary product even better, even more efficient, even more reliable, and even more sustainable.”
Sustainability The GA VSDS is the first compressor to feature a super high efficiency IE5 ferrite-assisted synchronous reluctance motor. 24 DECEMBER 2021 Manufacturers’ Monthly
Its unrivalled energy efficiency makes the GA VSDS the most sustainable compressor available on the market today. Atlas Copco has tested the new VSDS before
The GA VSDS is the third generation of Atlas Copco variable speed drive (VSD) compressors.
doing the formal launching to real customers. One of the new GA 37 VSDS was tested by a German logistic company over the past few months. This customer will be able to reduce its compressed air system related CO2 emissions by 60 metric tons per year. Sustainability was also a guiding principle in the design of the GA VSDS. In addition to its minimal number of components, it is the first compressor to feature a super high efficiency IE5 ferrite-assisted synchronous reluctance motor, because it does not rely on rare earth materials. “The VSDS offers true sustainable innovation,” said Perozo. “As climate change affects us all, Atlas Copco has made sustainable productivity our number one focus. There is no better example than the GA VSDS not only meeting today’s standards but also those of tomorrow. It’s a truly transformative compressor for a rapidly changing industry. We also choose not to use rare earth materials in our new motor design. That may seem like a small thing, but it illustrates how important sustainability is to us.”
Smart, solid performance The GA VSDS has a 21 per cent higher Free Air Delivery than its fixed-speed counterparts. “This
means that for the same power you get 21 per cent more air. With a VSDS, customers can save on investment and operational costs,” said Perozo. “Many can buy a lower kW model and still get the air they need. And they can save on service costs thanks to its intelligent features.” The unit introduces several smart features that allow it to adapt and optimise its performance to each customer’s applications, requirements, and conditions. The most important example is the Smart Temperature Control (STC) system, which ensures that the compressor operates with an optimal oil temperature at all times. As a result, it eliminates the risk of condensation in the oil while ensuring maximum compression efficiency. “This first time you can call a compressor smart, and Atlas Copco is all about being the first in innovation – the product not only adapts to the circumstances which the customers operate. They don’t always have the same use for compressed air – the VSDS adapts to the air demand profile of the customer, it also adapts its oil injection temperature to the optimum point not only changing the speed of the cooling fan but using the STC system. And it is constantly monitoring the condensate in the air produced by the compressor in the manmonthly.com.au
Compressors smart drain. When you put all those features together that is what that makes it unique,” said Perozo. The GA VSDS also comes with the all-new Boost Flow Mode, which gives customers the freedom to exceed their compressor’s maximum capacity temporarily and safely – should customers see the need for it in their production for short periods of time.
Superior connectivity The GA VSDS comes with a range of connectivity features. These include its advanced Elektronikon® MK5S Touch controller, the EQ2i multiple compressor control (integrated as standard), SMARTLINK remote monitoring and analysis, and OPC UA integration for connected production environments. “Connectivity is something that we have spent a lot of time developing, like the OPC UA, which allows customers to bring all their machines into one environment – it’s like an interface that can control everything,” said Perozo.
Small and silent With sound levels as low as 63 dB, the GA 22-37 VSDS does not require a compressor room. It can be installed on the production floor. Due to its vertical, compact design, the compressor takes up minimal space.
GA 22-37 VSDS Perozo explained that Joeri Ooms, president of Atlas Copco’s Industrial Air Division, said when he introduced this compressor range few weeks ago, that the VSDS is not just a new generation of VSD compressors, but it is the compressor for a new generation – a true sustainable innovation. Ooms said that Atlas Copco’s products are at the cutting edge of technology and allow its customers to not only meet today’s standards, but also those of tomorrow. “Climate change is having a direct impact on our lives. Sustainability is no longer an option, but something we must achieve. We must make a meaningful difference together, not
The connectivity features of the new compressor allows customers to bring all their machines into one environment. in some distant future but right now. Atlas Copco is ready to seize this mantle of responsibility – because we have never been satisfied with the status quo and will always keep pushing the boundaries of what is possible,” Ooms had said during the introduction of the VSDS. The VSDS offers the best return
of investment because it is the most smart, sustainable, energy efficient compressor, is reliable and maximises its uptime. The VSDS will be first made available in the 22-37 kW range of Atlas Copco’s GA oil-injected screw range. It can be pre ordered in Australia now with the first units arriving to stock early in 2022.
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Manufacturers’ Monthly DECEMBER 2021 25
Energy Management Energy innovations boosting resilience Due to the uncertainty around energy sources for manufacturers, REDEI Enterprises, are making sustainable products, including their own lithium iron phosphate batteries.
OR manufacturers, interruptions to power supply can cost tens of thousands of dollars. For large manufacturers, even more. Extreme weather events and their resulting disruptions are impacting the bottom lines of companies Australia-wide. REDEI Enterprises, located in Dandenong South, Victoria, are Clean Energy Council (CEC) accredited designers and installers who regularly provide their customers with bespoke, renewables-based systems to mitigate the financial challenges posed by energy uncertainty for manufacturers. This includes manufacturing their own lithium iron phosphate (LFP) batteries to support their energy storage systems under the Australian Made banner. “Just over two years ago, we threw out everything we knew about batteries and started over; we wanted to make the best batteries in the world,” said REDEI managing director Max Coulthard. “Although some of our engineers have been manufacturing LFP batteries for over 10 years, our contemporary models are lightyears ahead of earlier iterations.” Cost, safety and performance advantages are driving manufacturers towards LFP batteries for both electric vehicle (EV) and energy storage applications. Many would be surprised to learn that a battery could be made fully flexible and modular, with expandable sides to make whatever voltage or amp hours required. As solar generated power is increasingly adopted by the manufacturing sector, so too is the use of battery storage systems for reliable power distribution. Manufacturers are used to the vast amounts of electricity required to not only power heavy equipment, but also adequately light and climate control often large operating premises. Manufacturing, particularly processes requiring heat treatments, represent a significant budgetary and ecological
26 DECEMBER 2021 Manufacturers’ Monthly
During the 2020 bush fires, the renewable energy system REDEI installed stood out as the only local system which maintained uninterrupted power supply and continuous performance reporting. burden, leading to manufacturers more likely to consider turning to renewables – namely solar due to the availability of funding incentives over incumbent energy resources like coal-generated electricity. “Solar farms are beginning to reduce reliance on coal, they’re quick to establish and get going; the main issue is how you integrate it into the grid,” said Coulthard. “We’re also observing diesel generators starting to be replaced with battery storage systems. Western Australia have introduced new legislation banning diesel generators after 2025, which will likely be replaced with battery storage systems.” Additionally, reliance on the energy grid has left many businesses at the mercy of brownouts and blackouts during periods of extreme temperature and weather conditions causing huge demands to the grid. Costly or unreliable energy supply during extreme weather events can easily reduce the capacity of businesses to operate. During the 2020 bushfires, essential supply and monitoring of regional sewage and water supply systems were subject to numerous blackouts and brownouts. However, the renewable energy system REDEI installed stood
out as the only local system which maintained uninterrupted power supply and continuous performance reporting. “We never lost communication with that system, but all others did at some point during the fire period,” said Coulthard. “Resilience in the key mantra of government and industry, and we love solving problems as a complete solutions provider.” Similarly, a dairy farmer in Leongatha milking around 1,000 cows a day sought increased system reliability to help protect against wastage in the event of power disruption. Indeed, the Victorian state government has identified dairy farmers as a key industry which have been provided with grants to help prevent power interruption and loss of product. Opting for a hybrid system with a combination of grid resources, renewables, and a back-up generator, they too avoided severe impact in cases where their neighbours weren’t so lucky. “During five days of power outage, the renewable supply and storage system actually performed better than when tied to the grid,” said Coulthard. “Although they had the peace of mind of a back-up generator when they needed it, the REDEI patented renewables system was way ahead
on performance and overcame grid supply fluctuations, often found in Single Wire Earth Return (SWER) situations.” “While their neighbours scrambled to get their diesel generators up and running and switching supply over, they were able to continue operations as normal and prevent product wastage”. Now, REDEI Enterprises are eyeing off providing energy and storage solutions for customers’ needs on a global scale, where businesses with unreliable or limited power such as in cases where SWER power supplies exist. Their customers can now decide on the degree to which they wish to rely on the grid, monitor minuteby-minute power fluctuations and choose a range of renewables that may include grid as back-up. However, Coulthard recognises that change is difficult when businesses often see energy supply as a necessary burden, rather than an opportunity to increase performance, build resilience and significantly reduce their energy costs to gain a competitive advantage. “The fundamental issue is, businesses have the capacity to control their power now,” said Coulthard. “I encourage businesses to consider the whole-life cost of a renewables-based system as opposed to just the up-front costs.” Renewable energy generation and battery storage systems are putting manufacturers back in charge of how they use power to grow their business. Renewable based systems are becoming more efficient. This combined with flexible finance options such as rent, lease, or buy your renewable energy system, means tenants not just owner-occupier manufacturers, now see attractive whole of life returns achievable when incorporating renewables into their power strategy. Beverly Witherby is the communications manager of SEMMA. For all membership enquiries, she can be reached at email@example.com manmonthly.com.au
CAPS Australia’s complete solutions provides a system design via its in-house engineers, built in its Australian IS0-accredited manufacturing facility.
Business as usual during a power outage Many industrial businesses are investing in backup generators with the recent run of natural disasters in Australia and CAPS Australia provides a complete solution.
USTRALIAN manufacturers need to consider the risks associated with a potentially unreliable power supply. There are a multitude of processes critical to manufacturing plants and these processes could be adversely affected if there are any prolonged interruption due to an unscheduled grid failure. What would be the cost of losing production, plant, fridges, computers, lights, and staff not working for one hour, two hours or more? With the recent run of natural disasters in Australia, and a reluctance by power companies to build new coal or gas fired power stations, it is little wonder that many businesses are investing in backup generators. By using an auto-start equipped generator and an automatic transfer switch (ATS) connected into mains power, your business can continue to operate efficiently with little interruption during a power outage.
Complete in-house solution Delivering a back-up diesel generator, especially for the manufacturing segment, involves several challenges, such as real estate constraints, rapid start-up along with performance and emissions issues. This is why CAPS Australia’s complete solution provides a system design via our in-house engineers, built in our Australian ISO manmonthly.com.au
accredited manufacturing facility and commissioned custom-built system, perfectly matched to individual requirements.
CAPS Australia’s generators However, a wise tip is to always buy a quality generator, as it will last for many years and work when it needs to work. Buying the cheapest unit could be a false economy and not provide the reliable power you are aiming for. Afterall a cheap generator that will not start when needed is the same as having not installing a generator at all. CAPS Australia only supply quality generators including the KOHLER range from France. KOHLER has 100 years’ experience in the power generation segment. CAPS has also introduced its own newly released range of generators built in Europe. Both are made to the highest standards and have built a solid reputation as dependable mains backup generators. With sizes starting at 9kVA and going right up to 4,500kVA, CAPS can assist you with any backup generator requirement. “CAPS Australia can provide advice on how to select the right generator for your business, and most local electricians can connect the generator and transfer switch to your
power system. KOHLER is one of the world’s leading generator suppliers and is widely used and trusted in critical applications including high-rise commercial buildings, airports, water authorities, data centres and RSL clubs to mention a few. We are also excited about the recently launched CAPS range which features quality components and an exceptional build standard,” said Gordon Gellatly, CAPS Australia national sales manager. CAPS Australia is a leading Australian agent for KOHLER and have branches throughout Australia to provide sales, technical support, service support and parts.
24/7 rapid response service To ensure your back-up power equipment is always ready to perform when needed, CAPS offers a nationwide service network with the ability to service and repair your equipment. Our highly trained technicians continually update their knowledge, and they have the modelby-model knowledge required to give you piece of mind. Safety is a core value of CAPS, and our goal is never to put people, plant, or the environment at risk. You can be confident that our technicians will be completely compliant to any sitespecific safety requirements you have.
Who is CAPS Australia? CAPS Australia is a privatelyowned and proud Australian company intent on remaining at the forefront of compressed air, gas generation and power generation solutions. We serve the manufacturing, mining, food and beverage, wastewater treatment, construction, oil and gas, and much more nationally and internationally. CAPS has: • over 40 years of experience in the Australian market; • 9 branches reach right around the country with over 160 employees; • 60 service technicians covering the full national footprint with a 24/7 service offering; • a vast inventory of spare parts; • an independent company with the flexibility to search globally for the best products and technologies that best serve the Australian market’s needs; • world-renowned partner brands such as Ingersoll Rand, Kohler, AIRMAN, Sauer, Pedro Gil and many more; • custom design, manufacturing, supply and service; and • ISO 9001 accredited facilities. For further information, call your local CAPS Australia office on 1800 800 878 or visit our website at www.caps.com.au Manufacturers’ Monthly DECEMBER 2021 27
Manufacturing Forecast A forecast for the post-pandemic industrial landscape These days, supply chain disruptions to parts should no longer faze Australian manufacturing, which has adapted to global economic challenges. For the past few years, the industries in Australia have experienced a significant disruption in supply chain and logistics processes.
S an island nation with some of the harshest environmental conditions on the globe; Australia has always had be to be nimble in terms of sourcing innovations and solutions. In the past few years, Australian industry has experienced a significant disruption in supply chain and logistics processes — with overseas sourced components contending with shipping delays as prolonged as six months. Grant Gray, general manager of national sales for Motion Asia Pacific, maintains that it is the Australian way to be adaptable and resilient during trying times. “Australians are industrious by nature due to our history, our extremes in weather, and our remoteness,” he says. “But we still have a diverse manufacturing landscape that is particularly wellbased.” Ongoing issues with supply disruptions have presented unique solution opportunities, according to Grant. A particular interest in environmental products that output less waste and utilise less fuel adds
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to the list of growing concerns amidst manufacturers. The response to these concerns, suggests Grant, has been a mix of ingenuity and an increased demand for domestic products across the nation. “One of the silver linings to the global economic challenges has been an uptick in engineering innovation in locally manufactured products,” he says. “We are starting to see a stronger sense of nationalism surrounding Australian-made goods – people want to know where their products are coming from, but more importantly, performance is starting to outstrip price.” To reduce lead times on parts and components and mitigate the risk of downtime on operations, Grant highlights that there has been a greater demand for longevity and quality in a product for procurement management officers when planning stock orders. “As a direct result of this drive to secure products locally, the Australian market has been bouncing
back from the threat of an economic crisis with a great degree of aggression,” says Grant. “This shift in demand; from international product to local, has positioned Motion Asia Pacific’s businesses to better accommodate customers across a raft of segments.” “Motion Asia Pacific’s businesses; CBC, BSC and, WebsterBSC; have broad reach in the areas of fluid power, power transmission, industrial consumable and engineering,” Grant continues. “Now amounting to over 100 locations Australia-wide, we are the largest company in the industrial solutions space,” he says; adding, “At Motion Asia Pacific, we are always looking to localise best practices for manufacturing and that includes championing diverse levels of engagement with customers, with attention to responsible manufacturing practices and respect to the history of our land.” Offering a range of technical competencies in house and a deep knowledge of supply chain and procurement processes, the Motion
Asia Pacific team is always ready to assist with product selection on an application and with improving the end-product of a production process. “When a manufacturer gets to the end of their design, we want their product to be the very best that it can be,” says Grant earnestly. “In the face of these ongoing supply chain disruptions which are sure to continue through to next year, my advice to customers would be to get in contact with us as soon as possible so that we can assist in securing parts and components as efficiently as possible.” “Customers need to establish strong relationships with their trusted advisors and partners in times like this,” he emphasises; concluding, “It all starts with a conversation. We are not just a ring and bring organisation. We truly understand the challenges that industrial manufacturers are encountering right now, and we want to use our expertise to create better outcomes for the Australian market as we move into a new era of industry.” manmonthly.com.au
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IndustryOutlook At the edge of your manufacturing facility Manufacturers’ Monthly speaks with Vertiv Australia and New Zealand managing director, Robert Linsdell, on how edge infrastructure implemented in a manufacturing business can lead to smarter and more agile processes.
S more devices, sensors and machines across the factory floor become connected with M2M and IoT technology, gaining insight from the data being generated becomes more important in attaining visibility and connectivity. But the data can’t be easily processed without the necessary infrastructure. This is where edge infrastructure comes into play. Edge infrastructure minimises the need for data to be processed back and forth to a company’s primary data centre, or a city-located colocation data centre, as it is done instantly and more efficiently where the decisions need to be made – on the site. Processing at a nearby purpose-built, small data centre can optimise manufacturing equipment and accommodate technology integration, using predictive tools and power availability.
director, Robert Linsdell, said. “Basically, it’s where you need to have compute decisions made on a particular site that need to be made quickly and without latency.” In 2018, Vertiv initially defined four edge archetypes to include data intensive, human latency intensive, end-to-end/M2M latency intensive and life critical applications. This described the different data needs specific to each archetype. Upon gleaning a better understanding of the data demands their customers most needed, Vertiv recently released an updated report on Edge Archetypes 2.0: Deployment-Ready Edge Infrastructure Models. This further defines the infrastructure design for the different edge archetypes, including device edge, micro edge, distributed edge, and regional edge data centre. “As a factory becomes ever more dependent upon the technology that
They installed 4K cameras in the pens to watch the fish, so the marine biologists know the best time to feed, cross referenced with ocean currents, temperatures, weather, and the fish’s responsiveness. Enter, Vertiv – a US$5.5 billion global pure play data centre company. It supports large cloud and colocation companies as well as enterprises in a range of industries – including manufacturing for automotive, food and beverage and semiconductors and electronics. “Edge computing exists in multiple forms, but ultimately, Vertiv deals with edge in relation to where you process data for a specific need – close to where the action lies,” Vertiv Australia and New Zealand managing 30 DECEMBER 2021 Manufacturers’ Monthly
it’s using, it’s even more important to understand what infrastructure is needed to support it,” Linsdell said. “That’s why we built the DeploymentReady Edge Infrastructure Models framework – to help people with the decision making at a simple level.” To uncover what your manufacturing business needs, you need to consider: • business location (i.e. urban, remote); • how much space is required; • how much power is required;
Vertiv’s Edge Archetypes 2.0: Deployment-Ready Edge Infrastructure Models. • who will own it (i.e. single tenancy, multi-tenancy); • external environment (e.g. will the infrastructure need to be rugged?); • what quality of communication is available; • should the infrastructure be passive or active; • level of resilience and autonomy required for a given site or network of sites; • how many deployments are needed; and • will the edge solution provider need to operate their own IT application layers on the equipment.
Tassal case study An example of how edge infrastructure has actioned positive change is Tassal, a successful salmon farming company in Tasmania, where Vertiv edge has enabled local automation of their feeding processes for the better. This has benefitted Tassal both cost-wise and ecologically. “For a number of years, they’ve implemented these automated methodologies of feeding and reduced the amount of food being
wasted in the ocean outside of the pen,” Linsdell said. “They installed 4K cameras in the pens to watch the fish, so the marine biologists know the best time to feed, cross referenced with ocean currents, temperatures, weather and the fish’s responsiveness.” This meant Tassal was able to automate the precise amount of fish food that was required with the low-latency benefits of edge infrastructure. The fish farm now has a number of micro data centres for both salmon and prawns farming, which is a true working example of a distributed edge micro data centre infrastructure system. Distributed edge refers to decision making that occurs on multiple sites, using similar or the same processes, networked together to support management and communication between plants and site. Each site has its own micro data centre that leverages both ERP and MRP networked processes, bringing intelligence back to a central location. Linsdell explains: “Let’s say one factory produces 1,000 tonnes of food a day and another produces 500 tonnes – all that processing needs to manmonthly.com.au
Vertiv Australia and New Zealand managing director, Robert Linsdell. be collated, so that they know what they’re doing and where it needs to be distributed to.”
The edge of 2022 Linsdell predicts that edge data centres will continue to be rolled out in multiple industries in 2022, having seen recent examples in sugar factories, energy companies and
smart agriculture businesses. “If an enterprise has a manufacturing site located 500km away from a major city, there is likely a need or demand for having a micro data centre on-site to meet the desired level of autonomy and resilience,” he said. Additionally, the region is increasingly seeing more and more hybrid IT infrastructure, which melds cloud, on-premise, decision making, communications and data centre requirements. “The design and architecture of the hybrid infrastructure is often a complex model. Consulting with an experienced systems integrator, in my opinion, is a key component to a successful outcome,” said Linsdell. “One of the real challenges for the expansion of these systems is actually using skilled engineers and technicians who have the knowledge and capability to build such architectures,” he added. “And in our experience, this route of deployment is one of the governing factors needed
to help an enterprise to disentangle the many facets of a requirement.”
Edge for manufacturers More than selling a product, Vertiv is focused on helping organisations to create standard processes and technologies for edge computing to help them better understand it and therefore increase its effectiveness. The company realised they needed to facilitate this education when 5G was introduced. “The real tipping point that occurred was when 5G came along, because that was able to provide you with high bandwidth and very low latency application,” Linsdell said. “So, over the last twoto-three years, 5G has served the edge story, enabling it to become real.” In striving to educate businesses on architecting the optimal edge computing infrastructure for them, Vertiv believes they have a responsibility to make people aware of what’s available to them.
“One of the challenges that we see in the industry is people get very excited by the applications and all their shiny bells and whistles that all the software on the application layer provides,” Linsdell said. “But when it comes down to the actual IT infrastructure in the data centre, it can be an afterthought. However, consideration for where the data is housed should be an essential part of integrating these applications into your business. First and foremost, the data centre infrastructure needs to be resilient and reliable in order to support the applications that in turn keep the wheels turning in a manufacturing facility. “It’s about understanding what that IT infrastructure needs to look like to support the technology that’s being placed on it,” Linsdell said. “Don’t just get sucked into all that nice, shiny stuff – the consideration of that IT backbone is equally as important to the applications being chosen to drive the factory.”
Manufacturers’ Monthly DECEMBER 2021 31
Industry Outlook Welcoming manufacturers to Rockingham The City of Rockingham mayor, Deb Hamblin, speaks with Manufacturers’ Monthly about why manufacturers should choose to set up operations in the area and how they could benefit.
OCKINGHAM, located in Western Australia’s premier industrial region on the Western Trade Coast, is ideally positioned to welcome manufacturers in setting up production facilities in 2022. With advanced manufacturing identified by the Western Australian government as a priority area and cross sector activity, over $100 million in funding is available under the Diversify WA Plan. This Plan supports industry assistance, attraction and grants across multiple sectors. In aligning with the Diversify WA Plan, the City of Rockingham has assisted the growth of local manufacturing through: • launching an Investment Prospectus earlier in 2021; • participating in the Small Business Development Aerial image of Rockingham Industry Zone and HMAS Stirling, Fleet Base West.
32 DECEMBER 2021 Manufacturers’ Monthly
Commission (SBDC) Small Business Friendly Approvals Project, with 17 reforms identified to improve planning approvals processes and reduce red tape; • ongoing advocacy and collaboration with the WA government and other stakeholders for the release of industrial land; • an Investment Facilitation service through the City’s Planning and Development Services department, which includes prelodgement meetings and economic development team support for proponents who are investing, operating or developing in the area; and • collaborating with DevelopmentWA to promote the industrial land available. The City is also working together with the state government on land
identified as a “Smart Village,” where a jobs focus may provide an opportunity for local manufacturers to collaborate. “This largely undeveloped, 24ha publicly owned land parcel is located within the Strategic Metropolitan Centre and is envisaged to become a major employment hub, potentially a technology and innovation hot spot,” City of Rockingham mayor, Deb Hamblin said. “A potential large-scale transformative mixed-use development at this site may support local advanced manufacturing by providing a prime location for businesses to innovate and create together.” Businesses in Rockingham’s Smart Village could also work with local research and education institutions such as Murdoch University and South Metropolitan TAFE, located in the City’s adjacent Campus Sector.
Mayor Deb Hamblin, City of Rockingham.
Benefits for manufacturers With access to road, port and rail freight networks and all the advantages of an established industrial area, Rockingham’s land provides multiple benefits for manufacturing businesses both big and small. A high and wide load corridor and freight rail network ensures that loads and equipment of all sizes can move easily, connecting Rockingham with the Kewdale Freight Terminal and the rest of the state. Another key benefit is the proximity of Rockingham to some of WA’s most important centres of activity. “Rockingham boasts great proximity to some excellent drivers of manufacturing activity, including Australia’s largest naval base, HMAS Stirling – also known as Fleet Base West – and is located in the heart of WA’s premier industrial area, the Western Trade Coast,” Hamblin said. “Additionally, Rockingham is in easy reach of WA’s shipbuilding precinct, the Australian Marine Complex, as well as the location of the proposed Westport Outer Harbour and has convenient transport connections and freight links to the Kwinana Freeway and Tonkin Highway.” Throughout 2021, strict border manmonthly.com.au
controls across the state have also ensured continued economic development despite the impact of COVID-19 on the country. This has placed many businesses in an enviable position in Rockingham, particularly in the energy, defence, mining and construction industries. An example of this was local fabrication business Aushield, which received accolades for Business of the Year and Trades & Service Excellence in this year’s Mineral Resources Regional Business Awards. “While there have been a handful of snap lockdowns and some challenges with supply chains, many of our manufacturing businesses have bounced back and thrived,” Hamblin said. “Particularly in metal products and fabrication, and the food products and energy sectors.” Another bonus is the high quality coastal lifestyle and the affordability of the many industrial and commercial properties on offer.
Infrastructure Sub-Program, the head contractor Lendlease has committed to using 85 per cent local content. “This puts Rockingham businesses at an advantage to win this type of work during the construction phase, but opportunities also exist in the ongoing maintenance of the base, facilities and vessels based there,” Hamblin said. Another development that is expected to be launched in the second half of 2022, named Port Kennedy Industrial (PKI), will supply additional land. “These locations offer an exciting opportunity for manufacturing businesses – whether they are ready to move into their first dedicated property, upgrade from an existing site, or expand their operations in great surroundings,” Hamblin said. Lots at PKI will become available in late 2022, with services to be connected for manufacturers.
What land is available?
Exciting opportunities ahead
For manufacturers looking to find the ideal place that will service their requirements, there are available industrial lots in the recently opened Clipper Precinct in the Rockingham Industry Zone. For Light Industry and Service Commercial businesses, there are also lots available in the Dixon Road Light Industrial Area and Challenger Precinct. Several manufacturers have announced large projects in the Rockingham Industry Zone within the past 12 months. Most recently, Woodside announced their option to lease over 130ha from DevelopmentWA for a new $1 billion hydrogen and ammonia plant. Others include Ecograf, with a proposed $98 million spherical graphite processing facility, and FYI Resources who are planning construction of a $274 million high purity alumina facility in a joint venture with Alcoa. Off the back of the Department of Defence’s existing $1 billion investment in new buildings, facilities and upgrades at Fleet Base West, these major investments will add to a plethora of employment opportunities. Under the Royal Australian Navy’s Naval Capability
One of 10 designated Strategic Metropolitan Centres in WA, the Rockingham City Centre is the primary centre for the south-west region of the Perth Metropolitan area. Strategic Metropolitan Centres are multi-purpose centres that provide retail, office, community, entertainment, residential and employment activities, and are well serviced by public transport. Rockingham not only provides services and amenities to its diverse population, but also a full range of economic and community services as the capital of the surrounding region. Based close to a strong existing commercial and industrial business community, manufacturers would be well placed to take advantage of the local circular economy and supply chain opportunities in Rockingham. “Whether a business is manufacturing beer, boats or boilers, Rockingham and Port Kennedy are terrific locations to be based, with plenty on the horizon to be excited about and strong freight, rail and port connections to get materials in and products out to clients efficiently,” Hamblin said.
Manufacturers’ Monthly DECEMBER 2021 33
Industry Outlook Becoming industry-ready with Titomic Manufacturers Monthly speaks to Herbert Koeck, CEO of Titomic, on his first few months at the helm of the company and what to expect from the additive manufacturing specialist in 2022.
N March 2021, AMPOWER (a German industrial additive manufacturing consultancy) conducted its annual report, highlighting the maturity index of additive manufacturing technologies from across the globe. This report identified that Titomic, an Australian metal additive manufacturing company, is on the verge of making their signature cold spray technology industry-ready. “Titomic’s cold spray technology is estimated to be ready for industrial use in less than two years. We’re at the edge of making a breakthrough into industrial production,” Titomic CEO Herbert Koeck said. In this regard, Titomic has already overcome technical barriers such as speed and size, and the ability to mix powders and manufacture multiple material parts.
A global executive hailing from companies like HP and 3D Systems, Koeck is new to Titomic, attracted to the business by its comparative fundamental capabilities. “In working with 3D Systems, their new machine could print up to 500mm, as a cube (500mm x 500mm x 500mm). And that kind of a build could take up to 14 days,” Koeck said. “Titomic can print metal parts which are 9m x 6m and they can do it in two or three days. We’re making breakthroughs in areas where other companies who do laser beam powder bed fusion simply can’t compete. “The Kinetic Fusion technology is much more sustainable than laser beam powder bed fusion, because we don’t need to use a high-energy laser beam to melt the particles – we connect the particles with the kinetic energy which comes from the speed.”
This technology has gained a lot of traction both in Australia and internationally in 2021. In August, Titomic received a $2.325 million Modern Manufacturing Initiative grant from the federal government to manufacture and commercialise low-emission titanium space vehicle demonstrator parts. This will be achieved by using high-performance coatings for radiation shielding and sustainable green titanium structures, which uses a lot less energy. Koeck named some other recent successful projects the business undertook through the course of 2021. “We ran through a successful capital raise process where we could raise $9 million, which we closed two weeks ago,” Koeck said. “Just this week, we also got an additional international strategic investor, a company called Repkon Production Technology in Turkey, which invested $2.5mn into us. This is a confidence boost for the technology and product platform. It’s also a nice confirmation of the work we are doing.”
Identifying industrial use cases
Herbert Koeck, CEO of Titomic.
34 DECEMBER 2021 Manufacturers’ Monthly
The key stage that Titomic has entered into now is building industrial use cases in preparation to branch out into manufacturing on a larger scale. However, Koeck says that this could come with further challenges. “The beauty of 3D printing is everything is possible. However, the many opportunities with 3D printing can also present a challenge,” Koeck said. “The danger is because so many things are possible with the technology, we’re going to find everything which is potentially a fit for the technology – and we need to narrow it down to the exact customer use cases we want to chase, otherwise you might risk running too thin with everything.” To do this, Titomic is currently
focusing on: • which applications are the best fit for the technology; • which industries are most suitable for end use; • identifying the barriers of entry; • protecting value from an IP perspective; and • boosting revenue quickly. This year, the use cases Titomic have identified include tooling, radiation shielding, repair services and specialty applications like isogrid structures. Identifying these has sparked joint venture discussions with companies such as Triton in the US, Nèos in the UK and several other US defence providers. Another challenge the additive manufacturing company faces is validation for these specific areas. “We are crossing the boundaries, yet at the end of the day we are offering a manufacturing process for certain parts which haven’t been done before, and a lot of these things have to be validated,” Koeck said. What is Titomic’s strategy in overcoming such problems? To prepare for the worst and hope for the best, Koeck said. “There is no guarantee that you can master all the problems out there,” he said. “But I think if you prepare for certain hiccups, and if you have a backup plan in place, that will take away some of the problems. “If none of the plans are working out, then hopefully you have a management structure and processes in place which allow you to act fast, and then a nimble way to overcome the problems.”
Ahead of the curve Koeck has a strong belief that for Titomic to grow and expand into international markets, it needs closer proximity to their targeted customers. This has led to plans to produce parts and offer services manmonthly.com.au
Industry Outlook through establishing a foothold in the US and Europe in 2022. In addition to these global opportunities and with the potential to produce valuable resources and raw materials in the country, such as metal ore and titanium, Titomic has a positive outlook for the future. “I think the company will do everything possible for example to get into the manufacturing of our own powders in the future. And by doing so, use these available resources,” Koeck said. While many Australian companies are just beginning to consider implementing additive manufacturing into their production processes, Koeck sees this junior level of maturity as a positive opportunity to help educate these businesses. The impact of COVID-19 on manufacturers presents another unexpected opportunity around this. “As a result of COVID-19, all the supply chain issues will force more companies to rethink their approach towards manufacturing,” Koeck said.
completely different. “That level of education and thinking is something we can’t expect that all our customers have but is something we can work with them on. It’s a process that takes time.” Koeck also says it is important to understand that for any production of parts, there is a sweet spot that depends on the complexity of the part, materials needed and the volume of those materials. This represents a curve where additive manufacturing is more suited to lower volumes, while mass production is better suited to higher volumes. “That’s a thinking we need to instil and help customers to understand that it’s not that one process replaces the other, but one process complements the other in case you have a lower or higher volume of output,” Koeck said. “There is an optimal process to produce these things depending on the output volume. The winning companies will be the ones who have that choice.”
Titomic’s Kinetic Fusion technology has gained a lot of traction both in Australia and internationally in 2021. “If additive manufacturing can bring something good to them, that’s an opportunity at the end of the day.” Titomic is also mindful that its knowledge of additive manufacturing can be applied to aid manufacturers who are on a journey to discover how the technology can eventually be seamlessly incorporated into their own processes. “Many times, parts are compared
on a path price comparison and the manufacturing doesn’t show any advantage on that side,” Koeck said. “But if you look at the whole manufacturing process, we should take all the tooling costs in place. If you add in all the costs it takes to go to market – which can be many months in some cases – and then bring in additive manufacturing, suddenly the picture looks
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Industry Outlook Everything fits with Moddex Manufacturers’ Monthly learns from Moddex sales director, Joe Rowland, what it means to be a leading manufacturer of barrier systems for large-scale infrastructure and nonresidential construction projects in Australasia.
EGINNING as Sentaur Products in 2008, founded by managing director and CEO Alvin Rowland, Moddex provides modular handrails, barriers, balustrades and guardrail systems for Australia and New Zealand that can cut installation times in half. Their products are both designed and manufactured in-house for a range of industrial, commercial, and civil applications. These are marketed as fit-for-purpose, simple to use and catering to the client’s requirements. As sales director for Moddex, Joe Rowland leads and facilitates the enthusiastic sales and business development team. With 10 years of experience in working with professionals in the construction industry, he is focused on building strong and enduring relationships with the non-residential and infrastructure construction sectors. Manufacturers’ Monthly asked Rowland what Moddex’s chief point of difference is, in comparison with other handrail specialists in Australia. “We are an end-to-end supplier of industrial and commercial proprietary handrail system and balustrades,” he said. “By end-to-end, I mean we control and support the process from foundry and fabrication through to final installation and compliance sign off. This is unique to Moddex in our industry.” In addition to this, Moddex offers a variety of services such as inhouse drafting, site measurement, engineering, and compliant installation. The company prides itself on pioneering better solutions for everyday challenges.
Low risk supplier Touted as a low-risk supplier of handrail and balustrade systems, the 36 DECEMBER 2021 Manufacturers’ Monthly
Moddex’s handrail solutions installed at the Baxter Park Reserve Soccer Pitch. risks that typically catch people out in relation to handrails are eliminated with Moddex’s solutions, Rowland said. “From simplifying the process of architectural specification via proprietary systems, streamlining the CAD detailing process to ensure everything fits on site, and ultimately ensuring the compliance certifier will give the tick,” he said. “We are also obsessed with maintaining high-quality standards – although Moddex may not be the ‘cheapest quote’, our product provides exceptional value and will outlast others many times over. This reduces the risk that asset owners face in the long term around the ongoing maintenance of their sites or buildings.”
Challenges faced in 2021 Reflecting on 2021, the manufacturing business faced challenges such as rapidly increasing raw material costs. However, the decisions they made to counter these challenges benefitted Moddex in the long term, according to Rowland. “With rapidly increasing raw
material costs now affecting anyone involved in steel products and fabrication, our decision in early 2020 to increase stock holdings significantly has paid off for us and our clients,” Rowland said. “While many have been facing stock shortages due to shipping delays and increasing costs, we have been able to smooth through the challenges and supply our clients’ projects consistently while managing the passing on of cost increases to ensure minimal impact.” While the COVID-19 pandemic negatively impacted many manufacturers and their supply chains, Moddex has managed to stay afloat and maintain an open line of communication with customers. “Apart from a brief period at the end of 2020, COVID-19 has largely had no negative impacts on the business, and the governmentfuelled initiatives have only helped increase confidence – particularly in Australia,” Rowland said. “More recently, the slowed down and closed construction sites in Victoria and New South Wales have delayed our ability to deliver work,
however this is more of a timing challenge.” Also participating in this year’s Great Place to Work awards, Moddex was named sixth Best Place to Work in the country in August. The business was also dubbed Supplier of the Year in 2019 at the Australian Construction Awards, recognising the team’s design and engineering expertise and ongoing focus on efficiency, client satisfaction and open communication.
The year to come Looking forward, Moddex is headed for good things in the coming year, including an exciting new range of products, while working hard on reducing its CAD detailing lead-times. It is aiming to deliver a service within that area that is unmatched in its industry, which will give our clients the ability to get handrails manufactured faster and meet tighter deadlines than before. “We will also be announcing the release of a new product family that has some excellent benefits for construction,” said Rowland. “Watch this space!” manmonthly.com.au
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Balancers & Retractors Springs in the step-by-step KITO PWB’s ENDO Spring Balancers can reduce clutter, improve efficiency, and become a valuable addition to modern assembly lines.
PRING balancers play a key part in industries across the world, for example in the food and beverage supply chain – abattoirs, the automotive industry, and others, usually working as part of small, medium, or large lifting operations. The piece of equipment is designed so the suspended tool seems virtually “weightless”. As the tool is moved up and down, constant tension on the cable is achieved by the spring and tapered drum. Tools can be suspended from the spring balancers, and can help to make working areas clearer, safer, and tidier in busy manufacturing environments. Glenn Morgan, National Hoist Manager from KITO PWB, says spring balancers are often used in the manufacturing industry for the handling of welding jigs. The company is the exclusive distributor of the products for Australia, which are built at its ISO 9001:2000 certified factory in Niigita, Japan. Designed to compensate for the
Balancer safety features Fall arrest system - Prevents tool from dropping in the unlikely event that a spring breaks Snap-back protection - Works like the fall arrest system, except this is designed to stop the spool if the cable is ever cut Secondary support hangers - On top and bottom to accommodate safety chain Drum lock system - Available to lock the spool while replacing a tool Plug-in cable set - For easy cable replacement Tension gauge - Lets operator see tension setting Safety spring canister - For safe spring replacement
38 DECEMBER 2021 Manufacturers’ Monthly
weight of work tools, components, and equipment, KITO PWB’s range of Endo Spring Balancers are ideally suited for suspending welding guns, electric, hydraulic, and pneumatic tools and supporting assembly components during the manufacturing process. The company also offers a variety of specialty spring balancers with safety features, and tool balancers for clean-room applications, food preparation, static discharge, and air tools. The ENDO spring balancer line includes useful accessories as well. Available for applications ranging from 0.3kg to 200kg, ENDO Spring Balancers by KITO PWB are a valuable addition to an assembly line. Spring balancers can also support robot cells. In particular, Spring Balancers can hold all the cabling for robots. That means a robot could be operating on the factory floor, but all the cabling is out the back, using a spring balancer to hold the cables under tension,” he says. “That way, the cables can then move with the robot – if the robot moves back, the cabling moves back.
The ERM Series Retractor ENDO has recently released a new model, the ERM series retractor, designed to suspend various tools and equipment using the spring tension as a driving force for the other application. It is an ideal tool for used in automation, machine builders and manufacturing, and process lines. The difference between retractors and spring balancers is that retractors are designed to retract the cable when no force is applied. This means that an amount of downward force must be constantly applied to keep the suspended object at its extended position. The torque output of the rewind spring increases as the cable is extended and retracting the suspended object to the uppermost adjusted
position when released. The ratchet stopper device can be turned on or off according to requirements. The retractor’s tension can be adjusted with just a hex-key and features a convenient and detachable top hook. Installation is also flexible, coming equipped with four mounting holes to attach to other devices. “Retractors can also be used to hold electric screwdrivers. They can pull it down, use the screwdriver to manufacture the component. When they’re done, they can just let it go and it will move out of the way,” he says. “They can then pull down a different screwdriver, for example one with a socket head fitting or hex head fitting. You don’t have a bench that’s cluttered with tools, they can just pull them down as they need them.” The ERM Series Retractor supersedes an older product. “One of the main benefits is it merges two of its products. It used to be they’d have one of the spring retractors had a ratchet mechanism and one without. So now they’ve made it so that it’s just the one product, and you have a switch where you can turn the ratchet mechanism on,” he says. “They also found that a lot of the spring retractors were used in applications where a hook suspension is no ideal, so they’ve made it so you can bolt it directly to
a frame. “It might be you have a machining centre with a safety gate. You could use the spring retractor there to lift it up or to pull it down so you can then operate the machine.” KITO PWB’s spring retractors are available for applications ranging from 1 to 20 kilograms and is designed for a long life – backed with a 12-month warranty. By using this piece of equipment, manufacturers can enable tasks at production and assembly stations to become increasingly efficient, allowing staff to save time and work at faster paces.
Advantages of using an ENDO Spring Balancers: • Suspends tools in assembly lines or other work areas • Helps the assembler with repetitive tasks such as installing fasteners: screws, nuts, bolts, etc. • Holds fixtures, tools, welding guns, and similar equipment • Improves efficiency and diminishes worker fatigue • Stabilises tool positioning and contributes to work accuracy • Contributes to a safer working environment • Keeps fixtures, tools, and welding guns off the floor and clean • No electric or pneumatic power is required and therefore a safer working environment is achieved
Bespoke Training Helping F&B clients upskill with bespoke training With the skills gap widening in the sector, there is a need for staff to be able to do a broader range of tasks in any business – with less specialisation.
USTRALIA’S food, beverage and manufacturing sector is facing a national-wide challenge: a skills shortage. To stem this challenge and assist customer’s in upskilling their staff, BSC Engineering Services provides tailor-made training in a variety of application and product types. In this article, BSC national engineering manager Anthony O’Keefe, and key account executive Duncan McKellar describe some of the issues facing the industry and how BSC is well-positioned to provide engineering services and solutions, in addition to supplying a wide range of products. They discuss how BSC assisted a large food manufacturer to upskill their maintenance staff with a series of bespoke training sessions provided at the client’s premises. “One of the key areas where we bring value to our customers is in upskilling their teams. What we are hearing more and more from clients is that their resources are diminished,” explains O’Keefe. “This is particularly evident in the food and beverage manufacturing sector where career-hopping is common, and therefore training resources are becoming scarcer.” According to O’Keefe, the skills gap has intensified other challenges faced in the sector – namely the increased pressure to make processes more efficient, which has also meant that there are less staff on the floor. “For example, from a manufacturer’s point of view, everyone is under pressure to become leaner and more efficient, so there are less people in general to perform tasks. The staff that remain must be able to do a broader range of tasks – there is less specialisation,” he says. “About 15 years ago, it wasn’t a stretch for an operator to be skilled in a particular task and then slowly increase the diversity of their work. Upskilling was successful.
However, as those people have left organisations, along with their predecessors, we’re seeing significant skill gaps.” Having less operational staff and those not skilled in identifying issues with machinery means maintenance of equipment might get overlooked. “The maintenance staff relies on operational staff as far as a work order is concerned,” O’Keefe points out. “If operators are not identifying tasks or issues, then that has an impact on the performance of equipment and its uptime”. At its core, BSC is dedicated to improving plant up-time and equipment performance. Which is why BSC’s business transcends that of being a supplier and extends into solutions-based services. This incorporates engineering services and comprehensive product training. “Our product catalogue is vast, with many different bearing brands, and power transmission products. Our point of difference is understanding the customer’s application, and then advising as to which product will suit their needs best based on assessment and analysis,” says O’Keefe. “We also are in a good position to navigate issues around supply and give our customer’s a heads up on lead times and availability. At the end of the day, we want to be valuable partner to our clients.” One area where BSC adds value is in enabling customers to consolidate their products and supply, and then also in training staff in those products. This was the case with a major food manufacturer. “We provide a significant number of products to this customer and being able to assist them in their rationalisation of products has improved the efficiency of their supply and saved costs,” explains O’Keefe. “We’ve reduced the number of vendors coming to their site, which has a lot of overall benefits, including
BSC proving onsite training for its staff. safety. Less people coming to site, means less risk of the site being compromised in any way.” The same customer also reached out to BSC for onsite training. “The customer’s expectation was for us to upskill the maintenance team. This included introductory training into power transmission, industrial hoses, bearings and sealings,” elaborates O’Keefe. “We also provided training courses with the heads of human resources, and the operations department. Some of them had maintenance experience and others had none; it was a broad spectrum of participants.” BSC’s ability to deliver the training at short notice and meet the needs of the audience was highly commended by the client. “The feedback from the management staff about the training was extremely positive. While we were asked to provide the training at fairly short notice, the quality of the training shone through,” explains McKellar, who facilitated the training sessions together with O’Keefe’s team. “They were especially
impressed with how we were able to tailor the training to suit their site and situation.” Whilst the praise was appreciated, McKellar reiterates that “this type of service is fundamental to who BSC is and what we do.” “Our overarching purpose as a company is to keep industries in motion, which means increasing the life of plant equipment and componentry,” he says. “The training is a part of that, as it empowers the people on the floor with the knowledge and skills to identify any issues, or whether the equipment is running optimally or sub-optimally. That improves performance, longevity and uptime.” To summarise on the success of the training to BSC’s customer, McKellar provides an excerpt from an email the customer sent through. “We can’t thank you enough, you saved us by conducting this training in a timely manner and on a short notice. We are already discussing the strong chance of rolling out this same series of training to another branch. Well-done and thank you all.” Manufacturers’ Monthly DECEMBER 2021 39
COMPRESSORS, PUMPS & HYDRAULICS At the core of any manufacturing operation, are the working parts that keep the plant running. In March 2022, we will look at the latest advancements in compressors, pumps, and hydraulics that are limiting downtime, and ensuring efficient operations. In every edition of Manufacturers’ Monthly, we’re proud to work with our commercial partners on content that helps connect you with your future customers.
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Backplane Systems Technology presents Innodisk’s InnoAGE 2.5” SATA SSD 3TI7 Industrial Grade SSD Backplane Systems Technology is proud to present Innodisk’s InnoAGE 2.5” SATA SSD 3TI7 Industrial Grade SSD. The InnoAGE SSD comes with a Microsoft Azure Sphere inside and is further integrated with Innodisk’s customised firmware, software and hardware technology. This new solution enables multifunctional management: smart data analysis and updates, data security, and remote control through the cloud, while benefitting from the power of the Azure Sphere to guarantee secured communications between the SSD and the cloud. The InnoAGE SSD delivers an easy-to-use interface with its customised cloud management platform. In technical terms, the Innodisk-developed firmware receives commands from the Azure Sphere via a second connection to Azure. Therefore, it can execute SSD debugging messages as well as monitor read/write behaviour patterns to increase the storage device’s lifespan. Most importantly, system operators can quickly revert to the default settings from the cloud-based dashboard in the case of a device or system crash. Hence, the InnoAGE Industrial Grade SSD is designed for both in-band and out-of-band network management, providing full recovery even when the operating system has crashed or is severely impaired to the extent that in-band management would be of little help. Key features: • The world’s first Hybrid SSD with an Azure Sphere inside • Encrypted end-to-end security from edge to cloud • Hardware level allows easy and simple development • Supports out-of-band network management and diverse platforms
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Qorvo QPQ1298 high-performance BAW filter for Sub Band 41 5G network infrastructure Mouser Electronics, Inc., the industry’s leading New Product Introduction (NPI) distributor with the widest selection of semiconductors and electronic components, is now stocking the QPQ1298 bulk acoustic wave (BAW) filter from Qorvo. The QPQ1298 is a high-performance BAW 5G filter designed for sub-Band n41 uplink and downlink in base station infrastructure, small cell, and repeater applications. The Qorvo QPQ1298, available from Mouser Electronics, features low insertion loss and high attenuation, vital for coexistence of 5G cellular bands and Wi-Fi operation in high-data-capacity rural, suburban, and dense urban areas. The QPQ1298 offers single-input and single-output operation in the 160 MHz bandwidth, with frequency ranges from 2515 MHz to 2675 MHz, to address n41 design challenges with bandwidth and Wi-Fi rejection, with no external matching required. Its three-pin 2.00 mm × 1.60 mm × 0.73 mm SMT package also provides engineers with a small-form-factor solution to simplify assembly. Also available from Mouser is the QPQ1298EVB evaluation board, which features a pre-mounted QPQ1298 filter along with two 50Ω SMA connectors for RF in and RF out. The evaluation board provides an example application circuit, allowing rapid prototyping when incorporated into existing designs. Company: Mouser Electronics Phone: (852) 3756 4700 Website: au.mouser.com
Manufacturers’ Monthly DECEMBER 2021 41
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ATDC’s stacking doors – S08 curved security screen The Australian Trellis Door Co.’s (ATDC) increasingly popular S08 retractable curved steel security screen has recently been installed to secure the new General Learning Centre at Brisbane Central State School. Specified by Queensland based Towill Design, this very large 14 metre wide x 3.7m high curved screen traverses two different radius turns to conform with the curvature of the building. This top hung door system has no floor track and is instead secured through a system of multiple intermediate up/down locking mechanisms along its span. The project managers for this job were Badge Constructions (QLD). Company: The Australian Trellis Door Co. Phone: 1800 657 435 Website: www.trellisdoors.com.au/product/commercial-security
ST100 Mass Flow Meters by FCI The engineering team at a coal-fired electric power plant utilising ammonia (NH3) for nitrous oxide (NOx) removal by its pollution control system installed the ST100 Series Thermal Flow Meter from Fluid Components International (FCI) based on its superior repeatability in measuring NH3 under harsh operating conditions. The ST100 Series Flow Meter allowed the plant team to optimise its selective catalytic reduction (SCR) system. This step improved performance while substantially reducing NH3 consumption and costs. The meter, with its rugged thermal dispersion sensor head, provides a highly repeatable measurement solution to control vaporised NH3 in such applications. The engineers at the electric power plant were experiencing problems with inconsistent measurement of the vaporised NH3 injected into their flue gas as a means to reduce NOx emissions. The original system utilised a volumetric flow sensor, which wasn’t well suited for controlling the NH3 gas injection system. Switching to the mass flow sensing ST100 Series Meter, as opposed to taking a volumetric measurement, solved the false readings issue. Given the ST100 Flow Meter’s standard wide flow turndown ratio of 100:1 (up to 1000:1 based on application), and the ability to measure mass flow, instead of volumetric flow, the engineers decided to conduct a pilot test. They installed the insertion style ST100A thermal flow meters on the primary vaporised ammonia feed lines to their nozzle grid for the test.
With the resulting improved measurement reliability, they took the project one-step further and installed in-line style ST100AL thermal flow meters at each of their nozzle locations. After proving out the benefits in one operating unit, they eventually instrumented the ammonia injection systems for all of the units within the facility. The ST100 Meter can be factory calibrated to measure virtually any popular process gas as well as mixed gases. The technology is suitable for use in wet and dirty gas applications, having no small ports prone to fouling. The basic insertion style air/gas meter features a thermal flow sensing element that measures flow from 0.07 NMPS to 305 NMPS with accuracy of ±0.75 percent of reading, ±0.5 percent of full scale. The basic in-line style meter is available for 2-inch and smaller line sizes. The ST100 Series Meter’s transmitter is unsurpassed in meeting both a plant’s current and future need for outputs, process information and communications. Whether the output required is traditional 4-20 mA analogue, frequency/pulse or advanced digital bus communications such as HART, Modbus, PROFIBUS, or FOUNDATION Fieldbus, the ST100 Series will meet your instrumentation integration needs. Its advanced bus communications are all third party certified and registered. Developed with a graphical, multivariable backlit LCD display, the ST100 Series Meter brings new meaning to the term “process information.” Its sophisticated readout continuously displays all process measurements and instrument status for easy on-site viewing by technicians, and it has the ability to query for service diagnostics via an integral, optical HMI that does not require declassification of hazardous areas. Designed for extreme industrial process and plant conditions, the ST100 Meter can be used in service up to 454ºC and is available with both integral and remote up to 300m electronics versions. The ST100 Meter is agency approved for hazardous environments, including the entire instrument, the transmitter and the rugged, NEMA 4X/IP67 rated enclosure. Global approvals include: ATEX, FM, FMc, IECEx and NEPSI. Third party failure rate data per IEC 61508 is available that demonstrates suitability of the hardware architecture for SIL 1 (HFT=0) applications. Company: AMS Instrumentation & Calibration Pty Ltd Phone: (03) 9017 8225 Website: www.ams-ic.com.au
42 DECEMBER 2021 Manufacturers’ Monthly
The Last Word
INNES WILLOX – Chief Executive of the national employer association, Ai Group
The death of collective bargaining?
T looks and feels very much as if the economy has returned to recovery mode after this winter’s Delta disruption. The various forecasters differ a bit about the timing of the rebound, but they have in common the view that we are likely to have once again regained the lost ground by the middle of 2022. While we may well see a return to aggregate levels of activity, no one is thinking that we just pick up where we left off. In particular, the pandemic has accelerated major changes that, before the pandemic, had already begun to reshape work and workplaces. Despite the acceleration of these processes, we should be wary of thinking that we are near the end of these changes. It is more likely that we’ve let a genie out of the bottle. Further, getting back to where we were in, say December 2019, is hardly a stretch ambition. For several years prior, our economy had been beset by low productivity growth, low business investment and low real income growth outside of the mining and finance sectors. These outcomes were not unrelated to the fact that enterprise bargaining too was struggling before the pandemic – and it faces even more challenges in being relevant to the changing workplaces of today and the future. There is still hope for Australia’s enterprise bargaining system, but action is needed without delay. Otherwise, the system will continue to ‘wither on the vine’. Australia needs an enterprise bargaining system that recognises the flexibility that both employers and employees need and drives productivity improvement at the enterprise level. Collective bargaining is not dead, but it has certainly declined in importance as a wage setting mechanism since the Fair Work Act was introduced in 2009. This is unfortunate, unnecessary, and undesirable. manmonthly.com.au
According to the latest Trends in Federal Enterprise Bargaining Report, released by the AttorneyGeneral’s Department in September, there were around 10,000 in-term enterprise agreements covering 1.79 million employees in June 2021. This compares to around 25,000 agreements covering 2.6 million employees in 2010.
Employer after employer has reported that the Commission’s approach to applying the BOOT has led to enterprise agreement making becoming far too risky and complicated to bother with. No employer wants to have to explain to its employees why the independent Fair Work Commission has insisted on changes to the agreement it
Employer after employer has reported that the Commission’s approach to applying the Better Off Overall Test has led to enterprise agreement making becoming far too risky and complicated to bother with. When you consider the size of the workforce increased from around 11 million to around 13 million between 2010 and 2021, the failure of enterprise bargaining under the Fair Work Act is even more obvious. These statistics show that something is seriously wrong with Australia’s enterprise bargaining system. Its problems are obvious and widely recognised. Politics is all that is standing in the way of them being fixed: The BOOT: Perhaps the most important necessary change is to fix the Better Off Overall Test. The practical and sensible approach that applied in the earlier days of enterprise bargaining under the Industrial Relations Act and the Workplace Relations Act needs to be restored. An experienced Commission member made a judgement about whether the employees would be disadvantaged by the agreement. These days the Better Off Overall Test has become largely a spreadsheet exercise which often considers theoretical rosters and patterns of work that the employees covered by the agreement are highly unlikely to work.
has reached in good faith with its employees. Requirement to explain the terms of a proposed enterprise agreement: Another key problem relates to the requirement to explain the terms of an enterprise agreement before the approval vote. This has become a ‘minefield’ for employers. Changes need to be made to the Act to clarify the requirements and to ensure that a sensible approach is taken. Yes, of course it is appropriate for the employer to ensure that the employees are advised of the key provisions in a proposed enterprise agreement and how those key provisions differ from the relevant award. But no, it is not reasonable to expect an employer to understand the implications of the large number of inconsistent Commission decisions on this topic and work out what they need to do to avoid their agreement being deemed invalid. Imposing a timeframe for approving enterprise agreements: Consistent with several other provisions in the Fair Work Act that impose timeframes for the Commission to make decisions on
particular matters, the Commission should be required to approve enterprise agreements, where practicable, within a specified reasonable period. When the approval of an enterprise agreement is delayed, typically wage increases for employees are delayed. Therefore, it is reasonable for a 21-day timeframe to be imposed, with flexibility for circumstances where it is not practicable to approve the agreement within this period. IR Omnibus Bill: Last year, it was pleasing to see the Government set up 5 IR Working Groups of employer and union representatives to deal with 5 key IR topics. Ai Group was involved in all five of the working groups and the discussions were very useful in analysing the issues and developing solutions. It was particularly disappointing that the legislative reform proposals which flowed from the work of the Enterprise Agreements Working Group fell one vote short of being supported in Parliament. The changes proposed in the Bill were modest and sensible and included the changes referred to above. In fact, many of the changes were supported by the unions but only if the changes were limited to agreements reached with unions. This lopsided and unfair approach was never going to fly with most employers and their representatives – and certainly not with Ai Group. The enterprise agreement reforms in the Government’s IR Omnibus Bill remain very worthwhile and should be pursued by whoever wins the next election. With a few sensible reforms, enterprise agreements can once again play a key role in delivering higher wages to employees and higher productivity for businesses. Australia’s enterprise bargaining system served Australia well in the past and it can do so again with some sensible and practical modifications to the relevant provisions in the Fair Work Act. Manufacturers’ Monthly DECEMBER 2021 43
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