Archer Exploration Limited’s (ASX: AXE) independent collaborations between The University of Adelaide and Flex-G Pty. Ltd (FlexeGRAPH) have proven successful in developing graphene materials using a number of different approaches, including publicly available and proprietary methods. The University of Adelaide has developed materials including graphene powder and graphene oxide from Archer’s Campoona graphite using publicly available chemical and mechanical exfoliation processes. Alternatively, FlexeGRAPH has successfully prepared a water-based graphene material dispersion using proprietary methodology involving surfactant assisted exfoliation.Archer CEO Dr Mohammad Choucair commented: “We are confident in our capability to provide high-quality graphite that is process agnostic in the production of graphene. Regardless of avenue taken, our Campoona graphite resulted in graphene materials that demonstrate the structural integrity suitable for high value applications. The work with The University of Adelaide and FlexeGRAPH highlights our continued and successful collaborative efforts and provides Archer with commercial opportunities to develop high-value graphene integration solutions in an emerging and growing graphene materials market.” Results of the technical analysis, performed at the world-class Australian Centre for Microscopy & Microanalysis at The University of Sydney and The University of New South Wales Mark Wainwright Analytical Centre, confirmed that the graphite from the Campoona deposit could be used to produce multiple graphene-based products from a number of different methods. This is critical for value-add applications and high-quality graphene production using graphitic feedstocks in the targeted areas of reliable energy, human health, and quantum technology. Graphene materials and technology are emerging with the potential to broadly impact existing markets that service the electronics and additive manufacturing industries. Graphene material sales and device integration are expected to form part of the market value potential of approximately US$70 billion by 2030.
Austeng is part of a consortium that won a tender for 100-year maintenance-free pedestrian bridges for the regional city, beating seven other tenderers. Traditional bridges of timber/steel/ concrete cost half a million dollars annually in maintenance and repair costs, according to Geelong’s council. The new carbon fibre-reinforced geopolymer bridges are the result of a collaborative project between Austeng, Deakin University’s Carbon Nexus centre and Rocla. Construction on the first two bridges is expected for this year. The tender was the first in Australia to be offered using a Procurement for Innovation process, which aims to encourage the development and viability of clean technology – economically viable products that harness renewable materials and energy sources while reducing emissions and waste – using the substantial buying power of public sector procurement. The Procurement for Innovation process was enabled by Cleantech Innovations Geelong, an alliance of business and industry which aims to establish Geelong as a Centre of Excellence for clean technology in Australia by attracting investment, creating jobs and building skills. It is jointly developed through the state government’s Manufacturing Productivity Network, the Geelong Manufacturing Council and the City of Greater Geelong’s Future Proofing initiative. Great to see a government using procurement to help bring a new Australian innovation into the world, rather than buying an off-the-shelf solution. Congratulations to the winning team.
The IPLEX G Lite industrial videoscope features powerful imaging capabilities and a small, rugged body. Lightweight and able to go almost anywhere, the IPLEX G Lite videoscope provides users working in challenging environments with a remote visual inspection tool that has the image quality and ease of use to get the job done. The IPLEX G Lite is the successor to the compact and lightweight IPLEX UltraLite model, and can be used to capture images inside aircraft engines, piping, and other equipment without the need for disassembly. With two times the brightness of its predecessor, the IPLEX G is also suitable for a variety of applications within the security industry and clean energy sector, including wind turbines. According to Jack Zhang, RVI Product General Manager at Olympus Asia Pacific, “Recent years have seen an increasing emphasis on safety management and quality assurance in fields such as aerospace, security and architecture. This has been accompanied by the use of industrial videoscopes for equipment inspections as these instruments can be used to conduct inspections without the need for disassembly.” The IPLEX G Lite is small and lightweight making it easy to use with one hand, while also featuring enhanced image processing. The tip of the videoscope is fitted with a very small camera and can be freely manipulated, making these instruments ideal for tasks such as periodic maintenance or inspecting a component’s quality. Ease of use has been improved in the IPLEX G with the adoption of a touch panel monitor and electrically operated scope tip bending, enabling users to complete inspections more quickly. New recording and playback functions have also been added; including constant video recording and the ability to add bookmarks to save time during video reviews and find critical moments quickly. When inspecting in oily environments, getting oil on […]
A team of RMIT University researchers led by Professor Milan Brandt are using laser metal deposition technology to build and repair defence aircraft parts in a two-year collaboration with RUAG Australia and the Innovative Manufacturing Cooperative Research Centre (IMCRC). The technology feeds metal powder into a laser beam, which when scanned across a surface adds new material in a precise, web-like formation. The metallurgical bond created has mechanical properties similar, or in some cases superior, to those of the original material. “It’s basically a very high-tech welding process where we make or rebuild metal parts layer by layer,” explains Brandt, who says the concept is proven and prospects for its successful development are extremely positive. Head of Research and Technology at RUAG Australia, Neil Matthews, says that by enabling onsite repair and production of parts, the technology could completely transform the concept of warehousing and transporting for defence and other industries. Currently, replacement parts typically need to be transported from local or overseas storage and suppliers. “Instead of waiting for spare parts to arrive from a warehouse, an effective solution will now be on-site,” says Matthews. “For defence forces this means less downtime for repairs and a dramatic increase in the availability and readiness of aircraft.” The technology will apply to existing legacy aircraft as well as the new F35 fleet. The technology is also being adopted in RUAG’s recently established robotic laser additive manufacturing cell. A move to locally printed components could mean big savings on maintenance and spare part purchasing, scrap metal management, warehousing and shipping costs. An independent review, commissioned by BAE Systems, estimated the cost of replacing damaged aircraft components to be more than $230 million a year for the Australian Air Force. CEO and Managing Director of the IMCRC, David Chuter, believes application of this […]
By Ruban Phukan, Co-Founder of Progress DataRPM and VP, Product, Progress The pace of digitisation means manufacturers today are under growing pressure to deliver perfect products in increasingly shorter timeframes, and at a lower cost. They can’t afford unplanned interruptions, unforeseen failures, or unexpected breakdowns, nor can they afford to wait until the quality check stage to identify issues that could have been avoided during the production line. According to Vanson Bourne, 82% of companies have experienced at least one unplanned downtime outage over the past three years, which can cost anywhere from $US50k-$150k per hour up to $US2 million for a major outage on an industrial critical asset. Industry research shows more than a third of the manufacturers lose 1-2% of their annual sales to scrap and rework. Data to the rescue! In order to reduce downtime, improve operational efficiencies and quality, manufacturers are heavily investing in data-led technologies. The Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT), machine learning and artificial intelligence (AI) for example are helping automate the process of analysing a growing number of datasets to understand and prognose machine health. Yet, most industrial anomaly detection efforts fail, with research from Capgemini showing almost 60% of organisations do not have the analytics capabilities to take advantage of the data generated from IoT sources. The issue is, many anomaly detection systems end up identifying either too many anomalies (false positives) or not enough (false negatives). Identifying true anomalies involves scouting for those “unknown unknowns”, amidst a sea of changing industrial data patterns. Avoiding downtime: Illuminating the dark spots in your industrial data The key is to detect early signals of future problems, and take proactive actions to prevent them. There are a few best practices used for anomaly detection and prediction that every manufacturer should look to follow: Rule-based/supervised vs […]
Objective3D, the leading provider of Stratasys and Desktop Metal 3D Printers, has announced the appointment of Arron Jack as the new Technical Services Manager. Arron, a highly experienced technician will be working with the Objective3D technical services team to empower its customers by more efficient usage of their Professional 3D Printers as well as to strengthen Objective3D’s drive and growth for greater market share in both Australia and New Zealand. Arron is well known to product designers and manufacturers across Australia and New Zealand having spent almost two decades in a variety of technical roles in the 3D printing industry, the most recent with Fuji Xerox Australia. Objective3d Managing Director, Matt Minio, said: “We’re very pleased to have Arron join our team. Arron’s technical experience spans the wide range of 3d printing technologies including Stratasys FDM and PolyJet. “After sales service and support for professional 3D printers are critical. Arron with his detailed knowledge and experience will assist in keeping our growing number of customers’ equipment operational. This will further strengthen our close relationships with our customers and enhance our potential for developing other opportunities.”, added Matt Minio. “Arron is an integral leader in our service team”, added Objective 3D Technical Director, Darryl Wootton, “We have been benefiting from his extensive background in a number of ways. He hit the ground running and immediately began contacting our customers and undertaking both onsite and over the phone. Arron’s appointment is already resulting in more timely resolutions to customer technical service issues which is a key requirement in the market.”
Enerpac’s new DuroTech™ air driven power unit. Enerpac’s new DuroTech Series air-driven power unit offers enhanced durability and flexibility in high-cycle industrial applications and workholding tasks. The units, which utilise air pressure between 90 and 110 psi (6.2 – 7.6 Bar), incorporate a number of features designed to extend product life and ease of maintenance. One key feature is the reciprocating, dual ram piston pump. Every time the piston moves it creates flow, meaning less reciprocating motion compared with single ram systems, which leads to more flow and a longer life. Additionally, DuroTech pumps are fully serviceable, require no air lubrication, run cool and produce reduced noise levels, making them ideal pumps for workholding tasks. Shop air is connected to the built-in pressure regulator where the operator can adjust the air pressure, in turn setting the maximum hydraulic oil pressure. The air is ported through a built-in air shut-off valve to the air pump. With the air shut-off valve open, the pump automatically turns on and off to obtain and then maintain the customer selected hydraulic pressure. Key features of DuroTech™ pumps include: Extremely durable pump element Four-station DO3 manifold with cover plates for unused stations Air filter/regulator with built-in air pressure gauge and adjustable hydraulic pressure 6.8 litre all metal reservoir with easy-access drain plug Easy-to-read oil level sight glass Heavy-duty construction, including steel reservoir and protective steel shroud Long-life, fully serviceable air motor Dual pump action offers high oil capacity and smooth flow On-demand stall / restart operation automatically maintains system pressure Requires no air lubrication Reduced noise level (75dBA)
Bonfiglioli’s HDO 170 drive (shown during installation) was engineered to fit into a compact space to power Sun Metals’ zinc feeder. A compact but powerful Bonfiglioli HDO 170 drive selected for its durability and reliability under all conditions is helping power a Transmin Low Profile Feeder (LPF) for a Sun Metals zinc refining operation. Bonfiglioli’s HDO 170 drive – which has been operating efficiently and productively since commissioning – was engineered and assembled in Australia to provide a space-saving solution for Sun Metals, who needed to fit the LPF with attached drive into a tight space in their existing pit. It features a 75 kW motor that produces 127,700 Nm of torque. “The compact design was one of the major benefits of using a Bonfiglioli drive for Sun Metals’ LPF. Additionally, the service and support from the Bonfiglioli team is always prompt and professional,” says Mr Tony Warren, Lead Design Engineer, Transmin. Transmin is a world-class provider of innovative engineered equipment, supplies and services to the manufacturing, mining, resources and bulk materials handling industries, with engineered equipment currently deployed in over 60 countries. The Transmin LPF handles zinc concentrate at 400tph and is positioned beneath a large hopper, which is filled by side tipping trucks. The zinc concentrate is then fed into the process plant for refining into zinc metal. “The reliability of Bonfiglioli’s drives is first-class. We’ve used their drives in numerous projects across Australia, including some in harsh conditions, and their durability and reliability have always been outstanding,” said Mr Warren. “Transmin’s LPF is essentially a hybrid feeder delivering the advantages of both belt and apron feeders, plus additional unique benefits over conventional feeder technology, including the ability to change direction using a bend transition. A reliable drive is essential to power the LPF and provide consistent […]
-Paul Baptist, Senior Director, Solution Engineering, APAC, Salesforce We’re seeing manufacturers increasingly invest in their customer service and field service teams as customers demand the types of experiences companies like Airbnb provide. Anytime, anywhere, frictionless and personalised experiences are what customers demand. The lines between B2C and B2B customers have also blurred, meaning your experience must match the very best that’s out there, no matter your end buyer. The stakes have never been higher. The Salesforce 2018 State of the Connected Customer report, revealed 66 per cent of buyers say they are likely to switch brands if they are treated like a number instead of an individual. Every touch point a manufacturer has with a customer has to deliver the best possible, personalised experience. In-between buying cycles, field service is often your most important and regular touch point with customers. That’s why we’ve seen our manufacturing customers like KONE, Schneider Electric and Fisher & Paykel invest in their customer service experience. What’s the impact of field service workers in manufacturing? A good example of investing in your field service team is KONE. It is working towards a future where the operating condition of more than 1.1 million of its escalators and elevators is linked with real-time customer information and maintenance schedules. This will be provided to its team of 20,000 field service technicians around the world. By owning the quality of service and empowering its field service technicians, KONE is turning a service request or product break down into an opportunity to provide an outstanding customer experience. What is the ‘customer experience crisis’? Customers judge your business based on their most recent and best interaction. Think of the companies that deliver outstanding service and repair experiences, like KONE or Fisher & Paykel for example. All manufacturers are judged by this […]
Nuance Communications has announced Power PDF 3, the newest version of the company’s award winning Power PDF software allowing businesses to create, edit, sign and share PDF documents. Power PDF 3 builds on the rich features of previous iterations, delivering benefits in several areas including user experience, conversion accuracy, document compatibility, eSignature support with workflow integration, collaboration and text editing. In NZ and Australia Power PDF 3 IS used as a business tool mainly in SME, corporates, manufacturing, industry, professional firms such as engineers. Power PDF frees organisations from the high cost of dealing with PDF licensing while providing a secure, user-friendly experience that satisfies the individual worker. For workers, it allows them to work more efficiently completing more tasks at a higher quality. Specifically, Power PDF 3 improves organisational performance with key new capabilities and benefits, including: Increased conversion accuracy: Leveraging the latest advancements in Nuance’s document conversion technology, workers immediately benefit from incredibly accurate and searchable PDFs and Microsoft Office documents with layouts stringently maintained. This enables PDF power-users to spend more time doing their jobs by avoiding rework fixing misidentified words or page formatting. Document compatibility: Power PDF 3 now supports the ISO PDF 2.0 standard, ensuring Power PDF documents are compatible with the widest range of existing PDF readers and processors which is critical for driving better business practices. Enhanced productivity: Power PDF 3 features real-time document collaboration, allowing multiple parties on the same network to edit PDF documents without inefficient back-and-forth processes such as email, while also eliminating document merge conflicts. These new features help workers work not only faster, but smarter while collaborating with one another. DocuSign® secure document workflow integration: Today’s workers demand secure, convenient workflows offering the ability to easily sign and certify PDFs. Power PDF 3 features eSignature support from DocuSign®, […]