Australian Research Council (ARC) Laureate Professor Veena Sahajwalla is an internationally recognised materials scientist, engineer and inventor revolutionising recycling science. As a leading expert in the field of recycling science, and founding Director of the Centre for Sustainable Materials Research & Technology at UNSW. Veena is producing a new generation of green materials, products and resources made entirely, or primarily, from waste. Veena also heads the ARC Industrial Transformation Research Hub for ‘green manufacturing’ – a leading national research centre that works in collaboration with industry to ensure new science is translated into real world environmental and economic benefits. Veena has been extensively recognised for the innovation and significance of her work, including via election to be a Fellow of the esteemed Australian Academy of Science. At the Women in Manufacturing Summit 2023, Veena examined how to use sustainability and circular economy strategies to improve environmental, social, and financial bottom lines in manufacturing. CAN YOU BRIEFLY INTRODUCE YOURSELF? I grew up Mumbai, which is such a fabulous city with so much going on. As a child, it was about understanding, first and foremost, how people actually made a living. It always impressed me that people would do this by fixing shoes, clothes and all kinds of electronic stuff that we had at home. To me, the creation of all these products out of things that were supposedly broken was really fascinating. I see my work not just as science and engineering, but as wider social reform. I have lived with my family in Australia for almost 30 years. WHAT ARE YOU DOING NOW? I’m the Director of the UNSW Sustainable Materials Research and Technology (SMaRT) Centre where we are known for pioneering the high temperature transformation of waste in the production of a new generation of ‘green materials’. Our best […]
Future of Manufacturing
BAE Systems’ Hunter Class Frigate Program has successfully completed its Preliminary Design Review (PDR). The review, which started in July, is a technical assessment that ensures the design is operationally effective and underpins the more detailed work that will now be undertaken. More than 1,800 people are now working on the Hunter program, which is transforming Australia’s shipbuilding industry by helping build a world-class, continuous naval shipbuilding capability. A celebratory event to mark the completion of the PDR was held at the Company’s Osborne shipyard to mark the milestone. BAE Systems Australia’s Managing Director Maritime, Craig Lockhart, said: “The Hunter Class Frigate Program has come a long way from initial head contract signing, to the acceptance of the shipyard, start of prototyping work, and commencement of the first Schedule Protection Block. The completion of the preliminary design review is another significant step forward for the program which is developing Australia’s sovereign industrial capability and is growing the nation’s engineering workforce.” Companies from across Australia are working with BAE Systems to support the manufacture of the first batch of three Hunter class frigates. It is anticipated the program will create and sustain more than 5,000 jobs at BAE Systems and the wider Australian defence supply chain, including up to 1,000 apprentice and graduate roles. “Through this national endeavour, we are committed to maximising opportunities for Australian industry. More than 80 contracts have been placed with Australian businesses to support the program,” said Craig Lockhart.
Kemppi has recently opened of its Welding Innovation and Training Hub in Australia. The Hub will allow Kemppi to train welders in Australia and New Zealand on Kemppi equipment so that they can improve productivity and performance in the workshop and on the work site. Kemppi dealers and service agents will also benefit from the Hub’s opening as it will facilitate product knowledge transfer and allow them to train-up on new welding machines away from normal working day distractions. The opening of the Welding Innovation and Training Hub occurred on site, at Kemppi Australia’s head office in Sydney, where the new Hub has been constructed within Kemppi’s facility. Some 65 people attended the event including dealers, service agents, overseas visitors and local officials. The purpose-built and fully-equipped Welding Innovation and Training Hub, consists of three dedicated areas comprising of two welding bays for demonstrations and training, a presentation area for classroom training and learning, and a compact showcase. According to Kemppi Australia’s Managing Director, Mr Paul McVicar, the Welding Innovation and Training Hub will provide welders with training on Kemppi equipment, new features and technology so that they can get the most out of their machines. “Our welding equipment is leading-edge and has developed significantly over the years. Today, depending on the welding machine, it may include features such as Weld Assist, Double-Pulse, MicroTack and Optima AC. These features help the welder create quality welds quickly to enhance their productivity. “Some of the equipment can also be paired with Kemppi welding software such as WISE processes and MAX welding processes. These digital solutions further enhance the capability of the machine and can improve the welder’s performance. “The new Hub will let us bring welders up to speed on these features and the software so that they can get the most […]
Australia’s inaugural Artificial Intelligence (AI) Month launches today, calling on Australians to help shape and plan for the AI future they want to see. Held from November 15 to December 15, AI Month is an initiative from the National AI Centre (NAIC), which sits within Australia’s national science agency, CSIRO. The initiative will bring together leading AI organisations, entrepreneurs and researchers to showcase the country’s domestic expertise and provide a forum to discuss Australian perspectives on AI. National AI Centre Director Stela Solar said that AI Month was central to the NAIC’s mission to pave the way for a responsible and inclusive AI future for Australia. “The rapid advancements in AI this year have emphasised the need for Australia to seize the AI opportunity and accelerate its global competitiveness,” Ms Solar said. “This month we are encouraging everyone to join in the important conversations to make the AI opportunity real. Together we can shape a responsible and inclusive AI future for Australia.” More than 50 free and ticketed AI-related events hosted by over 40 organisations will take place across the country. These workshops, panel discussions, hackathons and conferences will highlight AI use cases, opportunities, best practices, and the strength of Australia’s AI industry. “AI Month is a moment to learn new things, sharpen your skills, and step into new opportunities the future.” Ms Solar said. Australia’s AI Month was officially launched by the Minister for Industry and Science, the Hon Ed Husic, at the opening of Friend or Foe – The Rise of Artificial Intelligence, a new exhibition by Australian technologist and artist Luke Millanta at Queston this morning. Get involved in Australia’s AI Month by joining or submitting an event (please email email@example.com).
Investment will enable Australian engineers in the defence, mining, rail, telecoms, power grids and supermarket industries to benefit from short lead times and flexible order quantities. Amokabel has doubled production capacity at its cable factory in Sydney. The upgrade has boosted the manufacturer’s ability to deliver specialist cable for the defence, mining, rail, telecoms and frozen food industries. In turn Australian engineers will benefit from short lead times and greater flexibility in terms of minimum order size. Specialised cables are essential to meeting specific performance criteria in many industries. Engineers often need special arrangements when it comes to the conducting and communication cores that carry power and signals inside the cable, as well as insulation and protection layers, and other elements such as identification features. These non-standard details mean that cables must be specially manufactured. As a specialist producer in Australia, Amokabel can deliver orders of as little as 500 metres in just 1- 2 weeks. This enables customers to control cashflow improve flexibility by enabling them to keep small stocks of cable. That compares with large cable producers in Asia , which typically have a minimum order quantity (MOQ) of 5,000 metres or more and several months lead time. “Time is money in industry – so when an engineer can source the product they need within weeks and in small batches, they can deliver their projects faster and more cost-effectively,” says Steve Rutland, Managing Director for Amokabel in Australia. “By investing in additional capacity at our plant in Sydney, we’re establishing a strong manufacturing base and showing engineers that we’re committed to the local Australian market .” Amokabel acquired its production facility in Sydney from Euro-Tech Cable in December 2022. Building the business as a supplier of niche specialist cables will enable it to grow its special cable business […]
CSIRO, Australia’s national science agency, will join forces with five universities to keep Aussies safe at work using the latest digital technologies. The $18 million Tech4HSE program unites leading researchers in emerging technologies such as generative and immersive artificial intelligence (AI), augmented reality and cybersecurity, to develop tech to aid those working in dangerous environments. The program is led by CSIRO’s data and digital arm, Data61, and the University of Queensland (UQ). Swinburne, UNSW, Curtin and ANU have also signed up as partners. Science Director of Data61, Professor Aaron Quigley, said the technologies developed will support health, safety and environmental (HSE) objectives across a wide range of industries. “Whether they’re working with electrical equipment, heavy machinery or on our roads, millions of Australians put themselves in harm’s way every day to help and serve others,” Prof. Quigley said. “We’re bringing the best researchers in the nation together to help get everyone home safely, by creating advanced digital tools for training, identifying and monitoring hazards, and planning responses and actions.” According to the Australian Bureau of Statistics, 497,300 Australians suffered from a work-related injury or illness in 2021-22. All participating institutions are contributing funding and research expertise to the program, with UQ administering the funding. UQ Tech4HSE Science Lead Dr Mashhuda Glencross said these projects present an exciting opportunity to make an impactful difference. “The innovative technologies we are researching and developing in this initiative are aimed at supporting the safety of Australians during disasters and when working in potentially hazardous environments,” Dr Glencross said. Prototypes will be built over five years and trialled in real-world job scenarios, with a focus on developing commercially viable products which are responsible by design. In the first project currently underway, researchers from Data61 and UQ are developing technologies to support crisis preparedness and […]
Australian laser subcontractor Online Laser Pty can manufacture twice as much as before with the help of Lantek’s sheet metal CAD/CAM and ERP software. Based in Bendigo, Victoria, the company has two Bystronic Bystar fibre lasers and previously used a proprietary system, which is now no longer supported, to manage the machines and the workflow through its factory. Ben Harris, Programming & Production Manager says, “We were looking for an end-to-end system to manage our quotations, programming and production. With our old system there was no integration and we had to repeatedly enter the same information which was both time consuming and error prone.” Online Laser installed the Lantek system in July 2019 comprising Lantek Expert CAD/CAM, MES, Integra and WOS. This year it added the Lantek Opentalk connection directly to the laser machines so that validation of the status of the machines and the parts being manufactured is automatic. Ben Harris adds, “The vast majority of parts come as CAD models in several different formats, and we can import them directly into the Lantek software. The integrated Lantek Expert can quickly analyse the laser cutting times and within the Integra software combine them with subcontract costs such as folding, powder coating or machining to produce an accurate price for the whole job. Previously this could have taken a few days, now it can be done in 1-2 hours and sometimes in minutes.” Where the material type and thickness are the same, the company nests parts from different customers in the same sheet. “The inventory system is worth the investment on its own. We can manage remnants of material to use them up and keep track of stocks so that we don’t suddenly run out of material. Now we only need to do a physical stock check every few months.” […]
Five ways to stay competitive in 2024 and beyond The digital transformation sweeping the world is revolutionising how we live and work, fuelled by new technologies such as AI, machine learning and automation. Accounting for more than 70 per cent of GDP and 4 in 5 jobs, Australia’s service sector has become a focal point in this change, spurred on by the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic. The University of Queensland (UQ) Business School’s Service Innovation Alliance (SIA) Research Hub is at the forefront of research in this space. Led by internationally recognised experts Professor Janet McColl-Kennedy and Associate Professor Christoph Breidbach, the SIA brought together a roundtable of 64 academic and industry representatives in November 2022, spanning finance, retail, medicine, hospitality, tourism, transportation, construction and more. So, how can leaders refine customer experiences, create service innovations, grow their businesses and effectively manage their workforce through emerging digital technologies? Contributors to the White Paper share their strategies for 2024 and beyond. #1 Maintaining humanness in the age of digitalisation SIA Research Hub Co-Lead, Professor McColl-Kennedy firmly believes that at the very core of every exciting new technology and bold digital transformation, there must beat a human heart. Preserving a human element is a key consideration for service sector organisations, one that’s critical to human and economic wellbeing. Professor McColl-Kennedy said clear boundaries and human oversight were crucial for the responsible implementation of new digital technology. “We’re arguing that humans and not AI should be at the centre of business activities; that humans need to be in charge, directing and shaping the future,” she said. As AI learns from humans by observing and repeating their actions, it can be used to perform mundane and repetitive tasks, such as answering frequently asked questions or filtering email spam, and taught to undertake dangerous or dirty activities […]
Rockwell Automation, the world’s largest company dedicated to industrial automation and digital transformation, has announced that it has won the contract to provide Energy management software to Real Pet Food Company, across four production facilities in Australia. The energy management solution will be delivered by Rockwell’s consulting arm, Kalypso, which specialises in the digital evolution of industrial companies through consulting, digital innovation, enterprise technology, and business process management services. Real Pet Food Company produces well known pet food brands including Nature’s Gift, Farmers Market, Ivory Coat and V.I.P and supplies major Australian supermarkets. It commissioned the sustainability upgrade to help enhance energy efficiency and reduce carbon emissions. Rockwell Automation regional director – south pacific, Anthony Wong, said, “Real Pet Food Company is showing leadership by not just talking the talk but walking the walk when it comes to sustainability. By committing to measurable actions, they will help improve the planet as well as their bottom line.” Digitising sustainability data to achieve measurable results Real Pet Food Company is currently measuring its energy management using spreadsheets and clipboards. This results in decentralised and disconnected information, and a lack of real-time management. “Turning this manual data entry into a digital solution will provide Real Pet Food company with better visibility of its energy consumption linked to production data, allowing it to identify optimisation opportunities,” said Wong. Real Pet Food Company has a strong commitment to sustainability and social responsibility, stating, “At Real Pet Food Company we believe in creating a fresher future for all, aspiring to reduce our impact on the biosphere, preserve resources for future generations, and make a positive difference to you, your pets and the communities we work with”. Real Pet Food Company’s Head of Sustainability, Jarrod Edgecombe adds, “Real Pet Food Company has a renewed focus on […]
Powerhaus App Debuts at the 2023 Australian Architecture Conference: A Game-Changer in Sustainable Home Design
In a ground-breaking move towards sustainable housing, Powerhaus Engineering has unveiled Australia’s first energy efficiency home design app at the 2023 Australian Architecture Conference. This revolutionary app will allow architects and designers to configure the energy rating of their building plans with real-time performance feedback, making sustainable design for new houses more accessible and intuitive than ever before. Powerhaus hosted a masterclass at the conference on Monday 30th October and provided attendees with a firsthand look at the app’s capabilities and its potential to reshape the future of sustainable housing in Australia. As most states and territories around Australia delay the new mandatory increase in minimum house star ratings to 7 stars, with currently only New South Wales implementing the increase, there’s a palpable concern within the housing sector about readiness for such a transition. Many in the industry feel unprepared for this significant shift towards sustainability. In this context, tools such as the Powerhaus app become not just beneficial, but crucial. The app is poised to be a beacon, guiding architects, designers, and building professionals, to seamlessly and cost-effectively adapt to and embrace the heightened sustainability standards. Jenny Edwards, director of award-winning Light House Architecture & Science and a renowned thermal performance assessor with a deep passion for sustainable housing, shared her experience with the Powerhaus app: “For years, the true potential of the NatHERS software as a design tool was only accessible if paired with a trained thermal performance assessor. This often made the design process slower, more expensive, and limited the ability of architects to learn directly from the software.” She continued, “The Powerhaus dashboard is a game-changer. Its superbly designed interface allows designers to instantly test the impact of various critical parameters, giving them a clear understanding of the most effective levers for any particular design.” […]