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Manufacturing stories

The following stories relate to Tasmania’s Manufacturing sector.

LSA wins British contract

Edition 190_Carrier

Tasmanian advanced manufacturing business Liferaft Systems Australia has signed a contract to build inflatable marine evacuation systems for a new class of warship being built in Britain.

5 December 2017, Edition 190

Defence work for Penguin

Tasmanian company Penguin Composites has signed a contract with Thales Australia to build bonnets and other parts for a new generation of army vehicles. The three-year contract, worth more than $8 million, is Penguin Composite’s first major Defence-related contract and is expected to create around 15 new jobs at the company headquarters near Penguin, on the Bass Strait coast. Melbourne-based Thales Australia signed a $1.3 billion contract in October to supply 1,100 Hawkei vehicles and more than 1,000 trailers to the defence forces. Founded in 1976, Penguin Composites is a home-grown Tasmanian company with capabilities including design and engineering of moulds and plugs and fibreglass and composite product and component manufacturing. It makes Tasmanian-designed Apple shelters under license for use in Polar environments.

6 November 2017, Edition 189

Seaweed in brain breakthrough

Edition 189_Williams

Seaweed extracts produced by Tasmanian biopharmaceutical company Marinova are proving effective in the treatment of traumatic brain injury.

5 November 2017, Edition 189

Can-do glaziers win a gong

A machine cobbled together from a mechanic’s engine crane and a boat winch has won Spreyton glass manufacturer, GP Glass, a national award. Faced with the mammoth task of installing 2,500 double-glazed windows weighing 100kg each, the GP team came up with its prize-winning window-lifting device that has piqued the interest of other glaziers around the country. Company Director, Brian Imlach, said his team had to find a way to safely install the large glass panels in a new nine-storey student residence building for the University of Tasmania in Hobart. “It needed to be simple. It needed to be light. It needed to be strong and transportable and disassembled quickly, so we could lift it from floor to floor,” Mr Imlach said. The device was engineered to lift up to 200kg and it eliminated the need to use a harness while working on a building site edge, as a safety gate could be used. “It’s safe, efficient and we can install a lot more windows because there’s not as much strain on our workforce,” Mr Imlach said. The machine won a design award from the Tasmanian Glass and Aluminium Association and subsequently took out the National Safety Award at the Australian Glass and Glazing Association.

3 October 2017, Edition 188

Graziers test wool branding

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Tasmania’s superfine wool industry – one of the State’s economic cornerstones since colonial times – is feeling its way from auctioning its world-class clip as a commodity towards branding it as a niche, high-end, natural fibre.

6 September 2017, Edition 187

Squeeze on chocolate-making jobs

New technology, including increased automation, will reduce the workforce at Cadbury’s Hobart chocolate factory from 450 to 400. The company’s parent Mondelez announced in August that about 50 jobs would go by the end of the year as part of a $75 million investment program. “The company will realise more efficiencies through investment in new technologies, equipment, and automation, plus increase the skills and capabilities of its people and ensure its teams are the right size,” it said in a statement. Mondelez said most of the job cuts would be achieved through voluntary redundancies. Cadbury has been a major employer in Hobart’s northern suburbs for 95 years.

6 September 2017, Edition 187

Fourth Sydney ferry leaves Incat

Incat consigned the fourth ferry in a six-vessel order to Sydney in August. The harbour ferry contract with the NSW Government has helped the Hobart shipyard to expand its workforce to 550, including 33 apprentices. The Deputy Premier, Matthew Groom, said the presence of Tasmanian-built ferries on Sydney Harbour would strengthen the State’s boat-building reputation. He said: “This is an important element of securing other advanced manufacturing and Defence-related contracts of significance, especially in the maritime sector.”

6 September 2017, Edition 187

St Helen’s enjoys boat boom

Lyndcraft Boats at St Helen’s is enjoying a boom, building work boats for the aquaculture industry. Managing Director, Greg Lynd, hosted a media event in July to launch the latest of 19 vessels he has built for fish farmers: Myti Max; Rocket; and Irony. The three boats, including two for Spring Bay Seafoods, earned the north-east business about $2 million. An additional six vessels will be built for Tassal by the end of the year. The Minister for Infrastructure, Rene Hidding, said: “A sustainable aquaculture industry is vital for Tasmanian jobs and the economy in our regional areas. Lyndcraft Boats is reaping the benefits, with a recent expansion of its St Helens facility and workforce to deal with additional demand. It’s a great demonstration of how the growth of the aquaculture industry has guaranteed employment for thousands of Tasmanians right across the State.”

1 August 2017, Edition 186

Newnham Defence precinct mooted

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A $500,000 funding package will be used to develop a business case for a Defence Innovation and Design Precinct at UTAS’s Launceston campus.

4 July 2017, Edition 185

May Queen celebrates 150 years

The SV May Queen, Australia’s oldest sail trading vessel and one of only a handful of wooden vessels of her era still afloat in the world, turned 150 on 5 June. Built at Franklin on the banks of the Huon River in 1867, May Queen’s working life contributed to a century of economic development in southern Tasmania. Like other trading ketches, she was a transport workhorse until road networks finally improved in the 1950s. Her primary cargo was construction materials, sawn timber, shingles and railway sleepers, carried to Hobart for house building and industry. But she also brought coal to Hobart, as well as quarried stone, apples, pears and other fruit. On her outbound journey from Hobart she carried food supplies for settlers, hay and oats for horses and bullock teams, steel railway lines and machinery. A retractable centre-board allowed May Queen to access small jetties linked to individual farms. During her 106-year working life (1867-1973) she could sail from Dover to Hobart in eight hours in favourable weather.

4 July 2017, Edition 185

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Latest news

Bigger, cleaner ships for TT-Line

Edition 190_TT-Line

TT-Line is set to order two new, bigger and cleaner ships to boost capacity and heighten customer appeal on its Bass Strait service.

11 December 2017, Edition 190

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