The following stories relate to Tasmania’s Manufacturing sector.
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
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
Hobart shipyard Richardson Devine Marine is building an environmentally cutting edge cruise boat to replace the Lady Jane Franklin Two on the RACT’s Gordon River cruises in western Tasmania. RACT Chief, Harvey Lennon, said the new vessel would provide one of the most environmentally sensitive cruising experiences in the world. “Some of the key features are smaller engines so that it’s going to use less fuel, it’s going to have solar panels to support some of the navigation equipment, it’s got a state-of-the-art hull design which will reduce wash and help preserve the beautiful Gordon River.”
4 July 2017, Edition 185
Ashgrove, an Elizabeth Town-based family-owned business that produces premium quality fresh milk, cheese, cream and butter, has reached agreement with the Vancouver-based EnWave Corporation to use its cheese-drying technology. EnWave is the developer of a Radiant Energy Vacuum (REV™) method of precisely dehydrating organic materials. Ashgrove, one of Australia’s leading independent premium dairy brands, will have exclusive Tasmanian rights to the technology and will pay EnWave a 5 per cent royalty on the wholesale price of all resulting products. If Ashgrove submits a purchase order for a 100kW or larger REV™ machine within a year, the exclusive processing territory will expand to all of Australia. Other terms of the agreement are confidential. Ashgrove has recently increased production to service an exclusive contract with interstate supermarket chain Aldi.
6 June 2017, Edition 184
Tasmanian shipbuilder Incat has secured a $109 million contract to build a 109-metre high-speed vehicle-passenger ferry for Naviera Armas, in Spain. Work will start this month with delivery scheduled for 2019. The wave-piercer will be able to travel at 65km/h (35 knots) and carry 1,200 passengers and crew, along with 390 cars. Incat Chairman Robert Clifford said the Hobart shipyard’s 550-strong workforce was expected to deliver up to two large high-speed catamarans each year. The shipyard is spending $500,000 to raise the roof of its main construction shed by two metres so that more work can be completed under cover on its largest ships. Incat also has an order for a 110-metre wave-piercer to operate between Malta and Sicily, as well as a contract for six Sydney Harbour ferries. The shipyard completed the $100 million Express 3 in April and it sailed for Denmark after sea trials on the River Derwent.
6 June 2017, Edition 184
Incat’s newest high-speed car ferry, the $100 million Express 3, was launched in April and sailed for Denmark after sea trials on the River Derwent. The leading-edge Hobart shipyard is on an upswing and hiring workers because of two more orders for similar large ships and a contract for six Sydney Harbour ferries. Founder and Chairman, Robert Clifford, said: “Over the next six months we will be putting on up to 200 extra people bringing us up to the 700, 750 mark.” Incat is the world’s leading producer of high-speed, multi-hull ferries, but its fortunes have waxed and waned with the global ship market. Late last century it was Tasmania’s largest private employer with a 1,000-strong workforce, but the global financial crisis flattened demand and the workforce dwindled to 190. Now it’s all hands on deck again and the shipyard’s recruitment plans include doubling its team of apprentices to about 40.
1 May 2017, Edition 183
State-of-the-art sensors for international markets will be manufactured in Launceston following the launch of a new advanced manufacturing hub in March. State and Federal governments have supported the joint venture involving manufacturing business Definium Technologies and UTAS’s Sense-T project. The university’s Deputy Vice-Chancellor, Brigid Heywood, said: “This is smart, future-facing manufacturing. This will position Launceston and Tasmania as an innovative provider of advanced circuit board components and electronic hardware design.” The hub will allow Definium Technologies to design and build sensors for local and international applications. Chief Executive, Mike Cruse, said: “We want to start monitoring and sensing the environment to help make decisions about the environment and create jobs.” Definium Technologies employs three full-time technicians as well as casual staff but it’s expected the hub will increase employment to about eight full-time workers.
6 April 2017, Edition 182
Tasmanian business Elphinstone Pty Ltd is back in the global underground mining manufacturing sector, with the production and marketing of its WR820 agitator truck. Sales and Marketing Manager, Zak Brakey, told The Advocate in March: “When Elphinstone sold the original underground business to Caterpillar in 2001 the brand and intellectual property went too. We wanted to buy the brand and name back because it is globally recognised and respected in the underground mining industry.” He said Elphinstone was working towards the production of 200 WR820s a year and would also produce a 10-tonne version, the WR810, that could be configured as an agitator concrete truck, a cassette carrier, a shotcreter, a delivery truck with crane, a scissor lift, a water cannon or a water truck. Mr Brakey said the company expected to be looking for additional people at its Burnie operation if present sales opportunities were realised.
The branding of the machines as Elphinstone is part of a long-term strategy that may include re-branding the company’s Haulmax and Railmax machines.
4 April 2017, Edition 182
Advanced engineering firm Southern Prospect has won a contract to build and fit out 100 new Metro buses, resulting in the creation of more than 40 full-time jobs. The Minister for Infrastructure, Rene Hidding, said in January that 24 jobs would be created at Southern Prospect’s Wynyard factory, with 16 more in the Tasmanian supply chain. “The new fleet represents the single biggest investment in public transport in Tasmania’s history,” Mr Hidding said. The project will continue for four years, with the first new buses to enter service during 2017–18.
9 February 2017, Edition 180
Paul Akers, a global champion of the Lean approach to business and life, will be in Tasmania early next month for a series of speaking engagements.
8 February 2017, Edition 180