Metal Casting Technologies : MCT-1STQRT-2017
6 www.metals.rala.com.au The Australian manufacturing industry is not dying, it’s evolving: CSIRO study By Cathy Foley Deputy Director and Science Director Manufacturing Flagship CSIRO, and Keith McLean Director, CSIRO Manufacturing, CSIRO Despite the well publicised closure of some manufacturing sectors in Australia, manufacturing isn’t dying. Instead, like industry around the world, it’s undergoing a period of significant change as new, disruptive technologies and economic realities take hold and new markets emerge. There is a role for the manufacturing sector in Australia. Through interviews with 56 stakeholders, three workshops and a survey of industry and government organisations, as well as leading researchers, CSIRO identified major growth opportunities and what the manufacturing sector needs to do to achieve them. Currently Australian manufacturing contributes 6.05% of Gross Domestic Product (GDP), exports A$96.1 billion of goods and employs 856,000 people. This has fallen from a high in 1995, when it contributed to 14% of GDP and employed more than a million people. High wages, geographical remoteness and a small dispersed local market are some of the reasons for these changes. However consumers are also changing what products they buy which then impacts the type of products made. Major companies like Boeing and General Electric now look to the world using global supply chains for components for their final product, so Australia has to compete globally. The innovation resulting from science and technology, such as automation, digitisation and new materials, has changed the equation of what it means to be a manufacturer. Manufacturing is no longer a basic industry that employs low-skilled workers. Over the next 20 years, Australia’s manufacturing industry must transform into a highly-integrated, collaborative and export-focused “ecosystem” that provides high-value customised solutions contributing to global supply chains. Our research brought up some exciting examples of Australian companies that have already embraced this evolution, setting a standard to follow. Customised high-margin solutions We found that demand for more expensive bespoke products is replacing mass-produced products relying on value from producing a lot for the market. New materials, automation, biotechnology and new chemical processes have driven this innovation in manufacturing. These new technologies enable a new level of customisation. Products like personalised medical implants and functional foods and clothing are already possible thanks to the combination of design services and superior components (such as 3D printing). Small to medium enterprises (SMEs) make up 97% of Australia businesses. So customisation is an ideal recipe for Australian SMEs to achieve global reach without the need for producing more goods than their competitors. An example of an Australian company doing this well is Oventus. They produce an O2Vent mouthpiece for those that suffer sleep apnoea. Oventus uses a 3D scanner to map a patient’s mouth, then 3D prints a custom-made mouthpiece that helps stop dangerous pauses in sleep at night. Its custom fit and relative comfort attract a price premium. The company recently listed on the Australian stock exchange and is about to go global. Collaboration Too often Australian manufacturers focus on the rival across the street, rather than the looming competition over the horizon. Our research shows manufacturers need to partner among themselves, either through business partnerships or increased collaboration. Nautitech and Northern Light Technologies Australia, for example, were brought together by a mining company to improve underground communications. These two companies combined hardware from one company and software from the other to provide mobile Wi-Fi coverage for mine sites. It allows miners to monitor worker safety, fleet optimisation, machine performance and also allows autonomous mining and productivity improvements. Global supply chain integration In a global marketplace, Australia cannot stand on its own. The Australian market alone is too small – our population is the size of Shanghai, China. Australia has few multinational companies manufacturing here. However multinational companies do source components from the best suppliers globally and herein lies the opportunity for Australia. For example, manufacturer ANCA Tools delivers specifically designed parts to Japan. These parts are made using the company’s multi-axis grinding machines. These machines, designed and built in Australia, are automated and wired up for flexible and precision manufacturing. The components are integrated into Japanese customers’ unmanned, factory- wide automated production systems. Manufacturers need to integrate into international supply chains; using Australia’s advanced technology industry and research sector, to stand out from the crowd. One example of this highlighted from our research is Carbon Revolution, a company that pioneered the commercial production of carbon composite car wheels. These wheels are made from a single piece of material. Carbon Revolution is supplying Ford with wheels for the Mustang Shelby GT350R, making it the first company in the world to supply mass produced carbon fibre wheels on standard equipment for a major automaker. The wheels weigh up to 50% less than conventional aluminium equivalents and reduce carbon emissions by up to 6%. Carbon Revolution is now investigating opportunities in aerospace and industrial markets. BRIEFINGS INDUCTOTHERM GROUP AUSTRALIA PTY. LTD. Tel: +61 3 9786 6000 E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org Internet: www.inductotherm.com.au SERVICE 24 HOURS/DAY - 7 DAYS/WEEK Tel: 61 3 9786 7000 For most metals, melting, holding, pouring and heating are the first steps in providing a wide range of finished goods. As the world’s largest manufacturer of induction equipment, our innovative and proven designs bring advanced technology to melting and heating operations around the world. We are proud to say, They all use Inductotherm equipment to give themselves the competitive edge! When castings can come from anywhere, it is often the quality, productivity and reliability provided by Inductotherm systems that give you the competitive edge needed to meet the demanding challenges of today and tomorrow. Our mission since 1953 is simple: To give you the competitive edge by providing you with the best customer service, quality, reliability, value, design and technology. We take pride in being associated with the foundries and melt-shops that provide so much to so many. Retain your competitive edge. Call Inductotherm now ...