February 22, 2024

Deconstructing methane

Considering the problems associated with some large-scale agribusiness practices like the inhumane treatment of animals, lower quality outputs, high-density pollution and staggering water and chemical needs, it's no wonder a return to artisanal subsistence farming seems so attractive. The bad news; it's impossible. Countries where it still proliferates have stagnant economies, and it doesn't offer the variety of output we need in human diets. A single industrialised world farmer produces more food with higher nutritional quality for more people per labour unit than several subsistence farmers. There just isn't enough arable land on Earth to feed eight billion people without the scale of factory farming, and if we want to address the negative impacts it can have on the climate and environment, the only thing that might save us is biotechnology. And one of the biggest problems to solve in growing and processing our food is methane. A third of all the methane we produce is from agriculture,…
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February 20, 2024

Electric heavy hauler

Wabtec and its launch customer Roy Hill, a leading iron ore miner majority owned by Hancock Prospecting, have celebrated the debut of the FLXdrive battery locomotive, the world’s first 100% battery-powered, heavy-haul locomotive for mainline service. The ceremony unveiled the unique, striking, pink-coloured locomotive at Wabtec’s design and development centre in the USA state of Pennsylvania in front of employees, customer executives, and other officials. “This FLXdrive locomotive represents a major step in the journey to a low-to-zero-emission future in the rail industry,” said Rafael Santana, President & CEO of Wabtec. “The FLXdrive is driven from within by our battery technology. Roy Hill is an ideal customer to partner with given their leadership and excellent operational record.” Roy Hill’s FLXdrive battery-electric locomotive will feature an energy capacity of seven megawatt hours (MWh). Based on the route and company’s rail operations, the FLXdrive is anticipated to provide a double-digit percentage reduction in fuel costs and emissions per train. Once Wabtec completes the final battery installations and track testing, the locomotive will begin its 17,000-kilometre journey in 2024 for delivery to its…
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February 19, 2024

What’s On at AMW2024

Registrations are now open for your attendance at Australian Manufacturing Week (AMW2024) in Sydney. Australian Manufacturing Week (AMW2024) is run by the Australian Manufacturing Technology Institute Limited (AMTIL), with the NSW Government as the Major Sponsor. This huge event will occupy more than 6,560 square metres of exhibition space at the Sydney ICC at Darling Harbour. Up to 250 organisations have already taken stands to showcase the latest manufacturing technologies, processes, and support services. Don’t miss out!    REGISTER NOW!   There are SEVEN Zones to AMW2024, each with a particular focus, speciality and technology. These are: Austech Machine Tools, sponsored by Finlease; Additive Manufacturing Zone; Australian Manufacturers Zone; Manufacturing Solutions Zone, sponsored by The Execution Factor; Robotics & Automation Zone; sponsored by IFS Weld and Air Solutions Zone; and the Plastic Technology Zone. At Australian Manufacturing Week, you will see many exhibitors showcasing all of the above and have the opportunity to find the right process, talk to the right people, gain the right expertise, and get on the right path to your…
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February 18, 2024

Hiringa Energy and Sundown Pastoral decarbonising agriculture

Green hydrogen company, Hiringa Energy and Australian agricultural and pastoral enterprise, Sundown Pastoral Co, have partnered to drive forward the next generation of decarbonised farming and agriculture in the northern NSW region after being awarded $35.8m in funding from the NSW Government. Together, the two industry leaders will enhance the capacity of the world’s first Good Earth Cotton farm to produce climate-positive and traceable cotton. The Good Earth Green Hydrogen and Ammonia (GEGHA) project involves the construction and operation of a renewable ammonia and green hydrogen production facility near Moree. The project will help farmers reduce the emissions associated with their outputs and enable them to meet consumer demand for low-carbon and sustainable produce in increasingly carbon-conscious domestic and export markets. The GEGHA project has been awarded $35.8m in funding from the NSW Government’s Hydrogen Hubs Initiative, validating GEGHA’s position in the future of Australia’s thriving green hydrogen industry. “We aim to provide a more resilient, locally produced and lower emissions supply of key inputs — to farm production (fertiliser) and transport to…
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February 18, 2024

Innovync Kreator

Decades ago, Australia was known as the Innovation Nation. Then, the era of cheap off-shore production began. Now, we’re turning the page on a new chapter - one sparked by new technology, never before seen on local shores. Advanced Materials and Plastics lead for Sydney-based manufacturing distributor Innovync, Anthony Cruz, has his finger on the pulse of global manufacturing innovation. Innovync’s exclusive deal with Italian CNC leaders CMS is a gateway to some of the most interesting machines on the market – including the groundbreaking Kreator. Developed in collaboration with Germany’s Fraunhofer Institute, the large-format Screw Extrusion Additive Manufacturing (SEAM) technology merges with 5 axis CNC milling. A powerful fusion, to say the least. The potential for catalysing product innovation is enormous. Australia is about to receive one of its very own in the coming months. Purchased by a public facility to make prototyping in a test environment more accessible to manufacturers, the role of Australia's Kreator is to realise big ideas with minimal investment. “For example, a company can reach out to the facility and they can provide access to…
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February 16, 2024

Australian spaceshot

Australia has marked its historic return to space exploration by successfully launching into orbit its first scientific satellite in over two decades. The SpIRIT nanosatellite, a landmark project, emerged from a collaboration between the University of Melbourne and the Italian Space Agency, with a consortium of pioneering Australian SME partners and support from the Australian Space Agency. Titomic, an innovative additive manufacturing company based in Melbourne, was instrumental in this historic achievement with its groundbreaking thermal radiator design, a critical component of the satellite. The SpIRIT (Space Industry – Responsive – Intelligent – Thermal) nano-satellite is an Australia-Italy mission supported in Australia by the Australian Space Agency’s International Space Investment – Expand Capability scheme. “The team utilised Titomic’s state-of-the-art TKF 1000 additive manufacturing unit to develop high-efficiency radiator panels that are crucial for the satellite’s operation,” said Herbert Koeck, Managing Director of Titomic. “SpIRIT’s journey into space is not just a technological triumph. It’s also a significant step in scientific discovery,” Koeck added. SpIRIT is designed to fly in low Earth orbit…
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February 15, 2024

AMTIL 2024 AFL Footy Tipping – First Prize $1000 – Will you win this year?

The 2024 AFL Season is building up to be a big one! Kicking off on Thursday 7th March. AMTIL is once again running its annual AFL competition.   GREAT CASH PRIZES FOR FIRST, SECOND AND THIRD PLACES! This year the big prize is $1,000. ENTRY FEE FREE for AMTIL Members Non AMTIL Members $50.00 The prizes will be awarded to 1st Prize  $1,000 2nd Prize $500 3rd Prize $250 The monthly leader board will be published in AMT. This competition does not include the Finals games. TO REGISTER Step 1. Register to be a member on www.footytips.com.au this is free. (You may already be a member from last year.  If so you will need to reactivate your account.) Step 2. Join AMTIL 2024 Footy Tips group, click here. The password is AMTIL123 Step 3. If you are an AMTIL member you are ready to start tipping. If you are a non AMTIL member you will need to pay your registration fee of $50. Contact Julie on +61 3 9800 3666 or email admin@amtil.com.au to pay for your registration or you have any further questions. Make sure you register and pay before Wednesday 6th March so you don't…
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February 15, 2024

Transforming aerospace

General Atomics Aeronautical Systems Inc. (GA-ASI), a leader in developing unmanned aircraft systems, has embraced this truth by integrating Additive Manufacturing (AM) into its core processes. From experimental beginnings to becoming a manufacturing cornerstone, GA-ASI's journey with AM exemplifies innovation at its finest. Revolutionising design and production GA-ASI's foray into AM has revolutionised how unmanned aircraft like the MQ-9A Reaper and MQ-9B SkyGuardian are built. By adopting AM, GA-ASI has not only streamlined its manufacturing processes but has also unlocked new potential in aircraft design and functionality. The result? Thousands of parts were produced via AM, now flying across multiple GA-ASI platforms. A systematic approach for optimal results GA-ASI's success with AM isn't accidental. It's the outcome of a systematic, refined approach aligning with business objectives. Key strategies include developing a robust AM ecosystem, establishing a solid business case for AM, and partnering with industry leaders. This disciplined approach ensures each AM project aligns with the company's mission, ensuring quality and innovation at every step. Stratasys: a partnership that elevates In its quest to master AM,…
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February 12, 2024

Flexicon food conveyor

A new Mobile Frame-Mounted Bulk Bag Discharger with Flexible Screw Conveyor from Flexicon allows rapid, dust-free discharging and conveying of bulk solid materials at multiple plant locations. The BULK-OUT BFF Series discharger allows forklift-loading of bulk bags from 914 to 2134mm tall. A removable bag-lifting cradle with Z-CLIP strap holders permits bulk bags to be attached securely at floor level from an ergonomic standing height and then forklifted into cradle cups atop the discharger's upright posts. The bag spout is pulled through a 305mm diameter iris valve which is then closed around the spout, preventing material flow. The spout can then be untied, the snap-action access door closed, and the valve released slowly, allowing controlled flow into the enclosed hopper through the bulk bag interface chute. Complete discharge is aided by FLOW-FLEXER bag activators that press against opposite bottom sides of the bag at timed intervals to form a steep "V" shape, and top-mounted POP-TOP extension devices that raise the uprights as the bulk bag empties, promoting the flow of material from the corners of the bag through the bag spout.…
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February 10, 2024

Green steel rivals team up

The world’s two biggest miners are teaming up in a bid to develop Australia’s first electric-smelting furnace, in what could prove an important step toward slashing emissions in the steel-making process. BHP Group Ltd. and Rio Tinto Group, alongside Australia’s BlueScope Steel Ltd., will share data and research on the nascent technology that would usually be kept in-house. A pre-feasibility study is being launched to assess a location for a pilot facility, which could be commissioned as early as 2027, the companies said in a joint statement. The collaboration was announced Friday at a press conference held at BlueScope’s Port Kembla steel mill south of Sydney. It aims to solve two major issues for BHP and Rio — commercializing their lower-grade iron ore from Western Australia’s Pilbara region, which has contaminants such as silica; and capitalizing on the growing demand for 'green' metals as countries look to meet emissions reduction targets. “The carbon intensity of iron and steelmaking requires profound change to meet the needs of…
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February 9, 2024

Future Solutions at AMW2024

The many speakers on the Future Solutions program have been hand-picked to cater to the varied needs of the industry to tackle challenges and stay abreast of the latest trends. On the first day of Australian Manufacturing Week Sydney 2024, Wednesday 17th April, the Future Solutions Speaker Sessions have a theme of 'Opportunities'. Experts from ANSTO, the Department of Industry, Science and Resources, Rigby Cooke Lawyers, the Defence Department and CSIRO will be presenting the latest take on manufacturing opportunities.  On the second day of AMW2024, with a theme of 'Managing Change', the Future Solutions Speaker session on Thursday 18th April, the Manufacturing Industry Skills Alliance, the Department of Employment and Workplace Relations, the Sydney Manufacturing Hub and NAB are just some of the high-end industry presentations being prepared, free to all AMW2024 visitors.  Go to the Future Solutions Speaker Program page for more information. Registrations are now open for Australian Manufacturing Week (AMW2024), held at the ICC in Darling Harbour in Sydney. Organised and run by the Australian Manufacturing Technology Institute Limited (AMTIL), AMW2024 will…
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February 8, 2024

Pilot Spirit from Hart Marine

South Australian ports operator Flinders Port Holdings (FPH) has inaugurated the PV Spirit, welcoming the first of three pilot boats commissioned and built in conjunction with Hart Marine to its fleet at an event at the South Australian Yacht Squadron. The vessel Spirit is a state-of-the-art pilot boat that features the Volvo Penta Inboard Propulsion System (IPS), which will enhance fuel efficiency, reduce environmental footprint and improve sustainability. The new vessel Spirit features advanced composite hull technology, including a lightweight and corrosion-resistant structure that is durable in the harshest marine conditions. Its bow design facilitates smooth navigation in turbulent waters and improves self-righting capabilities. The vessel features improved safety measures such as continuous railing, and a change in Pilot Vessel size provides FPH pilots and crew with additional room on the outer deck for pilot transfer and coxswain activities. “We’re also proud of the introduction of Dynamic Positioning into our fleet to improve the manoeuvring of the vessel in adverse weather conditions,” General Manager Carl Kavina said. Further innovations include the ability to access…
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February 7, 2024

Motoring in an AI future

Electric vehicles and autonomous driving technologies are gaining traction and becoming increasingly common. As vehicles become more technologically advanced and digitally connected, they are transforming the automotive industry, making modern vehicle repair more complex. This is especially true in the industrial sector, where vehicles have grown increasingly intricate, integrating sensors, automation, and digital interfaces. Many Australian repair shops are now confronted with changing demands that extend beyond their traditional expertise. Technicians are required to handle software diagnostics, electronic calibrations, and intricate digital networks alongside traditional mechanical repairs. A malfunction or breakdown in an industrial setting doesn't just mean a repair cost. Instead, it can lead to significant operational downtimes, jeopardising projects and impacting bottom lines. The rapid pace of the industrial sector doesn't leave room for prolonged equipment downtime. Stakeholders, from operators to investors, demand quick turnarounds, minimal disruptions, and a guarantee that machinery will operate at peak efficiency. To meet these stringent demands and keep pace with the…
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