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Industry News, December 2019

24 December 2019

It’s been another great year for Composites Australia. The following is a selection of recent highlights, inspiring stories and industry information. Best wishes for the season, and please add the Composites Conference 2020 dates into your diary now!

WEIR Minerals site tour

Another successful tour of an amazing manufacturing facility – one of the three manufacturing bases that WEIR Minerals operate in Australia. The site hosts elastomer manufacturing, product assembly and test facilities as well as a foundry and machine shop. WEIR is a global market leader in providing engineered solutions for the mining industry. Its portfolio of proprietary equipment performs a myriad of industrial processing functions, including but not limited to: slurry transportation, mine dewatering, crushing & grinding, tailings management and wear lining.

The team at WEIR Minerals generously shared the company’s engineering & manufacturing ideology, including 5S methodology, the application of Lean Systems, engineering frameworks and safety policies and actions. There was so much to learn… we’re grateful for the hospitality and openness. Thank you David Busby-Wright & the WEIR team.

Connection Magazine, Issue 51

From opportunities in East Asia, space technology just north of the Gold Coast and superyacht tenders south of Perth, this edition features articles on inspirational companies, researchers and international projects.

The front cover features a picture of Gilmour Space Technologies suborbital rocket ‘One Vision’. This heartening story is of a company founded in 2013 by two brothers and demonstrates that space travel is now being driven by private investment and technology interests, with composite technologies making access to space more affordable and more doable.

The article on Vikal International which has been manufacturing and supplying tenders to some of the largest and most prestigious superyachts in the world is a great story about a family business, and the value of trade training.

This edition continues the proud tradition of telling the narrative of the Australian Composites sector. The latest issue of Connection was in the post mid-December 2019.

Don Elliot is retiring

It is almost 50 years since Don Elliot picked up a brush and roller but, as the year 2020 approaches, he made the defining decision to hang up the safety goggles to retire. Don’s career in the composites sector spans manufacturing, composites repair, teaching and consulting, commencing with early composite manufacturing adapters such as Bolwell Cars.

His best estimate is that he has trained over 2,200 students across five TAFE colleges, two Universities and a number of secondary institutions. You can read more about his involvement in the composites sector and the well-earned acknowledgment of his decades of commitment to education, in the Connection magazine.

Trade Mission to JEC Asia 2019

The Australian Pavilion hosted by Composites Australia at the three-day JEC Asia 2019 event was a busy meeting hub that showcased Australian companies, a leading educational institution and award-winning products and fabrication technology, as well as engineering and R&D services.

You can read more about the Trade Mission here.

L-R: Frédéric Reux, Media Director & Editor-in-Chief JEC Group; Thomas Lepretre, Sales Director JEC Group; Kerryn Caulfield, CEO Composites Australia; Professor Gangadhara Prusty, Director at AMAC; Eric Pierrejean, CEO JEC Group; Sung-o Cho, Senior Business Development Manager Austrade; Leona Reif, President Composites Australia.

Scoping Study for Skills Development W.A.

Composites Australia is undertaking a scoping study for skills development in the Composites Manufacturing Sector in Western Australia.

Contracted by the Chamber of Minerals and energy for the Resources Industry Training Council W.A. (RITCWA) that identified a looming skills and labour shortage, the study will identify impediments to expanding skills and training in the sector. Watch this space for the draft report that will be available in April 2020.

New interactive site informs composite fabricators

ATL Composites has been manufacturing WEST SYSTEM® epoxy products in New Zealand and Australia, under licence to Gougeon Brothers Inc, USA, since 1977. The product range comprises epoxy resin and hardeners, specialty epoxies, fillers, additives, reinforcements, dispensing pumps, application tools and protective gear.

A new website – www.westsystem.com.au – was launched recently to deliver finger-tip navigation across the product range, which has been recently re-branded with a globally-consistent labelling system and new packaging. There’s also a problem-solving section covering the most common issues and enquiries from customers, as well as an easy dealer locator by postcode.

“Our customers are now able to access the latest product information, performance data, a glossary of basic techniques, terminology, tips and project case studies,” said Lorraine Murray, ATL Director.

Carbon Revolution lists on the ASX

At the end of November, the Geelong based carbon-fibre wheel manufacturer, Carbon Revolution listed on the ASX with a market capitalization of $331.1 million. Congratulations to the team at Carbon Revolution for their herculean journey from a start-up in a Geelong garage, to supplying the most technically advanced wheel on the planet. 

More information:
Carbon Revolution investment centre
Corporate video
Recent Composites Australia article

Professional Engineers Registration Scheme for Victoria

The Professional Engineers Registration Act 2019 (the Act) was passed in the Victorian Parliament in August 2019 with a commencement date for the scheme of 1 July 2021. The Act introduces a co-regulatory scheme where, initially civil, structural, mechanical, electrical and fire safety engineers will be required to be registered. It is estimated that the Business Licensing Authority (BLA) will register approximately 28,000+ Victorian engineers over the first three years. More on the scheme at this link: https://engage.vic.gov.au/engineers-registration

Article on single use plastic for composite infusion moulding

As many have moved away from open mould production methods the surge in closed mould application is now well established and apart from the more costly RTM and LRTM methods Infusion moulding has increased tenfold both for liquid infusion and prepreg in or outside the autoclave. This article by Alan Harper make the environmental case against single use of consumable bagging materials which fill waste skips daily. Click here for a copy of the article.