Manufacturing Industry Briefs – Stories You May Have Missed

Production delays create inventory at Quickstep

Production delays related to absenteeism, supply chain issues and equipment reliability issues were exacerbated by global labor and spare parts shortages in the fourth quarter of FY22 at Quickstep. The resulting decline in aerostructures production volumes resulted in a $5.2 million inventory build in the quarter for the composites maker. Although this had a negative impact on profitability – the company reported underlying EBITDA of $4.8 million, compared to $7.5 million the previous year – the accumulation will be converted into income and cash during this fiscal year, according to the company. Despite these headwinds, Quickstep recorded positive cash flow which supported investments of $3 million during the year. Quickstep has taken stakes in drone manufacturer operators Carbonix and Swoop Aero.

DroneShield’s First International Airport Installation

Drone detection and countermeasures company DroneShield has completed its first permanent deployment of a counter-drone system at a major international airport. The airport, which was not named by the company, installed a DroneSentry system (pictured) incorporating passive long-range drone detection sensors and associated command-and-control enterprise software. Although the contract value is less than $500,000, the company said the facility is a gateway to the US civil aviation market, which includes more than 5,000 airports. Airports are reporting an increasing number of drone intrusions, many of which have the potential to damage or even bring down a passenger plane.

A2 Milk plans $150 million share buyback

A2 Milk announced a $150 million share buyback to return capital to investors after a year in which it experienced excess infant formula inventory and took steps to refresh its strategy by putting the focus on maximizing potential in the Chinese market. The company delivered double-digit profit and revenue growth during the year, reporting operating profit EBITDA up 59% to $196.2 million on revenue up 19, 8% to $1.45 billion over the year. Chinese-label infant formula sales increased 12.2%, while fluid milk sales in the United States increased 30.2%. CEO David Bortolussi said, “Our buyout demonstrates effective capital management and the increased confidence we have in our strategy, execution and outlook.”

Publication of ICT defense and cybersecurity strategies

On Wednesday, Deputy Minister of Defense Matt Thistlethwaite launched the Defense Information and Communications Technology (ICT) Strategy 2022 and the Defense Cybersecurity Strategy at a communications industry forum. Defense ICT. Thistlethwaite said the strategies underscored the importance of enduring partnerships for Defence, to leverage the experience and expertise of industry, academia, allies and regional partners. The Defense ICT Strategy is described as ensuring that the Defense is able to harness and harness the power of data to improve situational awareness and decision-making, while the Defense Cyber ​​Security Strategy details countering cyber threats and securing capabilities against attacks from adversaries. The defense ICT strategy can be read here and cyber strategy here.

SEA Electric unveils an all-electric aircraft refueler

SEA Electric’s SEA 500 EV – Australia’s first all-electric aircraft refueler – went into service this week. The refueling vehicle was designed and manufactured in Australia, and built in conjunction with Air bp and Refuel International in Melbourne. It will be based at Brisbane Airport, building the Jet-A1 for business and general jets at the busy international airport. According to a statement from SEA Electric, it can carry approximately 16,000 liters of aviation fuel, with all on-board pumps and functions fully electrified, with systems management provided by the company’s SEA-Drive power system. “Of course there are environmental benefits to going EV, with the elimination of CO2 and other exhaust particulates, creating a healthier working environment at airports,” said Tony Fairweather, CEO and founder of SEA Electric. “Transportation accounts for a large share of total emissions, with the adoption of pioneering EV technology, like this aircraft refueling truck, showing a great level of social responsibility.”

WA green H2 industry will be exhibited in South Korea

Promoting the renewable hydrogen industry and creating new partnerships will be the focus of the first leg of Western Australia’s trade and investment mission to South Korea and Singapore, the government said. WA. Hydrogen Industry Minister Alannah MacTiernan will spend three days in Korea for the H2 2022 Global Conference and meet with international industry leaders interested in investing in WA. and will also visit Shinincheon Bitdream Fuel Cell Power Station, the largest hydrogen fuel cell power station in the world. Current global hydrogen demand is estimated at over 90 million tonnes per year and the value of Australia’s low-emission hydrogen exports could reach $2.2 billion by 2030 and $5.7 billion dollars by 2040, according to a statement from MacTiernan. “South Korea is pursuing hydrogen supply and system decarbonization, and WA is well positioned to be an optimal large-scale producer and exporter of renewable hydrogen – together creating a complete, stable and secure value chain” , she said. “Korea’s major steelmakers are seriously invested in green iron production in WA and we want to move these discussions forward.”

NIOA appoints new chief executive from New Zealand

Munitions company NIOA has announced the appointment of Fraser Winskill as managing director of its New Zealand operations. Winskill has been the company’s regional commercial director in New Zealand since May 2021. He will succeed Garry Powell, long-time director of the Sportsways company that NIOA acquired – on November 1. “We thank Garry for his service and leadership since Sportways became part of the NIOA family earlier this year,” said NIOA Group CEO Robert Nioa. “Fraser’s experience in the NZDF combined with his leadership abilities, business knowledge and understanding of the industry through a lifelong passion for hunting and sport shooting means he has the expertise to lead us to the future.” The company successfully brought Auckland-based Sportways Distributors into the group in April.

Utility poles as street-side electric vehicle charging hubs

The federal government’s Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA) this week announced $871,000 in funding for Intellihub. The support will help an initial Australian deployment of 50 electric vehicle (EV) chargers across NSW installed on street-side utility poles for EV owners without off-street parking. Intellihub will install EV chargers on utility poles in nine local government areas during the $2.04 million project. The project is also supported by Schneider Electric, which will provide the EV charging infrastructure, and EVSE, which will manage the charging service. Origin Energy will provide 100% green energy for the project, “meaning that all the energy needed to charge the vehicles will match the equivalent amount of certified renewable energy added to the grid,” ARENA said. The nine LGAs include Waverley, Woollahra, Local Councils of Randwick, Lake Macquarie, Ryde, Singleton, Parramatta, Northern Beaches and Inner West. Wes Ballantine, CEO of Intellihub said: “Hydropoles line most of our public streets and this presents an opportunity for the electric vehicle charging market. It is an accessible, safe and convenient option for charging electric vehicles. »

Marjorie N. McClure