Boeing Australia worked on the nation’s largest aerospace contract.
Over in Perth, Australia’s only publicly listed shipbuilding company Austal marked a significant milestone when it delivered its third Littoral Combat Ship to the US Navy – part of a 10-vessel, $US3.5 billion contract.
In December it announced it had signed a $63 million contract to construct two Cape Class Patrol Boats, adding to another eight it has designed, built and sustained previously.
In mining equipment, technology and services, companies like Korvest and Gekko Systems continued to find new markets and develop new high value products.
Of course, advanced manufacturing is all about looking to the future, and Dow Chemical predicted demand for the essential resources of food, water and energy would reach an all-time high by 2050.
To address these critical global challenges, the company established collaborations in Australia through sponsorships and partnerships with industry, academia, governments and other organisations to encourage sustained innovation from different sources.
Engineering powerhouse Siemens spoke of Australia being on the cusp of the next industrial revolution – also known as Industry 4.0 – where the cyber and physical worlds merge.
Siemens CEO Jeff Connolly said the challenge for Australia was to be ready for a world “where everything imaginable is connected to a network”.
“It’s a new way of working and thinking and will make competition global rather than local. It means that people from almost anywhere can participate in the relevant global supply chain – if you’re good enough,” he said.
GE Australia revealed how harnessing the power of the so-called ‘internet of things’ can lead to significant savings. A collection of sensors, for example, on GEnx jet engines, that power Jetstar’s 787 Dreamliner aircraft, gather data on what is occurring in the airplane’s engine.
This can lead to increased fuel efficiency, but it can also help engineers pinpoint problems before they occur, reducing delays and cancellations.
In August, Geelong manufacturer Carbon Revolution’s culture of innovation paid off in spades, when it scored a landmark coup with Ford Motor Company in the US. The deal made it the first company in the world to supply mass-produced carbon fibre wheels on standard equipment for a major automaker.
Ford’s new Ford Shelby Mustang GT350R muscle car will include the Australian manufacturer’s cutting-edge one-piece wheels – a deal that Carbon Revolution believes will pave the way for other contracts with global car manufacturers.
Many more Australian-based manufacturers are developing new products and harnessing new processes, and taking their innovations to the world. We will continue to showcase these in 2016.