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Productivity Experts

Year-End News And Product Updates

As we’re finding our way to the other side –of the year and the pandemic—it’s worth a quick look at the state of play in Australian manufacturing.

Our forecast for manufacturing

The general push to bring more production back to Australia is prompting some non-automated manufacturers to start thinking about investing in automation. And while automation isn’t the only answer, it helps enormously but must be supported by other incentives or initiatives to be truly competitive.

A hard truth is that our manufacturing costs, especially labour, are too high to allow us to be competitive globally in mass produced products. Our domestic market isn’t big enough to support these industries on its own. We need to concentrate on niche areas where we can do well both locally and internationally. If anything, the pandemic has prompted emergence of many niches, especially when manufacturers have had to pivot their production lines or end-products. In those cases, we’ve been able to help with re-tooling or automation across quite a range of situations, even for smaller or highly specialised businesses.

Sadly, the Federal Budget initiative falls way short. The commitment to a ‘Modern Manufacturing Strategy’ is headlined by $1.5 billion beginning in 2021 but spread over annual funding rounds for the next four years. See the Government’s announcement for details. We like the brief analysis from the AU Manufacturing news article that recaps some ‘real cost’ implications. One saving grace has been the $150k tax incentive for investment in equipment which has helped make automation more accessible. Instant asset write off was extended to 31 December 2020.

Schunk ROTA NCX is a quick change artist

Here’s a chuck that’s got it all: quick change, jaw lock, jaw presence monitor and reduced weight. It’s 100% compatible with the power lathe chuck of the Kitagawa BB200 series and can minimise set up times and costs

Imao Quarter Turn Clamps

Reduce setup time from 15mins to 1 min with IMAO Quarter Turn Clamps. This quick-change fastener truly is remarkable for frequent machinery or fixture changeover. Simply turn a knob or push a button. No wasting time tightening screws and nuts

Learn More.

Soft Robotics mGrip

mGrip solves picking challenges as unique EOAT grippers for robotic automation from Soft Robotics. These industry leaders offer robotic grasping solutions for processes that couldn’t previously be automated. They can be set up quickly and great for food safe handling.

Learn More

Schunk adapting grippers

SCHUNK is adapting grippers specifically for cobots. While still a niche product in robotics, more manufacturers are giving cobots a go. Schunk has developed ‘Plug & Work’ bundle components for 80% of all cobot applications.

Learn More

Freight and Supply Update

Freight pricing has risen considerably due to shortage of aircraft and delays are much more frequent than pre-Covid. Bulk freight by air is currently more expensive than express freight.

Our suppliers across the globe are mostly shipping on time despite many of their staff working from home. All follow tough Covid-Safe protocols.

Hainbuch CENTREX Pallet System

As part of their quick change-over systems, Hainbuch offers this manual pallet system with extremely high repeatability of less than 3 microns that is self-centering even under thermal expansion. In the unique CENTREX pallet system, parts are self-centring.

Learn More

Schunk adapting grippers

SCHUNK is adapting grippers specifically for cobots. While still a niche product in robotics, more manufacturers are giving cobots a go. Schunk has developed ‘Plug & Work’ bundle components for 80% of all cobot applications.

Learn More


We want to help you find the best product or system solution. Call us on 1800 465 348 or tell us more in an email at Contact Us.

Looking for specific product technology?

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We show innovative machining at AMW Melbourne, 9-12 May  Major manufacturers as well as up-and-coming competitors will be attending the 2023 Australian Manufacturing Week event 9-12 May at the Melbourne Convo & Expo Centre to see innovative technologies and latest...


Our range of products are used by manufacturing industry throughout Australia and New Zealand with many major manufacturers specifying our tooling solutions for use in their plants. See product details by manufacturers in their specific Supplier Product Catalogues.

We will be closed from close of business on Wednesday 23rd December and return on Monday 11th January 2021.

We’re happy to talk to you about ordering any of our products

Simply complete this contact enquiry and we’ll be in touch by your choice of email or phone. Thank you!