Automotive and Manufacturing: Finalists at the 2013 PACE Zenith Awards

These seven nominees beat the field to make it to our select list of finalists in the 2013 PACE Zenith Automotive and Manufacturing Awards proudly sponsored by ifm efector.

Brickwood Holdings

OFS Implementation

Brickwood Holdings (BH) had reached full capacity on many of the production lines in the Cheltenham plant. This created serious challenges meeting growing customer demands, especially during peak supply periods.

BH had the option of increasing capacity via capital expenditure – i.e. purchase new equipment, or if possible, to maximise the output of existing equipment through more efficient practices, without the need for additional capital expenditure.

The objective was to produce more output in less time, using existing equipment, thereby satisfying increasing customer demands, conserving capital and maximising returns to shareholders.

BH engaged Melbourne based OFS, a supplier of real-time productivity improvement analytics for manufacturing with experience in the packaging sector.

Brickwood Holdings OFS ImplementationBH selected three production lines to be commissioned with OFS Operator Console and OFS Analytics software for an initial three-month evaluation period (to be extended to all 15 production lines upon success).

The solution scope included replacing manual worksheets, data collection and processing along with the associated clunky, inaccessible, inaccurate Excel reports.

BH desired effortless real time feedback to operators and management, the ability to quickly hone in on recurring problems and something to give the entire operation extra momentum.

The OFS Operator Console is a visual and interactive software enabling operators to track and comment on production performance in real time. The Console directly motivates operators to contribute to improving performance.

Fluke Australia

Aurora solar cars

Fluke is a Finalist in the 2013 PACE Zenith AwardsThe Aurora Vehicle Association is a non-profit group of volunteers dedicated to promoting sustainable mobility. Aurora Evolution is the organisation's main competition and show car.

Aurora uses Fluke tools to maintain its fleet of solar cars to help ensure the cars reach peak performance during competitions and demonstrations.

Fluke tools are deployed to the development, operation and maintenance of all Aurora solar cars.

Through the daily use of these tools during the 2011 World Solar Challenge, Aurora avoided any major issues and quickly diagnosed an unexpected electrical issue, which could have resulted in the need to withdraw from the race.

Aurora uses several Fluke tools to maintain its fleet of solar cars including: 233A Wireless Remote Display Multimeter; 117 Multimeter; 62 Mini Infrared Thermometer; Clamp Meter; test leads; lead kits.

ICON Technologies

TiRO Pilot-Scale Facility

ICON Technologies is a Finalist in the 2013 PACE Zenith AwardsThe conventional method of titanium metal production is a batch process that leads to up to 30 percent loss of metal as alloyed byproducts, and delivers a solid ingot product that is difficult to work without further significant metal loss.

The resulting high cost of production has prevented titanium from being deployed to mass markets such as automotive engineering and biomedical devices, despite its known and obvious applications in these fields.

The TiRO process addresses many of these issues. It uses a Fluidised Bed Reactor to significantly decrease the unwanted reactions between titanium metal and the materials of the containment vessel.

This also allows the reaction to be run as a continuous feed, rather than as a batch process.

The end product is a fine titanium powder that is well suited to working through powder metallurgy techniques that significantly reduce the costs and metal losses associated with conventional working.


PTronik pMC Dust Control Technology

PTronik is a Finalist in the PACE Zenith AwardsAt the project site of Impact Fertilisers Manufacturing Plant the existing Dust Collector needed upgrading to meet today's environmental and OH&S requirements.

PTronik's pMC Process Controller solved their issues with automated monitoring and control solutions to reduce the cost of managing their dust control system.

The sensors measured key indicators to determine the state of the air filtration unit's collection bag.

This information is compared to real time plant performance data, which is used to automatically determine and activate the optimal air pulse cleaning cycle to ensure maximum performance.

Systems Control staff can remotely monitor plant performance in real time via their SCADA system, to make any necessary adjustments to meet plant performance criteria and to log performance data for subsequent analysis, including the identification of leaks within the filtration system.

RPC Technologies

Light Weight (Carbon Fibre) Mine Vent Duct

RPC Technologies is a Finalist in the 2013 PACE Zenith AwardsResponding to market demand, RPC Technologies has developed a new innovative Fire Retardant and Anti-Static (FRAS) Light Weight Mine Vent Duct (or LWMVD) made out of carbon fiber.

This product is a new generation of Mine Vent Duct, which is lighter and stronger than traditional solutions, including fibreglass ducts.

Drawing on its know-how in composites, RPC designed and developed a foam ribbed FRAS mine vent duct using carbon fibres.

This new product can withstand a higher vacuum and is half the weight of its fibreglass counterpart.

This reduction in weight decreases WHS risks associated with handling of mine vent ducting during installation (i.e. less back injuries).

A particular effort was required in defining and sourcing the right type of carbon fibre fabric, resin and foam for the construction of this innovative product.

The selection that was made, allowed RPC to meet its customers' requirements without compromising on quality. 

Moreover, the traditional filament winding method of manufacturing already used by RPC for the last 30 years for fibreglass pressure pipes and ducting was not suitable for the new materials.

RPC developed an alternative method and the necessary equipment to allow the processing of carbon fibre into the filament winding process at the same production rate as its usual production, which was quite an achievement.

Sunstate Cement

Sunstate Cement WLAN project

Sunstate Cement is a finalist in the 2013 PACE Zenith AwardsSunstate Cement, an Australian-owned supplier of cement products, sought to improve its productivity through wireless communications.

The Queensland company was experiencing major wireless communication problems before Siemens came to the rescue and rectified the situation without the need to purchase or replace any hardware.

The company had completed work recently on an $85 million expansion program including the installation of wireless LAN network between three massive ship unloaders and four corresponding access points.

From day one of the installation, the WLAN didn’t function properly, meaning the loaders couldn’t communicate back to the main controller, posing huge safety and productivity issues.

Using their expertise, Siemens investigated the site and addressed a range installation issues which has now led to the system operating as it was originally designed to.

As a result, it has been running interruption-free for more than 12 months without any replacement or additional hardware.

SAGE Automation

Countermeasures Manufacturing Facility

SAGE Automation is a Finalist in the 2013 PACE Zenith AwardsChemring Australia has a 10 year, $160 million contract with the Australian Defence Force to supply aircraft mounted countermeasures designed to draw missile attacks away from the aircraft.

To fulfil this contract, Chemring appointed SAGE Automation to be responsible for the design, development and installation of a new production facility in the regional Victorian town of Lara (near Geelong), where the countermeasures will be manufactured.

Constructed in four stages, this is the first automated countermeasure manufacturing plant constructed in the southern hemisphere.

The project was a unique combination of manual and automated processes and required us to consider issues such as delicate product handling techniques, functional safety requirements, machine guarding, hazardous areas and high operating temperatures of up to 85 degrees Celsius.

Due to the highly energetic materials involved in constructing countermeasures, it is essential that the processes worked smoothly not only the first time, but every time.

To give an indication of the scale of this project, SAGE was responsible for the development and integration of 13 different assembly stations.

The first six stations were required to be completely automated and the process was monitored from a central control room, with vision being provided via 100 CCTV cameras. While featuring significant levels of mechanical assistance, the remaining seven stations included some elements of manual assembly or production.

“Working with SAGE Automation has proved to be an effective partnership and they have delivered a difficult project with many potential challenges,” said Michael Flowers, Managing Director of Chemring Australia.

The 2013 PACE Zenith Automotive and Manufacturing Awards are sponsored by ifm efector.
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