Machine Builder Finalists: 2014 PACE Zenith Awards

Profiles of the nine finalists in the Machine Builder category that is sponsored by B&R.

CKAS Mechatronics

CKAS Full Driving Simulator

The CKAS Full Driving Simulator (FDS) is a world first in driver safety development, incorporating most of the features of multi million dollar flight simulators into a driving simulator, which offers the industry a training at an affordable price.

The CKAS FDS features a real vehicle surrounded by a unique 360° visual system, professional control loading on the steering wheel for realistic road feel, genuine servo controlled transmission for realistic gear changes, a completely functional vehicle interior, all mounted on a professional six degree of freedom (6DOF) motion system.

This combination of features makes the simulator completely unique around the world for driver safety training.

Rheology Solutions

The OnLine Rheometer for enhanced process monitoring and control

The project was to commercialise, in two years, novel technologies for an online process control instrument that delivers real-time data to afford better quality control for production processes, initially in the food, personal care and, later, mining and other sectors.

The instrument is an OnLine Rheometer, which measures and delivers a characteristic flow curve for a liquid in a pipe in real time. The market need for this instrument is acute, and there are no direct competitors.

Across key sectors, product quality is verified by measuring flow properties of liquids. Currently, these measurements are either through laboratory analysis which is highly accurate but adds significantly to process time, or real-time, through in- or on-line viscometers.


Civil contractor sets benchmarks in maintenance facility safety

New Konecranes overhead cranes designed to be benchmarks of safety and ergonomics are being deployed by leading civil contractor Ertech in their recently completed equipment maintenance facility that will service about 170 items of major plant, including scrapers, excavators, loaders and bulldozers.

The 5-tonne and 10-tonne cranes have been installed at Ertech’s headquarters in Wangara, Western Australia, on the northern outskirts of Perth.

Ertech has also signed a maintenance agreement with Konecranes to service the cranes and undertake statutory inspections.

Elemental Manufacturing

World's first environmentally harmonious and safer salmon pen

An Australian designer has played a key role in producing a world first in aquaculture – a salmon protection pen that not only protects the fish, but also safeguards the seals that want to eat them and the staff who might be caught in the middle.

The new pens employ a double-net system to protect the salmon and prevent seals from ramming themselves against the inner netting to get at the fish inside. It also allows easier and wider egress for the seals.

Because the double net design is 50 percent wider and more stable than conventional designs, a challenge for Elemental was to produce a triple collar stanchion that was strong enough to cope with the flexing and stresses imparted by the wider design.

Ryan Aerospace

Blackhawk Helicopter Simulator for mission rehearsal

Ryan Aerospace has developed a relatively low cost Blackhawk Helicopter Simulator to be used for mission rehearsal and military combined arms training exercises.

The machine is designed to be in a classroom situation to train pilots. Being robust and relatively small (whilst not compromising the 1:1 scale of the real helicopter) it can also be deployed into a theatre of war where pilots can collectively practice real, upcoming practice missions without having to spend millions of dollars on expensive, high-end simulators or worse still, practice in the real helicopter where it’s too dangerous to fly, fuel is limited or helicopters are limited.


K-TIG (Keyhole TIG Limited)

K-TIG is a high speed, single pass, full penetration welding technology developed at the CSIRO, which eliminates the need for wire, edge bevelling or skilled operators and produces flawless welds up to 100x faster than TIG welding in materials up to 16mm thickness.

Headquartered in Salisbury, SA, K-TIG is the only Australian manufacturer of welding systems and its transformational technology is expected to allow it to compete extremely effectively with much larger American and European competitors.

Machinery Automation & Robotics


In collaboration with Meat & Livestock Australia, Machinery Automation & Robotics has developed BladeStop. This product is uniquely designed to reduce risks of serious injury by mechanically stopping the bandsaw blade when the unit sense that a person has come in contact with the blade.

Upon sensing contact with the operator, the blade stops operating within 15 milliseconds which can be a huge difference between just having a small skin cut and an amputated finger.

Repeat Plastics Australia

Replas' Queensland plant

Plastic recycler, Replas, has unwrapped plans to set up and operate a plastic recycling facility in Queensland in 2014. The facility will reprocess plastic waste collected locally and produce products which can be used for infrastructure throughout Queensland.

The production equipment used is a hybrid of technologies that was developed in house by Replas 22 years ago and has been refined ever since. The new Replas facility will be the only operation in Queensland able to process a full range of plastic packaging materials and turn it into end products.

From shopping bags, shrink-wrap films, sterile wrap and many other types of plastic used in the packaging supply chain.


Heat Detector Assembly Machine

This project is to automate the assembly of Heat Detectors used in the Dairy Industry. The assembly currently takes 7 people 1 hour to make 1000 parts. This 9 station assembly machine does not require an operator and produces the same quantity per hour.

There is no other machine of its type. B&R Stepper motors and Control have been used. Virtual screen technology enables any hand held smart phone or tablet to be used to communicate to the machine wirelessly.

This gives the operator freedom and the machine designer flexibility with regard to cabinet positioning.

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