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What’s hot in February

Too busy to read the news this month? We provide you with a snapshot of the most popular news stories that appeared on the PACE Today website during February.

IFS enters New Zealand

Enterprise applications provider IFS announced a distribution partnership with Activate New Zealand to support its growth strategy in the Asia Pacific region. This comes off the back of a global re-branding venture which will provide a new image for the company. The company serves customers in ANZ including: AB Equipment, Globus, Hawker Pacific and Siemens Transport. IFS Australia and New Zealand managing director, Rob Stummer, says New Zealand has had limited access to alternative enterprise technologies in the past.

Best compressor award

CompAir’s revolutionary oil-free compressor, the Quantima, gained industry recognition by winning Plant Engineering magazine’s 2008 Product of the Year Awards — an annual US-industry award that recognises the best in new product achievement. The Quantima operates on a completely oil-free basis making it energy-efficient, while delivering the lowest power consumption and carbon footprint of any compressor on the market, according to the manufacturer. The judges were impressed with the machine’s proven reliability and its cost of ownership, which they said was the lowest in its class.

Cash grants for apprentices

The Australian government released an apprentices package which provides incentives to businesses to keep apprentices in employment by offering employers cash donations of $1,000 when apprentices successfully complete their training. Apprentices themselves will receive $1,800 wage subsidies to help them find work. The package comes off the back of research provided by Ai Group which suggested that business is forecasting reduced investment in training this year of between 7.5% in manufacturing to 12% in the construction and services industries.

BHP process systems webinar

IChemE’s Process Management & Control Subject Group will hold a webinar on 31st March 2009 to explore a new operations system installed in the BHP Billiton Worsley Alumina refinery. The webinar will be presented by Worsley superintendant process control, Arnold Oliver, and will cover the next level of enhancements to support the operator in his situational awareness at the alumina refinery. Interested parties should contact Tanya Graham at IChemE on or phone 03 9642 4494.

NI goes green with product donations

National Instruments (NI) contributed US$300,000 worth of products to help the US Department of Energy (DOE) run a competition for students to design and engineer ‘green’ vehicles that emit reduced amounts of waste into the atmosphere. The products include NI LabVIEW graphical system design software, CompactRIO in-vehicle embedded control systems and PXI modular simulation systems. Students are required to re-engineer a 2009 Saturn VUE and will receive on-going product support from NI.

Forklift drivers get ready to rumble

Australia’s best forklift operators will battle for the title of Champion Driver at Melbourne Materials Handling Trade Show 2009 from 31st March to 2nd April, with more than 10,000 visitors already registered for the show. Attendees will see the forklift finalists in action and view a diverse range of products and services that focus on safety and efficiency in warehousing and distribution.

Michelin walks on the moon with NASA

A specially-designed wheel from Michelin will drive the next generation of NASA moon rover vehicles which require mobility under extreme conditions and harsh terrain. Made of patented composite materials, the structurally-supported tyre/wheel assembly is a feat in motion control engineering and maintains flexibility and constant ground pressure allowing the vehicle to move through loose soil and craters. It combines low mass and high payload capacity, making it 3.3 times more efficient than the original Apollo Lunar Rover wheels.

Watch out for our March issue of PACE magazine, out 12th March!

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