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New centre for manufacturing excellence

24-08-2010
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in 

A new centre to help make Victoria’s manufacturing industries more environmentally friendly, productive and globally competitive has been opened in Melbourne.

The Victorian Direct Manufacturing Centre has been established by a consortium led by CSIRO.

"Direct manufacturing is a revolutionary concept where components are manufactured directly from powder, ribbon or wire in a layered manner, by-passing conventional processes such as casting, forging, rolling, cutting, machining, welding, or drilling," says the Centre's Director, CSIRO's Dr Mahnaz Jahedi.

"It offers dramatic savings in labour, time, materials, energy and other costs, and significant reductions in adverse environmental impacts."

Established with the support of the Victorian Government, the consortium includes 10 Victorian companies, Swinburne University of Technology, Deakin University and CSIRO as research providers.

Two leading overseas technology providers, Linde Gas and CGT (Cold Gas Technology GmbH), will also participate indirectly in the consortium, linking the Centre with other global developments in direct manufacturing. CSIRO is the lead agency acting on behalf of the consortium.

"This represents a significant investment by government, industry and research providers to help revitalise the manufacturing sector and deliver economic and environmental benefits to Victoria," Dr Jahedi said.

To ensure the Centre is focused on the needs of Victorian industry, engineering company Frontline Australasia Pty Ltd, has been appointed as the lead industry partner.

Frontline's CEO, Kevin Hooper, will be the Chairman of the Centre's Board.

The Victoria's Department of Innovation, Industry and Regional Development is providing support via a $3 million grant under the Victoria's Science Agenda (VSA) Investment Fund.

This will be matched with 50 per cent cash and 50 per cent in kind contributions by the industry partners. CSIRO and the universities will also contribute in kind over the two-and-a-half year term of the grant to bringing total contributions to around $10 million.

"This represents a significant investment by government, industry and research providers to help revitalise the manufacturing sector and deliver economic and environmental benefits to Victoria," Dr Jahedi said.

The ten Victorian manufacturing companies involved in the consortium are: Frontline Australasia Pty Ltd, A W Bell Pty Ltd, BOC Ltd, Camplex Pty Ltd, Derwent Industries Pty Ltd, Force Industries Pty Ltd, Kirk Engineering Services Pty Ltd, Laserlife Littlejohn, Marand Precision Engineering Pty Ltd, United Surface Technologies Pty Ltd.

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