The winners of Australia’s most prestigious manufacturing awards have been announced, featuring a high calibre of companies sharing their innovative ideas, technologies and products.
This year’s Endeavour Awards was due to be held in Sydney this year but because of COVID-19 lockdown restrictions, the event physically did not happen, but the awards went on as per normal.
This year’s awards saw a jump in the number of quality nominations for individual categories – something unprecedented because one would expect many to be holding back due to the economic downturn.
Carl Bezuidenhout, executive director business development for BDO said from BDO’s standpoint, the Awards are good for the sector locally and globally.
“It sends a very positive message to the Australian manufacturing sector, Australian business and global markets that Australian manufacturing is innovative, cutting edge and ready to engage both locally and internationally – and for these reasons we wholeheartedly support the awards,” Bezuidenhout said.
Peter Canavan, senior policy officer at Australian Industry Group (Ai Group) said the winners had “demonstrated a capacity to find gaps in the market”, both domestic and international, and develop innovative products that fill those gaps.
“The winners demonstrated that Australian manufacturers continue to punch above their weight in international markets despite our distances, and that sometimes those distances can be turned into advantage,” Canavan said.
Scott Martin, group leader of applied physics at CSIRO concurred saying that every year there are impressive examples of inward and outward innovation– inward innovation bringing new technology from around the world into Australian markets and manufacturing processes; and outward innovation developing Australian-grown technology for local and export markets.
“It’s always a pleasure to read the nominations for the Endeavour Awards and this year was no exception. For me, the nominations I rate most highly are ones that establish high-tech manufacturing facilities in Australia that produce highly differentiated, high value products for the global market – and it was great to see just as many of these this year as previously,” Martin said.
Canavan stated that COVID-19 has created great challenges for Australian manufacturers, but there will also be opportunities as the country looks to source more products locally.
“I believe manufacturers will be looking to peers – especially Award winners as a source of inspiration and new ideas,” he said.
Environmental solution of the year
The Environmental Solution of the Year Award recognises companies based on how their development, technology or initiative has made a positive impact to environmental sustainability in manufacturing.
Waterlink SmartMESH and NB-IoT Technology – Successful Endeavours took out the top prize. Notable mention to the finalists, Centre for Infrastructure Engineering – Western Sydney University, Automated Concrete Test Laboratory – Mexx Engineering Pty Ltd, Protectiflex – Tyre Stewardship Australia & Flexiroc Australia, SENSEI – CSIRO and LieNA – Lithium Australia NL.
Their winning entry for the Environmental Solution of the Year is the Waterlink SMARTMESH system that uses a battery-powered device that can read up to six water metres at a time.
Normally, the solution is to put a water reading module that contains a simcard, and it uses cellular networks to retrieve data.
Founder Ray Keefe explains that the challenge with this model is the fee chargeable using cellular network with the simcard.
“At the moment, the cost of the simcard is comparable to a person coming down to reading it manually. What one gets from putting a unit in a simcard is the getting of more convenient data collection, but not less expensive data collection. Other issues include the timeliness of getting data,” he said.
“Our focus is on creating new technology, manufacturing opportunities for Australian manufacturers, so we are 100 per cent focused on designing products, that can make profitability in Australia, and doing that in the smartest way possible.”
Endeavour Awards winners for 2020
Manufacturer of the Year – REDARC
Technology Application Award- SPECIAL PATTERNS
Outstanding Start-Up Award – BLACK SKY AEROSPACE
Global Supply Chain Integration of the Year – REDARC
Safety Solution of the Year – PRM ENGINEERING
Excellence in Manufacturing Skills Development – APR.INTERN
Australian Industrial Product of the Year – SPECIAL PATTERNS
Most Innovative Manufacturing Company Award – ORICA MINING SERVICES
Excellence in Growth – SUPASHOCK & NOJA POWER
Best Industrial IoT Application – ORICA MINING SERVICES