A message from Jens Goennemann
Since AMGC began its work in early 2016, we have compiled a vast body of evidence describing competitive manufacturing and explaining its value. Each report has been filled with examples coupled with hard figures to make this case.
Asked for examples of competitive manufacturers, I could give many names. A standout among standouts is REDARC Electronics.
AMGC is supporting a project not only of REDARC’s ongoing transformation, but also with their partners, consisting of Swinburne University, Armadillo, Minitab, Artis Group and CADWalk. This project will forge Industry 4.0 via interactive and automated statistical process control for production, quality alerts, design and validation of production cells using augmented reality and artificial intelligence.
Far from digitalising away jobs, REDARC expects to create 35 new hires across its business and their partners’ businesses as a result. It expects to invest another $20 million following this “smart factory” upgrade, and further increase a headcount that currently stands already at 275.
REDARC will continue adding to its robotics investment, including three cobots currently on deck. “Robots versus jobs” being a wrong equation? Look no further than REDARC.
Industry 4.0 is not a buzzword, but “a journey without end.” It means to respond quickly to what customers want, according to REDARC’s head manufacturing engineer. Since the beginning of its current ownership by Anthony and Michele Kittel in 2002, it has invested up to 15 per cent of revenues on R&D, and has not been shy in collaborating with other companies and researchers.
The Kittel’s are also keen to invest in their staff, putting them through training ranging from language, literacy and numeracy (LLN) to university courses. They credit this as one reason for their high staff retention.
REDARC has always been on the lookout for its next opportunity. “If it’s got a battery and it moves, it’s a customer,” is how they put it. REDARC moved into defence in 2019 and is currently chasing business in medical, electric vehicles and even hyper-sonics.
We have plenty of world-class manufacturers in Australia, we just need them to scale. REDARC is an example of a business that managed to climb above the “M” in the SME category, with significant growth potential remaining.
REDARC’s advancement will form part of our Manufacturing Academy, so we all can learn from one of the best on why Industry 4.0 matters and how it’s being done.