The world’s fastest sheet metal processing machine was unveiled at the expansion of a Tasmanian manufacturing business last week, defying the slowdown of the manufacturing industry through innovation.
According to a report on ABC, Direct Edge has officially opened its new factory in Burnie in the State’s north west as part of its $7 million expansion project. The expansion will go on to generate 75 jobs , in an area known for a high jobless rate.
“We’ve probably more than doubled in size to what we originally were, and we are still employing people, and we are still looking for people to employ so we haven’t stopped growing all the way through,” says Diane Edgerton, Direct Edge CEO.
Direct Edge was established 25 years ago and sells sheet metal to mining, marine and automotive companies around the world.
“Our capabilities to expand and export around the world are now huge thanks to this new facility, so we have big plans for manufacturing in the region,” Ms. Edgerton said in a related article on The Advocate.
“We think globally, but act locally. All markets fluctuate, so it’s extremely important for us that when we produce and export we don’t put all our eggs in one basket,” she said.
The new processing machine, the $1.2 million Trumpf5000 TruPunch, features automated systems that reduce production time and costs, while at the same time eliminating operator error.
“Its accuracy is up to point one of a millimetre, very reliable, and environmentally it uses very little power, a low area of compressed air, which I suppose makes it cost effective at the same time,” says the machine’s operator Damien Lee Smith in the ABC article.
Mr. Smith said before the machine, processes like bending and cutting all had to be done individually. TruPunch would be able to get steps done in one spot.
Meanwhile Ms. Edgerton sees the acquisition as a strategic investment.
“I have no doubt that manufacturing will continue to grow and manufacturing is evolving into a whole new era, with these types of machines,” she said.