-Simon Ganley, Ganley Engineering Have you ever wondered how manufacturers control what they make so they produce everything to the top of the specification and only use the minimum amount of energy to achieve that? Well, most bulk manufacturers of food and industrial products use sensors that sit in or on the line that measure what is being made to automatically control the process. And world-wide, NDC Technologies have grown to become the largest suppliers of this technology. There is a limit to how long any manufacturer can afford to fill up the scrap bin with substandard product, how long they can waste money on power consumption and how long they can compete with companies who do things properly. So, some of the things we do in NZ and elsewhere, is control the moisture and resin in MDF and particle board. This is done with a succession of sensors that control up at the wet-end and provide total control at the finished product. We control sugar moisture on-line and new developments will see the control of colour and lactose where degrees of brown have been an issue. Developed in NZ, most biscuits are now automatically process controlled with colour and moisture which saves huge amounts of energy, staff time and ingredients. The world’s largest French fries maker controls the moisture, oil, colour, bed depth and temperature at the fryer. Other makers produce anything at all. The same goes for potato and corn crisps. The big producers became big because they control what they make. Controlling production provides a fast payback. For confectionery, we control the layers of syrup when it is sprayed in the pan to make up hard-shell products and for chocolate the top producers control the moisture and cocoa butter. For milk powder, pharmaceuticals and other products made […]
It is very good news that the country is now in Orange and flexibility around people gathering allows business to breathe a sigh of relief. We can only go up from here! As a nation – as a business nation – we have been wrapped up in Covid cotton wool for so long that many businesses closed and others will not get back to previous levels of performance. And of course, we don’t have enough skilled people for the work at hand at present and the continual threat of OE and crossing the ditch for better financial reward means it will be years before New Zealand can get back on a firm financial footing. Into the black…if at all. Keeping all the balls in the air is a challenge for this small economy, with so much demand on government finances to maintain existing systems. Closing down the country during Covid may have worked for health and safety but certainly not for business. One could argue that an amount of money needs to be spent on skilled workers, both internal and from overseas, (some will come back) to help realign the economy. Decent rates of pay so that effort is rewarded and a real incentive for improving productivity and efficiency. Keeping in mind, of course, that supply chain issues affect movement of goods, affect productivity, just as it does the current demand for New Zealand products. Changing markets, changing times. This government is going to have to live with their decision to halt the good work of so many businesses for the rest of their lives. It will haunt them to know that those who had, suddenly, had not. To arbitrarily decide who trades and who doesn’t – not based on their own personal business experience – was always going to […]
– Sarah Ramsay, Chief Executive Officer, United Machinists The Prime Minister was so disappointed she couldn’t make United’s Hawaiian launch party, she dropped in for a visit a couple of weeks later with her own party of some 30 media, entourage and diplomatic police. We can confirm it isn’t an act – Jacinda Ardern in person is the real-deal, a people person that puts you at ease immediately and is genuinely interested. Thoughtful, curious and obviously read up before her visit, she was eager to discuss the operations of our workshop and our views on the contract manufacturing industry: How difficult is it to find skilled staff? What can be done to help push apprenticeships? What can schools be doing to draw attention to careers in engineering? Why is it important for NZ to retain manufacturing? What can the government do to help push this? We told her our vision was to bring sexy back into manufacturing – she had a good laugh at that. We told her that now is the time for a renaissance of hi-tech manufacturing in New Zealand. The time to redefine what manufacturing looks like. That it’s not a dirty old mill or lathe, with ‘you’ll get it when its good and ready’ service. It’s the ‘Machine Shop of the Future’ – a state of the art, temperature-controlled facility making highly intricate parts for industries such as medical, cinematography, marine and aerospace. Utilising the very latest in CNC, robotic and software technology available. But that investments into machine capacity will come to nought, if we don’t have the highly skilled people to run them. Of the seven qualified CNC machinists we have hired in the past 18 months, six have been from overseas. “Go hard & Go Early” – a motto often used by Prime […]
-Doug Green, Publisher NZ Manufacturer – www.nzmanufacturer.co.nz Editorial – November issue. Important, I think, to make this Editorial about the RCEP Agreement which will open up more opportunities for New Zealand businesses. New Zealand is a member of the world’s largest free-trade deal, representing 30% of GDP, which aims to boost imports and exports with lower tariffs across 15 Asia-Pacific countries. This is a big deal and the largest free trade deal so far. At the (virtual) ASEAN Summit, held Sunday last, ministers from 15 countries signed a mega-trade agreement after eight years of negotiations, which started in 2012. Known as the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) Agreement, once ratified, it will form the largest-ever regional free-trade bloc. Countries who signed were China, Japan, South Korea, Australia, New Zealand, and members of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), including Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam. The 15,000-page agreement outlines tariff reductions of about 90% on traded goods and services. On top of goods and services, the agreement covers investment, economic and technical cooperation, new rules for e-commerce, intellectual property and more. When finalised, the main benefits for businesses will be: One set of rules for accessing lower tariffs in any of the 15 RCEP markets; New trade opportunities in telecommunications, professional and financial services; Improved processes for tackling non-tariff barriers such as customs procedures; Greater investment certainty; New rules on e-commerce to make it easier for businesses to trade online; A common set of intellectual property rules; and A new rules of origin agreement to boost inputs in production chains. These new measures are expected to come into effect once the majority of participating countries ratify the deal over the next two years. As I said, this is a big deal.
In August Issue 5G to enhance manufacturing efficiency. AI is here to stay. Cottonsoft on a roll. Tackle climate change, here and now. The digital twins are coming. Rats! It’s the internet of things. Boosting your business – Preparing to raise capital …and lots more Have a story to tell…let me know and be read by our audience of decision makers.
In the July issue
In the June issue