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Hi-tech defence component manufacturer launches Adelaide site

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Hi-tech defence component manufacturer launches Adelaide site article image

3D printing company Amaero International has launched its new South Australian manufacturing site in Adelaide’s north.

The Australian company is considered a world leader in metal additive manufacturing for the defence and aerospace industries and also has manufacturing facilities in Melbourne and California.

The South Australian site is adjacent to the Edinburgh RAAF base on the outskirts of Adelaide and is the result of a partnership with the University of Adelaide.

The facility contains three state-of-the-art Renishaw AM 400 3D printing machines and ancillary equipment and was originally established by the University of Adelaide with Amaero joining as a leading industry partner.

Amaero manufactures large format, complex defence and aerospace components in metal with laser-based additive manufacturing processes, commonly known as 3D printing.

The company will work with the university to continue the activities of the South Australian Additive Manufacturing Applied Research Network (AMARN), which involves expanding equipment, human capital and capability in a bid to make Adelaide a leader in 3D printing research, education, training and manufacturing.

Amaero CEO Barrie Finnin said South Australia was fast becoming a centre of the aerospace and the defence industries.

“Additive manufacturing is one of the most promising sectors for the Australian economy and it is growing in strategic importance,” he said.

“Amaero is proud to be leader in this field and we look forward to collaborating with the University of Adelaide to further develop skills in the industry.”

Key defence hub

In October 2019, the University of Adelaide and Amaero signed a Strategic Partnership Agreement focused on developing additive manufacturing capability in South Australia.

The Edinburgh North facility was originally established by the University of Adelaide with funding from the South Australian Government.

Adelaide is a key defence hub and is pivotal in Australia’s $90 billion plan to regenerate the Royal Australian Navy with new submarines, frigates and offshore patrol vessels. The Attack class submarines and Hunter class frigates will be built at the Osborne Naval Shipyard in Adelaide, where a $500 million upgrade is nearing completion.

Major investment is also underway at RAAF Base Edinburgh 30km north of Adelaide to support the introduction of the P-8A Poseidon maritime patrol aircraft, MC-55 ISREW aircraft and the MQ-4C Triton unmanned aerial vehicle.

South Australian Minister for Innovation and Skills David Pisoni said Amaero’s decision to set up in Adelaide was a boost for the state’s “innovation ecosystem”.

“This facility is a key enabler to help with the adoption of metal 3D printing by local companies that will drive innovation and the translation into new-to-world and new-to-industry products, services and processes,” he said.

High profile advisors

Amaero was established with the support of Monash University in 2013 and listed on the Australian Securities Exchange in December 2019.

It has worked with some of the world’s leading aerospace and defence product manufacturers in R&D and manufacturing capability and has demonstrated an ability to deliver aviation and military specification 3D printed alloy critical operation components.

The company has also appointed high profile advisors in the past month. On February 26 it announced to the ASX it had appointed former Acting Secretary of Defence for the United States of America Patrick Shanahan as Defence Advisor to its Industry Advisory Board.

Prior to his government career Patrick Shanahan served The Boeing Company as Senior Vice President, Supply Chain & Operations responsible for oversight of the company’s manufacturing operations and supplier management functions, including implementation of advanced manufacturing technologies and global supply chain strategies.

Last week, Amaero also announced it had appointed David Wolf as its Global Defence Offsets and Countertrade Investment Advisor.

Wolf is recognised globally for his expertise within defence offsets, countertrade and private equity, negotiating to successful outcomes more than $15 billion worth of defence offsets and investment over the past 40 years.

As a member of the board of the Global Offsets & Countertrade Association (GOCA), Wolf sits on the board alongside 14 other global leaders of the world’s largest defence companies including Boeing, Lockheed Martin, Raytheon, Northrop Grumman, Safran, Bell, Leonardo and Saab AB.

Andrew Spence is a senior writer for The Lead, South Australia.

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