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Manufacturing Insights to Inspire and Foster Collaboration


With the support of a Tasmanian Government grant from the Department of State Growth, three manufacturing insights tours were arranged in the 2018/19 financial year for staged delivery in June and November 2018 and March 2019.

The facilitated tours were coordinated by TMEC and the Advanced Manufacturing Advisory Committee to provide a detailed insight into the operations of small, medium and large manufacturers in Tasmania as a stimulus for ideas and networking among industry attendees.

Tour agendas were designed to encourage the sharing of experiences so as to learn from others’ histories.

A North West tour initiated the series on 21 and 22 June with inspections of manufacturing facilities of Elphinstone (Wynyard and Burnie) Norfolk Blinds, Hellyer Road Distillery, Jayben, Maltec and Penguin Composites. Participants saw first-hand the benefits of replicable standard procedures, examples of good practice in methods and tools, and how to stimulate innovation and product development.

Productivity Improvers presented to attendees an outline of Lean, 5S and the Simulated Work Environment at the TMEC Advanced Manufacturing Centre prior to the conclusion of the event.

Eleven participants from eight businesses joined the first tour which was facilitated by Sarah Jones of the AI Group, the TMEC Advanced Manufacturing Coordinator, Kent Wyllie, and Greg House from Business and Trade. The tour groups were capped to enable good levels of interaction with business managers and staff.

Networking and information sharing among the participants was another benefit of the tour, as they represented a range of businesses including APCO Engineering, PFG, Hydro Tasmania, Tasman Metal Products, Progress Switchboards, TasFab, UTAS and Elphinstone Triabunna. An opportunity for networking was provided at a dinner at the conclusion of the first day which was also attended by Michael Grogan of the Advanced Manufacturing Growth Centre and David Chuter of the Innovative Manufacturing CRC (IMCRC).

The IMCRC hosted a breakfast on the second day of the tour which was open to all businesses from across the region. Following the breakfast, David Chuter led participants through an interactive future map workshop.

Based on the positive feedback from the first event participants, the subsequent tours of Northern manufacturing sites in October and Southern sites the following March were much anticipated.