Austin Engineering says it has been selected by the Western Australian (WA) Government for a grant of up to A$5 million ($3.5 million) to boost its advanced manufacturing program at its Perth-based operations in Kewdale.
The grant funding has been allocated under the Government’s Investment Attraction Fund (IAF), which was announced in March 2022. The IAF seeks to bring further investment, jobs and economic diversity into Western Australia, increasing demand for local goods and services, securing trade in new sectors and within new markets.
The grant will support greater automation and production efficiency in Austin’s manufacturing facilities in Perth as part of the continued rollout of Austin’s global advanced manufacturing plan, the company says. Austin launched the program in 2021 under the Austin 2.0 strategy to transform the business through increased efficiency and capability across its major mining equipment production facilities.
The program has involved upgrades to its manufacturing equipment and processes in Perth using the latest technology and innovation to streamline and increase production, and improve quality.
To date, the manufacturing program has allowed for a lift in output and product suite expansion, according to Austin. The company recently launched its Western Australia-designed and manufactured, ultra-lightweight High Performance Truck Tray (HPT), which, it says, can carry additional ore tonnes per annum due to its lighter weight and increased volume efficiency.
Through the integration of the Mainetec business, Austin has expanded its manufacturing capacity space to produce and deliver Mainetec’s High Performance bucket range out of Perth as well. Additionally, Austin is now offering equipment condition monitoring software on its excavator bucket range and is upgrading it for suitability on truck trays for more accurate monitoring of repair and replacement requirements.
The terms of the grant, including the timing of any funding, will not be clear until a definitive agreement and project plan are agreed.
Austin CEO and Managing Director, David Singleton, said: “We are very grateful to be selected by the Western Australian Government for funding under the Investment Attraction Fund. The grant will allow us to continue investment into advanced manufacturing and technology in our Western Australia operations, to create more local jobs and deliver world-class designed and engineered products to our mining customers.”