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Hi-tech robot boost for Lonsdale manufacturer

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A 3D printing and robotic welding unit has been unveiled at Rowlands Metalworks in Lonsdale, which the sheet metal manufacturer says is a key to expanding its defence work nationally.

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The Arcemy unit is made by northern suburbs company AML3D and is the first commercial unit to be launched in the state.

It follows the export of an Arcemy unit to Singapore last year. A unit is also being shipped to Perth company IKAD Engineering.

Rowlands Metalworks managing director Cameron Johnston said the Arcemy robot would diversify the company’s product offering and help it meet the demands of next-generation defence projects in South Australia and nationally.

He said BAE industries would be the first Defence Prime to benefit from the technology, as part of SEA 5000 Hunter Class construction.

“With defence representing a significant percentage of our business and growing, the 3D printing technology provides a unique opportunity for capability development, allowing us to deliver sophisticated equipment for the expanding needs of the Australian defence industry,” Johnston said.

“The defence industry moves rapidly which is why it is vital to evolve business expertise to effectively deliver sophisticated technological innovations that meet the advanced requirements of projects both domestically and internationally.”

The $500,000 investment was supported by a Sovereign Industrial Capability Priority Grant from the Federal Government’s Centre for Defence Industry Capability (CDIC), placed the company in position to its Defence Prime contracts in the state and nationally.

AML3D delivered the Arcemy unit to Lonsdale-based Rowlands Metalworks last month and managing director Andy Sales said there was increasing interest from around the world in the cutting-edge technology.

“Some of these manufacturing and fabrication companies are realising they have to diversify so they are going out and buying new machinery and developing new capabilities,” Sales said.

“Initially Rowlands bought it (Arcemy) for welding with the idea of moving into 3D printing but I think the more they’ve looked into it, the more they are thinking they will use it to 3D print everything they can.

“There’s plenty of market out there for this process, a lot of the primes are starting to look at this now.

“We’ve had quite a bit of interest in the last six months and we’re working on producing about half a dozen more over the next year across three or four customers.”

Meanwhile, global technology consulting firm MTX Group is expected to announce its Asia Pacific Growth plans this afternoon, including 500 in South Australia and an initial hub in Adelaide.

In total, MTX Group says the APAC expansion will include 2500 jobs Australia-wide.

MTX partners with government agencies and businesses to modernise technology with outcomes in mind around the happiness, health, and economy of the communities they serve worldwide, with a strong global presence in New York, Texas, Canada, and India.

MTX Australia CEO Ben Papps and Federal Finance Minister Simon Birmingham are expected to make the announcement at 2pm at Lot Fourteen’s Australian Institute for Machine Learning.

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