Our April meeting has Paul Chapman speaking from Australian Turntable Company. AT) is an innovative Australian-owned family business that provides specialist unique high quality design and rotational engineering solutions across a range of industries including mining, construction, transport, infrastructure, exhibition, residential, automotive, theatre, retail and aviation.
Our guest speaker for March 2018 is Dr John White who spoke about Black Swans – a thought provoking talk!
You are invited to connect at The Victorian Vernier Society monthly meeting is on Thursday the 8th February at Kooyong Tennis Club. Our guest speaker will be Andrew Lamb, Production Director at Magefekt
It is the season to be jolly and for the Vernier Society to turn its attention to its more charitable works. It gives us great pleasure to announce our Christmas Program to be held at Kooyong Tennis Club on Thursday Evening 14th of December 2017 from 6.30pm to 9.30pm.
We extend a warm welcome to loved ones, friends, neighbours, and of course partners!
You are invited to connect at The Victorian Vernier Society monthly meeting is on Thursday the 11th of May at Kooyong Tennis Club:
Our Guest Speaker is Ed Wilson the Managing Director, Wilson Transformer Company
You are cordially invited to connect at The Victorian Vernier Society on Thursday the 13th April 2018 @12:30 at Kooyong Tennis Club. Our guest speaker is Sam Bell, Managing Director of AW Bell Pty Ltd
The Great Debate – Germany vs. Australia
Kooyong Tennis Club, Glenferrie Road, Kooyong
Thursday 11th August 12.30 pm to 4.00pm
The Vernier Foundation, part of the Vernier Society, was established to encourage more young people into careers in Australian engineering and manufacturing.
We are inviting young scientists, technologists, engineers and mathematicians to participate with Society members in an open debate that promotes Australian manufacturing.
Germany’s manufacturing % of GDP is above 20% and contributes significantly to its’ position as the world’s 3rd largest exporter in the world. While Australian manufacturing contributes less than 10% of GDP and Exports. Both political parties are stressing the importance of STEM education (in Germany it is MINT – Mathematics, IT, Natural sciences and technology) but the two education systems have very different approaches to feeding the manufacturing industries.
The expert panel will explain and explore the two systems and answer questions posed by the audience. Our panel consists of:
- Dr. Andreas Kelling, Director of Steinbeis University Berlin
- Dr. Alan Montague of RMIT University
- Dr. Anne Hellstedt of Melbourne University and Engineers Australia
- Jason Bouyer, Head of Learning for Festo (a German multinational)
- Xiaoyu Wang, Software engineer at ANCA
- Patrick Docherty, a young engineer studying at Swinburne University
The Foundation and the Society will provide sponsored places to young people and so we ask you to invite 2 or more young people to support event. It is also an ideal event to invite your colleagues and acquaintances.
Our guest speaker will be Vernier member, Meredith Crittenden the Executive General Manager of Industrial Control Technologies based in Geelong.
The Society was given a fascinating insight at our July meeting into a recent study trip our member and guest speaker Meredith Crittenden, the Executive General Manager of ICT Geelong, made to Sweden as part of a learning tour from Australia organised by AIG and hosted by the international expert and past Society speaker Goran Roos.
Meredith treated the audience to a number of innovative insights into how Sweden, as a high cost manufacturing nation, are planning to transform their manufacturing industry in the face of global disruption. The presentation pointed to many things that have great similarities to the Australian manufacturing challenge.
While Meredith gave a good PowerPoint presentation to support her perceptions, she felt that it needed more work before it was worthy of being added to the Vernier website, which gives an indication of the standards of excellence that exist with Meredith and with ICT and we are pleased to post the now, excellent presentation on the Society website.
The work that Sweden is doing is exciting covering city infrastructure sustainability, robotics and state of the art communications. The presentation directly poses some questions for the Australian mindset and we would love to have your feedback and opinion on how the Swedish emphasis compares with Australia’s current strategy.
Vernier welcomes your opinion!
“Collaboration – The opportunity created by Additive Manufacturing and the CSIRO’s Lab 22 Innovation Centre”
Our guest speaker will be Dr Leon Prentice of CSIRO who leads the ‘Materials and Processes Research Group’ in the CSIRO’s Manufacturing Business Unit.
“Dr Prentice argues that the Australian manufacturing industry is at a critical point; where challenges, particularly in the metals and automotive sectors may be contrasted with the opportunities of an advantageous exchange rate and new technologies.
Collaboration is the key but Australian industry has generally struggled to transfer new ideas and fundamental research into products and processes.
He will explain how the CSIRO and its Lab 22 Innovation Centre will act as an incubator for businesses wishing to trial additive technology to better understand how it might become a viable technology within their business models”.
Speaker – The Honourable Lily D’Ambrosio – Victorian State Minister for Industry and Minister for Energy and Resources.
The Victorian Vernier Society 2016 Speaker Program started its year with a real feather in its cap with a high profile speaker in the Victorian State Labor Government’s Minister for Industry and Minister for Energy and Resources, The Honourable Lily D’Ambrosio. In order to fit with the Minister’s State Parliamentary sitting days, the Vernier Society was all too willing to change its regular date to accommodate the Minister, who was pleasingly able to find time in her busy schedule to speak to the Society, even though the question time on her speech was cut short by an earlier than expected leaving.
On a warm summer’s day, in the pleasant surroundings of Kooyong Tennis Centre and in front of a good gathering of Vernier Society members, swelled by a number of guests, the Minister first recapped her earlier visits to the Centre of social occasions and then gave a comprehensive, scripted talk on the State’s Labor government plans to manage the transition of Victorian manufacturing into a new age. The main points extracted from the Minister’s presentation were:
(note; it was necessary to provide additional materials from the authorised government websites to ensure the notes taken reflect the facts)
- While manufacturing has suffered a decline, it is still the second largest industry sector in the state with over 20,000 businesses, employing a quarter of a million people and contributing $27.5b to Victoria’s growth.
- It is important that the Government understand the changes taking place in the industry and is responsive to the requirement to be a nimbler and advanced manufacturing sector.
- Australia is not a low cost manufacturing country and so the industry and government must approach the challenge in a sophisticated and intelligent way.
- Despite the impending loss of the passenger automotive industries, Victoria still have thriving sectors in heavy vehicle transport, recreational vehicles and defence and a strong manufacturing infrastructure sector supporting the level crossing program.
- Already a number of Victorian companies have taken advantage of Next Generation Manufacturing Investment Program that offers a range of grants available jointly from the Australian Government in conjunction with the Victorian and SA governments.
- The Minister identified local successes in the $135m expansion of Ego Pharmaceuticals to a new building in Dandenong, which is believed will eventually create up to 200 new jobs.
- The new building in Braeside by the Japanese company Rinnai who make next generation water systems that will provide up to 160 new jobs.
- The advanced manufacturing Centre of Innovation in Geelong.
- The Government is creating a strategy for manufacturing involving a number of high productivity sectors with advanced manufacturing covering all sectors.
- With the impending loss of automotive jobs at the end of this year and in 2017 the government is highly focused on creating new opportunities and skills for these redundant workers.
- The State government is working closely with many of the 135 automotive supply companies to diversify into new products, exports and sectors.
- The State government is putting local supply first in its projects – i.e. with local steel in the railway crossing replacement program and mandating major projects to employ young people.
- The government is still developing an ‘Advanced Manufacturing Statement’ which will be released soon.
The Minister’s talk was in general well received and it was unfortunate that the Minister had to leave after just a single question from the audience as Vernier’s learned audience tried to digest the abundance of plans and actions.
“The challenges for our next generation of industry leaders”
Q & A Forum Special Event – 12th November 2015
Each year the Vernier Society in conjunction with its own Vernier (Youth) Foundation create a special function to attracting youth to the substantial benefits of a career in engineering and manufacturing. This year our theme was “The challenges facing our next generation of industry leaders” with a Q&A style panel of 5 of the brightest and best covering Melbourne industry and academia.
The panelists were:
- Marcus Ramsay, MD of Lovitt Technologies who are one of the leading global companies for the supply of aerospace components and Marcus along with his brother, is leading a generational change at the company.
- Jason Steinwedel is the Programme Manager for CADET – Deakin University’s “Centre for Advanced Design in Engineering Training” in Melbourne, a university already innovating away from the more traditional industry focus .
- Xiaoyu Wang is a software engineer at ANCA, winners of the 2015 “Manufacturing Company of the year” and winner of numerous export awards. Computer science is seen as the essential skill of the future offering a unique perspective on technology skills for the future.
- Ryan Higgins is a Manufacturing Engineer at ANCA offering another perspective having worked his way up through a factory apprenticeship to now be part of the ANCA team constantly innovating manufacturing processes in a global market.
- Professor Mark Eaton, Departmental head at RMIT’s Advanced Manufacturing Centre. Mark is a material scientist and with RMIT being at the forefront of Additive Manufacturing bringing a wider insight into how technology & leadership fit together in our manufacturing future.
It was a lovely sunny day in Melbourne and the early arrivals enjoyed the view through the windows of the Kooyong Lawn Tennis Club, the traditional home of Vernier Society Luncheons setting a standard for cuisine and service. By near to start time the pre-lunch bar was being crowded out by members and guests exchanging introductions and generally networking such that by 1pm start all the attendees were seated bar one member who has now made a tradition of being fashionably late. After the traditional Society toast to “Australia and Manufacturing” and the usual custom of collecting fees from members who were not wearing their Society ties (perhaps preferring sartorial elegance to convention) the room enjoyed the usual high quality courses of a smoked salmon entrée and a delightful chicken main course before the main event.
From the left – Ryan Higgins of ANCA, Marcus Ramsay of Lovitt, Moderator Kerry Little, Mark Eaton of RMIT, Xiaoyu Wang of ANCA and Jason Steinwedel of Deakin
With the panel seated and the microphones in place the moderator (and President of Vernier) Kerry Little explained how the event would work with pre-arranged questions from the audience that the panelists would hear for the first time. To ease the probably nervous panelists (ABC’s Q&A program will be their next big step) Kerry asked the panelists to each describe the driving forces of their success and the answers gave a marvelous insight into different paths and forces that drive success.
Marcus Ramsay (MR) of Lovitt Technologies explain how he and his brother had taken different routes into the family business; Bruce through and apprenticeship and Marcus through an academic route but both saw the niche of titanium components for the world’s aerospace industry as the route to a prosperous future.
Jason Steinwedel (JS) explained how an initial career in hospitality and health and a natural curiosity had led him to an academic career geared to making things better.
Xiaoyu Wang (XW) of ANCA told of her initial studies in the competitive schools of China was followed by further focused studies in Australia and her first job with ANCA in which she sees the challenge to improve ANCA technology for the world.
Ryan Higgins explained how being good with his hands had prompted a traditional apprenticeship scheme before joining ANCA and changing to now improve the ANCA spindle manufacturing section while still pursuing further academic qualifications, which endorse his clear determination to succeed.
Finally, Mark Eaton of RMIT explained how an interest in maths and science from a young age had led to Materials Engineering and an inquisitive mind had helped him first at the CRC and now at RMIT.
The first question from the audience came from long time Vernier member David Bennett who asked:
“There is now a big emphasis to ensure that STEM subjects; science, technology, engineering and maths are taught in schools and universities. How crucial do you believe these skills are to future leaders and if so what do we need to do to promote their importance?”
The answers varied amongst the panel with Jason suggesting that STEM would be better regarded as STEAM with art seen as important in the scheme of holistic teaching. The need to start teaching these subjects at primary school was endorsed by the panel and that teaching should be seen as vital to make young people think, create and explore through knowledge learning. Jason made the very pertinent point that it is important that students learn to “design, create and make things”. Xiaoyu gave some wonderful comparisons with the Chinese education system where China is much more highly structured and intense compared to Australia as a sort of caged to free range comparison! She also expressed dismay at the fall out rates in Australian university courses. Xiaoyu did state though that many Chinese students have mentors in non-academic areas. Ryan raised an interesting point by suggesting that the amount of information now at students’ finger tips through the Internet must start to change the need to learn things that may never be used in normal working.
The next question came from a Friend of Vernier Dean McCarroll who was not able to be present but it is a point shared strongly by AMTIL leadership of which both CEO Shane Infanti and President Paul Fowler were present and was put by Paul:
“As Dean says manufacturing should be seen as a great opportunity with new technologies in materials, electric vehicles, aerospace, medical devices etc. Yet manufacturing is still seen as a grubby industry. Why do you think that is and what can be done to change the image of manufacturing?”
The strong message back from the panelists was that it is important for manufacturing to change its image and this needs to focus on the parents and their current perceptions of industry as not an attractive proposition. It was suggested that this needs to come from both government and the media and Ryan suggested we need to learn from the way manufacturing is portrayed now in the United States. Again some interesting comparisons came from Xiaoyu and how many manufacturing is strong in rural communities with family businesses including relatives all working in the business. [authors note that this community manufacturing is also strong in Germany with businesses being the main focus in many towns and sharing the gained prosperity]. It was also pointed out that there are now only 3 degrees on offer in Australia for manufacturing and so the strong message was that there is a lot of work to do to push manufacturing as a smart and justified career.
The next question came from Vernier Executive member Bob Weekes:
“While there is still pressure on managers and leaders to achieve results, the workplace is changing with increasing cultural awareness, workplace bullying, stress management, etc. How do you see the skills of managers have changed and will need to continue to adapt to these evolving circumstances? Is emotional intelligence now even more essential for leaders and managers?”
Marcus explained how emotional intelligence was vital in Lovitt’s from two aspects – one in the fact that he and his brother are now the generation managing and leading the company and this is particularly pertinent as the company has a good number of manufacturing skilled and experienced supervisors who learned their style overseas in more autocratic times or here in Australia where adversarial relations were the past norm. The two academics explained how EQ was becoming more integral in university teaching under the headings of ‘professional practice’ as such things as ‘presentation and employment skills were added to the curriculum. Mark made the point that EQ skills were becoming increasing part of the professor’s lot as campuses can be regarded as their own village. In response to the question back to the audience, member Peter Sutton of Sutton Tools pointed out that there is a need for the company to develop its own culture and for this to be ingrained in apprentices and new starters by the seniors of the company.
The next question came from Jack Parr of Vernier who asked:
“Many businesses are now global with customers around the world. Software is now outsourced to India and the like, customer support centres in Asia, engineering design around the world for globally designed products yet work particularly in manufacturing is based on 5days/7.5 hours around a building. Does industry both manufacturing and service not need to appreciate we are now a 24/7 society. How do you see the pressures of work from home, casual employment, fixation on penalty rates playing out over the next decade on the nature of work?”
Directed by the moderator to the industry representatives it was agreed that work life balance is increasingly more difficult particularly in areas where production is 24/7 and they may need to be on call for urgencies and the constant flow of ubiquitous emails. Yet again Xiaoyu gave a fantastic comparison to life in China where her sister stills works on Saturday and ANCA salesmen during the recent time she was there had their phones on all the time and would get calls from customers irrespective of the time.
There was just time for one more question and it came from long time Vernier member Dieter Glenk who asked:
“It seems these days that young people are being encouraged to get a degree rather than gain a trade or work with their hands. What does the panel think are the needs of the future manufacturing industries for trade skills? Should our education system not recognize different that some students are better with their hands than others and stream the training accordingly?”
Marcus explained that trade skills are still vital in manufacturing because ‘expensive machines can make expensive mistakes’ and need human intervention and monitoring. Ryan pointed out that he felt trade schools are now behind times [author’s note certainly in terms of investments in the latest metal cutting machines] and it needs more than a ‘button pusher’ to run the latest machines. But again Ryan pointed out at his school students were pushed towards accountancy, the law and the medical profession with trade skills taking a back seat. Jason pointed out he had worked in both the university and the TAFE sector and there was increasing demand for trade skills in Australia from India and China as the countries middle classes increase and Australia still offered a quality training despite being rather dated.
The clock more than the questions finally beat the panel and the moderator had to call time while some in the audience were still itching to ask their questions. It then remained for Kerry to thank the panelists and present them with a small gift as a reminder of their participation – the book, ‘The dictionary of dangerous ideas’ by futurist Mike Walsh – an alphabetical collection of the most challenging concepts facing business leaders at the dawn of the 21st century. The meeting finished at 3pm as promised although it was pleasing to see several attendees staying behind to continue to the discussion.
It is now with the Vernier Society to summarise both the challenges and how capable the country is at addressing the challenges.
[fancy_title style=”1″ align=”left” heading_style=”h1″ title_color=”#999″ title_lines_color=”#eee”]Event Details[/fancy_title]
When: 12th November 2015. Pre-lunch drinks from 12:30 to 1pm. Then a two course lunch and coffee followed by the one hour panel
Price: Please bring a guest at the special rate of $75 per guest. We also have a limited number of free places for students and apprentices
Where: Kooyong Lawn Tennis Club, 489 Glenferrie Road Kooyong
How to Book Your Place: Contact Jack Parr on 0425776679 or email firstname.lastname@example.org or through any Vernier Society member
Our February function is headlined by Matt English who will bring us up to date on Social Media with his presentation titled “Grasping Social Media”.
Kerry Little will then share the results of the Vernier planning day held at the Bentleigh Club on Thursday 22 January.
And we will finish the day with our Annual General Meeting.
[fancy_title style=”1″ align=”left” heading_style=”h1″ title_color=”#999″ title_lines_color=”#eee”]Event Details[/fancy_title]
When: Thursday 12th February 2015. Drinks from 12:30pm with lunch commencing at 1pm. Finish at 3:00pm
Where: Kooyong Lawn Tennis Club, 489 Glenferrie Road Kooyong