A poor PMI result for November is only one part of a much bigger question!

by: Jack Parr Vernier Society Member

Those eccentrics who, while driving, listen to the Senate would have caught this week a debate following the release of the latest PMI manufacturing figures for November.  It soon predictably  became a polarised argument with the opposition manufacturing spokesperson seizing on the result to lampoon the government for having no policy for the economy; no plan to lift wages, productivity, employment.  Apparently, it also demonstrated a government led by a heartless PM who does not care for the millions who will go without this Christmas – all on the back of one negative PMI.  The Government response was equally perverse; this is a strong economy with 1.4m jobs created, a budget back in balance, the low personal tax rates increasing disposable incomes to their highest level.  Just ignore all the other economic signals! 

Above all this political rhetoric though there is a much bigger macro picture  about the reality of manufacturing, which was well articulated by Adam Creighton in his article “Manufacturing Further Decline” (Australian 3/12).  These are some of the points he makes:

  • The number of manufacturing jobs collapsed by 30% across the decade to 2016 and has now shrivelled to 7% of the workforce far below comparable nations.
  • Manufacturing makes up 16% of the workforce in Germany, Japan, Switzerland; Canada with similar economy has 1.7m workers compared to ours at 0.7m.  In Sweden and Israel with far smaller populations, advanced manufacturing is thriving.
  • Quoting Economist Bob Burrell, we are now dependent on commodities and immigration to pay our way and generate growth
  • Last year our trade deficit in advanced manufacturing was $185b, while our surplus in commodities was $187b.  The only way we can afford these advance.
  • Manufacturing and farming have traditionally been the drivers of productivity and hence high living standards; higher productivity means higher wages both in manufacturing and across the economy
  • Today, wages will be determined more by the price of minerals
  • All countries have seen a steady fall in manufacturing employment but most have fostered new hi-tech sectors.
  • The government pins its hopes on population growth and a weaker exchange rate to bolster growth as the last gasp of the resources boom plays out.

Creighton and others clearly realises, as all in the Vernier Society do, that a vibrant manufacturing sector is vital for the prosperity of the nation.  The question is how are we to develop the direction and policies that will sustain and regenerate this sector?.  It seems that neither side of politics can or even wants to answer this question!  The question of ‘how’ should be the question for the imminent, next decade.  Vernier, along with all who understand the real productive value of manufacturing must keep this question front of mind!

Thurs 5th December – Dinner with Partners

Claire Kelly is our speaker and she has been involved with MHFA since 2003.
We will then be delighted with amazing musical performances from Stewart Kelly, Douglas Kelly and Jordan Auld.

Member Company : DTCo

DTCo is founded on providing a low-risk,easy-to-engage scalability option for design and drafting teams. DTCo has a team of full-time, permanent mechanical designers in Melbourne and has partner businesses interstate. Their designers are highly practical, typically from a trade background, and proficient in 3D modelling, drafting and modern design workflows. 95% of the work they do is carried out on our client’s site, fully integrated with their teams. DTCo has access to the full suite of Autodesk products and Solidworks licenses.

Website: www.designtechco.com.au

Engineers Australia Panel Event – Distortions & Delusions: Lessons from the Silicon Valley Grand Illusion

The panel discussion will begin with an examination and a recognition of the failures of innovation to commercialisation systems over the past twenty years throughout the US, Australia and Silicon Valley:

Vernier Luncheon – 14th Nov 2019 – Innes Willox – CE of Australian Industry Group

Innes Willox is Chief Executive of the Australian Industry Group and will be talking about “What does it take to be a 21st century manufacturer: is there a role for areas of traditional strength or is the future just for ‘advanced manufacturers’? What can and should businesses, associations and governments do to develop competitive manufacturing industries?”

Vernier Luncheon – 10th Oct 2019 – Russell Rolls – Can Dirt Save the World?

Russell Rolls has a deep commitment to greenhouse gas reduction and will be asking ‘Can Dirt Save the World?’

Upcoming Engineers Australia Event – The Road to Autonomous Vehicles

One of our members, Bob Weekes, is helping organise this very interesting event in conjunction with Engineers Australia on 20th August.

Come along and listen to some great speakers talking through how Australia defines autonomous capability and what are the technological steps required to go from driver assistance to driverless?

Networking/refreshments at 5:30PM followed by the presentation at 6:00PM-8:00PM.

Vernier Luncheon – 5th Sept 2019 – Professor Milan Brandt – Advanced manufacturing trends and research in Australia

Professor Brandt is the Technical Director of RMIT’s Advanced Manufacturing Precinct and the Director of RMIT’s Centre for Additive Manufacturing. His talk is on Advanced Manufacturing Trends and Research in Australia

Vernier Luncheon – 8th August 2019 – Annual Youth Forum

“Imagination; past, present and future – 1989 to 2049”

Vernier Luncheon – 11th July 2019 – Energy and transport: opportunities for manufacturing

Robin Batterham will speak on Energy and transport: opportunities for manufacturing. This should be a not miss event for all interested in the changing patterns of climate and energy!

Member Company : ANCA

ANCA is a privately-owned Australian business that manufactures CNC tool and cutter grinders, motion controls and sheet metal solutions. While the global headquarters remain located in Melbourne, Australia, due to the niche markets we service ANCA exports 99% of our products with 2,500 customers in over 45 countries and we have offices in the UK, Germany, China, Thailand, India, Japan, Brazil and the USA as well as a comprehensive network of representatives and agents worldwide.

Since 1974, ANCA has gained worldwide recognition in the industry as a leader in the technology. Several industry firsts include designing and manufacturing an Australian CNC, introducing a probe for digitising tools in a CNC tool and cutter grinder, introducing MPG Feed for safe program debugging and testing, and introducing full and true 3D simulation of the grinding process through our CIM3D software (patented in Australia and USA).

Our engineering excellence and export achievements have been honoured with more than 25 industry and business awards including the 2018 Australian Financial Review Most Innovative Companies and the Governor of Victoria Export Awards – Manufacturing Award. In 2016 ANCA was inducted into the Australian Exporter of the Year Hall of Fame after winning the top accolade three times in 2015, 2012 and 1995.

At ANCA we provide a complete solution to our customers, designing and manufacturing almost all our technology in-house. We partner with our customers to create bespoke solutions and invest almost 10% of our annual turnover on research and development so our customers always have access to market-leading technology. A major factor in ANCA’s success is that we were “born global” which means offering global support is in our DNA. Our ambition is that for our customers, no matter where they are located is that we appear just as responsive as a local company.

Read more at www.anca.com

Vernier Luncheon – 13th June 2019

Our June Speaker is Ben Schultz, the co-founder and managing director of Bastion Cycles.