Electronics manufacturing firm Redarc boosts job opportunities in SA

Redarc managing director Anthony Kittel

More than 100 specialist jobs will be created in Adelaide’s southern suburbs within the next five years, following the opening of South Australian electronics manufacturing firm Redarc’s expanded headquarters at Lonsdale.

An additional 3,000sqm of advanced manufacturing space was officially opened on November 30 by the federal minister for defence, Christopher Pyne, and South Australian premier Steven Marshall.

The $22 million development will enable Redarc to increase its manufacturing capacity by 250 per cent and significantly increase productivity.

Redarc managing director, Anthony Kittel, said the upgraded facility would enable the company to expand its current workforce of almost 200 to 300 by 2024, with most of the new positions being filled by engineers, data scientists and algorithm specialists.

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“We have been growing strongly in recent years by targeting the North American and European automotive aftermarket with our dual battery chargers and our award-winning Tow-Pro Elite brake controller,” he said.

“We are now actively diversifying into other markets, including defence and medical device,” said Kittel.

The upgrade had been supported by a $2.5 million federal government next generation manufacturing investment program grant received in 2016.

In addition to expanding the facility, the grant has been used to purchase machinery and testing and validation equipment to enable Redarc to exceed international standards, said Kittel.

“The new equipment will provide Redarc with the best available technology, enabling us to enhance export capabilities and assist with our diversification program.”

New equipment and capability includes the purchase of a new surface mount technology line for loading electronic components, an electromagnetic compatibility chamber and a vibration test lab that enables highly accelerated lifetime testing of products that can simulate 10 years of life in just two days.

Three new universal collaborative robots, known as cobots, have also been purchased.

Other changes included in the new development include IT Infrastructure upgrades.

In 2017, Redarc installed a 100kw solar power plant on the roof of its Lonsdale plant and Tesla battery bank.

This involved the installation of 370 solar panels capable of generating 140 megawatt hours of energy per year.

REDARC had been able to “buck the trend” against the offshoring of manufacturing in Australia through a program of significant reinvestment into research and development, staff development and training, said Kittel.

Minister Pyne said the expanded facility is an exciting boost to the South Australian economy.

“The upgraded facility will allow Redarc to develop innovative products across a range of industries including defence – and to further expand its operations both domestically and internationally,” said Pyne.