Awards recognise Hunter’s best

The Hunter Manufacturing Awards have gone to innovative manufacturers in the NSW region.

Leading the way were locally-based manufacturers including global commercial explosives manufacturer Orica, which won the Excellence in Innovation and Excellence in Product Design. The company has manufacturing and technical centres in the Hunter region, and has been involved in the development of digital fragmentation measurement technology FRAGTrack. The technology won Orica its awards in both categories.

The Excellence in Innovation category recognised the integration of FRAGTrack with Orica’s BlastIQ software. The real-time functionality of the product went a way to capturing the award, said James Dampney, senior manager – digital solutions at Orica.

“Our focus on customer-centric innovation has always been a cornerstone of Orica’s strategy, this award is recognition of that focus. Driven by the needs of our customers to accurately assess blast outcomes including fragmentation, we continue to invest in developing intelligent and autonomous measurement systems that are easily integrated into existing mine ecosystems,” said Dampney.

Left to right: James Dampney and Steven Weller

The platform was built as a collaboration between Orica and Design Anthology and Newie Ventures, both based in Newcastle, and who are part of the Ai Group Innovation Cluster.

Other winners on the night include BAE Systems, for Excellence in Safety. Infrabuild Steel won the Excellence in Manufacturing Process Award and their employee, Megan Crowfoot, won the Rising Star Award. Milling manufacturer Molycop won the Environmental Excellence Award and Karen McDonald, of Molycop, received the award for Apprentice of the Year.

The Manufacturer of the Year Award went to access solutions and products manufacturer Chamberlain Group, which also won the People & Skills Development Award.

Commercial dishwasher manufacturer Sirron Holdings won the Technology Award and the Marketing Award while mining equipment manufacturer Nivek Industries won the Export Award.