Defence manufacturer opens new factory

The strengths of two manufacturers are now housed under one roof thanks to the opening of Millatec Engineering’s new factory in Brisbane on March 8.

The strengths of two manufacturers are now housed under one roof thanks to the opening of Millatec Engineering’s new factory in Brisbane on March 8.

Jan Jarratt MP, Parliamentary Secretary for Employment & Economic Development in Queensland officiated at the launch of the purpose built 1700sq m facility at Sherwood which houses Millatec’s CNC equipment.

“The new factory lets us combine our CNC machining with our CNC turning and grinding equipment,” says James Johnson, Managing Director of Millatec.

Two years ago precision machining specialist Millatec acquired BPG Engineering, a turning and grinding company and, until recently, have been operating out of two factories.

“Finding one location for all our staff and equipment means we can fill orders more rapidly and maintain or even improve our 95% delivery on time rates.”

Millatec Engineering was formed in 1998 as a machining company which outsourced its CNC turned components until the acquisition of BPG Engineering in late 2007. The combination of machining and finishing specialities has seen the company move from one success to another.

“Not only has our company increased in size, we have increased staff numbers and our customer base,” according to Robert Owen, Senior Business Manager.

Core customers within Millatec include BAE Systems, DSTO, CSIRO, Ellex Medical, Orrcon, One Steel, Surtron and they also act as a breakdown service for Caltex Refineries and Coca-Cola.

Millatec supplies machined precision components requiring a high level of tolerance and quality to the medical, defence, telecommunications, avionics, food and beverage, mining and tube making industries.

The company has a strong focus on innovation and has entered into a seven year collaborative research agreement with the Defence Materials Technology Centre (DMTC), whose Queensland node was also launched at the event.

“Being part of the DMTC gives our company access to the larger supply chain network in the defence industry,” according to Johnson.

“It also gives us access to top researchers who are developing ways to introduce new product lines and improve our manufacturing processes.”

“We are currently working with BAE Systems’ research team in Adelaide on benchmarking and other titanium machining activities. We are also working with Seco Tools and researchers from CAST on new methodologies and tool geometry to cut stainless steel.”

The value of research with DMTC is the creation of versatile manufacturing technologies that can be applied not only in the defence industry, but also in a range of civilian industries such as aviation and medical device manufacture.

Dr Mark Hodge, CEO of DMTC said Queensland is at the leading edge of Defence research in materials science.

“Our Queensland researchers are working with local manufacturers to break down the barriers preventing them from taking part in the global defence supply chain.”

The DMTC is a joint venture between defence, industry, universities and government research agencies whose Queensland node is supported by the Queensland Government’s Smart Futures fund and managed by the CAST Cooperative Research Centre.

Along with major research programs in air platforms and propulsion systems, DMTC’s Queensland researchers are looking into so-called “enabling” technologies required for local fabrication of components based on new materials such as titanium.

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