Endeavour Awards: the next generation of manufacturers

The finalists for the Young Manufacturer of the Year category for the 2008 Endeavour Awards have been announced.

The successful finalists for the Young Manufacturer of the Year category for the 2008 Endeavour Awards have been announced. They are:

BENJAMIN TRAGER

Employer: Residential Truss Systems Position: Managing Director

RESIDENTIAL Truss SysTems (RTS) was established in 1997 as Trager Engineering when owner operator Benjamin Trager saw massive potential in the growing Australian steel fabrication market. Ben’s career path over the last ten years has been an outstanding achievement in itself. From completing a boilermaker’s apprenticeship to starting his own business, he is now currently in charge of five site operations employing over 160 individuals. No stranger to innovation, Ben continually invests in new technologies as part of the pursuit to produce a more streamlined and efficient fabrication process. As the driving force behind the business, Ben is focussed upon spotting new opportunities, and combined with a gifted knack for recognising gaps in the market, as well as his charisma, nous and keen business sense, RTS continues to provide a high quality service to the steel manufacturing and construction industry.

HEIDI EDMISTON

Employer: Kraft Australia Position:

Manager Suttontown Site

HEIDI joined Kraft in 2003 as a Continuous Improvement Coach at the Broadmeadows Biscuit Site. While in this role, Heidi oversaw the introduction of a number of Lean Manufacturing tools and philosophies to the site and the wider Kraft community. She was promoted to site manager in 2007 and is responsible for overseeing the conversion of raw materials into 23,000 tons of finished product on time, within budget and with productivity greater than 5% year on year. She is also responsible for ensuring the safety of all employees and contractors on site and performs a strong coaching and mentoring roles for direct reports and others. Heidi has already started working with the team at the site to strengthen and improve the existing systems in order to ensure it is a site that is trusted for safety, quality and performance. Heidi was elected as an AME National Vice President in 2004 and was named Young Industry Ambassador 2004 and Victorian Young Manufacturer of the Year 2005.

KYLE BUTLER

Employer: Broens Industries Position:

Design Engineer

IN his current position as Design Engineer at Broens Industries, Kyle is responsible for the design of various components for the company’s special-purpose machines. His responsibilities include but are not limited to: designing individual parts, fixtures tooling, sub-assemblies and assemblies, and improving existing designs to make them more efficient, reliable and cost effective. Kyle has to make sure that every component he designs meets certain requirements including fitness for purpose, functionality, practicality, durability, ergonomics, aesthetics and cost. Since the start of 2007, Kyle has been working in Broen’s design department where his innate creativity combines with the knowledge gained from his experience on the shop floor to further benefit the company through innovative and cost cutting designs. He has been awarded a number of awards and accolades including being awarded the Skilled and TAFE NSW Mechanical Apprentice of the Year and was the 2007 World Skills NSW / Sydney Region CNC / CAM champion.

MICHAEL FRIER

Employer: Integra Packaging

Position: Factory Assistant

INTEGRA Packaging’s candidate Michael, has much to be proud of in his blossoming manufacturing career. Coming from tough beginnings, his tenacity and determination to change his circumstances brought him to Integra Packaging (formerly Box Built). Since then, he has never looked back, working across all customer service areas, Michael specialises in being able to perform a variety of tasks and uses a range of technologies and powerful automated equipment. He has an active and varied role in preparing products for shipment to clients and has learned various equipment handling procedures in order to fulfill these requirements. Known for his punctuality and reliability, Michael brings an impressive quality to the company. Through his dedicated commitment to his work, patience in learning, willingness to take on new training and skills as well as being helpful and courteous, he continues to be a valuable asset to south coast based Integra Packaging and looks forward to a long and prosperous manufacturing career with the company.

PAUL BAKER

Employer: Broens Industries

Position: 4th Year Apprentice Fitter and Machinist

PAUL started his fitting and machining apprenticeship with Broens in January 2005, and with hard work, dedication and training, Paul has grown into a very capable and respected employee. While working in the company’s CNC turning department, Paul became extremely proficient in programming and setting of an Okuma twin-turret CNC lathe, a machine worth around $300,000. Throughout his time at Broens, Paul has achieved outstanding results in all of his TAFE training. This allowed him to complete his Certificate III in Mechanical Engineering (trade course) six months early with a Distinction average. This has been of great value to Broens as it has enabled Paul to work on and successfully complete more complex jobs than a 4th year apprentice would typically be able to do. Paul’s hard work and dedication to manufacturing has been acknowledged and recognisedwith numerous awards, the most recently of which being the 2007 Macarthur Group Training 3rd Year Apprentice of the Year Award.

TROY (EDDIE) VAN HAEFTEN

Employer: Extrusions Australia

Position: Production Manager

EDDIE’S role as the Production Manager for Extrusions Australia is to ensure an efficient extrusion process is maintained and improvements are implemented, from the extrusion press to packaging. Already in his relatively short time at the company, Eddie has already made a significant contribution by identifying bottlenecks in the production process and developing and implementing solutions. Eddie has also initiated the development of training programs and provides valuable technical training and advice for all production employees. These initiatives have led to significant improvements in productivity, notably in the Quality Control area. Customers have an even higher expectation that Extrusion Australia’s products will be delivered on time and as ordered. This has resulted to improved profits, both due to reduced costs and improved productivity rates. In addition, staff morale has improved, with an even stronger sense of teamwork and cohesiveness in the workplace.

The actual awards ceremony will be held May 28 at Doltone House, Darling Harbour, Sydney. For more information call Alan Johnson on 02 9422 2480.

Leave a Reply