Hunter manufacturer urges Australian manufacturers to automate

Hunter company Hedweld, currently in the middle of rolling out a major investment in a new facility, has said that Australian manufacturers must train staff in automation and robotics.

The company is currently going through an expansion of its Mount Thorley facilities, investing in state-of-the-art CNC machinery and robotics, with claimed world-first investments in equipment.

Hedweld’s general manager, Chris Eccleston, said that the investments had helped revolutionise the way the company made its steel components.

"Automation is the way of the future and manufacturing, and we need to be able to have those skills in our tradespeople,” Eccleston told the ABC.

"If we hadn't have done it, no we probably wouldn't be in the game as far as manufacturing goes in the future.”

The Hedweld Group of Companies, a supplier of mining and safety equipment, was awarded a federal Manufacturing Transition Program grant in May, covering a quarter of its $8 million expansion.

The new facility is scheduled to open in February next year, and would provide manufacturing solutions for other Australian businesses in the region, said Eccleston

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