At a time when Australia's manufacturing industry is facing significant challenges, the recent opening of ANCA Group's new facility in Bayswater North, Melbourne highlights a real success story.
Officially opening the new head office of ANCA Group subsidiary, ANCA Motion, Industry Minister Greg Combet pointed to ANCA as a role model for the Australian manufacturing sector – an innovative company delivering first class products to a global marketplace.
A leader in the design and manufacture of precision machine tools, the ANCA Group exports over 99% of its production to the main industrialised nations of the world, and spends around 9% of sales on R&D.
NCA Group Chairman, Pat Boland, believes advanced manufacturing requires excellence in ability, attitude and training at all levels.
"Recent government initiatives in support of staff in-service training is an excellent example of short term and long term thinking," he said.
Combet pointed to several government initiatives directed at facilitating productivity, innovation and competitiveness, including the creation of a new $29.8m Manufacturing Technology Innovation Centre, and a new loss carry-back scheme to encourage companies to invest and innovate by allowing them to offset a current year tax loss of up to $1m against tax paid in previous years; a refund of up to $300,000.
Boland also emphasised the importance of establishing a favourable business environment as a critical factor in successful manufacturing.
"For example ANCA has significantly benefited from the free trade agreement with the US in cutting the cost of shipping machines to their market," Boland told Manufacturers' Monthly.
The agreement with Thailand has allowed ANCA to develop a business model where key components are manufactured in Australia and lower value-adding tasks are performed in Thailand.
Advantage can then be taken of Thailand's duty free agreement with China, says Boland.