Jehbco Silicones, silicone extrusion and gasket manufacturer, are leveraging opportunities using AMGC’s Manufacturer Response Register to expand into new markets.
Jehbco was founded in Sydney in 1974 with just a small extruder and mill by four friends, Jim, Eric, Hank and Burt: their initials forming the company name.
“45 years later, Jehbco is an Australian-owned family run business with all manufacturing done on-site,” Jehbco marketing manager and defence BDM Jessica Fernandez said.
“From simple, humble beginnings we’re now an established silicon extrusion manufacturer supplying to the medical, defence, construction, infrastructure and rail industries.”
Jehbco’s operations have enabled the company to react to changes in the industry quickly and capitalise on new projects.
After the COVID-19 pandemic the AMGC created the COVID-19 Manufacturer Response Register, developed to help Australian businesses identify collaboration and market opportunities for protective, medical or critical care equipment supply.
Jehbco registered as a manufacturer without realising the opportunities it would deliver.
“We signed up to the COVID-19 Manufacturer Response Register, thinking that if someone needs medical tubing we might be able to help,” Fernandez said.
“Over the 2020 Easter long weekend, we had a call from Michael Sharpe (AMGC national director for Industry) about the supply of parts for the notus Emergency Invasive Ventilator Program. We jumped at the chance to get involved.
“The project moved incredibly quickly. From concept, to prototyping and onto manufacturing of the product. A year on from when we were first contacted by AMGC, notus stands as a testament as to the capability of Australian manufacturing when local industry is given opportunities and support,” she said.
Jehbco has been contacted by several companies looking to bring manufactured components on-shore.
“There are definitely companies looking to de-risk their supply chain. As we’ve seen over the past two years, there has been a multitude of supply chain issues, particularly when it comes to sea and air freight,” Fernandez said.
“Most recently, the Suez Canal issue backed up resources and supply routes. Even if the price is marginally higher, companies are now looking for products and components that are readily available. Accessibility is becoming more important than shaving a few cents off the dollar.
“There are a lot of companies looking to support the Australian manufacturing industry and realising that we can manufacture everything on-shore, particularly with the investments in R&D that the local industry is making,” she said.
Fernandez urged Australian manufacturers looking to diversify their operations to ask for help.
“There are so many great resources available to industry. AMGC, for one, runs so many great courses and networking events. It is a matter of approaching the right organisations and people and asking for help,” Fernandez said.
“There is a lot of money flowing into manufacturing at the moment, including grants like the Modern Manufacturing Fund,and Sovereign Industrial Capability Priority Grant.
“With large companies looking to secure and consolidate their supply chains, now is the time to allocate time, energy and resources into expanding your operations,” she said.
“Australian manufacturing really is a small industry. Everyone knows everyone, and everyone is willing to help—even if it’s just to offer sage advice. You only need ask.”