Marand exporting to the rest of the world

The Exporter of the Year Award went to Marand Precision Engineering with highly commended going to Power Switchgear and Peregrine Semiconductor Australia. Katherine Crichton reports.

The Exporter of the Year Award went to Marand Precision Engineering with highly commended going to Power Switchgear and Peregrine Semiconductor Australia. Katherine Crichton reports.

SINCE 2002, Marand Precision Engineering has been involved in Joint Strike Fighter (JSF) F-35 Lightning II project, the world’s largest single defence program in history.

The company is now recognised as a proven supplier and exporter of highly engineered innovative but complex ground support equipment. It is also an established Global Supply Chain Partner of Lockheed Martin.

Rogan Stocker, CEO of Marand Precision Engineering, said winning the Exporter of the Year category was particularly satisfying for the company.

“This award was especially important to Marand as exporting has been a prime focus for us and we have spent an enormous amount of time and effort building this side of the business.

“Also being such as prestigious award, it will help support our increasing focus on other parts of the company such as our automotive business,” he said.

Stocker largely attributes the company’s success in this category to its involvement with the JSF program.

“It is a very high visibility program which has received a lot of attention and the product we make for the project is one that a lot of people can relate to.”

To achieve export success, the company developed a long term business strategy and by building on and further developing CAD technologies, Marand now has 10 CATIA and 10 Unigraphics CAD workstations and two laser tracker inspection systems in their operations.

On the back of the initial JSF contracts and over a number of years, the company was able to grow revenue earned from global customers from 0% to almost 30%, during a period of total revenue growth from $16 to approx. $50 million whilst nearly doubling the company’s internal employee numbers.

This placed Marand in a good position while waiting until current and expected future JSF contracts began earning constant revenue.

Marand’s patience and investment in new technologies has paid off, being the first company in the world to be awarded a contract by Lockheed Martin to design and manufacture JSF F-35 ground support equipment and airframe tooling.

HIGHLY COMMENDED

Since its inception, Queensland-based Noja Power has focused on developing products for the global market and with the help of an AusIndustry grant together with international research collaboration, the Brisbane company exports products to over 70 countries around the world.

The company attributes its success to investing in highly skilled employees from diverse backgrounds who can not only design and manufacture leading edge products but can sell, service and support them globally in a variety of languages, and also their continued research into new and innovative technologies to further enhance their manufacturing capability.

It is the export volumes and participation in the world market that allows the company to gear its production to produce competitive world glass products.

Neil O’Sullivan, MD of Noja Power was pleased to accept the award at the gala ceremony in May and said the company being born global has focussed on developing products for the global market since inception.

“A company that manufactures high voltage switchgears and can be competitive domestically can also be competitive globally in today’s international market,” he said.

“More than 90% of the company’s turnover is derived from export revenue and it is the export volumes and participation in the world market that allows the company to gear its production to a level of product competitive world class products.”

HIGHLY COMMENDED

Peregrine Semiconductor, located at the Sydney Olympic site in Homebush, designs, manufactures and distributes integrated circuits (chips).

The company has developed a new silicon-on-sapphire (SOS) technology, the UltraCMOS for the mobile phone industry.

With this technology, the company is now producing integrated circuits (ICs) that are expanding customer options by providing major advances in speed and power at a lower cost.

The high yield of the company’s SOS process allows it to be cost-competitive in all of its market applications.

Due to its unique properties, the process’s fabrication techniques allow the unprecedented combination of high-performance microwave, analogue and digital functions onto a single chip.

The availability of “silicon foundries” worldwide and, in particular, the presence of the Peregrine silicon-on-sapphire foundry means that fabrication can be outsourced and concentration can be focused on the high value-add and knowledge-intensive phase of design and test.

Currently, Peregrine is exporting more than one million chips per week into the mobile phone market and is turning over $31m per annum. The growth rate over the last five years has been 40-50% per annum.

It was for these efforts that saw the company awarded highly commended in this category. Andrew Brawley, company CEO, said it was a great to be recognised in this way and thanked the award sponsors.

“Everyone at the company has put a lot of hard work into the business and to have this acknowledged is wonderful.”