A Queensland government grant has helped a North Rockhampton manufacturer continue business operations after COVID-19 interrupted its export trade.
Dobinsons Spring and Suspension received a $581,062 Made in Queensland (MIQ) Round 2 grant in October last year to purchase and install a $1,265,500 cold coiling machine and stress relieving low temperature furnace.
Visiting the facility, Minister for Regional Development and Manufacturing Glenn Butcher said supporting regional manufacturers to grow their businesses was an important part of the Queensland Advanced Manufacturing 10-Year Roadmap and Action Plan.
“Dobinsons is a great example of how the Palaszczuk Government is helping to bolster Queensland manufacturing so they can get through tough economic times like we’re seeing now because of COVID-19,” he said.
“This pandemic has shown that Queensland needs to be self-reliant when it comes to manufacturing, and I am committed to working with manufacturers to invest in advanced manufacturing to create thousands more jobs throughout Queensland and boost our economy.”
Member for Rockhampton Barry O’Rourke said the new equipment has allowed Dobinsons to increase production, lower costs and support additional local jobs.
“This leading-edge technology has allowed the company to increase their daily coil spring output by 400 per cent, employ three new full-time workers and set them on the path to create more new jobs over the next five years,” he said.
“The first small run completed in December 2019 demonstrated a reduced processing time of up to 83 per cent and gain a 10 per cent reduction in off-cuts, resulting in cost savings per unit – a fantastic result that could mean big things for the company globally.”
Dobinsons Spring and Suspension director Glen Dobinson said the company has a long history of manufacturing a comprehensive range of springs and suspension components for the private and heavy vehicle market, exporting to more than 50 countries.
“In the last week orders have started to drip feed in again, and once we are back up to speed our skilled-casual staff will be back in the stores,” he said.
“We have taken the opportunity to do some maintenance on machinery during the quieter weeks and now we are ready to get back to creating quality products for new clients in the
off-road racing sector and other markets we previously weren’t able to accommodate.
“We also anticipate our extensive range of 4×4 springs and suspension componentry will be popular as travel restrictions continue to ease.”
The $46 million MIQ program has supported approximately 75 projects across Queensland, helping create more than 930 jobs over the next five years and is expected to generate approximately $92 million in private sector investment.