The elite of Australia’s manufacturing industry were recognised at the 4th Annual Endeavour Awards held in Sydney on Thursday August 2, with Melbourne-based Production Parts winning the 2007 Manufacturer of the Year award.
Production Parts was joined by a record 55 finalists - the most in the history of the awards- at a gala breakfast held in Sydney’s Darling Harbour, the turnout reflecting the strength and diversity of Australia’s manufacturing industry.
Production Parts was one of the first Australian companies to win, complete and deliver a contract for the new Joint Strike Fighter F135 jet, and as a result was awarded additional manufacturing work in conjunction with Pratt & Whitney for critical components for the F135 propulsion system.
The potential value of the contract is in excess of US$60m and it is expected to run for 20 years.
Ashley Nicholls, company director of Production Parts, told Manufacturers’ Monthly he was both surprised and delighted at winning the highest accolade at the event.
“I was very excited at the result, especially as we were joined by a list of very impressive companies,” Nicholls said.
“As a SME is it difficult to break into the global marketplace, but I think we were able to do this by demonstrating we could provide the service our customers needed and expected.
“This award is very important to our company, as outside recognition is invaluable in showing our staff that they are doing a great job and achieving world’s best practice,” he explained.
Production parts was also named winner of Exporter of the Year Award and was the first winner of the newly established Global Integration Award.
Rod Keane GM Holden’s executive director of manufacturing, this year’s keynote speaker for the awards, gave an entertaining and inspirational address, highlighting the importance of people and innovation in manufacturing today.
“There will always be strong competitors in the global marketplace; it may be China now or India in the future,” Keane said.
“We have a huge reservoir of creativity in this country, with a highly innovative and skilled workforce. It is these factors that will continue to make Australia highly competitive worldwide,” Keane told the audience.
This year’s panel of judges, which included Dr John Blakemore, president of ManSA (Manufacturing Society of Australia), Dr Ivan Cole, deputy chief of CSIRO Manufacturing and Materials Technology Division; Mark Goodsell, NSW director of the Australian Industry Group (AiG); Pauline Hart, associate director with TAFE NSW; Derek Lark, executive director of the Industry Capability Network (ICN) and Alan Johnson, editor of Manufacturers’ Monthly, had the hard task of determining the winners for each category.
According to Johnson, this year attracted the highest number of entries to the Awards program, with entries from all over Australia, “both large and small”.
“However, these entries are just a small part of a vibrant, high tech, innovative industry producing world-class products for both local and global markets.
“Today’s event was an opportunity to highlight the passion and commitment in our industry and shows that manufacturing in Australia is alive and well,” Johnson said.
He also thanked this year’s category sponsors which included Intercad, Atlas Copco, Sick, EFIC, Seiko, Advance Metal Products, ICN and Skilled, as well as overall award sponsor, BlueScope Steel, for their commitment and on-going support for the Endeavour Awards.
The Endeavour Awards honour roll
Manufacturer of the Year (sponsored by BlueScope Steel)
- Production Parts
Technology application of the year (sponsored by Intercad)
- Winner- ANCA
- Highly Commended - Portavin and Steinhoff Furniture
Environmental solution of the year (sponsored by Atlas Copco)
- Winner - CSBP
- Highly Commended – Amcor and Davey Water Products
Safety Scheme of the year (sponsored by Sick- Sensor Intelligence)
- Winner - ANSTO
- Highly Commended - Penfold Buscombe
Exporter of the year (sponsored by the Export Finance and Insurance Company- EFIC)
- Winner: Production Parts
- Highly Commended - Eye-Catcher Innovations and Seawind Catamarans
Innovative Product of the year – Consumer (sponsored by Seiko Corporate)
- Winner – Seawind Catamarans
- Highly Commended – GA & L Harrington and Kableflags T/as Navisafe
Innovative Product of the year – Industrial (sponsored by Advance Metal Products)
- Winner –CalAir Pipe Systems
- Highly Commended - Automotion Control Systems and Kanga Loaders
Global Integration (sponsored by Industry Capability Network – ICN)
- Winner – Production Parts
- Highly Commended – tna
Young Manufacturer of the Year (sponsored by Skilled)
- Winner – Tate MacFarlane from Bomac Engineering
- Highly Commended - Christopher Rowbottom from Andromeda Industries and Prue Morgan from Gippsland Aeronautics