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New high tech tooling facility launched to enhance defence materials

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The newly opened Advanced Surface Solutions Facility (ASSF) is a collaboration between the Defence Materials Technology Centre (DMTC), cutting tool expert Sutton Tools and RMIT University.

The ASSF facility was recently launched in Thomastown, Victoria by Victorian Minister for Industry and Trade, the Hon. Martin Pakula MP.

Set up to manufacture Australian military essentials from bulletproof vests to aircraft more quickly and economically, the ASSF is a world-class facility that will focus on developing the latest in CNC grinding technology, advances in surface coating technology and performance testing of cutting tools.

The cornerstone of the ASSF facility is a world class tool coating machine, the INNOVA owned by DMTC and located at Sutton Tools in Thomastown, Victoria.

Sutton Tools is a leading Australian manufacturer of engineering cutting tools and power tool accessories, and is a founding participant of the DMTC.

DMTC’s CEO, Dr Mark Hodge explains that a key objective of the ASSF is to establish competence in the efficient and economical manufacture of military components, which would help them maintain their international competitiveness within global supply chains.

Mr Mike Grogan, CEO of Sutton Tools emphasised the importance of innovation in research and development focused on improving efficiency, productivity and profitability in manufacturing.

Dr Steve Dowey, General Manager of Surface Technology Coatings, a wholly owned subsidiary of Sutton Tools, noted that the Victorian Government should be specifically thanked for its support of the DMTC and local industry in establishing world class manufacturing activities directed at strengthening Australia’s defence capabilities.

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