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Minister Hodgett opens new high-tech engineering plant in Hallam

Thursday, 01 May 2014

Minister for Manufacturing David Hodgett today officially opened a new engineering facility in Hallam which will house two new hi-tech lathes and cell processors for KH Equipment’s operations.

Mr Hodgett and Candidate for Narre Warren North Amanda Stapledon today congratulated the company on its $800,000 expansion project and on securing a $201,600 Investing in Manufacturing Technology (IMT) grant from the Victorian Government.

“KH Equipment, which invented the ‘Austart’ cold ignition system, identified the need for two state-of-the-art CNC lathes and cell processors to boost production and export volume,” Mr Hodgett said.

“These new machines have required KH Equipment to double office and factory-floor space by building a substantial new factory next door to the current head office.”

The CNC machines are more flexible, faster and can run autonomously, which means they can be controlled over the internet, allowing some orders to be managed from home.

Mr Hodgett said the project will significantly increase productivity and will create two new jobs and a further two positions will be transitioned to higher duties. It will also generate greater export revenue.

“More than 50 per cent of all income from the sale of the ‘Austart’ starters already comes from exports to the USA, the UK, Europe and China,” Mr Hodgett said.

“This new investment and the company’s drive to find new export markets are directly in line with the Victorian Coalition Government’s vision for the future of our advanced manufacturing sector.

“Victoria is the hub of Australia’s manufacturing industry but to meet the challenge of competitive international markets, manufacturers must increase investment in new technology to remain competitive.

“A key initiative of the Coalition Government’s Manufacturing Strategy, the IMT program supports companies to invest in new technology to help invigorate production processes, develop new skills and generate fresh export opportunities.

“Importantly, the four rounds of the IMT program have generated a total investment of more than $62 million, which has created more than 440 new jobs,” Mr Hodgett said.

 

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