Manufacturing Update 9

US brewer makes six-pack rings fish can eat

  • A US brewer has come up with a six pack ring that is not only biodegradable but can also be eaten by fish.
  • Discover Magazine reports that Florida’s Saltwater Brewery made the product from a combination of two of the ingredients it uses to brew its beer, wheat and barley. The resulting six pack holders are fully digestible.
  • It is hoped the innovation can lead to progress in solving the problem of sea life being killed by consuming six pack rings, plastic bags and other waste that can look like jelly fish when in the ocean.
  • Saltwater Brewery teamed up with a local advertising agency to make the biodegradable six pack rings. It plans to make about 400,000 of them a month.
  • According to Discover, while most six pack rings currently being made are photo-degradable, they can take 90 days to break down in sunlight and some of the plastic found in them never fully breaks down.

Source: Food & Beverage

Improved half-year outlook for BlueScope

  • BlueScope Steel has increased its second-half earnings guidance by 29 per cent, assisted by cost-cutting measures and improvements in iron ore and steel prices.
  • AAP reports that underlying earnings before interest and tax for the six months to June 30 was raised from $209 million to $270 million.
  • “The stronger performance has been driven largely by earlier delivery of targeted cost reductions, higher steel and iron ore prices, better than anticipated Australian domestic despatches and better than expected margins in the international businesses,” BlueScope said in a statement.
  • Cost-cutting measures brought in to counter the decline in iron ore – which was at about $US 40 a tonne and is now about $US 55 – had brought bigger than expected performance, The Australian reports

Source: Manufacturing Monthly

 SA could lose 5000 jobs if Arrium shuts down

  • SOUTH Australia will lose more than $750 million and about 5000 jobs if Arrium’s Whyalla steelworks and mining operations close, new research reveals.
  • In the Whyalla region, on the Eyre Peninsula, nearly 4000 jobs or 40 per cent of the workforce would go and the economy would decline by up to $530m, the Flinders University analysis says.
  • The university’s Industrial Transformation Institute director John Spoehr says for every three Arrium-related jobs lost, another would go in industries including retail, education and health. “This is about more than metal,” he said in a statement on Monday.
  • “Whatever scenario you look at, the outlook is extremely serious. In some senses Arrium is too big to be allowed to fall, given the impact in Whyalla and to the state as a whole.”
  • Prof Spoehr said closure of the troubled steel and mining group, which went into voluntary administration last month, would dwarf the looming loss of car making in Adelaide and could push the state’s unemployment rate into double-digits.

Source: news.com.au

Amcor acquires leading precision moulding manufacturer

  • Amcor has announced the acquisition of Plastic Moulders Limited, a rigid plastics business that manufactures containers and closures in the food market for $US30 million.
  • Plastic Moulders has established relationships with a number of large multinational customers and brings new technologies including precision injection moulding and in-mould labelling.
  • According to Amcor CEO and Managing Director, Ron Delia, the acquisition will generate considerable synergies in terms of procurement, manufacturing costs and overhead.
  • “The Amcor Rigid Plastics business has significant growth opportunities in market segments outside of the traditional non-alcoholic beverage markets. Our strategy to grow this business includes acquiring companies like Plastic Moulders that provide specialised manufacturing capabilities, which will enable Amcor to broaden our product offering for the benefit of current and future customers.”
  • “There are significant opportunities to build on this position with organic growth and further acquisitions.”

Source: Manufacturing monthly  

Shorten to announce $59 million “Manufacturing Transition Boost”

  • Opposition leader Bill Shorten has announced a $59 million plan aimed at easing the pain from the end of car assembly in Australia, which will start this year with Ford Australia ending production.
  • “The Liberals goaded the car industry into closing down and deserting Australia, leaving Adelaide facing high unemployment and social dislocation,” he told The Advertiser.
  • “Labor is committed to maintaining the capabilities of Adelaide’s manufacturing industry — local expertise is too important to be thrown away.”
  • According to the news site, the transition plan will include about $2.5 million of Business Transformation Vouchers for about 50 of the state’s manufacturing businesses. The money would be matched by Victorian and SA governments (both Labor-led), he will say.
  • Shorten was joined on the election campaign stop at Geelong by shadow industry minister Kim Carr, premier Daniel Andrews and MP Richard Marles.

Source: Manufacturing Monthly