Tuesday, March 23, 2021

Manufactured in Australia update:


This week the "Manufactured in Australia" project made one of the most important decisions for its future. On Monday we have commissioned the delivery and installation of a KERN MicroHD – which is the latest generation of 5-axis milling machines by German manufacturer KERN, the world leader in micro machining.

For the last six months, our precision machines and fully equipped watchmaking workshop have been getting a lot of attention from the broader manufacturing sector. Australians do some amazing manufacturing work, and some of the companies and institutions that do this work have been searching for reliable and capable manufacturing partners. Medical devices, space-borne devices, tools for precision assembly, satellite parts and parts for other watchmakers have all recently passed through our workshop.

When we started the project of manufacturing watches in Australia from the ground up, we fully expected that our capabilities would get this attention, but the scale and growth of that interest surprised us. So much so, that we were actually very quickly swamped with work. This had some fairly large implications - Our own watchmaking production became stop-start, the momentum we would gain in making a few parts was lost when large customer projects came in, it also meant that our production schedule also filled up really quickly. Currently the next 8 weeks are completely booked out with work for our clients. What a nice problem to have! 

Our first mill, a Kern Pyramid Nano, which is capable of operating at sub-micron levels, is running to its maximum capacity leaving us no choice but to expand. The Kern MicroHD is Kern's newest machine, with their most advanced technology - it is more accurate, precise, stable, reliable, dynamic and productive than our current machine, possibly even by one order of magnitude. When we imported our previous machine, it was arguably the most accurate machine in Australia. The HD is not only the most accurate machine in Australia, but is also the first machine of its type in all of Asia.

This is absolutely massive news for Australia. Not once in the history of this country have we had the capability to manufacture parts with a machine of this precision. Machines like this are not sold to small businesses, only to large companies (Rolex, IWC etc.) that use them solely for internal use. However our plan is to make this machine available to parallel precision industries, which demand a high level of accuracy. For the first time, this capability has been made available to the Australian Engineering industry, on Australian soil.

Our MicroHD is now being built in Germany - the build process takes 7 months - and it is expected to be delivered by the end of this year. Final installation and calibration is scheduled for March 2022.

MicroHD brochure: shorturl.at/oIKX2

Josh Hacko,

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