Chocolate maker eyes top-end Chinese market

Since China is most likely to become the world’s largest gourmet chocolate market, Barry Callebaut’s gourmet business in China is busy catering to the needs of chocolatiers, pastry chefs, bakeries, hotels, restaurants and caterers, the company said.

The Barry Callebaut Group, the world’s leading manufacturer of high-quality chocolate and cocoa products for the food industry, has strengthened its capabilities and expanded its offerings to meet the needs of the fast-growing segment of professional users of chocolate in China.

Gourmet products chocolate and cocoa products that are typically used by professionals such as chocolatiers, pastry chefs, bakeries, hotels, restaurants and caterers have fueled the business growth of Barry Callebaut in China which has doubled in volume over the last four years.

According to George Zhang, Managing Director for Barry Callebaut in China, higher disposable income of the rapidly growing middle- to high-income consumers in China will drive the expected growth in the sales of gifts as well as premium and sophisticated gourmet chocolate products in the coming years.

Zhang also said that consumers seek new chocolate trends, for example chocolate with health benefits, new tastes such as green tea flavor chocolate and innovative chocolate forms for a variety of exciting chocolate experiences.

The USD$ 2.8 billion chocolate confectionery category in China is estimated to grow to approximately USD$ 3 .9 billion by 2021.

 

 

Dairy company reduces costs with label management system

NiceLabel, one of the world’s leading developers of label and marking productivity software solutions has helped dairy company Arla Foods find a standardised label management solution for all of its industrial printers.

NiceLabel’s technology enabled this large food manufacturer to significantly reduce costs and increase label accuracy and productivity.

A critical part of Arla’s brand identity is being able to guarantee freshness and provide their customers with accurate product information, according to a company press release.

However the company needed a single solution with a standardised method of integration between each dairy’s label and direct marking printers and the Manufacturing Execution System (MES).

By using NiceLabel’s label management system, Arla said that it was able to automate printing by implementing a standardized integration with the MES at each dairy. Now, master data flows directly from the MES to the printers, eliminating manual data entry errors, mislabeling and the associated costs.

By introducing centralised label management, Arla have a more transparent label management process that helps them ensure accurate product and production data throughout the entire label printing process.

The company’s IT team now provides 24×7 support to each site, rapidly addressing issues before they result in production downtime while also allowing Arla to remotely monitor all activity and diagnose errors.

“Our customers have come to rely on us for accurate labeling and quality product information. NiceLabel helps us to meet their high expectations and we no longer have to worry about lost revenue associated with mislabeling”, said Torben Hattel, Senior Solution Architect at Arla Foods.

“We’ve definitely seen an increase in productivity thanks to the solution. Our labeling systems run more efficiently. We no longer spend time mitigating manual data entry errors and we’ve been able to streamline support as well.”

 

Harvey Beef announces new ethical meat brand

Western Australian meat processor and packer Harvey Beef has announced a new Rangelands beef brand, targeting consumers interested in animal welfare and hormone-free meat.

According to Harvey Beef, Rangelands beef is backed by accredited animal welfare standards, and promises to be hormone and antibiotic free, as well as grass-fed.

“The beef will be sourced from cattle grown in the vast, open ranges of the Kimberley and Pilbara, where cattle roam as nature intended and feast on the abundance of natural grasses,” the company said in a statement.

The product will come in value-added retail-ready form, with the range including beef mince, sausages and burger patties. The range will not include steak or whole-muscle cuts.

The company is targeting retail initially, but is also interested in supplying to the food service industry.

Pastoralists from the Pilbara and Kimberley who supply for the brand will need to be accredited through the Kimberley and Pilbara Cattlemen’s Association (KPCA). The KPCA has developed specific animal welfare criteria which the pastoralists must adhere to, including a third-party audit program.

“These criteria will give customers confidence in buying a product which not only tastes outstanding, but which has been sustainably raised,” said Harvey Beef in a statement.

“Our dedication to higher animal welfare standards matches Harvey Beef’s passion for the best quality beef, and together we can continue to ensure Western Australia is able to consume ethically-produced beef,” said Catherine Marriott, chief executive of the KPCA.

Australia to triple chilled beef exports to China

 A new agreement between China and Australia means the number of processors allowed to send chilled, or refrigerated and cryovaced beef cuts to China will more than triple.

 Specifically, the number of meat processors permitted to export chilled beef to China will increase from 10 to 36, with another 15 expected to have pending approvals fast-tracked. Currently, Australia is the only country in the world with this market access.

 According to David Foote, managing director of Australian Country Choice, the agreement is good news for the industry after Australia’s rights for chilled beef exports to China were restricted in August 2013.

 In 2013, chilled beef accounted for 18 per cent of total beef exports to China, said Foote. Since the restrictions however, it has accounted for only 7 per cent.

 Global mining and agricultural entrepreneur Andrew “Twiggy” Forrest also praised the new agreement.

 “Now that we can export chilled beef to China, it means Australia can really compete as a food supplier, as opposed to just a live animal supplier,” he told Fairfax Media.

 It is expected that the announcement will not lead to an immediate spike in imports due to record low numbers of Australian cattle, however it is expected to create opportunities for producers once cattle numbers recover over the next few years.

 

Chinese supermarkets stop selling Brazilian meat

 

According to a story from the Voice of America (VoA), some of China’s largest food suppliers have stopped selling Brazilian beef and poultry following a scandal over Brazil’s meat processing industry.

While Brazil is the world’s largest exporter of beef, fears over Brazilian meat safety have increased since police accused inspectors of taking bribes to permit the sale of rotten and infected meats.

The announcement from the Chinese food suppliers comes days after China temporarily suspended Brazilian all meat imports.

Hong Kong, Japan, Canada and Mexico have also announced they were stopping major imports of some Brazilian meat.

Brazilian President Michel Temer said the sale of rotten meat was an “economic embarrassment for the country.”

The Brazilian government has so far barred the exports of meats from 21 plants under investigation, while officials have tried to calm consumers by saying the recent investigation has found only “isolated problems with rotten or infected meat”.

However, the reaction by Chinese food suppliers suggests that the investigation could have a big effect on the world’s top meat exporter, said VoA.

Brazil’s trade associations for meat producers warned that the scandal could affect the economy considering meat exports make up 15 per cent of total exports.

 

 

 

Australian researchers find way to stop food mould

West Australian researchers led by Dr. Kirsty Bayliss have discovered how to stop mould growing on fresh food.

Dr. Bayliss will be presenting her technology, titled ‘Breaking the Mould’, a chemical-free treatment for fresh produce that increases shelf-life, prevents mould and decay, and reduces food wastage, in the US.

“Our technology will directly address the global food security challenge by reducing food waste and making more food available for more people,” Dr. Bayliss said.

“The technology is based on the most abundant form of matter in the universe– plasma. Plasma kills the moulds that grow on fruit and vegetables, making fresh produce healthier for consumption and increasing shelf-life.”

Dr. Bayliss’s Murdoch University team has been working on preliminary trials for the past 18 months and are now preparing to start scaling up trials to work with commercial production facilities.

Dr. Bayliss said the LAUNCH Food Innovation Challenge was a “huge opportunity.”

“I will be presenting our research to an audience comprising investors, company directors and CEOs, philanthropists and other influential people from organisations such as Fonterra, Walmart, The Gates Foundation, as well as USAID, DFAT and even Google Food.”

“What is really exciting is the potential linkages and networks that I can develop; already NASA are interested in our work,” she said.

In an interview with ABC Online, she said “Food wastage contributes to a lot of the food insecurity as the US and Europe wastes around 100 kilograms of food per person every year.

“If we could reduce food wastage by a quarter, we could feed 870 million people.”

Dr. Bayliss said the technology also kills bacteria associated with food-borne illness, such as salmonella and listeria.

 

 

Bosch Australia partners with Food CRC

While the recently-announced Food Agility CRC will be funded with $50 million over ten years along with $160 million in commitments from 54 partner organisations, Bosch Australia will be a lead technology partner and will apply its agriculture technology expertise and resource to projects in connected agriculture and automation.

The Food Agility CRC will integrate the agile culture and processes of the digital economy through a whole-of-value-chain lens for fresh and processed food.

“Global food production needs to double by 2050 and the opportunity that presents to the Australian food industry is enormous,” says Mike Briers, CEO of the Food Agility CRC and UTS Industry Professor.

Bosch Australia said it is making significant investments in connected agriculture and food automation oriented activities in this region, including direct investment in Australian start-ups.

Most recently ‘The Yield’, an early stage Internet of Things (IoT) company focused on Micro-Climate sensing technology in Agriculture and Aquaculture. “

The Food Agility CRC will have a direct impact on the food and agriculture sector,” said Gavin Smith, Bosch President with responsibility for the region Oceania.
“There’s no better place than Australia to develop digital and automation solutions in food technology.”

Tumeric-rich Arkadia Golden Latte released

Arkadia Beverages has released a blend of high of turmeric, spices and organic panela sugar and called it Arkadia Golden Latte.

This turmeric blend is designed to be ready to drunk with hot or cold milk.

With no added dairy, vegan friendly and gluten and caffeine free, Arkadia Golden Latte is claimed to imbue the natural benefits of turmeric – often referred to as the most powerful herb on the planet for helping to fight a range of diseases.

Australian fruit destined for Chinese retailers

Winha Commerce and Trade International, the Australian paddock-to-plate Chinese retailer and wholesale food company, has announced that it will use its participation in a new Australian agricultural research centre to help create new products for the Chinese market.

Last month Winha announced it would be a foundation partner in Ausway College to be created in Deniliquin, which aims to become Australia’s leading agricultural research facility in Australia. Winha hopes to ensure that Australian agricultural producers can develop products that will be sought after by Chinese consumers.

“China is the world’s top fruit consuming nation, but at the moment not all Australian fruit is represented in the country. We need to ensure there are more pears, plums, mangos and other specialised fruits like star fruit created and produced for the Chinese market,’’ said Winha Chairman, Jackie Chung.

“Chinese consumers love the quality of Australian produce, but they also have slightly different tastes and likes to Australian consumers, so we must work with Australian fruits producers to create the right looking and tasting fruit to sell into China,’’ he said.

To illustrate its intentions to continue to promote Australian food in China, Winha has also announced it will import locally made Crystal Nest, Australia’s finest bird’s nest, into China.

Crystal Nest founder James Liew said: “We are delighted to be associated with Winha and we are excited to take our quality Australian product to China.’’

Chinese families who appreciate the reported health benefits of bird’s nest are willing to pay up to $US60 a bowl for the product – making the raw bird’s nest one of the most expensive food items in the world.

Australian owned and operated Crystal Nest sells its bird’s nest product all around Australia and now with the help of Winha (and its chain of retail outlets and enormous customer reach in China), Crystal Nest has found the perfect distribution channel into China.

Winha congratulates Crystal Nest for the extra care it puts into the handling and cleaning of its bird’s nests, ensuring it exceeds the highest global quality standards.

Bird’s Nest Soup is considered a delicacy amongst the Chinese upper classes.

Energy policy could see jobs go offshore – report

A new Australian Industry Group (Ai Group) report, Energy shock: No gas, no power, no future?, concludes that Australia’s energy policy risks sending Australian jobs offshore.

The report finds that businesses and households will see an increase in costs, wholesale electricity prices are almost doubling and spot prices are becoming more volatile. It also found that 51 per cent of households expected price rises in the coming year and only 4 per cent expected a decrease. 

Ai Group CEO Innes Willox said that the current forecast increases are considerable.

“The dollar impact of the current and forecast price increase is staggering. Once fully passed through, the electricity and gas price increases will cost energy users as a whole $10-$12 billion per year.  Households will pay up to an extra $3.6 billion a year, and business up to $8.7 billion a year,” Willox said. 

“Within business, energy-intensive manufacturers will be particularly hard hit, paying up to $4 billion a year. This will worsen margin pressures for business, with some manufacturers questioning their ongoing viability as a result. Such businesses will be looking closely at options to move operations offshore, reduce their local workforces or both.”

Mechatronic drive awarded HACCP certification

 Understanding the extremely high standards that Australia’s food and beverage manufacturers work towards to ensure that consumers receive the highest quality products, SEW-EURODRIVE has announced the recent Hazard Analysis Critical Control Point (HACCP) certification of its mechatronic drive system MOVIGEAR type B, variant for wet areas.

Traditional machine components are not only difficult to clean thoroughly; they also generally require production areas to shut down – at least in part – for cleaning activities to take place. This procedure places strain on production timeframes, contributing to reduced product throughput affecting the overall profitability.

Machine components mounted in production or processing areas are often exposed to harsh cleaning chemicals. The shape of the component, its material composition and the method of substrate protection all play a large role in the cleaning efforts, likelihood of becoming a source of contamination and product longevity.

Designed specifically for the food and beverage industry MOVIGEAR for wet areas has a number of advantages over traditional drive solutions. Up to three core products can be assembled into a “self-draining” and compact housing: gear unit, motor and drive electronics (optional).

Combining the technical and practical advantages of all three drive components leads to an increase in the performance, efficiency and reliability. The MOVIGEAR product range can be easily integrated into most materials handling applications such as conveyor systems.

The smooth housing of the MOVIGEAR for wet areas is finished with a ‘HP200’ treatment which is burned-in-to the surface during the application process. Highly resistant to rigorous cleaning regimes, including chemical and high pressure wash down, the integrity of the surface finish eliminates the possibility of “paint-lift-off” often associated with traditional surface coatings.

The inherent anti-stick properties contribute to a reduction of debris build-up resulting in reduced cleaning efforts and system downtime. Standard inclusion of stainless steel shafts, fasteners and auxiliary fittings further enhances the MOVIGEAR for wet areas anticorrosive properties.

The totally enclosed non-ventilated mechatronic drive system is designed according to the principle of convection cooling, eliminating the need of a motor fan. Motor-fan noise spread of germs and bacteria due to air swirls are a thing of the past with the MOVIGEAR product range.

Compliant with IE4 (Super Premium Efficiency) standards, a major benefit of the MOVIGEAR is the impressive energy savings potential.

 

 

Food industry penalty rate change applauded by business

The Australian Industry Group has welcomed today’s Fair Work Commission (FWC) Penalty Rates Decision.

“The Commission has accepted Ai Group’s evidence and arguments to re-set penalty rates in the fast food industry to better align them with the characteristics and needs of 21st century workplaces,” Ai Group Chief Executive Innes Willox said.

“Ai Group represented the fast food industry in the case.  A great deal of evidence was presented from Ai Group members, McDonalds and Hungry Jacks, and from relevant experts.”

“A very high proportion of employees in the fast food industry are young people who have study commitments during normal business hours.”

The Commission accepted Ai Group’s evidence that young people often prefer to work in the evenings and on weekends, and that many prefer to work on Sundays rather than Saturdays.

“In the fast food industry, weekends and evenings are peak times. Regular business hours have little relevance to businesses in the fast food industry and, therefore, penalty rates that were designed many decades ago around regular business hours need to be re-set.”

“In the Decision, the Commission has recognised that existing Sunday penalty rates in the fast food industry are not fair for employers and no longer relevant.”

“The new penalty rates will be phased in over at least two years to reduce the impact upon employees.”

“The five-Member Full Bench, headed by FWC President, Justice Iain Ross, made their decision on penalty rates in the fast food industry after a case which continued for over two years. The Full Bench carefully weighed up all the arguments and evidence and arrived at a fair and sensible outcome.”

“What is important now is that the decision by the independent umpire is implemented as soon as possible, and that all parties accept the outcome,” Willox said.

Nanoparticles could be the future of agriculture

MICROSCOPIC particles that have always been considered a pollutant are being studied for a range of agricultural uses.

South Australian researchers are working on a number of novel uses for engineered nanoparticles including efficient fertilisers, agricultural ‘amendments’ and a unique way to clean-up contaminated land.

Engineered nanoparticles are currently used in a range of industrial materials, such as ceramics and advanced polymers, and are also commonly used in the production of household materials, personal care products and clothing.

These particles are considered a pollutant risk if they are able to accumulate in the environment.

With a maximum diameter of just 100 nanometres, it is easy for the particles to be widely dispersed across soil and accumulated by plants.

As a result, nanoparticles have been considered a pollutant and eco-toxicological risk to both plants and wildlife.

But researchers at the University of South Australia have found that the very same nanoparticles could also prove beneficial to the growth of plants.

A glasshouse trial conducted by Dr Elliott Duncan, Dr Gary Owens and Nazanin Nikoo Jamal involved exposing rice plants to titanioum and cerium nanoparticles.

Dr Elliott said that instead of proving toxic to the plants, the nanoparticles aided the growth of the rice plants.

Current laboratory tests have focused on rice plants, but Dr Duncan said the same particles could also be used to benefit other grain crops and horticultural species, with tests expected to begin on wheat later this year.

“There’s a lot of concern in terms of whether engineered nanoparticles are toxic, whether they’re accumulated by plants and what the end effect is for humans and the environment,” he said.

“But we found these particles may actually provide some benefits for the plants, and, if we could harness those, this could be a big deal for the agriculture industry.”

The experiment demonstrated that some nanoparticles had the potential to be used as an agricultural supplement, although Dr Duncan said it was still unclear how exactly these particles helped the growth of plants.

“The mechanisms behind it and predicting whether it is going to occur and how best to harness it is still unknown,” he said.

His team will continue with glasshouse experiments to test the safety and effect of the nanoparticles.

Dr Duncan said there was also the potential for specially designed nanoparticles to be used as a way to delivery fertiliser more efficiently.

“With current fertilisers, a lot of the nutrient isn’t available to the plants – essentially the plant can only use 30 to 50 per cent, so up to 70 per cent of the fertiliser expense is just wasted,” he said,

“The idea would be that if we can improve that, you can get away with applying a lot less, which then has benefits for the economics of the farm and the environment.

“This stems from the fact that the nanoparticles are small, which means they’re quite mobile in the environment so they should be able to interact with plants a lot better than more traditional bulk fertilisers.”

The size of nanoparticles also means they possess unique properties such as a high surface-area to volume ratio, which could also make them effective for cleaning up contaminated land.

Dr Duncan is also researching the effectiveness of nanoparticles in binding to toxic chemicals such as lead and arsenic.

“To remediate a site is often quite destructive, you cause quite a big change to the environment if you’ve got to say dig it up, it’s quite labour intensive and so on,” he said.

“So this could be a faster, simpler way to remediate a site than current technologies, so we want to see whether these particles can reduce the bio-availability of contaminants, which should reduce how much is available to plants and also how much is lost into water-sources.”

Dr Duncan said more understanding was still needed around the ease with which nanoparticles could move into soil, plants or wildlife, and that long-term toxicity was also an important safety factor to evaluate.

However, if his research continues to yield positive results, he said there was the potential for a commercial product for the agriculture industry.

“We need to do it in an Australian context to see how it’s going to potentially impact our industry,” Dr Duncan said.

“We’re aware that there are risks involved with nanoparticles, but the reward could also be great too.”

 

From The Lead

Coca-Cola to close South Australia plant

Coca-Cola Amatil (CCA) will close its plant in South Australia in 2019 and, as a result, 180 workers will lose their jobs.

As the SMH reports, the company said that it had reviewed its operations and decided to increase its operations in Queensland and Western Australia.

CCA’s managing director Alison Watkins said that the layout, infrastructure and logistics of the South Australian plant had prompted the decision.

Ms Watkins said CCA would provide financial counselling and help find new jobs for workers affected by the 180 lost jobs. Existing administrative, distribution, and recycling work would remain in South Australia.

The company said that it will spend A$90 million into a new glass production line and juice and dairy production in its new Richlands plant on Brisbane’s outskirts.

The Richlands plants will have lower operating costs than manufacturing in South Australia due to greater automation.

The Adelaide factory currently produces glass bottles, fruit juice, dairy products and some alcoholic beverages.

As Yahoo7 reports, SA Manufacturing Minister Kyam Maher described the news as “exceptionally disappointing” and added that the company did not discuss the issue with the Government prior to making the decision.

Adelaide Now reports that Opposition employment spokesman Corey Wingard was also disappointed by the decision.

“Coke is going to spend $90 million in Queensland and not South Australia,” he said.

“This is further evidence that under the Weatherill Labor Government, SA is not seen as an attractive place to invest.”

 

 

 

 

SA manufacturing boosts job numbers by nearly 10,000

The lower Australian dollar has helped see South Australia’s manufacturing sector add nearly 10,000 new jobs, including many in the food making sector, in the last 12 months.

However, as The Advertiser reports, a workforce expert believes the state needs to address employment problems, including Holden’s looming closure.

The most recent Australian Bureau of Statistics figures show SA’s manufacturers add 9,700 jobs over the period. Total employment in the sector stands at 79,500, up from a trough of 66,800 in 2013 though significantly less than 103,300 in 2006. The food and beverage sector added 1,200 of the new jobs.

“Given that the Australian dollar will remain relatively low, I think, for a while longer, we can expect to see manufacturing employment numbers to look relatively strong for this year,” Professor John Spoehr of the Australian Transformation Institute told The Advertiser.

Spoehr said SA needed to address its unemployment rate (the highest of any state) and to prepare for Holden’s closure. The full effect of Holden’s Elizabeth plant shutdown would be 6,000 jobs, including at suppliers, he said.

Safe Work releases new hazardous labelling regulations

Chemicals manufactured or imported before January 1 2017 will be allowed to be supplied without having to meet Work Health and Safety Regulations’ labelling requirements, according to Safe Work Australia.

Safe Work Australia CEO Michelle Baxter said this was decided in response to concerns raised by chemical suppliers in the lead up to Australia developing a globally harmonised system for chemical labelling.

“This approach will ensure a smooth transition to the globally harmonised system, or GHS, and will avoid an unnecessary burden on suppliers to re-label existing chemical stock,” she said.

“From 1 January next year, hazardous chemicals may only be supplied to other workplaces without GHS labelling if they were manufactured or imported on or before 31 December 2016, and were correctly labelled at that time.

“In 2017, manufacturers and importers operating under harmonised work health and safety laws must label their hazardous chemicals in accordance with the GHS under the model WHS Regulations.”

Norco leads with domestic violence leave

According to the ABC, In what has been described as a landmark reform, New South Wales dairy cooperative Norco has introduced paid domestic violence (DV) leave for its employees.

Norco chief executive Brett Kelly said it sends the right message on an important social issue.

“You need to look after your employees and it is really important that we have the environment that people can feel safe and an employer that really does care,” he said.

The 121-year-old farming cooperative will now provide three days of paid leave for its workers experiencing domestic violence to access medical appointments, legal proceedings, and other matters, said the ABC report.

The Australian Manufacturing Workers Union helped negotiate the deal alongside the meatworkers union and said it was a landmark decision and particularly significant to occur in the food manufacturing sector where shifts were more regimented.

Nestle finds life is sweet with Chocolate Law subsidy

Nestlé and other food manufacturers will receive the same levels of export subsidies for using milk and cereals from Swiss farmers next year.

The government wanted to trim Chocolate Law payments by CHF26.7 million but parliament voted to maintain the current level of nearly CHF95 million ($93.8 million).
The decision is seen as a victory for the powerful food industry and farming lobby groups. So what is the Chocolate Law, how did it come into existence and how long can it keep going?
The Chocolate Law
The so-called Schoggigesetz (or Chocolate Law) was introduced in 1974 to compensate Swiss food exporters for the high price of Swiss agricultural goods. Milk and wheat are more expensive to produce in high price Switzerland while high custom duties curtail cheaper foreign imports.
The Swiss food manufacturing industry accounts for around 10% of all Swiss-produced cereals and 7% of milk. Its lobby group estimates that companies have to pay two to three times (or CHF130 million) more for agricultural raw materials than their foreign competitors.
The likes of Nestlé and Lindt & Sprüngli therefore receive state compensation for food products they export broad.

What’s new?
The exact amount of these food export subsidies is open for debate each year. The World Trade Organisation (WTO) insists that they should be capped at CHF114.9 million per annum. But state coffers rarely offer anything like that amount.
Between 2010 and 2014, the payments were around CHF70 million. The Swiss National Bank’s decision to scrap its franc-euro cap in January 2015 put yet more pressure on exporters, so the Chocolate Law pot was raised to around CHF95 million.
The government wants to cut expenditure, so recommended a return to CHF70 million from next year. Following intense lobbying, parliament has rejected any cuts in the subsidy.

Great news for Nestlé & Co
In the short-term, yes. The problem is that WTO pressure finally forced Switzerland to concede defeat last year. It agreed then to phase out the subsidy completely by 2020.
To complicate matters, a “Swiss Made” law will come into force on January 1, 2017, compelling manufacturers to use local produce if they want to use the prestigious “Made in Switzerland” label.
Food manufacturers say they won’t be able to continue producing in Switzerland unless a new solution is found.

 

From https://www.swissinfo.ch

 

Machine automation controller

Omron electronics has released its entry level controller, NX1P, designed for small to midsize production machines. Based on the Sysmas (System for Machine Automation Control) platform, the controller features advanced motion control and networking for onsite IoT.

It is battery free and reduces machine maintenance, featuring an SD memory card slot to restore, back-up and verify data in the controller.

With one or two built-in option boards, there is no need to increase the size of the control panel for adding serial and analog communication.

This makes it a compact controller with push-in-plus terminals at the I/O and CPU unit to strengthen connection and save wiring time.

According to the company, these features together with a fast execution time of 3.3ns makes the controller an easy-to-use, high performance compact controller.

Moreover, the controller has built-in Ethernet/IP and EtherCAT ports. EtherCAT allows connection between I/O devices with a single cable providing control for up to eight servo systems, reducing wiring work.

Single-axis position control and four axes of motion control can also be achieved through electronic gear/cam and linear/circular interpolation. IO-Link master is enabled, meaning downtime is reduced and status of machines can be detected quickly and precisely.

Management education, not just tax cuts, needed to create jobs and growth

Company tax cuts are a key component of Australian Treasurer Scott Morrison’s plan to drive growth in jobs and wages, spurring on the Australian economy.

There’s no question that tax cuts and lower energy prices will enable companies to keep more of the money they make. But it’s not more money per se, but what they do with that money that will enable them to grow.

Should they spend money on hiring more people, developing new products, do more marketing, change the packaging, or expand the factory to manufacture more product for export?

These are the kinds of decisions all CEOs of medium-sized companies must make. But many CEOs are uncertain about what to do to grow and are fearful of making wrong decisions. No CEO wants to make a decision that sends the company into decline, so there’s a tendency to “circle the wagons” and try to protect what they have or make incremental moves from which they can quickly retreat if things go wrong.

In these situations, lack of money is less of a gating factor than lack of knowledge. The good news is that when CEOs are taught the basics of growth, understand how to create a growth strategy, and are given tools that enable them to simulate the impact of a decision, they make decisions quite rapidly and begin to grow – and then they hire people and jobs are created.

Two years ago we launched our first growth program and began working with a group of 10 companies from all over Australia representing ten different industries. They had revenues between A$5 million – A$50 million, 5 – 200 employees, and the CEOs wanted to grow but weren’t sure how. Over the two years since they entered our program, they increased their aggregate revenue by 93%, profit by 100%, and are exporting into 12 new countries.

But, most importantly for policy makers wanting to create jobs – these ten companies have added 146 new jobs. That’s an average of 14.6 jobs, over two years, per company.

What if each of the 220,000 medium enterprises in Australia added half as many jobs over the next two years? That would result in more than one million jobs.

Promoting company growth can be achieved by helping managers figure out:

  • What’s the best growth strategy for this company?
  • What changes are needed in marketing and sales?
  • What changes are needed in the way we lead and manage?
  • Are the right people in the right positions to drive growth?
  • What kinds of people, with what kinds of skills and experiences, are needed for future growth?

Although a tax cut could be the fuel for the growth, company leaders come to our growth program because they need help thinking through which growth strategy makes sense for their business. They want to learn how to improve their leadership, tune their organisation, become more efficient, and rev growth.

Money alone will not create the numbers and kinds of jobs required to boost the economy. CEOs and MDs in our programs tell us that learning what to do, when, why, and in what order has given them the confidence to take the risks required to grow their companies and hire more people.

In short, we need to focus as much attention on the management education of founders, CEOs and MDs of medium-sized companies as we do on providing them with more money. Once they learn how to grow their companies, they will definitely need money to become the engines of growth, and they will certainly hire more people, creating the jobs we all want.

The Conversation

Jana Matthews, ANZ Chair in Business Growth, Director, Centre for Business Growth, University of South Australia

This article was originally published on The Conversation. Read the original article.