Power Equipment Australasia

Print Post Approved PP 100002231 INSIDE Australian Made Gary Fooks Irrigation Gardening to succeed: An immigrant's story www.power-equipment.com.au Volume 44 No. 3 May - June 2023

ATOM INDUSTRIES 9 Fred St. Lilyfield NSW 2040 Australia Australia Free Call: 1800 225 450 New Zealand Free Call: 0800 174 753 Visit atomindustries.com for more details. AUSTRALIAN MADE QUALITY MADE TO LAST OTHER OUTSTANDING AUSSIE MADE PRODUCTS! Max power rating 1.1hp (0.8kw) Powered by Honda GX25 25cc 4-Stroke quiet engine. World’s lightest and most powerful Honda powered blower ATOM PROFESSIONAL BLOWERS ARE THE WORLD’S MOST POWERFUL PETROL BLOWERS PROFESSIONAL AV 855 HONDA POWERED AIRLIFT® PROUDLY AUSTRALIAN DESIGNED & MADE AUSTRALIAN MADE – MADE TO LAST Max air speed 315km/hr. Max air volume 850m3/hr. PROFESSIONAL AV 858 2-STROKE AIRLIFT® PROUDLY AUSTRALIAN DESIGNED & MADE AUSTRALIAN MADE – MADE TO LAST Max power rating 1.2hp (0.9kw) Powered by Atom 26HPE 500+ hours high performance commercial engine designed and made in Australia with Australian and imported components. Max air speed 335km/hr. Max air volume 890m3/hr. DELUXE ECONOMY AV 838 2-STROKE AIRLIFT® PROUDLY AUSTRALIAN DESIGNED & MADE AUSTRALIAN MADE – MADE TO LAST Max power rating 0.8hp (0.65kw) Powered by Atom 26cc 500+ hours commercial engine designed and made in Australia with Australian and imported components. Max air speed 270km/hr. Max air volume 750m3/hr. AUSSIE MADE! (USING HONDA POWER) 855 Powerful blowers •Dramatically OUTBLOWS other Honda powered blowers! •ONE KG LIGHTER than other Honda powered blowers! •KEEPS BLOWING in 30°- 43° weather when other blowers will not work! • HAS ATTACHMENTS no other Honda blowers have – Vaccum with mulching blades, Roof gutter cleaner, Spraying/misting (optional extras and fit all Atom blowers) Even at full throttle and one finger hold, the very powerful air blast blower is in smooth equilibrium and very light. LAWN EDGERS GARDEN TILLERS ENGINE DRILLS

REGULAR FEATURES COVER SPECIAL FEATURES Australian Made.................................................10 It’s time to manufacture in Australia.............16 Irrigation rides a wave of post-pandemic success................................................................... 20 STIHL: Driving excellence..............................26 Print Post Approved PP100002231 INSIDE Australian Made Gary Fooks Irrigation Gardening to succeed: An immigrant's story www.power-equipment.com.au Volume 44 No. 3 May - June 2023 The most powerful battery top-handle chainsaw in STIHL’s professional battery range has been unveiled. Designed exclusively for professional use by trained arborists, the MSA 220 T is more than capable of cutting large branches and making reduction cuts across the tree canopy. Available exclusively at a local STIHL dealer. JAK Max - your complete forestry parts supplier TOLL FREE sales@jakmax.com.au P: 1800 604 281 www.jakmax.com.au F: 1800 199 758 ARCHER’FY your dealership today! l Display stands l Ready to hang accessories l Easy to read packaging Become a JAK Max dealer today to gain access to our growing range of products across the chainsaw, lawnmower, brushcutter and finished units sectors. Exclusive to JAK Max Editor’s Column...................................................4 News........................................................................ 5 Computer Guru....................................................8 Product Focus........................................14, 23, 28 Marketing............................................................. 24 Research & Development.................................31 New Products......................................................33 Diary Dates..........................................................34 MAY - JUNE 2023 | POWER EQUIPMENT AUSTRALASIA | 3

Glenvale Publications and Power Equipment Australasia are pleased to provide the articles contained in this publication to keep its subscribers up to date on issues which may be relevant to their businesses. This publication is supplied strictly on the condition that Glenvale Publications and Power Equipment Australasia, its employees, agents, authors, editors and consultants are not responsible for any deficiency, error, omission or mistake contained in this publication, and Glenvale Publications and Power Equipment Australasia, its employees, agents, authors, editors and consultants hereby expressly disclaim all liability of whatsoever nature to any person who may rely on the contents of this publication in whole or part. Published by GLENVALE PUBLICATIONS A.B.N. 31 218 591 688 11 Rushdale St, Knoxfield VIC 3180 PO Box 50, Mount Waverley VIC 3149 Phone: (03) 9544 2233 Fax: (03) 9543 1150 Editor: Elaine Sharman Phone: 0411 550 808 Email: elaine.sharman@glenv.com.au Sub Editor: Jackie Joy Journalists: Jackie Joy John Power Gary Fooks ADVERTISING Alastair Bryers Email: alastair.bryers@glenv.com.au Mobile: 0498 555 085 Elaine Sharman Email: elaine.sharman@glenv.com.au Mobile: 0411 550 808 ACCOUNTS Melissa Graydon Email: melissa.graydon@glenv.com.au SUBSCRIPTIONS Melissa Graydon $60.50 – 6 issues subs@glenv.com.au ART, PRODUCTION AND ONLINE COMMUNICATIONS Justin Carroll PageSet Australia Phone: (03) 9544 2233 PRINTING Southern Impact Pty Ltd 181 Forster Road,Mount Waverley VIC 3149 Phone: (03) 8796 7000 EDITOR’S COLUMN In recent years, there has been growing concern over Australia’s reliance on imported goods and its declining manufacturing sector. The COVID-19 pandemic exposed the vulnerabilities of global supply chains and the importance of self-sufficiency in critical industries. As we navigate the post-pandemic world, there is a pressing need for Australia to increase its onshore manufacturing capabilities. The benefits of onshore manufacturing are manifold. Firstly, it would provide a boost to the domestic economy, create jobs and generate economic growth. By producing goods locally, we would reduce our reliance on imported products and keep the wealth within the country. Additionally, it would help to address the trade deficit, which has been a long-standing issue in Australia's economic landscape. Shipping goods across the world generates significant carbon emissions, contributing to climate change. By producing goods locally, we would reduce the carbon footprint associated with transportation and make strides toward a more sustainable future. By producing essential goods locally, we would also be better equipped to respond to crises and ensure the availability of critical supplies. Of course, there are challenges to onshoring manufacturing, including the cost of production and the need for skilled workers. However, these challenges can be overcome with targeted investments in infrastructure, education and training. Gary Fooks’ article on pages 16-18 covers the rationale behind this as well as government grants that are available to assist local manufacturers. The benefits of onshoring manufacturing are clear. As we move forward from the pandemic, we should seize the opportunity to rebuild our manufacturing sector and create a brighter future for all Australians. To follow through on encouraging ‘Australian Made’, we have featured two stalwarts of OPE - John Notaras of Atom Industries on pages 10-11 and Warwick Lorenz of Aussie Pumps from pages 12-16. Their passion and perseverance is exemplary. On a different note, John Power has covered best practice irrigation techniques on pages 20-22. Thank you, Leeson Brook for your insight into your first six months at the helm as Managing Director of STIHL Australia. Thank you, Jo Katsos for your generous contribution, you have quite a following within the OPE industry. You are much admired and appreciated. With increasingly volatile weather conditions Stephen Fairbrother has once again shared valuable information on how to keep your data safe. There is still money in “them there hills” - Jackie Joy has written a successful immigrant story who went from driving an Uber to becoming a successful green tradie. Welcome to Australia. The rest of the content has been curated for interest and relevance. And on that note, it’s a wrap. All the best for now! Elaine Sharman Editor

NEWS OUR FRONT COVER SHOWS… This winter will see the introduction of a brand-new battery powered chainsaw capable of the most demanding jobs in tree work. The new STIHL MSA 220 T is the most powerful battery top-handle chainsaw in the STIHL range, designed exclusively for professional use by trained arborists. A fantastic alternative to the MS 201 TC-M petrol chainsaw, the MSA 220 T is more than capable of cutting large branches and making reduction cuts across the tree canopy. The MSA 220 T is part of STIHL’s rapidly growing AP battery system which is designed for large gardens and professional use. Find out more about the STIHL MSA 220 T at stihl.com.au or contact a local STIHL dealer. MORE INFORMATION STIHL Australia stihl.com.au Print Post Approved PP 100002231 INSIDE Australian Made Gary Fooks Irrigation Gardening to succeed: An immigrant's story www.power-equipment.com.au Volume 44 No. 3 May - June 2023 OUR FRONT COVER SHOWS… JOHN DEERE CELEBRATES GLOBAL REMAN DAY To celebrate the Remanufacturing Industrial Council’s (RIC) Global Reman Day (April 13), John Deere is highlighting the environmental and economic benefits of remanufactured parts, and the effective role they can play in growing business and industry sustainability. Remanufacturing involves the complete disassembly, cleaning, inspection, repair or replacement and reassembly of used components to restore them to a condition that meets or exceeds the original performance specifications. John Deere Reman is a world leader in the production of remanufactured parts at equal or better standard than the original, helping to reduce waste and conserve natural resources. John Deere Australia and New Zealand Director of Aftermarket and Customer Support, Emma Ford, said remanufacturing was an integral contributor to the company’s mission to connect with farmers across the world to sustainably support and feed communities as the global population grows. “By 2030 we know there will be nine billion people on earth who will need to be fed, clothed and housed, and we feel we have a really critical role to play in that,” Ms Ford said. “We are very focused on working to support growers in doing ‘more with less’ by providing solutions like remanufactured parts that both reduce impact on the environment and input expenses – both of which are important markers of a sustainable industry that can rise to meet the needs of the future. “For example, not having to make a new engine or axle from scratch means natural resources are preserved, melting furnaces aren't fired up, and carbon footprints are smaller. “Having affordable remanufactured parts at the ready also provides dealers with more flexible options to help customers avoid downtime and improve their bottom line.” John Deere remanufactures around 2,300 part numbers including engines, transmissions, axles, and electronics. Nearly 12.5 million kilograms of material was recycled through John Deere Reman in 2022. John Deere’s remanufacturing is on track to grow 50 per cent by 2030 in line with the company’s Sustainability Strategy, outlined in the 2022 Sustainability Report. NEW TECHNOLOGY ADVANCES SOLAR-CELL PRODUCTION AND RECYCLING A microwave technology invented at Macquarie University will help improve the manufacture of solar cells and make them easier to recycle. During the fabrication of solar panels, silicon goes through several hightemperature processes known as annealing. Currently the cells are cooked in an oven. But in a paper published in the US Journal Applied Physics Letters, a team led by senior lecturer Dr Binesh Puthen Veettil of the School of Engineering has shown that heating using microwave radiation is nearly as efficient. Plus, it saves considerable time and energy and has other advantages. Because microwave radiation selectively heats silicon, it leads to almost instantaneous effects with massive savings of energy. This is partly because the rest of the laminated panel of glass, plastic and aluminium is left largely unaffected. And that property that has led to an unexpected recycling benefit for which the group has a patent pending. Under microwave treatment, the plastic (ethylene vinyl acetate) coating that protects the silicon plate from moisture and contamination softens to the point where it can be peeled off mechanically. That means the plate can be easily delaminated and its components reused without employing harsh chemicals. “Until now it made economic sense to just dump the panels in the landfill,” Dr Veettil said. “In the rare instances when they are recycled, you crush the panels, heat them to about 1400°C and wash them with chemicals to remove the plastic — a highly energy-demanding process. But now, as the solar panels which began to be installed in vast numbers about 20-30 years ago are reaching the end of their life and being decommissioned, governments are demanding they be recycled.” Microwave annealing has several other advantages. The ability to focus microwave MAY - JUNE 2023 | POWER EQUIPMENT AUSTRALASIA | 5

radiation means the heating it induces can be selective and highly tuned. Precise focusing also means that annealing can be directed to specific parts of the solar panel, making it ideal for annealing solar panels with more intricate internal structures fabricated for special purposes. And, in contrast to an oven where all sorts of chemical substances are shed from the walls, microwave annealing takes place in a clean environment. “So, there is less contamination,” Dr Veettil said. “And the whole process can all be undertaken at room temperature.” CSIRO TO HELP SMES ADVANCE DIGITAL TECHNOLOGY R&D Australia's national science agency, CSIRO, is helping small to medium enterprises (SMEs) enhance their research and development (R&D) knowledge with a free 10-week online program focused on cyber security and digital technologies. The Innovate to Grow program, connects businesses working on solutions in cyber and digital tech with knowledge, resources and mentors to advance their project or ideas. After completing the program, eligible participants may be able to access continued support through CSIRO, being connected to national research expertise and/or dollar-matched R&D funding to keep moving their ideas forward. CSIRO’s Data61 Research Director for Software and Computational Systems Dr Liming Zhu said an Innovate to Grow program focused on cyber security and digital technology could not be more timely. “The rise of generative artificial intelligence (AI) and large language models like ChatGPT are rapidly transforming the digital and cyber innovation landscape,” Dr Zhu said. However, Dr Zhu warned that the rapid development and escalation of these applications comes with increased cyber risks and risks in digital trust, and that preparation is the key to mitigating these risks. “This is a new territory, which is still evolving,” Dr Zhu said. “Our aim with programs like this is to assist companies who are building solutions to these problems,” he said. CSIRO’s Innovate to Grow Program Coordinator, Michelle Armistead, has urged Australian SMEs to consider taking the opportunity to connect with likeminded mentors and companies to learn and grow. “We know the critical importance Australia’s SMEs have in the growth and resilience of our economy, and likewise the large role they will play in growing these NEWS Dr Binesh Puthen Veettil, Macquarie University 6 | POWER EQUIPMENT AUSTRALASIA | MAY - JUNE 2023

emerging industries of cyber and digital tech,” Ms Armistead said. “One of the most valuable pieces of feedback we’ve had from participants in our previous cohorts is the deep value they have gained in working through the self-paced deliverables while connecting with our expert advisors,” she said. CSIRO’s Innovate to Grow: Cyber Security and Digital Technologies program commences June 8 and is available for 20-25 SMEs. Expressions of interest to participate close May 15. CBA LAUNCHES GREEN VEHICLE AND EQUIPMENT FINANCE Commonwealth Bank of Australia (CBA) is launching a range of new green asset finance solutions to support businesses investing in green vehicles, equipment and machinery and achieving their sustainability goals, while also lowering energy costs and boosting productivity. CBA’s new Green Vehicle and Equipment Finance offers discounts of up to 1 per cent off the standard rate for new and used electric or hydrogen powered cars, trucks, vans or buses valued up to $250,000, and discounts of up to 0.5 per cent on other qualifying assets including electric and hydrogen powered machinery, solar, wind and hydro-powered equipment and charging and storage equipment. CBA General Manager Asset Finance, Chris Moldrich, said many businesses were expected to take advantage of the Commonwealth Government’s Instant Asset Write-Off scheme before it expires on June 30, to bring forward purchases of green vehicles and equipment. “This new green asset finance offering is designed to assist companies in the manufacturing, logistics and construction sectors who are focused on lowering their running costs and energy wastage, while also reducing carbon emissions,” Mr Moldrich said. “These new offerings enable businesses to transition their fleets and equipment to the latest, best-in-class sustainability options such as electric vehicles and green equipment. Our financing solutions cover up to 100 per cent of the purchase price of these assets, as well as supporting infrastructure such as chargers and batteries. “There is a range of terms to suit different cash flow needs and the ability to use the purchased equipment as security for the loan also enables businesses to free up their working capital for other purposes.” QANTAS GROUP ENGINEERING ACADEMY IS A WELCOME TURNING POINT: AWU The Australian Workers' Union has welcomed Qantas's decision to establish a new Engineering Academy as part of a major recruitment drive, describing it as a potential turning point for Australian technical jobs. The Qantas Group Engineering Academy will have the capacity to train up 300 engineers a year. It will provide aviation engineers for the Qantas Group as well as the broader aviation industry, including defence contractors and general aviation. AWU National Secretary Daniel Walton said the announcement represented an extremely welcome shift. “For years our union has been crying out for investment in the skills of tomorrow, but good news on that front has been sparse in recent times. The announcement represents a very welcome turning point,” Mr Walton said. “It takes a long time to train aviation engineers, so today's investment creates a long pipeline that will result in good quality Australian jobs for many years to come. “Australian aircraft should be serviced and maintained by well-trained Australian engineers. I welcome Qantas's strong commitment to the future of Australian engineering jobs and look forward to working with the airline to ensure the best possible opportunities are provided to Australians keen to learn. “I call on other major Australian employers to take this as a sign of turning tide and to start making their own plans to invest strongly in Australian apprenticeships and Australian skills.” VIEW WASTE AS A VALUABLE RESOURCE: CDU EXPERT People’s attitudes towards waste needs to change substantially with a value put on our rubbish, if we are serious about reusing resources, a Charles Darwin University (CDU) researcher has said. CDU sustainability expert Michael Odei Erdiaw-Kwasie said that right now we do not value waste as we should - a vital psychological hurdle to achieving circular economy goals across sectors. A circular economy is where spent resources are reused and repurposed to remain valuable, so there is no waste. Dr Odei Erdiaw-Kwasie described the circular economy as a second chance to look at the inherent value of waste – a chance to see the valuable resource in the End-of-Life waste. “There is a real problem in that right now, we don’t put any value on waste,” Dr Odei Erdiaw-Kwasie said. “What even complicates matters further is sheer interests among many to own products or items than leasing or renting. Now is the time for us to approach the circular economy agenda sector by sector because the solution will differ for different sectors, and some lessons still remain for other sectors.” Dr Odei Erdiaw-Kwasie made the comments after publishing a research article in the Journal of Cleaner Production. Dr Odei Erdiaw-Kwasie cautions that some sectors, like the service sector, are falling into the same trap that the manufacturing sector fell into decades ago. Some sectors are focusing on the wrong goal when it comes to implementing the circular economy,” he said. NEWS Image source: www.qantas.com MAY - JUNE 2023 | POWER EQUIPMENT AUSTRALASIA | 7

“No matter the sector, for a circular economy to work, actors have to be aware that waste has value.” The electronic sector, for example, is one that has fallen into this trap for a long time. The status quo has been a ‘throwaway’ sector – malfunctioning electronics are wastes and nothing else, Dr Odei Erdiaw-Kwasie found. “Although E-waste continues to grow as a problem, recent initiatives targeting anthropogenic stock seem to pose new hopes to the electronic sector. “Now we are seeing massive growth in what has been termed urban mining because e-waste is perceived to have value because they still have precious minerals inside.” Dr Odei Erdiaw-Kwasie said economies such as the United States and China have invested heavily in urban mining because they now see value in their e-waste, while places like Australia and India are still lagging. NEWS It seems like every other day we hear news concerning a new data privacy breach of some description or a new scam taking advantage of hardworking, honest members of society. While there are proven methods to provide us humans with protection, we also must ensure that we provide a level of protection to our computer systems, business network, and ultimately our business data. Weather patterns not only dictate your choice of clothing to wear for the day, but they can have an adverse effect on your computer systems as well. Not only have we seen areas within both Australia and New Zealand ravaged by earthquake, cyclones and flooding in the first quarter of 2023, but we are fast approaching the winter months. The colder months of the year tend to be the time of year when weather across our vast country fluctuates the most, and as such can have detrimental outcomes on your computer systems within your dealership if it’s without adequate protection. In any PC, there are two essential components - the CPU and the primary hard drive. Compared to human anatomy, if the CPU is the brain, then the hard drive is the all-important heart. The primary hard drive stores all the information needed to start your computer (Windows), all of your programs and critical business data. If you have SSD (Solid State Drive) - fast becoming the standard hard drive included within a new system built for business grade and personal computers - bad weather could see you affected by loss or fluctuations of power. This is because data stored on an SSD is stored in the volatile cache, which is usually the most common or last used data and requires a safe shutdown process to be stored safely and accessed moving forward. So, in a nutshell, if your computer suffers a power fluctuation or loses power unexpectedly, your critical business data could be at risk. There is some good news though. The perfect insurance and protection come from one humble piece of componentry - a UPS. A UPS (Uninterruptible Power Supply) is a battery back-up and power filter unit all in one. Essentially, the UPS will assist you with either safely shutting down the system it is connected to in the event of a power loss (generally, a UPS will provide you with ~30 minutes of battery power) or filtering power to minimise data loss in the event of a fluctuation. Considering the cost of a unit suitable to protect a standard PC retails for around $180, this is relatively cheap insurance against disaster and provision of peace of mind. Given that the UPS filters power to the PC at all times, it is also proven to extend the life of your PC. Latest models of UPS can even automatically close down open programs, save open files and safely shutdown Windows if your PC is on and power is lost without any input from an end user. This feature alone effectively ensures that your computer system(s) can be safely powered down and data saved even when you are not physically at the business. Let’s be honest, no one enjoys spending money on a PC issue that could have been avoided. A UPS is an investment as it extends the life of your PC and provides you with a cost-effective tool to minimise data loss within your business. MORE INFORMATION Biscount Software www.biscount.com.au How to keep your data safe and protect your business systems from inclement weather, the smart way! COMPUTER GURU 8 | POWER EQUIPMENT AUSTRALASIA | MAY - JUNE 2023

Input workshop jobs in clicks, not minutes! Call: 03 9570 1777 Visit: biscount.com.au BISCOUNT Business Management Software ® Point of Sale Accounting Stock Control Marketing SMS Xero and ePayDay Interfaces Workshop/KPI’s Written, supported and Australian owned for over 25 years. Biscount is a registered trademark of Biscount Software Pty. Ltd. Biscount’s refined workshop job book-in process saves you time when you need it most. Our Simple, Intuitive & Smart Business Management Software has become even better Experience a free demo of the new & improved Biscount and drive your business further!

AUSTRALIAN MADE What does skiing in the French-Swiss Alps have in common with Australian manufacturing? It’s great passion! Australian Made and International Gold Medal winners on many occasions at the yearly prestigious Swiss International Inventions and Technology Exhibition in Geneva, has put Atom powered Lawn Edgers, Leaf Blowers, Engine Drills and Garden Tillers on a world leading pedestal for uniqueness, quality and performance. All designed and manufactured in Australia with patents, and IP taken out. Atom is also the only winner of Honda Powered Invention Competition against many competitors, when Atom was awarded first prize in 2016 for Atom’s Engine Drill with Automatic Reverse gear. Atom’s own full time state of the art Research and Development utilising 3D CAD-CAM software carries out continuous R&D, not only for the design of their quality products but also their manufacturing processes and efficiencies. Atom production lines includes custom installed robots, which have torque computer controlled screwdriving ability for individual and different screws which could not be done by manual means on the many Atom models. All power used is 100% from Atom’s own produced renewable electricity at their Sydney factory. Atom’s sub-contractors in Sydney for plastic and metal components also have robot assisted productions. The passion to design and make world leading top quality products. John Notaras and wife Anne-Marie skiing in French-Swiss Alps in February 2023. Honda Trophy for Excellence. A few of the many Gold Medals awarded to Atom. 10 | POWER EQUIPMENT AUSTRALASIA | MAY - JUNE 2023

AUSTRALIAN MADE Atom’s Production Robots shown picking up screws and screwing assemblies together. Atom products are supplied Australia wide through servicing dealers whom they fully support with back up service. Box stores and mass merchants are not supplied. Atom exports to many countries including USA, NZ, Europe, Asia and Middle East. Atom Industries is a family-owned business originally started by bothers Angelo and John Notaras and the factory and office are situated at Lilyfield in Sydney. CEO John Notaras has very high praise for the Atom team who are all dedicated to maintaining the high quality for Atom products. John himself is very passionate about product quality and design and also has a great passion for snow skiing on weekends whenever the snow is sufficient. MAY - JUNE 2023 POWER EQUIPMENT AUSTRALASIA 00 Lawn Edgers CUT CLEAN SHARP EDGES 10 TIMES FASTER Garden Tillers CULTIVATE 12 TIMES FASTER & EASIER Leaf Blowers 3 TIMES FASTER THAN OTHER BLOWERS 58v Lithium Power LAWN EDGER – LEAF BLOWER – TILLERS – STRING TRIMMER Engine Drills World’s most advanced engine drills with automatic reverse gear Chisel Tip Augers Innovative design & longer lasting for hardwoods and softwoods Atom products are supplied Australia wide through servicing dealers whom they fully support with back up service. Box stores and mass merchants are NOT supplied. Atom exports to many countries including USA, NZ, Europe, Asia and Middle East. Atom Industries is a family-owned business originally started by bothers Angelo and John Notaras and the factory and office are situated at Lilyfield in Sydney. CEO John Notaras has very high praise for the Atom team who are all dedicated to maintaining the high quality for Atom products. John himself is very passionate about product quality and design and also has a great passion for snow skiing on weekends whenever the snow is sufficient. Atom’s Production Robots shown picking up screws and screwing assemblies together Part of Atom factory showing stock of mouldings for Atom production. Part of Atom factory showing stock of mouldings for Atom production. MAY - JUNE 2023 | POWER EQUIPMENT AUSTRALASIA | 11

AUSTRALIAN MADE Aussie Pumps: Three decades of excellence A company that started out as a “hobby” has become a major force, not just in Australia’s agricultural industry but in export markets globally. Warwick Lorenz, Founder and Managing Director of Aussie Pumps takes a walk down memory lane on how it all started and the progress made over the last 30 years. After 27 years of running Pacific Pump and others under the Tutt Bryant group, my wife Margaret and I wanted a change and were planning to become beef cattle farmers. We had farming in the family, running cattle, sheep and cropping at Condobolin. I had seen how tough it is when you depend on the weather for your results. Ultimately, we chickened out from farming and decided to start a small business of our own. Margaret asked the obvious question, “How would there be room for us? Two people in their late 40s starting a business in an already overcrowded market”. My response was: “There must be room for us but only if we were prepared to be better than the companies that were already servicing those markets.” She asked, “How would we do that?” I said, “Our customers would be just like us. They would want what we would want.” “What’s that?”, she asked. “Products that work and people who tell the truth,” I replied. That concept has carried us through the last thirty years. It has enabled us to grow, innovate new products that don’t just work but are better than anything that is currently on the market in Australia, and in some cases, the USA or Europe. THE GREEN SHED We built a big, green, barn-like shed in our backyard in Arcadia,

AUSTRALIAN MADE on the outskirts of Sydney. Arcadia is an old farming area with orchards, market gardens and horticulture. The green shed behind our white farmhouse looked way out of place. Four of us started in the business. My son, who was 19 at the time, and an engineer friend of mine and, of course, Margaret. Before long, the green shed had 14 people working in it and the neighbours started to ask questions about what was actually going on there. We ran out of space and eventually moved to a 2 ½ acre complex that was once the Pfizer Pharmaceutical head office for Australia. Within 18 months of moving in, we had added a million-dollar extension to the warehouse and developed the first serious production line. We stretched ourselves by borrowing big time but knew there were opportunities to develop better products and deliver better service than the market expected. We learnt a lot, even in the first months just by getting out and talking to dealers, farmers, machinery OEMs and the like. It was an eye-opener. INSPIRED BY USERS Our major advantage was that we listened to our customers - both at a dealer and at a user level. We wanted to know everything. That’s when we started our new product development process. As a small company with a tight team we had the ability to get things done fast. John Hales joined the team bringing his years of practical experience in earthmoving machinery. He was born to be an engineer and is one of the most creative ones we have ever met. He can take ideas, sometimes dreams, and turn them into reality. Thus, we were able to develop better products giving users better outcomes. Conversely, Davey and Onga, who we respect, have designed the cost out of their products making them very different to those originally designed by Don Davy all those years ago. WE ARE NOT A CORPORATION One advantage we quickly realised was that we didn’t need approval from a board of directors or shareholders, or for that matter anybody else, to turn ideas into reality. Our development criteria are based on safety and the user’s experience. We continue to develop specific products in the areas in which we specialise. It’s easy to see why we are beginning to dominate certain markets within Australia and globally. We are ISO 9001 quality accredited and play a major role in maintaining pumps on most of the platforms in the Royal Australian Navy. To do that, we had to lift our quality game substantially even above ISO 9001. THE PEOPLE A company without the people is just a building with millions of dollars of stock. It’s the people that make the difference. We operate with a staff of less than 50 currently but need another 25 or 30 to join the team. We are outgrowing our existing workshop and are faced with having to build new or buy more space. It’s exciting, it’s exhilarating, and it’s all based on the feedback we get from users, dealers and even sometimes our competitors. OUR DISTRIBUTORS ARE GOLD We choose to work with only the best distributors and are very selective. We call our distributors ‘Gold’ and we choose them for their ability, ethics, professionalism and customer service. We know nobody drives 150 kilometres to buy a fire pump if they can buy one 20km away. That is why we continue to appoint informed distributors that will protect customers from being sold cheap fire pumps that are likely to fail in an emergency when lives are at risk. MAY - JUNE 2023 | POWER EQUIPMENT AUSTRALASIA | 13

We build products to work and are fanatical about understanding the full details behind any product issue. We want to know everything. CREATING AWARENESS Aussie already has a series of movies on key products. These cover how they work, how to use them and basic maintenance. Our Jetter and high-pressure equipment handover videos and free online safety training courses are now a great success all around the world. Our dealers love them. Smart ‘Gold’ distributors absorb them and pass them onto their customers. Aussie is only just beginning. We owe it all to our Gold distributors and the users who trusted us when we first started. We owe you everything. Our 30 years of success is a credit to the power equipment industry. Moving forward, we will continue to preach quality and value. Isn’t that what we all want? AUSTRALIAN MADE PRODUCT FOCUS The success of Aussie Pumps Fire Chief model stems from its features that give the user core performance and longevity at a fair price. The success of Aussie Pumps Fire Chief model is testament to its quality and durability. Its huge 7” diameter impeller outperforms the Davey and Onga equivalents and others of its kind in the market. What else makes it different? The free five-year warranty on the pump end. Its hydraulic demand is perfectly matched to the power delivered from the Honda petrol or Yanmar diesel engine. Aussie Pumps ships large numbers of them to the USA, South Pacific and Asia. BIG 4” HONDA PUMPS MOVE WATER FAST The Aussie QP402 is a big shouldered 4” pump with an open impeller. It will pass solids in suspension and produce up to a massive 1500 litres a minute of flow. Farmers had never seen one until the Aussie team started displaying them at field days. These efficient, self-priming pumps also have the ability lift to water through a vertical lift of 8.4 metres. Further developments made to the impeller design, but using the same pump body, resulted in the launch of both the SX & SL high pressure versions of the QP402. The extra pressure makes them ideal for village fire protection duties and long distance water transfer. All versions of the QP402 are available with either Honda petrol and Yanmar diesel engines (3” ports options are also available). TRASH PUMPS FOR DIRTY WATER From moving flood water to handling livestock effluent, a specialist trash pump The Chief is in Command 14 | POWER EQUIPMENT AUSTRALASIA | MAY - JUNE 2023

PRODUCT FOCUS is designed to handle water contaminated by solids. A front-mounted opening port enables the pump internals to be cleaned out in the event of a blockage. The pumps have huge high SG cast iron open vane impellers and big open passages that will pass solids in suspension. They’re not highhead pumps but they do solve a lot of problems if there is a power blackout in a piggery, abattoir or similar operation. The Aussie QP range starts with smaller pumps with 2” ports but moves up to big 6” trailer mounted trash pumps that deliver 6,000 lpm. A big MQ600TD pump was used by Millers Contracting in Horsham to literally save the town from flooding. The right product and the right operator saved the day. AUSSIE’S SCUD PRESSURE CLEANERS When Aussie built the first Scud, someone said it looked like a cross between a Ferrari and a Bobcat! It was indeed a huge step-up from others on the market. The current version is mounted in a balanced, ergonomic stainless steel frame that’s easier to manoeuvre. The Scud is ideal for contractors but for a more compact, tradie-style machine, Aussie Pumps has developed the AB30 Pocket Rocket. With features including its unique stainless steel frame, born of Scud heritage, four wheels, flat free tyres, Honda engine and heavy duty ‘Big Berty’ pump, this blaster is built to perform. The company’s cold-water pressure washers feature Bertolini triplex pumps with a four-year warranty on the pump against faulty workmanship or materials. What drives Aussie to continually improve? It’s the customers. When users have a good idea, the team at Aussie listen. THE AUSSIE JETTER REVOLUTION When plumbers asked Aussie if they could turn their high-pressure cleaning equipment into a drain cleaning tool, they listened. Plumbers had had a gutful of electric eels and mechanical drain cleaners. Guided by some exceptionally smart people, Aussie built the first Jetter with 4,000psi with 23lpm flow. Soon, they were building the Aussie Cobra into the Aussie King Cobra with 5,000psi. Today, Aussie Pumps are leaders in this class of engine-drive drain cleaning device. Their machines are sold globally, and plumbers love them. The current range features strong, curvy stainless steel frames in a compact ‘Cube’ design that take up less room on a ute or trailer. Powerful V twin Honda engines drive heavy duty Big Berty pumps and the new Deluxe Jetters are kitted out with specialist sewer hose and stainless steel reels. THE ADVANTAGE OF STEAM It’s a well-known fact that steam cleaners are extremely effective for cleaning grease and providing a fast hygienic clean. Aussie’s full range of steam cleaners includes both electric drive and engine drive units with pressures up to 4,000 psi. The Aussie Heatwave is a 13hp Honda petrol drive mobile unit that delivers up to 4,000psi and 130°C. The engine also powers the 12volt ignition system of the diesel-fired burner. Wrapped in a stainless steel frame, it’s a mobile steam cleaner that only needs water for it to operate anywhere in the field. Yes, farmers do buy them, particularly those with big gear to clean before moving from paddock to paddock. Earthmovers and Local Government love them too. MAY - JUNE 2023 | POWER EQUIPMENT AUSTRALASIA | 15

OPINION It’s time to manufacture in Australia Imagine you are taking a long trip on a relatively straight country road. The road has a few ups and downs, and you only need to make minor adjustments to the steering wheel to keep on track. All is smooth, and you will be on time. You come to a large rise in the road, a bit of a hill actually, and you can hear the automatic gearbox change down a cog or two. Just over the rise you anticipate the downhill cruise, and the gear will settle back into a quiet cruise when without warning, the road does a sudden sharp turn to the right. Instinctively, you slam on the brakes, throwing the car into the right turn that feels more like 180 degrees than 90. As you turn, slightly terrified, you barely have time to notice the smashed trees and litter of car trim that tell the tale of cars that didn’t see the corner in time. This is where Australian business finds itself today. The road has turned. Will you make the corner or end up as scrap? For a generation, we have been riding the straight road of the free market. For all that time economists including yours truly, have been saying that by opening trade, by lowering tariffs Post COVID-19, the new “normal” is making Australia, and most of the world, look at ways to reduce reliance on overseas manufacturing. 16 | POWER EQUIPMENT AUSTRALASIA | MAY - JUNE 2023

through free trade agreements is better for everyone. We were not very efficient at textile clothing and footwear manufacturing, and so slowly companies like Bonds closed one clothing factory after another, shifting production mostly to China or anywhere else where workers would work twice as long to a tenth of the wages. Founded in Sydney in 1915, Bonds (later Pacific Brands) was still manufacturing 40 per cent of its products in Australia in 2006. It wasn’t until 2010 when the last three Bonds factories in Australia were closed. Symbolically at least, that was the end of manufacturing in Australia. Sad as that was for manufacturing jobs, free trade brought a glittering chest of benefits. All sorts of goods suddenly became available and cheap. My mum just moved into aged care, and I ended up with the task of cleaning out my late father’s garage. It really was a time capsule. There was a single Stanley knife – the classic retractable blade utility knife. Invented in 1936, but not widely available in Australia until around 1950 (after WWII) the Stanley knife was a fantastic invention and worth the $30 price tag – a week’s wage for a factory worker at the time. Next to his vintage knife were a dozen, maybe more, bright plastic cutters with snap-off blades. Dad must have been excited by free trade and the ability to buy these disposable knives for less than a dollar. And so, it was for thousands of other items. Almost everything we buy (except cars). Free trade is not only good for gadgets. The story we economists have been selling is that free trade also brings world peace. After all, why would we ever go to war with a country who buys all our iron ore and sells us lots of cheap garden tools? Free trade averted WWIII and the US did not fight a war with the USSR. Well not directly, but certainly remotely, with the US supporting the Afghanistan guerrilla fighters when Russia invaded. China vs USA was played out In Korea with round two in Vietnam. In a rematch, the USSR supported the Afghan rebels when the US invaded. All these wars were terrible for those involved but low level on a world scale compared to the anticipated WWIII. I suggest that the economists got it right, sort of, which is about as good as we ever get. Back to our straight road and avoiding a crash. The straight road represents the economy, the way of doing business since the 1970s. As free trade opened, manufacturing moved to low-cost countries and we became a nation of exporters of raw materials and an importer of finished goods. The steep rise, where we changed down gears was during COVID-19 (2020 – 2022). In 2023, we are just over the rise, and can you see the road ahead is not straight but takes an unexpected sharp turn to the right? Deep down we are all saying in our hearts, ‘Soon it will all be back to the way it was. Soon it will all be normal again’. After the steep rise and the gears dropping down and slowing down for the COVID-19 hill, things will get easier on the other side. We will get back to smooth cruising in top gear and the world will be good. Surely the lack of supply with factories under lockdown, and the shortage of shipping containers driving up costs of imports will soon be over, and all will be good in the garden. But it won’t. There is a new “normal”, and if you plan on going straight ahead you will crash. The new normal forces Australia (and most of the world) to stop focussing exclusively on products and services where the country has an absolute advantage (e.g. iron ore) and start to reduce reliance on overseas manufacturing. This is the sudden right turn. Businesses less reliant on overseas production, business that can increase the local production percentage of their products will handle this sudden turn in the road - the survivors. What has brought this about? COVID-19 was one of the catalysts, but it is the seeming inevitability of major wars involving Russia, and China that have the world turned to the right. Russia (Putin) want to take back the old empire. It started with Crimea and as we all know Ukraine. This current conflict was not a surprise. It really started in 2014, and Russia vs Ukraine even appeared in an episode of the TV series ‘Madam Secretary’ that aired in December 2015. Similarly, the Chinese leadership has vowed to take back Formosa (Taiwan) and has been steadily ramping up its military to be able to do so soon. To the Chinese mind they are just completing the 1949 Chinese Revolution. In that revolt, Chairman Mao Zedong led the communists to take over China, forcing the existing national government led by Chiang Kai-shek to flee to Taiwan with his forces to regroup and plan for their efforts to retake the mainland. Of course, that never happened and now China wants to take Taiwan back. The problem is that the US (and Australia) can’t live with that. We all have experienced the chip shortage, and how it has affected the car industry for example. But were you aware that Taiwan accounts for 60 per cent of world chip production? They also make the clean rooms and machinery needed to build a chip factory, so allowing China to disrupt that production with a war, and possibly takeover, would be disastrous for the West. Driven by the fear of war, and the bitter experience of shortages, there is a race by governments to become more self-sufficient and less reliant on imports. A sudden sharp turn to the right and away from free trade. How will that affect your business? What is the government doing? There are only two crude tools available to governments to drive the economy to local manufacturing. OPINION MAY - JUNE 2023 | POWER EQUIPMENT AUSTRALASIA | 17

OPINION The first is trade barriers. That can be in the form of import tariffs or non-tariff barriers such as imposing unique product requirements to meet Australian standards. These would take a decade to take effect and mean dismantling the free trade agreements we have in place, inviting retaliation and a trade war. The Australian government has chosen to take the other option – to subsidise, promote and reward local production. The carrot, instead of the stick. How can you cash in on this and what are the options to help you not miss the sharp turn in the road? The Federal Government’s Modern Manufacturing Strategy was announced in August 2020, with a total of $1.5bn over four years - the biggest splash of $587m this financial year and $389m in the next and final year of the program. So far, we have seen big grants for big companies, like the $15million in 2020–21 to support an upgrade of steel processing and galvanising capability in Whyalla, South Australia. For smaller businesses, the opportunities are: • A simplification of the Export Market Development Grant program including a change from reimbursement after expenditure, to an upfront grant agreement. • Supply Chain Resilience Initiative - a total of $107m allocated. • Manufacturing Modernisation Fund, which offers grants of $100,000 to $1million to help businesses take on new employees and upskill workers, and co-funding for capital investment technology upgrades (Round 4 will soon open) In parallel, the Federal government has a five-year $74bn JobMaker Plan including: • R esearch and Development Tax Incentive that gives you 43.5 per cent of your R&D costs back. It’s not competitive; is open to all but make sure you understand what the ATO defines as R&D and follow the guidelines. The states are also handing out grants, mostly to grow jobs and import substitution (local manufacturing) matches up with Job creation. • N SW: It will have programs, but with the recent change in government, new programs are not all in place. • V ic: It has several small business grants, the most interesting being the Made in Victoria – Manufacturing Growth Program. • Q ld: It won’t be left out and recently closer the fifth round of the Made in Queensland program. That will be repeated in 2023 , and in the meantime, there are six other funding areas to support local manufacturing. Every state and territory have a plethora of job creation/ manufacturing grants, so if I haven’t covered your state, let Google be your friend. Any government grant will be expensive in time and paperwork. That’s good because a lot of your competitors won’t bother. The trick is to set aside the time and use your accountant. There are also consultants who will help you draw up an application. Personally, I would DIY, but you may find a good one. Start your search with business.gov.au and look for the grants and programs finder. All this discussion about Grants is putting the cart before the horse. You need to start by asking - what will we manufacture? You may have no ideas, or you may have just one idea that feels like its magical. Either way, you need to do some serious thinking and planning before you invest one dollar. Start with a SWOT Analysis but remember the idea of SWOT is not to create an exhaustive list of 100 items under each category - Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats. In fact, it’s the opposite. Try to distil all the factors into two or three succinct and plausible concepts for each heading. The next step is to match up key factors. Matching up a strength with an opportunity is one way to be creative. There are other approaches. Perhaps your product needs a waterproof component, as do all your competitors and a few similar products in the market. The quantity you need is small, not enough to start manufacturing but the unreliable overseas supply is killing your production schedules. Maybe this it is time for some coopetition. Cooperate with your competitor and set up a joint manufacturing operation for the waterproof component. The legal issues are much simpler than many think and the benefits can be tangible. There are a lot more ways to skin a cat. Please let us know what novel ideas you have created, or if you are stuck, invite us to take a fresh look at the issues over Teams Chat. Happy hunting! If you need to know more? Email the Editor and I will try to help, or at least set you in the right direction. Gary Fooks is chair of the Blue-Sky Alliance. Gary has been working on small engine emissions standards since 2005 and was announced as the Environment Minister’s Clean Air Champion in 2015. 18 | POWER EQUIPMENT AUSTRALASIA | MAY - JUNE 2023