EMEX - Engineering, Machinery & Electronics Exhibition
3D printer winner
Congratulations to Paul Bao of Fisher & Paykel Healthcare Limited, the winner of the EMEX 2016 UP BOX 3D printer prize, sponsored by 3D printing systems.
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Steel skeleton grabs the PM’s eyes
This year Donovan Group NZ Ltd will launch a new residential housing franchise, which offers a housing system to rival the current industry standard.
Prime Minister Bill English paid a visit to Whangarei to meet with a local company which may have the solution to New Zealand’s housing crisis.
This year Donovan Group NZ Ltd will launch a new residential housing franchise, which offers a housing system to rival the current industry standard.
The building system incorporates a patented innovative steel skeleton structure, with the company’s own unique, patented Structural Insulated Panel (SIPs) system. Together these elements provide an energy-efficient, affordable, eco-friendly and fireproof home which can be erected in record time.
The system is backed by custom-built software that allows customers to design, walk through and price their dream home online, in real time.
“Our Home Direct will be launched later this year and we’re confident that it will be a game changer in the New Zealand residential building industry,” says Jeremy Parkinson, general manager, Our Home Direct.
“The speed at which we can take a residential customer’s concept from design, through to completion is a huge advantage. The system has also created huge opportunities for multi-storey, commercial housing developments.”
During his visit, the PM took a tour of the Whangarei manufacturing facility, where the new residential construction system is currently being developed.
Donovan Group NZ Ltd is a New Zealand owned and operated company which is best known for its commercial steel building franchise success story, Coresteel Buildings.
Rocket Lab’s Matchett betters strong Young Engineer competition
The 2017 Young Engineer of the Year is Rocket Lab’s Lachlan Matchett, announced at the IPENZ Fellows’ and Achievers’ Awards in Wellington recently.
Lachlan (26) has led a large team of engineers to design and deliver Rocket Lab’s innovative Rutherford Engine.
Lachlan is vice president of propulsion at Rocket Lab and has led this project from day one.
He describes it as a “state of the art” liquid oxygen and kerosene pump fed rocket engine, developed from scratch. It has a higher thrust-to-weight ratio than the main engines in the space shuttle.
As a graduate, Lachlan was one of Rocket Lab’s first employees but now manages a team of nearly 30 people.
Rocket Lab founder and ceo Peter Beck describes him as a “phenomenal engineer and leader”.
The IPENZ Young Engineer of the Year award recognises a young engineer who has demonstrated excellence in their career, leadership qualities and contribution to their community.
The other two finalists for Young Engineer of the Year were Virginie Lacrosse of Tonkin + Taylor, who has been at the forefront of liquefaction work in Christchurch, and Oliver Whalley, who has been working on sustainable transport in the Pacific for the World Bank.
Other awards announced included the William Pickering Award for Engineering Leadership, which went to Keith Turner for his outstanding career in the electricity industry, spanning technical, management and governance excellence.
Sjoerd van Ballegooy of Tonkin +Taylor won the Freysinnet supreme technical award for building and construction, in recognition of his ground-breaking work on the effects of liquefaction after the Canterbury earthquakes.
The Angus supreme technical award for water, waste and amenities went to Rex Corlett of Opus for his work on effluent pond design and construction.
Engineer and University of Auckland educator Colin Nicholas won the Turner Award, which recognises extraordinary commitment to the engineering profession and to the community.
Jack Robinson became the first software engineering student to win the Ray Meyer undergraduate award, thanks to his work on a web-based traffic management system. Jack has completed his studies at Victoria University of Wellington and is now working as a graduate developer for Xero.
The IPENZ President’s awards were also announced. The Fulton-Downer Gold Medal, which recognises engineers’ service to the profession and the public, was awarded to Ian Fraser for his leadership, governance contributions and support of young engineers. The Fulton-Downer Silver Medal went to Dipal Raniga for her dedication to promoting IPENZ among students and graduates. And the McLean Citation went to Tina Hall-Turner for commitment and service to IPENZ, over a wide range of its boards and groups, throughout her professional career.
IPENZ named the following new Distinguished Fellows: Bryan Leyland, Murray Milner and Peter McCombs.
These engineers were named as new Fellows: Paul Campbell, Derek Chisholm, Glen Cornelius, Joe Edwards, Tim Fisher, Gordon Hughes, Steve Jay, Charlie Price, Bill Paterson, Richard Snow and Tania Williams.
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ARANZ GEO EXTENDS REACH INTO ENVIRONMENTAL AND ENERGY CHALLENGES
ARANZ Geo is extending its global influence into new areas to contribute geological understanding to the management of some of the earth’s significant environmental and climate change driven challenges.
Shaun Maloney, ceo of ARANZ Geo says, “We’re contributing to a wider variety of projects that target some of the major global environment and energy challenges we face. This is a shift from our origins as a mining-centric business, and will increase our reach and depth to open up a new world of opportunity.
“Our strategy is already gaining traction. We’re contributing to geothermal energy work with NGOs around the world, hydro dams in Turkey, transport tunnels in the EU, and a wide range of water quality and resource management projects.”
One such project sees ARANZ Geo technology contributing to the Yusufeli dam and hydroelectric power plant project, currently under construction the Coruh valley in the north-east of Turkey, which will be the third highest arch dam in the world. The dam will have a height of 273m, capacity of 2.2 billion m3, a reservoir size of 33.63km²; and energy production of 540MW, 1,827GWh/year.
Mr Maloney says, “Consulting heavy-weight iC consulenten based in Austria has a team of engineering geological and geotechnical experts using Leapfrog Geo to establish computer based 3D ground models for the project. These models help bring a new level of insight into site investigation and excavation design.”
Design teams in Austria and Slovenia are also working on the second tube for the Karavanke tunnel, a 7820m long two-lane tunnel tube through the Alps. The tunnel adds to the existing tube of the Karavanke Tunnel constructed in the 1980s, a critical section on the Pan-European Transport Corridor X.
Elea iC is the leading partner of the Joint Venture Karavanke on the Slovenian side, whilst iC consulenten is a partner of the “Planungsgemeinschaft Karawankentunnel” on the Austrian side. Leapfrog Geo is used for geological modelling for both projects.
“The geology in the area is very complex and the initial tunnel encountered difficult geological conditions with frequent strong water inflow, overbreaks and methane seeps. The opportunity with the new Karavanke tunnel is to test emerging technologies and move engineering geology, geotechnics and tunnelling to another level by using 3D modelling in this design phase of the project,” says Mr Maloney.
ARANZ Geo are now contributing technology and solutions to enable dozens of earth, environmental and energy projects around the world, both from their global headquarters in New Zealand, as well as, from a score of offices around the world.
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SOUTHERN CHARM GIVES A DIFFERENT VIEW
When Kiwi engineering history absolutely flakes off your walls, it sometimes must be hard to shake it from the shoulders. In business for seven score and 10 more years, plus a few for luck. In digits that’s some 153 years of engineering under their caps.
I’m talking of Farra Engineering, the iconic Dunedin-based engineering firm and quite possibly the oldest business in New Zealand still trading under its original name.
It is genuinely iconic.
But for an engineering firm that wants to add to its business partners and has upskilled the tools for the jobs – to manufacture more, create more – history doesn’t get the job done. The ‘now’ does, mixed in with a good dose of preparation for the future.
So, although it’s immensely proud of its heritage and thick-as-swede-soup engineering traditions, in my dealings with ceo John Whittaker and divisional manager Machining, Mike Ryan, it was the future they had their eyes firmly on.
This is one business dedicated to not resting on laurels.
They will be (Stand 9) one of many exhibitors at this year’s SouthMACH2017 in Christchurch late May, among the just shy of 100 others who will be pushing their engineering products and services to a buoyant South Island industry.
Along with our Cover Story (pages 8-13), this edition of Engineering News highlights some of the best on offer at this year’s expo. Aad van der Poel of XPO sums up the SI’s premier technology trade show nicely when he says it is the heartland of New Zealand manufacturing.
“If you are an engineer – mechanical, design, consultant, electrical; machinist; communications technician/manager; supervisor; technical operator; operations manager or similar, then SouthMACH offers the tools, technology and services to work smarter,” he adds.
All in one place, talking the same talk: engineering. Get along.
Although I’m still relatively new to the engineering industry and still soaking up as much of what makes the industry tick as possible, the underlying principle of manufacturing and making things is one that I’m very familiar with and it still excites.
Hamilton’s Transmission House Limited (Page 66) is one example of proactiveness in extending upon an offering, and upskilling some aspects to very high international standards. THL is now geared up for Kiwi Motovario assembly.
Although THL has been the Motovario distributor in New Zealand for 28 years, Todd Robbins says that the company has taken an opportunity.
“Our customers will benefit greatly from the new Assembly Centre… it is all registered straight back to Motovario so anything that is built out of here has a worldwide factory warranty so, for equipment manufacturers this allows them to supply anywhere in the world with the peace-of-mind that they have the full support of the Motovario warranty.”
Todd says that Transmission House is now authorised to assemble helical bevel, helical inline and parallel shaft mounted units in Hamilton to those precise factory standards.
Effectively, it means that the Hamilton operation becomes an extension of the Motovario factories and needs to meet strict assembly procedure’s and conditions. That has to be good.
Lastly, if you haven’t got your teeth into our digital issue, make sure you do as it’s far more than just a magazine replication with video in pages, downloadable product pdfs, moving eMotion… just plenty. Go to www.engineeringnew.co.nz to sign up for free, all you need to do is enter an email address. Simple.
See you at the show.
Sky’s the limit with 3D printing
With the help of an Unlocking Curious Minds government grant for almost $30,000, engineering academics Dr Don Clucas and Dr Stefanie Gutschmidt will invite 60 Year 9 students and ten teachers from ten local lower decile schools to take part in a three-day workshop at the University of Canterbury (UC).
The teachers and school pupils will gain first-hand experience using state-of-the-art 3D printing and 3D scanning equipment. As well as learning about exciting new technology, including virtual and augmented reality, 3D scanning and laser cutting at UC’s College of Engineering, they will get the chance to learn directly from local engineering industry experts.
Previously, Dr Clucas, Senior Lecturer in Design and Manufacturing, in the Department of Mechanical Engineering at UC, has 3D-printed a prosthetic foot for a penguin amputee at the Antarctic Centre, and 3D-scanned and reproduced items from UC’s priceless Logie Collection of antiquities, thousands of years old.
This year, Dr Clucas and Dr Gutschmidt have moved from 3D printing ancient Greek cups and penguins feet to helping dozens of school pupils get to grips with engineering.
“We know from our statistics that certain ethnic and social groups, especially from lower decile schools, and females, are significantly under-represented in our engineering intake. We know that ability-wise there is no fundamental reason why these people should not be able to succeed in achieving a tertiary degree,” Dr Clucas says.
With this initiative, they aim to increase diversity among future tertiary students in engineering disciplines.
“Innovation through stirred curiosity and thinking is so important to our future economy and society that we need to give more encouragement and guidance to the next generation of potential engineers. With this small workshop on our turf at UC we are reaching out to pupils that may not have either the facilities that higher decile schools have or the family, peer or community support needed to successfully take on the challenge of tertiary education,” Dr Gutschmidt says.
The mechanical engineering academics say the ultimate aim is to inspire and guide the young students and demonstrate that there is no fundamental reason why they cannot succeed at university, providing they prepare themselves at secondary school by studying science and maths, and keep their natural curiosity alive.
“We’re not aiming at the top achieving or older students who have likely already decided their path. We want to inspire the students who are showing good promise with science, maths and technology, and could benefit from a bit of encouragement. At this stage of their studies, Year 9 students still have the chance to choose their subjects and part of our goal is to give them direction.”
Dr Clucas says the decision to also include ten teachers is so that knowledge and inspiration is spread to other Year 9 pupils and older students.
“We want to sustain the momentum and motivation gained from these few days. This way we capture a far greater pool of potential engineers.”
The 60 students will be split into three streams: general mechanical engineering, biomedical engineering and mechatronics. Over three days, 26 – 28 April, the streams will cycle between activities, including 3D printing, virtual and augmented reality, 3D scanning and laser cutting. Each stream will also visit an engineering industry organisation featuring degree-qualified engineers working on the students’ bias topics.
“We will also have industry experts giving short talks and helping with the workshops. All students will take away items they have made, and they will inspire other students at their schools.”
The event will end with a prize-giving where family, whanau and caregivers can come and see what the students have achieved, Dr Clucas says.
Unlocking Curious Minds is a cross-agency programme of work led by MBIE, the Ministry of Education and the Office of the Prime Minister’s Chief Science Advisor. Science and Innovation Minister Paul Goldsmith announced the funding in February.
NEW GANTRY MEANS STREET(S) AHEAD OF THE TAUPO COMPETITION
Taupo Manufacturing Engineers (TME) is reaching new heights, there is no doubt about that. The business has new premises, is upgrading its website and marketing and now thanks to a new Street gantry crane can give its customers even more than before.
‘If it’s made from metal, we can make it’ is a statement the company holds strong to and is proud of. “We don’t turn people away, we will find a solution to anyone’s problem,” says owner Grant Perry.
The business began in 2004 and Mr Perry did on average 115 hours a week to get the business rolling and all he had was a set of hand tools from his apprenticeship days.
Engineering from 16 years of age as a fitter and turner, he couldn’t have envisaged the 980 square metre workshop the business now operates from on Mahoe Street.
The inside is kitted out with all the usual engineering gear that customers demand and has six staff operating the workshop supported by a management team of three, and now pride of place among it all is a brand new ZX64 Street gantry crane.
It’s the first time Mr Perry has worked in a place that has a gantry, and now he wonders how he ever did without one.
“We’ve always just managed with forklifts and chain blocks and just the shear hassle factor with these… it’s already exceeded my expectations of time saving, it’s just massive,” he says.
“In the old workshop, when the steel truck came in there would be four guys for a good 40 minutes not only getting steel off the truck but then having to get it into the workshop. So, we’ve designed this workshop with a drive through work bay and the gantry can pick up the load with one man for 10 minutes operating it, pick it up put it right by the saw and she’s ready to be cut. Now my staff can get on with other jobs and that means the whole business works a lot more efficiently.”
The gantry was super easy to install. “We had it off the truck and on the railings within about 30 minutes. All ready to be wired up.”
Ease of material handling is one thing, but safety plays a huge part too. “It’s way safer than using a forklift.”
Mr Perry considered going to China to look at cranes up there but after a quick call to a colleague in Australia who had already gone down that road he quickly changed his mind.
“They had the hassle of getting all the design recertified to Australian crane standards and all the electrics weren’t up to Australian electrical standards.” There was a lot of re-work and then if something did go wrong parts would be a nightmare so we went off that idea fast,” says Mr Perry. ‘Local’ made a difference because the after sales service needed to be there.
Freight also played a part, unable to fit in a 40-foot container.
He got two other quotes before going with Street… all within “Cooey,” and “I just thought we can’t go wrong”.
The 3.2 tonne heavy-duty 17 metre span crane is ideal for general workshop use providing a huge array of versatility and does everything down to stairway bannisters – the ideal gantry to play a major role in TME’s expansion plans.
Radio control provides that safety factor that more and more engineering businesses need to factor in with a greater emphasis as well as ease of use, and Mr Perry opted for wire-rope for the heaviest duty possible for the workshop. It’s been specced with travel limits in both directions and the ZX64 hoist’s slack resistant wire rope guide was a big bonus.
“The trolley on the hoist is fully rollered with no rubbing surfaces and has a counter-weightless design which extends the life of the hoist wheels. No gearing is exposed, making it ideal for the often dusty workshop environment, all internal and lubricated in an oil bath meaning we shouldn’t have to look at new drive pinions in 10-15 years’ time.”
Who knows how high this business will get to by then, but one thing is for sure it’s made some massive steps.
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TAX – THE THREE LETTER WORD THAT’S WORSE THAN A FOUR LETTER ONE
Death and taxes… the only certainties in life. You can thank Benjamin F for that pearl of wisdom.
Duty, levy, tariff… however it is described, seeing a section of your income carved off your weekly pay is often tough to take for some and can be the final straw come election time for others, particularly when the public sees two candidates for PM that aren’t really much chop. One issue can be a dominant differential.
Tax cut promises will come because, much like what we’ve seen in America with Trumpmania, NZ has a swag of people that are struggling and don’t answer polls… often they don’t even have a phone. Middle America has some resemblance in Middle Earth. However even precious tax cut offerings are unlikely to change a government.
But I’ve always believed taxes are a problem solver. We, as a society, need something then there’s a tax to pay for it.
And when you think about it topically and follow mainstream media closely, the first raft of articles that hit the presses are all about a problem, the ‘what’, then quickly comes the ‘why’ it’s occurred and finally, often in a last ditch to get the most exposure from the story, comes the more fleeting ‘how’ to fix it. Ninety percent of Kiwis are googling cute cats, though, by this stage.
A perfect example of this in the engineering industry is the huge number of immigrants coming into New Zealand. Everyone has been talking about it for years… and finally this over-PC country of ours has come to a realisation that you aren’t in fact racist to bring up the topic, though perhaps that revelation has come too late and been far too much of the focus because of the voices of the few. Those immigrants, fine people many are too, have placed immense pressure on infrastructure and public service costs… all part of a New Zealand that’s ‘growth’ is far better described as isolated overpopulation.
And now, faced with a real problem, you have well-respected – and definitely not racist – tax experts such as Mark Keating providing the ‘how’ and saying that government needs to impose a flat levy on immigrants to help cover the strain placed on the aforementioned.
Mr Keating is a senior lecturer in tax law at the University of Auckland Business School and his idea is just one of many to cope with a $100 billion worth of service and infrastructure pressure that population bloat will create over the next 10 years.
Mr Keating’s response is one that we are seeing all around the world – when there is a problem, you cocoon. Much akin to wrapping oneself in the fetal position, I say the words without contempt for them. Fixing a problem by becoming insular is a trend we will see more of and barriers to entry will be more prominent before being allowed to enter the growing closed circles and pockets of trust.
Brexit. Trump closing borders to some. Problems. Answers; become insular. Globalisation is a word that was on every lip some two decades ago. It’s very much entrenched now, and so are the problems needed to be overcome that came with it.
And it’s here that some of our very top manufacturers in New Zealand within the engineering industry believe we have a problem, or may have a problem, with our number one trading partner – Australia.
Now this is something I don’t subscribe to, but they are worried that a struggling Aussie economy will result in some sort of tax for Kiwi exporters In order to give our cousins across the ditch a step up in their own market. Sort of like if we want to enter their circle of trust then there’s a premium that needs to be paid.
And yes, although these people don’t want to go on record they are indeed worried and for good reason because from a manufacturing point of view taxes in trade can mean the end of business.
It’s hard enough to manufacture in New Zealand as it is, often without a raft of local resources and needing to import a whole lot of stuff before you even get started, with isolation playing parts on the way in and the way out.
But, as a manufacturer, imagine paying a duty on top of that of say 15%… end of days. The certainty here would be taxes equals death to many.
Now this may be your typical acorn on the head sort of stuff, but with deals all up in the air free-trade must be of top priority to our little ol’ country. Just a year ago we had confidence in the Trans-Tasman Pacific partnership…. now all our eyes turn to Japan in anticipation.
New Zealand exports were 28% of GDP in 2016, some $70.9 billion. Australia is our number one market at about $13 billion.
It’s easy to see how some within the sector could fear the worst around every corner if other countries tie up free trade deals without us. Even local corners.
Benjamin Franklin probably couldn’t have envisaged the world we live in today, but if he could he may have added copious and complex trade talks to his famous quote.
– Greg Robertson, publisher
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FOOD FOR THOUGHT
Having the right ingredients makes engineering in the food industry a very profitable venture.Engineering News talked with some of the key suppliers to the industry to see just what was the state of the industry, how their business were tracking and the pros and cons of doing business within the food industry in today’s very different marketplace. Here’s what a few of them had to say…
Braden Goddin of Aurora Agencies is heavily involved in the food processing machinery side of things; a sector that is heavily reliant on the dairy industry.
“Things are pretty good. The dairy industry is quite bipolar, if you like, and influenced by what the auctions are doing and that directly affects CAPEX release from the likes of Fonterra, so if you get a good auction and dairy prices are going the right way for a few weeks you get some orders that you have been chasing for six months,” he says.
The nature of this industry is that the ‘on’ comes with just as quick an ‘off’ button.
“It’s relatively predictable though, plus at this time of the year is when a lot of activity occurs around purchasing because equipment gets installed and then winter ‘shuts’ so if businesses wants to get it installed in time they have to start ordering equipment about now.”
In the food industry, though, Mr Goddin says it doesn’t work to similar cycles.
“We find that capital movement in the food industry is fairly consistent, there’s always something going on.”
He says that in the food industry CAPEX process boils down to individual company direction and what plans they have and with the current buoyant nature it’s a sector that Aurora is placing more emphasis on.
Geoff Ebdon doesn’t mix words. He’s quick on the phone and even faster to state his piece and he too talks about a marketplace that is on the up.
“Basically, everything is gang busters and everyone wants it done yesterday,” says Mr Ebdon of NZ Duct and Flex.
His company supplies to a number of industries, food being an important but also growth sector. The company has outgrown its original format of simply supplying duct and flexible duct, to now offer the largest range of dust and fume products available in the market.
“We stock and can install complete systems using components that are widely available globally: they are tried and tested solutions – not ‘one offs’ designed for a single customer. This efficiency allows us to be competitive and draw on the engineering experience of three major global suppliers with experience of thousands of industrial extraction solutions,” says Mr Ebdon.
“I think New Zealand produces some of the best food in the world and has a great reputation for this and we happen to be, at long last, on the right side of the globe to where all the growth is occurring.”
Europe and America are getting increasingly protectionist he says. There was a classic case in media in the UK where grocery chain Waitrose has used New Zealand lamb in one of their classic British recipes,” he says, and thus got skewered by both the public and the National Farmers Union.
“Not quite the ‘Best of British’ they intended,” says Mr Ebdon. “So, they got caught. “Whereas of course, South-East Asia doesn’t give a damn, they just want good quality food. And 50-60 years ago, they could never afford it but how things have changed. The middle class in China is probably bigger than the middle class in America.”
He says this has caused a flow-through effect right throughout the industry. “The other thing that is happening around the world is that the brands are coming back again. The supermarkets for many years controlled everything. But with the growth of the internet know, people are starting to look and they can get holds of products and brands at a click of the mouse.”
Mr Ebdon orders a lot online, and can get product into New Zealand from the UK within a week. This is now occurring in reverse, with British buying Kiwi product such as wine without a second thought. “It’s just so readily accessible now whereas we used to be at the end of a very long food chain,” he says.
“We’ve always been in the traditionally engineering/manufacturing side of things rather than the food industry but as we’ve grown, and the internet has become more prominent, we’ve expanded and continue to do as we go on.
“We’ve also expanded our range to include a lot of stainless steel now and complete systems. With the food industries’ doors in New Zealand opening, we are feeling that flow through affect.”
Chris Farmer of Eurotec New Zealand also believes the food industry is strong, and Eurotec’s growth in the supply to this industry is being driven by legislation.
Eurotec describes itself as a distributor of superior quality controls, instrumentation, gas detection, humidification and ice-making equipment for the HVAC, refrigeration, industrial process, electrical and food industries.
“We are leaders in food safety instrumentation, measuring equipment for food processes, transportation and distribution equipment and retail… basically from farm to fork.”
With a wide product range, Mr Farmer says the company is also expanding into industrial censors as well, particularly in beverage and brewing.
“The new Food Safety Act, in process now, has impacted on business supply and requires much stricter controls in place which play a major role in the supply of machinery”
“We’re the New Zealand distributors for global brands, such as Tesco, and being a European manufacturer they are highly recognised with quality of product. Our whole business is focussed on technical quality, superiority and because of this need for greater standards we fit well with the new Act and requirements,” he says.
Being the major supplier of food safety instruments to the Kiwi food sector, and already with a massive in-house emphasis on high standards, Mr Farmer sees the new Act as a way of getting rid of what shouldn’t be there anyway.
“All the major chains use our product and we are well established, and for the smaller businesses we have an online store to accommodate for everyone,” says Mr Farmer.
“The economy is healthy and business is buoyant while the food sector is also strong which reflects well on business throughout the chain.”
AI set to massively impact New Zealand processes
New Zealand needs to seriously and swiftly embrace artificial intelligence (AI) as an extraordinary opportunity and challenge for the country’s future, a new body, the AI Forum says.
New Zealand needs to seriously and swiftly embrace artificial intelligence (AI) as an extraordinary opportunity and challenge for the country’s future, a new body, the AI Forum says.
AI already has a growing effect on Kiwis’ daily lives. Its potential impacts are profound. In the near future, it is likely to drive – at an unprecedented pace – highly disruptive change to our economy, society, and institutions.
As such, AI presents huge opportunities and risks to all New Zealanders, AI Forum establishment chair, Stu Christie says.
“AI will raise major social, ethical, and policy issues in almost every sector. It is critical for New Zealand’s sake that we actively consider, lift awareness of, and prepare for the changes AI will bring.
“Following the release of the Chapman Tripp and IOD report last year and an initiative within the NZ Angel investor community a national working group into the impact of AI has formed with the underlying support of NZTech, a not-for-profit association that works to improve New Zealand’s prosperity underpinned by technology by connecting, promoting and advancing tech communities across
“Designed to be a centre of gravity for all things AI in New Zealand the group already includes key government agencies, universities and tech firms who are working together to ensure AI creates a better New Zealand.
“There is a sense of duty to seek a deeper understanding of New Zealand’s potential as an AI-assisted economy and society, to ensure AI is a positive part of New Zealand’s future,” Mr Christie says.
NZTech chief executive Graeme Muller says the potential reach of Artificial Intelligence is pervasive. The future impacts on the economy and society will be significant and disruptive. Governments, businesses, investors and research institutes around the world are applying ever-greater time and effort into developing and deploying the next generation of AI systems and considering the implications for policy and regulation, he says.
“AI technologies have been rapidly evolving over the past 10 years. They are extensively used already – in tools such as phones, search engines, vehicles, logistics, health services, financial services, industrial processes, public services, and military systems.
“AI is globally-relevant and cutting-edge. Nobody has a monopoly on the unique knowledge, impact and possibilities it presents; and nobody can predict with any certainty how AI will transform our future. But we can be sure the reach of AI will continue to grow and at an increasing pace.
“We know AI is expected to have the largest impact on developed countries that depend on knowledge resources and productivity gains for growth. New Zealand is one such country. Our focus on primary production and our relative underinvestment in technology companies may see us fall behind other counties which are better able to realise productivity gains from AI technologies.
“Unlike previous waves of automation, it will not just be the low-skilled and repetitive jobs that are most at risk of being displaced by technology. Knowledge workers are also at risk as bots automate and therefore careful planning for businesses and the economy needs to be managed correctly.”
The AI Forum is about to undertake a critical piece of research and is looking to all organisations and people with an interest in AI to step forward to ensure we identify the biggest opportunities for New Zealand and mitigate any risks.
MAJOR BENEFITS FOR USING FOOD-GRADE LUBRICANTS
Recent health scares over exported product exposes the fragility of export markets and the absolute importance to get it right.
Recent health scares over exported product exposes the fragility of export markets and the absolute importance to get it right. Any major recall, either nationally or internationally, can have a profound economic affect for any business operating in this market.
Most processing plants are automated, using mechanical equipment to manage and move product during the manufacturing process. Most machinery requires lubrication, usually in the form of oil and grease. Lubricants are an integral part of the manufacturing process and their presence must be considered when controlling contamination and maintaining quality standards. It is these considerations that have driven the oil industry to develop a wide range of food grade oils and greases.
In New Zealand, food grade lubricants are assessed and approved by the Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI) for use in local food processing premises. Approved lubricants are given an Approval Maintenance Compound (non-Dairy) code. Code compliant products are permitted for use in all food processing plants excluding farm dairy sheds, which come under a separate code. The approved products are listed with a ‘C’ coding (e.g. C11, C12, C13 etc), which designates the extent and usage of the product in a food processing area. Only C15 oils are approved for use where minimal food contact is possible.
The regulatory requirements of lubricant suppliers to meet food grade obligations are often not matched by the food processing industry using these products in their workplaces.
Many food processing plants are ignoring the use of food grade lubricants in areas of possible contamination and therefore putting food quality standards at risk. There is a belief in the industry that any lubricants being used below the food processing area can be non-food grade, and only those lubricated areas above the product line are at risk and therefore need a food grade lubricant.
If lubricated equipment below the food line is leaking, then the possibility of oil transfer and oil mists circulating around the food processing area is possible. Any hoses or pipes below the food line are susceptible to failure resulting in oil being sprayed in areas that could quite easily contaminate product.
Another problem is processing plants that use both food grade and non-food grade lubricants in the same areas. There is a possibility that a non-food grade product will go into an area specifically designated for food grade products, with consequences if any leakage occurs.
Oil Intel offers a complete range of compliant food grade oils from Total and Cargo, as well as plant audits and expert technical advice.
Phone 06 871 5325 or 0800 TOTAL OIL (868 256).
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