Victoria recognises excellence in 2017 Victorian Manufacturing Hall of Fame

Victoria’s leading pioneers in the manufacturing industry have been recognised at the 2017 Manufacturing Hall of Fame Dinner.

The event, based on the theme of ‘Growing Advanced Manufacturing’, paid tribute to individuals and businesses who have made important innovations and accomplishments in Victoria’s advanced manufacturing sector.

Minister for Industry and Employment Wade Noonan, who presented the awards, said the event proved “Manufacturing in Victoria has a bright future … and manufacturing will remain a critical part of Victoria’s economy.”

Top achievements in manufacturing

Heading up a night of illustrious winners was Sutton Tools Pty Ltd, a Thompson-based company, which was named Large Manufacturer of the Year.

The Victorian trailblazer, which has been family-owned for 100 years, received the award in recognition of its excellence as a national leader in the industry. With over 15,000 individual items ranging over 50 product groups, Sutton Tools has set the bar with its high-quality engineering, cutting and power tool accessories.

Major Furnace Australia, the country’s only designer and manufacturer of cremation furnaces, took out the Medium Manufacturer of the Year award. Since 1912, the Clayton South business has refined its specialised expertise while maintaining an impressive exports record.

The Small Manufacturer of the Year award was won by Paarhammer Pty Ltd. The Ballan-based company has made enormous strides as the first Australian company to develop and patent bushfire-resistant windows and doors tested and approved to Australian standards.

Industry visionaries

This year’s Honouree award was given to Philip Leslie, from GlaxoSmithKline. During his 26 years at GSK, Leslie has overseen game-changing innovations including a major advance in Blow-Fill-Seal technology. This innovation, which improves packaging for vaccines, is set to have a major impact on global health by increasing supply and extending access to vaccines in the world’s least developed countries.

As well as veteran manufacturing heavyweights, the Manufacturing Hall of Fame Dinner also honoured Australia’s most promising upcomers.

Anne Koopmann, from Bombardier Transportation, took out the prestigious Young Manufacturer of the Year award. Since joining the company, the precocious young leader has helped achieve savings of over A$2.4 million and reduce manufacturing throughput time by 20 per cent.

Fast-growing innovators

To celebrate Victoria’s booming manufacturing industry, which contributes around A$26 billion to the state’s economy each year, the special event paid tribute to the companies driving industry growth.

In the Defence, Transport and Construction Technologies category, Impresa House Pty Ltd won the Growth Sector Award. The Derrimut-based company, which manufactures and delivers prefabricated housing, has outperformed its competitors with its innovative products that are engineered specifically for the demanding Australian climate.

Family owned Setec Pty Ltd scooped the award in the New Energy Technologies category. Based in Knoxville, Setec has widened its reach in international markets, delivering high-tech power management and supply products across New Zealand, the United States, China and Europe.

In the competitive Medical Technologies and Pharmaceuticals category, IDT Australia Limited was awarded the Growth Sector Award. Like Setec, IDT has shown impressive growth in the global market. In the last 12 months, the Boronia-based pharmaceutical manufacturing company has undertaken many projects for international companies with products bound for the US, Europe, Japan and other global markets.

Rounding up the awards, was Procal Dairies Pty Ltd, the Australian and family-owned dairy manufacturing and distribution company, which won the Growth Sector Award in the Food and Fibre category. Based in Campbellfield, the Procal Dairies’ plant is capable of producing over 120 million litres of milk annually, putting it in league with the industry’s largest manufacturing plants.

Promising future

The Manufacturing Hall of Fame Awards culminated in a promising vision for the state’s world-class manufacturing industry.

Minister Noonan announced his ongoing commitment to a sector that employs more than 270,000 people, stating, “Through the Future Industries Fund, the Victorian Government is working hard to create jobs and support high growth industries.”