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at #4565Tingting ZhangKeymaster
Contract manufacturing group Entech Electronics and Brisbane diagnostic company Ellume have shown that when it comes to long production run electronics manufacturing, the old prejudice that Australian manufacturers have to offshore production to compete no longer holds true.
Ellume, which automated its factory in Brisbane to make the company’s Covid-19 rapid antigen test with the help of automation specialist Bosch, turned to Adelaide’s Entech to provide the electronic unit for use in Ellume’s ‘eStick’ test cartridges.
Ellume’s test can detect active SARS-CoV-2 infections in under 15 minutes, with the company also setting up manufacturing – equipped with Australian-made machines – in the United States.
However it turned to Entech to support its plans to produce one million units of its eStick test cartridges by July this year to make itself ready to meet global demand for its rapid antigen test, which was the first such test approved by the US Food and Drug Administration.
Entech CEO Wayne Hoffman told @AuManufacturing: “While the partnership between Ellume and Entech was initially aimed to leverage Entech’s high-speed and automated manufacturing capabilities offshore, both companies later agreed to scale the production locally.
“The decision was made to support the Australian sovereign capability while ensuring a globally competitive and low production cost.”
Entech operates two production facilities here and in Shenzen, China, with the Australian plant generally focusing on shorter production runs, especially prototyping and initial production. and more labour-intensive products for Australian startups, often those making medical devices.
Hoffman said: “As part of the agreement, Entech utilised its design for manufacturing expertise and leveraged its knowledge of its internationally distributed team to bring down the assembly time and cost in Australia.”
“In addition, to scale up production of the electronics sets for Ellume’s eStick, Entech also invested in multiple in-line equipment upgrades at its Adelaide production facility.”
Hundreds of thousands of electronic sets are now being produced monthly in Adelaide, with Entech now committing to double production capacity in Adelaide for the Ellume product.
“This demonstrates that low-cost production is possible in Australia through automation.”
“As an additional benefit from the new capabilities installed at the Adelaide plant, Entech can now carry out mass production for other IoT-based or mission-critical medical devices.”
By: Peter Roberts
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