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Paul Hellard

Melbourne, Australia
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About Paul
Paul Hellard is a journalist based in Melbourne, Australia.
Audio package (Radio / Podcast) Interview (Video / Broadcast) Feature Stories
Politics Current Affairs Technology

Additive Manufacturing CRC

15 Jan 2024  |  AMTIL
The Additive Manufacturing Cooperative Research Centre (AMCRC) is launching a bid for funding in Round 25 of the Australian Government Cooperative Research Centres (CRC) Grant Program. The bid, supported by the Australian Manufacturing Technology Institute Limited (AMTIL) and 13 leading research organizations including CSIRO, aims to drive productivity, improve sustainability, and create transformative change within Australia's manufacturing sector. The AMCRC's mission is to build a world-class additive manufacturing industry in Australia, supporting local businesses to innovate and grow commercially. The bid also includes collaboration with the Surface Manufacturing CRC to address the challenges of a diminishing manufacturing sector and loss of sovereign capability. The AMCRC will develop training and certification programs to enhance the employability of individuals in the AM industry and integrate Masters/PhD students into collaborative research projects.

Driving around in circles

21 Dec 2023  |  amtil.com.au
Jamie Whincup, Managing Director of Triple Eight Race Engineering, discusses the company's evolution from a racing team to a sophisticated engineering firm that designs and manufactures high-performance race cars and components. They supply parts for the entire Supercar Championship field and have recently developed the Gen3 race car. During COVID-19, the team designed medical ventilators, showcasing their versatility. The company prides itself on representing major brands and seeks to collaborate with the Australian manufacturing community. Triple Eight also emphasizes the importance of safety, culture, and partnerships in their operations.

Deakin AgriFutures

17 Dec 2023  |  AMTIL
AgriFutures Australia has announced the outcomes of the Carbon Initiative Program, a two million dollar project supporting 15 research endeavors aimed at achieving a net-zero future. The program has led to significant advancements in soil organic carbon testing, farm irrigation emissions data, methane emission reduction in cattle, valuation guidelines for carbon projects, and the development of an online tool for producers. General Manager Michael Beer and Managing Director John Harvey emphasized the strategic investment and the importance of research in guiding emission reduction efforts in agriculture. The program, which began in 2021, was led by Julian Hill and involved collaborations with the Climate Foundation, Deakin University, and other institutes.

Quality air in food

14 Dec 2023  |  AMTIL
Air can carry contaminants that risk the integrity of food and beverage products. Traditional lubricated air compressors pose contamination risks, while oil-free air compressors eliminate these risks, ensuring superior product quality. They also comply with stringent regulatory standards, require less maintenance, and are environmentally friendly. Adopting oil-free compressors is essential for maintaining high standards of quality, safety, and sustainability in the food and beverage industry.

Osborne Naval Shipyard

12 Dec 2023  |  amtil.com.au
Australian steel, subject to qualification, will be used in the construction of Australia's SSN-AUKUS submarines at Osborne Naval Shipyard. The Australian Submarine Agency contracted Bisalloy Steels to qualify the steel, with Defence Industry Minister Pat Conroy highlighting the importance for safety and job support. The $15m contract involves over 4,500 tests, with completion expected by early 2025. BlueScope will supply the raw steel, which will also aid in developing welding procedures and early production demonstrations. This initiative is part of the AUKUS partnership, marking a significant increase in Australia's defense and industrial capabilities.

Big Brother

05 Dec 2023  |  amtil.com.au
Ryan Hepplewhite, the 2018 Sheet Metal Scholar with Global Footprints Scholarships, received an $8,000 travel grant for an overseas industry experience. Starting his metal fabrication journey at 13, Hepplewhite's passion and skills led him to win at the National WorldSkills competition and secure an apprenticeship. His scholarship allowed him to learn and work in the UK, gaining knowledge and experience in his trade. Hepplewhite is now pursuing a new trade as an industrial electrician, with his fabrication skills proving beneficial. Global Footprints Scholarships open annually in May.

Navigating diversity and retention challenges

04 Dec 2023  |  amtil.com.au
Hunter Executive Search Consultants conducted a survey among registered executives in heavy industries, revealing challenges in diversity and retention. Key findings include a gender gap with 18% female executives, high job mobility with 73% considering changing roles, and 33% experiencing gender bias. The survey emphasizes the importance of executive roles for organizational growth and stability, with Hunter Executive Search Consultants positioned as leaders in addressing these challenges.

Orbimax cobot welders

03 Dec 2023  |  amtil.com.au
Australian manufacturers are turning to Orbimax Cobot Welders to address capacity constraints without increasing workforce size. These collaborative robots, taught by movement and controlled via a smartphone app, are designed to complement human workers by automating repetitive tasks, thus enhancing productivity and allowing human workers to focus on more complex tasks. The technology is adaptable, safe, and quality-assured with advanced sensors and AI, and offers an opportunity for upskilling the workforce. The adoption of such automation technologies is seen as a way to increase profitability and maintain competitiveness in the face of workforce shortages, rising labour costs, and skill gaps.

Manufacturing with Precision

12 Nov 2023  |  amtil.com.au
Australian Manufacturing Week (AMW) Sydney 2024, organized by AMTIL and sponsored by the NSW Government, is set to be a dynamic event showcasing manufacturing, engineering, and technology. Following the success of AMW 2022, the 2024 event will return to the ICC at Darling Harbour. The Melbourne AMW2023 attracted 15,914 attendees and 348 exhibitors. AMW 2024 will feature seven distinct zones, including AUSTECH Machine Tool Zone, Additive Manufacturing Zone, Australian Manufacturers Pavilion, Manufacturing Solutions Zone, Robotics and Automation Zone, Weld & Air Solutions Zone, and Plastics Technology Zone, highlighting the latest advancements and offering interactive experiences across various manufacturing sectors.

Capral awarded for Green Building Product

10 Nov 2023  |  amtil.com.au
Capral's lower-carbon aluminium product, LocAl®, was awarded in the Green Building Product category at the 2023 Architecture and Design Sustainability Awards. The awards program, which is the longest-running in Australia, celebrated its 17th year. LocAl® is available in two options, Green and Super Green, with significantly low carbon emissions. It is provided as standard on all Capral proprietary window and door systems. The same day as the award, Capral expanded LocAl® into rolled products, offering aluminium plate options.

Recycled roads pave the way to a sustainable future

22 Oct 2023  |  amtil.com.au
An RMIT University-led project, supported by the Australian Research Council, Austroads, and 10 Victorian councils, is incorporating recycled plastic into asphalt for road construction. The initiative aims to address the challenge of plastic waste, with Australians generating 2.6 million tonnes annually and landfill space nearing capacity. The project will produce guidelines for local governments to adopt this recycling solution. Laboratory studies show that recycled plastic asphalt mixtures have significantly less cracking and deformation, suggesting improved road performance. The City of Melbourne and other councils will implement sections of recycled roads, with the potential for national adoption across Australia's road network.

Public sector quantum projects

09 Oct 2023  |  AMTIL
Q-CTRL and Diraq, two Australian quantum technology companies, have announced a partnership on three multi-million-dollar projects to advance the commercial adoption of quantum computing. The projects are funded by the NSW Office of the Chief Scientist and Engineer and the US Army Research Office. They aim to deliver Australia's first cloud-accessible silicon quantum processor and enhance financial services technology. The collaboration underscores Australia's significant role in the global quantum industry and aligns with the National Quantum Strategy to grow the sector. Both companies are recognized for their pioneering work and are working towards developing scalable quantum processors and advanced quantum control infrastructure software.

From the CEO: The world of manufacturing is evolving very fast

04 Oct 2023  |  amtil.com.au
The CEO of AMTIL discusses the evolution of manufacturing, highlighting the transition from traditional methods like CNC machining and automation to new technologies such as additive manufacturing and Industry 4.0. The article also touches on emerging technologies like AI, machine learning, and cyber security, emphasizing the importance of keeping pace with these advancements for future success. Additionally, it mentions the significance of sustainable competitiveness and the new ISO14955 standard for energy-efficient machine tools.

AMCRC Australia

02 Oct 2023  |  amtil.com.au
The Additive Manufacturing Cooperative Research Centre (AMCRC) is an industry-led collaborative research funding organization aimed at advancing Australia's additive manufacturing sector. It connects industry partners with research institutions to foster a competitive innovation ecosystem. The AMCRC offers dollar-for-dollar matching for industry partner cash in collaborative R&D projects. It addresses challenges such as reliance on overseas supply chains and promotes local production, lightweighting in transport and aerospace, and the use of renewable energy for sustainable manufacturing growth.

Rtec electric induction furnace

21 Sep 2023  |  amtil.com.au
The Rtec electric induction furnace is a revolutionary technology that directly converts plastic waste into extruded products, bypassing traditional granulating processes. This method offers remarkable efficiency, cost-effectiveness, and a reduced carbon footprint, promoting a circular economy. The technology was developed from Dr. William Ritchie's research at Ritchie Technology in Victoria, Australia, and has been scaled up by Inductotherm Group Australia. A production processing machine operating in Geelong, Victoria, is capable of processing 50 to 100kgs/hour, with plans for larger systems. The induction furnace is seen as a solution to the plastic waste crisis, with the potential to transform the recycling industry and contribute to a sustainable future.

Intralogistics merging

12 Sep 2023  |  AMTIL
Ferag AG, a Swiss company specializing in material flow systems, and dereOida, an Australian warehouse automation software company, are merging to provide a comprehensive intralogistics solution. The merger combines Ferag's expertise in material flow systems with dereOida's doWarehouse software, which offers a single view across warehouse operations and allows for integration with any automated system. The partnership aims to enhance productivity, reduce costs, and provide insightful analytics for continuous improvement. dereOida has already implemented its system successfully with Australian retail giants Myer and The Iconic.

Wave Energy Building

05 Sep 2023  |  AMTIL
Advanced Composite Structures Australia has collaborated with Carnegie Clean Energy as part of the Blue Economy Cooperative Research Centre to harness wave energy for renewable power generation. Carnegie's wave energy converter, CETO®, and the Mooring Tensioner Wave Energy Converter are key innovations in this field. The latter, featuring composite spring elements designed and manufactured by ACS Australia, has undergone successful fatigue testing. The technology is also being explored for powering aquaculture feed barges through the MoorPower® project, with plans to replace diesel generators with wave energy in a scaled demonstrator unit offshore later in 2023.

Pharma R&D

24 Aug 2023  |  AMTIL
Australian research and development (R&D) is seeing increased discussion, with calls for greater investment from research agencies, universities, and the government. The pharmaceutical industry, a significant contributor to R&D, is poised for growth due to export opportunities, grants, and incentives. Despite Australia's R&D expenditure being below the OECD average, there are efforts to increase it to 3% of GDP. The pharmaceutical sector's growth is driven by demand from the Asia market and government incentives like the R&D Tax Incentive and the Patent Box scheme. GMP Pharmaceuticals, a leading health supplement manufacturer, exemplifies the industry's potential to boost economic growth and transition Australia to a knowledge-based economy.

Pacific Automation partners with BERNSTEIN

14 Aug 2023  |  amtil.com.au
Pacific Automation has entered into a national distribution partnership with German manufacturer BERNSTEIN to offer switching safety and innovation to Australian industrial operators. The partnership, building on a relationship since 2006, will provide customers with technical support and high-quality customer service. BERNSTEIN's product ranges, including various switches, are designed for factory automation and machine and operator safety, with customization options available. Pacific Automation, established in 1969, is a leading provider of automation solutions in Australia, while BERNSTEIN AG, founded in 1947, operates internationally with over 500 employees.

Having a plan to invest in technology is the key to a brighter future

31 Jul 2023  |  AMTIL
Investment in technology is crucial for enhancing productivity, fostering innovation, and improving quality of life. It streamlines processes, reduces human error, and accelerates output through automation and advanced software systems. Technology drives economic growth by creating new industries and employment opportunities. It also improves healthcare outcomes and extends access to remote areas. A well-defined Technology Investment Plan is essential for companies to gain a competitive edge, innovate, reduce costs, enhance productivity, improve customer experience, and ensure scalability and growth. It also addresses risk mitigation, regulatory compliance, and future-proofing operations.

Government grants begin to stream

28 Jul 2023  |  amtil.com.au
Australian manufacturers are set to benefit from government grants aimed at supporting nine large projects totaling $1.87 billion. The grants, part of the $1.3 billion Modern Manufacturing Initiative (MMI), cover up to a third of project costs and are designed to foster collaboration and build economies of scale in key manufacturing sectors. Projects include the establishment of an Australian vanadium battery industry, energy production from landfill waste, and positioning Australia as a regional hub for cancer drugs and health analytics. Eight other grant proposals were not funded as they failed to meet program conditions. Recipients include Gilmour Space Technologies, SAAB Australia, and several others, with grants ranging from $20 million to $200 million.

Artificial mouse

23 Jul 2023  |  VFX SCIENCE
The article discusses the ongoing labor strikes by Hollywood writers and actors, criticizing the leadership of Disney CEO Bob Iger and the broader entertainment industry's reliance on AI and poor treatment of creative talent. It highlights the historical and current struggles of workers in the industry, the role of unions, and the upcoming SIGGRAPH conference as a potential turning point for addressing these issues.

Generative AI for manufacturing

19 Jul 2023  |  AMTIL
The 'Australia’s Generative AI Opportunity' report, a collaboration between Microsoft and the Tech Council of Australia, highlights the potential for generative AI to significantly boost Australia's manufacturing sector, potentially contributing between $2bn and $5bn annually by 2030. The report underscores the need for accelerated digital transformation to fully harness these benefits. Key figures like Kate Pounder and Angus Melbourne emphasize the transformative potential of generative AI, while Lee Hickin from Microsoft stresses the importance of responsible adoption and collaboration between industry and government. The report also identifies healthcare, retail, and professional and financial services as other sectors poised to benefit from generative AI.

Laser Cutting with Compressed Air

18 Jul 2023  |  amtil.com.au
Advanced third-generation laser technology has expanded cutting processes for various materials, with high-power fibre laser cutting machines enabling cost reductions through faster cutting times and lower gas usage. Compressed air, as an auxiliary gas, is a cost-effective alternative to oxygen and nitrogen, reducing utility costs significantly. High-quality compressed air is crucial for maintaining the quality of laser cutting. The Scroll OXPII-16 integrated air compressor is specifically designed for the laser cutting industry, offering high purity, 16bar air power, and features such as energy efficiency, continuous duty rating, and low maintenance.

Vaxxas Opens New Med-Tech Manufacturing Facilities

01 Jun 2023  |  AMTIL
Vaxxas, a clinical-stage biotechnology company, has opened its global headquarters and a state-of-the-art manufacturing facility in Brisbane, Australia, in partnership with the Queensland Government. The new 5,500m² Vaxxas Biomedical Facility will support the scale-up of Vaxxas' needle-free vaccine technology platform, HD-MAP, for late-stage clinical trials and commercial products. The facility includes office areas, laboratories, and cleanrooms for manufacturing vaccine patches and applicators. Vaxxas has recruited a significant number of scientists and engineers to support its vaccine development programs and has received funding from various sources, including the Queensland Government, the Australian Federal Government, and the US Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority. The company is also collaborating with the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation on a measles and rubella vaccine. Vaxxas aims to bring its products to market within three to five years.

A vital new source of income for digital artists, or an energy-guzzling market bubble?

05 Sep 2021  |  www.cgchannel.com
Paul Hellard explores the burgeoning world of Non-Fungible Tokens (NFTs) and their impact on digital artists. NFTs have gained significant attention after Beeple's artwork sold for $69.3 million at Christie's. Hellard discusses the benefits of NFTs, such as enabling artists to monetize their digital creations and providing a sense of affirmation. However, he also addresses the risks, including upfront costs without guaranteed returns, potential exposure to scams, and the environmental impact of NFT transactions. Despite a recent drop in average NFT prices, experts like Melissa Gilmour suggest the market will persist as digital art becomes a status symbol for the crypto-rich. Hellard advises artists to stay true to their work and consider NFTs as an extension of their physical presence, while cautioning that once a piece is on the blockchain, it cannot be removed.

When the professional digital artist found out how to sell his original image

15 Mar 2021  |  VFX SCIENCE
The article discusses the success of digital artist Mike Winkelmann, known as Beeple, whose artwork 'Everydays: The First 5000 Days' sold for US$69 million at an online auction. Another piece of his sold for US$9 million the previous week. The sales highlight the growing significance of digital art, particularly with the use of Non-Fungible Tokens (NFTs) which authenticate the originality and ownership of digital works using Blockchain technology. The buyer, Metakovan, used cryptocurrency for the purchase and believes the piece's value will increase. The article also touches on the potential and limitations of digital art in the market and mentions another digital artist, Ben Mauro, who has embraced NFTs to gain control over his work and creativity.

Skip Rizzo at SIGGRAPH Asia 2020

13 Dec 2020  |  VFX SCIENCE
The article discusses the work of Professor Skip Rizzo, Director of the USC Institute for Creative Technologies Medical VR Lab, and his contributions to the field of virtual reality (VR) for treating PTSD. Rizzo's work involves using VR headsets to immerse patients in simulations to help them re-process traumatic events in a safe clinical setting. The article covers the history of VR development, Rizzo's recognition in the field, and the potential future applications of VR in various clinical and non-clinical settings. It also mentions specific VR programs like STRIVE and Bravemind, developed for military personnel. The article suggests that VR technology could become as commonplace as household appliances and highlights its benefits for a range of psychological and neurocognitive interventions.

The Mandalorian: The Show Changing TV Production

02 Dec 2020  |  VFX SCIENCE
The article discusses the popularity and innovative production techniques of the television series 'The Mandalorian,' which is streamed exclusively on Disney+. It highlights the show's success on Disney+ and its cultural impact, particularly the fascination with characters like the Mandalorian and Baby Yoda. The article emphasizes the groundbreaking use of a video screen called 'The Volume,' which was developed under the guidance of series director Jon Favreau. This technology uses LED panels to create immersive scenery, circumventing traditional green screen methods. The article also explains the technical advancements in printed circuit board (PCB) materials, such as metal cores, which have enabled the creation of complex LED displays like The Volume. The author suggests that the technology and style of video effects used in 'The Mandalorian' will influence future film and TV production.

Taking to the air to put things in sharp relief

17 Aug 2020  |  VFX SCIENCE
Visualskies is a company specializing in VR, AR, photogrammetry, and videography, co-founded by Joe Steel and Ross Dannmayr. The article details their work, including their involvement in National Geographic's 'Lost Cities' series, where they used helicopter scans, ground lidar, and aerial photogrammetry to visualize the Columbian Lost City. They also developed an augmented-reality application, VSScout, to enhance on-site data viewing. The company uses high-quality equipment and software, such as Leica scanners and RealityCapture, to deliver optimized data for virtual production. The COVID-19 pandemic has led Visualskies to explore new ways to use data, focusing on pre-shoot planning to maintain safety. The company has been operational since just before Christmas in 2019 and works closely with VFX Supervisors and production teams to provide end-to-end services.

My own site is populated with my features, PR and news items in the chosen field of visual effects for movies and games.

Ad Astra

16 Oct 2019  |  VFX SCIENCE
The article discusses the visual effects (VFX) work done by various studios for the film 'Ad Astra,' a space thriller starring Brad Pitt. Studios like MPC, Method Studios, Mr. X, and others collaborated to create realistic scenes of Earth, the Moon, Mars, and Neptune's orbit. The VFX teams aimed for realism, with MPC handling nearly 200 shots, including the lunar base sequence. The article highlights the technical aspects of creating the Moonbase, the rover chase sequence by Method Studios, and the detailed construction of the spaceship Cepheus by MPC. The VFX supervisors used NASA data for accuracy and employed techniques like wirework and motion-controlled rigs to simulate zero gravity. The article also touches on the creative process of compositing and the challenges faced in depicting the weightlessness and vastness of space.

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