Advertorial: Robot to the rescue for Melbourne company

Melbourne-based automation and robotics specialist, Andrew Donald Design Engineers helps its customers design automated processes to improve efficiency and productivity.

Andrew Donald Design Engineers has a strong focus on research and development, and has claimed the Australian Government’s R&D Tax Concession through AusIndustry since 1998.

One of the company’s most rewarding results was assisting an injection moulding company win back a contract to manufacture a high-quality plastic gift pack it had lost to a Chinese company.

“The company lost the business because of price, but with our innovation, won it back,” says Dale Collinson, general manager of Andrew Donald Design Engineers. “The overseas version proved to be inferior with no consistency or quality, a vital component because a gift pack is a very visual marketing product,” he explains. “Given another chance, the company approached us. If we could make the gift packs overnight in a ‘lights out’ situation, it would increase its volume without having to buy a second machine.

“Our answer was a robot that pulled the gift pack out of the machine while it was still warm, opened and closed the hinge several times so it would be flexible when it cooled down and fold it and drop it into a container.

“But could the robot be more efficient? We always look to see if there are any other processes that could improve our efficiency.

“We adjusted the robot so it would neatly stack the gift packs on the pallet and the only thing to do the next morning was to wheel the pallet out.”

AusIndustry delivers a range of more than 30 business programs—including innovation grants, tax and duty concessions, small business development, industry support and venture capital—worth about $2 billion to more than 10,000 businesses and 80,000 individuals every year.

AusIndustry provides incentives to help Australian businesses conduct research and development, grow small business, take up new technology, undertake industry-specific manufacturing and production, commercialise a new technology or venture, apply for a tax or duty concession for research and development or to improve export competitiveness, and gain access to science resources.

To help customers with product and eligibility information, AusIndustry has customer service managers located in more than 25 offices across Australia, plus a national hotline and website.

AusIndustry offers both entitlement and concession products. For a grants-based product, customers compete for limited funds, based on the merit of their application. For concessions, such as an R&D Tax Concession, a customer makes a claim, based on their self-assessed eligibility.

The Commercialising Emerging Technologies (COMET) program is a competitive grant program that helps early stage growth companies, spin-off companies and individuals commercialise their innovations.

COMET provides access to private sector business advisers and tailored services to help improve management skills and attract capital and partners. It offers grants of between $5000 and $120,000 to successful applicants. Projects are supported for up to two years.

To find out more about AusIndustry’s products call the hotline 13 28 46 or visit the AusIndustry website www.ausindustry.gov.au

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