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Australian innovation on show to the world.

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19 March 2000                     00/72   

AUSTRALIAN INNOVATION ON SHOW TO THE WORLD  Australia's leading-edge technologies will be on display this week at the world's largest and most prestigious industry and innovation trade fair in Hannover, Germany. 

The CSIRO, 12 innovative Australian companies and a Cooperative Research Centre will showcase over 25 locally developed world-class technologies and products at the Australia Stand at the Hannover Messe Trade Fair from 20-25 March. 

Australia's participation in the Hannover Fair is part of the Commonwealth Government's strategy to maximise export opportunities for innovative Australian technologies and products. 

Senator Nick Minchin, the Minister for Industry, Science and Resources, will visit the Fair as part of a trip to Germany that will focus on enhancing export opportunities for Australian businesses. 

"I am pleased that government and industry are working together to maximise the potential of Australian ingenuity", Senator Minchin said.  

The Hannover Fair attracts around 7,500 exhibitors and around 300,000 visitors each year. 

"Australia's attendance at the last two Fairs has delivered substantial benefits in the form of new collaborative ventures, new export deals and access to leading-edge technologies. 

"These benefits include a $300,000, two-year collaboration between the CSIRO and an Austrian high-tech company for flat-panel LCD development.  

"Also, negotiations with a German manufacturer for one of CSIRO's technologies are expected to generate $2 million in exports in the first year of production." 

"These are examples of what has already been achieved with a high level of team work, and we are looking to maintain this momentum in Hannover", Senator Minchin said. 

Details of the Australian companies and technologies selected for showcasing at this year's Hannover Fair can be obtained at or by fax by calling 02 6213 6308. 

Contact: Kate Harvey, Senator Minchin's Office, 0419 432 664

             Jerry William, Department of Industry, Science and Resources, 0409 362 751 





Australian Forging Group : a Victorian-based industry group formed to promote the interests of the local industry, particularly in the areas of marketing, technology, OH&S, the environment and government policy. 

National Machinery Company Pty Ltd: an Australian company specializing in the manufacture of volume plumbing, gas and other unique fittings. 

National Forge: an Australian company manufacturing for the automotive and aerospace industry and exporting internationally. Products include steering knuckles, lower control arms, crankshafts, and conrods for auto industry. Aerospace industry products include components for fan or compressor blades for jet aircraft. 

Forgecast: The trading name banner for Luke & Singer and ADC. Luke & Singer manufacture non-ferrous forgings and brass pressure die casting - mostly componentry for the building industry. ADC manufactures high pressure die casting on various aluminum and zinc alloys. These products are mostly for the auto industry. 

Quality Heat Technologies: Designs and builds industrial furnace equipment and runs a commercial heat treatment plant. Exports 75% of output from its equipment division. 

Capral Aluminum: Until 1994 the company was a part of Alcan Australia. Capral is a substantial manufacturer of aluminum products with assets of $800 million. 

Aramax International Pty Ltd: The company produces cladding systems for roofs and walls. The product is an Australian innovation developed by Aramax. It is marketed through BHP Building Products and also accepts orders directly. It has joint ventures in Malaysia and is currently involved in 14 developments there. 

Harrison Systems Integration: The company is 100% owned by Harrison Group Holdings Pty Ltd (Australian). Harrison Systems Integration is an image specialist and has developed leading-edge software programs for corporate and banking clients. 

Banque Tec International Pty Ltd: It is a world leader in the design, manufacture and distribution of smart card technology, emphasizing Radio Frequency contactless smart cards for applications where access control and security are a must. It is 100% Australian-owned and commenced operations in 1985.  

GBC Scientific Instruments: GBC is a world leader in scientific instrumentation, from design and manufacture to distribution and support. With offices in USA and Australia it also has service centers in 70 countries. 

Transfield Process Division: Developer, owner, operator and provider of engineering, construction, equipment and maintenance services across Australia and New Zealand and through out Asia. Generates an annual turn over of A$1.7billion. Transfield Thomson CSF Joint Venture is also owner of ADI Ltd, Australia's leading defence contractors. 

Pacom Bell: Pacom Bell was founded in 1983 (formerly Pacom Data) and has a distribution partnership with Mosler (U.S. security company) and a strategic alliance

with Bell Security (London). Pacom Bell specialises in integrated security solutions. 

The Food and Packaging CRC: Established in 1995 with seven years funding and/or contractual commitments from 15 commercial, research and government stakeholders. It provides technology and services that food and packaging industries in Australia can use to create and develop new markets.   



Polymer technologies 

CSIRO's expertise in polymer technologies is exemplified by the success of the plastic banknotes now in use in Australia and an increasing number of countries around the world. Other promising technologies include:  RAFT polymerisation technique which allows polymers to be made to precise

molecular specifications ●

fabrication of carbon composite parts for the aerospace, marine, defence and automotive industries ●

reduced-temperature-cure polyamide resin systems technology that results in time, energy and cost savings and a more environmentally friendly manufacturing process. 


Plasma coatings 

Another area of expertise is in surface chemistry and plasma coating technology for new generation biomaterials and the aerospace industry. This technology has been used to assist CIBA Vision to develop the world's first long-wearing contact lens, and a coating to extend the life of aircraft windows. 

Carbon nanotubes 

CSIRO and its collaborator, Electrovac Pty Ltd, hope the advance in nanotube technology will pave the way for a completely new type of television and computer flat screen. Other applications for the technology are being explored. Some examples are single-molecular transistors for micro electronics, gas and electrochemical energy storages; supports for catalysts, proteins or DNA, nano-composites, fuel cells and molecular filtration membranes. 


Structural biology 

By studying the structure of the influenza protein neuraminidase, scientists were able to develop the successful anti-influenza drug Relenza, a compound that blocks the action of the virus. This approach is called rational drug design. It is now being applied to other diseases such as diabetes and cancer to develop new treatments. 


The CRC for Food and Packaging has developed food and packaging technologies

ready for transfer to industry for commercialisation. Examples include:  Biodegradable packaging polymers for starch ● Natural preservatives that protect fresh, chilled food against food pathogens such as listeria ●

Machine Vision Systems that monitor the quality of baked products ● Electronic Noses capable of detecting rancidity in food stuffs ● Breathable films that keep fresh food fresh longer, and ● Boxes for perishable goods that provides longer protection for fresh produce

against excessive temperatures during transportation.  ●


The CSIRO has been working with over twenty companies in the Australian Forging Group to improve their product quality and make their processes more efficient. The Australian Forging Group will showcase their expertise in forging components and products for agriculture, medicine, electrical, transmission, lifting equipment such as shackles, hooks and hoists, mining equipment, flight bars, grinding balls, components in the automotive industry (crank shafts, con rods, tail shaft assemblies), for aerospace (turbines, compressors), military (artillery shells), domestic tools, fasteners, plumbing (ball valves, water meters and tap ware). 


aXcess car

Australian industry is building a low-cost, low-emission vehicle, the aXcess car. This revolutionary hybrid-electric car, put together with innovative technology from more than 80 Australian component manufacturers, is intended to halve a motorist's fuel bill, slash city air pollution and provide a way to show Australia's technological capabilities to the world. The hybrid-electric car, the aXcess Australia Low Emission Vehicle, has an electric motor to drive the vehicle, and a fuel-efficient motor to drive the generator that charges the batteries and supercapacitor. A model of the car will be on show at Hannover. 

High efficiency motors  

Working with the University of Technology, Sydney, CSIRO undertakes research, design and development of magnetic devices, electric motors and generators, and control and power electronics. This exhibit shows a number of electric motors of innovative design. Their expertise in design and prototyping high efficiency motors using rare earth permanent magnets opens-up new applications for motors that were previously not feasible. Applications for this technology include solar powered water pumps, wind-power generation, solar powered cars, hybrid-electric vehicles, and low cost motors for domestic appliances. 

Aurora solar car

The Aurora 101 solar car is winner of the 1999 Darwin-to-Adelaide World Solar Challenge and holds long distance records from Perth-to-Sydney and Sydney-to-Melbourne. The solar car incorporates a range of high technologies. The features packed into Aurora include a direct drive, CSIRO, high-efficiency electric wheel motor, regenerative brakes, superb aerodynamics, light and efficient batteries, and low rolling resistance tyres. Many of the key features are world-leading technologies from Australia; such as the CSIRO drive motor that is the most efficient solar race motor in the world. 

Facial recognition 

Imaging technology plays an increasingly important role in many aspects of modern industry. CSIRO is developing a range of technologies for image compression and transmission, face recognition and video tracking. CSIRO has developed an automatic face recognition system which is capable of rapidly matching a face to an image stored either on a portable credential, such as a smart card, or a database. This technology has been applied to a smartcard door access system currently under development by Banque-Tec Australia. 

Vision Control 

Vision Control has incorporated CSIRO imaging technologies into their facial identification systems. This includes the FACE range of products. FACE is capable of building a facial image from a witness description, age a missing person, do facial reconstruction, look at and interrogate a database of facial images including matching faces. 

Harrisons Data Management System 

Harrisons Winoptic integrated archiving systems allows an organisation to immediately recall prior records whether material was originally paper, computer reports, word processing or other files. CSIRO image compression technology is incorporated into this all Australian data management system. 

Pacom 1000 Security Monitoring System 

The Pacom 1000 Security Monitoring System allows companies with an existing data network to monitor physical security at remote sites or premises via that network. This eliminates the need for dedicated lines for security monitoring. It is envisaged that next generation systems will incorporate CSIRO low-bit-rate video compression technology. 

Online Health 

The Centre for Online Health is improving healthcare through the application of information technology, including clinically driven Internet-based systems. In association with the Centre for Online Health, CSIRO is developing systems for remote physiological monitoring of patients in their homes. The home telecare approach extends the healthcare network into the home, permitting, for example, round-the-clock monitoring of patients' vital signs, checking that the patients' activities are consistent with a self-sufficient lifestyle, and providing relevant health information to the patient and their carers. A personal computer within the home will record data from a number of sensors and upload to a remote assessment centre and an electronic patient record at regular intervals via the telephone network. 

Sub Surface Radar

CSIRO Radar Systems are used to detect buried and hidden objects either underground or within structures and walls. The systems are engineered for applications that require probing distances from as little as 1cm up to many metres. CSIRO SSR have specialised electronic circuits that produce advantages, in particular improved close-range imaging. This is important in detecting shallow buried objects such as landmines. CSIRO has taken the same technology and configured it for a range of underground applications in association with the Australian coal industry. Systems targeting both geophysical characterisation and machine guidance have been delivered. 


SQUIDS (Superconducting Quantum Interference Devices) are the key element in fabricating the world's most sensitive magnetic sensors. These devices are capable of detecting the magnetic fields associated with the brain, heart or liver, or induced magnetic fields in tiny fragments of metal that may be contaminating food. CSIRO leads the world in the deployment of SQUID magnetometer systems for the detection of buried ore bodies. CSIRO devices operate at liquid nitrogen temperatures and have been deployed both on the ground under Australian desert conditions and from aircraft. The latter deployment in 1997 was a world-first for liquid nitrogen systems. 

THIN FILM MEASUREMENT SYSTEMS CSIRO has set up a group specialising in the provision of optical solutions for thin film problems in a range of industries. Drawing on an extensive and patented background in optical technology, CSIRO has generated a suite of instruments to characterise the surface structure of a range of thin films. Particular industries targeted include sheet metal processing where several instruments have been installed in trial operations, and the print industry, where a low-cost elegant engineering solution has been devised to tackle the important problem of reducing paper wastage while ensuring high quality printing. This is a volume market which is presently not satisfied by any technology. 


The CSIRO-developed UMIS-2000 is an electro-mechanical micro-indentation system for measuring the elastic, plastic, strain hardness, creep, fracture and other mechanical properties of surface coatings. This versatile instrument investigates the condition of surface and near-surface regions with an unrivalled accuracy, registering the minutest changes. Often the results could not have been obtained by any other means. Applications include the assessment of high technology surface coatings on cutting tools, dies, bearings, integrated circuits, artificial human joints and more. 

Filtered Arc Deposition System (FADS) 

Arc deposition is commonly used to deposit hard coatings onto tools. The main problem with this method is that micro-droplets are also deposited that may reduce the tool life. CSIRO's Filtered Arc Deposition System (FADS) filters these macro particles to produce ultra smooth, ultra hard coatings that improve the wear resistance of industrial tools without affecting the tolerance. In certain applications the process significantly extends the life of tools compared with traditional coatings. The filter equipment may be retrofitted to existing vacuum systems. 

Micro Fourier Rheometer (MFR) 

The Micro-Fourier Rheometer (MFR) creates a new paradigm in the measuring of the rheological (flow) properties of fluids. Traditional rheometers use a twisting motion at single frequencies. The MFR applies a patented pseudo-random squeezing motion to a tiny sample of fluid. The complex visco-elastic properties are extracted across a wide frequency range in SECONDS, at high resolution using Fourier analysis. This makes the MFR particularly suitable for measuring the visco-elastic properties of materials that are changing rapidly with time, such as curing adhesives or drying paint. It may also be used in many other applications that were not possible previously. 

Micro Fatigue Tester (MFT) 

Nano-technology is rapidly sweeping the world, micro-machines, micro-structures and sub-micron devices. However until now, nothing was available to do fatigue testing.

The CSIRO-developed Micro-Fatigue Tester (MFT) is the first instrument capable of fatigue testing micron-sized structures.  

The MFT provides information about elastic modulus, bending strength, fracture toughness and fatigue properties of the specimen. These features of the MFT make it particularly suitable for the measurement of mechanical properties of micro-machines and other micron-scaled devices. 

Aramax roofing

ARAMAX is a structural cladding system for roofs and walls from which a complete building shell can be constructed. ARAMAX allows big reductions in conventional structural framing, and very low roof pitches. Long, clear spans of 20 metres or more provide a joint-free cover. These advantages produce significant savings in the cost of materials, fabrication, and installation. Cost savings are in the order of 30-40% over conventional structural systems. ARAMAX is an Australian innovation developed by Aramax International Pty Ltd and is marketed through BHP Building Products. 


Fastflo is an Australian-developed mathematical software package for scientists and engineers. It can simulate fluid flows, heat transfer, stress and strain, and electromagnetic forces. It can solve problems that cannot be solved by existing packages for heat transfer, electromagnetism, fluid dynamics, geophysics or stress/strain. Fastflo has been used to model molten metal flowing into a vessel and flames in a combustion chamber. It also has been used to model the airflow over a car. It was released on the world market through NAG Ltd just over two years ago.  

Simulations of granular flow  

CSIRO has developed novel, discrete element software for fully three dimensional modelling of flows of granular and particulate materials. Applications are in mineral processing, bulk materials handling, mixing, general manufacturing and mineral ore grinding mills. This capability is being made available to industry through contract research and consulting.