Awards celebrate Hunter manufacturing being made for the future

Awards celebrate Hunter manufacturing being made for the future

On Friday 15 October, the Hunter Manufacturing Awards (HMA) team hosted their 2021 awards ceremony virtually, announcing 13 local winners who are promoting excellence in the manufacturing industry.

Chair of HMA, Steven Smith said that this was the first time in 17 years that the HMA’s had to be held virtually, and that their team was determined to not let COVID-19 put a stop to the celebrations.

“For the first time in 17 years, we’re unable to get together and enjoy each other’s company.  However, that didn’t stop us acknowledging and celebrating the successes of manufacturers across our region – from the Central Coast to the Mid North Coast and from Newcastle to the Upper Hunter,” Steven said.

“The diversity, ingenuity and determination exhibited by our manufacturers never cease to inspire us at these awards.”

Winner of the Excellence in Building Workforce Capability for the Future Award, Morgan Engineering said it’s their hardworking and dedicated employees whose vision and passion drive the business forward.

“Our success is testament to their commitment to quality in all areas of the business – its people, processes, equipment, and the services provided to clients,” General Manager, Jeremy Brett said.

“It’s an honour that our forward-thinking focus, backed by close to five decades of experience, has been recognised by the esteemed judges of this year’s HMAs.

“Our culture and values shape who we are as a business. We maintain positive workplace culture by recognising excellence, encouraging development, and maintaining open and honest communication, as well as keeping each other accountable for our actions. By having our values and behaviours aligned, our team is happier and healthier, and our clients receive better outcomes,” Jeremy said.

Jeremy said Morgan Engineering utilise modern techniques to stay well ahead of the competition.

“The secret to our high-quality delivery is our team of over 60 highly trained trades, managed by a single overarching ERP, which help maintain industry leading processes and procedures, as well as the core team values that only the best will do for our customers,” he said.

Winner of the Manufacturer of the Year <50 Employees, Brain Industries says COVID-19 helped them showcase that the local manufacturing industry is made for the future.

Brain Industries Managing Director, Gillian Summers said that the Hunter’s proud manufacturing history, and its group of skilled and talented businesses and people puts it in a great position to seize future opportunities.

She said the award is a tribute to Brain’s genius, highly skilled team.

Despite COVID-19, Brain Industries has expanded and diversified its range of industrial equipment to help businesses to pump the impossible, transfer materials, clean up and improve safety.

A new custom polyurethane division has increased turnover for polyurethane products tenfold. This includes FRAS polyurethane products for the underground mining and tunnelling sectors.

“We’ve ramped up our equipment hire, maintenance, repair, and certification services,” Gillian said.

“Approximately 20 per cent of our business is now refurbishing pulleys and pumps. Refurbished products extend asset life, particularly in infrastructure and mining,” she said.

Product expansion is also about diversifying the industry sectors Brain serves. It is acquiring a custom boat builder to relocate to its Hunter engineering facility to commence ship and boat building, repair, and maintenance from early 2022.

Gillian said a new supplier agreement with Strata Worldwide USA is boosting pump exports to the Americas.

She thanked HMA and sponsors for promoting the region’s manufacturing capability, and for making the awards possible.

“HMA, and the awards, help local manufacturers to celebrate and showcase excellence.”

The HMA’s seek to inspire vibrant and enduring manufacturing in the Hunter. This year’s theme was Made for the Future. Overall, 25 finalists competed in this year’s awards.

The full list of winners from the 2021 Hunter Manufacturing Awards are below:

  • Manufacturing Leader – Steven Dee of Deeps Engineering
  • Excellence in Export and Global Supply Chain – Chamberlain Group
  • Collaboration Partnership Award – Steber International, Ampcontrol and the University of Newcastle!
  • Excellence in Innovation – SwitchDin
  • Excellence In Sustainable Operations – Molycop
  • Excellence in Manufacturing Capability – Elecbrakes
  • Excellence in Product Design – Ampcontrol
  • Excellence in Building Workforce Capability for the Future – Morgan Engineering
  • Outstanding Start Up – MGA Thermal
  • Rising Star – Sonia James of ArmourGalv
  • Manufacturer of The Year <50 Employees – Brain Industries
  • Manufacturer of The Year > 5o employees – Molycop

Winners of the Manufacturer of the Year Awards – 50 Employees or More Award and Less Than 50 Employees’ Award were both rewarded with an overseas trip to a country of their choice to visit other companies, a trade fair or event that will enable their company to further their business or make important contacts in an endeavour to grow and develop their company.

IMAGE | The Morgan Engineering team with their HMA Award – Chelsea Morgan-Whitaker, Martin Morgan, and Matthew Morgan (left-right).

Hunter Manufacturing Awards Inc.

The Hunter Manufacturing Awards (HMA), covering 13 categories, aim to inspire and encourage vibrant and enduring manufacturing in our region.

Like the sector they represent, the HMAs are transforming. They are recognising and promoting excellence through streamlined awards, which are contemporary and future-focused.

Engaging with the sector and working closely with their valued partners, they are offering greater opportunities for education, connection and collaboration.

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