Hunter business leads the way in global innovative wheel technology

Hunter business leads the way in global innovative wheel technology

Hunter based company, Omnia, has become a global leader in the development and manufacturing of wheel technology that could improve industry productivity and safety.

The technology enables MedTech equipment improvements and can be applied across a host of consumer goods.

Managing Director, Peter McKinnon said Omnia wheels provide the only real commercial alternative to the traditional swivel caster. Peter said the Omni wheel is best described as wheels with a wheel.

He explained that because the wheels do not need to swivel, they respond directly to the force applied, and can move in any direction, providing greater load stability and directional control.

“Imagine a shopping or hotel luggage trolley that goes where you point it,” Peter said.

There are only a handful of Omni wheel producers worldwide. Peter said Omnia’s patented wheel technology uses a substantially different design and manufacturing approach to its competitors, making them the most capable omni wheels worldwide.

“This differentiation allows Omnia wheels to be used in a broader range of applications for a wider range of industries than our competitors,” he said.

“Our product development team is continually developing our technology to improve ride quality and functional capabilities along with an ever-growing array of products.

“Omnia’s range of ergonomic materials handling equipment are being used by Australia’s best-known retailers and wholesale distributors to safely and productively move everything from milk crates to gas cylinders.”

The company’s omni-directional conveyor sortation tables are receiving substantial interest internationally, with a recent order for the Greek Postal Service.

These tables allow the redirection and manipulation of parcels without the need for pop-up or add on mechanisms, speeding up the process and adding flexibility.

“The growth in e-commerce logistics and automation will provide great opportunity for our products,’ he said.

Robotic mobility is another area where Peter believes there is great potential.

“Omni wheels are one of the few wheels that can provide true multi-vector movement, providing precise movement and positioning of autonomous mobile robots.

“Australia’s first autonomous sterilising robot, at the Royal Hobart Hospital, runs on Omnia’s wheels.”

Peter points to the Omni-sense white cane tip, for those with a vision impairment, as another example of how omnia wheels can improves people’s lives in MedTech applications.

Ian Edwards, also known as The Blind Chef, helped Omnia to develop and test the device.

“There is growing interest, particularly in the United States, for the white cane tip,” Ian said.

Omnia is participating in the NSW Government Going Global MedTech program, taking part in a trade show in China in April. Its new 180mm wheel is being trialled for a motorised wheelchair.

The technology is even revolutionising the home and garden sector. Peter said Omnia’s Plant Glider provides a more durable, and dependable way to safely move pots without them getting stuck, tipping, or collapsing, as is the case with many plant dolly’s with casters.

“The Plant Glider compliments the pot and the plant. It not only works better, but it also looks so much better than a regular plant dolly.”

When asked where to next, Peter said that as the use of wheels are almost endless so are the possibilities for Omnia. Omnia currently exports more than 50 per cent of its production, but Peter expects that to grow to at least 80 per cent within the next few years.

“The Hunter is at the forefront of innovation in mobility. We are literally reinventing the wheel,” he concluded.

Peter said a side benefit of Omnia’s research and development, is that its growth in manufacturing capability, means it can offer injection moulding services to local businesses seeking to shorten their supply chains.

Omnia designs and manufactures its products at its facility in the former Fairfax printing building in Beresfield, providing local jobs. Its excellence in manufacturing and design saw it named the winner of the Manufacturer of the Year (under 50 employees) in the 2020 Hunter Manufacturing Awards.

IMAGE | Omnia team designing and manufacturing omni-wheels in the Hunter.


Omnia, a brand of Rotacaster, is a Hunter owned company that leads the world in wheels within a wheel technology to benefit industry, the MedTech sector, and people’s lifestyle.

From its Hunter research and manufacturing facility, Omnia makes omni-wheels for use in conveyor sortation, robotic mobility, ergonomic materials handling, assisted mobility and many more applications.

Omnia’s wheels go where you point them. They open the door for other businesses and product designers to create exciting new products and to transform existing ones.

Omnia’s wheels not only improve productivity and safety for industry but also give people dignity and a better lifestyle.

Its expert team can help you to innovate and differentiate when it comes to intuitive mobility.

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