Over 100 specialist jobs will be created in Adelaide’s southern suburbs during the next five years, following the opening of South Australian advanced electronics manufacturing firm REDARC’s expanded headquarters at Lonsdale.
An additional 3,000sqm of advanced manufacturing space will be officially opened on Friday (November 30) by the Federal Minister for Defence, Christopher Pyne, and South Australian Premier Steven Marshall.
The $22 million development will enable REDARC to increase its manufacturing capacity by 250% and significantly increase productivity.
Managing Director, Mr Anthony Kittel, said the upgraded facility would enable REDARC to expand its current workforce of almost 200 to 300 by 2024, with most of the new positions being filled by engineers, data scientists and algorithm specialists.
“We have been growing strongly in recent years by targeting the North American and European automotive aftermarket with our dual battery chargers and our award-winning Tow-Pro Elite brake controller,” he said.
“We are now actively diversifying into other markets, including defence and medical devices.”
Mr Kittel said the upgrade had been supported by a $2.5 million Federal Government Next Generation Manufacturing Investment Program grant received in 2016.
“In addition to expanding the facility, the grant has been used to purchase state-of-the-art machinery and testing and validation equipment to enable us to exceed international standards,” he said.
“The new equipment will provide REDARC with the best available technology, enabling us to enhance export capabilities and assist with our diversification program.”
New equipment and capability includes the purchase of a new Surface Mount Technology line for loading electronic components, an Electromagnetic Compatibility chamber and a Vibration test lab that enables highly accelerated lifetime testing of products that can simulate 10 years of life in just two days. Three new Universal Collaborative Robots ‘Cobots’ have also been purchased.
Other changes included in the new development include IT Infrastructure upgrades.
Last year, REDARC installed a 100kw solar power plant on the roof of its Lonsdale plant and Tesla Battery bank.
This involved the installation of 370 solar panels capable of generating 140 megawatt hours of energy per year.
Mr Kittel said REDARC had been able to “buck the trend” against the offshoring of manufacturing in Australia through a program of significant reinvestment into research & development, staff development and training.
REDARC was established in 1979 and is involved in the research, design, development and manufacture of a range of electronic voltage converters and associated products, inverters, power supplies, battery chargers, brake controllers and trailer braking products.