Advanced manufacturing

In general, Tasmania's advanced manufacturing industries have focused on the fields of marine manufacturing and mining equipment. The sector now includes Incat and Caterpillar, and a range of businesses supplying these and other key manufacturers.

Incat is an aluminium fast ferry constructor and has been at the leading edge of industry innovation for many years. The companies in its supply chain produce a broad range of products including marine evacuation systems, rapid access passive fire protection barriers, ride control foils and hydraulics, wide frequency antenna systems and anchoring winches. Companies in the supply chain have matured significantly in the past 10 years and many are now successful international exporters in their own right. There is also a range of smaller shipbuilders in Tasmania's marine sector, many of whom are successful exporters.

Tasmania offers a highly skilled and experienced marine and maritime industry base which has proven to be capable of applying itself across a number of technical areas.

Caterpillar is a global-scale specialised mining machinery manufacturer located at Burnie. A number of other advanced manufacturing companies also share much of the same supply chain. The metal manufacturing, casting, specialised machinery manufacturing and engineering sector produces a diverse range  of niche products while also supporting repair and maintenance activity within mining, mineral processing and other heavy industries. (Tasmania's heavy manufacturing industry includes aluminium, zinc and ferro-manganese smelters, cement production, iron ore pelletising and newsprint production.)

Tasmanian manufacturer, Haulmax, produces a range of trucks used for the above-ground movement of materials over long distances in the resource sector. The Haulmax product range is the culmination of 20 years' research into the haulage industry and the requirements of long distance bulk haulage vehicles. The Haulmax product is high value and has a unique niche in the global mining sector. The company has support from the Caterpillar USA organisation and is currently linked into the global Caterpillar network. Similarly, another Tasmanian company, Railmax, specialises in the design, engineering and manufacture of technologically advanced and certified road rail equipment for use on the repair of rail infrastructure.

Opportunities exist for investment in:

  • higher value-added products in fabrication fit-out, plastics and electronics
  • food and beverage manufacturing and downstream processing enabled by the state's $400 million investment in water development programs
  • marine soft infrastructure and high-end maritime services such as radar, sonar, communications, navigation, simulation and electronic fuel control systems. (These can leverage off an established network of marine educational services, applied research, commercialisation, sub assembly and commissioning to international companies.  A marine cluster exists in Tasmania that could be further developed into a precinct focused on ship construction, repair and refit)
  • downstream processing or value-adding to Tasmania's rich resource base
  • maintenance and service of current and new capital equipment – provides ongoing opportunities for contractors and specialist services within Tasmania
  • defence – niche manufacturers or service suppliers
  • oil and gas – new opportunities for niche manufacturers or service suppliers.

Tasmanian Advanced Manufacturing Action Plan

The Tasmanian Government recognises the significance of the sector in the Tasmanian economy, and its future potential and is keen to attract those manufacturing businesses that utilise continuous improvement, enhanced skills, new technologies, and design and systems integration in order to drive innovation and growth throughout the value chain.

To grow and support the sector the Government, through broad industry consultation, has developed a five-year Tasmanian Advanced Manufacturing Action Plan, click here for more information.

Other links:

The Tasmanian Maritime Network

Tasmanian Advanced Manufacturing Action Plan