A great partnership with Boeing Defence Australia
- Hetech worked with Boeing Defence Australia on their Project Currawong, delivering part of the battlespace communication system.
- Hetech is now AS9100 accredited.
As a growing and constantly evolving business, Hetech are always working to improve our business capabilities, most recently Hetech has become AS9100 certified and moved to a new ERP system to improve our day-to-day operations. With over 30 years in business, we have worked with a variety of industries, partnering with businesses to design and manufacture electronics for their products.
Working heavily within defence over the last few years has seen our business capabilities grow exponentially. Boeing Defence Australia was one of our first clients in this sector and we have enjoyed the partnership and years of working together.
Our team worked with Boeing Defence Australia to deliver part of a battlespace communication system within a tight and dynamic time frame, building both the prototype and production units. Project Currawong saw the team manufacture two sub-systems for the Network Access Module (NAM) – a rugged hardware case that provides the power and services needed to enable secure communications.
Hetech supplied the following components to Boeing Defence Australia on this project:
- Universal Power Supply Module
- Low Side NAM Signal Entry Panel
- High Side NAM Signal Entry Panel
- Subscriber Access Interface Signal Entry Panel
- Deployable Data Centre Assembly Signal Entry Panel
- Network Breakout Unit
- Deployable Data Centre Assembly Power Supply Module
- Deployable Data Centre Assembly Dual Red Backplane
- Deployable Data Centre Assembly Red/Black Backplane
- Port Breakout Module
Bronwyn Morris, Boeing Defence Australia’s Field Hardware lead who worked closely with Hetech on Project Currawong said,
“Hetech’s electronics manufacturing and project management capabilities have been and continue to be integral to the success of project Currawong. Hetech has consistently manufactured and supplied hundreds of complex, ruggedised hardware modules for delivery to the Australian Army. Hetech’s passion, honesty and integrity has been one of the key drivers in assisting the Currawong Project to meet challenging delivery milestones. In the spirit of fostering true collaboration and transparency in business combined with an innovative and proactive engineering regime, Hetech has assisted in ensuring Project Currawong success to date, on schedule and on budget.”
Hetech is constantly investing in growth, just some of our most recent upgrades include:
- New SMT Pick and Place machine to provide the best quality PCB assemblies for defence companies such as Boeing Defence Australia, Hetech invested in a new Pick and Place machine. The purchase has proven to build PCBs more reliably and also reduced assembly time by almost half, a huge boost in production efficiency.
- Conformal coating machines. Due to growth in the defence sector within the company, thanks to Boeing Defence Australia, Hetech won the “Made in Queensland” state government grant to invest in a state-of-the-art conformal coating machine. The new machine automatically sprays PCB boards with a protective coating, ensuring they can withstand the harsh environments commonly seen in the defence industry. (See conformal_coating_article.pdf).
- Automatic Optical Inspection (AOI) Taking advantage of the Defence Capability Grant, Hetech purchased an AOI (automated optical inspection) machine that is used to visually inspect printed circuit boards. The machine uses a camera to autonomously scan devices and test for both catastrophic failures (such as a missing part) and quality defects (such as incorrect size or shape).
- New IT Infrastructure with Network Security Upgrade We believe, if you are to work in the defence sector as a supplier, you have to invest in IT security. Hetech has heavily invested in new IT infrastructure, enabling a tighter security protocol for client data and allowing for better communication & coordination throughout the company.
- AS9100 accredited, the accreditation demonstrates our ability to consistently provide products that meet customer and regulatory requirements for Aviation, Space and Defence Organisations.
- Moved to M1 ERP system, providing advanced capabilities in materials and labour planning, better component tracking, enhanced shopfloor functions, plus much more.
The Hetech team is continually working to upskill and we have been focused on growing the team, bringing on new technicians that specialise in a variety of areas, including:
- Increased our staff by an extra 4 people.
- New QA Manager: Audits conducted at Hetech from companies such as Boeing Defence Australia have prompted a new position within the company.
Due to growth and investment into Australian SMEs from clients such as Boeing Defence Australia, Hetech is investing in STEM programs to help build a new generation of electronics engineers and manufacturers. Another step towards creating a globally competitive electronics hub in Queensland. We have worked with the likes of Park Ridge School, QMI & Griffith to expose students to the growing world of local electronics manufacturing (https://www.hetech.com.au/students-spend-an-afternoon-with-hetech/).
Upgrading and improving our security certifications and systems, along with ensuring our team is trained in the requirements of a secure workplace is something that we are constantly reviewing.
Hetech is an AS9100 and ISO9001-accredited company and builds to J-STD-001/IPC-A-610 class 3 standards, along with being a part of DISP (EL). Hetech has recently become AS9100 accreditation, which is an acceleration of its current accreditation and will allow us to win more business with Boeing Defence Australia and other Defence Primes, as a consequence employ more staff for work in the Defence and Aerospace Sectors.
Steve who has worked heavily within the industry says:
”Working with BDA on Project Currawong, has been an amazing success story for Hetech and we are very proud of our continued participation in it.
It is encouraging to see that BDA are actively helping Companies like Hetech to go from a Small to a Medium sized company and we will continue to work together to grow our capabilities and invest in the future and ensure that Australia has a SIC with a large AIC element.
For Project Currawong BDA took a unique and very flexible supplier-centric approach and adopted the Boeing mantra of collaboration across their supply chain partners, actively working with the SME sector, bringing together Companies in the same industry sectors, to work as a team and delivering different modules across the Currawong Platform.
It has been an incredible journey. Thank you to all in the Project Currawong Team for giving Hetech this opportunity.”
As we look to the future of our work within the defence industry, we see further investments in our capabilities to ensure we provide our clients with the best possible service and products.
Planned future investments:
- Second SMT line As Hetech grows, we will require a 2nd SMT line in order to continue building our customer base and deliver future projects without compromising speed and quality for our current customers.
- X-RAY machine (AXI) Much like an AOI machine, X-Ray machines are used in manufacturing to inspect the hidden features of target objects or products (Such as PCB assemblies). Nowadays, X-ray inspection is widely used in lots of applications such as medical, industrial control, and aerospace. A further investment was triggered to ensure we will provide quality assemblies for companies such as Boeing Defence Australia.