Hetech is proud to be an environmentally sustainable company, and we are continually seeking new avenues for growth within the renewable energy sector. As electronic systems play an integral role in various applications, ranging from electric vehicles and scooters to energy management and battery technologies, we recognise the immense potential for reducing carbon emissions through technological innovation.
Our team is enthusiastic about leveraging our expertise to develop solutions that minimize environmental impact while maximizing efficiency and performance. With each advancement, we embark on a journey of discovery, this comes with new research and development initiatives that push the boundaries of what’s possible in sustainable technology.
The recent Everything Electric expo served as a catalyst for our exploration of emerging opportunities within the renewable energy market. By participating in this event, we gained valuable insights and forged strategic partnerships to further strengthen our presence in this dynamic industry.
The Everything Electric expo, is renowned as the premier platform for showcasing advancements in home energy and electric vehicles. Beyond Electric Vehicles of diverse configurations and Home Energy solutions, the expo highlighted the collective effort to accelerate the transition towards cleaner, more sustainable energy systems.
As we look ahead, we are excited about the evolution of the renewable energy landscape in the years to come. Our commitment to driving positive change remains unwavering, and we invite you to stay connected with us as we unveil groundbreaking initiatives in this space.
- IoT and digitalisation significance in electronic manufacturing services for the defence industry.
- Trends in the Australian EMS Industry 2023
- Current electronic manufacturing challenges in Australia
2023 has been a big year for the electronics manufacturing industry. Below we check in on how the Internet of Things (IoT) is impacting the market, the challenges we face in the electronics industry within Australia, and how we leverage upcoming technologies to adapt to the latest trends in the electronics manufacturing services industry (EMS).
The Internet of Things and Digitalisation
IoT has shown huge market potential in the electronics manufacturing services industry. As Hetech delivers electronic manufacturing to the Defence industry, the risk of cyber-attacks and manufacturing efficiency is always at the forefront. IoT helps to identify and improve cyber security, which includes reducing counterfeit electronic components and cyber-attacks among electrical components suppliers.
To meet these requirements, the implementation of digitalisation is crucial to increasing volume and improving efficiency. That being said, cyber-security measures in sensitive processes such as PCB assembly, conformal coating, and data security is crucial for digitalisation. Both electronics manufacturing and material inventories are impacted by the rising trends in digitalisation, which aim to effectively reduce costs and emissions.
Trends seen in Australia for 2023
The popularity of reshoring electronics manufacturing services has boomed over the past few years due to the increased difficulty of electronics production by the global production leader, China. In lieu of China’s encouragement of offshoring, their production of both PCB assembly and manufacturing of semiconductors declined. The pandemic forced China’s government to implement strict ‘Zero-covid’ policies that effectively shut down many electronics production and assembly factories, resulting in Australian companies sourcing more of their electronics production and assembly domestically.
Much of 2023 saw an increased trend in domestically produced and handled electronic manufacturing services. In recent years, the Defence industry has had an increased demand for contract electronics from domestic suppliers due to advantageous delivery times, shipping costs, and better cyber-security measures. Many domestic suppliers within Australia recognise this and are continually increasing production and channels of services to meet their customer’s needs.
Current Challenges the Australian Electronics Industry is Facing
As a result of present trends, increased production costs are due to the rising costs of labour, materials, and inflation. This has led to an increase in the baseline pricing of electronic manufacturing services. The key to providing a middle ground for both service provider and customer is to increase efficiency and streamline the production and supply of the EMS.
Supply chain difficulties are also an ever-evolving challenge the industry faces, and the growing incentive of digitalisation has helped create efficient time-saving processes to combat these issues.
The challenge of promoting sustainability is also on the agenda. With global emissions of 4%, our industry has sought ways to reduce carbon footprints by implementing sustainable and socially responsible electronics manufacturing methods. The reduction in carbon emissions via digitalisation and increased Corporate social responsibility (CSR) in multiple manufacturing processes are some of the ways we at Hetech reduce our carbon footprint.
To find out more about how Hetech is addressing these problems and implementing solutions, contact us for more information.
Below are just some of the ways your donations can help those in need this winter:
$55 can help feed a family for a day
$120 can help keep a family warm this winter
$300 can help relocate a person sleeping rough to accommodation services
Every night, thousands of Australians experience homelessness. But it doesn’t have to be that way. This year I’m taking part in the Vinnies CEO Sleepout to raise money for the St Vincent de Paul Society to support Australians in need. For one night, I’ll be sleeping outside as part of an eye-opening experience to raise awareness and bring home the realities of homelessness.
To help break the devastating cycle of homelessness, I need your support. Will you help me to reach my target?
Almost all products consumers use day to day have some form of electronic component or system, and electronic manufacturing plays an integral part in the creation of these products. Electronic manufacturing for industrial designers involves the creation of components, products and systems, and their assembly into finished products. Without proper electronic manufacturing, the design of a product may not translate to a functional and reliable product.
Hetech partners with Industrial Designers, working with them on all parts of the manufacturing process from testing to production, Hetech has the experience and resources to ensure a product’s success.
Just some of the critical stages where Hetech can help in the electronic manufacturing process are:
- Design – Creation of the product design, including all electronic components.
- PCB Layout – The design of the printed circuit board is created based on electronic components.
- Fabrication – PCB is fabricated based on the design, and the electronic components are placed on the board.
- Assembly – Electronic components are soldered onto the PCB.
- Testing – The finished product is tested to ensure it functions correctly prior to mass production.
As a medium-sized manufacturer, Hetech can manufacture electronic products on both a smaller and larger scale. With experience in both commercial and niche markets, Hetech uses resources efficiently and is quickly able to adapt to changes in demand, all while ensuring quality control and delivering on time and within budget.
Hetech has been designing and manufacturing Printed Circuit Boards (PCB’s) for close to 30 years, our team is made up of experienced engineers and technicians with a multitude of experience.
Just some of the reasons our customers choose us to manufacture their PCB’s are:
- Experience: We have been in the electronic manufacturing industry for over 30 years, bringing a wealth of experience and knowledge in both the design and build of PCB’s.
- Quality: We are AS9100 and ISO9001-accredited, building to J-STD-001/IPC-A-610 class 3 standards and are a part of DISP (EL), providing for full traceability and more accurate processes for our customers. Due to our high level of quality control and accreditations, we have a reputation for delivering high-quality products. This is essential when it comes to PCB Manufacturing. Some of the printed circuit boards our team are responsible for manufacturing will be heading to space with our customer Gilmour Space.
- Customisation: We can customise PCBs to meet your specific requirements, our team of engineers can design, prototype, and manufacture PCBs that are unique to your business.
- Technology: We manufacture our PCBs using the latest available technology and equipment. This allows us to manufacture quickly and efficiently while ensuring the quality is not compromised.
- Customer service: We aim to exceed our customers’ expectations, from initial consultation to product delivery our team are with you every step of the way.
To view some of our work in this space head to our website.
Or, to contact us on how we can partner with you to optimise your product, please reach out to us via the button below.
We’ve been hearing a lot about Australian Space in the media lately, but what is involved in this complex sector and how is it helping us here on earth?
International Space exploration is working to develop advanced technologies that help everyday individuals here on earth, as outlined by NASA just some of these are:
1. Supporting water purification efforts worldwide
Joint collaborations between aid organizations and NASA technology show just how effectively space research can adapt to contribute answers to global problems. Using technology developed for the space station, at-risk areas can gain access to advanced water filtration and purification systems, making a life-saving difference in these communities.
2. Bringing space station ultrasound to the ends of the Earth
Medical care has become more accessible in remote regions by the use of small ultrasound units, telemedicine, and remote guidance techniques, just like those used for people living aboard the international space station.
3. Making inoperable tumours operable with a robotic arm
The same technology that went into developing neuroArm, the world’s first robot capable of performing surgery inside magnetic resonance machines, was born from the Canadarm, Canadarm2 and Dextre, the Canadian Space Agency’s family of space robots responsible for performing the heavy lifting and maintenance aboard the International Space Station.
4. Monitoring natural disasters from space
An imaging system used in space captures photographs of Earth from space for use in developing countries affected by natural disasters. Images from orbit can help with rapid response efforts to floods, fires, volcanic eruptions, deforestation, harmful algal blooms, and other types of natural events. Since the station passes over more than 90% of the Earth’s populated areas every 24 hours, it is available to provide imagery to developing nations quickly, collecting up to 1,000 images per day.
Plus, so much more, you can read more about this here:
Space technologies and services benefit all Australians. Several of the daily conveniences we have come to expect, operate thanks to Space technology, just some of these are:
- Weather forecasting
- Remote communications
- Internet access
- Online banking
- GPS, plus much more.
Hetech provides PCB manufacturing services to Gilmour Space
Gilmour Space has been in the news a lot recently due to the great work they are doing within the Australian Space sector. Founded by Adam and James Gilmour, Gilmour Space is the leading provider of Australian-made launch vehicles and satellite platforms.
Hetech has been manufacturing Gilmour-designed boards for their Remote Data Acquisition Units. The boards go into all stages of the 3-stage launch vehicle. They are used to sample sensor data from most of the subsystems on the rocket to do health monitoring through a Telemetry link back to the ground.
Recently, Mark dropped by Gilmour Space Headquarters and met with Gilmour’s Director and Head of Communications, Michelle Gilmour. We are excited about what is on the horizon, watch this space!
There are several exciting projects on the horizon for the Australian Space industry. To keep up to date with what Gilmour Space is doing in this space, simply head to their website.
What is a PCB?
Printed Circuit Boards (PCBs) are the backbone of all major electronics. You can find PCBs in nearly all computational electronics, from simple devices like digital clocks, and calculators to more advanced devices including computers, smartphones and cars.
A printed circuit board (PCB) is an electronic assembly that uses copper conductors to create electrical connections between components. A printed circuit board design must include a specific set of steps that aligns with the manufacturing process, integrated circuit packaging, and the structure of the bare circuit board.
In short, PCBs tell the electricity where to go, bringing your electronics to life.
What to do if you need a PCB in your product?
1. Specification: The first step in the design process is to develop a clear specification of your product. Our design team will work with you to create your specification. This is the most important step as it will ensure that both parties have a clear scope and outcome for the project.
2. Proof of Concept: Our engineers will then use off-the-shelf development kits to develop a “proof of concept”. This stage of the design will determine the types of technology used to achieve the goals of the product and whether the product concept is viable within the given budget and time frame.
3. Schematic Capture & Design: The proof of concept will then be captured as a schematic design. It shows all the components required and how they are connected.
4. PCB Component Placement and Routing: Using PCB design software such as Altium, all the required components on the functional schematic design will be placed on a digital PCB board.
5. Design for Manufacture: Hetech will always ensure that your product is designed to conform to modern manufacturing practices. As an in-house Design and Manufacturing company, we have access to valuable direct manufacturing feedback. This will assist in reducing your manufacturing overheads.
6. Final Delivery: After extensive testing and revisions and all parties are happy, we have a final product!
- 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.
With the recent cyber-attacks on Australian businesses, it is more important than ever to stay on top of your cyber security both personally and professionally.
At Hetech we take many steps to ensure our customer data is protected, did you know we are part of the Defence Industry Security Program?
The program supports Australian businesses, addressing risks associated with providing services, products, or capabilities to the Australian Defence Organisation.
The program is intended to address and protect the Defence supply chain from security vulnerabilities by assessing the business’s processes, procedures, information technology and cyber security, physical security and personnel security.
This program provides a layer of protection, not just for Hetech’s Defence customers but for all of our customers from every industry. The program improves resilience, security and assurance of our sourcing arrangements.
We protect our customer’s data
- Having an external IT company manage IT/Cyber – security issues.
- Keep mission-critical software (ERP) local, not in the cloud.
- Annual staff training.
- Sporadic spam email checks to internal staff, this is then reviewed and discussed with staff on what to look out for spam.
- Use external “friendly hackers” to see where vulnerabilities (if any) are in our system.
- Keep up to date with ongoing developments in cyberspace.
If you have any questions feel free to reach out to us.