Printing the future for Keech

Christine McGinn | Bendigo Weekly | 03-Jul-2014

Keech Australia chief executive officer Herbert Hermens is proudly using the new technology. Photo: Andrew Perryman..
Keech Australia has launched a new subsidiary company, with unparallelled 3D advanced manufacturing technology in the region.

Keech 3D Advanced Manufacturing is leading the pack in regional Victoria, with the region’s largest 3D format printer.

The local company was launched today, showcasing its advanced manufacturing capacities for central Victoria and internationally.

About 150 guests witnessed the unveiling of the large format 3D printer with factory tours and printing demonstrations.

Keech Australia chief executive officer Herbert Hermens said 3D printing was “the next Industrial Revolution”.

“It is a revolution because you need to think about the possibilities this gives. The versatility is incredible,” he said.

“In terms of manufacturing, it is mass manufacturing but on an individual scale because this printing will allow you to just change something, like the colour, it won’t cost anymore because the program will just take care of it and another file will come to play.

“What this does for Australia is it gives an opportunity to level the playing field a little bit. It is really important we start as a country to really understand this technology and how best to facilitate this.”

Business manager Doug Baird said the new company had developed from a demand for advanced manufacturing technologies.

“Keech had been operating a separate pattern-making business for a number of years, but as the company grew they recognised a market opportunity to become more innovative, in order to compete as a global manufacturer.

At the same time revolutionary technologies like 3D printers were being developed – and that’s how we have come to be here today,” he said.

More than one million dollars has been invested into the leading technology with the State Government chipping in a $141,700.

“We can print in any number of media from paper to ABS plastics, and even metals. The result is a fast and affordable process which makes it easier to move ideas from concept stage to fully functional prototypes and even end-use products,” Mr Baird said.

The company assists clients with their product design, digital scanning, CAD modelling, post finishing and reverse engineering.

Mr Hermens said it was crucial to compete globally, not just nationally and this technology increased the company’s capacity.

“Prototyping is absolutely imperative. We have invested a lot of money into our innovation centre and it is prototyping so we can explain to customers what we want to do and how we want to interact with them,” he said.

“Customers can see, now, the value in market place. People are tactile... The need to understand why we are making changes and how we can better help them. The investment necessary to innovate in product is enormous.”


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