While their categories were won by other worthy companies, reaching the finals is well earned recognition of the manufacturing excellence and significant achievements of these Victorian companies flowing from investment in technological innovation and systems integration, establishment of high-performance management teams; collaboration with education and research organisations; productivity improvements and nurturing of talent.
Based in Tullamarine, Textor Technologies is a family-owned and operated business, specialising in the manufacture of materials used to control the transfer of fluids in hygiene applications.
Textor now exports its locally-produced materials to 13 countries, including a unique 3D composite fabric that is recognised as the best material in the world to protect the skin of a new born child.
To quote the booklet issued as part of the awards ceremony: “Textor’s success can be attributed to its innovative and entrepreneurial spirit, along with a strong commitment to collaboration with Australia’s research community. It has worked closely with the CSIRO, particularly its Advanced Fibres Program, creating novel structures and commercialising those technologies into global supply chains.
“Textor’s modern facilities include high levels of automation and provide a great example of lean manufacturing. The company currently employs 55 people and has a profit share scheme in place. Recognising the rapid industry advancements, it is actively working with its employees to raise awareness of Industry 4.0 and build STEM capabilities.
“The company is also committed to growing local capability, and has contributed to the Prime Minister’s Manufacturing Taskforce, chaired the TCF Innovation Council and the IMCRC, and also been Deputy Chair of the National Innovation Precinct Board.”
Founded in 1997 and operating from their Brunswick East wool mill in Melbourne’s north, Merino and Jumbuck manufactures pure merino wool thermal garments and is Australia’s largest producer of thermal underwear. The company has supplied thermals to the Australian Defence Force, the 2002 Australian Salt Lake Olympic team and an Antarctic expedition.
To again quote the company profile in the awards publication: “Merino and Jumbuck’s competitive advantage lies in its local supply chain, quick response, quality products and unique knit technologies, and is reaffirmed by the company’s domestic and export customers who want to be a part of the innovative Australian wool story and, by extension, the pure and sustainable nature of wool and its wonderful wearing characteristics. Its strong engagement and collaboration culture has supported new beginnings for students with an interest in clothing production and fashion, including with RMIT, LaTrobe University and research organisations such as the CSIRO and Deakin.
“Employing 23 staff to produce 100,000 units per annum in Victoria, with exports to the US and South East Asia, Merino and Jumbuck has a core value commitment to sustainability, having implemented significant initiatives to reduce waste and energy consumption, including the implementation of a solar system that powers their machines throughout the day. The company has benefited from their commitment to LEAN manufacturing processes, achieving key efficiencies, while furthering their goal of reducing landfill waste to zero and promoting their Thermo Fleece and Merino Skins brands as leaders in sustainability.”