REDARC’s upgraded facility was officially opened on Friday, 30th November 2018, by the Federal Minister for Defence, Christopher Pyne, and South Australian Premier Steven Marshall with company owners Anthony and Michelle Kittel.
The celebration marked the finalisation of our $22 million capital expansion project, which was also supported by a $2.5 million Federal Government Next Generation Manufacturing Investment Program grant that we received in 2016.
The expansion of our Lonsdale factory included an additional 3,000sqm of advanced manufacturing space, the introduction of new state-of-the-art manufacturing equipment and systems and the installation of sustainable power infrastructure.
Our 6,500sqm facility is set on 8,400sqm of land and boasts renewable power infrastructure.
We looked for ways to better manage our energy consumption through harnessing technology and implementing innovative measures and installed a 100kw solar power plant on the roof and a Tesla Battery bank.
There are 370 solar panels at 270w that line the roof of the plant, covering an area of 600 sqm. The solar panels can generate 140 megawatt-hours of energy per year, projected to be more than 30% of REDARC’s electricity.
In total, we will be able to offset C02 carbon emissions by 80 tonnes per year. The power system will lower the cost and improve the reliability of electricity supply to our facility.
Structure and office design
Our facility has been designed with ‘Industry 4.0’ principles in mind. The basic principles of 4.0 are to create a smart network of machines, products, components, properties, individuals and ICT systems within the entire manufacturing company to ultimately have an intelligent factory.
We applied these principles to ensure that our operations became highly integrated. Our facility is purposefully open, with all departments visible to each other - you can see all the way down from the offices to production.
Engineering, manufacturing, testing, innovation
Paramount to the success of REDARC is our ability to provide locally manufactured solutions of high quality to our customers. Innovation, a culture of process improvement along with investment in new manufacturing techniques and machinery are the cornerstone to why REDARC is excelling as a manufacturer in Australia.
New Surface Mount Technology (SMT)
Our circuit boards and software are the heart of our products. The technology that produces these circuit boards changes rapidly and REDARC had to change with the new technology.
We purchased a new Surface Mount Technology (SMT) line, which is specified so highly that it is one of few in the world that can increase our production capacity by 250%.
The technology is located in our Clean Room which is rated to meet International Standards (ISO). The Clean Room creates the perfect environment to protect the electronic components through temperature, humidity and pressure control, and it reduces particulate contamination.
Advanced testing and validation technology
The Highly Accelerated Life Testing and Highly Accelerated Stress Screening (HALT/HASS) accelerates 10 years of product life over 2 days, it cools to minus 100 and heats to 200 degrees Celsius; the Vibration and Climatic Chamber combination or AGREE machine simulates driving conditions and temperature and humidity extremes; and the Electro-Magnetic chamber performs full compliance measurements of radiated emission and immunity at a three-meter test distance.
Our in-house testing capabilities has reduced new product development risk, time and cost from design inception through to manufacture. This is great for quality and productivity.
Electrostatic discharge (ESD) is the release of static electricity when two objects come into contact. Familiar examples of ESD include the shock we receive when we walk across a carpet and touch a metal doorknob or the static shock, we sometimes get from our car doors.
Electronics can be sensitive to low voltage ESD events. Employees wear a wrist or foot strap when working with devices, and our visitors wear them too. ESD protected areas at REDARC have copper underneath the floors which causes the electrostatic charge to go into the ground instead of into the device. Sensitive devices are packaged with materials that also shield the product from a charge.
REDARC has invested in the latest in industrial robots, Cobots, in conjunction with Adelaide universities. This is a clever 19kg ‘worker’ called Sawyer, the next-generation smart collaborative robot designed by US company Rethink Robotics. Its 1260mm sensor-loaded arms are designed to accurately conduct sometimes difficult or repetitive work in a tight space, similar to one human working space. The collaborative robots are designed to be programmed to conduct work safely next to people in factories.
Quality, capabilities, standards
International Standards (ISO)
For over 20 years REDARC have held ISO9001 and ISO14001 for quality and environmental systems.
REDARC’s testing capabilities also provide the below accreditations:
- ISO 7637-2
- ISO 11452-2,4
- ISO 10605
- ISO 16750 ISO 16751, ISO 16752, ISO 16753, ISO 16754
- CISPR 32, CISPR 25, CISPR 14, CISPR 11
We’re now targeting ISO17025 (Laboratory Accreditation by NATA) in 2019, the most important standard for calibration and testing laboratories around the world.
Take a tour of our facility with iconic 4WD expert Pat Callinan