PM Turnbull Visits Automotive Carbon Fibre Manufacturer ‘Quickstep’

The Prime Minister of Australia, Malcolm Turnbull, visited Quickstep???s Waurn Ponds facility in Victoria, to view the company???s new advanced composites manufacturing operations and to announce the Coalition Government???s commitment to a $20 million Jobs and Investment Package for the Geelong region.

David Marino, CEO and Managing Director of Quickstep said: ???We are delighted to welcome the Prime Minister to our Waurn Ponds facility which is now in production supporting automotive contracts for Ford, Thales and the Korea Institute of Science and Technology. We have also begun collaborative projects with several multinational companies using our patented Qure and resin spray transfer (RST) technologies. Our global R&D centre is making great progress as we invest to raise Qure???s volume production rate.”

Hawkei Light Protected Vehicle

Quickstep has completed the first set of composite parts for Thales Australia???s Hawkei light protected vehicle using RST. Quickstep is the exclusive supplier of Hawkei bonnet, side skirts and mud guards. The company will deliver ten sets of parts – comprising more than 150 individual components – for testing by end-September 2016. Thales Australia will supply 1,100 Hawkei military vehicles and 1,000 trailers for the Australian government.

Ford Falcon XR6 Sprint

Quickstep has now manufactured 325 carbon fibre air intake ducts for the Ford Falcon XR6 Sprint sportscar, and production is ongoing. The Falcon XR6 is the first mass-produced Ford passenger vehicle globally to have a carbon-fibre air intake duct factory-fitted.

Development Projects

Quickstep is engaged in development projects with several tier-1 industry suppliers including two leading vehicle manufacturers, a global aircraft manufacturer, and a French naval shipbuilding company (DCNS). These projects are co-funded by Quickstep and its collaboration partners and expected to lead to niche production contracts.

Waurn Ponds Activity

Quickstep???s automotive division has been supported by a grant of $1.76 million through the Geelong Region Innovation and Investment Fund (GRIIF), an initiative funded by the Federal and Victorian governments and Ford Australia. Relocation of Quickstep???s R&D Centre from Munich to Deakin University???s Waurn Ponds Campus in Geelong was supported by the state government of Victoria’s investment promotion arm, Invest Victoria. Quickstep???s relationship with Deakin University spans many years and is supported by a long-term Strategic R&D and Education Agreement.

Quickstep???s R&D Centre supports industrialisation of the Qure process, which offers significant economic advantages to manufacturers compared to autoclave and oven curing. The process is being improved to facilitate development of Rapid Qure, which will offer a fully automated, high volume manufacturing system for the automotive industry.

Liquidators Selling ChemSpec Stock And Assets

The liquidators of Chemical Specialities (ChemSpec), a distributor and maker of industrial, decorative and automotive paint systems, were selling stock, assets and registering debtors, the group said on Friday. The company was placed into provisional liquidation on August 5, with the Durban High Court appointing joint provisional liquidators, after major shareholders decided not to inject additional capital into the business this year.

“It is premature to determine whether a dividend will be paid to concurrent creditors. A recovery for shareholders appears to be extremely unlikely,” ChemSpec said. “Shareholders are advised that the liquidation process is ongoing and that the trading in the shares of the company remains suspended.”

The group operated in both domestic and international markets. Former Grindrod chairman Ivan Clark was a significant shareholder, supporting a protracted turnaround process. In recent years, ChemSpec raised R528m through the market, substantially higher than its market capitalisation. ChemSpec financial director Jonathan Maehler was not able to respond to telephone calls and e-mails on Friday, requesting comment on the liquidation.

SA???s chemical sector has suffered production disruptions because of Eskom???s erratic power supply, while also facing growing imports.

New Distributor For Spanesi In USA

Spanesi Americas has announced the appointment of Williams Collision Equipment, led by owner Tim Williams, as its distributor for the US West Coast. Williams Collision Equipment will be distributing the complete Spanesi product line in Northern and Central California as well as Northern Nevada” said Timothy Morgan, Managing Director of Spanesi Americas. “I have previously worked with Tim for nearly 15 years and know that his experience in the collision repair industry will be extremely valuable as we continue to grow and provide exceptional products and service to our customers and the collision repair industry.”

Tim Williams brings more than 40 years of experience in the collision industry to Spanesi Americas. His experience includes all phases of collision repair beginning at the painter’s helper level and advancing over several years to a full structural repair technician. Tim’s experience then grew into equipment sales, where he also provided support, in-shop training and technical services to his customers. Since 2002, Tim has been instructing courses on various topics including vehicle design, collision theory, computerised measuring and damage analysis, full frame repair and the use of secondary anchoring and fixturing systems. All in accordance with many of the OEM certified collision repair programmes and approved by the I-CAR Industry Training Alliance. Tim has also worked with several major insurance companies, conducting classes and seminars to help appraisers in the field gain a better understanding of the collision repair process.

“I’m very excited and pleased to be joining forces with the Spanesi organisation” said Williams. “Those of us in the equipment segment of our industry recognise Spanesi for their passion, quality, and innovation which truly makes them a major influence in the industry. Spanesi’s emphasis on creating systems with the technician in mind is a compelling argument for any body shop looking to invest in their future.”

Tim Williams and Williams Collision Equipment can be reached at: +1 (530) 906 0546 or tim@prettysmarttools.com. And visit their website as it evolves: www.prettysmarttools.com

Tim Williams of Williams Collision Equipment