SouthMACH Manufacturing and Electronics Exhibition

28 - 29 May 2025

Wednesday 28th 9am-6pm
Thursday 29th 9am-4pm

Wolfbrook Arena Christchurch

Exhibitor Enquiry







Christchurch NZ
NZ Manufacturer
University of Canterbury
Callaghan Innovation
Maintenance Engineering Societ
Engineering News
Canterbury Employers Chamber o
Canterbury Tech
Christchurch NZ
NZ Manufacturer
University of Canterbury
Callaghan Innovation
Maintenance Engineering Societ
Engineering News
Canterbury Employers Chamber o
Canterbury Tech


International welding equipment manufacturer, Kemppi, has announced the recent opening of its Welding Innovation and Training Hub in Australia.

The Hub will allow Kemppi to train welders in Australia and New Zealand on Kemppi equipment so that they can improve productivity and performance in the workshop and on the work site. Kemppi dealers and service agents will also benefit from the Hub’s opening as it will facilitate product knowledge transfer and allow them to train-up on new welding machines away from normal working day distractions.

The opening of the Welding Innovation and Training Hub occurred on site, at Kemppi Australia’s head office in Sydney, where the new Hub has been constructed within Kemppi’s facility.

The purpose-built and fully-equipped Welding Innovation and Training Hub, consists of three dedicated areas comprising of two welding bays for demonstrations and training, a presentation area for classroom training and learning, and a compact showcase.

According to Kemppi Australia’s managing director, Paul McVicar, the Welding Innovation and Training Hub will provide welders with training on Kemppi equipment, new features and technology so that they can get the most out of their machines.

“Our welding equipment is leading-edge and has developed significantly over the years. Today, depending on the welding machine, it may include features such as Weld Assist, Double-Pulse, MicroTack and Optima AC. These features help the welder create quality welds quickly to enhance their productivity.

“Some of the equipment can also be paired with Kemppi welding software such as Wise processes and Max welding processes. These digital solutions further enhance the capability of the machine and can improve the welder’s performance.

“The new Hub will let us bring welders up to speed on these features and the software so that they can get the most out of their equipment. The better they understand their equipment, the more effectively they will be able to employ it to increase productivity and welding quality,” says McVicar. 

He also points out that the Hub will help empower welders so that they can improve their performance and do more in a market where there is a general lack of highly skilled welding labour.

“In many industries around the world there is a shortage of professional welders and Australia and New Zealand are no exception. However, a welder with the right gear and training may be able to output more, helping to minimise the impact of welder shortages on industry,” says McVicar.

Kemppi dealers and service agents will also benefit from the Hub’s launch.

“The Hub will allow us to strengthen our collaboration with our dealers and service agents because we now have a dedicated space where we can demonstrate and train them-up on our equipment and impart knowledge away from the everyday pressures of their typical work day,” says McVicar.

Equally important, manufacturing firms will have the opportunity to see robotic welding solutions such as the Kemppi AX MIG welder in action at the Hub. Oil and gas, mining and other industrial operations will be able to witness the benefits of equipment as well as welding software solutions such as WeldEye – a universal solution for managing welding production.

Kemppi Australia intends is providing demonstration and training sessions at the Hub for welders, dealers and service agents both in Australia and New Zealand from now on. Welders and other stakeholders can also request a standard or bespoke demonstration and training session on Kemppi equipment and software for their staff by simply phoning or emailing the company directly.


Global investor Fabal Group has invested into Marlborough-based startup SmartMachine, citing its work as one of the most significant operational step changes for viticulture since the advent of the tractor 130 years ago.

SmartMachine’s first funding round has raised $1.93 million, with new Investors Fabal Group, Aspire NZ Seed Fund (operated by NZ Growth Capital Partners), Angel Investors Marlborough and Angel HQ now joining founding partner, Pernod Ricard Winemakers.

Company spokesman Andrew Kersley says that at a time where the investment market has been challenging, this successful close really highlights the uniqueness of the product offering and value proposition that the company’s products and service offer to global horticultural industries.

Fabal Vineyards chief executive Ashley Keegan says: “After looking hard at the global landscape, this technology and the team behind it has the potential to be one of the most significant operational step changes for the industry since the advent of the tractor over 130 years ago.”

SmartMachine’s flagship product Oxin is the world’s first fully autonomous, multi-tasking viticultural robotic tractors. These cutting-edge machines promise to revolutionise the viticulture landscapes by enabling greater operational efficiencies and addressing the challenges posed by the ongoing labour shortages the industry faces.

Foundation partner Pernod Ricard Winemakers has backed the product and business from the beginning. Viticulture transformation manager David Allen says the company is proud of its continued investment in SmartMachine’s technology and seeing first-hand how it can revolutionise the viticulture landscape.

Angel Investors Marlborough led the round with good follow-on support from Angel HQ.

Andrew Kersley says both groups have members with great experience and connections in the markets SmartMachine is targeting.

“It’s really uplifting to have these New Zealand groups backing a New Zealand business.”

New Zealand Growth Capital Partners rounded out the raise. “With increasing operational challenges in the viticulture industry, there are clear market drivers for alternative approaches and solutions that improve productivity. Through our Aspire seed fund, we are excited to be backing the ingenuity of the SmartMachine team and their journey of future expansion,” says Jacques Richter, associate investment director, NZGCP

Kersley says it is “a really exciting time on all fronts of the business”.

“We are focusing on building out our revenue model in New Zealand, establishing our market position in Australia, while strategically working through our launch in the United States.

“We have industry and government backing through MPI and their Sustainable Farming Futures Fund to build a fully electric version of our machine, which will shift the dial even further regarding the sustainable benefits of this technology.

“Our incredible multi-disciplinary team continues to strengthen and grow, and the progress they continue to make on the business, products and the value proposition they provide to growers is inspiring.”


By Dr Troy Coyle, CEO HERA

Our global industry is taking a big step forward with a major international collaboration between HERA and the Australian Composites Manufacturing CRC (ACM CRC). The project promises to lead the way in digital transformation for Circular Design 4.0, a rapidly evolving field.

The ACM CRC has brought together 33 partners in a groundbreaking $250 million program under Australia’s Cooperative Research Centres initiative, spanning a decade.

Engineering excellence, intelligent automation, and advanced technology implementation can play a critical role when working in conjunction with top Australian universities as part of the ACM CRC. The collaboration offers a unique opportunity to harness the world’s leading research teams in the development of composites steel applications with a strong focus on sustainability and circular design principles.

In the inaugural project with the University of Sydney (SYDU) and ANSTO, HERA aims to establish an AI-based monitoring system for assessing the quality of manufactured composite products, including steelwork.

This system will optimise inspection requirements and manage compliance risks through extensive big data analysis. The project also encompasses the collection and analysis of productivity data, in-service health monitoring, and the development of novel 3D printing techniques capable of reusing or recycling materials based on their remaining properties, all aligned with Circular Design 4.0 principles.

From HERA’s point of view, the project is expected to yield remarkable benefits for our members, given our focus on achieving a high level of sustainability, efficiency, and compliance within our industry. Moreover, the project offers significant collaborative opportunities and synergy with other HERA initiatives, such as the $10.3 million MBIE Endeavour-funded research project on Construction 4.0 and our material passport research.

This project carries immense significance: Leveraging AI in Circular Design 4.0 empowers designers, manufacturers, and policymakers to make more informed decisions, optimise resource utilisation, reduce waste, and create products that align with the principles of the circular economy. Composite metals-based manufacturing holds great importance within our membership, the vital contributors to the fabrication of structures, bridges, plants, tanks, pipelines, equipment, and defence assets.

Most of the products fabricated by HERA members are safety-critical, necessitating compliance with underlying fabrication and quality management standards. AI-optimised inspection has the potential to significantly reduce compliance risks and minimise inspection efforts by reducing human involvement. Further opportunities can be seized by adopting a holistic approach to the entire manufacturing cycle and extending AI tools to design optimisation.

This project marks the beginning of a long-term collaboration between HERA, ACM CRC, and project partners (SYDU, ANSTO, and others) aiming to revolutionise the entire industry, making it more competitive, efficient, and sustainable.

To find out more, visit

Dr Troy Coyle brings more than 20 years’ experience in innovation management across a range of industries including materials science, medical radiation physics, biotechnology, sustainable building products, renewable energy and steel. She is a scientist with a PhD (University of NSW) with training in journalism and communications.


By Craig Carlyle, Maintenance Transformations

It seems not that long ago that a health and safety system consisted of a manual, a stock of forms and a folder to store the completed records. Our auditing experience regularly involved blowing the dust off the manual, which kind of defeats the whole purpose.

We realised last century that relying on analogue methods would never satisfy the intent of systemising your learning and ensuring compliance in the long term. We became early adaptors of management information systems, relying on dated methods such as the fax machine. That philosophy was validated in 2016 with the new legislation’s directors’ duties.

With modern Office tools, some shakers and movers used spreadsheets to manage scheduled tasks. These can work adequately, but are single dimensional, only understood by the creator, and prone to edit locking issues on terrestrial servers. Today, our internet infrastructure is reliable and fast enough to tap into the potential of Cloud based systems.

In 2023, the health and safety manager is confronted with a vast menu of options and tools; Cloud or server? Which management software? Phone apps? It can rapidly get confusing, and expensive.

Let’s simplify things a little.

At the heart of your health and safety management, you need a system. Usually presented as a manual, it describes how your operation identifies and controls risks, and manages H&S. No, it is not a collection of downloaded forms. WorkSafe have proven to be unimpressed when prosecuting businesses without a system.

The foundation of your system is your register of reasonably identified hazards and risks and how you intend to control them. The controls and manual will dictate scheduled events (e.g., safety inspections, safety meetings, first aid certification etc.

Procedures are the actions taken as appropriate, inductions, incident reports, training, safety data sheets, safe work instruments, etc. It makes sense that procedures are embedded in your system and readily available and the training recorded.

Understanding the management requirements of a system, you can start building a picture of the requirements of your system. Phone apps are very sexy, useful in the field, and inherently secure, but they are not an ideal health and safety system management tool. Issuing phone apps to overcome worker malaise may not prove to be the panacea desired or make the workplace any safer. If the correct balance is struck it is possible to reap the benefits without getting mesmerised by the tool. Consider too how it will work for your workers. We encounter many sites where there is either no cell coverage, (particularly within sandwich panel buildings), or rules prevent phones inside the working environment.

The Cloud offers many opportunities; transparency, transportability and Cloud based document storage. There are lots of options out there. Check out the country of origin, (local support, boots on the ground, and working knowledge of NZ Law is hard to beat), onboarding cost, annual subscription fee, and user cost. North American systems can be quite expensive once they have their hooks in you and frustrating when you want to talk to a human.

Laying out your requirements may point you to Server or Cloud (web) based management information system (mis) only, mis + tablet and/or mis + phone app. Success will be judged by how carefully you consider these options, beyond the flashy sales pitches. Health and safety system management should be simple, don’t let anyone tell you it isn’t.

Craig Carlyle is director at Maintenance Transformations. His expertise lies in the practical application of maintenance and health and safety management systems in the workplace. He is also a life member of the Maintenance Engineering Society of NZ.

Kiwis can fly: Hamilton-built aircraft engineered to fight to save lives

A new multi-million dollar aircraft designed by Kiwi aeronautical engineers is set to help governments and humanitarian organisations save lives during natural disasters and fight the impact of climate change in some of the world’s most inaccessible regions.

The SuperPac XSTOL (Extremely Short Take-Off and Landing) aircraft, does not require a sealed runway and is capable of taking off in as little as 200m and landing on a wide variety of rugged terrains, including hillsides.

The new aircraft, which cost over $10m and took seven years to develop, is a next-generation, more powerful and fuel-efficient version of the global best-seller 750XL, the world’s first commercial XSTOL aircraft.

The ability of the aircraft to land in remote locations on only semi-prepared airstrips and rapidly take off with up to nine passengers or 2,000kg cargo has seen it sold into 28 countries, including Africa with the United Nations World Food Programme.

Closer to home, the aircraft also plays a vital role in the Pacific Islands where it is used in lifesaving medivac transports, humanitarian aid, disaster relief, border patrol and maritime surveillance.

Stephen Burrows, CEO of NZAero, the country’s only commercial aircraft maker, says the design adaption of the aircraft to New Zealand’s variable terrain and weather conditions has made it suitable for a wide range of applications to help mitigate the impact of climate change.

He says their engineers have developed a series of modular accessories for the utility aircraft that allows it to be rapidly converted within minutes to disperse fire retardant during wildfires or release rainmaking silver iodide particles above drought-stricken areas.

According to latest climate change data, wildfires are growing in intensity and spreading in range across Earth’s ecosystems, and changing weather patterns are also making droughts more frequent, severe, and pervasive.

Researchers also say that wildfires contribute 20% of carbon emissions and burn twice as much tree cover each year as they did two decades ago.

“We know that the effect of climate change is accelerating across the world and it is now more devastating to human health, economies and the environment than ever before.

“Increasingly the fight against its impact is being fought by nations around the world from the skies. In the case of wildfires, historically the focus has been on using larger aircraft to deliver payloads of fire retardant across a wider area.

“The difficulty has been that by the time a forest fire is identified and an aircraft outfitted and relocated, the fire is already well established.

“With the growing frequency of these events, governments are looking to a new paradigm and it is now possible to have smaller fleets of lower-cost SuperPacs strategically deployed in areas where forest fires are common.

“The smaller aircraft requires less training to fly and less time to refuel and take on more retardant. It can also climb to altitude significantly faster and requires a landing strip which is a fraction of the length of larger planes – but is still capable of dispersing a 2,500-litre payload across 12,330m2 of forest in 10 seconds.

“Under this model, wildfires can be brought under control while they are still relatively small,” he says.

Burrows says the aircraft is also designed to be used for other environmental applications including reducing the size of locust populations, and pollution control.

He says the aircraft can also be used to transport passengers and freight into otherwise inaccessible locations, as well as for geophysical surveying – allowing it to be used to detect minute variations in the earth’s magnetic field or measure concentrations of greenhouse gases in the troposphere.

“The predecessors to the SuperPac have formed a critical part of New Zealand’s agricultural sector for the past five decades, spreading fertiliser and pesticides.

“With climate change set to dramatically increase the intensity of locust swarms this technology is also playing a role in protecting crops in other nations around the world.

“The planes can now be equipped with Lidar, which scientists are using to map New Zealand in 3D to help with flood modelling, measuring post-climatic event land movements, as well as identifying the optimal location for forestry tracks, rail and our power industry. This equipment is also used by researchers in other nations to detect the remains of ancient civilisations. 

“For countries which are heavily impacted by drought, natural disaster or are geographically isolated such as Papua New Guinea or Indonesia, this utility aircraft can lift more than its own weight – bringing hundreds of kilograms of supplies to remote villages and leave with a cargo hold full of perishable produce – providing a critical economic lifeline.

“The humanitarian aid agencies we work with across the globe tell us our aircraft saves lives every day it is operating,” he says.

Burrows says the local production of the SuperPac is also set to be a multi-million dollar boost for New Zealand’s aviation sector exports – with each aircraft valued at over $5 million plus parts and accessories.

He says the aircraft are manufactured at the 5ha Waikato site which was first used by the RNZAF in 1942.

“New Zealand’s commercial aircraft manufacturing industry is relatively small by world standards but to date over 700 aircraft have been produced at our facility and the new model can trace its lineage back 70 years.

“There is significant global potential for versatile utility aircraft like the SuperPac 750XL-II and we expect to manufacture five of this model for our international customer base in 2024.

“This equates to $25 million in aircraft sales for the first year, however, this could increase to $60 million by 2026 if full capacity was realised. We have enquiries for firefighting for the purchase of up to 30 aircraft – which suggests there is significant interest from this market segment alone,” he says.

Burrows says the business has the potential to grow this number to 12 aircraft per year – along with the ongoing aftermarket support of spares and training.

He says to support this growth NZAero plans to increase their current staff numbers by 30% to 80 full-time employees by mid next year.

EMC Industrial Group Ltd

Ph: 09 410 5110 | Website | Email

United Products/New Zealand Bandsaws

Ph: 0800 252 337 | Website | Email

Equinox Automation

Ph: 0800 4 EQUINOX | Website | Email

TDX gets a lift, new dealer for Linde Material Handling in NZ

TDX – formerly TransDiesel – described as a leading supplier within the heavy equipment industry and distributor of world-leading brands such as Volvo and Yanmar, is the newly appointed New Zealand dealer for Linde Material Handling Equipment.

Linde’s extensive range of ‘forklift’ trucks, pallet and reach trucks, pallet stackers and order pickers, will now be sold, serviced, and rented in New Zealand by a new TDX business unit.

Linde Material Handling has built a legacy of excellence over the decades.  With over a century of global experience, they’ve established strong footholds in New Zealand over the past 40 years, providing some of the most powerful, innovative, and safest material handling equipment available.  At the forefront of their innovations stand their automated guided vehicles (AGVs) and commitment to emission-reducing technologies.

“We are delighted to partner with Linde.  We will be setting up a new company to give focus to this great opportunity and ensure we deliver the very best service possible for our new customers,” says TDX CEO, Colm Hamrogue.

The new company, which will begin operations mid-November, will employ dedicated specialists who will be responsible for the extensive range of Linde products.  This extends to supporting existing customers who have previously purchased their trucks in New Zealand who will be kept informed as TDX transitions to servicing Linde products over the coming months.

“Since we started talks with the Linde team, I have been impressed with the quality of the Linde product range, the passion they have for their products and above all the focus they have for their customers.  They, like us, are committed to delivering a great customer experience in New Zealand.  I believe we can achieve great things together and I am looking forward to getting out and about and supporting our Linde customers,” adds Hamrogue. Linde spokesperson, Ben Buddo, general manager for New Zealand at Linde Material Handling Australia adds, “This partnership is a huge step forward for Linde MH Australia. TDX is highly regarded as providing New Zealand customers with local know-how and a world-class customer experience.  We are excited to have them on board, supporting our Linde customers in New Zealand and to continue to grow the brand with their support.”


By Craig Carlyle, Maintenance Transformations

WorkSafe’s recent announcement of new chief executive Steve Haszard is taken as a signal for change in the health and safety inspectorate. The organisation has not fared well in 2023 with accusations of a loss of direction and regular disquiet over its approaches in the workplace.

The crown agency was created in 2013 after the 2010 Pike River tragedy exposed the failings of the then 18-year-old health and safety system. From early beginnings when the health and safety statistics were nightly news, the organisation has grown and morphed in its output and direction.

Given the immense size and resource cost of the public and private health and safety industry in New Zealand, from crown agencies, inspectorates, associations, academics, consultants, and management, one would expect that New Zealand would be a substantially safer place to work. The 2001 ACC’s accident weekly statistics were two people killed, 273 seriously injured and 642 injured, ‘at work’. Australia was twice as safe to work in and the UK was four times safer. To say we have substantially moved those goalposts given the billions of dollars of resource poured into health and safety would be a fallacy.

In short, we had a wakeup call after Pike River. What we did know was the way we managed health and safety was not working. After immense change, it is timely to ask the same questions. Are we having any substantial effect? Is our basic way of addressing health and safety working? Consider the WorkSafe focus on the PCBU compared with the Electrical Authority’s focus on the individual. Who has had the best effect? Prosecuting the PCBU for failing to anticipate dumb stuff is certainly not generating massive change. Maybe personal responsibility will.

There is positive change in industry, green shoots of change. Not earnest health and safety managers glowing about their latest re-invention of safe work instruments. I am talking about companies who have re-invented their approach, reversing the downwardly driven cover-your-ass approach in favour of an upwardly driven “what resources do you need from me to stay alive?” humility where the staff can take charge of their own destiny. A focus on peer driven safety starts with interviewing co-workers when investigating incidents, examining their role in the incident. WorkSafe might be well advised to take a step in this direction.

Who is to say if this approach will have a great effect, but the power of peer pressure will aways surmount rules and policemen. It certainly had a major impact on the road toll when the NZ Anti-Drink Driving campaign launched its ‘Ghost Chips’ campaign on TV. What we do need to acknowledge is the reality of our efforts on our workplace safety, what approached are not working and the courage to change our approach. That ball is firmly in WorkSafe’s court at present, and I look forward to Steve Haszards new direction with anticipation.

Craig Carlyle is director at Maintenance Transformations. His expertise lies in the practical application of maintenance and health and safety management systems in the workplace. He is also a life member of the Maintenance Engineering Society of NZ.


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