SAI Global has forecast a significant increase in Australian made components and machinery as a result of the federal government’s $1.5 billion Modern Manufacturing Strategy.

Grants have been made available to manufacturers to strengthen their local supply chain, handle mass production, upskill employees, scale up and improve competitiveness.

SAI Global’s quality management expert, Saeid Nikdel, said restrictions introduced around the world as a result of the pandemic have seriously disrupted supply chains and led to delays.

He said the slowing of production lines has led a flow-on effect to Australians wanting to access goods.

“The problem has highlighted our manufacturing sector’s deepest vulnerability: its dependence on overseas markets for the supply of machinery, tools, parts and product components,” Nikdel said.

“Most of the machinery that we bring into Australia comes from the US and Europe, while product components and parts mostly come from China.”

In the last 12 months, Nikdel said local manufacturers, assemblers and distributors have faced delays almost twice as long as those experienced in 2019.

“These delays have impacted their ability to produce local goods. Numerous manufacturers have also struggled to scale up operations to meet this increase in demand,” he said.

“It has been a wake-up call for our manufacturers, who now realise they must strengthen their supply chains. A number of our manufacturing clients have revealed to us they are now looking to produce their own product components in Australia.

“The growth and strengthening of Australia’s manufacturing sector is dependent on this happening and the Government investment is timely.”

Nearly nine in 10 Australians believe more essential products should be made locally and 82 per cent think infrastructure projects should use Australian made products wherever possible, even if its costs more.

A stronger manufacturing sector will not only improve product availability, it will increase quality.

“We have higher standards and product statutory and regulatory requirements than other countries, benefitting the end user with superior-quality products with safer design considerations,” Nikdel said.

 “As demand for Australian suppliers increases, our local manufacturers will also need to boost their workforce and facilities to scale-up their operations. Right now, the manufacturing sector has a shortage of skilled machinery operators.

“The Government’s direct funding of the sector will not only result in new manufacturing areas, but also an increase in skilled workers and manufacturing facilities.”

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