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Brain Industries: 2021 Hunter Manufacturer of the Year


Who is the 2021 Hunter Manufacturer of the Year? Brain Industries!

We took out the Manufacturer of the Year (< 50 employees) Award at the Hunter Manufacturing Awards (HMA) on October 15.

Managing director Gillian Summers said the award is a tribute to Brain’s genius, highly skilled team.

Expanding and diversifying industrial equipment solutions

Despite COVID-19, Gillian said Brain Industries had expanded and diversified its range of industrial equipment to help businesses to pump the impossible, transfer materials, clean up and improve safety.

A new custom polyurethane division has increased turnover for polyurethane products tenfold. This includes FRAS polyurethane products for the underground mining and tunneling sectors.

“We’ve ramped up our equipment hire, maintenance, repair, and certification services,” Gillian said.

“Approximately 20% of our business is now refurbishing pulleys and pumps. Refurbished products extend asset life, particularly in infrastructure and mining.”

Product expansion is also about diversifying the industry sectors Brain serves. It is acquiring a custom boat builder to relocate to its Hunter engineering facility to commence ship and boat building, repair and maintenance from early 2022.

Exporting more pumps

Gillian said international demand for Brain products continues to grow. A new, exclusive, supplier agreement with Strata Worldwide USA is taking its pumps into the USA, Canada and South American markets.

“Exports of pneumatic pumps now constitute 25% of sales; up from 20% last year. As well as the Americas, our pumps are used in Africa, New Zealand, Asia and Europe.”

New in-house equipment for better quality and faster turnaround times

She said Brain had invested $1.5 million in new equipment and systems to work smarter.

“Brain’s new CNC lathe & mill & sub-arc welding technology delivers automated and more precise machining of pulleys and polyurethane moulds.”

“Computer auto-rotation and trained specialist full-penetration welders enhances the precision-build of our 5-metre-long stone-dusting pressure-vessels and 2 metre long conveyor pulleys.”

“Our stress-relieving oven and blast & paint equipment brings in-house capability in pulley and pressure vessel manufacture.”

“Having in in-house equipment improves quality control and turnaround times and is better for the environment.”

“With less transporting to distant sub-contractors, we’re reducing costs and our carbon footprint.”

What the HMA judges said about Brain Industries

The HMA judges said “This Australian business demonstrates a resilient and flexible approach to compete and succeed on the world stage. Their submission reflected a well thought out business strategy supported by capital investment and key partnerships.”

“With a strong and growing percentage of revenue coming from sales overseas, courageous investment in innovation, quality and value-adding partnerships driven by a leadership culture that values and recognises the input of workers, Brain Industries show how bright the future of manufacturing in the Hunter can be.”

About the Hunter Manufacturing Awards (HMA)

Brain Industries' trophy for winning the 2021 Hunter Manufacturer of the Year Award Gillian said the Hunter has a proud manufacturing history and COVID-19 has shone a spotlight on the importance of local manufacturing.

She thanked HMA and sponsors for promoting the region’s manufacturing capability, and for making the awards possible.

“HMA, and the awards, help local manufacturers to celebrate and showcase excellence.”

The Hunter Manufacturing Awards seek to inspire vibrant and enduring manufacturing in the Hunter. Brain was highly commended in the Manufacturer of the Year category at HMA 2020. 25 finalists competed across 13 categories in this year’s awards.

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