ARCHER Highly Commended at The Hunter Manufacturing Awards


The Hunter region of New South Wales is a very dynamic and diverse manufacturing hub with a large number of mature companies which have been supporting local and national industry for decades. So, when Archer was recognised by the judges of the 2014 Hunter Manufacturing Awards with a “highly commended” (runner-up) it demonstrated that we are definitely a leader in this field. The recognition was in the Technology category and related to a complex project we completed which is benefiting thousands of people in the Hunter region. The project was the world-first GRANEX® High Efficiency Regenerative Supercritical Cycle turbine pioneered by Granite Power. This high speed turbine (it spins at more than 70,000 RPM) is operating at Wallsend in Newcastle and is producing zero emission energy for the electricity grid. Australia is not renowned for developing energy turbines but Granite Power preferred to rely on local expertise and after the project was completed they announced that it was more cost effective for them to have done it this way than to go overseas. This was a great demonstration of the fact that Australia is still a world leader in high-end niche engineering and manufacturing. At our Archer Manufacturing Centre of Excellence we helped with the 3D CAD design of the turbine and machined its components from stainless steel and titanium grades 2 and 5. The parts featured complex curves and radiuses as well as fine tolerances. It took 100 kilograms of raw material to make the turbine housing. Other parts included impeller blades and outer rings. The Hunter Manufacturing Awards commendation recognised how we went the extra mile and machined a second batch of parts millimetre-different to simulate the expansion of the parts under operating temperatures. This enabled us to simulate potential clashes between the moving parts and the housing.