Automotive know-how building medical devices

Built in Adelaide, Australia

Automotive manufacturing has developed a culture which delivers precision products, efficiently and cost-effectively, with a strikingly low defect rate and high traceability. Six Sigma, kaizen and lean manufacturing have helped deliver this for car companies and now manufacturers in Adelaide are using techniques like these to build ground-breaking medical devices.

Adelaide has built and exported Chevrolets to the US.

Adelaide’s automotive experience includes GM and Mitsubishi car manufacturing. Defence experience includes ship and submarine building, as well as vehicle and aerospace manufacturing.

This background provides highly-skilled workers, contract manufacturers and a solid supply chain able to deliver what medical device manufacturers need:

  • Nanomaterials and composites.
  • Precision mechanics, optoelectronics and sensors.
  • Firmware, artificial intelligence and data analytics.

Micro-X is building a mobile medical x-ray machine in Adelaide based on carbon-nanotube technology. The impressively small x-ray cart will be used in hospitals around the world.

The company has employed highly-skilled former GM Holden Adelaide workers and is sourcing components from the city’s supply chain of automotive and defence manufacturers, an increasing number of which have ISO 13485 certification for medical device manufacturing.

Micro-X’s Adelaide suppliers include Entech Electronics building the entire electronics assembly, Axiom Precision Manufacturing producing injection moulds for scores of plastic parts, and Mincham Aviation handcrafting carbon fibre components for the lightweight arm of the mobile x-ray cart.

Tonsley Innovation District

Micro-X is one of the growing number of medical device companies choosing Tonsley for manufacturing including Somark Innovations. The district is a 61-hectare hi-tech manufacturing hub delivering a collaborative environment for startups, SMEs and global companies. Land is available for lease or purchase, including:

  • Manufacturing allotments from 1,000 to 10,000 square metres.
  • Flexible modular pods from 30 to 2,000 square metres.

Tonsley is close to Adelaide’s CBD and international airport. Major teaching hospital Flinders Medical Centre, an experienced location for medical device clinical trials, is just 2km away.

Also located at Tonsley is Flinders University’s Medical Device Research Institute. One of Australia’s leaders in the field, it creates strong links between researchers and industry.

A great place to do business

Adelaide has been rated as the most cost-competitive city for doing business in Asia-Pacific by KPMG on its Competitive Alternatives 2016 index. South Australia’s labour costs are below the Australian average.

As an ideal base for Asia-Pacific operations, Adelaide offers companies the ability to manage sales, marketing and distribution, in a convenient time zone, in a country with a regulatory framework and business culture similar to other developed Western countries. Australia also offers free trade agreements with Japan, Singapore, Malaysia, Korea, Thailand, Indonesia, and China.

The life sciences sector is strongly supported by government, including:

Adelaide is the ideal city for life sciences companies, no matter what your business needs are.

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Health Industries South Australia is the South Australian Government agency helping life sciences companies expand in Adelaide.