Case Study:

FEATURED COMPANY: UNITRONIX

Unitronix is an Australian owned company, 32 years old, based in the Hunter region at Cooranbong, just off the M1 freeway 45 minutes North of Sydney. Unitronix business is the supply and through life support of ruggedised computing solutions to customers in the Mining, Military and Medical areas.

Unitronix customers require equipment that is reliable and predictable in it’s operational life in the field. As such consideration needs to be given to the environmental conditions as Unitronixll as the technical capability and life cycle support of the equipment.

Unitronix customers can’t afford to buy cheap, as the cost of failure is much higher than any front-end procurement cost. It is in this area that Unitronix team’s with customers to correctly specify and define all aspects of the systems requirements so Unitronix can offer the best equipment and support for the job.

While the majority of Unitronix business is in selling component parts, (i.e. boards chassis and backplanes) Unitronix do work with customers to supply systems solutions when required and Unitronix have a number of R&D activities in house to develop rugged vehicle computing solutions for Mining, Law enforcement and Emergency services.

As special skill at Unitronix is EW and Radar, and Unitronix supply and support equipment in this area as Unitronixll as working on internally funded research in this field.


Problem:

Unitronix needed to identify  new opportunities, staff training, networking and improve company processesUnitronix needed to identify  new opportunities, staff training, networking and improve company processes


Solution:

The Defence Project provided the following:

  • Information on various Defence activities.
  • Identification of defence programs and networking with local companies.
  • Assisted with appropriate govt support.
  • Included company in various activities.
  • Provided latest information on Defence and industry news. Ensured that company was promoted in various publications.
  • Ensured that NSW Trade & Investment including Ken Gillespie and other govt support was provided. Ken Gillespie visited Unitronix in 2012 to provide support and advice on a defence project that Unitronix Unitronixre bidding. This was very helpful. Unfortunately the project Unitronix tendered on had half of its budget stripped away by the government so Unitronix Unitronixre not successful in this case but that was budget cuttings issue nothing to do with the support from the Defence Project Director  which was very helpful.
  • Tender, Other provided various opportunities from Defence and other organisation.
  • Company presented at various activities. Ensured that appropriate presenters provided appropriate information.
  • Supported Unitronix at various government and industry presentations, conferences and exhibitions.
  • Tender, trade show, estimation workshops Lean manufacturing.
  • With support of HunterNet staff providing assistance and information for various activities.

Result:

Unitronix has been attending the Hunter Defence Forums and is an active participant. We have attended a number of the training courses put on by Hunter Defence Project including Lean manufacturing, ITAR, and Trade shows. Unitronix have participated in both the Avalon Air show and the latest Land Forces conference and, with support from the HunterNet Defence Project, been on the NSW stand – both activities have been very successful.

Unitronix re-organised company, Unitronix introduced a new database and computing system based on apple mac computers and a program called “daylight”. The whole purpose of this was to re organise the company to do more with less people. Government cut backs on defence spending betUnitronixen 2008 and 2013 severely crippled our company. Projects were on hold and revenue streams dried up as spending was pulled back. Our customer in Perth, for which Unitronix had a support facility and support team, had all of their money taken away so Unitronix had to close the facility with the loss of 4 jobs in perth and 4 jobs in newcastle. The result was that Unitronix needed to look very carefully at how Unitronix could continue to provide the same level of support for our customers with 7 feUnitronixr people. The lean manufacturing course came along at the right time for us, it shoUnitronixd a way of looking at our problem and focusing on finding a solution

Achievements / results: Unitronix have fully implemented the new daylight system and now have a very robust and efficient system through which Unitronix run the company. Thankfully the market for embedded equipment has picked up and Unitronix are taking on more staff, the daylight system scales very Unitronixll and has given us a unified interface for all staff in the company to utilise. I have looked at how Unitronix used to do things and how Unitronix do things now and as a guestimate Unitronix are saving at least 2 menial job positions which allows us to spend the money on demo equipment and hopefully a new Engineer. As such and as a direct result of doing the lean manufacturing course Unitronix is leaner and fitter with more of a focus on actual value add and not paper pushing.

Through the Defence Project has provided:

  • Networking with other companies has been very useful.
  • No particular contracts have been won directly from the Defence Project but there have certainly been some good successes that Unitronix have been more successful on that Unitronix otherwise may have been before our new computing. system and swapping over our procedures to ISO 9001.
  • Knowledge gained specifically in areas such as ISO9001, bidding requirements, opportunity identification.
  • Skills gained in lean, ISO  and networking.
  • Capability improved efficiency through new computing system and bringing our procedures in line with ISO9001.
  • Employment changes have occurred due to restructure during 2012 with  a reduction of 4 people in Newcastle,  during 2013 reduction of 4 people in Perth and closed facility. Leaving 2 full time and two part time in Newcastle. During 2014, four full time positions in Newcastle Newcastle, 1 about to go full time and 3 part time along with 3 contractors are used more than twice per year.
  • Sales has improved over the last three years with a 2.2 million turn over  in FY 11/12,  1.8 million turn over FY 12/13 and now on track in FY13/14 with 3.8 Million turnover.

Unitronix are on track to look at a number of new opportunities that have not been able to get to before. The new computing system, the soon to be introduced ISO Engineering system that is being developed is giving Unitronix the opportunity to:

  • Work more closely with prime contractors who are our main customers,
  • Develop some in house IP and new products specifically to fill gaps in the market
  • Potentially team with overseas companies and we may even export a product to the USA.

Contact: Tim MarshallUnitronix Logo
Unit 9/37 Currans Road
Cooranbong NSW 2265
Australia
P:  4977 3511
M: 0438 274 350
E:  tmarshall@unitronix.com.au