HERA’s AGM was held this week and celebrated the achievements of our mahi across FY23.
Attended by several HERA members, we overviewed FY23 which was a successful year for us and our ability to support heavy engineering research.
During this time, HERA solidified its long-term investment to create the Fab4.0Lab and build capability in this area, by successfully gaining $10.3million Endeavour funding for a four year program of work in construction 4.0. This large, collaborative research program (involving eight universities and more than 18 PhDs/Masters) will position HERA as an international leader in construction 4.0 and is the largest research program of its kind in Aotearoa New Zealand.
This will expand our research capabilities in circular design, Monitoring 4.0, sustainability, Mātauranga Māori interfaces, and also includes technology transfer of this capability into the sector.
In last year’s annual report, we noted we would start to build capability in structural fire research and review the impact of that. We have received strong membership support for development of this capability and have now made this a permanent role within HERA.
In FY2023, we focused on Design Guidance, noting that this was one of the key areas that members wanted us to focus on. Our team also delved into our big focuses on applications of Industry 4.0 to construction and fabrication, sustainability, and structural design support.
The governance of HERA is made possible by a unique blend of industry leaders who ensure we always act in the best interest of the heavy engineering and steel industry of Aotearoa. Our team would like to thank our Board for their continued support and contributions to our mahi.
The Board farewelled Matthew Kidson, who moves out of the honorary role of Previous Past Chair. Matthews’ significant contributions to HERA over his years on the Board, and his leadership in the role of Chair were acknowledged. Moving into the role of Previous Past Chair was Dave Anderson. Dave’s achievements in the role of Chair were overviewed, which include creation of the Fab4.0Lab, expansion of HERA’s research capabilities and reinvigoration of the HERA Innovation Centre project.
The board members elected in the 2023 election were presented:
Ordinary or Associate representatives (HERA rule category 9.1.5):
Brendan Smith (Steel & Tube) and Yvonne Chan Cashmore (AUT).
Heavy Fabrication representatives (HERA rule category 9.1.6):
Malcolm Hammond (MJH Engineering), David Moore (Grayson Engineering), and Wayne Carson (D&H Steel).
To view our current board, click here.
Reflecting on our expanding technical capability
Marking five years at HERA, our CEO reflected on the technical successes HERA has had during this time:
- Staff numbers grown by 4 FTE;
- creation of Fab4.0Lab (includes a cobot, laser scanners, VR, and welding 4.0 power sources, 4.0 data loggers, a welding cobot integration kit, mixed reality technology HoloLens, 3D scanner for quality control, and 3D printer) delivery of a productivity program and Industry 4.0 assessments;
- focus on seismic program to resolve uncertainties around weld details used in joints critical to seismic connections, tolerances and other fabrication details;
- development of a welding capability review program for SMEs and SFC CC2 assistance;
- focus and development of circular design and Constructability 4.0 capability;
- Fabrication 4.0 program created to implement the roadmap, including an Industry 4.0 cluster, Industry 4.0 (SIRI) assessments, university lectures, Fab4.0Lab demonstrations, research to develop fabrication monitoring systems for certification activities, development of MQTT sensor network, and development of digital technologies for HERA’s training and examination activities;
- performance of coasting weathering steels research; new training includes Site Erection (a collaboration with SCNZ), Elevated Work Platforms, Welding Engineering for Forestry Industry Contractors, and training course for Transport Engineers (with Engineers NZ); and
- the successful securing of the Sovereign Manufacturing Automation for Composites (SoMAC) grant.
- Staff numbers grown by 2FTE;
- focus on reinvigorating design support, including expanding our design software portfolio and design guides;
- development of our sustainability program, including material passport, steel corrosivity map, development of numerical indentation simulation, and plans to expand into LCA research and develop design guidance;
- creation of our structural fire program, including updating the slab panel method, development of advanced structural fire performance-based design procedures, advanced updated design to design steel car parks under severe fires, and training in composite design under severe fire;
- the development of our Design 4.0 and Monitoring 4.0 capability and research program;
- the successful securing of Endeavour funding for seismic finite element analysis (FEA);
- development of composite software for composite beams and slabs to AS/NZS 2327 and addition of web openings;
- development of corroded structures assessment technical solutions; and
- re-invigoration of the HERA Bridge Group.
All in all, the AGM was a success with the exciting introduction of new projects, initiatives, and celebration of this past year’s success.
We are passionate about furthering the heavy engineering field here in Aotearoa and becoming pioneer innovators. Our goals for the forthcoming year align with: