Story So Far---Newspaper Managers Ironical and Touching Failure to Cooperate
The extra month of unexpected additional breathing space allowed before the promulgating of the final verdict of the Commerce Commission in the matter of the proposed merger of the two newspaper chains, NZME and Fairfax, will allow all interested parties more time to study the implications of the word deceive.
Deceive features in the Commerce Commission’s own glossary of words, the ones that fall into heavy use in its own jurisdictional bailiwick.
Indeed, as a helpful compendium this technique might well be used by other such official authorities.
The Commerce Commission defines it thus:-Deceive:-
To cause to believe what is false, to mislead as to a matter of fact, to lead into error; to delude, take in:
We may use this crisp definition to parse it in the case of the two supplicant chains requiring the approval of the Commerce Commission to bring about their desired amalgamation.
Therefore does the desired merger cause New Zealanders:-
To believe what is false? Not at face value – the chains are overwhelmingly in the print business which is shrinking rapidly. A diminishing marketplace requires diminished fixed costs which requires economy of scale such as might be achieved by merging.
To mislead as a matter of fact? The chains have been candid. They want to merge. They are not, for example, seeking to establish a cartel, fix prices. Both of which are difficult anyway in a severely over-supplied market and one with no bar to entry.
To lead into error? The Commerce Commission in its earlier draft verdict seemed to indicate that it had in fact defined an error. Namely that the erring is in the elimination of editorial diversity represented by having one proprietorship instead of two, leading to a contraction in the diversity of opinion.
To delude? Here we must answer this one with another question. Would the “reasonable” person, so beloved of, for example, by libel lawyers, be “deluded” more or less by one single amalgamated chain, instead of two? The increasingly widespread distrust of journalists, not to say, contempt, might indicate that the reasonable person today already sceptically applies two pinches of salt, instead of just the one.
To take in? See “To delude.” See also bundling (below)
We may now refer in this context to the Commission’s own underpinning objective also clearly and prominently displayed on its web site. The Commission’s purpose, it proclaims is:-
Achieving the best possible outcomes in competitive and regulated markets for the long-term benefit of New Zealanders.
It is the three words “long term benefit,” that carry the freight in the merger context.
Without the merger, can the two chains sustain their score or so of subscription daily newspapers?
A curious element of the journalistic makeup, and one which cross-infects their management is an inability to explain their own case whatever it is with any degree of concision at all.
Another and a trait which has been notably on display in this matter is an inability to see something from the point of view of the other person.
Therefore one cannot take for granted that the two chains have explained to the Commission that should they have to close their provincial dailies then they will also have to close scores of rural free sheets that distribute agribusiness information gleaned by their subscription stable mates
Now to the matter of bundling.
This is an information technology term which refers to a provider rolling out a product which can only be connected with and used with parts and other add-ons from that same supplier which are said to be “bundled” with the original product.
The Commission’s veto of the Vodafone – Sky marriage turned on the notion that Vodafone’s subscriptions would become part of a bundled subscription package that contained Sky also.
For Sky, think sports broadcast rights.
If anyone is still in doubt about the significance of sport in relation to what the Commerce Commission might postulate as being “for the long-term benefit of New Zealanders” then they might contemplate its priority treatment by, for example, the free-to-air television broadcasters.
Any moral backsliding by anyone with any profile at all in a moving ball sport moves into the narrow early bulletin time band still allowed for authentic news, as opposed to the pre-orchestrated, or contrived version of which leisure/sport is the mainstay.
Any such similar behaviour by a member of a once revered calling, let us say by a lawyer or a cleric, is interpreted as being of little surprise value and is thus shunted, if it appears at all, into the tail end of the news hour.
The Commission in its veto of the Vodafone – Sky marriage took this singular benefit into account, the one of access to real time sporting rites of passage, and decided that it should not be bundled into mobile telecommunication subscriptions.
Bundling, customer capture, is another word for leverage. Is there any leverage bundled seen or unseen into the NZME- Fairfax nuptials?
One area of such coercion could be levering Fairfax subscribers into NZMEs radio stations.
But the NZME stations are free to listen to anyway.
In the heyday of the Newspaper Proprietors Association, the 42 daily newspapers of that era happily worked together shuffling news and advertising back and forth to mutual advantage.
This happy state of affairs reached its zenith when Reuters, in which the newspaper proprietors held 12 percent of the global value went public and generated a windfall which saw the retirement of the last of the benign old newspaper families.
Since this triumphal hour the ensuing professional managers displayed a touchingly innocent absence of cooperation.
This culminated in their failure to join forces in the purchase of TradeMe and thus allowing it to be sold at an international value instead of a local one.
If there are two less conniving, two less cunning mercantile institutions in Oceania, then they should be revealed. Ideally, prior to the Commerce Commission’s final verdict on the NZME-Fairfax merger.
An upcoming review of banks’ capital requirements will continue to ensure confidence in the solvency of the New Zealand banking system, while encouraging efficiency, Reserve Bank Deputy Governor Grant Spencer said today.
During a speech to the New Zealand Bankers Association in Auckland, Mr Spencer outlined the context and scope of the review of bank capital that the Reserve Bank will undertake over the next year. Mr Spencer also set out broad principles that will guide the Review, centred on simplicity and conservatism.
Mr Spencer said in the wake of the global financial crisis, banks and regulators around the world have been reviewing capital buffers for banks to maintain to guard against the risk of losses. He said it is a very complex area which is full of trade-offs, and the Bank plans to comprehensively assess whether New Zealand’s capital framework remains fit for purpose.
“In broad terms, higher levels of capital will improve the soundness of the financial system as the likelihood of bank failures is reduced. However, the capital regime may reduce the efficiency of financial intermediation if ratios are pushed too high or standards are made overly complex. An appropriate capital regime will ensure a very high level of confidence in the solvency of the banking system, while avoiding unnecessary inefficiencies.”
Mr Spencer said the Reserve Bank will outline the broad areas of the capital framework that will be examined in the capital review in an issues paper released in April. The capital review will explore the definition of capital, how banks measure the risks they face (e.g.: risk weights) and the minimum capital ratios and buffers.
“The issues paper will provide the opportunity for stakeholders to give preliminary views on the areas we intend to cover in the review, as well as identify any other issues in the capital framework that could be examined. Any detailed policy positions and options for changes to the capital framework would be outlined in consultation papers later this year. We aim to conclude the review by the first quarter of 2018.”
The latest Alleasing Equipment Demand Index for New Zealand shows businesses expect to substantially grow their asset base this year - and they are increasingly likely to consider leasing as a funding option.
In a first for the quarterly Index, which launched in August 2015, more than half (51.2%) of the 250 businesses surveyed indicated they have plans to increase their asset base. For the first quarter of 2017, the average growth is expected to be 8.9%.
This is the first time the quarterly increase has exceeded 8%. Just 3% cent of businesses have plans to lower their asset base, by an average of only 3.4%.
This is also the first time the Index has included responses from executives in larger corporate businesses, which are defined as those turning over between NZ$100 million and NZ$250 million annually.
This was the most positive group of all surveyed for the Index, with over half (56.9%) indicating they want to add to their asset base in the first part of the year.
SMEs are also bullish about their plans to expand their asset base. A majority (55.2%) of businesses with an annual turnover of between NZ$5 million and NZ$20 million intend to bump up their asset base in the first quarter.Lower corporates (those with revenue of NZ$20 million to NZ$100 million) are the least positive, with 41.5% planning to boost their assets in the first quarter.
The survey shows that businesses lease a relatively small proportion (16% or NZ$128 billion) of their assets. Moreover, 14.3% of businesses say unproductive assets hamper their growth.
Alleasing says this indicates there is a substantial opportunity for New Zealand businesses to leverage their balance sheets to invest in new plant and equipment.
The survey indicated there is considerable appetite among businesses to change their capital structure, with 13.1% stating they would like to refinance their existing assets through new capital structures.
However, nearly 20% of the businesses surveyed said capital constraints were restricting growth. Both small and large businesses are affected by constrained access to capital, with more than one-fifth of both groups naming lack of capital as a concern, compared to just over 17% of mid-market businesses.
The highest anticipated demand for new assets came from the agricultural sector where nearly two-thirds (62.5%) of businesses aim to invest in assets. More than half (51.4%) of businesses in the manufacturing sector are also looking to buy assets.
Five Questions for Dr Don Brash..............................
Nobody today in so many different roles and for quite so long has stood at the centre of public life so enduringly as Don Brash. Economist, businessman, banker, politician, the former Governor of the Reserve Bank and leader of the National Party has defied typecasting. At one and the same time severe yet extravagant, austere yet colourful, scholarly yet populist, he has contrived always to reconfigure himself around the times. Now he has stridently intervened in institutionally-fuelled separatism. Shrouded in a protective veneer of high-minded fashionable purpose that makes ordinary people fearful to question it, Dr Brash vehemently, unequivocally declares the voguish syndrome as ultimately destined to tear the nation apart......
You are often considered to be at heart primarily concerned with matters economic and their corresponding data. Yet here you are now immersing yourself in what many might consider a socio-ethical issue?
Yes, most of my career has been about monetary policy, banking, and economic issues more generally. But my interest in economics has always been because of my interest in the well-being of society more generally. I have long felt, for example, that it will be difficult or impossible to maintain a broadly egalitarian society in New Zealand – the kind of society in which I was brought up – if average living standards fall too far below those in Australia because of the ease with which skilled New Zealanders can cross the Tasman for very much higher incomes in Sydney or Melbourne.
If we want the kind of healthcare which those in advanced developed countries take for granted, we have to have the living standards to support that healthcare. A few years ago, there was a big debate about whether Pharmac should subsidize the provision of Herceptin for the treatment of certain kinds of breast cancer, and it was noted that Australia did so. The fact of the matter was that at that time virtually all the countries which subsidized access to Herceptin had higher living standards than New Zealand did; those which did not provide a subsidy, had lower living standards – we were right on the cusp. For me, interest in economics has always been about the implications of economic policy for the well-being of society.
Hence, I was strongly opposed to inflation in part at least because of the totally capricious effects which inflation has on wealth distribution – those who save in fixed interest instruments being thoroughly gutted by inflation, while those who borrow heavily to invest in, say, property, make huge and totally untaxed gains with little or no effort. That has always seemed to me to be grossly unjust.
Will the Hobson’s Pledge Movement become a force in the pending general election?I certainly hope so. I find it very depressing that the National Party has moved such a long way from its roots in this policy area. In 2002, Bill English gave a lengthy and very thoughtful speech, demonstrating clearly that Maori chiefs had ceded sovereignty in signing the Treaty and arguing that the only way for a peaceful future for New Zealand was a “single standard of citizenship for all”.
In May 2003, he pledged that a future National Government would scrap separate Maori electorates, as the Royal Commission on the Electoral System had recommended in the late eighties if MMP were adopted. I made similar commitments when I was Leader of the National Party, as did John Key in the election campaign of 2008. And yet we’ve seen the National-led Government retreat a very long way from that position.
I applaud the fact that the current Government has accelerated the resolution of historical grievances, but utterly deplore the fact that too often resolution has involved not just financial redress but also “co-governance”.
We see the proposed amendment to the RMA requiring all local councils to invite their local tribes into so-called “iwi participation agreements”, involving co-governance on a grand scale. We saw the legislation establishing the Auckland super-city requiring an Independent Maori Statutory Board, with the Auckland Council giving members of that unelected Board voting rights on most Auckland Council committees.
We see the Government negotiating behind closed doors with the so-called Iwi Leaders Group to give tribes some form of special influence over the allocation of water, despite pretending to believe that “nobody owns water”. We see a proposal to make half the members of the Hauraki Gulf Forum tribal appointees.
The myth that the Treaty of Waitangi created some kind of “partnership” between Maori on the one hand (or more accurately, those who can claim at least one Maori ancestor, always now along with ancestors of other ethnicities) and the rest of us on the other is increasingly accepted as Holy Writ, subscribing to which is becoming essential for many positions in the public sector.
So I’m very much hoping that Hobson’s Pledge can help to substantially reverse this highly undemocratic drift after the next election.
You say that the National government is “pandering” to “separatist demands.” Which of these demands do you consider the most dangerous?
Where do I start? I’ve just listed some of the specific policies which are totally inconsistent with any reasonable definition of democracy. Most of those specific policies stem from the underlying myth that the Treaty established some kind of “partnership” between those with a Maori ancestor and those of us without, as I’ve just mentioned. But as David Lange said in the Bruce Jesson Memorial Lecture in 2000, “the Court of Appeal once, absurdly, described [the Treaty] as a partnership between races, but it obviously is not. The Treaty itself contains no principles which can usefully guide government or courts.... To go further than that is to acknowledge the existence of undemocratic forms of rights, entitlements, or sovereignty.”
All the specific examples I gave in answer to the previous question stem from the underlying nonsense that there are two (and only two!) distinct groups of New Zealanders, those with preferential constitutional rights and those without them. This is leading New Zealand to disaster with a whole generation of part-Maori believing that they really do have superior constitutional rights to the rest of us.
To what degree would you ascribe this separatist development agitation as being primarily a project of the political class from whatever background?
Certainly, I think what you call the “political class” is the main driver of this separatist agitation, together with arguably most of the educational establishment, where adherence to so-called “Treaty principles” seems to be an absolute prerequisite for appointment to any teaching or leadership position.
The same is true in the public healthcare sector. But there is plenty of evidence that large numbers of the “general public” do not support the separatist agenda but are literally cowed into silence on the issue.
I regularly get people sidle up to me in the street and, after looking furtively up and down the street lest they are recognized by friends or acquaintances, tell me that they strongly agree with me. One university professor did this recently, but swore me not to mention his name or university department. And some of these people are Maori.
Of course, Hobson’s Pledge has two official spokespeople, one of whom is me and the other is Casey Costello, a woman of Ngapuhi and Anglo-Irish ancestry. But two of our very strongest supporters (though not members of our council) are Maori – one a prominent member of the Ngapuhi tribe and the other Ngati Porou.
The latter was a member of our council when we first established Hobson’s Pledge but, because he is closely associated with a political party, withdrew lest his membership of Hobson’s Pledge raise a question about whether we are a front for the political party he is closely associated with.
He resents the separatist agenda because he believes strongly that it is patronizing, implying that Maori aren’t quite good enough to make it successfully without these constitutional preferences.
Bearing in mind your underpinning career in banking, economics and looking now at the broader picture: where is the country now in your view in terms of nuts and bolts things such as balance of payments and foreign debt?
Compared with some other countries, we are in a good spot, with the economy growing, unemployment fairly low and government debt modest relative to GDP. Our banking sector is in reasonable shape. Even the extent of the country’s (public and private sector) total net external indebtedness is somewhat better than it was a decade ago, though still high by developed country standards.
But there are significant problems just below the surface of that apparently rosy picture. Yes, the economy is growing, but that is largely because the number of people in the workforce is growing strongly because of a high level of net immigration: productivity, and thus per capita income, is growing very slowly indeed, and the Government’s initial objective of closing the income gap with Australia by 2025 is not only not going to be achieved, the gap hasn’t reduced materially over the last eight years.
The ratio of government debt to GDP is modest by the standards of many other developed countries, but the Key Government did absolutely nothing to prepare the population for the need to adjust, for example, the age of eligibility for New Zealand Superannuation if government debt is not to explode, relative to GDP, over the next few decades. (Mr English, to his credit, has refused to renew Mr Key’s pledge on this issue.)
And while the country’s net external indebtedness, relative to GDP, has improved somewhat in recent years, that external indebtedness remains at a high level, the consequence of New Zealand’s running a current account balance of payments deficit every year since 1974. Much of that deficit has been funded by banks borrowing on the international markets to fund the explosion of private sector housing debt, the result in turn of another serious policy failing, the failure to deal with the enormous increase in the price of housing (or more accurately, of residential land).
Risks around future Official Cash Rate movements are equally weighted, reflecting balanced risks around inflation, Reserve Bank Governor Graeme Wheeler said today in a speech.
Speaking to Craigs Investment Partners’ Investor Day in Auckland, Mr Wheeler noted that the Bank’s February Monetary Policy Statement included a neutral bias with an unchanged OCR track until late 2019.
Expanding on the main risks around the interest rate projections, Mr Wheeler said: “In effect, there is an equal probability that the next OCR adjustment could be up or down. We consider the balance of risks for the global outlook to be downside. For the domestic economy, there is some potential upside for output growth if migration and commodity prices turn out to be stronger than forecast, but the risks around inflation look balanced.
“This means that if the economy were to develop in line with the Bank’s economic projections, which are based on several assumptions, then the OCR would remain at its current level over the next two years.
“However, small open economies such as New Zealand are hit by multiple shocks and the Bank assesses whether these, or a combination of them, warrants a change in monetary policy.”
While the outlook for global growth has improved over the past six months due to rising commodity prices and stronger business and consumer sentiment, several major sources of uncertainty exist in Europe, China and the United States. The balance of risk in the global economy is on the downside.
“Many of the risks in these regions are well known, and already reflected in relative prices such as interest rates, exchange rates and commodity prices. The greatest source of uncertainty relates to the US Administration policies in respect to its ‘America first’ policy platform. Although a substantial US fiscal stimulus could be positive for growth in the global economy, the prospect of a marked increase in protectionism – coming at a time when global trade is growing slowly and trade disputes are increasing – would be expected to have sizeable impacts on the global economy.”
Domestically, there are several uncertainties around the economy, including the future path for commodity prices, the exchange rate, migration, the housing market, and household saving.
“The greatest source of uncertainty currently lies around the housing market and the possibility that imbalances in the housing market might deteriorate. Fortunately, house price inflation has moderated substantially in recent months, but it’s too early to say whether this moderation will continue.
“Another risk is that the exchange rate remains higher than projected in the MPS, suppressing tradables inflation and net exports. As we indicated in the MPS, whether monetary easing would be required to offset this would depend on the factors driving the exchange rate (e.g. weaker global growth, higher commodity prices) and how domestic capacity pressures were changing.
“Our assessment is that the risks around the OCR are equally weighted.”
Millennial business travellers will expect the convenience of on-demand travel services in their work lives, the head of Uber for Business has said.
Travis Bogard, global head of Uber Enterprise, said 80% of business travellers are now millennials, who are increasingly using ride haling apps including Uber instead of buying cars because of their price and efficiency.
“What we’ve already seen with the consumerisation of IT is that expectation of personal life translates into your expectation of work and your business experience,” he said.
Speaking at the Business Travel Show in London yesterday, Bogard said technology could also improve visibility, streamline expensing and improve safety.
Ground transport often makes up half of the line items on expense reports but accounts for only 8% of spend, “a disproportionate amount of time” for a small amount of money he said. “On average its about £46 of money and 20 minutes of time to process an expense report. And one in five of those expense reports gets pushed back... Companies need to think how to streamline that process for employees, they need a more streamlined expense reporting process.”
Mobile technologies, like the services Uber provides, can allow travel bills to be paid directly by a company or can send digital receipts directly to expenses systems. “We’ve all but removed that friction and exhaustive process of submitting expenses,” he said.
Mobile apps can also help improve compliance by integrating the travel policy into the booking experience, said Bogard. “At the time of requesting it, it tells [travellers], ‘If you’re going to try and request a black [luxury] car right now, you’re going to have to put it on your personal card, you can’t put it on the business one’. You can actually bring that policy to the point of making the decision, so you’re no longer dealing with this at the back office after the money’s spent.”
As well as improving visibility on spend, Bogard claimed the live data Uber provided could improve security by providing employers with detailed information, such as where their employees are and who is driving them, as opposed to what he called “static” data, such as flight details or hotel bookings.
On the future of driverless cars, however, Bogard said the technology would “take longer than most people believe or talk about today”. “I think the reality is we’re talking a way away from that world of transition, and I think what we want to do with that time period is think about how we’re going to make a graceful transition.”
In the short term, he sees the demand for more drivers and vehicles “well outpacing beyond what self driving will actually be able to deliver”.
| A SupplyManagement release | February 27, 2017 ||
Minister of Primary Industries Nathan Guy has witnessed an agreement in Tehran enabling the resumption of sheep and beef exports to Iran, and witnessed Zespri signalling its willingness to explore the development of the kiwifruit market.
“This is a crucial step for New Zealand meat companies as they look to re-enter the Iranian market," says Mr Guy.
The conclusion of a Meat Arrangement between the Iranian Veterinary Organisation (IVO) and the New Zealand Ministry for Primary Industries provides the conditions for chilled and frozen sheep and beef exports to resume with Iran, the second largest economy in the Middle East and North Africa region.
The agreement was witnessed with Iranian Minister of Agriculture Mahmoud Hojjati during their meeting in Tehran yesterday. The Ministers also discussed an action plan for agricultural cooperation in the year ahead.
Ministers Guy and Hojjati also witnessed the signing of a Statement of Intent between Zespri and Iran’s Ministry of Agriculture acknowledging the potential of the Iranian market as a large fruit consuming and growing country.
"Current import conditions mean that New Zealand is unable to export kiwifruit to Iran. However the letter of intent outlines undertakings to further explore commercial opportunities in Iran."
Iran has well established kiwifruit orchards and supply chains, and operates in a counter seasonal supply window to New Zealand.
"This visit is an important opportunity to strengthen our agricultural relationship, following the signing of an Agricultural Cooperation Arrangement last year.
“Iran has traditionally been an important market for New Zealand agricultural exporters, particularly dairy, and this visit has identified areas in which we can diversify these commercial ties and further technical cooperation."
In a first for a New Zealand university, Victoria University of Wellington’s Faculty of Law is now offering accredited courses under the new trans-Tasman patent attorney registration scheme.
Commencing on 24 February 2017, the new scheme merges the New Zealand and Australian regulatory regimes for patent attorneys, allowing them to practice in both jurisdictions.
Completing a series of courses accredited by the Professional Standards Board (PSB), such as those offered by Victoria University, is compulsory to qualify under the new scheme.
Professor Susy Frankel, an expert in intellectual property law, says that providing world-class postgraduate training in support of New Zealand’s legal profession is a priority for Victoria’s Faculty of Law.
“Victoria’s courses enable those wishing to become registered patent attorneys to do so at a New Zealand university.
“The robust provision of specialist advice regarding intellectual property can help support and drive innovation. Patent attorneys play an important role in ensuring businesses know how to protect their IP assets, making it worthwhile to invest in areas such as research and development, and helping enable consumer trust.”
The accredited courses offered in 2017, which can be taken alone or as part of a Master of Laws degree, are:
LAWS 551 New Zealand & Australian Intellectual Property LawSatisfies Topic Group A2 of the accreditation requirements for trans-Tasman Patent Attorneys.INTENSIVE: 18 and 25 March, 9.30am –4.30pm, Wellington
LAWS 536 Trade Mark Law & Unfair CompetitionSatisfies Topic Group C of the accreditation requirements for trans-Tasman Patent Attorneys.INTENSIVE: 4, 5, 8 and 9 May, 9.30am – 4.30pm, Wellington
LAWS 537 Patent LawThis course is currently in the process of obtaining accreditation.BLOCK: 19 and 20 July and 2, 3, 9, 10, 23 and 24 Aug, 4.40 – 7.30pm, Wellington and Auckland
The trans-Tasman patent attorney regime, a system for joint regulation of patent attorneys in Australia and New Zealand, is now in effect, helping to create a seamless trans-Tasman business environment.
Reforms as part of the Single Economic Market agenda, agreed to by the Prime Ministers of Australia and New Zealand in 2009, have created a single body to regulate patent attorneys in both countries.
The trans-Tasman patent attorney regime is designed to increase business confidence in the service provided by patent attorneys, to streamline processes, to minimise the cost of regulating patent attorneys in both countries, and to facilitate competition in the market for patent attorney services.
Patent attorneys in Australia and New Zealand will be on a single register. New attorneys will be registered under a single set of requirements, and will be subject to a single code of conduct and single disciplinary process.
Existing Australian and New Zealand attorneys will be automatically transferred to the new joint register.
The Professional Standards Board will continue, but will be renamed the trans-Tasman IP Attorneys Board, with an expanded membership.
Senator Arthur Sinodinos, the Australian Minister for Industry, Innovation and Science, said the new regime was a logical and sensible step.
“The majority of Australian and New Zealand patent attorneys are already registered in both countries,” Senator Sinodinos said.
“Removing barriers for patent attorneys and encouraging competition are key elements that will help drive productivity, innovation and industry growth for both countries.”
The New Zealand Minister of Commerce and Consumer Affairs Jacqui Dean said the two countries had a close relationship.
“New Zealand and Australia have a longstanding and close relationship, but this is the first time a profession will be truly regulated, in a unified way on a trans-Tasman basis”, Ms Dean said.
The necessary legislation implementing the trans-Tasman patent attorney regime will take effect in both countries on 24 February 2017.
Cadpro's Matthew Weake spends a fair bit of time on the factory floor so this gives him a pretty good idea of how smoothly or otherwise an operation is running.
Here are a couple of examples of what he has come away with from recent visits:
Hi MaxIn the past few weeks 2 company visits really stood out for me – Metro Glass and Sistema. Metro process raw glass sheets into finished panels with laminating, printing, double glazing units, tempering etc. They use a range of automation equipment from robots to waterjet cutters. What really impressed me was the way they have worked out to track complex jobs through production in a timely manner.Sistema has been in the new of late with the change in ownership and they deserve the credit they have been given. It appears that they use as much local expertise as they can before heading off-shore in their automation processes and suppliers.I’m always interested in the design side of things but invariably the conversations lead to data management and workflows through factories.
It is really refreshing to see local companies doing significant manufacturing here and doing it well with a focus on continuous business improvement.
Cheers for now
Matthew Weake BE(Mech)(Hons)Mechanical & Manufacturing Sales