Digital Transformation for Sunshine Coast Manufacturing Leader

16 November, 2021

Sunshine Coast manufacturing leader HeliMods is creating new local jobs of the future in our region through increased efficiency and competitiveness by fully digitising its product design and manufacturing process thanks to a Federal Government co-investment grant of $350,000. The grant is supporting the company’s implementation of “Closed Loop Manufacturing” using Siemens’ cutting-edge Manufacturing Execution System (MES) software.

Federal Member for Fisher Andrew Wallace said that this transformative digital upgrade was supported by funding through the Coalition Government’s Advanced Manufacturing Growth Centre (AMGC).

“To create the vibrant and successful Sunshine Coast we all want to see as we build our recovery from COVID-19, I believe we need to diversify our local economy. I know that advanced manufacturing leaders like HeliMods share that vision for our region and I’m certain that they will be at the forefront of creating the jobs of the future we need. I am delighted to see the Federal Government stepping up to help make the Sunshine Coast the high-tech manufacturing hub we know it can be.” Mr Wallace said.

The Advanced Manufacturing Growth Centre (AMGC) was established in 2015 as a key plank of the Australian Government’s Industry Growth Centre Initiative. Its goal is to drive innovation, productivity and competitiveness across Australia’s manufacturing industry. AMGC is an industry-led, not-for-profit organisation and is run by a board and management team of industry experts.

“Thanks to this project, HeliMods is now the only Australian business with Defence Production Approval that is using such a Closed Loop Manufacturing system, offering Australia a unique new sovereign defence industry capability based right here on the Coast. HeliMods, with the support of the Federal Government, Siemens and AMGC is leading the way not only in growing our local economy, but in delivering the cutting-edge tools our serving men and women need.” Mr Wallace said.

The Siemens MES solution will allow HeliMods to develop and manufacture innovative, complex and high value products more quickly and efficiently using a single digital solution across the entire process. This will help HeliMods to become even stronger and more competitive in the global marketplace, opening new, high-value export opportunities with larger customers in key European and North American markets.

HeliMods Founder and Managing Director Will Shrapnel said “With these digital tools we can take our innovations to the world. As we grow in strength and market scope, it is critical to leverage the hi-tech manufacturing technology that enables highly streamlined work, freeing up our talent to focus more on product innovation.”

“The implementation of the MES framework is a highly significant step which continues to build our digital thread. The implementation will give our customers a great view of rich data and achieve high quality, high speed, and high agility production. Innovation has been the mainstay of our growth and it’s great to see us set the digital manufacturing benchmark for aerospace in Australia.” Mr Shrapnel said.

The new system will enable HeliMods to connect to physical manufacturing infrastructure anywhere in the world and increases transparency and oversight for high security industries including defence.

Siemens Australia’s Chairman and CEO Jeff Connolly congratulated HeliMods on their growth to date and recent implementation saying “HeliMods is a great example of Australian ingenuity and innovation that has flourished using digital technologies. What we see time and again is that those companies investing in digitisation and automation to create technology with purpose can compete with anyone in the world. HeliMods have continued to innovate not just what they produce but how they produce it. This means increased speed, flexibility, efficiency and better outcomes for the world.”

“With the support of Federal Government programs such as the Advanced Manufacturing Growth Centre, these companies can get a leg up, grow faster and bring their great innovations to life.” Mr Connolly said.

In addition to $350,000 from the AMGC, this project is supported by a $428,543 contribution from HeliMods and a $30,000 in-kind contribution.

Mr Wallace said “The Morrison Government is committed to making Australia a high quality, sustainable manufacturing nation through our $1.5 billion Modern Manufacturing Strategy. Locally, that means supporting Sunshine Coast experts like HeliMods to collaborate with and compete alongside some of the world’s biggest companies with projects like this and I am excited to see what’s next for Will and his team.”

For more information visit Closed Loop Manufacturing - ADVANCED MANUFACTURING GROWTH CENTRE (

Image: Andrew Wallace MP and Will Shrapnel at Helimods.