Baxter Laboratories in Boronia has received a $300,000 grant from the Victorian Government as part of the Local Industry Fund for Transition program (LIFT), which is designed to create jobs for retrenched automotive workers.
The grant will see the skincare, pharmaceutical and sunscreen manufacturer employ six skilled workers as part of its $1.8M next-generation project that will utilise the latest collaborative robotics.
The project is already well underway and will see a new manufacturing process installed to automate Baxter’s capping of pump bottles and palletisation, both of which will provide an increase in capacity to help the company meet sales demands.
The new processes will assist in growing annual production capacity from 18 million units to about 40 million units by 2020.
Director Brent Baxter said he anticipates reasonable growth thanks to its expansion into Asia where ‘Made in Australia’ is highly regarded thanks to our strict quality controls.
“We have established a sales office in Hong Kong, which is helping to drive sales, but still the majority of our business is within Australia.”
As part of the LIFT program, Baxter Laboratories will be seeking more skilled workers such as those from the automotive industry who are familiar with next generation collaborative robotics.
“We can’t just keep growing in the traditional way,” said Brent. “We need to introduce robotics and automation, which offers greater flexibility and will keep us competitive.”
“While we are proud to be creating six new jobs and I’m sure there will be others on top of this, but are also pleased there’ll be a considerable knock-on effect for other businesses in the area such as Andrew Donald Design in Bayswater, which is working on the machinery to be installed.”
As part of its new capping and palletisation processes, Baxter will be contributing approximately $1.5 million to the project.
This new-generation project will also improve the health and safety of employees and productivity will increase with a saving of 14 cents per unit thanks to the automation processes.