Australia-based Quickstep Holdings recently gave an update on recent activity at the automotive division’s Waurn Ponds facilities.
The Prime Minister of Australia, Malcolm Turnbull, recently visited Quickstep’s Waurn Ponds facility in Victoria, to view the company’s new advanced composites manufacturing operations and to announce the Coalition Government’s commitment to a $20 million jobs and investment package for the Geelong region.
David Marino, CEO and managing director of Quickstep said: “We are delighted to welcome the Prime Minister to our Waurn Ponds facility which is now in production supporting automotive contracts for Ford, Thales and the Korea Institute of Science and Technology. We have also begun collaborative projects with several multinational companies using our patented Qure and resin spray transfer (RST) technologies. Our global R&D center is making great progress as we invest to raise Qure’s volume production rate."
Quickstep has completed the first set of composite parts for Thales Australia’s Hawkei light protected vehicle using RST. Quickstep is the exclusive supplier of Hawkei bonnet, side skirts and mud guards. The company will deliver 10 sets of parts - comprising more than 150 individual components - for testing by end of Sept. 2016. Thales Australia will supply 1,100 Hawkei military vehicles and 1,000 trailers for the Australian government.
Quickstep has now manufactured 325 carbon fiber air intake ducts for the Ford Falcon XR6 Sprint sportscar, and production is ongoing. The Falcon XR6 is the first mass-produced Ford passenger vehicle globally to have a carbon-fiber air intake duct factory-fitted.
Quickstep is engaged in development projects with several tier-1 industry suppliers including two leading vehicle manufacturers, a global aircraft manufacturer and a French naval shipbuilding company (DCNS). These projects are co-funded by Quickstep and its collaboration partners and expected to lead to niche production contracts.
Quickstep’s automotive division has been supported by a grant of $1.76 million through the Geelong Region Innovation and Investment Fund (GRIIF), an initiative funded by the Federal and Victorian governments and Ford Australia. Relocation of Quickstep’s R&D Center from Munich to Deakin University’s Waurn Ponds Campus in Geelong was supported by the state government of Victoria's investment promotion arm, Invest Victoria. Quickstep’s relationship with Deakin University spans many years and is supported by a long-term Strategic R&D and Education Agreement.
Quickstep’s R&D Center supports industrialization of the Qure process. The process is being improved to facilitate development of Rapid Qure, which will offer a fully automated, high volume manufacturing system for the automotive industry.
Business Development restructuring
Quickstep Holdings also announced that Philippe Odouard has vacated his role as general manager, strategy & business development (aerospace and defense). An announcement on his replacement will be made in due course.
Philippe joined Quickstep in October 2008 as CEO and managing director and has since held a number of roles with the company including as executive director and more recently as general manager, strategy & business development (aerospace and defense).