Digital thinking is the way forward for manufacturers


Caroline Tung speaks to aerospace components manufacturer Quickstep and the Innovative Manufacturing Cooperative Research Centre (IMCRC) to find out more about the importance of digitisation.

Aerospace components manufacturer Quickstep was founded in Perth in 2001 as a research and development (R&D) company by the Graham family. From 2001, through until 2009, the company has continuously developed its manufacturing processes.

One of those is the patented “Qure” process for carbon fibre composite parts, where the curing system (using pressurised heat transfer liquid to cure advanced composite components) has removed the need for high-pressure ovens. The Quickstep method means parts can be made in a much shorter time frame and at a lower cost.

From developing its own processes as a technology-based business, the now publicly-listed company has become a supplier to global defence customers. More than 95 per cent of its work is for export markets.

In 2018, Quickstep participated in one of the IMCRC’s industry workshops and used their business diagnostic tool, futuremap, to assess and identify Industry 4.0 innovations for the company.

Since using the tool and the futuremap report as guidance to grow the business, Quickstep executive general manager of engineering and technology, David Doral, has seen good returns.