MEActive -March 2017

11 April 2017

MEActive - March 2017

Welcome to the New Zealand Manufacturers and Exporters Association's monthly e-news, giving a series of updates on what we have been working on to make things better for manufacturers and exporters.

    • CEO Comment
    • MEAlerts - Call for submissions and information you need to know.
    • NZMEA Events
    • Media Coverage - Where we have been reported over the past month.
    • Media Releases - Circulated to all media by the NZMEA.
    • NZ Manufacturer Magazine
    • Figure New Zealand Graph

CEO COMMENT:  Twelve New Zealand Manufacturers to Embark on an Industry 4.0 Study Tour to Germany.

Improving productivity on the factory floor and keeping on top of technology developments is a core part of staying competitive for manufacturers. The increasing use of digital technologies will only strengthen the need for relentless innovation in the future.  This remains true whether your business is an early adopter of new technology, or you simply need to know what your international competitors are doing to find your own ways to stay competitive.

This is why at the NZMEA, over the last year we have focused on giving our members a better picture of the developments in Industry 4.0, otherwise known as the Industrial Internet of Things or Networked Manufacturing – essentially the increasing use of digital connectivity in manufacturing processes and product and service design. These technologies come with the promise of big increases in productivity, especially for small manufacturers – all the more important given the sluggish growth in productivity we have seen over the past 20 years or so. 

Together with Callaghan Innovation, we have held a number of workshops, such as a recent factory tour of Fisher & Paykel Production Machinery Ltd and even brought a German expert in the field, Dr Frank Wagner, to New Zealand to share his knowledge on where the technology is going and where the opportunities for New Zealand manufacturers might lie. 

Members can view the full presentation from Dr Wagner on Industry 4.0, as well as my presentation on impressions from a previous visit to factories in Germany here.

As part of this ongoing effort, the NZMEA and Callaghan Innovation, have jointly organised a study tour to Germany for a delegation of New Zealand manufacturers to visit the Hanover Fair, focusing on Industry 4.0 workshops, and to visit a number of companies that are leading developers and adopters of this technology.   Germany owes a lot of its prosperity to its strong manufacturing sector, and both government and industry have recognised the potential of these new technologies and are acting accordingly, with both sides investing heavily to retain their country’s leading position in manufacturing.

Apart from spending three days at the Hanover Fair, the trip will include factory visits to dedicated Industry 4.0 showcase manufacturing plants set up by Beckhoff, FESTO, SEW Eurodrive and Trumpf, and visits to applied research facilities at the Fraunhofer Institute as well as a technical institute specialising in helping SMEs pick up these technologies.  The latter is of particular interest to our delegation – even in Germany early experience shows that getting SMEs to exploit the opportunities offered by Industry 4.0 isn’t a straightforward exercise.

This trip will give those who attend a unique opportunity to see what’s happening at the leading edge of Industry 4.0 development. It will also equip the participants with valuable impressions, insights and experiences to share with our wider membership upon their return. We see it as a core responsibility of the NZMEA to help our members remain globally competitive, among other things by adopting new technologies to raise productivity and offer their customers smarter products and services.  Keep an eye out for information and more workshops covering Industry 4.0 later this year.



Inaugural Manufacturing and Design Conference, 10-11 May 2017
A National Conference for Innovation in Manufacturing and Design. Held in Auckland, this is an exciting opportunity to consolidate, connect and collaborate with the New Zealand Manufacturing and Design (MaD) network at the inaugural manufacturing and design conference. You are invited to become an active member of this cross-disciplinary research network, focussed on New Zealand’s manufacturing economy of the future. Click here for more information.

SouthMACH, 24-25 May 2017
SouthMACH is the South Island’s premier technology trade show celebrating the heartland of NZ Manufacturing.  This biennial event in Christchurch gives you the opportunity to come face-to-face with the experts behind the key innovations entering the New Zealand market.  NZMEA will be holding a workshop and have a stand at the event showcasing our organisation and some of our member's successes.  Contact us if you would like to be a part of our stand.

The events page on our website has more information on upcoming events. Click here to view our upcoming events or see below.

Leaders' Network - Christchurch
Monday 20 March - NZMEA Leaders' Network - Christchurch.  Our Guest Speaker for March is Andrew Little, Leader of the Labour Party.  Click here for more information or to register.

Leader's Network events are a great opportunity to meet and network with your manufacturing peers over refreshments.

Process Timing Workshop - Two Day Programme - Christchurch
Wednesday 26 - Thusday 27 April
This workshop teaches participants how long a task or process should take, how to measure processes, adjust the time using the trained rating and apply allowances for factor that are not usually captured in the timing cycle.  Click here for more information.

Lean Foundation Series - Leadership and Application Modules - Christchurch
Tuesday 4 April - The Lean Foundation Series begins with the Introductory Module on 4 April.  Participants can elect to complete the full course or individual modules in the Leadership or Application options.  Click here for more information or to register. 

Where the NZMEA have been reported over the past month.

Date Media Organisation Title
3 February NZMEA survey shows Dec sales increase. Internet
3 February Ending on a High Note. Internet
3 February NZMEA survey shows Dec sales increase. Internet
3 February Ending on a High Note – NZMEA Survey. Internet
8 February Exchange Rate Needs Attention – NZMEA. Internet
8 February Exchange Rate Needs Attention – NZMEA. Internet
8 February Exchange Rate Needs Attention. Internet
8 February NZ Manufacturer Exchange Rate Needs Attention. Internet
14 February NZ Manufacturer Onwards and upwards in 2017! Magazine
14 February NZ Manufacturer Ending on a High Note. Magazine
16 February Christchurch businesses count cost of fires. Internet
16 February Here’s where manufacturing jobs have been lost. Internet
23 February NZ Herald Cadbury’s bitter aftertaste. Internet
23 February Otago Daily Times The bitter aftertaste to Cadbury’s closing. Newspaper
24 February NZ Herald Is the Dunedin factory closure a sign of wider woes?  Newspaper

Media releases submitted by the NZMEA during December.  Click here to read the latest media releases.

Date Title
3 February Ending on a High Note
8 February Exchange Rate Needs Attention

Click here to read the latest edition of NZ Manufacturer Magazine online for free.

The NZMEA has been approached by Doug Green, editor of NZ Manufacturer magazine.  Doug is wanting to write articles under a section called Rural Manufacturing. If you are outside of the main centres or related to rural sectors and would like to be interviewed for an article please contact the NZMEA and we will pass your details on to Doug to contact you directly.


The above graph shows exports of goods and services as a percentage of GDP, across a number of countries, and comparing levels of 1990 and 2013. Of the selected countries, New Zealand sits at the lowest level of exports, and this has only slightly increased since 1990, despite having an export target of 40%.  In comparison, there are a number of countries that both have higher export as a % of GDP values, and who have seen higher growth over this period – higher export growth is possible with the right settings and focus.

For more graphs related to manufacturing and exporting, as well a large collection of data on New Zealand presented in a simple visual way, visit