• Quickstep to enter a research collaboration to solve a key problem in large-scale composites production
  • Collaboration aims to improve production to enable a wider application of composite technologies
  • Work will be led from QHL’s Geelong facilities on Deakin’s Waurn Ponds Campus


Quickstep holdings will join with Sovereign Manufacturing Automation for Composites CRC (SoMAC CRC) and Deakin University’s Institute for Intelligent Systems Research and Innovation (ISRII) to help solve a key issue in large-scale composites production.

Australia’s largest independent manufacturer of aerospace composites Quickstep Holdings (ASX:QHL) will lead a 12-month engineering collaboration valued at $1 million further developing a production system that solves the relatively high costs of large-scale composites production.

The initial 12-month program is valued at $1 million, funded 50-50, and forms part of an anticipated multi-year development program.

QHL says carbon fibre and other composites are increasingly becoming the ‘go to’ solution in advanced industries such as aerospace and clean technology.

One of the company’s objectives is to make the production system more cost effective to deliver the product trifecta of ‘better, faster, cheaper’ and enable a wider application of composite technologies.


Transforming Australia’s composite tech capabilities

The SoMAC CRC has brought together 33 partners in a $250 million program under the Australian Government’s Cooperative Research Centres program.

SoMAC CRC’s vision is to transform Australia’s established composite technologies capability into sovereign leadership, creating a world-class, highly automated, digitally enabled, network of designers, manufacturers, and service providers.

The IISRI is home to Australia’s largest research team in systems modelling and simulation, providing practical solutions and commercial-ready products for advanced manufacturing, aerospace, rail, automotive, defence and health sectors.

IISRI’s specialised engineering and IT researchers have been successful in delivery of numerous industry-based research projects with major national and international organisations.


QHL a leading manufacturer in burgeoning drone market

QHL has a proven success in research and development enabling its rapid progress as a leading Tier 1 manufacturer in the commercial drone market.

The company has signed an exclusive manufacturing and engineering integration agreement with TB2 Aerospace in the US for the TB2 Pod Interface system.

TB2 are the creator of a patented autonomous UAV payload alignment, docking and locking system automating the process of connecting payloads to UAVs with their market including defence, commercial and homeland security.

QHL says its latest collaboration with (SoMAC CRC) and (ISRII) will further develop capabilities of the business and help make its Australian manufacturing operations even more competitive.

The company is developing an optimised production system for aerostructures design and manufacturing using new processes and composite materials, named AEROLINE.

It will build on a recent automation program developed for the US Department of Defence on F-35 countermeasure flares, extensive automation of production processes at the company’s Bankstown site and Aeroline phase one.

Currently used in drone programs at its Geelong facilities,  the next generation of AEROLINE is focused on high-rate low-cost production of complex aerostructures including complete airframes.

QHL says the collaboration through 3D photorealistic digital design, complex AI driven simulations and new robotic design principles, will enable design maturation of new manufacturing technologies for cutting-edge airframe design and more cost-effective manufacturing system performance.

Furthermore, it says the baseline knowledge and technology developments will be accessible across the research platform, further building sovereign manufacturing capability.

Work will be led from QHL’s Geelong facilities on Deakin’s Waurn Ponds Campus continuing the long-standing collaboration.


This article was developed in collaboration with Quickstep Holdings,  a Stockhead advertiser at the time of publishing.

This article does not constitute financial product advice. You should consider obtaining independent advice before making any financial decisions.