From an article by Valerina Changarathil, The Advertiser,
A SLICE of its history will remain at the heart of SAGE Automation’s push to embrace new-age manufacturing, as it moves into a new hi-tech facility at Tonsley today.
The privately-owned entity with a turnover of $72 million and about 270 global staff now has a new home within the Tonsley precinct — the former manufacturing site of Mitsubishi in South Australia.
“SAGE Automation shares a rich history with the Tonsley site ... where we delivered a number of projects,” said regional general manager Justin Kahl.
“We are thrilled to be starting this next phase in our history at Tonsley. It has been developed to be a hub for those driving the industrial future of South Australia, including high-value manufacturing,” he said.
It’s also a personal milestone for Mr Kahl, one of the group’s earliest employees who started as an apprentice with the business, which was previously based at Melrose Park.
The new custom-built facility will house SAGE’s 120 local staff, the corporate head office, national manufacturing facility and the three brands that fall under the SAGE Group — SAGE Automation, internet of things and big data consultancy business Nukon and NSAG, a joint venture with Spanish defence shipbuilder Navantia.
SAGE Automation provides industrial automation and control services including projects, manufacturing, 24/7 support, and training.
The group founded in 1994 by managing director Andrew Downs in his family’s backyard shed is now Australia’s largest independent industrial control system integrator with 10 offices nationally and three in India.
From primarily servicing the automotive sector, the group now has expertise in defence, utilities, resources and infrastructure industries.
The move to Tonsley has enabled SAGE to transform its facility for advanced manufacturing, achieving Industry 4.0 classification through the use of improved automation, machine-to-machine and human-to-machine communication, technological improvements and digitalisation.
The new facility includes a multi-story inventory control system, automated cable harness machine and 3D CAD capability.
“These improvements will enable greater output per labour dollar, ensuring SAGE remains an internationally competitive manufacturer,” Mr Kahl said.
“The move positions SAGE manufacturing as a high-value division, with two distinct streams of
service in both high volume, and low volume niche manufacturing,” he said.
SAGE Automation’s 3100 sqm-footprint makes it one of the largest facilities within what was previously the Main Assembly Building (MAB) at Tonsley.
“We see great opportunity for SAGE and South Australia to position itself as a key national and
international supplier of advanced manufacturing products, services and skills.
“The move will help us access new markets and continue to grow our business,” Mr Kahl said.
Manufacturing and Innovation Minister Kyam Maher said SAGE was a natural fit for Tonsley.
”With its history of supplying to the automotive industry, SAGE Automation is now a world-class advanced manufacturer and a valuable member of South Australia’s business community.
“SAGE Automation is the latest of many world renowned companies who have chosen Tonsley as a base, working together to create jobs and benefit our state.’’
Premier Jay Weatherill is due to formally open SAGE’s new facility on October 25.