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Sirron Holdings ‘cleans up’ at Hunter Manufacturing Awards


A Lake Macquarie business has scooped the pool at the recent Hunter Manufacturing Awards (HMA).

The ceremony highlighted the intuition, inventiveness, determination and scope of the sector throughout the Upper Hunter, Lower Hunter, Central Coast, Lake Macquarie, Newcastle, Port Stephens and Mid-North Coast regions.

And, it was Caves Beach’s Sirron Holdings, a group of businesses that make, supply and service commercial dishwashing machines for hotels and clubs, which prevailed.

Owner Bruce Hegan, from Central Coast-based 4id Solutions, who was named HMA Manufacturing Leader.

It claimed four categories, including the prestigious Manufacturer of the Year (fewer than 50 staff), as well as collaboration partnership, innovation and marketing.

The HMA had its own message for the triumphant enterprise, with the judging panel stating: “For one company to be awarded more than three wins is very unusual, but in all the categories… Sirron Holdings was a clear and outright winner.

“It demonstrates a resilient and flexible approach to compete and succeed on the world stage.”

Sirron Holdings managing director Greg Gates was elated with the result.

“I’m exceptionally proud of the people I work with,” he said.

“I am also extremely grateful for the relationship with HMA.

“It has enabled us to operate and get things done when times were tough.

“I echo the sentiments ‘tough times make good people’.

“Some of our decision-making and input came about from HMA connections.

“It plugged us into relationships and the input from those people has played a role in our success.

“Otherwise, we’d still be struggling away up the back of Caves Beach.”

Sirron Holdings turned its commercial dishwasher factory into a disinfectant and sanitiser manufacturer when the pandemic hit in 2020.

It now releases 230 products.

“We survived thanks to teamwork and a ‘can-do’ attitude,” Mr Gates said.

“The impact of COVID provoked and built a sense of camaraderie that is now unshakeable.

“It clarified that our role in the market is to innovate and provide products that help others.”

HMA chairman Steven Smith said “expect the unexpected” became the organisation’s tagline for 2022.

“The board considered it to be most appropriate given where we have been over the past few years, and certainly looking forward,” he explained.

“With regards to the manufacturing sector, manufacturers are building back fast despite significant headwinds.

“The extraordinary levels of business uncertainty in the past couple of years have honed our instincts to ‘expect the unexpected’ and manufacturers have consequently developed greater resilience to sustain their momentum and competitiveness.”

The owner of Central Coast-based 4id Solutions, Bruce Hegan, was named the Manufacturing Leader.

The panel described his efforts to improve products as “relentless”.

Mayfield North’s MITS Alloy picked up Manufacturer of the Year (50 employees or more).

It impressed the judges with its performances in hitting target markets and building a global presence.

The Hedweld Group, which exports to 35 countries, took out the Export and Global Supply Chains award for its tri-lift range of component handling equipment.

Elecbrakes ook out Manufacturing Capability after supplier unreliability prompted it to manufacture its own components.

Beresfield’s SafeGauge snared the Product Design award for its SafeTest Dial Indicator that enables safer and more efficient inspections of heavy machinery.

Jess Hodges from Resourceful Living was on hand to collect the Outstanding Start-Up gong.

Resourceful Living, which is a shining example of the circular economy in the Hunter, reuses plastic waste to make furniture.

Other winners included Morgan Engineering for Building Workforce Capability for the Future and Loop Organics for Sustainable Operations.

West Gosford-based Chamberlain Group’s Alex Nivison took home Apprentice of the Year.

He played an integral part in a team that doubled the output of a robot assigned to a CNC machine.

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