Multiple-award winning Evolve Group is proving the extraordinary value to the Australian economy of innovative advanced design and local manufacturing with exports from this company to more than 130 countries.
Founded in 1978, this privately owned Queensland based Evolve Group is at the forefront of competitive Australian manufacturing which has been highlighted even more under the current COVID-19 pandemic.

Evolve’s Design and Development Manager Mayer Jung commented, “So many companies source product from overseas in the belief that it is cheaper, yet as a company, we have been successfully re-shoring manufacturing to Australia and expanding our exports with a competitive advantage and shorter lead times for our clients.”

Just one example of re-shoring manufacturing production is the innovative Seabin Project that collects tens of thousands of plastic bags, disposable cups and plastic bottles in waterways across 52 countries. Created by two Sunshine Coast residents and a Byron Bay local, production has been relocated to Evolve Brisbane from France on sound economic basis as well as the advantage of supporting local jobs.

A further example of the benefits of manufacturing in Australia is Evolve Group’s response to the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic with an advanced design and commitment to manufacture 100,000 P2/N95 Respirators and Medical Face Masks per day with the construction of a clean room and production commencing within just two weeks. Working closely with local Queensland Hospital surgical teams, the design of a new Face Shield has resulted in what is being heralded as the most comfortable face shield in the health care industry. Studying how a face shield is used by medical professionals has provided an outcome in a shield with a comfortable gel pad relieving pressure on the forehead of the wearer, a removable  vent cap for ventilation, easily replaced shield with anti-fog and scratch properties and an ergonomic design for all day comfort. With the further benefit of one size fitting all, this advanced design medical face shield is already attracting interest from USA, South Africa and Europe.

To meet the critical time frame and the precision tooling required, Evolve invested in the latest Okuma CNC Vertical Machining Centre model MB-56VA S15 with OSP-P300MA control. With its extremely rigid double column structure, large bed size incorporating a high speed 32 position automatic tool changer, the machining centre is providing greatly enhanced additional capacity, consistent precision output that does not require finishing plus the ability for long multiple unaided production runs.

With the COVID-19 lockdown in place, the installation and commissioning was successfully and seamlessly completed remotely with all training undertaken by Okuma National Technology Manager, Karl Corry via ZOOM and TeamViewer. Further training will be undertaken by Okuma as required by Evolve engineers once the restrictions are eased.

“In looking at CNC machining centres, Okuma was our first choice based on our experience. It is considered to be top of the range and the machine we needed was immediately available,” said Mayer Jung. “Our company has had a long term relationship with Okuma and still operates a 20 plus year machine that has served the company well and back up service and technical advice from Okuma Australia is amazingly supportive,” he said.

Amongst the many facets of Evolve’s design and manufacturing are injection moulding, over-moulding, material sourcing, tooling and fabrication, robotics and automation, supply chain and distribution. The company utilises the latest rapid tool and conformal tool verification technology and every injection moulding machine on the floor is equipped with a servo-driven robot with a custom made end of arm to retrieve specific parts in the most efficient way.

“For the operators of the Okuma Machining Centre there is the ability to produce more tooling in-house, the operating system is good to work with, there is a dramatic increase in utilisation of the machine and the quality of the finished product is exceptional,” said Mayer Jung.

Today the company has more than 100 employees and services a diverse range of markets including Medical, Automotive, HVAC-R, Building & DIY, Fishing, Electrical, Industrial, Plumbing & Gas Fitting, Pool & Spa and general engineering.

Design, development and sustainable marketing is also at the heart of this innovative ISO 9001 accredited company with awards such as the coveted 2016 Good Design Award of the Year and also the prestigious Best Product Innovation Award for the design, manufacture and optimisation of the Flow Hive, an inventive beehive system. Since that time the company has been named in the top 50 most innovative companies in the Australian Financial Review Awards plus multiple Australian Good Design Awards.

“Our team not only designs new products but works closely with customers to refine and/or improve a design to maximise efficiency, reduce the cost of production and improve return on investment for your clients,” said Mayer Jung. “Our ability is getting it right the first time at the lowest possible cost in the shortest time frame with minimal risk but we also look and advise customers on the marketing aspects for long term sustainability of a product,” he said.

Evolve Group in Crestmead, Brisbane has been innovating and increasing its broad ranging capabilities for many years and with its highly skilled team it is already looking at acquiring additional sites to provide for further expansion of its design, manufacturing and logistics facilities.
“At Okuma we understand the importance of competitive manufacturing to Australia and the need to adapt service levels to meet customers’ essential service requirements in the current climate,” said Dean McCarroll, Managing Director for Okuma Australia. “It is a pleasure to work with such an innovative company as the Evolve Group in commissioning latest Okuma CNC Machining Technology and an example of what can be achieved to ensure Australian manufacturers remain highly competitive in the international market,” he said.