Ausventure visit REDARC factory
Superior Aussie made electronics
We finally made it to Adelaide, and took a look at the Aussie company making leaps and bounds in electronics – REDARC.
We were greeted by Tennille, the Marketing manager at REDARC, and she gave us the full tour of their recently updated facility.
When I think electronics I think Dick Smith like “nerds” with glasses in small dimly lit rooms looking at computer screens not legible to any normal person. When walking past reception at REDARC you can almost see their whole facility through a series of glass partitions. This gives a massive community feel and no one is made a stranger at REDARC. In the hallway they even have a little notice board showing information about who’s working on what with who etc. to give the “team” environment.
WE ARE HERE
We had armed ourselves with a few questions so we had something to add and not just be nodding our heads at everything Tennille had to say. Manufacturing in Australia with success requires innovation and we were keen to see where REDARC had spent the big bucks and how it would translate into the future. Coming from Track Trailer in Melbourne, another innovative Australian manufacturing company, we had some ideas about what would be going on inside, but the scale of the business and the compact production areas impressed us as did the multi million dollar machines.
Tennille loaded us up with all the facts, with their recent extension they had to purchase more land, some of which has been turned into the “million dollar” carpark. When you have 200 odd employees you kind of need a big carpark. She also informed us that many of the staff are studying to gain improved qualifications and that REDARC works with graduates and trainees to make sure they have the best, fresh talent available. If you are developing something you need engineers, well REDARC has a whole engineering area with around 40 engineers working on all different types of projects, from new secret stuff to updating older products.
We were then shown the sales and support area, which can receive over 150 calls a day from anyone with questions about their products; whether its one of their distributors, a possible customer, or some technical support from a user or installer. Being only a glass wall from the engineering area a solution is not too far away.
Next was the assembly areas for all the different products made at the REDARC facility. This is where already completed circuit boards are assembled in cases and any external hardware is added. These compact little production areas were a bit like a kitchen, everything in arms reach and all on hand. Being exposed to the camping industry we were familiar with their popular products from this area including, battery chargers and managers, isolators, inverters, all things solar, and the very successful tow-pro range. REDARC also supplies electronics for the trucking industry to some of the most common big brands. They have the capacity to design custom electronics, be it something smaller for an Ambulance fleet or larger for the Defence Force.
Once we moved towards the back of the facility this is where the “big boy” toys are hiding. Taking up most of this area was a sealed static free room with large, and no doubt very expensive, automatic circuit machines including the capability to X-ray the boards for defects. Quality control is so important when making electronics and these machines are able to keep an eye on things. Next to this room was an area that included temperature controlled environments and an array of batteries for testing; how do you know your products are the best without testing them on all kinds of batteries and in all temperatures?
Entering into the warehouse we went past the electro magnetic testing facility which looked very expensive and can test for electronic radiation, not too sure if you can use it like a giant microwave to heat up your lunch but it looked pretty cool. Next to all these areas and pieces of tech are sign boards giving all the information and pictures so us non Dick Smiths can understand what’s going on.
Outside the main building is a separate vibration testing lab, this is where their products can be shaken to death so they know exactly how much they can take. Apparently it is separate because it can be loud. In the main building the noise levels were nice and low and its wasn’t hard to have a conversation in the production area.
Our last stop was the lunch and communal area, and because this section faces onto another building, they’ve put a nice mural of a REDARC branded ute outside the large window to look at. Just like Track Trailer they have a large solar install on the roof to combat their carbon footprint – to be a great company these days you also need to be mindful of waste and power consumption. They also have a Tesla power wall; something you don’t want to run out of in an electronics company is power.
REDARC is no doubt showing the rest of the world that Aussies can make some of the best electronics available and, with our specific outback conditions, there is no better choice for your camping and caravan electrical needs. Yes companies that manufacture in Australia are usually a little more expensive but in most cases this translates to a better suited product, more support, great warranties, and you are also contributing to Australian jobs and economy.
Our next blog will be from: South Australia's Eyre Peninsula
Until our next update - see you on / off the road 😉
Cassie and Micky