Geelong Advertiser - - NEWS - CHAD VAN ESTROP

“Air Ra­di­a­tors con­tin­ues to op­er­ate be­cause we pro­duce prod­ucts that are niche and high-value.”

A LARA ra­di­a­tor man­u­fac­turer has se­cured a top-se­cret con­tract to pro­vide its prod­ucts to an Asian de­fence force.

The two-year deal worth $500,000 is the lat­est notch in the belt of Air Ra­di­a­tors whose cool­ing sys­tems for diesel en­gines are ex­ported to Ja­pan and Amer­ica.

The com­pany’s ra­di­a­tors are found in Ja­panese bul­let trains, power sta­tion gen­er­a­tors, V/Line trains and the Aus­tralian Army’s Bush­mas­ter ar­moured ve­hi­cle.

To re­main com­pet­i­tive in an era of man­u­fac­tur­ing change, the com­pany has de­vel­oped two prod­ucts for its range which are al­most ready for roll out.

Air Ra­di­a­tors gen­eral man­ager Jamie Baen­sch said the prod­ucts, PinFin and AluFin, fo­cused on pro­vid­ing light­weight cool­ing sys­tems re­sis­tant to clog­ging in dirty en­vi­ron­ments.

“Air Ra­di­a­tors con­tin­ues to op­er­ate be­cause we pro­duce prod­ucts that are niche and high-value,” Mr Baen­sch said.

Em­ploy­ing 130 staff — in­clud­ing some from the city’s most dis­ad­van­taged ar­eas — at its Heales Rd fa­cil­ity, Air Ra­di­a­tors man­u­fac­tures its prod­ucts from scratch.

In com­ing years the com­pany plans to in­crease its ex­ports by 13 per cent.

This week, Air Ra­di­a­tors sales staff and Co­rio MP Richard Mar­les vis­ited Wash­ing­ton DC for the As­so­ci­a­tion of the United States Army an­nual ex­po­si­tion to spruik the com­pany prod­ucts. While the trade mis­sion hasn’t se­cured a deal yet, Mr Baen­sch said it had sown the seeds for fu­ture deals.

“There were rep­re­sen­ta­tives from all over the world there. It is a global ex­er­cise,” he said.

Mr Mar­les, the Op­po­si­tion’s de­fence spokesman, said the work of Air Ra­di­a­tors showed the di­ver­sity of manu- fac­tur­ing across the Gee­long re­gion.

“Their pres­ence at As­so­ci­a­tion of the United States Army an­nual expo 2017 shows that our lo­cal com­pa­nies have the skills to make them truly world-class play­ers,” he said.

“We need to make sure we’re tak­ing ad­van­tage of the skills our city and sur­rounds have to be part of Aus­tralia’s de­fence in­dus­try.”

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