A MOVE to an emerging industry hub is helping an eco-friendly manufacturer revolutionise the caravan industry and ‘Link Composites’ says operating out of the Coolum Eco-Industrial Park, has put it on the road to national success.
The business that is based out in the Quanda Estate ‘Eco Park’ precinct makes advanced composite panels that are used in the boom caravan and recreational vehicle sector, modular housing, yachts and even the trucking and mining industry.
Link Composites Managing Director Will Robinson said moving to the new Coolum site had helped the business evolve and advance from manual production to automated production.
“Now we have a fully automated continuous production line with CNC cutting and production has increased by 500 per cent,” Mr Robinson said.
“We are turning out 12,000m of product per month, four metres per minute and only running at 20 per cent capacity.”
Link Composite was supported through Council’s Sunshine Coast Economic Resurgence Plan.
The Plan was established in response to COVID-19, to provide support to local business and to assist with the region’s economic recovery, by accelerating large, shovel-ready projects.
Economy Portfolio Councillor Terry Landsberg said it was great to see Australian manufacturing excellence coming out of the Sunshine Coast and in particular Coolum.
“With markets in Australia and New Zealand, Link Composites had positioned itself perfectly on the Sunshine Coast to manage increased demand as more caravan and RV manufacturers make the switch to fibreglass,’’ Cr Landsberg said.
“Its expansion is forecast to see a total economic impact (direct and indirect) of $10.5m in capital expenditure and 32 new local jobs, some of which will be specialist roles in robotics and mechatronics.”
Divisional 9 councillor Maria Suarez said Link Composites’ multimillion-dollar investment in the Coolum Eco-industrial Park was a great example of business expansion here in Coolum and the greater Sunshine Coast region.
“It is exciting to have such a big manufacturing business thinking sustainability, with their products designed and manufactured using eco-friendly materials and processes,” Cr Suarez said.
“We can see they are striving to minimise their impact on the environment at every stage of their operations; important values for Council and businesses within the Sunshine Coast Biosphere.”
Mr Robinson said his company was offering Australia and New Zealand markets an alternative to the traditional building methods for caravans which used timber or aluminium frames, making them heavy and prone to corrosion and rot.
“The use of composite fibreglass sandwich panels will revolutionise the caravan industry in Australia, offering a new level of design flexibility, energy efficiency and sustainability,” Mr Robinson said.
“With the increasing demand for lightweight, durable, and eco-friendly caravan solutions, we are at the forefront of the industry which is transitioning to composite sandwich panels.
“These panels are made from high-strength fibreglass reinforced with a core material, such as XPS, PVC or PET, which provides exceptional strength-to-weight ratios, thermal insulation, and resistance to moisture and environmental factors.”
Looking to redefine the face of fibreglass panel production, Link Composites is also now supported by research and development business Corematic thanks to a Production Automation Grant.