Think HBR

Made in Mayfield North, for the world

MITS Alloy products in Flinders Ranges

Tinkering away in Newcastle’s industrial heartland in Mayfield North and putting rubber to the track for thousands of kilometres prepared MITS Alloy to revolutionise the manufacture of utility trays and canopies.

Following extensive R&D, the company’s engineers developed a method using interlocking structural frame construction. It enabled MITS Alloy to move away from the conventional aluminium extrusion and flat-sheet method of assembly for these products.

It was not merely a time-saver, but a game-changer. The method greatly reduces the degree of labour required for pre-welding the structural assembly. This also reduces the time required in the assembly process, and importantly, it reduces worker fatigue. 

The business also moved away from customs manufacturing to enable critical mass and assembly-line functionality. It now collaborates regularly with its leading mission critical suppliers to ensure supply chain capability.

Hunter Manufacturing Awards (HMA) appropriately named MITS Alloy its Manufacturer of the Year (50 employees or more) for 2022, and the innovative fabricator continues apace in 2023. HMA believes MITS Alloy demonstrates the resilience and flexible approach needed to compete and succeed globally.

To that end, MITS Alloy managing director Tony Brooks says the aluminium tray and canopy specialist moved to a new manufacturing facility that provides greater opportunity for productivity improvements and prepares it to meet increased local and global demand.

“We have entered into joint ventures with key suppliers to ensure continuity in supply, plus assist them with expanding their customer reach, both locally and globally,” Mr Brooks says. “MITS Alloy has broadened its global footprint and expanded its distribution partner platform in the US, South America, and Indonesia. We are also in negotiations with potential UAE-based overlanding and 4x4 industry partners.”

Last year, MITS Alloy featured on the cover of US magazine MotorTrend, which Mr Brooks says provided exceptional recognition in the North American market and positioned the company as a major brand in the “overlanding” – that’s American for “off-roading” – industry.

At an overlanding expo in Oregon, major industry stakeholders said they considered MITS Alloy a market leader and innovator.

HMA represents all businesses actively engaged in the manufacturing sector, including their allies, in the Upper Hunter, Lower Hunter, Central Coast, Lake Macquarie, Newcastle, Port Stephens, and Mid-North Coast regions. The awards inspire, encourage, and recognise vibrant and enduring manufacturing in these regions.

In recognising the growth of manufacturing in the Hunter and celebrating the innovations and commitment, HMA 2023 places a spotlight squarely on global reach. The organisation is keen to push the message of international opportunities and its tagline for 2023 is “made in the Hunter, for the world”.

Certainly, the Hunter’s industrial history and impressive transport infrastructure provide the region’s manufacturers with a compelling advantage as they make their forays into international markets. Although there are strong road, rail, and air links in the Hunter, the major competitive transport advantage is the Port of Newcastle.

HMA encourages the growing and diverse base of established and emerging manufacturers of the region to use this advantage, look beyond Australia, and take their products and services to the international market.

Mr Brooks says MITS Alloy is integrating AI into its manufacturing processes.

“This is not to reduce employee numbers,” he says. “On the contrary, it's to entice trade professionals to join us and improve efficiencies in production, focusing on menial tasks aversion. We have also spent considerable energy and resources on customer-centric processes to enhance the overall experience when dealing with MITS Alloy.”

HMA’s mission is to promote best practices and it has recognised manufacturing in the Hunter, Central Coast, and Mid-North Coast for the past 18 years. It collaborates with key regional organisations to acknowledge excellence in innovation, product design, technology, emerging talent, building workforce capability, sustainable operations, and collaboration.

In highlighting the achievements of the best, HMA aims to inspire aspiration. It encourages all manufacturers in the Upper Hunter, Lower Hunter, Central Coast, Lake Macquarie, Newcastle, Port Stephens, and Mid-North Coast regions to enter the 2023 awards. There are 14 categories available.

For all enquiries about the 2023 awards, please email or phone 0438 242 899. The registration and nomination period closes on 18 August. Entry is free and manufacturers can find all the information they need at