This strategy was viewed as somewhat a long shot, but the results of exhibiting have far exceeded the expectations. With the heavy assistance of the Australian embassy in Israel and Austrade, Frontline was able to secure a meeting and factory visit to IAI, Israel’s largest Defence Manufacturer.
The general manager and managing director were taken on a detailed tour of some restricted areas and explained which componentry and capabilities IAI is seeking for their growth plans in Australia.
Daniel Green, the managing director of Frontline, said, "The introductions Austrade made prior to our visit were instrumental in us securing an in-depth tour. Further, the visit expanded our understanding not just of IAI specifically, but more generally, of the technical requirements at the very highest end of space and defence component manufacture.
"We are indebted to the embassy and Austrade. It continues the trend of fantastic support the Commonwealth and Queensland governments provide SMEs like ours."
However, the real benefits of the show were in a limited number of key meetings and a factory visit outside Tel Aviv that in time should underwrite expansion at Frontline and contribute to Australian sovereign capability via knowledge transfer to Australia.
Matthew Ellis, GM of Frontline, explained, "The required work discussed with us would be a step change in what Frontline currently supplies. It would take us from pure component manufacturing towards system integration and program management. Most excitingly, we discussed live opportunities which would make Frontline a true defence exporter, where the end users are not in Australia. The show certainly looks like a game changer for us."
Founded in 1996 as a toolmaking operation, Frontline Manufacturing now supports a one-stop shop specialising in medium to large component manufacture. Frontline has expanded from a simple tool making and press shop to an engineering manufacturer that can provide precision CNC machining and turning, CNC, bending, laser cutting, metal cutting and pressing, custom jigging and high-precision robotic welding.