Back to top

Minister for Roads and Road Safety visits Planex

12 . 02 . 2018

Minister Hon. Luke Donnellan Minister for Ports & Minister for Roads and Road Safety visits Planex’s Hallam manufacturing Plant to view recent gas efficiency upgrades.

The Andrews Labor Government is helping more businesses reduce business costs and avoid energy waste – with Planex the 50th Victorian business awarded an Energy Assessment Grant. 

Member for Narre Warren North Luke Donnellan who recently visited Planex to tour the Hallam production facility explains, “These grants are one of the many ways that we’re helping Victorian families and businesses to reduce energy costs and identify savings.”

Supporting local businesses to embrace renewable energy projects, Minister Hon. Luke Donnellan was invited on Wednesday 24th Jan to tour Planex’s Hallam manufacturing Plant to see the recent gas efficiency upgrades.

Under the recent Victorian Budget 2017/18 $25.4 million has been assigned to action on climate change, Victoria’s energy system was mobilised via $88.8 million to develop our renewable energy sector, plus an additional $9.5 million was provided to secure solar power for Melbourne’s tram network.

Planex has also been awarded a Gas Efficiency Grant of $35,360 to improve the gas efficiency of its powder coating operations. Both these grants are delivered by Sustainability Victoria as part of the $6.1 million Boosting Business Productivity program. 

Having installed solar panels in 2015, LED lighting and Power Factor Correction (PFC) technology to reduce our need from the grid by up to 30%, we were interested in improving gas efficiency to enhance productivity and better manage rising manufacturing costs in the face of significant gas pricing increases. 

Last year Planex approached Sustainability Victoria for help to look at ways of further reducing energy consumption in the factory. Attending the Gas Efficiency Masterclass hosted by Sustainability Victoria helped us to identify key areas to save energy. Support in the form of an Energy Assessment Grant helped us identify changes to our operations that will reduce our gas consumption by 32%.  We are also participating in the Gas Efficiency Grant program to help us implement gas efficiency improvements.

During the factory tour Jean-Pierre Jardel guided the minister on a journey through the prototyping showroom, pre-press, steel punching line, powder coat line, finishing 
area, dispatch and R&D department followed by light refreshments and an opportunity to meet the people who make Planex furniture.

Jean-Pierre explained how the production line operated from sheet metal to dispatch to showcase how our manufacturing facility incorporates the use of innovative automation to turn locally sourced materials into a finished product.

Staff shared stories spanning the 40+year history of the family-owned business with discussions ranging from our commitment to designed-in longevity of the products with the ability to reuse, reconfigure and recycle, and to continue the commitment of Planex to making our manufacturing processes even more sustainable. 

Awarded RAIA ‘Best Commercial Building: 2004’, our 7000 m2 purpose built factory is a benchmark for Australian manufacturing. In addition to using solar and LEDs and now improving gas usage, the production facility also features lights-off manufacturing and automation, is ISO14001 & ISO9001 certified, uses recycled BlueScope steel, includes a recycling program for a multitude of materials, makes products with materials free of volatile organic compounds, and subjects products such as our xLocker2 to durability and fitness tests via the independent organisation, AFRDI-Furntech.

Our upgrades to save power, such as with solar, LED, PFC and now gas upgrades, and increased focus on sustainable production demonstrates our dedication to efficiency. The upgrades, coupled with designed-in longevity of products with the ability to reuse, reconfigure and recycle (we call this ‘built-out obsolescence' as opposed to most consumer products being intentionally built with a shortened lifespan) all result in a better approach to sustainability. It forms the basis of our design philosophy and pledge to the future of quality Australian made products. 

It was a pleasure to take Minister Hon. Luke Donnellan Minister for Minister for Ports & Minister for Roads and Road Safety on a tour of our Hallam manufacturing Plant. Committed to reducing our environmental impact we are delighted to collaborate with Government to support sustainable processes and the future of local manufacturing.

For more information on Planex’s sustainable manufacturing processes contact