To celebrate the 40th anniversary of REDARC Electronics, our friend Pat Callinan stopped by recently to walk around our upgraded facility and see all of the latest technology and product innovations on offer.
From that visit Pat pieced together ten facts about REDARC that you might not know about.
Fact 1 – The beginnings of REDARC Electronics
REDARC Electronics was first established in 1979 by the late Robert ‘Bob’ Mackie Williams, in the year 1997 Anthony and Michele Kittel purchased the company. At the time REDARC had just 8 employees, further to today the company has around 200 employees
Fact 2 – A name change and new location
When the company was founded it was named Labservice. REDARC’s first home was located in Blackwood, South Australia between 1979 until 1986. The business operated in a house shared with a real estate agent.
“We had two rooms and a ‘sleepout’ as the production area’”, says Lex Clarke, who was already with the business when Anthony had purchased it. “The entrance hallway was a store, and one room was an office. There were five assemblers, one store person, a secretary and the owner/manager/engineer.”
The company’s name changed to REDARC from Labservice in 2002 coinciding with the move to Heath Street, with the REDARC name inspired by the spark developed in the first ignition system produced.
Fact 3 – What do we do?
REDARC does more than just brake controllers and battery charging products. The company has 40 years’ experience in the research, design, development and manufacturing in a range of electronic voltage converters and associated products, such as vehicle management systems, inverters, power supplies, battery chargers and solar products. The company supply’s products for 4x4 vehicles, as well as many Australian trucking fleets, exporting also to many countries and even defence companies around the world.
Fact 4 – ESD protection
When walking the factory floor, you are required to wear static discarding straps (ESD protection) attached at the heel. This process allows the static electricity in the person’s body to be transmitted through the copper floor. Why do this? This ensures the static a person produces does not in any way damage the performance of the electronic circuit boards, embedded in each REDARC product. Electronics can be sensitive to low voltage ESD events.
Fact 5 – The Past and current facilities
REDARC has always been based in South Australia. In the early years, it has had to move relatively frequently into bigger premises as it outgrew the premises it occupied. In 2005, Anthony and Michele Kittel purchased the current location in Lonsdale, and the purpose-built advanced manufacturing facility for REDARC was officially opened in 2007. The company expanded its facilities in 2012, 2014 and once again in 2018, which sees the facility occupy 6,500sqm on 8,400sqm of land with the potential for continued growth.
Fact 6 – Technical product support
REDARC provides key technical advice to answer any product related questions here in Australia and across the world. The support team are all qualified automotive and electronic technicians, able to assist in any product-related issues over the phone. This service is available free of charge with lines open between 8 am – 5:30 pm Monday to Friday. Provided on the website is a list of FAQ’s and tech tips to help customers with any issue’s as a “first point of call”.
Fact 7 – Minimising our environmental impact
Looking after the environment is important at REDARC, and in 2018 the company finalised the power infrastructure project. This project has seen the installation of 370 100KW solar panel system on the facility’s roof. As well as the installation of 9 135KWH Telsa Powerwall, which generates up to 140MW hours offsetting 80 tonnes of CO2 carbon emissions per year.
Fact 8 – Surface Mount Technology
REDARC’s surface mount technology (SMT) room is one of the most advanced in the world. It’s known as the cleanroom, with consistent temperature and humidity levels which is rated to meet International Standards (ISO). REDARC recently purchased a new line where each PCB produced has 100% traceability, down to a component level. This SMT line is capable of placing 12 components per second, with a total of 5.9 million components in just one month.
Fact 9 – Newly built Electromagnetic Compatibility Chamber
REDARC recently built an electromagnetic compatibility chamber, this ensures all products are tested to international standards. The room essentially blocks all incoming and outcoming signals. REDARC’s in-house testing capabilities reduce new product development risk, time and the cost from design through to manufacture.
Fact 10 - Extensive testing
REDARC also conducts lifetime and environment testing. This Halt Lab places REDARC products through 10 years of life in just 2 days. Temperatures in this lab range from -100 to +200 degrees. This simulates driving conditions in extreme environments to ensure the reliability of the product.
Over the last 40 years, REDARC has led major developments in electronics engineering. Assisting in the safety of people working around and in heavy machinery, and vehicles from vastly different recreations and industries. Transforming from a small business in a shared office, to an internationally recognised business employing more than 200 people. REDARC is excited to be celebrating 40 years of business in South Australia.