Young minds powering SAGE’s Industry 4.0 manufacturing future

SAGE Group, Published: July 14, 2019 - Updated: October 12, 2021

The latest step in SAGE’s Industry 4.0 transformational journey has everyone excited – and none more so than Graduate Engineer Thomas Jolley - who is now in charge of supervising a complex piece of new equipment known as the 'Komax Zeta 640 cabling machine'.


“Cable looms are a key component used in the construction of control panels and LV switchboards used throughout the defence, energy, manufacturing, transport and utilities industries,” said Thomas.

“This machine will not only reduce production time for SAGE’s Manufacturing business, but also increase scalability and improve accuracy resulting in even better quality assurance, so we’ll be able to take on larger orders.”

Aside from allowing SAGE to ramp up its manufacturing capability – for clients – this means faster production turn-around, cost competitive prices, and even better quality.

VIDEO: Watch the machine in action




Read more about the cabling machine and how it brings efficiencies, here: SAGE bolsters manufacturing capability with Industry 4.0 initiative


More broadly speaking, the Komax cabling machine is also creating flow-on benefits for the economy. By freeing up SAGE’s apprentices from the repetitive task of manually creating cable looms, they are able to work on more complex wiring projects. This means SAGE is able to take on more work, and retain jobs here in Australia.

Manufacturing Operations Manager Sam Koulianos explained: “People often fear this machine and similar technologies are taking away local jobs, but In fact, they’re (Industry 4.0 technologies) are allowing us to be leaner from a business perspective, which is allowing us to scale up production so we can employ more people. For us, it will mean SAGE can build more products locally, and win back work that would otherwise be manufactured offshore.”


komax-machine-looming-setupA close-up photograph of the cable looms in production

“Our approach isn’t purely technology focussed, it’s also about empowering our employees and teaching them to perform processes in a way that is smarter” he said.

This very concept has lead SAGE to coin the term ‘smart electricians’ to describe the new breed of electricians employed by the company. Smart electricians have the knowledge required to service the technologies of the future, such as electric and autonomous vehicles or renewable energy, rather than simply being confined to traditional electrical knowledge and skills that have been the focus for years previously.

Hands-on experience for young grads

SAGE graduate engineer Thomas Jolley was involved from the function requirement stage right through to the integration and installation of the Komax cabling machine and is now responsible for supervising its day-to-day operation. We spoke to Thomas about what life at SAGE is like for a graduate engineer.




Thomas Jolley (right) with some of SAGE’s recent recruits to the manufacturing facility. It’s thought empowering employees through smart infrastructure and access to data will drive them to embrace an enduring culture of productivity and innovation.


Q: Thomas, supervising the Komax cabling machine is one of the many hands-on tasks you’ve been able to work on since joining SAGE as an engineering officer. Did you expect to start out with such a hands-on role?


A: No I didn't. I am very much an academic, theoretical engineer. But to have this opportunity to work hands-on on a production floor has been an incredible and amazing experience and has taught me a lot of valuable lessons that I will carry on with my career into the future.


Q: What advice would you give to other grads out there who are considering a career at SAGE?


A: SAGE enables you to experience a great variety of different projects and tasks. We're on the cusp on this Industry 4.0 movement with the great capability that we're investing in; creating opportunities to make a difference within our production in manufacturing, and in SAGE broadly.

SAGE also provides incredible support in terms of assisting you in achieving tasks, and mentoring you to develop into a better engineer and a better person for the community.



To see how you could kick start your engineering career, and get hands-on experience like Thomas, visit and follow SAGE Group’s Linked In: