Honda Invention Competition; the finalists are in!

Honda Invention Competition; the finalists are in!

Honda is pleased to announce the 4 Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEM) products and 3 publically entered products that have been selected as finalists of the Honda Powered Invention Competition for 2015/16.

The Honda Invention Competition was created to help stimulate manufacturing in Australia by fostering the innovation of 4-stroke powered products. Honda will be awarding 2 categories; Honda’s current Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEM’s) and the General Public. Being a powered by Honda competition the criteria was for the invention to be powered by a Honda engine (mobility devices were excluded from this competition).

So what do they win? The winner of the current OEM category and public category will win a trip to the Honda Manufacturing Facility in Thailand, press exposure and a trophy. The Public winner will also have the opportunity to work with a Honda application engineer to refine their product.

OEM Finalists:

ATOM – Drillmaster


Atom has more than 50 years experience in the design and manufacture of chainsaw drill attachments for hard timber. Hundreds of thousands of units have been sold worldwide over the years. Atoms product knowledge, gained over many years, has resulted in the new Engine Powered DRILLMASTER. The Drillmaster is powered by a burly Honda GX25 or GX35 depending on the RPM that you want the auger to put out; being powered by a Honda engine means that it will start every single time effortlessly and can be relied on to perform day in and day out!

The Atom Drillmaster is the world’s first engine drill with an automatic reverse gear. The new design (patents pending) is based around operator safety. The idea behind this is if the drill suddenly reacts due to the auger binding or jamming in the timber, that the operator throttle control, automatically moves to the idle position, effectively allowing the operator to maintain total control over the drilling operation.

Designed and manufactured specifically for the hardest of Australian timber the Atom Drillmaster is perfect for farmers and contractors mainly for fencing (particularly with a 32mm auger for barbed wire) and other wood constructions.

The Drillmaster has a self locking collar that prevents the auger loosening during use; and also drills holes faster than any other drill due to the Drillmasters unique auto reverse system and higher engine power.


MowMaster – Bunker Edger/ Sprinkler Cutter


MowMasters new all in one, Bunker Edger / Sprinkler Cutter is the newest innovation in a long line of unique MowMaster turf maintenance equipment.

The all in one Bunker Edger / Sprinkler Cutter was designed for dual purpose use. It also eliminated 2 already designated machines that MowMaster produce. This is an extremely heavy duty product with unequalled cutting capabilities and performance. It can cut a bunker face up to 175mm with an option of 215mm and when used as a sprinkler cutter can cut up to 300mm diameter, with great precision and total control.

As an edger this machine is superbly balanced, and at only 19.5kg the operator can easily tackle any bunker contour or delicate bunker shapes. As a sprinkler cutter, it is so easy! The operator simply places the cutter over the sprinkler and adjusts the depth to suit. The machine can be left at the same depth when transporting from job to job.

mowmaster-hondaThe machine can also be used as a line trimmer, and utilises the standard trimmer head that the Honda power unit is supplied with. This gives a wider usage for commercial or even residential contractor situations.

The all in one Bunker Edger / Sprinkler Cutter has a solid one piece frame with only one moving component. The operator handle is adjustable and interchangeable; running 3 silicone filled puncture proof pneumatic wheels with quality sealed ball bearings, this beauty is built to last!

The unit is powered by a standard Honda UMK435 trimmer boasting the latest in Honda’s ultra-compact, lightweight, 4-Stroke engines, the UMK435 delivers superb power and more torque than ever before.

It does this via a Generation II, GX35 mini 4-stroke engine, proving yet again that Honda leads the world in revolutionary engine technology. Together with MowMasters engineering and Hondas technology, you cannot go past this multipurpose tool.


Pumps Australia – Volcano 3000


Pumps Australia’s Volcano 3000 series has been designed to be a low cost compact & reliable Industrial Hot and Cold High 3200Psi Pressure Cleaner.

Unlike other Industrial pressure washers in its class, the Volcano 300 only uses the 12 volt charge from the special Honda GX270 Recoil start engine to Power the complete unit, including the boiler fan motor and ignition relays; opposed to the 240 volt circuit and battery combination traditionally used in industrial hot and cold pressure washer units.

pumpsaustralia-hondaPumps Australia has specifically designed the Volcano 3000 for small or part-time contractors, cleaning contractors, councils, hire companies and farmers without access to 3 phase power.

The Volcano 3000 takes into account the ease of maintenance. Having the boiler coils inverted to the top of the diesel fired boiler (which has never been done before); high pressure water passes in and out of the top of the boiler unit, allowing electrical devices to be removed from the underneath of the boiler assembly allowing thermostats, flow switches and inlet and outlet water connections and housings to be protected from damage that usually occurs by moving the unit around sites and in transit. By effectively re-locating these electrical devices above the base of the frame into a cleaner environment it prevents early corrosion, allows for easy inspection and quick and easy maintenance.

With no inverters, no circuit boards and no generators in sight, Pumps Australia has developed a proven circuit design, clever wiring and electrical components to ensure the unit is of industrial quality & reliability of operation.


Christie Engineering – Jackhammer


Christie Engineering is an Australian based engineering company who are internationally renowned for their innovation and high quality equipment that stand up to the harsh Australian environment.

The newly designed lightweight jackhammer is intended for the construction industry, specifically builders, concreters, plumbers and tilers. Perfect for those sites that are difficult to use 240V tools, due to stringent rules on tag and test/safety, which has added costs to using an electric powered unit, it also saves dragging around a generator to those sites where power is not available.

The Christie Jackhammer is a natural development of Christie Engineering’s internationally renowned “Christie Post Driver”. Using the same impact energizer components as the petrol post driver, the creation of a jackhammer was a natural progression.

Powered by the gutsy, ultra-lightweight GX35 Mini 4Stroke efficiently delivers the kind of powerful, quiet performance that you’d expect from a larger engine – but in a very compact package.

Currently there is a gap in the market for petrol powered jackhammers. The top end models are very expensive and quite heavy and the cheaper end of the market is flooded with overseas units with very little after sales support or quality control.

Christie Engineering’s Jackhammer falls into the niche between these two segments; to bring the consumer reliability, lightness, quality and superior customer service at a reasonable price.


Public Finalists:

Ian Lefevre – Motorised Wheelbarrow


Ian Lefevre stumbled across the idea of an engine powered wheelbarrow after buying a house on a steep block in Tasmania. The only access to the back yard was via a narrow uphill pathway; Ian quickly tired of pushing wheelbarrows of top soil, concrete, mulch and much more up the narrow path to his backyard, this is when he thought there must be a better way to transport his heavy loads to his backyard.

Ian fitted an old 2 stroke brush cutter engine to his wheel barrow, it worked a treat & everybody that borrowed it said what a great idea. Landscape gardeners that had used Ian’s original barrow said that it needed to be faster and have more torque.

Ian then discovered the tough Honda GX35 engine, four stroke, easy starting & usable power over a wide rev range, with a centrifugal clutch, perfect for his application. With the increased power of the GX35 he was able to alter the gearing to achieve ample power to cope with a full load of concrete up very steep inclines or loads of pine bark mulch at running speed.

Ian has worked in the equipment hire industry for the last 22 years and knows that the simple things are often the easiest to operate & repair; using this principal he built a simple right angle drive gearbox with a clutch drum attached that bolts to the GX35 engine, using the clutch that comes on the SUT engine. The drive then has a 2 chain reduction onto the wheel. The engine speed is controlled by a thumb operated throttle lever; and is fitted an aluminium cover to protect the engine from concrete & sand, Ian also uses the rear shroud as fitted to the Atom lawn edger to direct the cooling air & exhaust away from the operators legs.

This latest prototype also has chain guards to comply with OH&S regulations.

There are motorised wheelbarrows available from various suppliers but they do not retain the manoeuvrability of a standard wheelbarrow, where Ian believes his prototype does.


Bradley Orr – Exhaust Heat Recovery System


Bradley is a 25 year old studying a PhD in mechanical and manufacturing engineering at RMIT University in Melbourne.

Bradley’s exhaust heat recovery system is designed to convert a small fraction of the waste exhaust heat from a Honda engine into electricity. Thermoelectric generator (TEG) technology and heat pipe technology are utilised for this product. The use of this technology allows the system to be solid state. A bench type proof of concept model was manufactured. This model uses a 50CC Honda petrol 4 stroke engine.

One potential application would be in Honda generators. A problem with generators powered by an internal combustion engine is that the engine thermal efficiency is quite low. Typically an engine has a thermal efficiency of approximately 25% on average. The other 75% of the energy in the fuel is wasted as heat in the cooling system and exhaust gases. Converting even a small fraction of this waste heat into electricity with an exhaust heat recovery system can make a noticeable improvement in the fuel consumption, CO2 emissions and fuel costs. The electricity generated from an exhaust heat recovery system would reduce the load on the generator which consequently reduces the load on the engine therefore cutting the fuel consumption.

Another potential application for this product would be on Honda electric start lawn mowers (Push mowers and ride on mowers). All electric start mowers require a battery to power the starter motor. Unfortunately, the battery will go flat over time and will require recharging. Two current methods for recharging the battery are either plugging it into a 240V socket (inconvenient, easy to forget) or using an alternator attached to the engine (added cost, weight, complexity, unreliability). An exhaust heat recovery system using TEGs could replace the alternator of the engine.

This system could potentially be more reliable than an alternator because it is solid state, could potentially be cheaper than an alternator and could potentially use less fuel because there is no load on the engine.


Michael Smyth – Belt Linisher


Michael Smyth a Queenslander, and diesel mechanic by trade was looking for a truly portable and reliable belt linisher that he could utilise for metal fabrication away from his workshop facilities.

Michael has developed a tool to fill a gap in the market, based on his needs for portable and reasonably powered belt linisher/sander.

The main use of the belt linisher is finishing, deburring, stock removal and cleaning of various metals, plastic and timber – similar to electrically powered belt linishers currently on the market; the benefit of being powered by the Honda GX200 is that the linisher has more power enabling it to be more effective in removing and shaping different materials.

With the usability being truly based around the machines portability there is no longer a need for the user to carry around a generator for their electrical powered linisher (taking up valuable space in the back of the Ute or van). Michael has been able to develop a mount on the tailgate of his ute that secures the linisher whilst in operation. It is also possible to have the linisher mounted to a portable drop saw bench if necessary.

This is designed to suit a wide range of professional service men and tradesman including but not limited to farriers, farmers, diesel mechanics and welders doing onsite repairs and installations.


Judges (left to right):


PHILLIP BOURKE Trade Adviser – Advanced Manufacturing – Australian Trade Commission

MICHAEL SANDERS Senior Educator Engineering – Holmesglen

STEPHEN HARVEY National Service Manager at Honda

MILAN MEJAK Senior Engineer – Pre Sales – Honda


ROBERT TOSCANO Managing Director of Honda MPE Australia.