KEECH Castings has sold the rights to a host of its Bendigo innovations as it casts its eyes on the next big breakthrough.
The manufacturer has sold patents and customer contracts to mining supplier CR Mining in a deal that will fund Keech's next round of R&D.
The exact price of the deal remains confidential.
Under the deal, Keech will keep making parts in Bendigo for one year and no jobs will be impacted, executive general manager Brad Clark said.
"So the impact in Bendigo is zero, from an operational perspective. It's business as usual," he said.
"It's really a bonus for us that nothing changes other than that we are freeing up capital to start research and progress opportunities."
The company has spent years developed a range of products for underground mining.
That includes hardy blades that can be fitted to the buckets of underground earth moving equipment.
The products (including those pictured below) are designed to withstand mining conditions and be easily replaced on site.
Keech will use the money to create new equipment for above-ground mining, Mr Clark said.
"We want to follow up on opportunities in the above-ground, hydraulic excavator space," he said.
"We've been pretty successful in developing, patenting and commercialising new technology. This will be the second time we have sold of assets in this way."
Keech's R&D team also wants to focus a little more on electrical technology, including sensors that could be used to track things like how fast equipment wears out.
"We want to head down that path of monitors and some real-time sensor technology," Mr Clark said.
It will be a new area for the company.
Keech was founded more than 85 years ago in Bendigo and specialises in designing steel high-integrity steel castings.
"Manufacturing in Australia has its challenges. There is still a niche market for us but we do have to diversify a little bit," Mr Clark said.
"We are not electronic or sensor specialists but we see there are some transferable skill sets that we can use to work with businesses already in that space."
Keech will likely spend the next three months looking for those partners.
It will also spend that time helping CR Mining manage the handover of old products and contracts..
"We are working very hard to make that transition as seamless as possible," Mr Clark said.
Have you signed up to the Bendigo Advertiser's daily newsletter and breaking news emails? You can register below and make sure you are up to date with everything that's happening in central Victoria.