New partnership to advance smart manufacturing

Thursday 10 November 2016

Swinburne’s Factory of the Future will house the Industry 4.0 TestLab that will explore the automated manufacturing of composite products.

In summary

  • Swinburne and the Australian Manufacturing Growth Centre (AMGC) will work to boost the adoption of Industry 4.0 processes
  • New Manufacturing Futures Research Institute at Swinburne is the first research institute dedicated to Industry 4.0

Swinburne University of Technology is partnering with the Australian Manufacturing Growth Centre (AMGC) to help manufacturers harness Industry 4.0 opportunities.

The partnership was announced today at the launch of Swinburne’s new Manufacturing Futures Research Institute (MFI) – the first research institute dedicated to Industry 4.0.

Industry 4.0 refers to the next stage of modern manufacturing – a paradigm shift towards smart factories that merge cyber systems with physical systems.

Industry 4.0 TestLab

The AMGC will contribute $250,000 to support growth projects at the Industry 4.0 TestLab at the MFI. This lab will explore the automated manufacturing of composite products.

“We are entering a new era of interaction among parts, machines and humans that will see enormous economic growth in Australia,” Director of the Institute, Professor Bronwyn Fox, says.

“The new institute will link research centres and researchers with industry, business and community to maximise research impact in industrial automation, industrial internet, new manufacturing processes for new generation materials, and design-driven manufacturing innovation.”

Chairman of the Advanced Manufacturing Growth Centre (AMGC), Andrew Stevens, welcomed the creation of the MFI.

“Our manufacturers can’t do it on their own. Intensive industry-research collaboration is vital if manufacturing is to continue sustaining our nation’s economy,” Mr Stevens says.

Focus on small and medium-sized businesses

The AMGC and the MFI will also work together to develop and fund key industry projects that demonstrate the benefits of Industry 4.0 capabilities for small and medium-sized businesses.

The MFI brings together Swinburne’s world leading expertise in advanced materials, industrial automation, advanced manufacturing, robotics, design, and data science to:

  • develop high value customised manufactured products
  • develop new materials and processes for smart products
  • increase agility and productivity of Australia’s manufacturing base
  • integrate Australia’s know-how with the global value chain


“We will measure our success through delivery of high value-add solutions in collaboration with industry that create impact through innovation, commercialisation, start-ups and new enterprises being formed,” Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Research and Development) Professor Aleksandar Subic says.

The MFI is the first of Swinburne’s new research institutes that will foster interdisciplinary collaboration. Swinburne’s new Innovation Precinct will provide the environment to nurture such developments.