In Summary

  • Swinburne awarded $1 million Global Innovation Linkages Program funding towards $3.5 million project focused on Industry 4.0 manufacturing
  • Project will use world-first process for 3D printing of industrial scale composites in Swinburne’s Industry 4.0 Testlab

Swinburne and its industry and research partners have been awarded $1 million of funding through the Global Innovation Linkages Program towards a $3.5 million project focused on Industry 4.0 manufacturing of high volume lightweight composites.

The project will use a world-first process for 3D printing of industrial scale composites in Swinburne’s Industry 4.0 Testlab.

Carbon fibre composite manufacture has become a growth area for Australia in the past decade leading to new export markets. To maintain this momentum, the key challenge is to increase the rate and lower the cost of production.

This can only be achieved by targeted research using the latest technologies in automation and digitalisation.

Swinburne has established partnerships with Australian companies and global economies in Germany, Austria and Israel to undertake Industry 4.0 platform capability development.

“The Global Innovation Program Linkage grant recognises our leadership in Industry 4.0 transformation of the advanced manufacturing sector through collaboration with our partners in Australia and Germany,” says Swinburne Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Research and Development) Professor Aleksandar Subic.

“This success validates our Industry 4.0 Testlab strategy and development, and deepens our research partnerships internationally, especially with ARENA2036 in Stuttgart and with Fill in Austria.

“I am pleased that our research team, led by Professor Bronwyn Fox, has secured this support to expand the scope and reach of their high impact research in the area of automated carbon fibre parts production using Industry 4.0 technologies and processes.”

The project will design and develop products for the ‘New Mobility Transportation’ market as a brand-new, rapidly growing industrial segment in both the aerospace and automotive sectors, where there is a critical requirement for high volume composites with digital ID.

“Designing and developing Swinburne’s Industry 4.0 Testlab for 3D printing of composites with our industry and research partners is one of the key strategies of the Manufacturing Futures Research Institute, founded two years ago,” says Director of the Manufacturing Futures Research Institute, Professor Bronwyn Fox, who will be the research director of the program.

“Our international network of industrially connected researchers enables us to create new global business opportunities for advanced manufacturers in Australia. 

“This project will also support training the next generation of digitally astute joint PhD students between Swinburne and the University of Stuttgart.”

International partners

FILL is a global leader in the design and supply of automated solutions, machinery and equipment for various industrial sectors and is located in Gurten, Austria.

Quickstep is the largest independent aerospace-grade, advanced composite manufacturer in Australia.  Quickstep has developed significant capabilities and expertise in the production of high-quality composite components, using both conventional autoclave-based manufacturing and leading out-of-autoclave production technologies.

ARENA2036 is the industry on campus model for research at the University of Stuttgart. In 2016 Swinburne formed a partnership with ARENA2036 ‘Active Research Environment for the Next Generation of Automobiles’ to foster innovation in hi-tech manufacturing research and development. The partnership is focused on developing and commercialising research outcomes, transferring new automated and digital manufacturing methods to Australia’s advanced manufacturers and providing them access to growth areas in global value chains. Swinburne joined ARENA2036 as a full partner in November 2018, facilitating access to research infrastructure and world-class expertise including the University of Stuttgart IFB, The University of Ravensburg-Weingarten, Fraunhofer IPA and IAO as well as more than 30 industry partners.

Plataine is the leading provider of Industrial IoT and AI-based optimisation solutions for advanced manufacturing. Plataine’s solutions provide intelligent, connected Digital Assistants for production floor management and staff, empowering manufacturers to make optimised decisions in real-time, every time. Plataine’s solutions are used by leading manufacturers, including Airbus, GE, Renault F1® Team, IAI, Triumph, General Atomics, TPI Composites, and AAT Composites. Plataine partners with Google Cloud, Siemens PLM, McKinsey & Company, TE W&C, the AMRC with Boeing, and CTC GmbH (an Airbus Company), to advance the ‘Factory of the Future’ worldwide.


Global Innovation Linkages program

The Global Innovation Linkages program is led by the Department of Industry, Innovation and Science. It provides matched funding to assist Australian businesses and researchers to collaborate with global partners on strategically focused, leading-edge research and development projects.

It supports projects focussed on developing high quality products, services or processes that respond to industry challenges.

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