At the Factory of the Future, our joint journey with industry starts with the development of the digital and Industry 4.0 strategy (the “why” of digital transformation), continuing with the engineering and training project arising from the strategy (the “What”) and culminates in research and development where necessary to create new business outcomes (the”How”). The state-of-the-art Factory of the Future facility here at Swinburne allows companies to learn digitalisation technologies and explore recent advances in automation of manufacturing.

Factory of the Future and Industry 4.0

The Factory of the Future represents our industry portal for Industry 4.0. For manufacturing businesses, who want to connect to global supply chain and innovate on business model, the Factory of the Future provides digital innovation journey through:

  1. Digital strategy co-creation through FoF’s Advanced Manufacturing Industry 4.0 Hub
  2. Exploring how Industry 4.0 technologies enable business outcomes
  3. Innovation de-risking.

The Factory of the Future is a response to the evolving needs of industry and the education sector. Creating partnerships and working in collaboration with Design Factory Melbourne, the Manufacturing Futures Research Institute, and Swinburne’s PAVE, the Factory of the Future is a blueprint for modern innovation. Working collaboratively with the business, Swinburne can develop new products and methods of manufacturing, as well as more productive, value-added business models. 

  • People inspect a design with specialised visual equipment at the Factory of the Future
    Factory of the Future
  • People working inside the Factory of the Future
    Inside Swinburnes Factory of the Future with guests in foreground
  • Delegates from Vietnam take a tour of the Factory of the Future
  • A woman wearing visual equipment reaches out to touch an object in augmented reality
    Factory of the Future
  • People inspect a 3D printer within the Factory of the Future
    Minister Dambrosio looking at a 3D printer in the Factory of the Future

Located on the ground floor of Swinburne’s A$100 million Advanced Manufacturing and Design Centre, this ground-breaking facility is made up of a cluster of specialist equipment with highly adaptive capacity. Cyber-physical factory and collaborative robots with autonomous vehicles allows optimising manufacturing operations, from symbiotic assembly cell to the entire value chain/network scheduling. 

Using advanced visualisation and simulation tools, our industry partners have the resources to develop new factory layouts rapidly, create innovative products and research potential business models. 

Equipped with plastic and metal 3D printers as well as high-precision scanners, the facility allows seamless transition between digital concepts and metal or plastic prototypes. Companies and engineers can test digital supply chain, added-value product business models as well as use 3D printed prototypes — all within the same space.

Factory of the Future’s Industry 4.0 Testlab

Factory of the Future’s Industry 4.0 Testlab is an open, re-configurable manufacturing facility.

Training area assembly line.

The Industry 4.0 Testlab is a manufacturing line consisting of a fully automated assembly cell, a symbiotic cell in which a human and a robot can work together to carry out assembly operations, quality inspection cells as well as smart warehouses at the box and palette storage level and a flexible gantry system allowing for dynamic slotting etc.

The Industry 4.0 Testlab integrates all other FoF equipment into a reconfigurable workflow that manufacturers can explore to understand how Industry 4.0 technology enables new business outcomes — such as the ability to manufacture products of one for markets of one (mass customisation).

Discover our equipment and facilities

Factory of the Future has a range of state-of-the-art manufacturing tools and technologies. The equipment is used for research and collaboration projects.

AIV (Autonomous Intelligent Vehicle)

Platform size: 699x500x383 mm (27.5x19.7x15.1 inches)
Body clearance 50 mm (2.0 inches)
Weight (with battery) 62 kg (132 lb)
Rating: IP Rating IP20 Max payload – level: 90 kg (198 lb)
Swing radius: 343 mm (13.5 inches)
Turn radius: 0 mm Translational speed/max: 1350 mm/s (53.1 inches/s); Rotational speed, max LD-90: 180°/s
Stop position accuracy ±100 mm for position, ±2° for rotation -with the HAPS option ±10 mm for position, ±0.5° for rotation
Traversable step, max: 10 mm (0.4 inch)
Traversable gap, max: 15 mm (0.6 inch)
Climb grade, 60 kg max 1:12
Traversable terrain: Generally wheelchair accessible

Note: A speed of 250 mm/s for the LD-90 is required for these steps. Faster or frequent driving over such steps or gaps will shorten the lifespan of the drivetrain components. Lower speeds may not traverse the step. Steps should have smooth, rounded profiles.

Collaborative Robot 2: Universal Robots – UR5e:

Max reach: 850mm;
Payload: 5kg Task repeatability 0.05mm
Typical tool speed: 1m/s
Degree of Freedom: 6 Integrated force/torque sensors
Communication: Profinet and Ethernet IP; Modbus TCP

TechMan /Omron –TM5-900

Max reach: 900mm; 
Payload: 4kg 
Task repeatability 0.03mm 
Typical tool speed: 1.4m/s 
Degree of Freedom: 6 
Integrated camera 
Communication: RS232; Ethernet; Modbus TCP/RTU 

Plastic 3D printer: Stratasys FDM Fortus 450mc

Build Size:  406 x 355 x 406 mm (16 x 14 x 16 in) 
Layer Thickness: 0.127-0.330mm 
Material: ABS-M30, ASA, FDM Nylon12, PC 
Accuracy: ± .127 mm (± .005 in.) or ± .0015 mm/mm (± .0015 in/in), whichever is greater). 

Note: Accuracy is geometry-dependent. Achievable accuracy specification derived from statistical data at 95% dimensional yield.

Metal 3D printer: 3D systems proX 200 (AlSi12)

Build VOLUME: 5.51 x 5.51 x 3.94 in (140 x 140 x 100 mm)
Layer Thickness: 40μm - 100μm
Material: LaserForm AlSi12 (B)
MATERIAL APPLICATION: Roller
REPEATABILITY: x=20 µm, y=20 µm, z=20 µm
MINIMUM FEATURE SIZE: x=100 µm, y=100 µm, z=40 µm
ACCURACY: ± 0.1-0.2% with ± 50 μm minimum

Metal 3D printer: LightSPEE3D Spee3D (Copper, Aluminium)

Build Volume: 300mm x 300mm x 300mm (27L)
Weight Limit: 3000g
Deposition Rate: 100g/min (Maximum)
Deposit layer height: 6mm
Materials: Aluminium, Copper

Laser Cutter: Epilog 40Mini

Engraving Area 18" x 12" (457 x 305 mm)
Maximum Material Thickness 4" (102 mm)
Laser Wattage 30 or 40 watts
Laser Source CO2 laser tubes
Resolution User controlled from 75 to 1200 DPI

3D scanner: Creaform HandySCAN 700

Size and Weight: 77 x 122 x 294 mm (3.0 x 4.8 x 11.6 in.); 0.85 kg (1.9 lbs.)
Scanning Area: 275 x 250 mm (10.8 x 9.8 in.)
Measurement Rate: 480,000 measurements/s
Depth of Field: 250 mm (9.8 in.) Light Source: 7 laser crosses (+1 extra line)
Resolution: 0.050 mm (0.0020 in.)
Accuracy: Up to 0.030 mm (0.0012 in.)
VOLUMETRIC: 0.020 mm + 0.060 mm/m (0.0008 in. + 0.0007 in./ft)
Recommended Part Size: 0.1 – 4 m (0.3 – 13 ft)
Laser Class: 2M (eye-safe)

Hydraulic Press: Labtech Scientific Press LP-S-20

Maximum platen pressure (MT) 20 
Platen sizes (mm) 300 X 300 
Daylight (max. opening) (mm) 150 
Platen heating power (kW) 2 x 4 
Hydraulic Motor power (kW) 2.2 
Max platen temperature (°C) 450 
Approx. heating time to 150 C (min) 10

In–Situ Cure Monitoring: Netzsch DEA 288 Ionic

Frequency range: 1 mHz to 1 MHz, freely selectable values 
Data acquisition: Multiple DEA modules; true simultaneous operation of all channels 
Minimum data acquisition time:  < 5 ms 
Sensor connection: Shielded 4-wire technique (compensation of resistivity and capacity of the wire as a prerequisite for precise measurements) 
DEA modules: All-purpose version, up to 7 channels 
I/O ports: Input and output of measuring signals or signals from peripheral devices such as pressure or temperature sensors. DEA allows for triggering by manufacturing machines. 
Coated Tool Mountable Comb Electrode (TMCc) with sensing area 254 mm²; max T 220°C, electrodes spacing 500 μm.
Suitable for all resins, composites and other polymers with electrically conductive fillers 

Resin Characterization: Netzsch DSC 214 Polyma® (-70…600°C) Differential Scanning Calorimeter

DSC 214 Polyma inclusive low-mass Arena® silver furnace for fast heating and cooling rates up to 500 K/min plus Corona® sensor for highly reproducible results 

Intracooler 70: compressor cooling system.

MFC gas control block with 3 inputs and 2 outputs, calibrated for N2,default conversion factors for O2, He, Ar, CO2 and synthetic air, for non-corrosive and non-explosive gases/gas mixtures, flow rate (0) ...5 ... to 250 ml/min (resolution of 1 ml/min with N2), for software-programmed control and registration of the gas flows.

Sample changer supplement with removable carousel for the automatic measurement of 20 samples, complete with control electronics.

Proteus® software including SmartMode and ExpertMode user interfaces.

Composites characterisation: CIKONI automated optical/eddy current inspection system

A robot based optical sensor for preform analysis is applied, which was developed at the Institute of Aircraft Design in Stuttgart in cooperation with FIBRE in Bremen.

The system allows automated, high-quality capturing of the surface texture of complex part geometries and the subsequent detection of fibre angles, waviness or gaps based on image analysis.

The process chain for 3D preform analysis covering the whole part surface consists of a virtual image planning and robot programming step, the optical capturing of the part and the subsequent mapping of measured fibre angles to a costumer specific FE format for visualization and processing.

This means that measuring results are available in the same format as the results from draping simulation and therefore fit perfectly inside existing CAE process chains.

Work with us

The Factory of the Future is keen to work with businesses, especially SMEs, in anything ‘Industry 4.0’. 

See below for our approach - we would love to talk to you about any projects, large or small, and introduce you to our technologies, expertise, agile approach to collaboration and wide network of partners.

Build a business strategy that incorporates Industry 4.0 thinking and realisation and prepare your business to thrive as part of the fourth industrial revolution.

Ready to access our training or already considering a partnership with us? Contact Factory of the Future Director, Nico Adams, on +61 3 9214 5011 or via nicoadams@swinburne.edu.au to start a conversation.

1. Play

Come and ‘play’ with us either in the Factory of the Future space or through attending one of our workshops and seminars to find out more about industry 4.0, digitisation, digital strategy and get a practical sense of what it can do for you and your business.

2. Think

Build a business strategy that incorporates Industry 4.0 thinking and realisation — preparing your business to thrive as part of the fourth industrial revolution. Access training and consider a future partnership with us.

3. Do

Make it happen. Execute your strategy through skills-building, engineering projects and research and reap the benefits of embracing Industry 4.0 early. We’ll help you de-risk your innovation projects and get your digital journey underway.

The Advanced Manufacturing Industry 4.0 Hub and Testlab facilities are integrated elements of the Factory of the Future that provide opportunity for you and your organisation to find out more about Industry 4.0 – and importantly to ‘play’ with them in the context of your own work.

The Hub is delivering free, interactive futuremap® business diagnostic workshops as well as free webinars that introduce Industry 4.0 and dives into how that may be used in relation to market, leadership, innovation and digitisation.

Industry 4.0 Testlab Technology Demonstrators allow you to test some of the latest development in automation and robotics as it applies to your business. Autonomous vehicles, collaborative robots, modular manufacturing units, digital twin, virtual reality, additive manufacturing are on display to learn more about their functions and capabilities and how they apply to your manufacturing process.

Undertake a futuremap® Industry 4.0 Readiness Assessment with the Advanced Manufacturing Industry 4.0 Hub team to create your detailed, innovative and future-proofed business strategy. This fee-for-service series of three bespoke modules follows the business diagnostic workshop, duration depends on the complexity and requirements of your business: 

  • Module 1: Process and production readiness

  • Module 2: New business opportunities

  • Module 3: Strategic road mapping

Businesses that participate in the readiness assessment modules also receive a two-week intensive Industry 4.0 technical and business model innovation training. There is also a range of microcredential courses that allow you to have hands-on training with the equipment at the Factory of the Future.

Once you have your 5* industry 4.0 ready business strategy, it’s time to implement. You may choose to do this alone or there may be an opportunity to continue working together on your journey to embed industry 4.0 in everything you do.

Factory of the Future is home to a wide array of technologies from Virtual Reality to collaborative robots. Partnering with us enables you to access and de-risk your innovation process. With flexible student placements (and the wider infrastructure of Swinburne) we can also work collaboratively to access various grants, for example those through Business Victoria and Advanced Manufacturing Victoria.

Working with our experienced team and using our wider connections to cutting edge researchers across a range of disciplines will deliver an innovative, transdisciplinary team with real energy and enthusiasm to achieve results.

Our people

Find a staff member or student from the Factory of the Future.

Name Position Email/phone
A/Professor Nico Adams  Director

nicoadams@swinburne.edu.au

03 9214 5011

Shanti Krishnan  Deputy Director

skrishnan@swinburne.edu.au

03 9214 8971

Dr Stacey Konash  Senior Manager

skonash@swinburne.edu.au

03 9214 3341

Jimmy Thomas  Additive Manufacturing Engineer

jimmythomas@swinburne.edu.au

03 9214 4533

Hasan Kaptan  Digital Twin Engineer

hkaptan@swinburne.edu.au

03 9214 3308

Vikram Sachdeva 
Manager, Advanced Manufacturing Industry 4.0 Hub Manager 

vsachdeva@swinburne.edu.au

+61 407 423 538


Vince Lorefice

Industry 4.0 Transformation Consultant 

vlorefice@swinburne.edu.au 

+61 455 322 935 

Dr Sharad Menon  Industry 4.0 Hub Engagement Manager

sharadmenon@swinburne.edu.au 

+61 411 450 879 

Keep on exploring

  • Our partners

    We work with industry partners to solve key challenges through integration of innovative design platforms, advanced manufacturing technologies, digitalization and information systems. View our key strategic and industry partnership.

  • Industry 4.0

    Industry 4.0 is the next frontier, essential for the future of developing economies. At Swinburne, we’re using digital technologies to create social and economic impact as one of the only universities with a holistic 4.0 strategy. 

Explore our news

Contact the Factory of the Future

Contact us to enquire about solutions for your business, our projects and our initiatives. To engage with us across our Industry 4.0 capabilities, please contact Nico Adams, Director, Factory of the Future on +61 3 9214 5011 or via nicoadams@swinburne.edu.au to start a conversation.

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