Townsville hub provides local connection to advanced manufacturing

The Queensland government opened the Townsville Manufacturing Hub on Monday, September 9.

The Hub aims to help boost manufacturing and productivity in the city and surrounding region and is located at the TAFE Queensland Bohle campus. Townsville manufacturing businesses contributed $840 million to Queensland’s economy in 2017-2018, according to Minister for State Development, Manufacturing, Infrastructure and Planning, Cameron Dick.

“They are also providing more than seven per cent of jobs in the region, from areas such as metal production and food products, and we want to grow the sector even more,” said Dick

The delivery of the Hub is part of the Queensland government’s Advanced Manufacturing 10-Year Roadmap and Action Plan. The Hub will provide business development and training programs, and tailored workforce skills to promote productivity and international competitiveness.

“The hub will promote collaboration between industry with vocational, tertiary and secondary education providers such as Tec-NQ, to ensure our next generation workforce has strong skills in science, technology, engineering, arts and maths,” said Dick.

Supporting the growth of the regional manufacturing ecosystem in Townsville, which includes advanced metal production and food manufacturing, the Hub will provide access to Internet of Things (IoT) enabled technologies, automation and, robotics – such as via the Advanced Robotics for Manufacturing Hub in Brisbane.

“The hub will provide a catalyst for promoting and delivering world-leading technologies, processes and practices,” said Member for Mundingburra, Coralee O’Rouke.

A local reference group will guide the Hub, ensuring that it meets the needs of local manufacturers.

For operations manager of local laser cutting business, NEM Group, Elara Hughes, the hub will connect the business to the knowledge training required for Industry 4.0 adoption.

“I see a lot of value in creating a strong and collaborative ecosystem to lift industry’s capability and develop regional manufacturing,” said Hughes.

Connections will also be made between manufacturers and the defence industry, highlighted Member for Thuringowa, Aaron Harper.

“To increase the capability of local manufacturers to undertake defence work, the Townsville Manufacturing Hub will have strategic links and work closely with the recently-opened Townsville Defence Hub,” he said.