Swinburne partners with Germany’s Fraunhofer Institute for Industry 4.0 research

Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Research and Development) Professor Aleksandar Subic and Fraunhofer IPA Director, Professor Thomas Bauernhansl, signed an MoU to deepen Industry 4.0 collaboration. Picture credit: Swinburne

Swinburne University has formalised a research partnership with the Fraunhofer Institute for Manufacturing Engineering and Automation IPA in Germany as part of an arrangement for the two organisations to deepen collaboration in the field of industry 4.0.

A Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) was signed between the two organisations at Swinburne’s Hawthorn campus during a recent visit by Fraunhofer IPA director, Professor Thomas Bauernhansl.

“Our partnerships with Germany are a key part of our Industry 4.0 strategy in advanced manufacturing,” says Professor Aleksandar Subic, Swinburne’s deputy vice-chancellor (Research and Development).

“We are already working with the German national network of Industry 4.0 Testlabs – Labs Network Industrie 4.0 LNI 4.0 through the prime Minister’s Industry 4.0 Taskforce and Platform Agreement.

“This relationship with Fraunhofer IPA complements well this approach by enabling us to deepen our relationships and mutual capabilities through joint research projects and PhD students embedded in Fraunhofer IPA and industry in Germany.”

Research staff from Fraunhofer recently visited Swinburne to develop research projects for collaboration in specific areas of industry 4.0, in particular for the digitisation of manufacturing processes and the servitisation of products. The first Fraunhofer IPA staff exchange will occur later this year.

“The Fraunhofer IPA has outstanding teams in Stuttgart and Bayreuth and we are already working closely with the University of Bayreuth, the University of Stuttgart and its industry driven research consortium – industry on campus – ARENA2036,” says Director of the Manufacturing Futures Research Institute, Professor Bronwyn Fox.

“These collaborations are augmenting our research in manufacturing automation of composite parts for a range of industries and will soon extend to construction automation.”

Swinburne has purchased a world first 3D printing technology for carbon fibre composite product manufacture. This advanced manufacturing technology is at the heart of the Swinburne Industry 4.0 Testlab.