Swinburne University of Technology has launched a new research hub focused on advanced manufacturing and Industry 4.0 at its Factory of the Future facility.
The Advanced Manufacturing Industry 4.0 Hub will work with local manufacturers to develop digitalisation strategies for their business, increase their digital maturity and provide training to help them use Industry 4.0 technologies such as artificial intelligence, the Internet of Things, smart robotics and virtual reality to grow their business and innovate on their business model.
At the launch event of the new hub, Swinburne University’s Deputy Vice-Chancellor, Professor Aleksandar Subic, said the adoption of new generation digital technologies and processes was crucial due to the highly competitive environment of manufacturing internationally.
“Industry 4.0 is all about the next stage of development in the manufacturing sector driven by digitalisation,” Subic said.
“Automation and the Industrial Internet of Things in particular are transforming the manufacturing industry, presenting us with new business opportunities through better integration with the global supply chain.”
The hub is funded by a $2 million grant from the Victorian government’s Future Industries Fund. Victoria’s industry and employment minister, Ben Carroll, was present at the launch event. Carroll said that the government’s grant was leveraging Swinburne University’s $100 million investment in advanced manufacturing infrastructure and expertise.
“Digital transformation of manufacturing is a game changer, which is why we’re creating a new Advanced Manufacturing Hub – to ensure Victorian businesses are well equipped to take advantage of this technology,” Carroll said.
“The hub will help local manufacturers unlock the opportunities that exist with digital technologies to transform their operations, and deliver cutting edge products and services.”
Part of the hub’s functions will be to provide students opportunities to work side-by side with industry and researchers developing and co-creating new technologies and practice, further pushing forward the university’s commitment to linking vocational training and higher education. The university has said that it is developing new courses based on Industry 4.0 strategy.