“Advanced Manufacturing Forum”.
It was opened by the Hon Bob Baldwin Parliamentary Secretary to the Ministry of Industry who outlined the Industry Competitiveness Agenda announced by the Prime Minister last Tuesday which identifies advanced manufacturing as as area where Australia can be highly competitive on the international stage.
“The development of a Sutherland Advanced Manufacturing Business Centre is a wonderful initiative; it shows an enormous sense of commitment that sits squarely on the page with our national agenda,” Mr Baldwin said.
” The local proposal to produce a range of robots and robotic components at a new centre, based at Lucas Heights, will enable new and established local businesses to strengthen their expertise in additive manufacturing , advanced material science, nanotechnology, nuclear science and information and communication technologies.
Lucas Heights is an ideal location, as it already hosts a nucleus of science and technology providers including ANSTO and CSIRO. The University of Wollongongs, Australian Centre for Electro -materials Sciences is also not too far away
Further information on the government’s new Industry Innovation and Competitiveness Agenda can be found at www.industry.gov.au/industry /Pages/Industry-Growth-Centres.aspx#header
The line up of speakers at the Forum was impressive:
Professor Gordon Wallace of the ARC Centre of Excellence for Electromaterials Science (Intelligent Polymer Research Institute) in Woollongong. It also specializes in nanotechnology research.
He spoke on Materials Science Development which included:
3D Printing of metal electrodes and High Resolution Metal Prototyping.
Nanostructured Electromaterials for water splitting – catalyst accelerates hydrogen from water eight fold and solar cell generates oxygen from water upon illumination with sunlight.
Their engagement with Clinicians on product development was impressive – Prof. Graeme Clark on an Advanced Cochlea Implant Electrode, with Prof. Peter Choong on Nerve/Muscle/Bone/Cartilage Regeneration and Prof. Mark Cook on Epilepsy Detection and control.
Build the Printers to Build the Structures including Structural (Bio Functional) Components such as 3D Printed Chitosan to provide an infrapatellar fat pad for knee surgery. An inkjet printer that can print cells even adipose stem cells and 3D Bioprinting of parts for bodies.
It showed this facility has immense capabilities with materials processing and device fabrication with multiple materials.
Dr Paul Di Petro MD of the Australian Institute of Nuclear Science and Engineering.
ANSTO employs more than 1100 staff : 250 with PhDs.
It is encouraged to work with industry on projects which can employ its expertise e.g as part of the Defence Materials Technology Centre to improve existing metallic armour, development of new armour materials and design of future armour platforms.
Two of the speakers were from companies in the Southern region that are using advanced technologies to grow their businesses.
Kevin Cullen MD Breseight Engineering is using four 3D Printers to make products for a wide range of uses but notably surgery particularly maxillofacial reconstruction and also for Dynamic learning at all levels.
Steve Britton MD Britton Maritime Systems spoke on the importance of connecting with the right partners (worldwide) in order to obtain the expertise you need. It is vital you also have expertise to contribute to the partnership. Steve has a niche market “Excellence in Military and Para Military Craft”. For such a market low cost is ordinarily not an issue.
Anthony Harrington Business Development NDC Automation spoke on Robotics and its growing importance particularly in storage and movement of goods.
Kiva Systems recently installed by Amazon reveals the future of warehousing. Rather than humans fetching, robots bring selected items as per customer order. All fork lifts are robotic. The warehouse operates 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. At night the warehouse functions in the dark, no lights are needed for robots to work. They operate by magnetic dots on the floor.
As expected the use of robots has reduced costs substantially – greater accuracy, increased productivity, no human injuries, less product damage. Articulated robots now can perform many more functions; sense, act and yes even think.
Sam Bucolo Prof. Design & Innovation UTS: Design Innovation Research Centre. Sam’s message was basically your organisation needs to be a design led organisation.
A combination of activities which focus on building design as a leadership capability, broader workforce skill development in using design thinking and innovation programs focusing on business model and customer experience to complement technology research will be required.
“Have a vision for growth in your business based around deep customer insights.”
Expand this vision with your customers and stakeholders.
Map these insights to all aspects of your business. Applied through a deductive thinking mindset.
WHAT DID PARTICIPANTS LEARN FROM THIS FORUM?
- How traditional manufacturers have progressed to more advanced manufacturing technologies
- How you can join in this journey at minimal capital costs.
- How you can participate in the supply chain for the rapidly growing robotics industry.
- What to look for in harnessing international IP for your business.
- How to develop business plans and sustainable competitive advantage in the new environment.
- What is on the scientific horizon of material and nuclear sciences for manufacturers.