CSIRO has created a ‘blueprint’ for how Australian manufacturers can survive and prosper, despite many industries facing an uncertain national and international future.
The Advanced Manufacturing Roadmap, which was written by CSIRO in collaboration with industry, government and researchers, identifies major growth opportunities and what manufacturers need to do to achieve them.
“The Advanced Manufacturing Roadmap is the compass that guides our excellent science to deliver the breakthrough innovation needed to re-imagine Australian advanced manufacturing,” CSIRO chief executive Larry Marshall said.
“Australian science can turn disruptors and increased globalisation into opportunities for value creation right here at home,” Dr Marshall said.
“Whether it's 3D printed sternums to save lives, or 3D paper weaving to help Australian SMEs break into global value chains – or as the great (World War One Prime Minister) Billy Hughes said ‘science will guide the manufacturer into greener pastures’.”
The Advanced Manufacturing Roadmap spells out how manufacturing is becoming increasingly global, Dr Marshall said, with integration into international value chains vital.
He said over the next 20 years, Australia’s manufacturing industry “must evolve into a highly integrated, collaborative and export-focused environment that provides high-value solutions”.
The sector should focus on pre-production activities such as design, research and development; as well as value-adding services, sustainable manufacturing and low volume/high margin customised products.
CSIRO manufacturing director Keith McLean said this would require significant technological innovation by public and private research communities.
“The industrial landscape is changing fast. We need to start evolving with it,” Dr McLean said.
“Australian manufacturing has a strong, high-tech future.
“The research sector needs to focus on areas like sensors, data analytics, advanced materials, robotics, automation, 3D printing and augmented – or virtual – reality.
“Australian manufacturers must transform their businesses by investing in new knowledge, skills and practices.”
The Advanced Manufacturing Roadmap calls on Australia’s research and manufacturing sectors to increase their collaboration and alignment with each other.
“Industry needs to lead this transformation. CSIRO has the expertise, experience and business network to help guide them,” Dr McLean said.
The Advanced Manufacturing Roadmap is the first in a series of Roadmaps being produced by CSIRO, each aligned to the Federal Government’s Industry Growth Centres.
The Advanced Manufacturing Roadmap can be downloaded from the CSIRO website.
CSIRO’s Advanced Manufacturing Roadmap urges manufacturers to:
- Place a greater focus on participation in global value chains.
- Improve their ability to attract and retain staff with skills in digital literacy, leadership, customer interface and STEM capabilities.
- Increase the gender, age and ethnic diversity of their workforce.
- Improve business-to-business collaboration.
THE Australian team which created the world-first 3D-printed jet engine has launched a new venture to manufacture components for a leading French aerospace company.
Melbourne-based start-up Amaero Engineering and partner Monash University have signed an agreement with global aerospace and defence company Safran to print turbojet components at its factory in Toulouse, France. Toulouse is a major European aviation aerospace hub and the headquarters and final assembly line for Airbus.
Amaero’s 3D printing technology produces lighter and stronger aircraft components more easily and with greater speed than traditional manufacturing techniques.
“This is a great example of an Australian business with highly-specialised advanced manufacturing capability,” Australian Innovation, Industry and Science Minister Greg Hunt said.
“The company has collaborated with a leading university and made the leap from the lab to the heart of the global aerospace industry.”
The Australian Government supported the initial stage research and development of the 3D-printed jet engine components through the Advanced Manufacturing Cooperative Research Centre and Australian Research Council funding. CSIRO and Deakin University also participated in the original engine printing project.
Amaero was subsequently established as a spin-out company from Monash University to commercialise the technology using funding and expert advice from the Australian Government’s Entrepreneurs’ Programme.
Mr Hunt said, “Collaboration continues to be key to the company’s success, it works closely with the university’s Monash Centre for Additive Manufacturing, combining world-leading research capability with business acumen and global industry connections.”
Amaero will establish a new additive manufacturing facility within Safran’s factory, including relocating two large laser melting machines customised for this precise manufacturing task.
Full production is expected to commence in early 2017 following testing and validation phases, and the components will be used in civil and military aircraft.
“This exemplifies the kind of global success that the Turnbull Government’s National Innovation and Science Agenda will help grow by providing support for innovation,” Mr Hunt said.
“This in turn creates high value, high wage jobs that help to secure Australia’s future economic prosperity.”
AUSTRALIA’s major steel research and development centre has received another commitment of $10 million from its major supporter, Shanghai-based Baosteel Group.
The Baosteel Group will also provide additional funds for specific research projects being conducted by the Baosteel-Australia Joint Research and Development Centre (BAJC), which combines the expertise of four Australian universities with the industrial strength of a global steel giant.
Since 2011 Baosteel has provided about $16 million to BAJC, to support 40 research projects.
The centre has developed new products, including magnesium, aluminium and titanium alloys, and worked on advanced materials including high-performance lithium-sulphur battery cathodes, and graphene.
Baosteel’s investment in the BAJC since its formation in 2011 has been more than $26 million.
The collaborative centre is based at The University of Queensland and involves the University of New South Wales, Monash University and the University of Wollongong.
UQ president and vice-chancellor, Peter Høj, signed the renewal agreement with Baosteel Group Corporation president, Derong Chen in 2016.
Senior representatives of the partner universities also attended the signing, which cements funding for the next five years.
Mr Chen hailed the centre as “an important part of Baosteel’s technological innovation”.
Professor Høj said the reinvestment by Baosteel showed that global business valued the benefits which flow from working with Australian universities.
“It is a strong vote of confidence in Australian university R&D, reaffirming the quality of research available for genuine ground-breaking innovation in line with the National Innovation Statement for Australia,” Prof. Høj said.
“Crucially, the centre has given Australian researchers global industry experience, and in the next five years the focus on internships and international engagement will increase.”
BAJC is Baosteel’s first overseas R&D centre and it has registered 10 patents and attracted $6.2 million in funding from Australian Government research schemes. Universities’ in-kind contributions have totalled $21 million in its first five years.
BAJC director Victor Rudolph said researchers had published more than 150 scientific papers in high-impact publications in the past five years.
“More than 100 Australian professors, researchers and PhD students have visited Baosteel in China for academic exchanges and in 2015, a group of 15 researchers, scientists and engineers from Baosteel visited the BAJC member universities,” Prof. Rudolph said.
The centre holds annual conferences, each attracting more than 80 research fellows and higher-degree students.
“Baosteel has been able to deploy a number of capacity-enhancing and value-adding technologies, as a result of the centre’s work,” Prof. Rudolph said.
These included improvements in steel production processes, and quality control and alloy design in low-cost and high property light metals.
Prof. Rudolph said BAJC's research and development focused on metallurgic processes, metal manufacturing, light metals and energy materials.
The global competitiveness of Australian universities was reaffirmed in 2016 by the QS World University Rankings by Subject, in which Australia is one of the strongest nations. The stellar results for Australian institutions include a global ranking of 10 for UQ in mineral resources and mining engineering.