SA Premier Steven Marshall has visited the site for construction of Stage One of the Line Zero – Factory of the Future facility to see first-hand some of the advanced technologies and processes that will be supported by the state’s $5 million commitment, matching Flinders University’s investment in the initiative.
The Line Zero – Factory of the Future will be a world class manufacturing accelerator embedded within South Australia’s Tonsley Innovation District.
Driven by Flinders University, it began with a temporary pilot ‘pop up’ factory developed in collaboration with BAE Systems Maritime Australia. The $10m co-funding enables a permanent Factory of the Future to now be built.
“The Line Zero – Factory of the Future is a crucial element in our research translation; that is, taking research out of the lab and applying it in the real world,” Flinders University Vice-Chancellor, Professor Colin Stirling said. “While the initial focus is on collaborative research and training designed to maximise the engagement of South Australian companies and workers in the federal government’s $90 billion shipbuilding program in SA, future stages will support a broad range of industries to adopt high tech manufacturing processes, contributing to lasting jobs growth and economic progress.
“The pilot project has given us a glimpse of this potential, with the innovation ‘blocks’ emulating sections of the frigates that will be constructed at Osborne, enabling technologies developed jointly by Flinders University and BAE Systems Maritime Australia to be honed and refined in a ‘like real life’ setting.
“It also affords an opportunity for supply chain manufacturers to work with Flinders and BAE Systems Maritime Australia to harness the benefits of the Industry 4.0 agenda for advanced manufacturing, thereby uplifting their performance and growing their contribution to the sector and to the state and national economy.
“This successful pilot project was essentially a proof of concept supporting Flinders University’s ambition for a large scale Factory of the Future facility at Tonsley, and we’re delighted by the state government’s support for stage one.
“We hope the establishment of a permanent facility sets the scene for further support, and the development of a significant advanced manufacturing presence in collaboration with our industry partners to drive South Australia as a leader in modern manufacturing, contributing to jobs and economic growth,” he said.
“Digital shipbuilding is all about connectivity – not just within the physical and digital shipyard but with our supply chain and customer – and the partnership between BAE Systems Maritime Australia and Flinders University at Tonsley is creating a digital and advanced manufacturing test environment to improve productivity, quality and safety outcomes at Osborne,” BAE Systems Maritime Australia Managing Director, Craig Lockhart, said. “The Line Zero – Factory of the Future facility provides a controlled space where we can collaborate with industry and researchers to trial new manufacturing techniques and processes that may be used by BAE Systems Maritime Australia to build the nine Hunter class frigates.”
“It is our ambition that the digital and technological advancements demonstrated by the supply chain will lead to improved productivity, safety and quality outcomes, equipping our highly-skilled workforce with Industry 4.0 technologies that support activities undertaken in a modern digital shipyard.
“But we can’t do it alone and just last month we announced that four Australian companies had been selected as part of our inaugural ‘Innovation Challenge’ to showcase their ‘track and trace’ technologies, and we are now calling on businesses to lodge expressions of interest for the second challenge – focusing on digital safety technologies,” he said.