Global technology giant Siemens has flagged intent for multi-million dollar in-kind advanced software to support Australia if Germany is selected to build Australia’s next fleet of submarines.
Speaking at an event held last week at Tonsley, visiting global President and CEO of Siemens PLM Software, Chuck Grindstaff, highlighted how the establishment of a Digital Shipyard in Adelaide could help the state transform into a hub for high-tech manufacturing and innovative ideas.
“Australia is faced with a unique opportunity through its defence investments to help local industry rapidly transform and prepare to participate in advanced manufacturing and Industrie 4.0.,” Mr Grindstaff said.
“Should Germany be selected to build Australia’s next fleet of submarines, I could see a multi-million dollar in-kind Siemens PLM software grant to help re-tool Australia’s next generation of workers. It’s no longer about who has the strongest back, but who best uses their brain and receives the best training in areas like mechanics, mechatronics, computers, software, design and engineering.”
He said a combination of Germany’s Industrie 4.0 vision, the access to advanced manufacturing technologies, and Australia’s Innovation Agenda would help retool Adelaide and Australia for the digital age of manufacturing.
“Put simply, I could see a rebirth of shipbuilding in Australia with flow on effects to all industry and the potential to seed Australia’s manufacturing Renaissance – similar to what we’re seeing in Virginia.”
The comments from Mr Grindstaff support German company thyssenkrupp Marine Systems’ recent commitment of building a Shipbuilding Centre of Excellence (SCOE) in Adelaide. thyssenkrupp Marine Systems Australia chairman John White, said such an approach would “greatly reduce risk” for the Royal Australian Navy.
“The Shipbuilding Centre of Excellence in Australia would benefit all defence programs and ensure common software platforms to strengthen Australia’s approach. It would help connect the Royal Australian Navy to academic institutions and industry so we embed a continuous and sustainable hi-tech shipbuilding industry. SEA 1000 has the scale to change the way ships are built in Australia; it provides a generational chance to advance the manufacturing industry,” he said.
“An advanced (digital) integrated product development and support environment (IPDSE) would avoid the pitfalls of the past where data has been difficult to manage and major programs have often relied on 2D paper diagrams. With modern technology everything can be designed and tested collaboratively in a digital world before going anywhere near a prototype. This eliminates geographical boarders. It reduces cost and waste.”