Swinburne, the Innovative Manufacturing Cooperative Research Centre (IMCRC) and leading repair solutions company, Tradiebot Industries, have launched a new collaborative project aimed at transforming the automotive repair industry.
Dubbed ‘Repair Bot’, the project will utilise 3D printing technologies and robotics along with complex materials to enable an automated rapid repair service for plastic car parts.
Tradiebot Industries Founder Mario Dimovski said the project drew inspiration from the lack of technology-driven solutions for issues facing the automotive repair industry, including material wastage, complex and restrictive design elements and the limited availability of skilled labour.
“The ability to repair previously non-repairable parts using world-first technology will reduce overall repair times and repair costs,” he remarked.
“It will also create real and significant export opportunities and has flow-on benefits for the environment by reducing land-fill.”
“Tradiebot will also deliver new future skills to the industry as more processes become automated.”
Mr Dimovski also stressed that Swinburne will play a critical role in the development of the Repair Bot project.
“We will rely heavily on the Swinburne team to research, develop, document and problem-solve,” he explained.
“This will be vital as we invent various aspects of this world-first automated system that will revolutionise repairs of plastic components.”
Dr Mats Isaksson, Senior research fellow from the Swinburne Faculty of Science, Engineering and Technology, said the project could also have a lasting impact on future of Advanced Manufacturing and Industry 4.0, in addition to improving procedures in the automotive repair industry.
“Industry 4.0 is all about ways of using digital technologies and connectivity to integrate the value stream,” Dr Isaksson said.
“In the case of this project, knowledge can be captured regarding design information, supply and logistics, as well as distributed manufacturing capacity.”
IMCRC CEO and Managing Director David Chuter said Tradiebot Repair Bot project, which has accumulated over $1.2 million in funding, will also have positive implications for other Australian manufacturers.
“We (IMCRC) are excited about the collaboration between Tradiebot, Swinburne University and IMCRC,” Mr Chuter added.
“This is a unique partnership that explores and invests in advanced manufacturing technologies. It is a great example of how research-led innovation ensures that the Australian automotive repairs industry can meet the challenges and opportunities of the global economy.”
According to the press release issued by Swinburne, research will take place throughout 2018 and 2019.