Factory of the Future: BAE, Flinders accelerate advanced manufacturing with $5M state funding

@BAESystemsAustralia (Facebook)

Thanks to the South Australian Government’s $5 million commitment, Flinders University, together with collaborator BAE Systems, will expedite the construction of a ‘manufacturing accelerator’ factory that will deliver major defense projects.

The soon-to-be world-class manufacturing facility, dubbed as ‘The Line Zero – Factory of the Future’, will amplify South Australia’s advanced manufacturing technology and augment BAE’s defense projects such as the Hunter Class Frigate Program.

Line Zero – Factory of the Future began with a provisional pilot ‘pop up’ factory.

With $10 million state co-funding announced in the 2020 SA State Budget, a permanent Factory of the Future will soon be set in stone.

Construction of the Factory of the Future facility is now in its first stages.

Expanding Australia’s manufacturing presence

Flinders University Vice-Chancellor, Professor Colid, thanked the state government for its investments, stating: “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.”

A “proof of concept” aligning with Flinder’s ambition for a large scale manufacturing factory at Tonsely, the pilot project will enable technologies jointly developed by the two collaborators to be applied in a “like real life” setting, Colid said.

Colid hoped that the facility would help South Australia grow as a leading figure in modern manufacturing, as well as contribute to job creation and overall economic growth.

BAE Systems Maritime Australia Managing Director, Craig Lockhart, said that the partnership between BAE Systems and Flinder University would create a “digital and advanced manufacturing test environment” that should improve Osborne’s overall outcomes.

“It is our ambition that the digital and technological advancements demonstrated by the supply chain will lead to improved productivity, safety, and quality outcomes,” Lochart continued.

As part of a growing effort to equip its workforce with Industry 4.0 technologies, BAE Systems announced the selection of four Australian companies as part of an ‘Innovation Challenge’ to showcase developing ‘track and trace’ technologies last month.

“…we are now calling businesses to lodge expressions of interest for the second challenge – focusing on digital safety technologies,” Lockhart said.