Swinburne University of Technology and CSIRO are creating a joint Research and Development (R&D) facility with a pilot plant for a world-first process for the additive manufacturing of carbon fibre composite materials.
The National Industry 4.0 Testlab in Composite Additive Manufacturing, which is located at CSIRO’s Clayton site in Victoria, is the first national facility in a network of six state-based Industry 4.0 Testlabs established across Australia.
Construction of the facility began earlier this year and is due to be completed in October.
Dr Marcus Zipper, Executive Director of CSIRO’s Future Industries sector said the Testlab is focused on a world-first process for additive manufacturing of carbon fibre-reinforced composites at an industrial scale.
“This makes its location, at the heart of Clayton’s additive manufacturing precinct, a great fit,” Mr Zipper said.
“At CSIRO we’re all about creating opportunities for SMEs and the broader innovation ecosystem, and this Testlab is another example of that.”
Swinburne Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Research and Enterprise) Professor Bronwyn Fox said the facility aims to work with a variety of collaborators, forging a path for new Australian manufacturing with high-tech products based on sustainable, advanced manufacturing processes.
“The facility will build on the strong track record of collaboration between Swinburne and CSIRO, and strengthening that partnership will catalyse the development of new digital manufacturing technologies,” Professor Fox added.
She said Industry 4.0 allows manufacturers to test new technologies and business models and to explore aspects from design to economic feasibility in a pre-competitive environment with minimal technical and financial risk.
“I have worked for or with CSIRO for my entire career and have seen the incredible impact that university partnerships with CSIRO can have in developing new technology that stimulates economic growth for Australia,” Ms Fox continued.
“I’m personally committed to and very passionate about this strategic collaboration.”
The creation of the Testlab has been supported by a network of suppliers and end users including global aerospace and automotive companies and their supply chains with other partners including ARENA2036, Fill, Quickstep, Langzauner, Plataine, and Cikoni to name a few.