Major industry-government initiatives across the globe are mobilising to bolster advanced manufacturing growth, to revive economies and create jobs in the wake of COVID-19.
The Advanced Manufacturing Growth Centre in Australia has identified ten practical steps, manufacturers can use to become more advanced, resilient, competitive, and globally impactful.
Advanced manufacturing – using emerging technologies, such as 3D printing, robotics and automation, artificial intelligence and machine learning – aims to improve local manufacturing productivity, with an aim to make the sector more competitive globally.
The Advanced Manufacturing Growth Centre report highlights greater technology adoption, stronger networks and collaboration, extending market reach and greater engagement with Australian research institutions as major areas of focus.
The report, Ten Ways to Succeed in Australian Manufacturing, shows 81 percent of small- and 75 percent of medium-sized enterprises do not engage with research institutions.
Increasing industry university collaboration
It’s an issue that’s been picked up by Murdoch University Vice Chancellor, Professor Eeva Leinonen, who says industry and university interactions should be scaled up to enhance economic recovery.
“When you get universities and government and industry together, major infrastructure projects and great things happen,” she says.
It’s a strategy that has also been highlighted in the CSIRO’s Advanced Manufacturing Roadmap, which states that turning the immense strategic growth opportunities into reality will require significant technological innovation by public and private research communities.
The report has identified sensors and data analytics, advanced materials, smart robotics and automation, additive manufacturing (3D printing) and augmented and virtual reality as key science and technology focus areas.
COVID ‘wake up call’
Meanwhile, the World Economic Forum (WEF) says COVID-19 highlights the critical need for the global manufacturing industry to bolster capacity through digital technologies.
The Impact of COVID-19 on the Future of Advanced Manufacturing and Production WEF report describes the pandemic as a ‘wake up call’ for the international sector, after fallout caused immediate supply chain disruptions and halts to production.
“Industry 4.0 technologies are necessary for survival in a global marketplace that will require more agile and flexible production systems and supply chains,” says the report.
“With Industry 4.0 technologies – like 3D printing, the internet of things (IoT), advanced robotics, artificial intelligence and big data – manufacturers will see the benefits of applying a digital-first mindset to a physical business.”