A message from Jens Goennemann

Home to many great innovations in the fields of advanced manufacturing and Industry 4.0, Australia’s manufacturing sector is well-positioned for a successful, competitive future on the global stage – provided we seize the opportunity.

Securing this future was the focus of the inaugural Industry 4.0 Advanced Manufacturing Forum (I4AMF), at which I had the privilege of hosting two essential conversations.  

I4AMF delved into priority strategies to transform Australia’s manufacturing industry, foster collaboration, and build Australia’s global competitive advantage. Discussions focused on five workstreams: Industry 4.0 Standards; Technology Applications and Digital Business Models; Testlabs, Future of Work and Skills; and Cyber Security.

I was pleased to co-host the Cyber Security workstream. A strong Australian cyber security sector and cyber resilient industry is a vital enabler of digitally-driven growth. Widespread awareness of the cyber risks and the upskilling of our people is essential, so that Australia can benefit from a capability and economic lift across the board.

I also had the pleasure of hosting the I4AMF Operationalising Industry 4.0 Panel, for which I was joined by leading industry experts, including Chris Bridges-Taylor (General Manager, B&R Enclosures); Sharon Wilson (Australian Capability Director, Hunter Class Frigate Program, BAE Systems); Ian Ryan (Global Head SAP Institute of Digital Government); and Trevor Power (Head of Industry Growth Division, Department of Industry, Innovation and Science).

This panel delivered some very tangible takeaways, particularly for manufacturing SMEs. Panellists emphasised that the implementation of Industry 4.0 must be strategy driven. Implementation must move beyond the abstract design phase, and into a ‘real world’ tangible approach that demystifies the process. Panel members all agreed that it is also crucial to leverage the skillsets of employees and bring them along on the Industry 4.0 journey. After all, people are the hallmark of a successful digitalisation process.

Translating Industry 4.0 into long-term commercial success and competitiveness for Australian manufacturing requires raising awareness and driving engagement around digitalisation and modernisation of industry—at all levels. It requires real, in-depth engagement with industry to raise awareness of what Industry 4.0 is, to demystify Industry 4.0 design and implementation processes, and to demonstrate the productivity and efficiency gains that are possible.

In transitioning to Industry 4.0, Australian businesses, educational institutions, government, and other organisations must work together—much like Gilmour Space Technologies is doing. Featured in this month’s Better Together column, Gilmour Space Technologies is collaborating with the University of Southern Queensland on advanced rocket technology research, testing, and STEM initiatives.

Industry must also focus on areas of competitive strength and strategic priority, as evidenced by projects such as the recently announced Pre-fab Innovation Hub. I invite you to attend our upcoming Pre-fab Innovation Hub Industry Workshops. Your insights will help enable modern construction methods to thrive in Australia.

So, whether you operate within the construction or space sector, agriculture or structural steel: Industry 4.0 has a very real role to play. Digitalisation, automation and advanced manufacturing are key to competing on value rather than cost—they are key to driving innovation, productivity, and competitiveness. AMGC demonstrates digital applications in many of its partnership projects – less talk and more action to make it real for you.

For more information on digitalisation and about the I4AMF, be sure to read this month’s Industry News.