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New Industry 4.0 Testlab set to re-ignite key business sectors

New Industry 4.0 Testlab set to re-ignite key business sectors article image

A new $2 million high-tech Industry 4.0 Testlab at UniSA is ready to support industry innovation as Australia’s COVID-19 recovery rolls across key sectors in coming months.

Businesses and researchers involved in defence, space, mining, ag-tech, electronics and automotive sectors can trial, explore and showcase new technologies together in the purpose-built lab.

The UniSA Testlab focuses on advanced digitisation of manufacturing as part of a national network of Testlabs established in partnership with the Federal Government.

The Testlab boasts three key capabilities – 3D printing facilities, multiplayer virtual reality spaces for human-centred design and an industrial scale manufacturing demonstrator.

It is designed to assist SMEs in the creation and testing of new, advanced technologies.

And UniSA Deputy Vice Chancellor: Research and Enterprise, Professor Marnie Hughes-Warrington, says the timing has never been better.

“Over human history, there have been periods of really massive acceleration and disruption,” she says.

“This is one of those times and the added interruption that COVID-19 has thrown into the mix, makes the role of the new test-lab even more important in our road to recovery nationally.

“Industry 4.0 is actually a disruption around creativity, and it has fundamentally changed the way we make things, how those things relate to us and how they help us relate to others.

“The Testlab will give local businesses access to this new age of digital technologies and allow them to work some of the best international and local experts to create new ways of doing business.”

Showcasing Industry 4.0 technologies

Director of UniSA’s Industry 4.0 Testlab, Professor Nikki Stanford, says the lab provides physical spaces for businesses and researchers to trial, explore and showcase Industry 4.0 technologies and processes.

“Post the COVID-19 lockdown, as we move back towards less restricted operations, our goal for the Testlab is to give small businesses insights into what they can potentially do in their industries, without them having to take out a loan to fund their innovations,” Prof Stanford says.

“The lab will allow them to try out our technologies, see how they work and if they can be implemented to advantage their business operations and competitiveness.

“The lab is one part of a series of transformations, including the introduction of new curricula and revamped facilities to support space and Industry 4.0 programs and research.”

Prof Stanford says Testlabs across the country will be central in improving the competitiveness of Australian businesses by promoting and enhancing the adoption of Industry 4.0 technologies and supporting workforce transformation.

She looks forward to the official launch of the new Industry 4.0 Testlab in coming months.

“As restrictions ease we hope to start to engage with local businesses quickly to ensure industry innovation is a core part of our recovery and growth.”

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