• Chairman and CEO of Siemens Australia Jeff Connolly and Swinburne deputy vice-chancellor Professor Aleksandar Subic.
    Chairman and CEO of Siemens Australia Jeff Connolly and Swinburne deputy vice-chancellor Professor Aleksandar Subic.
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Virtual product development technology will be at the heart of a new digital manufacturing hub at Swinburne University of Technology.

A digitisation grant from software giant Siemens that's worth an estimated $135m offers the university's Advanced Manufacturing and Design Centre access to technology to provide a platform for industry 4.0 development technologies.

The hub, described as Australia’s first Industry 4.0 ‘Factory of the Future’ facility, will offer digital manufacturing and advanced virtual reality environments, enabling the digitalisation of the entire manufacturing process.

The facility will allow researchers to design and develop products in a virtual environment without having to build physical prototypes, will prepare students so they can participate in the many opportunities that digitalisation, and will also be available to SMEs wishing to familiarise themselves with industry 4.0 practices.

The grant is the largest of its kind ever awarded in Australia, according to Siemens.

“Our country’s future relies on companies working with key educational and research institutions to get our workforce ready for the fourth industrial revolution,” Jeff Connolly, chairman and CEO of Siemens Australia said.

The software grant provides a suite of advanced PLM (product lifecycle management) software and new generation cloud based Internet of Things (IoT) platform Mindsphere, which will allow students and researchers to have access to the same apparatus being used by leading industries on the most advanced projects.