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  • 16 August 2017 09:02

Siemens Announces $135m Hi-tech Digitalisation Grant

The largest ever software grant in Australia- supporting Swinburne University of Technology

Today, Siemens announced the largest ever software grant in Australia. The $135 million industrial digitalisation software grant will be used to fully digitalise the Swinburne University of Technology ‘Factory of the Future’. The software will help develop the workforce of the future across the entire work lifecycle from apprenticeships to PhD’s.

The Siemens software will support Swinburne University of Technology establish what is believed to be Australia’s first Industry 4.0 ‘Factory of the Future’ facility in Hawthorn, Victoria.

At the announcement, Jeff Connolly Chairman and CEO of Siemens Australia said this grant will support Victoria and Australia by preparing students so they can participate in the many opportunities that digitalization provides within the new innovation economy that is globally interconnected.

“This is about jobs of the future today. I’m proud to be standing here today side by side with Swinburne University of Technology announcing the largest ever industrial software grant in Australia. Our country’s future relies on companies working with key educational and research institutions to get our workforce ready for the fourth industrial revolution.

The world is changing rapidly through technology and Australia needs to equip our future generations and our existing workforce with the necessary capabilities and tools to make things faster, cheaper and better – ultimately this is about jobs and competition,” said Mr Connolly.

The announcement coincides with the 145th anniversary since Siemens commissioned the Darwin to Adelaide telegraph – another technology breakthrough that transformed the fabric of Australia.

“For Siemens to be here at least another 145 years we need a viable and successful base of industry, manufacturing and infrastructure along with a highly skilled workforce driven by forward thinking educators. So it’s vitally important that our future generations are equipped with the globally competitive technology and skills to take us on that journey,” Mr Connolly 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 according to Mr Connolly who is also Chair of the Prime Minister’s Industry 4.0 Taskforce.

“These are the same tools used to create digital shipyards for the US Navy. The same software used to design, build and operate everything from the latest oil and gas platforms to hi-tech production lines such as the Maserati Ghibli. We provide the innovation tools so that Australia can provide the ingenuity,” Mr Connolly said.

“Imagine creating a digital twin, not only of the product but of the entire manufacturing process, so you don’t need to have costly and time consuming physical prototypes. Everything from the assembly line to tooling, ergonomics and resources can be fully simulated digitally. This is exactly what our software grant will help students achieve in Swinburne’s Factory of the Future.”

The grant also includes a co-contribution by Swinburne for initialisation and ongoing interaction with and global support by Siemens expert software engineers. According to Professor Aleksandar Subic, Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Research and Development) and Chair of Industry 4.0 Testlabs on the Prime Minister’s Industry 4.0 Taskforce, digitalisation of manufacturing is critical to help Australian industry transition to the future.

“We’re immersed in the fourth industrial revolution and we want to make sure that students and researchers are equipped with the required advanced capabilities and technologies to help Australia access global value chains. The international competition will be fierce in the Manufacturing domain, which is why this development is so timely and critical.”

“I have experienced the Siemens automation technology and digitalization software and hardware first-hand in Germany and the US and can see how this approach will help transform our manufacturing sector and develop future workforce to participate and compete globally,” said Professor Subic.

“We have already made significant progress in aligning our research and education strategy with the Industry 4.0 roadmap in collaboration with our industry partners both locally and internationally. The partnership with Siemens and our co-investment in digitalising the Swinburne Factory of the Future will allow us to make the step change in how we support our SME’s and develop future graduates across the entire education life cycle – from apprenticeships to PhD’s. We are committed to transforming industries and developing the workforce of the future in support of a more competitive Australia. The fully digitalised Swinburne “Factory of the Future” will set an Industry 4.0 benchmark and provide an environment for workforce transformation that is in line with the most advanced economies in the world. This is an aspiration that we shared on the PM’s Industry 4.0 Taskforce”.

Siemens hi-tech PLM digital software tools are used in everything from Ben Ainslie Racing in the America’s Cup, Firewire surfboard design, Red Bull Racing F1 and even the Mars Rover. Siemens PLM solutions include digital product development, digital manufacturing and product data management. The Siemens PLM suite includes power tools such as ‘Teamcenter’ for engineering collaboration, ‘NX’ for 3d design, ‘Simcenter’ which allows for computer automated engineering simulation such as digital twins and ‘Technomatix’ which includes digital avatars. These are all about digital manufacturing. Digital manufacturing is a key point of Industry 4.0 as it connects advanced software tools to various shop floor applications and equipment, enabling the exchange of product-related information between design and manufacturing groups. This means faster time to bring product ideas to life, more complex and flexible manufacturing, cost savings, improved quality and ultimately greater competitiveness.

Siemens AG (Berlin and Munich) is a global technology powerhouse that has stood for engineering excellence, innovation, quality, reliability and internationality for more than 165 years. The company is active in more than 200 countries, focusing on the areas of electrification, automation and digitalization. One of the world's largest producers of energy-efficient, resource-saving technologies, Siemens is a leading supplier of efficient power generation and power transmission solutions and a pioneer in infrastructure solutions as well as automation, drive and software solutions for industry. The company is also a leading provider of medical imaging equipment – such as computed tomography and magnetic resonance imaging systems – and a leader in laboratory diagnostics as well as clinical IT. In fiscal 2016, which ended on September 30, 2016, Siemens generated revenue of €79.6 billion and net income of €5.6 billion. At the end of September 2016, the company had around 351,000 employees worldwide. Further information is available on the Internet at www.siemens.com.

  Further Background The grant is a result of active engagement between Australia and Germany and the agreement between the two nations to improve bilateral relations. Following the Brisbane G20, the Australia Germany Advisory Group (AGAG) was established to provide recommendations on how Germany and Australia could work more closely. Finance Minister Mathias Cormann led AGAG from the Australian side and of the 59 recommendations several related to helping prepare Australia for the 4th industrial revolution (Industry 4.0) a German concept and view of the technology transition taking place around the world right now. As such a new industry-led taskforce was established and Chaired by Siemens Jeff Connolly. A number of positive outcomes have followed including a signed collaboration agreement between Australia’s Prime Minister’s Industry 4.0 Taskforce and Germany’s Plattform Industrie 4.0 Group – one of only a handful of agreements in the world and signed at Hannover Fair in April this year. Other outcomes include the establishment of Australia’s first Industry 4.0 advanced diploma apprenticeship program.

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