First-of-its-kind Manufacturing Accelerator at Tonsley given $5M boost

First-of-its-kind Manufacturing Accelerator at Tonsley given $5M boost

An advanced manufacturing accelerator known as Line Zero – Factory of the Future will be established at Tonsley Innovation District to test advanced manufacturing technologies for potential deployment in support of the Hunter class program.

As a major contribution to stage one of the first-of-its-kind advanced manufacturing accelerator, the State Government announced $5 million to support the initiative over the next six years and will be matched by a $5m co-investment from Flinders University.

With this funding announcement, the accelerator program will be used to test advanced manufacturing technologies for potential deployment at the digital shipyard in Osborne.

Flinders University and founding partner ASC Shipbuilding – a subsidiary of BAE Systems Australia – will work with a range of companies to test the technologies. ASC Shipbuilding will kick off the prototyping phase of its $35bn Hunter-class Frigate Program next month.

Flinders University vice-chancellor Professor Colin Stirling and BAE Systems director Sharon Wilson at Tonsley Innovation District. Picture: Emma Brasier
Flinders University vice-chancellor Professor Colin Stirling and BAE Systems director Sharon Wilson at Tonsley Innovation District. Picture: Emma Brasier

“Flinders University welcomes the SA Government’s funding announcement and is proud to co-invest $5m in the new facility at our Tonsley campus,” Flinders University President & Vice-Chancellor Professor Colin Stirling said.

Flinders says the Line Zero – Factory of the Future represents a ‘significant step forward’ for the Hunter supply chain to demonstrate and test – in a controlled environment – the technological value and progress that can be made over the life of the Hunter class frigate program. It enables its students and researchers to interact with business to transform manu­facturing processes.

“A crucial element in research that makes an impact is taking research out of the lab and applying it in the real world, and this facility will do exactly that,” Professor Stirling said.

ASC Shipbuilding Managing Director Craig Lockhart said the technologies tested at the Line Zero – Factory of the Future would contribute to the development of one of the most modern and digitally advanced shipyards in the world at Osborne.

“Line Zero provides us with the exceptional opportunity to work with Flinders University researchers and academics, as well as industry partners, to test and trial advanced manufacturing technologies and techniques in a factory environment, before adapting them to the shipyard,” he said.

“The Osborne naval shipyard will be one of the most modern, digitally advanced shipyards in the world – linking the digital engineering design with automated technologies and digitised work packs for shipbuilders on the ground,” ASC Shipbuilding Managing Director Craig Lockhart said. “For workers and the supply chain this means they can use a range of digital technologies to do their job right, the first time – leading to productivity, safety and quality outcomes.”

The Line Zero – Factory of the Future at Flinders University is a collaborative initiative supported by Flinders University, BAE systems, ASC Shipbuilding, the Innovative Manufacturing CRC, and the state and federal governments. In addition to research for the Hunter Frigate program, the Line Zero – Factory of the Future will support other shipbuilding programs and advanced manufacturing more broadly.

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