South Australia’s status as the defence state has been enhanced by the establishment of Line Zero – Factory of the Future at the Tonsley Innovation District, offering nation-leading training opportunities for the next generation of South Australia’s shipbuilding workforce.
Line Zero is a purpose-built facility for industrial scale testing of new technologies and processes ahead of their use in the advanced manufacturing or shipbuilding industry.
Line Zero, which is the first research and testing facility of its kind in Australia, is a joint initiative of Flinders University and BAE Systems Australia, supported by the Innovative Manufacturing Collaborative Research Centre and state and federal government funding.
Premier Steven Marshall said it’s critical South Australia has the skilled workforce to meet the needs of the booming defence industry.
“The $90 billion pipeline of work from the Commonwealth is creating thousands of jobs – and will continue to do so for decades to come.
“It’s crucial we have the skilled workforce to meet the needs of the industry – which will be critical in driving our economic recovery from the global Coronavirus pandemic.
“The state government’s investment in this state-of-the-art facility ensures that South Australia is in the best position to take on the challenges of the digital shipyard, equipping us with a highly skilled workforce prepared to guide us into the future.”
In the November 2020 State Budget, the South Australian Government committed $5 million co-investment with Flinders University to fast-track the project.
Craig Lockhart, Managing Director, BAE Systems Maritime Australia said the Line Zero facility will hugely benefit manufacturing in the state, in particular the work being undertaken at the Osborne Naval Shipyard.
“The Osborne shipyard is 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,” he said.
“For workers and the supply chain this new facility provides them the means to test and utilise a range of digital technologies to do their job right, the first time – leading to productivity, safety and quality outcomes.
Flinders University Vice-Chancellor Professor Colin Stirling says that the new Factory of the Future at Line Zero will help accelerate the growth of advanced manufacturing necessary to support the Federal Government’s $90 billion naval shipbuilding program in SA.
“We welcome the state government’s $5 million investment matching Flinders University’s own commitment to this important initiative that will position South Australia at the national vanguard of the Industry 4.0 agenda for advanced manufacturing technologies,” he said.
“Our initial focus will be on collaborative research and training designed to maximise the engagement of South Australian companies and workers with the shipbuilding industry.”
“However, future stages of the Factory of the Future will support a broad range of industries, enabling their trialling and adoption of Industry 4.0 technologies, thus contributing to durable jobs growth across the South Australian economy.”