by George Nott

Robotic manufacturing hub launches in Queensland

Jul 24, 2019
Collaboration SoftwareDigital TransformationGovernment

A hub providing practical advice to Queensland manufacturers on how to apply robotics and automation to their businesses has launched in Brisbane.

The Advanced Robotics for Manufacturing (ARM) Hub, will enable the states manufacturers to “learn cutting-edge robotic technologies and techniques, and develop industry skill and expertise to apply to their own businesses” the state government said today.

The government has invested $7.71 million over four years to establish the hub, along with more than $10 million in additional investment from Queensland University of Technology (QUT), public realm design firm Urban Art Projects, and other partner organisations.

The hub is based at Urban Art Projects’ studios in Northgate, Brisbane.

The funding announcement was made today by Queensland Minister for Manufacturing Cameron Dick.

“Few things are reshaping the world faster than the emergence of robotics and autonomous systems. Our vision is for Queensland to be the leading jurisdiction in Australia for robotics,” Dick said.

Queensland Minister for Manufacturing Cameron Dick. Image: QUT

“This is a facility for all of Queensland. All manufacturers across the state will be able to access the ARM Hub, across sectors as diverse as aerospace, biomedical, beef and food processing, defence, mining equipment, technology and services, rail manufacturing, and space,” he added.

It is expected the hub’s services will also be delivered through the Queensland Government’s Manufacturing Hubs in Cairns, Townsville and Rockhampton and the Defence Hubs in Townsville and Ipswich.

“The ARM Hub will further embed Queensland as a global leader in advanced robotics and design-led manufacturing,” Dick said.

QUT Vice-Chancellor Professor Margaret Sheilsaid the university has invested more than $4 million into the hub. The university’s Design Lab will be providing expertise in high-value product development and the integration of technologies into the manufacturing process.

“The Hub will allow Queensland industry and research institutions to build the advanced capability that will enable manufacturers to be more competitive, bring manufacturing jobs back to Australia and generate new jobs here,” Sheil said.

Automation advantage

In November last year, the government released a 10 year roadmap and action plan for advanced manufacturing in the state.

“Embracing new and emerging technologies is vital to improve productivity and global competitiveness,” Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk said in the roadmap.

The roadmap followed a QUT commissioned report The robotics and automation advantage for Queensland which found the most likely economic benefit from the adoption of robotics and automation in Queensland over the next 10 years is 1.5 per cent added growth, a $77.2 billion boost to Gross State Product, with 725,810 new jobs created.

Image: QUT

“The faster Queensland adopts robots and automation the greater the benefits in GSP and net job creation,” the report said.

A national roadmap – developed by the government funded Australian Centre for Robotic Vision and Advance Queensland – noted that Australia’s manufacturing sector was dominated by smaller sized businesses, “who may lack resources to embrace robotics and so require support to reduce risk and validate benefits”.

“Ongoing training is required to allow the workforce to continually evolve to stay ahead of the latest technological developments and embrace Industry 4.0,” the Robotics Roadmap for Australia report stated.