Industry and education join forces to prepare workforce of the future
There could be a significant reshoring of manufacturing in Australia in the future thanks to the latest digitised technology. This is one of the predictions from Siemens during the launch of its new partnership with Swinburne University of Technology.
The university partnership with Siemens’ MindSphere in Australia was launched in Melbourne this week. Swinburne University of Technology’s Hawthorn campus will house Australia’s first demonstration and application centre for a cloud-based open IIoT (Industrial Internet of Things) operating system.
MindSphere, an IIoT solution connecting physical manufacturing, energy and infrastructure assets to the virtual world, already has over one million connected devices and systems worldwide. The centre will enable students, academics and industry partners to collaborate and co-create local and global projects on Seimens’ MindSphere cloud-based platform.
“This is the first-of-its-kind industry/university partnership for MindSphere in Australia and is an extension of Siemens’ $135 million product lifecycle management (PLM) industrial software grant to Swinburne University announced last year,” said Jeff Connolly, Chairman and CEO of Siemens Australia. “What we are doing here is providing a practical environment for students and industry to experience first-hand the potential of a full digital enterprise.”
Located in Swinburne’s Factory of the Future, the centre is unique in its industry and business engagement model in the tertiary sector — opening the campus to industry and businesses for co-creation, while facilitating education, training and research.
Students, academia and industry will have access to cloud-based software that has already helped organisations across the world connect their products, plants, systems and machines to harness the wealth of their data generated by IoT with advanced analytics.
Swinburne’s Deputy Vice Chancellor (Research & Development), Professor Aleksandar Subic, said the centre will provide an environment for industry and students to co-create, develop and demonstrate the capabilities and outcomes made possible using MindSphere. “The centre will facilitate the creation of applications in advanced manufacturing, smart cities and transport, health and other areas. This is an important stage in the implementation of our Industry 4.0 Strategy,” he said. “Students across the entire education and training continuum, from apprenticeships across bachelor’s and master’s programs and all the way to PhD research, will be developing and using this technology for different industrial applications as part of their learning in collaboration with industry.”
MindSphere is an essential piece in Swinburne’s Industry 4.0 Factory of the Future facility, whereby MindSphere will enable connectivity across all their technology assets and processes across all Swinburne campuses.
“The centre will demonstrate in action the value of partnerships between industry and the education sector by driving innovation and positive transformation. The access to MindSphere at our Factory of the Future will help demonstrate the Industry 4.0 facility as a whole — a fully integrated, connected and fully operational learning factory — the first of its kind in Australia and this part of the world,” added Professor Subic.
Michael Freyny, head of Digital Factory and Process Industries for Siemens Australia and New Zealand, said MindSphere will play a critical role in Siemens customers’ digitalisation journey.
“The centre will enable our customers across various sectors to explore data-driven business models. Following successful use cases and applications in China, Germany, USA and other parts of the world, Australia can now connect industry to the digital world of IIoT and create powerful industry applications and digital services,” he said.
“Our products can be found across various industries including manufacturing, mining, transportation and building infrastructure, water, food and beverage, and others. MindSphere will help customers across these industries harness the streams of data from their connected devices and derive real value from the information.”
The launch is supported by industry partners through the signing of the MindSphere Foundation Partner agreement: Alliance Automation, Globetech, NZ Controls, Centric PA, Spectrum Automation, Nukon, Interlate and Mescada.
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