Beyond 2020 – What the Decade Holds for Advanced Manufacturing
Over the last decade, the focus of global manufacturing has been with technologies including automation, 3D printing and system integration for data-generated insights and optimisation.
So what to expect beyond 2020? In addition to emerging technology, the future of advanced manufacturing is likely to see an increased awareness and uptake of innovative technologies such as additive manufacturing – and a wider shift in industry practices to embrace collaboration and customised manufacturing for industries including aerospace, medical, mining and defence.
Planning for Australia’s manufacturing future
- In 2019, the CSIRO released a report examining the future potential of advanced manufacturing in Australia. It stated: “Over the next 20 years, Australia’s manufacturing industry will evolve into a highly integrated, collaborative and export-focused ecosystem that provides high-value customised solutions within global value chains. The sector will focus on pre-production (design, R&D) and post-production (after-sales services) value-adding, sustainable manufacturing and low volume, high margin customised manufacturing.”
The report suggested that enabling this vision will require significant technological development by public and private research communities. It also identified five key science and technology focus areas including:
- sensors and data analytics
- advanced materials
- smart robotics and automation
- additive manufacturing (3D printing)
- augmented and virtual reality.
Future tech for forward vision
So how will these technologies manifest on Australian manufacturing floors? Factories are already moving ahead with smarter automation and the integration of digital interfaces and sensors into traditional machinery. This system integration can collect data that identifies usage patterns and output, and this data has huge potential not just to improve company performance but to enhance client experience and outcome.
Robotics is likely to expand further into more production areas with smaller and more dexterous hardware, and enhanced human interaction for more streamlined processes and performance.
We may see an increased uptake of autonomous vehicles in areas such as mining, and certainly increased drone utilisation across multiple sectors.
With accelerated interest in drones for tasks including aerial surveys, photography and difficult access equipment inspection, we are likely to see increased usage in sectors as diverse as agriculture, telecommunications and defence.
For Australian manufacturing, we believe the strongest opportunity lies with additive manufacturing, or 3D printing. As an early adoptee of smart technology, we’ve focused on building world-leading technology and expertise over the last few years. We’re now able to provide innovative and performance enhancing advanced manufacturing solutions with our Australian-only Lasertec 65 hybrid 3D printer.
Globally oriented and collaborative
The CSIRO vision for advanced manufacturing in Australia suggests a future of more globally oriented, customised, integrated and collaborative manufacturing.
At Romar, we’re proud to say we already focus on tailored, flexible and competitive manufacturing solutions. We are involved in exciting collaborations with other leading innovators that showcase our additive manufacturing potential – and our expertise across other niche areas including elastomers, silicone manufacturing and medical device manufacturing.