Industry 4.0 Testlab: industrial 3D printing approach to carbon fibre composite 


Swinburne
has developed what is known as Industry 4.0 Testlab. This development has been made possible through research into the digital manufacturing process. The company behind this development? Austrian engineering company Fill, that has collaborated with other companies of the industry to achieve Swinburne’s requirements regarding the project.

Industry 4.0 Testlab

Industry 4.0 Testlab is a 3D printing multilayer” approach to carbon fibre composite fabrication. This printing technology enables one to produce parts out of carbon fibre at a low cost, keeping in mind minimal waste and improved production capabilities. It will be an operation pilot plant that will offer students, staff and other partners a unique educational experience and research opportunities

Carbon fibre composites are difficult to produce in mass quantities because of their manufacturing limitations but offer an infinite amount of design flexibility as well as the capabilities to manufacture smart products. The company has partnered up with other companies in order to demonstrate how these commercial parts can be manufactured in an assimilated pilot line.

Director of Swinburne’s Manufacturing Futures Research Institute, Professor Bronwyn Fox speaks in regards to these partnerships, “With our industrial partners, we will create a digital twin of the process and push the boundaries of virtual commissioning.” He describes the partnership with Fill to be of particular interest as it is a part of their strategy – a strategy to bring 3D printing technology for this composite product into the lab.

Image via Swinburne

Industry 4.0 Testlab came with an industrial digitalization grant from Siemens worth $135 million. A strategic partnership with Siemens will aid in the digitalization of the lab for the final stage of the project. For Siemens, this is just one example of the company’s interest in the 3D printing industry.

Australia & Cutting Edge Technology

Industry 4.0 Testlab gives Australian manufacturers a chance to have cutting edge technology available to them. Swinburne, along with other partners, hope to secure a place for Australia in this market as they are only accounted for 1% when evaluating the global participation within the intermediate product market.

Fill is an Australia-based family business specialized in machinery and plant construction. It operates within various sectors in Australia such as aerospace, wind power and metal to just name a few.

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