Adventures of companies in the additive manufacturing industry can be considered as different chapters of the same book. In the “GE Additive” book, the machine manufacturer had announced two years ago a ten-year agreement with University of Sydney to develop metal AM. Two years after this announcement, both organizations decided to explore advanced alloy design and applications that can support a range of sectors including aerospace, defence, medicine and agriculture.
At the heart of this technological partnership, there was a Sydney Manufacturing Hub which serves as an incubation of small to medium manufacturing enterprises. Over time, the hub has been tuned and further equipped so that Sydney can be at the heart of “Industry 5.0”.
With a $25 million investment, the facility was inaugurated yesterday morning in Australia. It constitutes an essential facility that could support the NSW Government’s projects at Western Sydney Aerotropolis and Western Sydney parklands.
Based in the Engineering precinct of the University of Sydney’s Darlington campus, the Sydney Manufacturing Hub is designed to enable concept-to-production demonstration capabilities, including advanced pre- and post-processing of materials for faculty, students, small and medium-sized companies. Furthermore, larger companies could also experience and leverage metal 3D printing for their projects.
According to the University of Sydney Vice-Chancellor Professor Mark Scott AO, this modus operandi demonstrates the University’s capability as a R&D leader in the region by working closely with both the public and private sectors.
“The Sydney Manufacturing Hub, situated in Darlington at the very heart of ‘Tech Central’ is a key demonstrator for what’s ultimately possible when government, industry and higher education work together on high-impact technologies. This is evidenced not only through the establishment of this new research facility, but also via our collaborative projects in Greater Sydney, particularly the Western Sydney Parklands and Aerotropolis”, Scott AO notes.
From a research perspective, Director of the University of Sydney’s Core Research Facilities Professor Simon Ringer said the Sydney Manufacturing Hub would drive the state’s ‘Industry 5.0’ revolution.
“We are witnessing a dramatic disruption in how materials are made that’s driving research breakthroughs. On one hand, we are looking at the periodic table with fresh eyes – additive manufacturing lets us combine elements to make new materials with entirely new combinations of properties at scale. On the other hand, additive and advanced manufacturing has made manufacturing more accessible, with digital workflows making it easier for local companies to enter competitive global markets”, Ringer states.
Focus on the collaboration with GE Additive
Equipped with GE Additive’s metal 3D printing technologies, the Hub will serve as a technology demonstration centre for GE Additive across Australia and New Zealand and host workshops, training and collaboration sessions for industry.
As small to medium enterprises account for the majority of advanced manufacturing operators in Australia, they will be a priority for collaboration with the Hub
“The Sydney Manufacturing Hub is now open for business and ready to engage with industry across NSW, particularly SMEs where there is significant opportunity for new high-skilled jobs. This facility will support the collaboration of industry and researchers and is set to become a commercialisation hub for new products and innovations across a range of advanced manufacturing industries. NSW is positioning itself at the centre of additive manufacturing capability and research within the Asia-Pacific region and the Sydney Manufacturing Hub is a significant step towards achieving that ambition,” GE Australia Country Leader Sam Maresh concludes.
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