Summit discusses manufacturing industry's future

20 April 2017

Where will Australia’s manufacturing industry be in 10 years? Securing the manufacturing industry’s future and the innovations required to achieve this were the main panel topics at an industry summit hosted by Deakin University and Engineers Australia. 

Engineers event 

Guy Littlefair, Deakin’s Pro Vice-Chancellor Industry and Strategic Partnerships, was among the leading industry and academic experts who shared their insights on strategic direction, global technology trends and innovations, the viability of large scale automation, emerging markets, and reconfiguring technologies. 

Professor Littlefair called on the entire Australian manufacturing industry, including training organisations, to unite and collaborate.

‘We need to develop a white paper to inform the government on the required direction of the future of manufacturing in Australia,’ he said.

The more than 80 industry representatives who attended also discussed reskilling manufacturing specialists and customisation of products as important features in the future manufacturing industry.

Matt Mannix, Custom Solutions Manager at ANCA CNC Machines, spoke of the importance of a customised response to clients’ needs.

‘The sectors that are growing are companies that provide a bespoke, customised service and product solutions for clients,’ Mr Mannix said.

‘This demand has seen a change in the type of employee skill set that is required for this type of market. 

‘Traditionally, engineering for manufacturing has required a strong maths foundation, however these days it is equally important to have the innovative and creative skill set.’

Engineers Australia’s Victorian President Chris Stoltz said manufacturing is an important part of the Australian economy.

‘Advanced manufacturing needs to be at the forefront of our thinking if Australia is to transition to a thriving high-tech, high-value.’

Professor Littlefair said he was encouraged by the collaboration and commitment of summit participants.

‘I am delighted with the engagement and the enthusiasm to strive for a community of unity, driven by Engineers Australia and supported by industry and academia alike,’ he said.

Deakin University hosted The Changing Face of Manufacturing – Advanced Manufacturing Summit together with Engineers Australia in Melbourne on 9 March 2017, with over 80 industry representatives in attendance. 

This article also appeared on the Engineers Australia website.

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