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SA Government, Flinders University and ASC Shipbuilding to co-invest

Hunter class frigate
The SA Government will invest $5 million in a Factory of the Future where the Hunter class frigate will be constructed, matching Flinders University’s own $5 million investment at Tonsley Park. Photo: BAE Systems – ASC Shipbuilding.

The South Australian government, in its 2020 State Budget, has committed $5 million in a co-investment with Flinders University and ASC Shipbuilding to the development of the Line Zero – Factory of the Future.

The SA Government’s $5 million will support a $5 million co-investment by Flinders University for a first-of-its-kind advanced manufacturing accelerator located at Adelaide’s Tonsley Innovation District.

At Tonsley, founding partners Flinders University and ASC Shipbuilding, a subsidiary of BAE Systems Australia, will partner with a range of companies to test advanced manufacturing technologies for potential use in the Hunter Class Frigate Program.

ASC Shipbuilding will construct nine Hunter class frigates at the digital shipyard at Osborne, SA, and the Line Zero initiative represents a significant step forward for the Hunter supply chain to demonstrate and test, in a controlled environment, the technological value and progress that can be made over the life of the program.

“This announcement reinforces Flinders University’s growing contribution towards placing Australia at the cutting-edge of industry 4.0 and will support the application of new technologies in advanced manufacturing,” according to Flinders University Vice-Chancellor Professor Colin Stirling. “The Line Zero – Factory of the Future enables our students and researchers to interact with business to transform manufacturing processes.”

Professor John Spoehr, Pro-Vice Chancellor, Research Impact and Director of the Australian Industrial Transformation Institute said: 

“This funding announcement will enable technologies and processes tested by Flinders University and ASC shipbuilding to be honed and refined in a real-world manufacturing site – the former Mitsubishi panel stamping plant. It also affords an opportunity for supply chain companies to work with Flinders and ASC Shipbuilding to harness the benefits of advanced manufacturing, enabling improved performance and growing their contribution to the sector and to the state and national economy.”

“The Osborne naval shipyard will be one of the most modern, digitally advanced shipyards in the world – linking the digital engineering design with automated technologies and digitised work packs for shipbuilders on the ground,” said ASC Shipbuilding Managing Director Craig Lockhart. “For workers and the supply chain this means they can use a range of digital technologies to do their job right, the first time – leading to productivity, safety and quality outcomes.

“Line Zero provides us with the exceptional opportunity to work with Flinders University researchers and academics as well as industry partners, to test and trial advanced manufacturing technologies and techniques in a factory environment, before adapting them to the shipyard.”

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