17 June 2011
Minister opens Advanced Manufacturing Precinct
The Minister for Manufacturing, Exports and Trade, Richard Dalla-Riva, has opened RMIT University's Advanced Manufacturing Precinct.
RMIT University Vice-Chancellor and President, Professor Margaret Gardner AO, and the Minister for Manufacturing, Exports and Trade, Richard Dalla-Riva, at the opening.
Allan Ballagh, Director TAFE and Vice-President, RMIT, presides over the opening ceremony.
The Advanced Manufacturing Precinct provides food for thought.
Industry, government and University staff mingled on the night.
The revamped facility.
- RMIT students in Airbus challenge final 16/05/2013
- RMIT disciplines among world's best 13/05/2013
- Forum calls for consumers to take action 10/05/2013
- RMIT teams make Airbus competition finals 03/04/2013
- RMIT's green engines research lab an Asia-Pacific first 15/03/2013
- Scuderia Ferrari F1 engine leader joins RMIT 12/03/2013
The event was attended by more than 250 industry partners, staff and students.
Advanced manufacturing, a $100 billion sector, now accounts for about half of Australia's manufacturing output and includes automotive, aerospace, machinery, tooling, medical, instrumentation, and new materials, including high-performance textiles. Advanced manufacturing is the fastest growing category of exports.
Mr Dalla-Riva said RMIT's Advanced Manufacturing Precinct gave companies access to advanced manufacturing functions and services not available in-house, including one of Australia's two additive manufacturing machines.
"The precinct also aims to foster innovation by encouraging collaboration across sectors and disciplines while supporting a range of industry sectors; a partnership the Victorian Coalition Government actively encourages Victorian manufacturers and local education institutions to engage in.
"The Victorian Coalition Government is working to ensure manufacturing businesses have greater access to new research and technologies, expanded markets and enhanced relationships with tertiary and R&D institutions," Mr Dalla-Riva said.
RMIT Vice-Chancellor and President, Professor Margaret Gardner AO, said the University was delighted with the State Government's $7 million contribution toward the $13.6 million refurbishment of the George Thompson Building (B55) on the City campus, which hosts the Advanced Manufacturing Precinct.
The project would create leading-edge infrastructure in support of practical training in advanced manufacturing.
"As a global university of technology and design, offering vocational and higher education programs, RMIT's development of the Advanced Manufacturing Precinct will bring together our applied design and manufacturing streams in one location, unlocking opportunities for innovation and product development.
"The training offered at the precinct will connect with research to be undertaken at the University's Design Hub - currently under construction - mechanical manufacturing and aerospace engineering on the Bundoora campus, and textile design and technology on the Brunswick campus," Professor Gardner said.
The George Thompson Building has been refurbished and extended with an additional rooftop level, providing more than 3500 sq metres of teaching space.
Mark O'Dwyer, H2O Architects, said the spatial and service characteristics of the facility were designed to provide flexible space for the constantly evolving future of manufacturing and educational delivery.
The precinct has been granted a 5-Star Greenstar by design rating. Innovative features include light periscopes from the roof, and lighting that is timed, zoned and sectioned to reduce unnecessary energy consumption.
International forum addresses 'game-changing' technology
The global market for additive manufacturing (AM) is estimated to be growing about 16 per cent a year and will reach $US3.5 billion by 2015.
The inaugural Pacific Additive Manufacturing Forum, opened by Professor Gardner, was held at RMIT's Storey Hall before the opening of the Advanced Manufacturing Precinct.
AM - part of advanced manufacturing - is a digital manufacturing process that can be used to "print" fully functional parts direct from virtual 3D data that can be generated with most CAD software packages or any 3D scanner.
Terry Wohlers, forum keynote speaker and president of Wohlers Associates Inc, said: "AM technology has advanced to a point where parts from AM systems are being installed permanently onto aircraft, racecars, and military vehicles.
"More than 20,000 laser-sintered parts have been flying on military jets without a single failure.
"Organisations have also used AM to produce thousands of orthopedic implants and dental crowns and bridges in metals such as titanium alloys and cobalt chrome."
The growing industry allows manufacturers in developed countries like Australia to compete with developing countries where labour costs are low.