The Sovereign Manufacturing Automation for Composites CRC (SoMAC) is backing the University of NSW and Omni tanker to drive a digital evolution in composites manufacturing.
The group are working to create a ‘digital twin’ of Omni Tanker’s pilot production plant, which can help them rapidly improve their operations.
The digital twin will work ‘live’ alongside physical production facilities, and will allow Omni Tanker virtually trial different methods to enhance production processes and improve efficiency before enacting them on the physical plant.
Omni Tanker recently rose to prominence following their development of a triple road train tanker, with new mould-in baffles designed to manage the movement of fluid surge in road tankers.
Discussing this latest collaboration, Dr Shiva Abdoli, Chief Investigator at UNSW said, “With this Industry 4.0 technology, we can virtually assess alternative production strategies through simulation and validate their performance.”
“A digital twin of their production facility offers Omni Tanker a test bed for performance analyses and improvement at both operational and strategic levels. The tool will allow them to optimise production through improved process design, layout planning and targeted investment in automation, and further spearhead Omni Tanker’s export activities.”
Dr Abdoli added that developing the digital twin as a test bed prepares the plant for the future.
“As Omni Tanker production grows, we can adapt the simulations to forecast and alleviate bottlenecks before they arise,” she said,
“Omni Tanker and UNSW have a long-standing research partnership, and we are excited to come together with SOMAC CRC to continue to deliver high-value and high-impact research translation projects,” further adds Rodgers.
Professor Nicholas Fisk, UNSW’s Deputy Vice Chancellor Research & Enterprise, said this is the first of many such collaborative R&D projects.
“The ability to test and validate process improvements, both incremental and end-to-end, in seconds rather than years, provides a real springboard to Industry 4.0 advanced manufacturing here in Sydney,” Professor Fisk said.
Omni Tanker’s CEO Daniel Rodgers said this collaboration will help the company build production capacity, supporting greater automation of its operations.