By Peter Roberts
Manufacturing is undergoing massive transformation in a fourth industrial revolution, sometimes called Industry 4.0.
The combination of robotics and automation, artificial intelligence, machine learning and data analytics offers a platform to rebuild Australia’s manufacturing sector.
It needs to, as the days when Australia could prosper as a resource commodity exporter with local services industries, is gone.
According to Professor Roy Green, the chair of the Port of Newcastle, for economies like Germany, Switzerland, Japan and Korea, manufacturing and related services underpin high productivity, high skill jobs.
Competitive advantage is achieved no longer through low cost mass production but through “smart specialisation” in global markets and value chains, with an unrelenting focus on quality, design and innovation.
According to the OECD the smart specialisation approach at the national level combines industrial, educational and innovation policies to grow a limited number of priority areas for knowledge-based investments, focusing on their strengths and comparative advantages.
For companies that means competing not head on with the manufacturing giants of the world, but in niches that emphasise the application of cutting edge technology and skills.
Australia already has a surprisingly large number of companies that are global niche successes. They range from the very largest company in Australia by market capitalisation, CSL, which competes in the niche of blood-derived products and vaccines, down to the smallest.
In our new series starting today, Australia’s niche champions, @AuManufacturing looks at some of the well known, and not so well known niche players that are blazing a trail internationally for manufacturing.
Today we launch our series profiling CNC machine tool manufacturer, ANCA – here.
For this series we have teamed up with the Innovative Manufacturing Cooperative Research Centre and with SMC Corporation.
IMCRC is an independent cooperative research centre which helps Australian companies increase their relevance through collaborative, market-driven research in manufacturing business models, products, processes, and services.
SMC Corporation, the world’s leading pneumatics provider, has been established in Australia over 50 years. The company supports local manufacturing through six offices, including four manufacturing and warehouse facilities. SMC carries local stock of over 12,000 products providing automation solutions across a broad range of industries and applications.
@AuManufacturing’s Australia’s niche champions series is brought to you with the support of the Innovative Manufacturing Cooperative Research Centre, and SMC Corporation.
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