Advanced manufacturing and fabrication is driving the next wave of manufacturing excellence in Australia through the transformation of specialised materials into high performing products.
Our priority is to work on the manufacturing shift towards customisation, digitisation, international supply chains, and making manufacturing supply chains and components truly multifunctional.
We aim to get small and medium-sized enterprises up to scale to do customised products. We will help link up manufacturing across different scales, such as, the nano-scale, micro-scale and component scale, so we can make a drug, for example, and add a nano-scale anti-inflammatory coating.
We want to improve Internet of Things sensing devices, so that they can more accurately monitor the environment and produce intelligent agriculture. We are also working to improve Industry 4.0 — the digitisation of the manufacturing process.
The research skills and competencies within this ECP can be applied to any sector or organisation, regardless of size or stage of development. The primary areas where our expertise will be directed are indicated below.
Research and innovation priorities
Manufacturing across scale and function
RMIT will add value to:
- designing and manufacturing products and components at the nano, micro, millimetre, object and systems scale, and
- manufacturing components and systems that integrate features across these scales
Advanced automation and sensor networks
We will enable industry to:
- automate and integrate systems
- apply advanced sensor network technologies, and
- improve the productivity, quality control and flexibility of manufacturing processes
We will add to and improve sensing devices available on the Internet of Things.
Developing Industry 4.0 in the Australian context
We will focus on:
- digitising products and services offered by Australian manufacturers, and
- perfecting the interfaces between digital instructions and physical objects
Key application areas
- Defence and security innovation
- Medical technologies
- Food production and agribusiness
- Sustainability and environment
PRINT-Cell – Type1 diabetes
Type 1 diabetes, which destroys insulin producing islet beta cells, affects over 120,000 Australians. Being able to create insulin-producing cells, rather than relying on human donors, is the ‘holy grail’ of diabetes research. Partnering with other health research organisations, RMIT brings together experts across multiple research disciplines to focus on finding a solution. The PRINT-Cell team are developing soft tissue (islet) scaffolds using additive manufacturing (3D printing), tissue engineering and nanobiotechnology tools. Their focus is on assessing the feasibility of 3D printing replacement islet cells and developing a research plan and funding application for intensified cross-disciplinary research in this area.
Finding better ways to manage and repurpose polluting biosolids, sewage sludge from wastewater, is a pressing issue for the water industry. Current management processes are labour intensive, take up large amounts of land and risk polluting adjacent land and water tables. RMIT is partnering with two water authorities to tackle this problem. The partners will design, construct and commission a pilot PYROCO processing plant capable of converting 75kg/hr of biosolids into value-added smart carbon materials (biochar). RMIT’s interdisciplinary team of engineers, scientists, social scientists and economists will assist in trialling the social and commercial viability of this disruptive conversion technology.