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Advanced manufacturing "critical" to Australia's economic success

13 October, 2014

Australia's manufacturing sector has been given a significant boost with the announcement that Australia's largest additive manufacturing hub is now 'open for business'.

The new 3D printing additive manufacturing plant in Melbourne manufactures parts and devices for the mining, defence, bio-medical, construction, aerospace and automotive industries, in a more cost-effective way than traditional methods.

Bob Baldwin, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister for Industry, said advanced manufacturing was critical to Australia's future economic success, and focusing on these areas of competitive advantage helps to drive the economy and create jobs.

Brink of a new era

"Australia is on the brink of a new era for Australian industry where advanced manufacturing will be critical to the nation's future economic success," Baldwin said.

"Historically Australia's economy has focused on farming, agriculture and industrial manufacturing. We are transitioning into higher, value-added, industries that are based on innovation, research and the sophisticated skills base of our workforce.

"Cutting edge manufacturing hubs like the one created by Objective 3D, are giving the manufacturing sector an edge to compete with the rest of the world on quality and not simply on cost."

Tool making revival

Michael De Souza, CEO of the Australian 3D Manufacturing Association, said that 3D printing had the potential to revive manufacturing sectors like tool making that were currently unable to compete globally from Australia.

"This centre provides Australian businesses with access to advanced manufacturing techniques and considerable savings of time and money in the stages of product development and production," De Souza said.

Industry and research link

The Australian Government is also improving the linkages between industry and the research sector.

Matt Minio, Managing Director of Objective 3D said the plant would initially employ 15 people and estimated these numbers would double over the next three years as the business grew.

"Industry demand for this type of manufacturing process is growing at a rapid rate and we estimate on average we're reducing expenses to manufacturers by between 30 and 80 per cent, depending on application," Minio said.

"Manufacturing in Australia is not dead, it's in a transition period and ready to grow again."