This article was published on 13 August 2020
Callaghan Innovation has confirmed Beca and The Employers and Manufacturers Association (EMA) as official partners to deliver the Government’s Industry 4.0 Demonstration Network
The partnership will bring to life a nationwide showcase of Industry 4.0 technologies that are delivering vast improvements and resilience for businesses in many sectors. This will involve real-world demonstrations of how the fusion and application of advanced technologies from robotics and automation to data analytics, mixed reality and artificial intelligence can drive productivity and enable new business models.
The Government committed funding over four years to roll out the initiative. Paul Linton, Callaghan Innovation’s General Manager Research & Technical Services and Commercial Businesses, says it will include a mobile Industry 4.0 showcase along with a network of site visits and ‘smart factory’ tours which will demonstrate Industry 4.0 in action.
“Our aim is to help New Zealand manufacturers to transform and increase their resilience and competitiveness through the adoption of new technologies. Raising the value of their activities and businesses is especially important during times of economic uncertainty and recovery,” says Mr Linton.
“This partnership is a great example of the Government working with industry experts to create exciting new opportunities for business growth and economic development. It will help prepare the country for a world where increased digital capability is key to lifting our productivity and make us more internationally competitive and future-relevant.”
Industry 4.0 in action
Beca will deliver the mobile showcase and bring Industry 4.0 technologies to the doorstep of manufacturers and educators across New Zealand. The EMA, part of the BusinessNZ network, will deliver a network of site visits and smart factory tours by manufacturers to demonstrate the benefits of Industry 4.0. Combined, this hands-on initiative will help manufacturers directly by creating knowledge sharing and learning opportunities.
Sue Bradley, GM Industrial Digital for Beca, says interacting with the tools is an important first step in adoption. “If people can experience these new technologies in action first-hand, discuss and observe the benefits and practical case studies, they can start to imagine what they could achieve in their own context. We’re excited to help them achieve this,” Ms Bradley says.
EMA Chief Executive Brett O’Riley says it will be tapping into its network of businesses across the country to set up smart factory and network site visits. “Our manufacturers need to see the technology in action at New Zealand businesses in order to understand how this would translate into their own businesses,” says Mr O’Riley. “It’s going to bring to life real Industry 4.0 journeys, with manufacturers sharing knowledge and experience with other manufacturers first-hand.”
Beca is currently leading a market survey of the manufacturing sector and associated educators to help build a better mobile showcase experience and welcomes feedback on firstname.lastname@example.org. The EMA is keen to hear early expressions of interest from companies who would like to be part of the network site visits. Participating companies will be provided a full assessment of Industry 4.0 readiness and a roadmap for the future. Businesses can email email@example.com.
Find out more about Industry 4.0 technologies, providers and case studies via Callaghan Innovation’s Industry 4.0 Hub.