Accelerating the uptake and diffusion of innovative manufacturing technologies in Australian shipbuilding and supply chain: The human factor


Industry partner

ASC Shipbuilding Pty Limited


Research organisation

Flinders University


Manufacturing investment

($1,472,893 IMCRC)
for 2020–2022

Transition to a new, digital future of work


Automation, digital platforms, and other innovations are changing the fundamental nature of work. By understanding these shifts, particularly in the context of manufacturing complex, high valued products such as digitally – designed anti-submarine warfare frigates, ASC Shipbuilding aims to lift industry capabilities and accelerate the adoption and uptake of modern, digital technologies in Australian shipbuilding and their global supply chain.

Proposed Solution

BAE Systems Australia’s subsidiary ASC Shipbuilding has been awarded a contract by the Australian Government to design and build nine anti-submarine warfare frigates for the Royal Australian Navy.

In collaboration with Flinders University, ASC Shipbuilding sets out to develop and pilot Industry 4.0 technologies that support the progress and delivery of the Hunter Class Frigate Program.

Focusing on both the technical as well as human dimensions of Industry 4.0, researchers from Flinders University’s Australian Industrial Transformation Institute within the College of Business, Government and Law and the College of Science and Engineering will capture and address the challenges associated with the implementation of the Industry 4.0 technologies throughout the project.

By working closely with local small and medium manufacturers, they hope to drive the digital transformation through advanced robotics, assistive manufacturing and readiness utilisation – both inside the shipyard and more widely in the Australian supply chain.

Overall, the project aims to develop solutions and demonstrate applications of Industry 4.0 technologies such as cyber physical systems to leverage investment in Australian shipbuilding for the benefit and the growth of broader advanced manufacturing in Australia.