Swinburne University of Technology’s Hawthorn campus will house Australia’s first demonstration and application centre for a cloud-based open Industrial IoT operating system in conjunction with global technology powerhouse Siemens.
The centre will enable students, academics and industry partners to collaborate and co-create local and global projects on a cloud-based platform Siemens calls MindSphere.
“This is the first-of-its-kind industry/university partnership for MindSphere in Australia and is an extension of Siemens’ $135 million product lifecycle management (PLM) industrial software grant to Swinburne University announced last year,” said Jeff Connolly, Chairman and CEO of Siemens Australia.
“Data is being described as the oil of the 21st century. 90% of the data in the world today has been created in the last two years and 5.5 million new ‘things’ get connected every day. However, the value is in being able to refine that crude data and turning it into usable business information. This requires sophisticated platforms that simplify and enable the process. It also requires skilled people coming through the system – which is what this facility and the partnership is all about,” said Mr Connolly.
MindSphere, the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) solution connecting physical manufacturing, energy and infrastructure assets to the virtual world, already has over one million connected devices and systems worldwide.
Located in Swinburne’s Factory of the Future, the centre is unique in its industry and business engagement model in the tertiary sector – opening the campus to industry and businesses for co-creation, while facilitating education, training and research.
Students, academia and industry will have access to cloud-based software that has already helped organisations across the world connect their products, plants, systems and machines to harness the wealth of their data generated by IoT with advanced analytics.
The launch is supported by industry partners – through the signing of the MindSphere Foundation Partner agreement – Alliance Automation, Globetech, NZ Controls, Centric PA, Spectrum Automation, Nukon, Interlate and Mescada.
Swinburne’s Deputy Vice Chancellor (Research & Development), Professor Aleksandar Subic, said the centre will provide an environment for industry and students to co-create, develop and demonstrate the capabilities and outcomes made possible using MindSphere. “The centre will facilitate the creation of applications in advanced manufacturing, smart cities and transport, health and other areas. This is an important stage in the implementation of our Industry 4.0 Strategy.
“Students across the entire education and training continuum, from apprenticeships across bachelor’s and master’s programs and all the way to PhD research, will be developing and using this technology for different industrial applications as part of their learning in collaboration with industry,” said Professor Subic.
“Preparing for the Fourth Industrial Revolution involves more than just developing technologies. It requires a holistic cooperation between industry, academia, standards bodies, research, government and organized labour. What we are doing here is providing a practical environment for students and industry to experience first-hand the potential of a full digital enterprise, said Mr Connolly. “As the world’s largest industrial software company, Siemens is proud to partner with Swinburne and our MindSphere Foundation Partners to help accelerate Australia’s participation in Industry 4.0.”
MindSphere is an essential piece in Swinburne’s Industry 4.0 Factory of the Future facility, whereby Mindsphere will enable connectivity across all their technology assets and processes across all of Swinburne campuses.
“The centre will demonstrate in action the value of partnerships between industry and the education sector by driving innovation and positive transformation. The access to MindSphere at our Factory of the Future will help demonstrate the Industry 4.0 facility as a whole – a fully integrated, connected and fully operational learning factory – the first of its kind in Australia and this part of the world,” added Prof. Subic.
Michael Freyny, head of Digital Factory and Process Industries for Siemens Australia and New Zealand, said MindSphere will play a critical role in Siemens customers’ digitalization journey.
“The centre will enable our customers across various sectors to explore data-driven business models. Following successful use cases and applications in China, Germany, USA and other parts of the world, Australia can now connect industry to the digital world of IIoT and create powerful industry applications and digital services.”
“I also welcome our Foundation Partners to the MindSphere platform. This is proof of the interest in developing industrial IoT solutions across different industry sectors and the continued need to collaborate. Our products can be found across various industries including manufacturing, mining, transportation and building infrastructure, water, food and beverage and others. MindSphere will help customers across these industries harness the streams of data from their connected devices and derive real value from the information.”