Industry 4.0: Creating the Exports of Tomorrow

ManufacturingTrade and Exports

11 February 2022

A vibrant and competitive manufacturing sector is vital to Australia’s economic future and the adoption of Industry 4.0 technologies will be a key driver of industry transformation and Industry 4.0 will be instrumental in driving economic productivity within Australia.

Growing core and emerging manufacturing industries is a key part of the government’s Modern Manufacturing Strategy including commitment to deliver 1.25 million new jobs over the next five years, helping Australian manufacturers to scale-up, improve competitiveness and build more resilient supply chains.

There are six areas of comparative advantage and strategic interest that are of key focus, including:

  • Resources technology and critical minerals processing.

  • Food and beverages.

  • Medical products.

  • Recycling and clean energy.

  • Defence.

  • Space.

In a recent report released by the CSIRO, the 2019 Australian National Outlook found that with the right preparatory measures in place, manufacturing could contribute to more than 25% in additional GDP growth compared to today.

What is Industry 4.0 and what does it mean for you?

Industry 4.0 describes the trend towards automation and data exchange in manufacturing technologies.

Think of the concept of factories in which machines are augmented with wireless connectivity and sensors, connected to a system that can visualise the entire production line, control, and make decisions on its own.

These new technologies are big business.

Specifically, Internet of Things (IoT) technologies have been estimated to be worth up to $88 billion for our manufacturing industries.

What is the Internet of Things and the value to Manufacturing?

IoT is essentially the concept of basically connecting any device with an on and off switch to the Internet (and/or to each other) and can be described as a network of connected “things” (which also includes people). The relationship can be between people-people, people-things, and things-things.

The new rule for the future will be “Anything that can be connected, will be connected”.

The uptake of new technologies has the enormous potential to impact manufacturing in Australia – and how we do business, including boosting Exports.

Exports have been described by politicians and research reports alike as being a big part of the government’s equation to grow the manufacturing industries and create new jobs.

Is there help available for the manufacturing sector on the journey to Export?

Funding is available under the Modern Manufacturing Strategy. Funding supports projects that adopt new technologies, commercialise new products and processes, integrate into supply chains and create jobs.

Currently under the Modern Manufacturing Initiative, funding is available under round 2 of the Modern Manufacturing Initiative for the following sectors; space, medical products, resource technology and critical minerals processing.

If you have a manufacturing project in one of these sectors, you can apply for funding support under the Manufacturing translation stream or Manufacturing integration stream.

Round 2 will run over 3 years (2020-21 to 2022-23) and supports transformative investments in technologies and processes including:

  • buying, constructing, installing or commissioning of manufacturing plant and equipment

  • integrating production-related software that is directly related to your capital investment

  • relevant training and skills development to assist you to integrate the new technology into your business, including upskilling and accreditation in advanced processes.

  • process design and engineering directly related to your capital investment

  • fit-out, alterations and/or extensions to buildings directly related to your capital investment.

The maximum project period is 2 years.

If you are a manufacturer of Industry 4.0 technologies or an Exporter seeking additional information relating to Customs and Global Trade, please do not hesitate to contact me directly.

Findex is an active member within Customs Private Sector Groups and on the National Committee for Trade Facilitation.

Author: Matthew Morgan

Matthew is a Licensed Customs Broker & International Trade Specialist with over 18 years experience working in the logistics and professional services industries. His experience is complemented by university studies in international business, public relations and customs administration. Matthew is actively involved within the National Committee for Trade Facilitation (NCTF), which is the primary group that actively engages with the Department of Home Affairs on trade modernization initiatives. With a passion for emerging technologies and Logistics 4.0, Matthew incorporates integrated digital solutions within his service offering to help clients optimise their supply chains, navigate the regulatory burdens of global trade and succeed in new markets