Minister for Defence Materiel – Minister opens new robotics facility to assist Defence SMEs

Minister for Defence Materiel Jason Clare officially opened an Australian-first facility to train workers from small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in robotics manufacturing.

“Robotics manufacturing is the way of the future,” Mr Clare said.

“Defence equipment is evolving as technology evolves and Australian manufacturing companies need the skills to match.

“Strong skills in robotics will give Australian companies an edge when competing for work on the global stage.

“That’s why this facility is important – it will boost the skills of Australian SMEs in the use of high-end robotics technology.”

The facility will provide training on the use of robotics to do tasks like automated inspection, deburring, coating removal, polishing and light mould machining.

Workers from more than 50 companies are expected to train in the facility within its first 12 months of operation.

The facility is a partnership between the Australian Government, Boeing Australia and Swinburne University.

Mr Clare congratulated Boeing and Swinburne University on their commitment to working with Australian industry.

“When it comes to working with Australian SMEs – Boeing is ahead of the game,” Mr Clare said.

“Boeing has a specialist team working with Australian defence companies to help them become more competitive and bid for work in their global supply chain.

“In the past four years, 24 Australian companies have won 101 contracts worth $256 million from Boeing and this facility is another commitment to helping Australian companies bid and ultimately win global work.”

President of Boeing Australia and South Pacific, Ian Thomas said this was another example of the company’s commitment to training Australian SMEs.

“We know how challenging it can be for Australian businesses to access high tech training in robotics,” Mr Thomas said.

“While the introduction of robotics into manufacturing ultimately offers cost savings, many companies have told us that learning these new skills can be both expensive and difficult.

“This purpose-built training facility will offer high-quality courses for Australia’s increasingly high quality defence suppliers.”

Media contact: Korena Flanagan – 02 6277 7620

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