Why this is important to Wisconsin businesses: Advanced manufacturers in Wisconsin may find opportunities to help Australian businesses update their systems and technology.
Manufacturers from throughout Australia agreed that strong action is needed to advance their industry as they gathered for the country’s first Modern Manufacturing Expo in Sydney in September 2022.
Wisconsin’s authorized trade representative in Australia attended the two-day event, hearing from panels of experts on subjects that included sustainability and innovation and visiting with exhibitors who demonstrated their companies’ 3D printing, robotics, and data leverage capabilities.
Many of the businesses said they face similar challenges, such as:
- Mounting pressure from the Australian Competition & Consumer Commission to stop greenwashing and start to make real, tangible reductions in carbon emissions
- Preparing for any future events that force their factories to close or create major disruptions in supply chains, as the COVID-19 pandemic did
Speakers at the sustainability panel said manufacturers should digitize their processes, upgrade automation at all levels, and better leverage their data to improve efficiencies. They said Australian manufacturers need to collaborate and should consider contracting out to obtain and implement new products and solutions to fill massive gaps in manufacturing technology. In particular, small and midsize companies that are not able to make those changes on their own were urged to seek partners.
The innovation panel said 53% of Australian businesses seek solutions from companies in other countries. Their main areas of interest include connectivity, data, computational power, analytics and intelligence, human-machine interaction, and a broad range of advanced engineering solutions such as additive manufacturing and renewable energy.
Mark Ramsay, CEO of Space Machines Company—whose business creates products for space transportation and exploration—said his company is a prime example of that. Ramsay said Space Machines’ success is a result of incorporating myriad products, such as sensors, parts, and services, from a variety of international sources. He said the industry is constantly seeking new suppliers and new technologies.
Wisconsin exporters interested in participating in Australia’s move to new manufacturing technology should follow publications such as Australian Manufacturing, Australian Manufacturing Technology Magazine, Industry Update, @auManufacturing, and Manufacturing Monthly. They can also contact WEDC for an initial conversation about the opportunities for their products in Australia.