Industry 4.0 Testlabs in Australia

Preparing for the future

Date published:
1 August 2017
Date updated:
25 May 2021

The fourth industrial revolution, Industry 4.0, is fast transforming how businesses operate.

Industry 4.0 technologies connect the physical world with the digital world. They can offset our traditional challenges such as high labour costs and distance to markets. Examples include:

  • artificial intelligence (AI)
  • automation
  • cloud computing

Industry 4.0 Testlabs aim to improve the competitiveness of Australian manufacturing industries through adopting Industry 4.0 technologies and workforce transformation.

They were a strategic initiative of the Prime Minister’s Industry 4.0 Taskforce.

In this report

This report is a guide on Industry 4.0 Testlabs in Australia. It defines the principles of an Industry 4.0 Testlab, regardless of its manufacturing process, industry, application or products.

Topics include:

  • the digital transformation that defines Industry 4.0
  • Industry 4.0 Testlabs technology, standards and security
  • testlab developments across Australia and use cases of Industry 4.0
  • the role Testlabs will play in transforming Australian manufacturing
  • practical advice on how workforce and digital transformation leads an organisation towards achieving an Industry 4.0 capability

Collaborating with Germany

This report evolved through information sharing and collaboration between Australia and Germany on Industry 4.0. 

The Australia-Germany Advisory Group recommended government and industry in both countries collaborate on Industry 4.0 to develop global standards. The taskforce was established following the recommendation and later signed a  cooperation agreement with Germany’s Plattform Industrie 4.0.

Industry 4.0 Testlabs Program

The $6 million Industry 4.0 Testlabs pilot program established testlabs at 6 Australian universities.

Building on the recommendations of this report, these testlabs:

  • provided a physical space for businesses and researchers to trial, explore and showcase Industry 4.0 technologies and processes
  • enabled educational institutions and industry, particularly small and medium enterprises, to collaborate
  • developed skills needed to take full advantage of opportunities presented by Industry 4.0

The taskforce has since been renamed the Industry 4.0 Advanced Manufacturing Forum. Australian Industry Group host the forum and progress this work.