Siemens and Swinburne University collaborate to develop Australia’s first fully immersed Industry 4.0 facility

By youheng.dong

Siemens automation technology and digitalization software and hardware are a game-changer for Australia’s manufacturing sector. We need to build our digital manufacturing expertise to be competitive worldwide and to sustain global demand for our future workforce.

Professor Karen Hapgood, Swinburne’s deputy vice-chancellor of research. 

Siemens collaborates with Swinburne University of Technology (Swinburne) to create a digitally skilled workforce for the future and Australia’s first fully immersed Industry 4.0 facility. Swinburne is a leading university continuously pushing the boundaries of teaching, learning, and research. The university teaches courses intended to produce industry-ready graduates ranging from vocational education to the Ph.D. level. Swinburne and Siemens’ partnership continues to offer several programs and apprenticeships for students to expand their skills in digital transformation.

Developing programs and apprenticeships to promote innovation

Swinburne’s Factory of the Future (FoF) is a business-led engineering facility where experts co-create digital innovation journeys for students and professionals. Part of this collaboration comes from FoFs Advanced Manufacturing Industry 4.0 Hub, which provides students with hands-on solutions to develop Industry 4.0 skills needed in the digital workforce. The FoF provides a digital innovation journey through co-creating digital strategy, exploring how Industry 4.0 technologies affect business outcomes and de-risking innovation.

In 2017, the Siemens DISW was awarded an industrial software grant for Swinburne to digitalize its FoF. Since the grant, Siemens has aided in developing the Industry 4.0 higher apprenticeship program and the associate degree of technologies to bridge the gap between technical training and university education. The apprenticeship program offers firsthand work experience opportunities with Siemens and other industry partners to develop practical workplace skills for those working with industry 4.0 technologies, such as cyber systems, Information of Things technology, cloud computing, and AR.

Siemens and Swinburne launched MindSphere in 2018, a cloud-based industrial Internet of Things operating system. The MindSphere hub, located in Swinburne’s FoF, enables students, academics, and industry partners to collaborate on local & global projects.

The MindSphere center at Swinburne’s Hawthorne campus

Bridging the gap between training and education

Since March 2021, Swinburne has incorporated several Siemens products like MindSphere, Teamcenter, Tecnomatix, NX software, and Mendix platform into the new curriculum for master’s degree in engineering science with specialization in Industry 4.0 and systems engineering, as parts of the Siemens Xcelerator portfolio. Siemens provides the university with innovative resources and software to bridge the gap between technical training and university education.

It has been an incredible journey starting from an associate degree apprenticeship course to a master’s course in Industry 4.0 in a span of five years. Siemens’ partnership and the Siemens software tools have been pivotal in achieving this outcome.

Dr. Shanti Krishnan Deputy Director, Factory of the Future Swinburne University of Technology
Professionals and students using Teamcenter and Tecnomatrix for remote learning

Creating a blended learning approach

Siemens also helped Swinburne integrate their solutions into the bachelor of engineering degree, bachelor of computer science degree, and bachelor of information and communication degree. Using a blended learning approach, the collaboration continues diversity training by providing effective remote learning and diversifying training offerings.

Siemens played a crucial role in Swinburne’s training that used their Industry 4.0 demonstrator, part of the FoF. The training focused on condition monitoring of energy using MindConnect hardware to connect to Mindsphere. Swinburne also partnered with the Technical University Munich and other companies to deliver specialized courses to professionals in Singapore working in industrial manufacturing. The collaborative training program enabled students and professionals to develop Industry 4.0 skills. The training course provided students and professionals the experiential learning outcomes using Siemens NX, Tecnomatix, Teamcenter and Mindsphere.

Siemens’ comprehensive digital twin is such an amazing, underrated piece of technology that makes commissioning a much easier and more optimized process. It ensures you’re getting the most bang for the money you’re spending not only for the commissioning process, but for everything after too.

Syahmi Ma, digital manufacturing process engineer for Avient Colorants Singapore
Industry 4.0 Testbed at FoF, Swinburne

Continuing to develop comprehensive resources

Currently, over 700 students from the university have engaged and used Siemens’ solutions through virtual tools and webinars. With the help of Siemens, Swinburne created courses for students to learn about face-to-face delivery of cyber-physical systems, the comprehensive digital twin, and product lifecycle management while using Tecnomatix Process Simulate, Plant Simulation, and Teamcenter. 

As part of the Global Academic Team, Siemens continues to deliver courses using Siemens solutions for students and industry partners in 2022 and beyond.

Read more on this case study here.

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This article first appeared on the Siemens Digital Industries Software blog at