The centre, based at Swinburne's Hawthorn campus, will help students, academics and industry partners to work together to create local and global projects on a cloud-based operating system which Siemens calls MindSphere.
There are more than a million devices and systems worldwide which are connected to this operating system.
“This is the first-of-its-kind industry/university partnership for MindSphere in Australia and is an extension of Siemens’ $135 million product lifecycle management industrial software grant to Swinburne University announced last year,” said Jeff Connolly, chairman and chief executive of Siemens Australia.
A view of the MindSphere centre at Swinburne's Hawthorn campus.
"However, the value is in being able to refine that crude data and turning it into usable business information. This requires sophisticated platforms that simplify and enable the process.
"It also requires skilled people coming through the system - which is what this facility and the partnership is all about.”
The centre will be supported by industry partners Alliance Automation, Globetech, NZ Controls, Centric PA, Spectrum Automation, Nukon, Interlate and Mescada through the signing of the MindSphere Foundation Partner agreement.
Swinburne’s deputy vice-chancellor (Research & Development), Professor Aleksandar Subic, said: “The centre will facilitate the creation of applications in advanced manufacturing, smart cities and transport, health and other areas. This is an important stage in the implementation of our Industry 4.0 Strategy.
“Students across the entire education and training continuum, from apprenticeships across bachelor’s and master’s programs and all the way to PhD research, will be developing and using this technology for different industrial applications as part of their learning in collaboration with industry.
Michael Freyny, head of Digital Factory and Process Industries for Siemens Australia and New Zealand; Professor Aleksandar Subic, Swinburne’s deputy vice-chancellor (Research & Development); and Jeff Connolly, chairman and chief executive of Siemens Australia with MindSphere Foundation Partners (Alliance Automation, Globetech, NZ Controls, Centric PA, Spectrum Automation, Nukon, Interlate and Mescada) at the MindSphere launch event.
Connolly said: “Preparing for the Fourth Industrial Revolution involves more than just developing technologies. It requires holistic co-operation between industry, academia, standards bodies, research, government and organised labour.
"What we are doing here is providing a practical environment for students and industry to experience first-hand the potential of a full digital enterprise."
Michael Freyny, head of Digital Factory and Process Industries for Siemens Australia and New Zealand, said MindSphere would play a critical role in Siemens customers’ digitisation journey.
“The centre will enable our customers across various sectors to explore data-driven business models. Following successful use cases and applications in China, Germany, the US and other parts of the world, Australia can now connect industry to the digital world of IIoT and create powerful industry applications and digital services.
“I also welcome our Foundation Partners to the MindSphere platform. This is proof of the interest in developing industrial IoT solutions across different industry sectors and the continued need to collaborate.
"Our products can be found across various industries including manufacturing, mining, transportation and building infrastructure, water, food and beverage and others. MindSphere will help customers across these industries harness the streams of data from their connected devices and derive real value from the information.”
Photos: courtesy Siemens