Factory of the Future: TIG establishes R&D facility


Hi-tech Adelaide based welding manufacturer K-TIG will build an R&D facility within BAE Systems Australia’s Factory of the Future where it will further evolve the application of its robotic welding capabilities.

K-TIG managing director Adrian Smith said the aim of having the R&D facility within the Factory of the Future at the Tonsley Innovation District was to prove that K-TIG’s technology can not only expand Australia’s shipbuilding capability but has vast industrial applications.

Under development

The Factory of the Future is under development by BAE Systems and Flinders University and will connect businesses and sectors which are of growing importance to the national economy, including the $90 billion defence shipbuilding industry. “We are the smart welders of the future. Put simply, K-TIG’s advanced welding technology means welding is stronger, faster and more cost effective. A traditional multi hour weld can be done in less than four minutes to a higher quality and standard,” Smith said. “We can capture and push data out across every single weld creating a digital footprint across a ship. This makes for high level repeatability and consistency which means ships are built faster and cheaper.”

BAE Systems Australia Continuous Naval Shipbuilding director Sharon Wilson said the project had enormous potential. “What K-TIG provides has the potential to deliver game-changing technologies to the broader industrial sector, making industry more competitive and this could see flowon benefits for exports,” Wilson said. “Line Zero underpins the philosophy of the Factory of the Future which focuses on industry collaboration and diffusion of Australian innovation in Industry 4.0 technologies. Contrary to what most people think, manufacturing in South Australia is alive and well and thriving.”

Game changing technology

Director of the Australian Industrial Transformation Institute Professor John Spoehr said Flinders University also welcomed K-TIG as a foundation research partner. “The Research and Development facility is involving researchers and students by working with them to trial and test their innovative game-changing welding technology at the Factory of the Future facility. It’s enabling SME’s and research institutions to bring new and emerging technologies under one roof at Tonsley, fostering opportunities for Australian businesses to join the global supply chain.”

“This is ultimately about addressing the dire skills shortage in welding which is a problem in many industries right around the world,” Smith added. “It’s also about enhancing our sovereign capabilities so that intellectual property is created here and therefore kept here. K-TIG’s announcement comes on the eve of construction beginning on a permanent Factory of the Future Line Zero at Tonsley to be finished by November 2022.


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