The 2023 Modern Manufacturing Expo, held in Sydney last month demonstrated a growing interest in harnessing local manufacturing capabilities and moving the industry forward, as evidenced by an almost 20% surge in attendance in comparison to the previous year. The event, which focused on spearheading progress and unlocking opportunities through the increased adoption of modern manufacturing practices, was marked by strong government support and a comprehensive educational program.
Minister for Industry and Science, The Hon. Ed Husic MP, at the opening of the Expo’s Smart Manufacturing Conference, underscored a critical message to manufacturers: Australia must escalate production to create stable, full-time jobs. Minister Husic also emphasised the importance of the National Robotics and Automation Strategy, encouraging the manufacturing community to have confidence in their own skills and abilities.
He reiterated the government’s commitment to the sector, backed by significant resources allocated through the National Reconstruction Fund (NRF) and Industry Growth Program.
“We were thrilled to have Minister Husic’s participation at this year’s Expo, augmented by representatives from the NSW Government and the Modern Manufacturing Commissioner’s Office,” says International Exhibition & Conference (IEC) Group CEO Marie Kinsella. “The strong support from the public sector over the course of the two-day event highlighted for visitors the government’s vision to rebuild manufacturing and sovereign capability, and the road that lies ahead.”
Another topic in focus at the Expo and was the rapid adoption of artificial intelligence (AI), and the opportunities and future challenges it may present to human labour. Ms Kinsella said, “We’re already seeing a significant integration with AI and manufacturing software by major companies, as they use these tools to greatly enhance their capabilities.”
The topic of AI aligned closely to the theme of the 2023 Modern Manufacturing Expo: ‘Connected, Automated & Digital Transformation’ which highlighted the role that intelligent and connected data can play in improving shared knowledge and improved production quality.
Over 55 exhibitors participated in the two-day event, which saw 919 visitors and speakers from leading companies such as Mitsubishi Electric, RSM Australia, Slimstock, CSIRO, RSM Australia, Wiise, Fordyno, Siemens, HSO, Coca-Cola Euro Pacific Partners, GE Digital and Bosch AU. 93% of attendees surveyed stated that they discovered either a company, product or service that they had not previously encountered but that could be beneficial to their role.
Exhibitor APPMA (Australian Packaging and Processing Machinery Association Limited) commented that the Expo is a valuable opportunity for them because “putting ourselves in front of the Sydney Market is really important as we wish to ensure that we’re covering the entirety of Australia.”
“We’re proud to share that the 2023 Modern Manufacturing Expo was a resounding success, boasting an expansive knowledge hub dedicated to the latest advancements in smart manufacturing,” Ms Kinsella said.
It also marked the second year of the co-located Smart Manufacturing Conference and Expert Arena on the exhibition floor. The Expert Arena hosted sessions were “highly informative, providing attendees with valuable insights into cutting-edge technology, research discoveries, and practical case studies,” she said.
The highly-anticipated Smart Manufacturing Conference gathered industry thought-leaders to explore critical subjects, including Industry 4.0, artificial intelligence, and the evolution of smart factories. Both co-located events were well-attended and enthusiastically received by visitors, underlining their importance within the manufacturing community.
With the wealth of knowledge, resources, and cutting-edge technology readily accessible within Australia, the Modern Manufacturing movement continues to steam ahead at a rapid pace. “Attendees can rest assured that we have already secured the dates for the September 2024 edition, which will build on the incredible gains we’ve already made,” Ms Kinsella said.
The 2024 Modern Manufacturing Expo will be held on 18-19 September 2024 at the Sydney Showground, Sydney Olympic Park.