Co-located once again with Austech, the 20th edition of National Manufacturing Week (NMW) will be held from 14-17 May at the Melbourne Convention & Exhibition Centre.

After a successful event in 2017 with more than 10,000 attendees, NMW 2019 will be about driving continuing innovation in local manufacturing and the evolution to advanced technology solutions, sharing insights to stay ahead of the game and celebrating the Australian manufacturing sector’s success that has been generated in recent times.

“NMW 2019 arrives on the industry’s calendar at a truly exciting time of growth in Australian manufacturing,” said Robby Clark, Exhibition Director of NMW. “This year’s event is focused on supporting manufacturing’s continuing evolution to a high-tech, highly integrated and innovative industry, while providing the latest expert insights, industry research and technology to generate even greater momentum.”

As the focal point for the manufacturing community to come together, interact, connect and be inspired, ‘Industrial Evolution’ will be the theme for NMW in 2019 across the conference program and exhibition’s four days.

“Automation, collaborative robots, the Internet of Things and high-level engineering, will be of prime focus at this year’s event, offering industry professionals and decision-makers with an unmissable opportunity to acquire new insights and source innovative solutions for ongoing operational success,” Clark revealed.

Strategic partners and industry associations supporting NMW in 2019 include the Advanced Manufacturing Growth Centre (AMGC), the Innovative Manufacturing CRC (IMCRC), Engineers Australia and Weld Australia. These partners strengthen NMW’s industry relevance and cement the event’s status as a hub for the manufacturing community to come together and share insights to support continued growth in the industry.

NMW will also again be co-located with Austech. According to Austech’s organiser AMTIL, the co-location will also see the long-held relationship provide further benefits for attendees in 2019.

“AMTIL is delighted to further cement the long-term relationship between Austech and NMW with our joint conference program at our event this May,” said Kim Banks, Events Manager at AMTIL. “We are excited to collaborate on what promises to be a high-calibre program which involves cutting edge concepts in the Industry 4.0 space.”

This increased collaboration between the AMGC, Austech and NMW will see the 2019 conference program feature an impressive line-up of more than 70 expert speakers, who will share their exclusive insights about current industry challenges and recommendations for operational success.

Divided into the Industry 4.0 Theatre and Connected Manufacturing Theatre, these two theatres will focus on the impact of the Internet of Things to business, and improving efficiency, safety and operational management.

“This year’s conference program for National Manufacturing Week will be our most extensive and in-depth to date, with attendees offered unprecedented access to industry leaders who will share their expertise and knowledge,” Clark explained.

The Industry 4.0 Theatre program will offer attendees the latest opinions, developments and research about the impact of Industry 4.0 on businesses and operations. This stream within the conference program will begin with a keynote delivered by Australia’s Chief Scientist, Dr Alan Finkel, followed by an innovation and collaboration stories-series run by the AMGC. Following this session will be a panel discussion run by Peter Roberts, a leading journalist, editor and founder of the 4,200-member Australian Manufacturing Forum.

Day 2 of the conference program will feature a second panel run by the Australian Manufacturing Forum that discusses the benefits of onshoring, followed by a presentation on driving innovation through advanced materials, and case study examples about how the adoption of smart technologies in factories can be successful.

Day 3 and 4 of the conference will cover topics such as artificial intelligence in advanced manufacturing, Industry 4.0 digital shipbuilding in global supply chains, the outlook for the defence market, and the evolution of robotic manufacturing in Australia.

Speakers featuring in the Industry 4.0 sessions will include: Dr Nico Adams (Director of the Factory of the Future at Swinburne University), Dr Elliot Duff (Robotics Research Consultant at CSIRO Data61), David Chuter (CEO of the IMCRC), Christopher Vains (Head of Digital Enterprise at Siemens) and Dr Jens Goennemann (Managing Director of the AMGC).

The Connected Manufacturing Theatre conference program is targeted at offering business owners, managers, workplace health & safety (WHS) professionals and designers with expert advice about business management, design and industrial safety challenges.

Conference sessions within this stream will focus on industry topics, including: environment & energy policies, process improvement & optimisation, safety innovation, safety policies, safety management and culture, mental health & wellbeing, marketing & sales, additive manufacturing and design, and government grants and tariffs.

Speakers featuring in the Connected Manufacturing sessions include: Peter Ticker (Digital Innovation and Advisory Lead Energy Solutions at ERM Power), Philip Smith (Director of Business Development – Victoria & Tasmania at Efic) , Brooke Donnelly (CEO of the Australian Packaging Covenant Organisation), Toni Kennington (HR Systems Owner at Fonterra Cooperative Group), Dr. Arash Niavarani (Director at CBIS), Alex Kingsbury (Managing Director of Additive Economics), James Woolcock (Founder & Engineering Director atBastion Cycles), Gareth Berry (CEO of Unleashed Software) and Kate Whitehead (Managing Director of Avant Group).

Visitors to NMW 2019 will be able to take advantage of six designated product zones to navigate through the exhibition floor, which segment the extensive range of products and solutions designed to improve operations, resolve challenges, improve quality and increase productivity into key operational categories. The six product zones for 2019 will be Automation & Robotics, Engineering, Industrial Internet of Things, Safety, Welding Technology and Manufacturing Solutions.

As a strategic partner of this year’s event, Weld Australia will also have a presence on the exhibition floor offering visitors an interactive experience and deeper insight into the latest in welding skills training and development.

“Weld Australia will have an Advanced Welder Training Hub on the exhibition floor which will showcase the augmented and virtual reality technology that is revolutionising welder training here in Australia, and around the world,” Donna South, Marketing and Communications Manager at Weld Australia confirmed. “Attendees will have the chance to see and try a range of different welding simulators, which are making welder training and upskilling safer, more cost-efficient and engaging for new and experienced welders.”

This year’s exhibition floor will feature more than 200 leading industrial suppliers of game-changing solutions, new technology, advanced manufacturing products and operational services. Exhibiting suppliers who have already confirmed their presence for NMW 2019 include: WAGO, 3M Australia, Central Innovation, niversal Robots, Profifeed Technologies and Kobot Systems. A wide array of specialised welding technology exhibitors are also joining this year’s event, such as Lorch South Pacific, Lincoln Electric, BOC, Supagas, Kemppi Australia, Air Liquide Australia and Gullco International.

NMW 2019 will have several networking and celebration functions held throughout the week, including the NMW 20th Anniversary networking function, the 2019 Victorian Manufacturing Hall of Fame Awards, and the Endeavour Awards.

“We are excited about the numerous networking events taking place within NMW in 2019 and proud to be offering attendees our most extensive conference program ever, in both speaker volume and industry experience,” Clark concluded. “Equally, we are looking forward to seeing innovative and high-tech solutions that our extensive exhibitor list is planning to demonstrate and showcase at National Manufacturing Week 2019.”