Swinburne University of Technology and Sutton Tools Pty Ltd establishing a joint Smart Manufacturing Centre to work on projects in advanced manufacturing over the next five years.

A research agreement was signed by Swinburne’s Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Research and Enterprise) Professor Bronwyn Fox and Peter Sutton, Managing Director of Sutton Tools, on 26 April. The new centre will play an important role in training students, staff and industry end users and will pursue joint research and development activities through different funding bodies. The centre will also play a role in the Australian Government’s Modern Manufacturing Strategy through developing a digital and sustainable local supply chain with Sutton Tools.

Features of the collaboration will include:

  • The loan of equipment from Swinburne to Sutton Tools.
  • The joint funding of three PhD scholarships as part of our industry and impact PhD program.
  • The placement of undergraduate and postgraduate students with Sutton Tools as part of Swinburne’s Work Integrated Learning program.

Professor Fox commented “This partnership builds on a longstanding relationship between Swinburne and Sutton Tools that dates back to the early 1990s and underscores Swinburne’s research strengths in the manufacturing sector. In recent times this relationship has been advanced significantly by Professor Suresh Palanisamy.”

Peter Sutton added: “Sutton Tools and Swinburne’s strengthening collaboration will be instrumental in the continued local development and manufacture of advanced engineering cutting tools. We see the Smart Manufacturing Centre as not only crucial in supporting research & development, but as importantly, providing the infrastructure to train both current and future engineers in systems and techniques required by increasingly demanding machining applications.”

Swinburne previously played a prominent role in the establishing Surface Technology Coatings, part of the Sutton Tools organisation. In partnership with Sutton Tools and a number of local small-to-medium enterprises, Swinburne has been studying the cutting tool life of hard-to-machine materials such as titanium. This work will assist with lengthening tool life and reducing the cost of the manufacturing process.

Sutton Tools is also part of Swinburne’s Australian Research Centre Training Centre in Surface Engineering for Advanced Materials (SEAM).

The new centre will be based at Sutton Tools’ plant in Thomastown.