What is advanced manufacturing?

What is advanced manufacturing?

Scientists are reinventing how mass production works and the materials we’re using.

Manufacturing has come a long way from simple production lines. Artificial Intelligence (AI), Virtual Reality (VR), and cutting-edge materials are taking it in exciting new directions. According to Australia’s outgoing chief scientist Dr Alan Finkel, this is opening up opportunities for new graduates.

“AI is seeping into every aspect of manufacturing – and manufacturing companies are buying up AI talent as fast as universities can churn it out,” he says.

What is advanced manufacturing?

Advanced manufacturing uses technology and innovation to change up the way we make things. It could be turning used glass bottles, old clothes and coffee grounds into kitchen tiles in a microfactorie, or making metal parts for navy ships with 3D printing.

All kinds of scientists are working hard in research labs and manufacturing plants to drive the revolution forward!

Check out these fab five areas of science and technology behind the advanced manufacturing revolution…

1. Augmented and virtual reality

Gamers are fans, but this tech also helps improve safety, training and production speeds in manufacturing. Computer scientists help develop the tech, but it can be used by any science grad to take manufacturing to the next level.

2. 3D printing

Artificial limbs, fire-fighting hose fittings and face shields can all be made cheaply and quickly using this technology, which is also known as ‘additive manufacturing’. Chemists and materials scientists play an important role in the additive manufacturing sector.

3. Automation and smart robots

Advanced manufacturing workers share
their workspace with collaborative robots and automated equipment. Computer scientists and mathematicians collaborate with engineers to make sure things run smoothly!

4. Next-generation materials

From ceramics that shapeshift when you apply electricity to a non-cut material based on abalone shells, materials scientists are transforming the building blocks of manufacturing.

5. Sensors and data analytics

Data scientists are keeping track of how manufacturing processes are running and using the information to reduce costs, energy use and waste.

Homegrown heroes

Since the start of COVID-19 and the global pandemic, people have been keen to ramp up local manufacturing using advanced technologies. And keeping it local will mean more jobs for Australian science grads to find new and better ways to make the things
we need.

Advanced manufacturing + study – start your career here

  • Associate Degree in Advanced Manufacturing, UTS
  • Bachelor of Science (Nanotechnology) / Bachelor of Science (Applied Sciences), RMIT
  • Bachelor of Science / Bachelor of Data Science, Griffith University

Jobs in advanced manufacturing

Research scientist: $56K–$110K
Production planner, manufacturing: $51K–$92K
Data analyst: $51K–$100K

This article originally appeared in Careers with STEM: Science 2021

Nadine Cranenburgh

Author: Nadine Cranenburgh

Nadine is an electrical and environmental engineer who works as a freelance writer and editor. She loves creating articles and content about exciting and complex technology.


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