LBT Innovations has made its first international sale of an artificial intelligence instrument, which it claims could revolutionise the global medical laboratory industry. Based in Adelaide, South Australia, health technology company LBT Innovations told investors this morning that it had made its first overseas sale of the APAS Independence instrument, which scans the contents of petri dishes and uses an algorithm to detect bacterial colonies from medical samples. The technology incorporates computer vision to hasten the time required to detect infections in samples from patients. LBT Innovations CEO Brett Barnes told local news site InDaily the technology had the potential to automate a process that is currently conducted manually at medical labs across the globe, and that it is faster and more accurate than microbiologists at making clinical diagnoses based on the samples. The sale to German clinical laboratory Labor Dr Wisplinghoff, announced on the ASX today, is only the company’s second, bringing in about $330,000. But Barnes said there was a potential demand for the product spanning about 2000 laboratories in Australia, the United Kingdom, the United States and Germany, and that this relatively small first international sale was an indication of things to come. “It’s a big, global market opportunity for us,” said Barnes. “As a singular transaction … what it really signifies (is) confidence that the technology is being adopted. “We’re at the start of a global commercialisation.” Barnes said that the technology, developed with the University of Adelaide in 2015, eliminated one of the more mundane and tedious processes from the daily workflow of a microbiologist. “This isn’t a play of putting a profession out of work,” he said. “It’s an efficiency gain (that) frees up microbiologists for more value-add activities.” He added that a clinical trial involving 10,000 patients had demonstrated the technology’s accuracy and speed.
Global engineering, design and advisory company Aurecon’s Chief Executive Officer William Cox is one of 25 science, technology and engineering leaders elected to one of Australia’s prestigious Learned Academies. The Australian Academy of Technology and Engineering (ATSE) welcomed experts from across research, government and industry as Fellows, including Mr Cox who was recognised as an outstanding leader in the planning, design and project implementation of large and complex infrastructure projects. Mr Cox was acknowledged for his demonstrated leadership in innovation, workplace gender equality and strong client relations in the delivery of complex projects to the community. He has over a number of years made valuable contributions to external organisations including the University of Technology Sydney, Engineers Australia and Consult Australia and has been recognised by others for these industry, client and community outcomes. Academy President, Professor Hugh Bradlow, welcomed the new Fellows. “We bring together Australia’s leading experts in applied science, technology and engineering to provide impartial, practical and evidence-based advice to enable Australia to maintain its position as a leading technology economy. “The 2019 cohort of new Fellows comprises a remarkable and talented group, who will contribute to helping the Academy fulfil its mission,” said Professor Bradlow. Aurecon Managing Director of Design, Innovation and Eminence and ATSE Fellow Dr Kourosh Kayvani said Bill’s engineering expertise – demonstrated on a diverse range of projects throughout his career – is truly equalled by his authentic leadership, commitment to diversity and inclusion, and drive for a deep and enduring health and safety culture. “As a Male Champion of Change, Bill has a deep commitment to achieving gender equality in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics and Medicine) and has been instrumental in driving change through championing of gender equality and cultural and racial diversity through Aurecon’s Reconciliation Plan, along with his ambassador role […]
A powerful new software framework tool enables users of CNC machine tools to generate and test ISO part programs offline. The tool looks set to win across-the-board approval in busy machine shops, where an uninterrupted workflow can provide a key productivity advantage. Flexium Office framework software runs under Windows 7/8 or 10 on any standard PC. It allows any of NUM’s technology HMIs (Human-Machine Interfaces) to be used for specific projects – without requiring access to the target CNC machine tool. The corresponding ISO part program can be created offline and can also then be tested offline using NUM’s Flexium 3D simulation software, before being transferred to the target machine. Application-specific technology HMIs form part of the company’s Flexium CAM (Computer-Aided Manufacturing) software suite. The HMIs cover every type of CNC machining operation, including hobbing, shaping, milling, threaded wheel grinding and cylindrical grinding. After selecting the most appropriate technology HMI for the task, the user simply carries out basic data definition tasks for the project in hand, using the highly intuitive tools and workflow commands provided by Flexium Office. Multiple projects can be started and saved at any time – allowing collaborative team development if desired – and the framework software provides support for 14 languages. As soon as the user is satisfied with the process and workflow of a project it can be used to generate the corresponding CNC part program – entirely automatically. The CNC program can either be transferred directly to a nominated machine in the production plant, usually via a TCP/IP network, or input to NUM’s Flexium 3D simulation software for thorough evaluation before being issued for production purposes. The key advantage of simulation is that it enables users to optimise any ISO-code part program offline, further helping to maximise productivity by leaving the CNC machine […]
Andrew McAfee – From the coauthor of the New York Times bestseller The Second Machine Age, a compelling argument—masterfully researched and brilliantly articulated—that we have at last learned how to increase human prosperity while treading more lightly on our planet. Throughout history, the only way for humanity to grow was by degrading the Earth: chopping down forests, fouling the air and water, and endlessly digging out resources. Since the first Earth Day in 1970, the reigning argument has been that taking better care of the planet means radically changing course: reducing our consumption, tightening our belts, learning to share and reuse, restraining growth. Is that argument correct? Absolutely not. In More from Less, McAfee argues that to solve our ecological problems we don’t need to make radical changes. Instead, we need to do more of what we’re already doing: growing technologically sophisticated market-based economies around the world. How can he possibly make this claim? Because of the evidence. America—a large, high-tech country that accounts for about 25% of the global economy—is now generally using less of most resources year after year, even as its economy and population continue to grow. What’s more, the US is polluting the air and water less, emitting fewer greenhouse gases, and replenishing endangered animal populations. And, as McAfee shows, America is not alone. Other countries are also transforming themselves in fundamental ways. What has made this turnabout possible? One thing, primarily: the collaboration between technology and capitalism, although good governance and public awareness have also been critical. McAfee does warn of issues that haven’t been solved, like global warming, overfishing, and communities left behind as capitalism and tech progress race forward. But overall, More from Less is a revelatory, paradigm-shifting account of how we’ve stumbled into an unexpectedly better balance with nature—one that holds out the promise of more abundant and greener centuries ahead.
A South Australian advanced manufacturing hub specialising in microfluidic sensors is working with NASA to develop health assessment tools for space travellers.Andrew SpencePrint articleRepublishNotify me The Australian National Fabrication Facility (ANFF) has partnered with NASA to help Australian researchers develop sensors to monitor health through the testing of bodily fluids such as sweat and saliva. Located in Adelaide at the University of South Australia, the same city as the Australian Space Agency and a swag of emerging space startups, the South Australian node of the ANFF is one of eight university-based hubs around Australia. The South Australian node started a decade ago specialising in microfluidics. Its expertise has since grown to include lab-on-a-chip technology, advanced sensing, functional coatings and separation science. Node Director Associate Professor Craig Priest leads research into the development of microfluidic sensor platforms designed to monitor human health factors, which will be an initial focus of the international partnership with NASA. Assoc Prof Priest said the partnership was an example of “the very first fruits of return on investment” for Australia’s rebooted space industry and would harness exciting nanotechnology and microfluidics research at the UniSA Mawson Lakes campus. “When you are working and travelling in space there is no doctor on board or regular health testing facilities and we know astronauts are operating in a challenging environment,” he said. “You can imagine in a space environment where you’ve got zero gravity, radiation and other extreme conditions, the ability to know if things are going wrong quickly is very important. “We are aiming to work with NASA to develop non-invasive health self-assessment, and possibly wearable, tools that will be able to analyse things like sweat and saliva and track health effects in real time. “The research supports ambitions for further and longer journeys into space and will help astronauts to monitor […]
Each industrial revolution has transformed production, delivered better economic output, and, consequently, immense economic gains globally. But something has shifted in the past two decades—manufacturing productivity growth appears stuck. Labour productivity is a major metric of economic output, and gains in productivity are important because, on a macro scale, labour productivity determines the standard of living of people, nations, and the world. Currently economic output is moving in lockstep with the number of hours people work. Enter the Fourth Industrial Revolution—the newest chapter in industrial development that promises to ignite stalled labour productivity in manufacturing via connected machines, people, data, and value chains. In that sense, the smart factory could potentially ignite stalled labour productivity and unlock the key to productivity for manufacturers. But how? Every manufacturer—whether already “running smart” or yet to invest in smart factory technologies—can harvest business value from smart factory initiatives. Smart factory initiatives accelerate business value creation. Companies report as much as 10–12 percent gains in areas like manufacturing output, factory utilisation, and labour productivity after they invested in smart factory initiatives. There is a direct and established connection—primarily through investment and use cases—between smart factory initiatives and the business value realised. What’s more, any manufacturer can use this connection. While there are risks, primarily operational and financial, they are outnumbered by the smart factory’s value contribution. Also, most risks can be mitigated through rational stakeholder selection, an efficient change management strategy, measurable proof-of-concepts, and incremental investments. Early smart factory adopters report average three-year gains of 10 percent for factory output, factory capacity utilisation, and labour productivity. A closer look at labour productivity trends indicates that smart factory initiatives will likely enable the US manufacturers to “observe” triple the labour productivity growth rate during the next decade (2019–2030) compared to last decade (2007–2018). What does this mean […]
Rockwell Automation’s new regional director, Anthony Wong is very engaging. He has an easy laugh, but a serious undertone that lets you know he is here to do business. Recently appointed as regional director of automation giant Rockwell Automation, Wong has big shoes to fill in departing MD Scott Wooldridge. Not that he’ll have to look far if he needs the odd bit of advice – Wooldridge is now the company’s regional vice-president for Australia, New Zealand, Japan, Korea and Southeast Asia. Wong, an electrical engineering major, brings experience from both the software and hardware streams of automation. With more than 24 years in the industry, he started out as customer support with Citect, before graduating to sales engineer, then account manager through to sales director. In 2006, Schneider Electric purchased Citect, which opened new opportunities to Wong, including a five-year sojourn at the company’s headquarters in Paris, France, where he had several roles mainly in the strategy, merger and integration sectors. Just under three years ago, he decided to come home where he worked for Schneider until taking up the Rockwell Automation position in July this year. As well as the usual challenges of the role, there are several other reasons the new job was attractive to Wong. “What attracted to me to the role is that Rockwell Automation is one of the most respected companies in the automation space,” he said. “I have always been in the industrial automation space, and with Rockwell Automation being purely a player in that space, that was definitely one of the things that attracted me to join the company. He said another reason was that Rockwell Automation has moved into addressing the digital space. For him that was signalled when the company took an 8.4 per cent stake in Internet of Things […]
By Mac Ghani, Managing Director, Avanade Australia From digital transformation to climate change, every industry is trying to keep up with the pace of change and reinvent processes for a more sustainable future. When a manufacturing business successfully transforms itself, customers and employees will benefit from: Increased efficiency and output through data-driven process optimisation and visibility; Reduced downtime and increased asset utilisation through real-time monitoring of assets and predictive maintenance analytics; Increased agility of supply-chain planning via real-time visibility and process controls; Improved worker safety and injury prevention by detecting and responding to changes in field conditions and worker vital signals; A future-ready manufacturing business also has the capacity to create a positive environmental impact – using digital innovation, data and insights to drive efficiencies that will reduce greenhouse gas emissions, enable smarter energy management and reduce waste. The MIT Center for Information Systems Research (CISR) finds companies that substantially complete their transformation tend to enjoy margins 16 percentage points higher than their industry’s average. A new beginning Despite awareness about the need to innovate and the commitment to invest heavily in technology over the next three years, research found the manufacturing industry continues to lag behind companies in other industries. With tougher socio-economic and environmental conditions, personalisation and a dynamic workforce, it can be incredibly difficult to understand where to start or how to progress further. In fact, 60-70 percent of organisations are still on their journey. Manufacturing is a traditionally siloed industry. But a future-ready organisation gives due consideration for impacts across the business, so open communication and evaluation throughout the process is key. Digital transformation belongs to the whole organisation, not just the CIO. Key decision-makers from all parts of the organisation need to put forward priorities of each business division. These priorities need to be aligned […]
Datalogic’s latest IMPACT software enhances performance and traceability for vision-guided robots and cobots. Datalogic, a leader in robotics, Industry 4.0, automatic data capture and process automation, is introducing its new Impact 12.2 software to further enhance the traceability and ease-of use of vision-guided robots and cobots used for a wide variety of pick, place and other vital production line tasks. The new robot guidance and traceability software is available throughout the Asia-Pacific region and incorporates a number of calibration and performance enhancements to make robot programming faster and simpler, as well as improve accuracy and traceability. “With Datalogic’s Impact 12.2 system, robots can now be deployed faster, and they are more adaptable to changing applications in dynamic industries such as warehousing, logistics, supply chain, manufacturing, automotive, healthcare, transport and OEM markets,” said Mr Bradley Weber, Product Marketing Manager – Machine Vision, Datalogic. “The latest software has been thoroughly tested in conjunction with leading robotics company Universal Robots and has been fully approved and UR+ certified to work their robots and cobots. UR+ certification means they have the full technical support and expertise of the Universal Robots team, as well as access to their highly customisable software,” said Mr Weber. Collaborative robots, or ‘cobots’ work harmoniously with people in production and distribution operation such as pick-and-place and production lines. Often, the robot performs repetitive tasks requiring strength or precision, while the person guides the robot to the right place, provides a part for it to pick, or performs other tasks that complement the robots programming. According to Universal Robots, “Cobots give manufacturers access to all the benefits of advanced robotic automation, without the extra costs associated with traditional robots: difficult programming, long set-up, and shielded work cells. This makes automation affordable even for small-batch production runs and mixed product assembly.” Software […]
High profile scandals aren’t typically good for the technology sector. Whether it’s diesel emissions, large data breaches or cyber-attacks on mission-critical infrastructure, scandal has the power to cripple a technology even before it’s gotten off the ground. Despite what recent headlines may have you thinking, 5G has the potential to be a hugely positive force in the world of manufacturing, heralding in a new era of technological innovation. While 3G and 4G offered incremental improvements in speed and bandwidth, 5G will be the first cellular, wireless platform to truly offer reliable integration with machine-to-machine and industrial IoT systems. It will do this in three ways. The first is enhanced mobile broadband (eMBB); 5G offers peak data rates of 10 Gbps and can handle 10,000 times more traffic than its predecessors. Secondly, it offers Ultra Reliable Low Latency Communications (URLLC). This means it has a radio latency of less than 1 ms and an availability of over 99.9 per cent, making it ideal for industrial use where uptime is critical. Thirdly, it offers Massive Machine-type Communication (eMTC), allowing it to handle a density of one million devices per square kilometre. It can also deliver ultra low-cost machine-to-machine communications and can last up to 10 years on battery, great for battery operated low power devices. So, what does this mean for industry? Well, not only will 5G open the door for real-time wireless sensor networks and location and asset tracking, it will also enable plant managers in smart factories to rely on seamless communication with a fleet of autonomous guided vehicles (AGVs) without worrying about network dropouts. What’s more, manufacturers that may have been sceptical of adopting the likes of augmented and virtual reality technologies will be able to take full advantage of them for real-time simulation and predictive maintenance. In industrial […]