Hi-tech welding manufacturer K-TIG (ASX: KTG) has confirmed it will build a research and development facility in South Australia to further evolve the application of its robotic welding capabilities for shipbuilding and other applications.
The facility will be built within BAE Systems Australia’s “Factory of the Future” at the Tonsley Innovation District which has been established as a catalyst for the growth of advanced manufacturing and adoption of the global Industry 4.0 agenda.
The factory is being developed by BAE in conjunction with Flinders University to connect businesses and sectors deemed to be of growing importance to the national economy, including the $90 billion defence shipbuilding industry.
It will enable small-to-medium enterprises and research institutions to bring new and emerging technologies under the one roof, fostering opportunities for Australian businesses to join the global supply chain.
K-TIG managing director Adrian Smith said the research and development facility would seek to demonstrate the company’s technology across various industrial applications.
“We are the smart welders of the future … our advanced technology makes welding stronger, faster and more cost-effective, allowing a traditional multi-hour weld to be done in less than four minutes to a higher quality and standard,” he said.
“We can capture and push data out across every single weld creating a digital footprint across a ship, resulting in high level repeatability and consistency which means ships are built faster and cheaper.”
BAE continuous naval shipbuilding director Sharon Wilson said the project had considerable potential.
“K-TIG has the potential to deliver game-changing technologies to the broader industrial sector, making industry more competitive and this could see flow-on benefits for exports,” she said.
“We are delighted to support local companies with advanced capabilities [and] contrary to what most people think, manufacturing in South Australia is alive and well and thriving.”
K-TIG confirmed there would be no revenue connected to the initial building of the research and development facility.
The cost of investment would be limited to deployment of a K-TIG system including appropriate automation, personnel time as well as material and third party verification costs.