New partnership to boost nanotechnology research Monash University and the Melbourne Centre for Nanofabrication (MCN) have formalised an agreement with international advanced materials equipment manufacturer Ulvac, that will enable ground-breaking new research in nanotechnology. Monash will work with Ulvac to develop cutting-edge fabrication technologies with a particular focus on medical diagnostics and related biomedical fields. These research areas are dependent on the ability to manipulate structures a fraction of a human hair in size – the combination of Monash’s research prowess, Ulvac’s expertise, and MCN’s facility is envisaged to improve the understanding required to do this. “The agreement demonstrates the ability of the Monash Platforms Network and the world-leading nanotechnology facilities available in the area such as MCN to attract international and established business opportunities, while also reiterating Ulvac’s long-standing commitment to the Australian research community,” said Professor Nico Voelcker, Scientific Director at the MCN. Ulvac specialises in developing the machines necessary for the fabrication of modern sensors and detectors. Its work is part of the enormous field of nanofabrication, which is rapidly becoming essential not just to medical devices but also electronics, quantum computing, and advanced manufacturing. The nanoscale structures that allow these technologies to work are far smaller than dust and any contaminants
Officials from Ulvac, Monash University and the Melbourne Centre for Nanofabrication celebrate the recent signing of an MoU.
can completely compromise a device. This means that to push the limits of these devices requires hyper-clean environments. This kind of research environment is only available in a few places and the largest in the Southern Hemisphere is the MCN, next to Monash University’s Clayton campus. The Centre is the flagship facility of a network of open-access nanofabrication equipment called the Australian National Fabrication Facility (ANFF), which has worked closely with Ulvac for a number of years. Expert engineers at the MCN and academic
research teams will work with Ulvac to better understand the fabrication processes behind these cutting-edge nanotechnologies. As the MCN is open to all researchers from industry and academia, the aim of this collaboration, which could include the placement of new scientific equipment at the Centre, will be able to benefit both national and international research communities. “I’m looking forward to the discoveries that are made both during and because of this collaboration,” Professor Voelcker added. “It truly is an exciting time.”
Smartline to manufacture world-first digital solution for medical industry A collaborative project with the Advanced Manufacturing Growth Centre (AMGC) focused on servitisation will position Australian medical equipment manufacturer Smartline Machinery to develop a digital solution allowing customers to better meet strict upcoming standards. Smartline is introducing a new data management system for its leading endoscope drying cabinets, combining expertise around compliance and software development. CleanPath software, the solution being fast-tracked, will deliver Smartline’s customers the ability to track medical devices’ locations, operator activity, and cleaning of sensitive surgical equipment. “Australia’s manufacturers like Smartline Machinery are well placed to gain a competitive edge through product and service differentiation,” said Dr Jens Goennemann, Managing Director of the Advanced Manufacturing Growth Centre, whose team is supporting CleanPath’s development through $150,000 in cofunding. “Smartline Machinery will be first to market with an offering that will help their
AMT Apr/May 2018
clients meet increasingly tough standards in Australian, European and US markets, as well as increase Smartline’s earning potential through servitisation.” By 2022, these markets will have to meet standards under AS4187 and EN 16442, with stricter requirements around monitoring and recording parameters such as temperature, pressure and humidity. The system allows remote monitoring of equipment and devices, and the possibility of creating new roles for high-skilled technicians at Smartline’s headquarters, providing services such as value stream mapping and infection control reports. This solution, delivered by Smartline, illustrates the role servitisation plays in enabling Australian manufacturers to enter the global supply chain by adding value beyond production.
“What we’ve done is pioneered beyond basic-type products and are now going into higher-technology products, utilising RFID, database and cloud-hosted technologies, and the ability to do remote services and tailored customer support into new and emerging markets, which is supported by our patented technology,” explained Will Smart, Managing Director and founder of Smartline Machinery. The company has an installed base of around 350 endoscope cabinets in Australia and 180 overseas. Established in 1996, Smartline Machinery provides a range of solutions for the healthcare and medical markets, and manufactures products including sinks, tables, loanset and CSSD equipment, trolleys and IV poles.