We work closely with industry partners to produce innovative solutions for the mining and manufacturing sectors. This section provides information resources to discover our national and international work in the mining and manufacturing industry.

Our work in mining and manufacturing

We collaborate with large and small mining, exploration, processing and manufacturing companies in Australia and internationally as well as other industry stakeholders, local, state and national governments, universities and other research centres. Our manufacturing research covers biomedical manufacturing, chemicals and fibres, high performance metals, nanomaterials and electronics. These presentations provide information about our research capabilities, research facilities and infrastructure and case studies.

Our facilities

Learn more about the Carbon Fibre Facility at Deakin University

Lab22

Lab 22 is Australia's centre for innovation in metallic additive manufacturing. The facility offers Australian companies a unique opportunity to access and explore new technologies so that they can innovate with less capital investment risk. Learn more about Lab22

 Lab 22: Adding a new dimension to 3D printing

[Music plays and text appears: CSIRO adds a new dimension to 3D printing for small business]

[Image changes to show Alex Kingsbury, Additive manufacturing research leader]

Alex Kingsbury: So 3D printing is a process by which material is added in successive layers, it builds up a part, typically you use a heat source to build that part up, but you could use something like a binder as well. It’s got application in aerospace and biomed and in the Defence industry as well, and to a less extent the auto industry.

[Camera pans around the different sections of the LAB22 Innovation Centre and then moves back to Alex]

So the LAB22 Innovation Centre is a try before you buy place, where industry can come in and use the equipment and access the expertise of our research scientists.

[Image changes to show a CSIRO staff member working on a desktop computer and then moves back to Alex]

It means that they get to get familiar with the equipment and get the training and support to enable them to feel confident about potentially making a purchase of one of these types of machines in the future.

[Camera zooms in on the image the CSIRO staff member is looking at on the computer]

This centre enables SMEs to come in and gain a competitive edge.

[Image changes to show Alex holding a 3D model in her hands as explained below]

So, so far here at CSIRO we’ve 3D printed a heel implant for a man that was about to lose his leg, so we worked together with the surgeons at St Vincent’s and Anatomics.

[Image changes to show Alex holding a different 3D model in her hands as explained below]

Flying Machine is a Perth based company and we 3D print the bike lugs for them and that means they can customise bikes according to an individual’s height and riding style.

[Image changes to show Alex holding a different 3D model in her hands as explained below]

We worked with a company called Oventus to 3D print a device that goes into your mouth that helps combat sleep apnoea.

[Image changes to show the Arcam machine]

The Arcam machine is a 3D metal printer, it prints in a lot of different metals and it produces really high quality parts in a really short amount of time]

[Image changes to show the Concept Laser and then moves back to Alex]

The Concept Laser is a laser-based metal 3D printer. It produces really fine, detailed parts with a really nice surface finish.

[Image changes to show the Optomec machine and then moves back to Alex]

The Optomec Lense System is a blown powder system. With this system you can add features to a part, or you can functionally grade materials as well. That means, for example, you can put a wear resistant coating in a high wear area on a part.

[Image changes to show the Voxeljet machine and then moves back to Alex]

The Voxeljet is a sand printer. With the sand printer we can apply a binder and that prints out our 3D part. We can use that to make a casting that can be more complex than your conventional castings.

[Image changes to show the Arcam machine in action]

The Australian Manufacturing Industry is in a real state of flux at the moment. It’s essential that SMEs transition to advance manufacturing technology such as 3D printing.

[Image changes to show a different part of the printing process]

Access to the centre enables SMEs to de-risk the capital investment that they might make in this technology, it enables them to develop up products in an easy an accessible and affordable way.

[Image has moved back to Alex]

We want industry to come in and tell us their great ideas and to try out their ideas using our equipment. You’re only limited by your imagination when it comes to 3D printing.

[CSIRO logo appears with text: Big ideas start here www.csiro.au]

YouTube: Lab 22: adding a new dimension to 3D printing

Lab 22: adding a new dimension to 3D printing :  Our Lab 22 Innovation Centre provides Australian companies with easy access to cutting edge additive manufacturing technologies (or 3D printing) that can enhance their productivity and global competitiveness.

FloWorks

The FloWorks Centre for Industrial Chemistry is a technology platform that provides access to CSIRO's cutting edge research into industrial processing for Australian and international chemical manufacturers. Learn more about FloWorks.

[Music plays and CSIRO logo and text appears:FloWorks CSIRO’s Centre for Industrial Flow Chemistry]

[Images flash through of Dr. Christian Hornung working in a laboratory and then the image changes to show Dr. Christian Hornung talking to the camera and text appears: Dr. Christian Hornung, Senior Research Scientist, CSIRO Manufacturing]

Dr. Christian Hornung: Hi. My name is Christian Hornung. I am a Research Scientist at CSIRO and I work in the Flow Chemistry area.

[Image changes to show a male working in the Centre for Industrial flow Chemistry]

The Centre for Industrial Flow Chemistry is a new facility here at Clayton.

[Camera zooms in on the male tapping a touch screen computer and then the camera zooms in on the male’s hand working on one of the machines]

It is a technology platform that provides access to CSIRO’s cutting edge flow chemistry technology to industry as well as academic researchers.

[Image changes to show Dr. Christian Hornung talking to the camera]

Flow Chemistry’s a smarter way of making chemicals.

[Image changes and text appears: Flow Chemistry, This is How it Works]

In flow chemistry,

[Image changes to show an animation diagram of two feed tanks feeding into a reactor]

other than in a classical batch process, the starting materials are fed into the reactor continuously and this is where the reaction takes place.

[Image shows a second reactor and a third feed tank being added to the animation diagram]

If you use multi stage processing, you can eliminate the need for manual handling of chemicals in between steps and that greatly improves safety.

[Image shows inline purification and a product tank being added to the animation diagram]

Adding in inline purification makes the whole process more streamlined and efficient

[Image changes to show an analysis box being added to the animation diagram]

and when you integrate smart monitoring and online analysis the whole process can be automated.

[Image changes to show Dr. Christian Hornung talking to the camera]

So, what are the benefits of flow chemistry for your business?

[Image changes to show two males looking at a computer screen and then the camera zooms in on a male using a touch screen]

It basically means that you can reduce your reaction times, you can reduce your plant space

[Image changes to show Dr. Christian Hornung talking to the camera]

and that means that they’ll have less energy costs, a much more efficient process, less waste and a much safer environment.

[Image changes to show a glass beaker with liquid being picked up and then the image changes to show a male working on a touch screen]

At the Centre for Industrial Flow Chemistry we offer a complete package which is quite unique.

[Image changes to show a part of the equipment and then the image changes to show

Dr. Christian Hornung talking to the camera]

So, we’re looking at the chemical development as well as the technology from the very early discovery stages

[Image changes to show two males working at a piece of laboratory equipment and then the camera zooms in on the male’s hands as he adds chemical]

going through a scale up process to the final pilot scale where we then can do the tech transfer back to the client’s site

[Image changes to show a male and a female walking up a set of stairs]

where he can do the manufacturing of their product.

[Image shows the male and the female looking at the equipment]

In the new Centre, we will combine the small-scale capabilities for discovery as well as our large-scale reactors under one roof.

[Camera zooms in on the female’s face as she talks to the male and then the camera zooms out to show them looking up at a gauge on top of stainless steel type tanks and then filling a beaker from the tank]

It’s going to be a collaborative space and in the future we’re looking forward to having even more engagement with industry

[Image changes to show Dr. Christian Hornung talking to the camera]

and for this technology to be taken up by chemical manufacturers in all areas.

[Music plays and images flash through of Zoran Manev walking through an office and talking to a female at a computer and then the image changes to show Zoran Manev talking to the camera and text appears: Zoran Manev, Director, Boron Molecular]

Zoran Manev: Boron Molecular is a manufacturer of fine chemicals. The fine chemicals are used in both the pharmaceutical and material science field.

[Image changes to show a beaker of fluid on sitting on top of a machine and then the image changes to show Zoran Manev talking to the camera]

I guess I’m now one of the prophets of flow chemistry and we have a unit here on site

[Image changes to show two males walking down a set of stairs past laboratory equipment]

that we use to develop a number of our processes or convert them from batch to flow.

[Image changes to show two males looking at the equipment and then the camera zooms in on hoses running into the equipment]

Flow chemistry will enable us to make purer molecules.

[Images changes to show a piece of the equipment and then the image changes to show pharmaceutical products on shelves and the camera pans around the shelves]

So, we will have fewer side chains and fewer issues when we scale up manufacturer from small-scale to larger even tonne lots.

[Image changes to show Zoran Manev talking to the camera and then the image changes to show a piece of laboratory equipment]

The resultant of that is, is that you’re wasting less solvents, less energy and you’re having far less material that you’re discarding into the environment.

[Image changes to show hoses joining into the laboratory equipment and then the image changes to show Zoran Manev talking to the camera]

We’re excited at the prospect of working with CSIRO’s Centre for Industrial Flow Chemistry.

[Camera zooms in on Zoran Manev’s face and then images move through of a male and female looking at a piece of equipment, a male looking at liquid in a beaker and a female looking up]

We look to that partnership being one where we will get introduced to a number of potential clients through our involvement with the Centre

[Image changes and the camera pans in a clockwise direction around a room with stainless steel tanks]

and likewise the Centre will continue to develop molecules for us that we will eventually bring back to our facility for manufacturing.

[Image changes to show Zoran Manev talking to the camera]

In five to ten years’ time I see flow chemistry as being the prevalent chemistry on site.

[Image changes to show Dr. Christian Hornung talking to the camera]

Dr. Christian Hornung: If people want to get access to the facility and learn more about the technology get in contact with us.

[CSIRO logo and text appears: Big ideas start here, www.csiro.au]

FloWorks

Success stories

Longwall Automation 

CSIRO, in partnership with the coal industry, developed the Longwall Automation system which has improved mining safety and productivity. Find out more about longwall automation.

[Music plays, a computerised image appears of a miner in a mining machine that is digging down below the ground]

Narrator:  Australia has a long and profitable history of digging stuff up.  We’re very good at it.  But it’s still a very dangerous activity.  The less humans we can stick underground, the better.  About 90% of underground coal mining uses a process called longwall. 

[Text appears on screen:  90% longwall]

[Image changes to show an increasing currency value] 

It contributes $7 billion to Australia’s export income every year.

[Image changes to show a computerised image of a shearer machine working underground] 

Miners carefully drive a machine with large rotating cutting drums back and forth across a coal seam.  With each pass a massive slice of coal is ground off.  It falls onto a conveyor belt and is transported away from the coalface.  It’s a great technique, but it puts workers in one of the most dangerous places in the mine – underneath a roof supported by hydraulic jacks.

[Image changes to show a computerised image of a miner working underground, and looking up towards a supported roof] 

So we figured out how to automate it and created the LASC, Longwall Automation System.

[Text appears on screen:  LASC] 

It automatically guides the shearer along the coal seam wall, tracking its position in three dimensions.

[Image changes to show a computerised image of a shearer machine and varying co-ordinates appear to the left of the screen] 

With no access to GPS underground it’s instead guided with an evolved form of inertial navigation, usually used for ballistic missiles.

[Image changes to show a computerised image of a miner standing at a control panel] 

It can be controlled from the top of the mine, or from the other side of the planet.

[Text appears on screen:  two thirds] 

Two-thirds of longwall coal mines in Australia now use this technology.  It’s not only led to a far safer working environment, efficiency has increased by up to 10%.

[Text appears on screen:  far safer; more efficient up to 10%] 

And now it’s been commercialised for global companies.

[Image changes to show a computerised image of a globe] 

So we can continue digging stuff up, and do it a lot safer.

[CSIRO logo appears with text: Big ideas start here www.csiro.au]

CSIRO animates: How longwall automation has made mining safer

Xstrata technology

[Music plays and text appears: We asked CSIRO]

[Image changes to show a shot of the IsaMill™ and the camera pans over the different sections of the machine]

Lindsay Clark: The IsaMill™ is a grinding machine that is used to grind finer particles from around 200 micron down to around ten micron.

[Image changes to show Lindsay Clark, Xstrata Technology]

It was developed at Mount Isa, and we now have over a hundred IsaMills™ located throughout the world.

The media is what grinds the particles, and it’s rotating inside the mill, like a fluid bed.

[Image changes to show an example of particles being held in a hand and then changes to show a computer generated picture of the media rotating]

The main challenge was to... for us to develop a method of measuring the media level inside the IsaMill™.

[Image changes to show an aerial shot of the mill and then back to Lindsay]

CSIRO had done some work at one of our mines, McArthur River Mine, with their acoustic equipment, monitoring an analyser, and they came to us and they showed us some of the work that they’d done, so we asked CSIRO, “Can you actually use the analyser to measure the media inside the mill, to take the sound waves and measure the position of media inside the mill?”

[Image changes to show different pictures of the IsaMill™ in operation]

The acoustic equipment analyser sits on side of the IsaMill™, and it’s located at specific points alongside the mill, and there are nine analysers that measure the sound that’s coming from inside the mill, and because we can’t see it we needed a way of actually determining where it was. The ultimate plan for us to use this equipment is to reduce costs, reduce power consumption, to also reduce maintenance costs.

[Image changes to show different people operating the mill]

By having the media spread through the mill will reduce the wear of components, and will also improve availability of the mill, so will enable it to run for longer periods of time. But also longer term we intend to use it to help us to look at the wear inside the mill, advising us on when the mill should be shut down for maintenance.

We do know that it has potential to be used in the coal industry, monitoring cyclones and other things, so it does have potential in other areas. If we hadn’t have had this project working with CSIRO then we would still be putting our ear to the side of the mill at different locations and trying to listen to the sound, which obviously is nowhere near as good as actually having equipment measuring it, and you can actually monitor the level of sounds.

[Image changes back to an aerial shot of the mill and then back to Lindsay]

CSIRO worked really well with us. They’re a very talented team. They’re a very important company for Australia. We’re also working with them on a number of other projects as well, so we have a really good relationship with them, and I think it’s very critical for them to be involved in helping Australian industry develop.

[Music plays, CSIRO logo and text appears: Big ideas start here www.csiro.au

Xstrata Technology on working with us :  Lindsay Clark from Xstrata Technology explains how working with CSIRO helped them improve their grinding technology.

RAFT

Our RAFT (Reversible Addition-Fragmentation chain Transfer) technology provides a better way of making polymers. The RAFT polymerisation process enables the production of polymers that are designed with enhanced properties for uses across health, industry and agriculture. Find out more about RAFT polymerisation.

[Title appears RAFT: Creating better polymers to transform everyday products]

[Image changes to an animation of molecules, then changes to show pictures of the items described]

Products that we use in everyday life, from shampoo, paint and contact lenses to smartphones, toys and sunscreen, contain polymers.

[Image changes back to the animation of molecules which turns into a DNA strand]

Polymers are materials composed of large molecules. They can be natural like the proteins that are in our DNA, or man-made such as the plastic polystyrene used for packaging.

[Image changes to an animation of a box with polystyrene pieces inside]

[Image changes back to the animation of molecules and zooms in on one of the molecule parts with the CSIRO logo on it]

CSIRO has invented a revolutionary technology that creates a new generation of advanced polymer materials.

[Image zooms out to show the word RAFT, the letters then change to different fonts]

Our technology, called RAFT, improves both the manufacturing process and the end polymers by enabling complete control over polymer design, size and shape.

[Image shows molecules in different arrangements as described by the narrator]

By making small changes to the chemistry of the RAFT agent, polymers can be crafted in a huge variety of ways - long, branched, grafted or star shaped. The options are endless.

[Image changes to show an animation of a person with prosthetic limbs running past a solar panel]

This flexibility allows companies to create tailored materials to enhance performance or provide entirely new functionality.  

[Image changes to show a heartbeat monitor that changes to show different pictures which roll across the screen]

RAFT provides a competitive advantage across industries such as healthcare, cosmetics, electronics, energy and industrial processing, and has already been used by multinationals including L'Oreal, IBM and Dulux.

[Image changes to a drawing of Australia which is coloured red]

This versatile Australian invention is simple, inexpensive and doesn’t require any equipment and has led to a new generation of materials being used every day around the world.   

[Image shows the RAFT logo then a paint tin, sunscreen, smart phone and other items fall from the top of the screen]

RAFT - creating products that help people and the planet, benefitting health, productivity and the environment.

[CSIRO logo appears with text: Big ideas start here, www.csiro.au]

RAFT: Creating better polymers to transform everyday products

Rib and sternum implant

Melbourne-based company Anatomics used our Lab22 3D printing facility to design and manufacture a rib and sternum implant for a cancer patient. Find out more about 3D printing at Lab22.

[Music plays, CSIRO logo appears on bottom right hand corner of screen, and text appears on screen:  Cancer patient receives 3D printed ribs in world first surgery]

[Image changes to show various 3D printed objects]

[Image changes to show a building with a sign:  CSIRO Australia]

[Image changes to show Alex Kingsbury and text appears on screen:  Alex Kingsbury, Additive manufacturing research leader, CSIRO]

Alex Kingsbury:  CSIRO, in conjunction with Anatomics, has developed a sternum implant for a patient suffering from cancer.

[Image changes to show various images of the 3D printed implant]

It involved a very complex world first procedure.  Anatomics contacted CSIRO.

[Image changes back to Alex Kingsbury]

We have access to an electron beam metal printer, which means it’s a really high quality implant.

[Image changes to show a man operating the printer]

And we also have the experience of having done these types of jobs before.

[Image changes to show the door to the printer opening]

[Image changes back to Alex Kingsbury]

So 3D printing works by inputting a 3D digital CAD file into a computer, and then that computer talks to the machine.

[Image changes to show a man operating the printer]

[Image changes back to Alex Kingsbury]

The machine puts down layer upon layer of material, and each layer is fused.

[Image changes to show a computer generated simulation of the printer creating a 3D object]

So as each layer is fused you then start to build up a product as your layers increase.

[Image changes back to Alex Kingsbury]

And Anatomics and the surgeon worked together quite closely.

[Image changes to show a man at computer looking at the design and close up of design]

[Image changes back to Alex Kingsbury]

The way that they came up with a design was to have these pieces that went over the bone, and then you could screw through the bone.

[Image changes as the camera zooms to show the 3D printed implant held by Alex Kingsbury]

So it’s attached really securely.

[Image changes back to Alex Kingsbury]

The reason that 3D printing was desired for making this implant was because it needed to be customised exactly to suit the patient.

[Image changes to show the 3D printed implant]

[Image changes back to Alex Kingsbury]

No human body is the same, so therefore every implant is going to be different.  So this is the sternum here.

[Image changes as the camera zooms to show the 3D printed implant held by Alex Kingsbury]

[Image changes back to Alex Kingsbury as she points to the implant]

This here is mimicking the ribcage, and these pieces here are what attach on to the ends of the bone.

[Image changes back to Alex Kingsbury]

To get to this implant design Anatomics used the patient’s scan data.

[Image changes to show the 3D printed implant held in front of the design on the computer]

[Image changes back to Alex Kingsbury]

And that meant that they were able to make an implant design that exactly matched the patient’s anatomy.

[Image changes to show a person working with an object in the 3D printer]

It would be an incredibly complex piece to manufacture traditionally, and in fact, you know, almost impossible.

[Image changes to show various images of 3D objects]

Australia has a really fabulous skills base in biotech and biomedical manufacturing.

[Image changes back to Alex Kingsbury]

3D printing is set to really take advantage of that skills base.

[Image changes to show people working in a laboratory]

[Image changes back to Alex Kingsbury]

Internationally we’re now becoming very well known for our expertise in 3D printing for biomedical applications.

[CSIRO logo appears with text: Big ideas start here www.csiro.au]

Cancer patient receives 3D printed ribs in world first surgery

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