Manufacturing in Australia Explained

Understand everything about Australian Manufacturing
March 29, 2023

Australia's manufacturing industry

Australia is no stranger to manufacturing, at its peak, in the 1960s, it represented 25% of the country's GDP.

Since then, Australian manufacturers have stepped down, the sector now represents 6% of the country's GDP.

Employing 3% of the population, manufacturing stills holds an historical role in the australian economy.

Simply put, manufacturing is the process of changing goods and materials to create new products either mechanically, or physically.

Automation, computers, and robots have sped up the manufacturing process and allows the creation of large amounts of products with little effort and time.

Manufacturers put software in place throughout the manufacturing process to test, monitor, and create manufactured goods.

Each year increases manufacturing speeds, efficiency, and profitability.

What is Australia's Manufacturing Sector known for?

Australian manufacturing is well-recognized as an important producer of processed foods and chemicals.

Historically owned Australian manufacturing businesses include vehicles, and textiles, where the country still shined twenty years ago.

Large vehicle manufacturers like Ford and Toyota left Australia to move their businesses to Asia.

The business of food processing is however working wonders with meat products and beverages both surpassing $ 10 million in turnover.

The Australian government recognizes the potential of the country as global exporter of manufactured goods and his actively trying to promote it.

China has been a long term trade partner for Australia, but as recent geopolitical troubles have emerged, Australia wants to grow more independent.

To do so, the Australian government is looking at making it's place in the global semiconductor industry.

This brings stimulus to the manufacturing industry and manufacturing companies alike.

A future made in Australia

Australian government is launching new investment programs aimed at supporting high technology manufacturing.

It is designed as a catalyst to boost manufacturing productivity and innovation, and to help manufacturers improve their product offerings through innovation.

This initiative aims to increase capabilities and opportunities for the manufacturing of renewables and low emissions technologies.

The case of South West Advanced Manufacturing

The advanced manufacturing industry refers to the use of modern technology to create more efficient, complicated processes.

This reflects the introduction of smart factories, digital transformation, and high-tech goods.

One of the most famous examples is the development of modern electronics and in particular microchips.

These have been getting smaller and smaller each year, to the point where advanced manufacturing is developing methods of printing 3-nanometer layers and even less!

As of today, most of the development is done in Asia and already very industrial countries.

Western Australia is however up for the challenge, as the state government is looking at feasibility studies for a potential manufacturing hub.

As you can imagine, such processes require extreme precision and years of research.

Some sectors rely more heavily on advanced manufacturing than others, most notably the aerospace industry, robots, and modern technologies in general.

Advanced manufacturing is still a method of production that requires a lot of investment and is only reserved for the most sophisticated tasks and most important sectors.

Industry 4.0

One of the ideas behind advanced manufacturing is the creation of industry 4.0, a new way of organizing the means of production.

The purpose of the manufacturing industry has always been to increase the number of units per unit of time produced and to minimize costs.

The promise of Industry 4.0 is to create large amounts but to also make sure these products are personalized and adapted to the consumer.

The central idea behind this movement is the introduction of large-scale automation in advanced manufacturing.

Making the consumer capable of communicating directly with the machines and getting his product ready as fast as possible by bypassing the whole validation process.

Additive manufacturing

Additive manufacturing is a subsector of the manufacturing industry.

To use less fancy terms, additive manufacturing is the basis of 3D printing.

In essence, additive manufacturing is the process of adding matter together to create a product instead of taking matter away.

When creating a product you can start off from a large chunk of matter that you morph into your desired piece, much like a sculptor would do.

You can also start from nothing and add matter, bit by bit until you reach your final idea.

3D printing has expanded widely throughout the world in the last decade and is now one of the most common methods of quick manufacturing.

Additive manufacturing presents itself as an interesting alternative to traditional manufacturing methods because it both uses fewer materials (up to 90% in some extreme cases) and saves energy (about 25%).


Business in manufacturing industries can have significant effects on the environment.

Businesses with environmental awareness can minimize the negative effects.

They may have an even greater impact on the communities that helps them make more eco-friendly purchases.

Environmental issues for manufacturing businesses are:

  • Waste production: some pieces have defects and cannot be used
  • Pollution: some sectors of the industry use heavy metals which are both toxic for the environment and for people

These are perhaps the two most important concerns and risks for the environment.

Being aware of them helps make a positive change and limit their impacts.

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