In the “factory of the future” at Swinburne University, the industry recently celebrated the launch of Tradiebot Industries and its Repair Bot project, in collaboration with Swinburne University and IMCRC.
Tradiebot Industries is part of the Industry 4.0 revolution, providing automated repair solutions and new skills for the automotive collision industry. It grew from the perfect storm of rapid technological advancement, a burning platform for change in our sector, and a specialist with a passion to play a part in helping the industry to transform rather than wait for disruption to hit.
Tradiebot founder and managing director, Mario Dimovski, entered the industry as a 16-year-old plastics repair apprentice at the time when plastic was replacing chrome on bumper bars.
Dimovski has always explored new ways to improve the efficiency of workshop operations. He had experimented with a 3D printer and several scanners in headlight repair and spare part construction. At the same time, he was developing techniques to repair plastic components such as bumper bars. The opportunity for Plastfix presented itself and so the idea of 3D printing components (and solving problems like material compatibility, “securability” and alignment to OEM and industry requirements) took a back seat.
“As time has gone on, I have gained a greater appreciation of the various mechanisms and technologies that have had to be combined to bring to life the solution I had envisioned – to make a real difference in the automotive repair industry – and perhaps many other sectors as well,” said Dimovski.
The catalyst for the Tradiebot Repair Bot solution was the need to innovate current repair processes on plastic components. With the fantastic new technologies and automated systems that have moved from the world of science-fiction and into the reality of Industry 4.0, Tradiebot Industries is seeking to help the sector transform with the least amount of pain to shop owners. The solution will also have a flow-on environmental benefit as it will reduce the number of headlights and other plastic components that are sent to landfill because they’re designated non-repairable due to lugs/brackets that are missing, or the repair needed is far too complex for a human technician.
Industry 4.0 is seeing new technology application every day, including robotics, artificial intelligence, scanning, 3D printing, virtual reality and augmented reality. Tradiebot Industries was launched to bring these technologies to the collision repair industry.
Our industry needs to work smarter, faster and be more agile to accommodate the rapid changes in market demand and Tradiebot is developing technology to help businesses adapt, comply, assess, repair and rebuild. The systems bring knowledge and skills transfer whilst developing an ever-expanding catalogue of data intelligence to be used for various applications across the automotive repair industry. Tradiebot Industries is applying these technologies to benefit everyone in the sector.
“At Tradiebot we are both a pioneer and a fast follower. With an evolving technology platform, we will become the definition of innovation, pushing the boundaries and continuing to learn as we partner with some of the world’s leading innovators in Industry 4.0,” said Dimovski.
Tradiebot Industries is currently working on several automated “Repair & Prepare” solutions for the automotive industry. In partnership with some of the leading universities, industry leaders and professionals from around the world, the aim is to revolutionise future processes and create future skills. The ultimate goal is to be the Australian, if not the global, leader working with OEMs and automotive repair centres, applying Industry 4.0 technologies to the automotive industry and assisting with the changes this will bring by upskilling the current workforce, developing new skills and enhancing career opportunities.
“As a business, and as an industry, we need to re-invent ourselves. We need to adapt and, at times, take the lead by backing our visions and our capabilities. Tradiebot Industries and its project partners are leading by example with more than $1.2 million directed at the Repair Bot project alone, and a further $2 million planned for other projects under development.”