Quality Magazine

President Obama's Advanced Manufacturing Partnership Supported by New Report

June 27, 2011

WASHINGTON, DC- President Obama’s Advanced Manufacturing Partnership plan is supported by a new report called “Implementing 21st Century Smart Manufacturing.” The Smart Manufacturing Leadership Coalition (SMLC) developed the report to establish a roadmap and set the top 10 priorities for modernizing 20th century factories with 21st century digital information and automation technology to change the way manufacturing is done and capture the economic, efficiency and competitiveness benefits.

While U.S. industry is making incremental progress in using smart manufacturing, the infrastructure needed to deliver the full potential of this knowledge-based manufacturing environment has yet to be developed, according to the report. This infrastructure will enable customers to tell flexible factories of the future what products they want made, reduce time-to-market, drive greater exports due to lower production costs, minimize energy use and materials while maximizing environmental sustainability, and create opportunities for increasingly skilled workers.

The SMLC and the National Center for Manufacturing Sciences (NCMS) have formed a working partnership to build a National Smart Manufacturing Ecosystem. It is an iPhone-like “App Store” for industrial modeling and simulation applications and rapid applications. NCMS is also providing its Predictive Innovation Center (PIC) strategy to link nationally to other centers that involve modeling and simulation applications in manufacturing and their national capacity for outreach to small and medium enterprises.

“There are nearly 300,000 small and medium sized manufacturers in the [United States] who could be using advanced manufacturing but have found barriers to adoption,” says Rick Jarman, NCMS president and CEO. “Our national PIC strategy and our collaboration with SMLC will make these tools accessible and affordable to manufacturers of all sizes.”

Smart manufacturing will provide new ways to extend the essential productivity gains that have kept many U.S. manufacturers globally competitive during the past decade. In addition to cost and time savings, it can optimize energy use, improve carbon footprints, and promote environmental sustainability. Further benefits include reduced plant maintenance costs and improved product, personnel and plant safety. Potential improvements in supply chain interaction will also dramatically reduce inventories, increase product customization, and enhance product availability.

For the full report and more information, click here.