LOS ANGELES-The Society of Manufacturing Engineers (SME) and the National Institute of Standards & Technology’s Manufacturing Extension Partnership (NIST/MEP) have announced a Competitive Manufacturing Toolkit.

“Manufacturing has been the backbone of our nation’s economy for more than a century and we’re not going to get out of this economic crisis without a strong, innovative manufacturing sector,” says Mark C. Tomlinson, SME’s executive director and general manager. “That’s why SME and NIST/MEP have put together a ‘toolkit’ of ideas to help manufacturers innovate, compete and succeed.”

The Competitive Manufacturing Toolkit offers a variety of solutions. The tools range from how to create a culture of innovation, to discovering how sustainable processes add to the bottom line, to ensuring there is a skilled workforce to handle the jobs of the 21st century.

Some of the tools available to manufacturers include:

  • SME’s “Open Innovation Center,” which helped WESTEC exhibitors and attendees learn more about how to source and sell innovation. The center represented collaboration between SME, NIST/MEP and the Planet Eureka! USA National Innovation Marketplace.

  • The USA National Innovation Marketplace connects inventors with those in need of innovation.

  • The Merwyn Business Translation accelerates connections and communication between innovators, innovation sellers, buyers, investors, developers and distributors.

  • SME and Purdue University are piloting a Green Workforce Development Program with a body of knowledge, a curriculum and an assessment outcome.

  • The recently announced NAM-Endorsed Manufacturing Skills Certification System will revolutionize education and training for 21st century manufacturing by providing skills assessments, standardized curriculum requirements and portable credentials that validate the attainment of these critical competencies required by industry.

  • The Lean Enterprise Certification Program is an existing collaboration between SME and MEP providing manufacturers with the knowledge-from classroom training to hands-on activities-necessary to identify and carry out lean improvements in their companies.

  • Green Suppliers Network, a collaboration between the MEP and the EPA, is focused on helping manufacturers stay competitive and profitable while reducing their impact on the environment.

  • SME’s portfolio of lean-to-green manufacturing resources connects practitioners to each other via webinars, events and technical and social network communities.

    To learn more about the Society of Manufacturing Engineers (SME), visit www.sme.org.