This past June, the Obama administration highlighted America’s capacity for creativity and invention by announcing that the Smart Manufacturing Leadership Coalition (SMLC) will lead the new Smart Manufacturing Innovation Institute, in partnership with the Department of Energy.
The announcement was made at the third annual SelectUSA Summit in Washington, DC, before an audience of business leaders, economic development officials, and investors from around the globe.
The coalition brings together nearly 200 partners to launch the Smart Manufacturing Innovation Institute, which will focus on accelerating the development and adoption of advanced sensors, data analytics, and controls in manufacturing, while reducing the cost of these technologies by half and radically improving the efficiency of U.S. advanced manufacturing.
The institute, the ninth manufacturing hub awarded by the Obama Administration, will be based in Los Angeles.
WHAT IS SMART MANUFACTURING?
The term “Smart Manufacturing” is often used in combination with the terms “Industrial Internet of Things” (IIoT), “Smart Factory,” or “Industry 4.0,” according
to BCC Research analyst Nathalie Granato.
“These terms underline the same goals: interconnectivity, interdependence, and integration of manufacturing processes that leverage data to deliver more information, leading to greater productivity and less waste,” she says.
Granato expects smart manufacturing to bring major progress in operational manufacturing, production flexibility, and productivity. She says smart manufacturing is in its early stages, but “there is already a significant revenue opportunity with strong growth expected over the next five years.“
According to Granato, the total market opportunity for smart manufacturing should grow
from $131 billion in 2015 to $392 billion in 2020, reflecting a five-year compound annual growth rate (CAGR) near 20%.
NEW MANUFACTURING HUB COMPETITIONS JOINS SMLC ANNOUNCEMENT
The President also announced
at the summit the launch of five new manufacturing hub competitions, which will invest nearly $800 million in combined federal and non-federal resources to support transformative manufacturing technologies from collaborative robotics to biofabrication of cells and tissues, to revolutionizing the ways materials can be reused and recycled.
With the new competitions under way, the administration is on track to meet the President’s goal of a National Network for Manufacturing Innovation (NNMI) of 15 institutes underway across the country before the end of Obama's administration.
A WIDE-RANGE TOPICS UNDER COMPETITION
In addition, the newly announced manufacturing innovation institute topics
now under competition
Robotics in Manufacturing Environments Manufacturing Innovation Institute. In collaboration with the Department of Defense, the newest manufacturing institute will focus on building U.S. leadership in smart collaborative robotics, where advanced robots work alongside humans.
Advanced Tissue Biofabrication Manufacturing Innovation Institute. In collaboration with the Department of Defense, the Institute will pioneer next-generation manufacturing techniques for repairing and replacing cells and tissues.
Modular Chemical Process Intensification (MCPI) Institute. In collaboration with the Department of Energy, the Institute will fundamentally redesign the process used for manufacturing chemicals, refining fuels, and producing other high-value products by combining many complex processing stages into one simple and streamlined step.
Reducing Embodied Energy and Decreasing Emissions (REMADE) in Materials Manufacturing Institute. In collaboration with the Department of Energy, the Institute will focus on reducing the total lifetime use of energy in manufactured materials by developing new cradle-to-cradle technologies for the reuse, recycling, and remanufacturing of manmade materials.
Industry-proposed Institutes Competition. Leveraging authorities from legislation passed with broad bipartisan support in Congress, the Department of Commerce has launched the first “open topic” institute competition. This competition is open to any topic proposed by industry not already addressed by a manufacturing innovation institute. At least one institute will be awarded using FY2016 funds, and one or more will be awarded subject to the availability of additional funds. The open topic competition design allows industry to propose technology areas seen as critical by leading manufacturers to the competitiveness of U.S. manufacturing.