From sensors, biofabrication and advanced materials to optics and photonics, there is no shortage of exciting new advancements coming out of the Manufacturing USA Institutes. As part of a pilot project to fully leverage the assets and resources of the Manufacturing Extension Partnership (MEP) National NetworkTM to aid small and medium-sized manufacturers (SMMs) in the institutes’ technology focus areas, staff from 10 MEP Centers have been embedded in each of the 14 institutes.
There is no question that rapidly advancing technologies such as additive manufacturing, advanced robotics and digital manufacturing have fundamentally changed how we think about design, fabrication and support in manufacturing. The challenge is to translate this new thinking into new approaches to engage SMMs in technology adoption that increase productivity and competitiveness. Participants at the summit saw new adoption approaches from each of the 14 institutes, through presentations, break-out sessions and real-world experiences from small manufacturers. Tours were also provided of the Calit2 facility where Smart Manufacturing concepts are being translated into practice, accelerating innovation and shortening the time to develop products and jobs.
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