Smart manufacturing depends critically on information governance: rules (formal and informal) concerning the collection, flow, and analysis of information, often in digital form. To explore information governance issues in depth, the Manufacturing Policy Initiative at Indiana University hosted a roundtable event in Washington, DC, with executives from nearly 20 manufacturers. Policy experts from academia were asked to contribute to papers on specific topics including AI in manufacturing.
The National Center for the Middle Market’s recent research revealed that, for the majority of middle market businesses, formal growth strategy is second only to market expansion in terms of weight in the growth equation. While some strategic focuses lead to more rapid revenue growth than others, it’s not just what the strategy dictates that matters. How the strategy is defined, developed, and executed also play essential roles in strategic success and a company’s rate of growth.
This report first defines digital manufacturing technologies. It then assesses the potential productivity and economic benefits smart manufacturing can produce. It next examines the extent of manufacturing digitalization in the U.S. It finds first that data on the topic is sporadic, incomplete, and at this point primarily survey-based. Second, it finds that, for all manufacturing digitalization’s promise, U.S. manufacturers have been particularly slow to adopt digital manufacturing practices.