The COVID-19 pandemic has had overwhelming impacts on our economy, not to mention the impact on lives and personal wellness. The critical lack of medical equipment to treat and protect those affected highlights the over-reliance of United States manufacturing sector on overseas production. The offshoring issue extends beyond current pandemic concerns, however, reaching far larger and more permanent concerns over industrial supply chains, worker training and even national security.
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.
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.
This report explains how digitalization is transforming manufacturing globally, detailing what exactly smart manufacturing (or “Industry 4.0”) is and examining the productivity impacts that digitalized manufacturing promises to deliver. The report examines the small- to medium-sized enterprise (SME) manufacturing support programs and policies of ten nations—Argentina, Australia, Austria, Canada, China, Germany, Japan, Korea, the United Kingdom, and the United States.
A country is only as strong as its capacity to build. Managed properly, the availability of low-cost shale gas could catalyze a renaissance in U.S. manufacturing, revitalizing the chemical industry and enhancing the global competitiveness of energy-intensive manufacturing sectors such as aluminum, steel, paper, glass, and food. This report summarizes and expands upon the University of Michigan-sponsored daylong Symposium "Shale Gas: A Game- Changer for American Manufacturing".