The Society of Manufacturing Engineers (SME) will be playing an integral role in the new National Additive Manufacturing Innovation Institute announced by the U.S. Department of Commerce and Department of Defense in Youngstown, Ohio.
The $30 million grant was awarded to the National Center for Defense Manufacturing and Machining as a partnership between dozens of companies, universities and nonprofit organizations in Ohio, Pennsylvania and West Virginia. The goal of the pilot institute, scheduled to launch in September, is to increase the successful transition of additive manufacturing technology to manufacturing enterprises within the United States. The announcement was made by White House National Economic Council Director Gene Sperling, Acting U.S. Commerce Secretary Rebecca Blank, Under Secretary of Defense Frank Kendall and other senior administration officials.
SME will be heavily involved in technology transition and dissemination, and the education and training of practitioners through the institute. The Society has been instrumental in advancing additive manufacturing technology since the mid-1980s, with its Rapid Technologies & Additive Manufacturing Community and as the organizer for the industry-leading RAPID – Additive Manufacturing Solutions event. SME’s RTAM members continue to develop industry standards in partnership with ASTM.
Additive manufacturing was identified by the Advanced Manufacturing Partnership as the technology with the most potential to enhance American manufacturing abilities. Additive manufacturing, sometimes called “3-D printing” and previously known as “rapid prototyping,” is a group of technologies that build up objects by adding materials, usually by laying down many thin layers as opposed to traditional machining that creates objects by cutting material away.
“Through the technical expertise and passion of its members, SME has helped to move this technology forward,” said Debbie Holton, SME director of industry strategy and events. “SME’s core purpose is to share manufacturing knowledge, and we look forward to supporting the NAMII by communicating the discoveries and capabilities of the institute and attracting industry support and participation. SME will also be supporting the institute’s workforce development initiatives.”
In an effort to help the NAMII gain momentum, SME is “loaning” Holton to the institute for six months. Using her understanding of the manufacturing industry and experience in working with manufacturing practitioners to advance and share knowledge, she will serve as the AMII deputy director of technology transition and dissemination.
The NAMII will be led by longtime SME member Ralph Resnick, FSME, NCDMM president and executive director and acting director for NAMII who is “…honored to be chosen to lead this significant effort.”
Additionally, SME will hold its RAPID – Additive Manufacturing Solutions event in Pittsburgh, June 10-12, 2013, to advance the work of the AMII, share knowledge gained, provide updates on the technology developments and highlight the services and capabilities of the institute.
The NAMII serves as the pilot institute for the National Network for Manufacturing Innovation introduced by President Obama earlier this year. Each institute will integrate capabilities and facilities required to reduce the cost and risk of commercializing new technologies and to address relevant manufacturing challenges on a production-level scale. The institutes will bring together industry, universities and community colleges, federal agencies, and regional and state organizations to accelerate innovation by investing in industrially relevant manufacturing technologies with broad applications.
“In the same way that additive manufacturing technology shows what’s possible, the NAMII also shows what industry can accomplish when we collaborate and join together,” said Holton. “We’re excited for where this will take technology and the manufacturing industry as a whole.”
Society of Manufacturing Engineers