Manufacturing has become more dependent on advanced digital technology to produce products and components than ever before. Customers can be more connected to the manufacturing process and manufacturers have new lines of communication to keep the entire supply chain informed throughout the entire manufacturing process. All of this technology has come together to create incredibly advanced manufacturing operations. However, not every manufacturer can afford all of this technology, and there is still so much more advanced manufacturing technology out there that needs to be developed.
The U.S. government understands the importance of the modern manufacturing operation and realize the more manufacturers that have access to new emerging technologies, the better the overall economy will perform. The Commerce Department has come to the aid of the manufacturing industry by funding advanced manufacturing hubs for the betterment and advancement of manufacturing technologies.
The Obama administration has put forth plans for their final two advanced manufacturing hubs under the National Network for Manufacturing Innovation. At first they will be funded by the department’s National Institute of Standards Technology but the Commerce Department has plans to solicit bids for the two new institutions soon.
These new installations will bring the total number of manufacturing innovation hubs up to nine. Seven others have been funded by either the Defense Department or Energy Department and are located across the country.
Industries must continue to innovate in order to survive and continue to grow. The issue here is innovation and research comes at a price that many manufactures cannot afford at this point in time. With the support from the National Network for Manufacturing Innovation, manufacturers will have a much easier time obtaining these new technologies that are revolutionizing the manufacturing industry and their entire supply chain.
The key objectives for the NNMI is the development of advanced manufacturing technologies that will “lift all ships”, in the hopes of bettering all entities throughout the manufacturing industry. Also, the NNMI will give business that would otherwise not have the opportunity to invest in advanced manufacturing research, the opportunity to bring together the best talents and capabilities from the public and private sector all into one centralized hub. Lastly the NNMI will be cultivating talent that will help support the advanced manufacturing industry.
These manufacturing innovation hubs are greatly beneficial to the overall success of the manufacturing industry and the economy as a whole. The manufacturing industry makes up approximately 12% of the total GDP for the U.S. and developing new technologies that will advance the industry will only lead to a more productive manufacturing industry. Innovation is essential for an industry to grow and these new collaboration hubs will be one of the key factors that will lead to a more successful manufacturing industry.