thumbnail group

Connect With Us:

ME Channels / SME Speaks

SME Speaks: 'GREEN' Manufacturing Certification Possible

By Rod Handy, Michael Whitt, Satish Boregowda,
Henry Kraebber,
and Christy Bozic
Department of Mechanical Engineering Technology/Technical Assistance Program
Purdue University
West Lafayette, IN


SME is teaming up with a technical engagement group from Purdue University on the development of a Green Manufacturing Skills/Specialist Certificate Program. After completion of an extensive competency and outcome assessment by SME Certification, this program could lead to a full-blown, professional certification program in the area of green manufacturing. The development of this certification is of particular interest to the Society.

This innovative program will initially provide for the training of employees within the 14 counties included in the North Central Indiana Western Indiana Regional Economic Development (WIRED) region. The short-term goal will be to provide training to 250 employees and a minimum of 14 organizations (at least one per county) by January 1, 2009, establishing the foundation for the long-term goal of providing additional training to 3000 employees and 150 organizations nationwide by January 1, 2012. Results of the training will be demonstrated via metrics encompassing varied sectors, including financial, operations, and design measures.

The ultimate objective of this program is to provide the educational background necessary for all interested program attendees to seek out professional certification in green manufacturing. Based on literature and pilot-feedback data, as well as SME-developed feasibility, competency, and validation studies, SME Certification will determine the merit of creating a professional certification in green manufacturing. Companies and employees chosen from the 14-county North Central Indiana WIRED Region will be considered as the pilot group for the potential nationwide certification effort. The workforce trained in this WIRED pilot program will initially receive a regional Purdue certificate in green manufacturing skills/specialist through the Purdue Technical Assistance Program (TAP) and/or the Purdue Office of Continuing Education. If found feasible, and prior to the subsequent extension of the training outside the pilot region, the certification will be in place, with requirements being common and based on the feasibility and competency studies, as well as the project outcome assessments conducted in the 14-county North Central Indiana WIRED Region.

The pilot training, leading to the certificate in green manufacturing, would be offered to advanced manufacturing facilities in the 14-county WIRED designated area. A special group of companies has been targeted, including those that have sought ISO 14001 certification or those intending to do so in the near future. Two types of certification will be offered: one at the generalist level (Green Manufacturing Skills Certificate) and a second at the specialist level (Green Manufacturing Specialist Certificate). The "skills" level would require three days of training, while the "specialist" level would require an additional two days of specialized training, primarily in the area of engineering economics, alternative justification, and qualitative/quantitative techniques in project assessment. For clarification, all employees will attend the same training class during the first three days.

Persons undergoing training should come from different categories/levels of employees (i.e., upper management, mid-level management, lower management, team leaders, general production/maintenance employees, etc.). The training would include a three-day training regimen with a site-specific "green" audit conducted at the end of the third day, and a competency exam. These individuals would earn a certificate upon completing the course and passing the competency exam. Trainees at the specialist level would primarily be managerial and engineering personnel with, typically, a few team leaders from the production floor. There will be a follow-up site-specific "green" audit conducted on the last (or fifth) day, with the emphasis being on the qualitative/quantitative techniques and the alternative justification process normally used in project assessments and detailed for the students during this final day of training. The last day will conclude with an exam that will assess the attendees at the specialist level.

By packaging and distributing it through either the Purdue Extensions or other public learning centers, the curriculum will also be made available to a general audience. The course will be produced and videotaped by the Purdue University Office of Continuing Education. Anyone interested in learning about green manufacturing will have the opportunity to access the materials and training. To reach an even larger audience, training materials will be made available through an online, video-streaming format. Eventual dissemination of materials will likely be assisted by such manufacturing resource distributors as the Manufacturing Education Resource Center (MERC) of the National Center for Manufacturing Education (Dayton, OH).

The funding source for this project is the Department of Labor's WIRED program, with the initial effort being administered by Purdue's TAP. In addition to SME and the Purdue TAP, other project partners include the College of Technology and Department of Mechanical Engineering Technology of Purdue University, SME Student Chapter Purdue University—Lafayette S006, the Purdue University Office of Continuing Education, the Indiana WIRED Clean Energy Forum, and Purdue's Manufacturing Extension Program (MEP).

To develop this project into a nationwide effort, additional funding will be sought out from various governmental and private sources and leveraged by the appropriated WIRED funding.

To learn more about SME Certification, visit Anyone interested in participating in the Green Manufacturing Skills/Specialist Certificate Program, should e-mail


Innovations That Could Change the Way You Manufacture

Intelligent Devices

An intelligent device is any type of equipment, instrument, or machine that has its own computing capability. As computing technology becomes more advanced and less expensive, it can be built into an increasing number of various devices. In addition to personal and hand-held computers, the almost infinite list of possible intelligent devices includes cars, medical instruments, geological equipment, and home appliances.

Various products are being developed to enable network connectivity for diverse intelligent devices. A new category of software known as device relationship management (DRM) is designed to enable the monitoring, managing, and servicing of intelligent devices over the Internet. Sun Microsystems is promoting Jini, a way to connect new devices into a network in which the devices themselves will describe how to communicate with them. Many observers cite intelligent-device networking as a major reason to implement server support for IPv6, a new version of the Internet Protocol that vastly expands the number of things that can be addressed in networking.


Intelligent Device Integration: Why Now?

According to, early adoption of emerging technologies gives companies a competitive edge in the drive to achieve high performance. With several factors converging, now is the time for the widespread adoption of sensor technologies and two-way wireless communications. As with any trend poised for takeoff, some clear examples of the business value of intelligent device integration can already be found across a number of industries:


  • Falling costs of technology: Sensor and wireless costs are cheaper than ever, and with expanded connectivity and coverage capabilities, getting data on the move is becoming easier and more affordable.
  • Advances in technology: The adoption of radio frequency identification (RFID), new types of sensors and sensor networks, and new technologies that support broader ubiquitous wireless, along with software enabling enterprise integration, business intelligence, and Web services, are broadening the scope and precision of what can be sensed and monitored cost-effectively.
  • Solid business cases for improved visibility: With consumers and organizations seeking more personalized attention and transactions, the business case for enabling improved visibility into operations, products, and services is obvious. However, organizations still need to balance better visibility against the cost of both the technology and the infrastructure required. As those costs start to come down, the case for improved visibility will start to become obvious.

The emerging trend of intelligent device integration offers organizations unprecedented visibility into and management of equipment, products, and interactions. By combining sensor data with two-way wireless communications, it promises more detailed, real-time views of activities and objects, and will enable organizations to respond faster—and even predict incidents before they occur—thus supporting their drive to achieve high performance.

Intelligent device integration can help organizations to:

  • Drive operational effectiveness: cost reductions achieved through greater efficiency in key functional areas such as logistics, supply chain, manufacturing, and transportation operations.
  • Improve customer relationships: leverage product usage insights to better understand customers.
  • Create new services: create new business models for revenue generation by offering new services around existing products.
  • Generate business insights: data from intelligent device integration applications provides direct value, but can also be utilized to discover deeper insights through analysis.

In related news from Manufacturing Business Technology, the ISA standards body has granted American National Standard status to an Electronic Device Description Language (EDDL).

The standard—ANSI/ISA-61804-3 (104.00.01)-2007, Function Blocks for Process Control-Part 3: Electronic Device Description Language—should do much to advance the use of electronic device descriptions within the manufacturing industry, claims Terry Blevins, principal technologist at Emerson Process Management, and chair of the ISA committee that recommended adoption.

Electronic device descriptions, which are essentially text files containing pertinent information for enabling intelligent devices to integrate with control systems and handheld communicators, aid manufacturers in cost-effectively making available—and maintaining—information on device-specific functions and capabilities, such as range setting, calibration trim, diagnostics, information retrieval, and parameter handling.

An EDDL standard, says Blevins, offers assurance that consistency among different process automation vendors' approaches to electronic device descriptions can be achieved as new vendors and requirements complicate a status quo that has existed for almost 15 years.

"As we move beyond hand-held devices and introduce capabilities like menus, graphics capabilities, and lists, a standard becomes increasingly important," says Blevins. "The technology had to evolve or die, and an EDDL standard provides an ordered framework for that evolution."

While the manufacturing industry is expected to benefit from the fact that the standard will help users and integrators better use electronic device descriptions to support intelligent devices, notes Blevins, more direct benefits should find their way to the bottom line, too.

"Using tools based on EDDL can mean faster device commissioning, as well as reduced field trips, and eliminating unnecessary maintenance," says Blevins.

One notable success of the new standard has been the degree of collaboration involved in bringing it to fruition so quickly—work that only started in earnest in early 2006, and involved automation manufacturers as diverse as Emerson, Siemens, and Yokogawa.

"It's been good to see companies that compete so fiercely with each other come together to create a foundation that will support the industry for the foreseeable future," concludes Blevins.


Other Helpful Links:


SME International Honor Award Recipients for 2008

Ronald A. Bohlander

Ronald A. Bohlander, PhD, FSME
GTRI Fellow
Principal Research Scientist and Director
of Commercial Product Realization
Georgia Tech Research Institute
Atlanta, GA

Ronald A. Bohlander is recognized with the Joseph A. Siegel Service Award for his significant and unique contributions to the Society. Bohlander has served SME as Atlanta Chapter 61 chair, member of the Board of Directors, member of the Member Council, and Membership Consultant for Georgia and South Carolina, among other duties. In each role, he has worked with great energy and creativity to recruit and engage both new and current members. He is an equally dedicated professional and innovator, serving industry clients for the past 30 years with the Georgia Tech Research Institute, where he currently directs its Commercial Product Realization Office. His responsibilities include managing the work of engineers developing new telecommunications, medical instrumentation, and other electronics products for industrial clients, while also guiding investments and preparation for future research needs. The author or coauthor of more than 80 major reports and publications, he is a coinventor of the US patent "System and Method for Delivery of Digital Video and Data Over a Communication Channel." Issued in November 2000, this discovery enables telephone companies to compete in the delivery of television along with Internet services. Bohlander was elected to the SME College of Fellows in 2001.

 Kornel F. Ehmann

 Kornel F. Ehmann, PhD, FSME
James N. and Nancy L. Farley Professor
in Manufacturing and Entrepreneurship
Northwestern University
Evanston, IL

Kornel F. Ehmann is recognized with the SME Gold Medal for his many contributions to technical communications through published literature, technical writings, or lectures. Ehmann is the author or coauthor of nearly 200 articles in scientific and professional journals and a number of book chapters, as well as the author of a book about such subjects as micromanufacturing, computer control of machine tools, and robots and material-removal processes. His work has had multiple impacts on a number of industries and corporations, including IBM, Ford, GM, General Dynamics, and others. His many accomplishments also include an ongoing dedication to the next generation of highly trained engineers, as he has supervised more than 40 MS and 38 PhD students. He also currently holds adjunct and honorary professorships at leading institutions in the US, Taiwan, and India. Ehmann was elected to the SME College of Fellows in 2006.


Winston F. Erevelles
Winston F. Erevelles, PhD
Dean, School of Engineering,
Mathematics and Science
Robert Morris University
Moon Township, PA

Winston F. Erevelles is recognized with the SME Education Award for his work as an educator in the development of manufacturing-related curricula, fostering sound training methods, or inspiring students to enter the manufacturing profession. Well-known as an outstanding manufacturing engineering educator, Erevelles is among the youngest deans of engineering in the country. At Robert Morris University, he has been instrumental in creating and developing curriculum, launching the Learning Factory, and securing more than $6 million in grants, gifts, and contracts from philanthropic, industrial, and government resources. Erevelles is also the founding director of the PRIME Educational Coalition—a $2.7 million partnership of six colleges, including Robert Morris University, which fosters innovative manufacturing education and career development in southwest Pennsylvania. Prior to joining Robert Morris University, he led the manufacturing engineering program at Kettering University (Flint, MI). He has taught a diverse range of both undergraduate and graduate courses, such as manufacturing processes, automation, robotics, and rapid prototyping/reverse engineering. He was previously honored as an SME Outstanding Young Manufacturing Engineer and currently serves on the board of SME's Education Foundation.

 Fred P. Keller

Fred P. Keller
Chairman and CEO
Cascade Engineering
Grand Rapids, MI

Fred P. Keller is recognized with the Donald C. Burnham Manufacturing Management Award for his exceptional leadership of Cascade Engineering. Keller combined his experience as an engineer with a keen sense of business to launch Cascade Engineering 35 years ago. Today, the company is a $280 million enterprise with 1000 employees and 11 facilities worldwide. Keller is an advocate for sustainable business practices that emphasize the key role companies can play in building the "triple bottom line" of financial, social, and environmental capital. For his leadership and innovation in this area, Keller has received widespread industry recognition, such as Chrysler's Technology Role Model Award, the White House's Ron Brown Award for Corporate Leadership, and the National Governors Association's Distinguished Service Award. In 2004, Keller was named to the US Department of Commerce Manufacturing Advisory Council, where he serves as chair of the Energy Committee. He currently serves on several corporate and philanthropic boards, which extend his vision of business sustainability to community affairs.


 Toshimichi MoriwakiToshimichi Moriwaki, DSc
Dean and Professor, Setsunan University
Department of Industrial and
Management Systems Engineering
Osaka, Japan
Professor Emeritus,
Kobe University
Kobe, Japan

Toshimichi Moriwaki is recognized with the SME Frederick W. Taylor Research Medal for his significant published research, which has led to a better understanding of materials, facilities, principles, operations, and their application to improve manufacturing processes. Moriwaki is widely regarded as one of the leading researchers in the international manufacturing community, where he has addressed audiences in Japan, the US, Germany, Australia, Canada, Singapore, among other countries. Some of his most significant research includes such manufacturing processes as ultraprecision machining and machine tools and sensor technology, and he has been credited with being among the first in the world to perform ultraprecision machining with diamond cutting tools. A prolific scholar, Moriwaki is the author or coauthor of hundreds of papers and presentations. A committed educator and academic administrator, Moriwaki has a 40-year association with Japan's prestigious Kobe University, and is currently a dean and professor of Setsunan University's Department of Industrial and Management Systems Engineering.

 Ross Robson

Ross Robson, PhD
Executive Director (Retired)
Shingo Prize for Operational Excellence
Logan, UT

Ross Robson is recognized with the Eli Whitney Productivity Award for his distinguished accomplishments in improving capability within the broad concept of orderly production. Known among his practitioner associates as a "pracademic," Robson has devoted his career to teaching practical manufacturing solutions and preaching the "gospel of productivity" through lean principles. As the executive director of the Shingo Prize for Operational Excellence, Robson founded its Public Sector Prize, primarily for Department of Defense MRO operations. During this time, he also served as associate dean for business relations of the College of Business at Utah State University, where he will soon retire from his duties as a lean management professor. Robson's work on behalf of the Shingo Prize has taken him to more than 75 conferences throughout North America and the world, where he has addressed more than 35,000 people on lean business systems. Global companies such as Ford, Honda, Boeing, Harley-Davidson, Dupont, Caterpillar, Lear, Compaq/HP, and Mobil Oil—among dozens of others—have also sought his lean expertise. In his effort to make lean principles even more accessible, he played an instrumental role in developing the Society's Lean Certification program.

 A. Galip Ulsoy

A. Galip Ulsoy, PhD, FSME
William Clay Ford
Professor of Manufacturing
University of Michigan
Ann Arbor, MI

A. Galip Ulsoy is recognized with the SME Albert M. Sargent Progress Award for his significant accomplishments in the field of manufacturing processes, methods, and systems. Throughout his nearly 30-year career, Ulsoy has made numerous research contributions to such manufacturing processes as robotics, drilling, and automotive systems, including accessory drive belts, suspensions, and engineering systems. Additionally, he is the coauthor of a textbook, a coinventor of three patents, and has been a principal or coprincipal investigator for research projects with more than $90 million in funding. Beyond his scholarly teaching, and innovative works, perhaps Ulsoy's greatest impact on manufacturing has been as the cofounding director of the University of Michigan's Program in Manufacturing. During his tenure, the program grew from six registered students to 130 students. While leading the program, he initiated and implemented its first distance learning master's of engineering degree program with General Motors. For his life's work, Ulsoy has received numerous recognitions, including being elected to the SME College of Fellows in 1996.

Is there someone you know who deserves to be recognized? The SME International Awards & Recognition Programs honor outstanding accomplishments and dedication in the manufacturing community. These programs garner international recognition and prestige for the profession, its key constituents and the Society itself. Those who are recognized truly exemplify the very best in manufacturing today. To learn more, visit


This article was first published in the June 2008 edition of Manufacturing Engineering magazine. 

Published Date : 6/1/2008

Editor's Picks

Advanced Manufacturing Media - SME
U.S. Office  |  One SME Drive, Dearborn, MI 48128  |  Customer Care: 800.733.4763  |  313.425.3000
Canadian Office  |  7100 Woodbine Avenue, Suite 312, Markham, ON, L3R 5J2  888.322.7333
Tooling U  |   3615 Superior Avenue East, Building 44, 6th Floor, Cleveland, OH 44114  |  866.706.8665