The Society of Manufacturing Engineers (SME) will be playing an integral role in the new National Additive Manufacturing Innovation Institute. The news was announced this morning 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.
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 the advancement of additive manufacturing technology since the mid-1980s, with its Rapid Technologies & Additive Manufacturing Community and as the organizer the industry-leading RAPID – Additive Manufacturing Solutions event. SME’s RTAM members are continuing to develop industry standards in partnership with ASTM.
In an effort to help the NAMII gain momentum, SME is “loaning” Debbie Holton, SME director of industry strategy and events, to the institute for six months. Utilizing 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.”