NewsDesk: Additive Manufacturing Institute Part of Broader Vision
The Society of Manufacturing Engineers will play an integral role in the new National Additive Manufacturing Innovation Institute (NAMII), which was launched by the Obama Administration in August and will serve as a pilot for a much broader national manufacturing initiative.
NAMII, which will be based in renovated industrial space in Youngstown, Ohio, is being created with a $30 million Department of Defense grant awarded to the National Center for Defense Manufacturing and Machining (NCDMM) as a partnership between dozens of companies, universities and nonprofit organizations in Ohio, Pennsylvania and West Virginia. Four other federal agencies have promised to contribute another $15 million. Companies in the consortium have agreed to provide $40 million in matching funding.
The institute is the first step by the Obama Administration to invest $1 billion in 15 institutes that would serve as regional centers of excellence across all sectors of US manufacturing. The President’s proposal for a National Network for Manufacturing Innovation (NNMI) was endorsed by his Advanced Manufacturing Partnership Steering Committee. The AMP’s final recommendations, released in the July “Report to the President on Capturing Domestic Competitive Advantage in Advanced Manufacturing,” can be found at http://tinyurl.com/ampreport.
The institutes would bring together industry, universities, community colleges, federal agencies, and regional and state organizations to accelerate innovation by investing in relevant manufacturing technologies with broad applications. They would also reduce the cost and risk of commercializing new technologies.
The President called on Congress to act on this proposal and create the NNMI, but that has not yet happened.
In the meantime, NAMII will get the opportunity to prove the value of the overall concept. It’s primary goal is to increase the transition of additive manufacturing technology to manufacturing enterprises within the United States.
Additive manufacturing, often referred to as 3-D printing, is a way of making products and components from a digital model. With 3-D printing, which is similar to office printers that put 2-D digital files on a piece of paper, a 3-D printer creates components by depositing thin layers of material, one after another, using a digital blueprint until the component has been created. In recent years, additive manufacturing developers have advanced the technology beyond mere rapid prototyping applications to include direct digital manufacturing, which allows additive manufacturing of metal parts with processes such as direct metal laser sintering.
The federal government supports advancing the technology for a variety of reasons. The Department of Defense envisions customizing parts on site for operational systems that would otherwise be expensive to make or ship. The Department of Energy anticipates that additive processes could reduce energy use by more than half compared to the ‘subtractive’ manufacturing processes most often used today. Additive manufacturing also has implications for the aerospace and automotive industries, among others.
Beyond that, the Obama Administration believes that additive manufacturing can play a role in revitalizing the US manufacturing economy with innovative new technologies and approaches. “This institute will help make sure that the manufacturing jobs of tomorrow take root not in places like China or India, but right here in the United States of America,” President Barack Obama said in a press release.
SME’s role in the pilot initiative is multifaceted.
NAMII will be led by longtime SME member Ralph Resnick, FSME, president and executive director of NCDMM. Resnick will serve as acting director for NAMII.
Debbie Holton, SME director of industry strategy and events, will be on loan to the institute for six months and will serve as the NAMII deputy director of technology transition and dissemination.
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. SME’s Rapid Technologies & Additive Manufacturing Community members are continuing to develop industry standards in partnership with the American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM). The Society is also the organizer of the industry-leading RAPID–Additive Manufacturing Solutions event. Next year, the event will be held in Pittsburgh, from June 10 through June 12, 2013.
“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,” says Holton. “We’re excited for where this will take technology and the manufacturing industry as a whole.”
The NAMII award was announced in August by Director of the National Economic Council Gene B. Sperling, Acting Secretary of Commerce Rebecca M. Blank and Under Secretary of Defense Frank Kendall along with other Administration and local officials, at M7 Technologies in Youngstown, Ohio.
NAMII, which is led by the NCDMM, includes:
Forty Companies: Allegheny Technologies, AlphaMicron, Applied Systems and Technology Transfer, Autodesk, Boeing, Catalyst Connection, Energy Industries of Ohio, ExOne, FMW Composites, General Dynamics, General Electric, Honeywell, IBM, Johnson Controls, Kennametal, Kent Displays, Laser Technology Assts, Lockheed Martin, Lubrizol, M-7 Technologies, MicroFab Technologies, Morris, Northrop Grumman, nScrypt, OSRAM Sylvania, Optomec, Oxford Performance Materials, Paramount Industries / 3D Systems, Parker Hannifin, Plextronix, POM, RTI, Ruger, Sciaky, Stratasys, Stratonics, Timken, Touchstone Research Lab, Westinghouse Nuclear, Wohlers Associates.
Nine Research Universities: Carnegie Mellon University, Case Western Reserve University, Kent State University, Lehigh University, Penn State University, Robert Morris University, University of Akron, University of Pittsburgh, Youngstown State University.
Five Community Colleges: Eastern Gateway Community College, Lorain County Community College, Northampton Community College, Penn College of Technology, Westmoreland County Community College.
Eleven Non-Profit Organizations: Association for Manufacturing Technology, Ben Franklin Technology Partners, JumpStart Ohio, Manufacturing Advocacy and Growth Network, MT Connect, NorTech, National Digital Engineering and Manufacturing Consortium, Ohio Aerospace Institute, Robert C. Byrd Institute, the Youngstown Business Incubator, and the Society of Manufacturing Engineers.
Ceratizit Group (Mamer, Luxembourg) announced it is investing a 50% share of tool manufacturer Günther Wirth Hartmetallwerkzeuge Betriebs-GmbH (GW; Balzheim, Germany). The move allows carbide tool developer Ceratizit to complement its product line with GW’s round tools made from hard metal.
“With this acquisition, we will be able to cover the whole value chain in hard metal production—from powder, to tool blanks to custom-made and coated round tools such as drills and end mills,” says Representative of the Ceratizit Executive Board Jacques Lanners. In the future, GW will be incorporated into the Ceratizit Group as a global business unit, and will remain as a brand.
Ceratizit and GW have worked closely together for many years and have already cooperated in the manufacture of blanks and finished tools.
The transaction is expected to be completed, subject to the finalization of the due diligence and the approval by the anti-trust authorities, by the end of 2012. Under terms of the deal, Ceratizit and the current shareholders around the company’s founder Wirth will each hold 50% of the GW company after the transaction is finalized. The private companies have agreed not to disclose any financial details.
Synalloy Corp. (Spartanburg, SC), a producer of stainless steel pipe, piping systems and specialty chemicals, announced it has entered into an agreement to acquire Palmer of Texas (Andrews, TX), a leading manufacturer of liquid storage solutions and separation equipment for the petroleum, municipal water, wastewater, chemical and food industries.
The all-cash transaction is valued at $25.6 million plus working capital and fixed asset adjustments at and after closing. Palmer shareholders will also have the ability to receive earn-out payments ranging from $2.5 million to $10.5 million if the business unit achieves targeted levels of EBITDA over a three-year period following closing. The transaction is expected to be immediately accretive to Synalloy’s earnings which, at Palmer’s current level of revenues, are projected by Synalloy to be a contribution of $0.30 per share to its annual earnings.
DWFritz Automation Inc. (Tualatin, OR) has launched its new Web site, www.DWFritz.com, which features a new corporate video, corporate brochure and news section that includes the DWFritz corporate blog. The blog keeps customers and industry followers updated on what’s happening with DWFritz and features DWFritz’ precision engineering in action, including videos of its core areas of expertise in submicron metrology, dispensing, high-speed/high-precision assembly, micron fastener insertion and inspection. The Web site also includes active links to social media presence on Facebook and YouTube.
DWFritz provides engineered-to-order automation systems for advanced manufacturing in precision inspection and assembly equipment using intelligent motion control, vision and robotics. The company designs, integrates, and manufactures systems scalable from custom one-off projects to standardized machines in the hundreds.
American Wera (Ann Arbor, MI) has been officially renamed German Machine Tools Of America (GMTA) in order to better reflect the scope of the machinery now represented throughout North America. GMTA continues to represent top-quality German metalworking machine builders including Profilator, Pittler, Praewema, WMZ and MAE that produce machines. These machines are sold for gear and spline production, vertical turning, flexible machining solutions (blank to finish part solutions), as well as bar, pipe and tube straightening plus wheelset pressing. The company’s target markets include automotive, off-highway, OCTG, rail, wind energy and other heavy equipment manufacturing.
Originally formed as the North American subsidiary for Wera in Germany, GMTA today provides application engineering, sales and service for a broad range of machine tools and metal fabricating equipment. GMTA has representatives throughout the US, Canada and Mexico.
Cutting tool developer Kennametal Inc. (Latrobe, PA) announced that its Shlomi plant in Israel was awarded the country’s most prestigious prize for business, the Yitzhak Rabin National Quality and Excellence Award. The prize is Israel’s equivalent to the Malcolm Baldridge National Quality Award in the United States. Taking first place in the category of businesses employing 150 or more employees, Kennametal competed against 20 other prestigious companies in Israeli industry. Site manager Alon Zimel accepted the award in a ceremony at the Israeli Houses of Parliament attended by the nation’s ministers of industry, trade, labor, finance, and others.
Lyndex-Nikken (Mundelein, IL) announced the creation of a wholly owned subsidiary, Herramientas Lyndex-Nikken S.A. de C.V., in Santiago de Querétaro, Mexico. This new entity was created to support existing business and build new business relationships in Mexico. Investment by manufacturers in Mexico is currently growing faster than most countries in the world, according to the company, and this local operation was established to provide quick customer support. Lyndex-Nikken is a supplier of high-precision toolholders, CNC rotary tables and indexers, angle heads, custom tools, and live and static tooling.