Published in collaboration with NCMS
Digital Manufacturing Report

News & information about the fast-moving world
of digital manufacturing, modeling & simulation

Language Flags

AMP: Slow and Steady Wins the Race


The wheels of government may turn slowly, but at least, sometimes, they turn.  

Case in point:  On July 17 a report entitled “Capturing Domestic Competitive Advantage in Advanced Manufacturing,” was released by the President’s Council of Advisors on Science and Technology (PCAST).  

On September 20, the Wilson Center in Washington, D.C. was the scene of an event convened to discuss the report.  It was moderated by Tom Kurfess from the Office of Science and Technology Policy in the Executive Office of the President.  

Recently, the Wilson Center sent Digital Manufacturing Report a summary of the meeting. We are pleased to present some of its highlights here.  The event was one more step in the implementation of the Advanced Manufacturing Partnership Program (AMP), which President Obama launched on June 24 of last year.

AMP is an important initiative.  It brings together the federal government, industry and academia to invest in emerging technologies – like digital manufacturing – that will fuel a resurgence of manufacturing in this country, create jobs, and boost our position in world marketplace.  The report contains the final recommendations of the AMP steering committee, which consisted of CEO’s from twelve major U.S. companies and manufacturing firms and six leading U.S. universities.

The September 20 presentations were made by technical co-leads for the AMP Report: Martin Schmidt, Associate Provost and Professor of Electrical Engineering at MIT; and Theresa Kotanchek, Vice President for Sustainable Technologies and Innovation Sourcing at Dow Chemical.


       World Manufacturing Output

Schmidt led off the discussion by pointing out that the U.S., the third largest manufacturing exporter in the world, has suffered a steady decline in manufacturing exports, especially since the downturn in 2010 (see chart above).  

Employment Trends: Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics, Current Employment Statistics, 1962-2010; www.bls.gov/ces/tables,htm#ee

Manufacturing peaked in 1978 with 19 million jobs in the sector, but between 2000 and 2010 manufacturing jobs plummeted from 17 million to 12 million.  Although just about every U.S. state lost jobs, Michigan and North Carolina took an especially heavy beating with 40 percent of the jobs in the sector evaporating.

More unsettling news.  Between 1988 and 2008 the U.S. has consistently run a trade deficit in manufacturing products.  Schmidt noted that perhaps the most “alarming” trend is that since 2010 the U.S. has shifted from being a net exporter to a net importer of advanced technology products.  

He next turned to the topic of research and development investment and noted that “roughly two-thirds of industrial R&D investment is being made by U.S. firms,” including the hiring of scientists and engineers. Problem is, as these firms move overseas as a result of offshoring, the U.S. loses both its domestic R&D investment and jobs.  This is particularly true for pharmaceutical, semiconductor and computer companies.  

He emphasized the importance of close ties between R&D and manufacturing, referencing Gillette’s plant in Boston and Intel’s extensive semiconductor production and R&D facilities both located in Portland, Ore.

Making AMP Work
The PCAST report defines advanced manufacturing this way: “Advanced Manufacturing involves the manufacture of conventional or novel products through processes that depend on the coordination of information, automation, computation, software, sensing and networking, and/or make use of cutting edge materials and emerging scientific capabilities.”  

Theresa Kotanchek used this definition as the context for defining the AMP mission in terms of three objectives:
•    Develop a permanent model for evaluating, prioritizing, and recommending federal investments in advanced manufacturing
•    Create a recommended initial set of partnership projects to move forward
•    Provide additional recommendations to the administration regarding what will drive and support investment.

The report, she said, identified 11 technologies where public/private partnerships should be established. The technologies include:

•    Additive manufacturing
•    Advanced forming and joining
•    Advanced materials design, synthesis and processing
•    Advanced sensing, measurement and process control
•    Visualization, informatics, and digital manufacturing technologies
•    Sustainable manufacturing
•    Nano-manufacturing
•    Bio manufacturing and bioinformatics
•    Advanced manufacturing and testing equipment
•    Industrial robotics

To facilitate public/private partnerships, the report recommends establishing Manufacturing Innovation Institutes (MIIs).  The rather busy slide below shows the structure of a typical MII.

At this point, Schmidt described how the AMP steering committee addressed the issue of workforce development and priming the talent pipeline.  This includes a makeover of manufacturing image to reflect the new emphasis on advanced technology and addressing the skill gap that is occurring as older workers leave the workforce with not enough trained younger people available to fill these jobs.  He mentioned using the military’s Transition Assistance Program (TAP) to train returning veterans for these positions. Other recommendations called for investment in community colleges, improved university programs that include manufacturing with degrees at BS, MS and PhD levels, and a system of national manufacturing fellowships and interns.

Kotanchek pointed out that the U.S. needs to improve its business climate to spur growth in advanced manufacturing.  For example, this country has the highest corporate tax rate in the world.  Also we need smarter regulations, she said, in order to “engage earlier and with better cost analysis, as well as the use of sound science in international best practices to be able to build off of the foundation of the regulatory drivers and standards.”  

The manufacturing sector is a large consumer of energy, and consequently, domestic energy policies can have a profound impact on global competitiveness. The AMP Report makes specific policy recommendations regarding energy issues.

In summary, the AMP recommendations are designed to reinvent manufacturing in a way that ensures U.S. competitiveness, feeds innovation, and grows a robust domestic manufacturing base.  

According to the report, “The recommendations focus on our future and the opportunity to lead the world in new disruptive advanced manufacturing technologies which are changing the face of manufacturing and in which the inherent strengths of U.S.’s innovation economy can be brought to bear to create new opportunities for making things in America.  We – industry, academia, communities and Federal, State and local governments – must unite to ignite our ingenuity to make it in America.”

RSS Feeds

Subscribe to All Content


Feature Articles

Titan Puts a New Spin on GE’s Wind Turbine Research

Unlike traditional energy sources, wind is a trouble to tame, which has led GE to turn to advanced simulations at Oak Ridge National Laboratory to put the technology on track to cover 12 percent of the world's energy production.
Read more...

Lighting a Fire Under Combustion Simulation

Combustion simulation might seem like the ultimate in esoteric technologies, but auto companies, aircraft firms and fuel designers need increasingly sophisticated software to serve the needs of 21st century engine designs. HPCwire recently got the opportunity to take a look at Reaction Design, one of the premier makers of combustion simulation software, and talk with its CEO, Bernie Rosenthal.
Read more...

D-Wave Sells First Quantum Computer

On Wednesday, D-Wave Systems made history by announcing the sale of the world's first commercial quantum computer. The buyer was Lockheed Martin Corporation, who will use the machine to help solve some of their "most challenging computation problems." D-Wave co-founder and CTO Geordie Rose talks about the new system and the underlying technology.
Read more...

Short Takes

Local Motors and ORNL Partner for Automotive Manufacturing

Jan 24, 2014 | Local Motors, a vehicle innovator, and the U.S. Department of Energy’s Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) have announced a new partnership that they hope will bring change to the automotive industry.
Read more...

Advanced Modeling Benefits Wind Farms

May 25, 2011 | Advanced computing resources optimize the site selection of wind farms.
Read more...

Not Your Parents' CFD

Oct 13, 2010 | Outdated beliefs stand in the way of greater CFD adoption.
Read more...

Manufacturers Turn to HPC to Cut Testing Costs

Oct 06, 2010 | Supercomputing saves money by reducing the need for physical testing.
Read more...

HPC Technology Makes Car Safety Job 1

Aug 05, 2010 | Automakers turn to computer simulations to design safer vehicles.
Read more...

Sponsored Whitepapers

Technical Computing for a New Era

07/30/2013 | IBM | This white paper examines various means of adapting technical computing tools to accelerate product and services innovation across a range of commercial industries such as manufacturing, financial services, energy, healthcare, entertainment and retail. No longer is technically advanced computing limited to the confines of big government labs and academic centers. Today it is available to a wide range of organizations seeking a competitive edge.

The UberCloud HPC Experiment: Compendium of Case Studies

06/25/2013 | Intel | The UberCloud HPC Experiment has achieved the volunteer participation of 500 organizations and individuals from 48 countries with the aim of exploring the end-to-end process employed by digital manufacturing engineers to access and use remote computing resources in HPC centers and in the cloud. This Compendium of 25 case studies is an invaluable resource for engineers, managers and executives who believe in the strategic importance of applying advanced technologies to help drive their organization’s productivity to perceptible new levels.

Conferences and Events

Featured Events



Copyright © 2011-2014 Tabor Communications, Inc. All Rights Reserved.
Digital Manufacturing Report is a registered trademark of Tabor Communications, Inc. Use of this site is governed by our Terms of Use and Privacy Policy.
Reproduction in whole or in part in any form or medium without express written permission of Tabor Communications Inc. is prohibited.
Powered by Xtenit.