Alignment of Smart Manufacturing and Advanced Manufacturing
Advanced manufacturing in a U.S. context, its scope, and the need to focus attention on new models of competitiveness have been defined and established through an extensive process conducted by the President’s Council of Advisors on Science and Technology (PCAST). The roll up of many discussions and the overall findings are in the June, 2011 PCAST report on Advanced Manufacturing:
“In this report, we focus in particular on advanced manufacturing, which we believe offers the path forward for revitalizing manufacturing in the United States. The term refers to a family of activities that (a) depend on the use and coordination of information, automation, computation, software, sensing, and networking, and/or (b) make use of cutting edge materials and emerging capabilities enabled by the physical and biological sciences, for example nanotechnology, chemistry, and biology. This involves both new ways to manufacture existing products, and especially the manufacture of new products emerging from new advanced technologies.”
This report was preceded and supported by a number of earlier federally generated reports (NEC, 2011, PCAST, 2010, STPI, 2010, NSTC, 2008).
These reports thread the roles for networked information systems for advanced manufacturing into (1) discovery and innovation, (2) design and engineering, and the (3) manufacturing process. Discovery and Innovation refers to the use of modeling, simulation and data analytics for entrepreneurial discovery, prediction and innovation, especially with respect to new products and new materials. Design and Engineering encompasses manufacturing process design, the engineering and design of specific manufacturing tasks or operations and digital engineering that refers to direct design to product approaches. Manufacturing refers to the set of ordered tasks, the facilities, and the workforces that are required across factories and supply chains to generate a product from raw material to customer distribution.
Most importantly, and as the PCAST report states, these three roles are linked. New material discovery, product innovation, design and engineering are activities that are facilitated by the manufacturing process. Similarly innovation in the manufacturing process is facilitated by new material and product innovations. Stated alternatively, economic viability and competitiveness is not achievable by invention alone. It is innovation in combination with the economics of product customization, value-add and quality manufacturing that drive competitiveness. Manufacturing is a central and irreplaceable core of a strong, secure economy and manufacturing competitiveness involves attention, investment and research in all. These points are brought out not only in the PCAST reports but also in the Council on Competitiveness Ignite reports (2011) and the 2010 NAM and NCMS reports.