Why a Shared Infrastructure?
Unfortunately, a cost effective infrastructure to integrate real-time manufacturing intelligence and active management across the control systems of an entire production operation does not exist today.
Many U.S. manufacturing operations operate with a constricted decision making process. New information technologies have been applied to optimize individual unit processes in factories, but Smart Manufacturing (“SM”) systems that integrate manufacturing intelligence in real-time across an entire production operation are rare in large companies, and virtually non-existent in small and medium size organizations.
Smart Manufacturing requires time, synchronization, and cyber-physical requirements. To effectively scale across small, medium, and large enterprises, a virtual platform needs to be shared. A standards-based, community source platform not only facilitates widespread use and relieves company-by-company infrastructure challenges but more importantly, unleashes a much broader base of innovation and entrepreneurship among small and medium enterprises, suppliers and modeling companies. Value to U.S. manufacturing is derived through rapid adoption and broad application of these technologies by small and medium U.S. enterprises as well as U.S. based multi national companies. Currently, small and medium sized enterprises do not all have the resources to develop and adapt the currently available tools to their business. The creation, rapid deployment and widespread application of these technologies catalyzes a re-imagining of how U.S. manufacturing does business by involving sophisticated knowledge workers, sensor technologies and modeling and simulation in all aspects of manufacturing.
Smart Manufacturing Leadership Coalition (SMLC) comes together around a set of goals that no one company can accomplish alone. SMLC has developed the specifications for a shared infrastructure called the Smart Manufacturing Platform (SM Platform). Building the SM Platform requires significant technical integration and cross industry collaboration, and includes technical and business risks that the SMLC will address.