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Welcome to the Smart Process Manufacturing Research Collaborative Environment

A site showcasing research and events related to Smart Process Manufacturing.

Smart Manufacturing Leadership Coalition (SMLC) to Hold Meeting on

Thursday, October 20, 2011, in Minneapolis, MN

8:30 am – 5:00 pm

Presentations and Reports now available

It has been more than a year since 60 leading industrial and academic thinkers on advanced manufacturing met as the Smart Manufacturing Leadership Coalition (SMLC) with government leaders in Washington, DC. The resulting report published by the SMLC and the U.S. Department of Energy on June 24, 2011 (see has already generated a great deal of attention, especially since the Obama Administration announced a $500 million initiative on advanced manufacturing also in June. The SMLC steering committee has taken a number of actions, proceeded with detailed planning and developed several major proposals to address the recommendations in the 2010 workshop and respond to the new Administration initiative. These efforts have already involved significant partnerships among the SMLC companies, universities and manufacturing consortia in planning the necessary test beds, coordinating on infrastructure requirements, organizing the applied R&D on the technology and building a community platform. These activities are further underpinned with significant business, technology, infrastructure, workforce/training and applications planning and direction from the SMLC. Of particular note are plans/actions to:

  1. Develop a community smart manufacturing technologies development and deployment platform including an open architecture software development framework
  2. Demonstrate smart manufacturing, outcomes-oriented applications at scale on several industry test beds spanning discrete, batch and continuous manufacturing structures
  3. Establish an industry-driven collaboration with IT suppliers on standards-based data and modeling architecture and infrastructure
  4. Reach out and integrate the requirements of small, medium and large enterprises

The SMLC leadership believes it is an opportune time to bring the Coalition and interested participants together to review the activities, progress and accomplishments of the past year, make plans for the immediate future, and invite new leaders to participate.  A particularly important objective is to hear from existing and new stakeholders on future directions and opportunities and ensure alignment of the SMLC activities. 

We have arranged with the American Institute of Chemical Engineers (AIChE) to host a one-day meeting in Minneapolis, MN on Thursday, October 20th during the AIChE Annual Meeting. An informative program is being developed, including a discussion of program plans on Smart Manufacturing by the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) and a recent NSF funded program to form a Sustainable Manufacturing Advances in Research and Technology (SMART) Coordination Network. Information on the meeting agenda will be kept up-to-date on

Please SAVE THE DATE and RSVP to Heather Yuengling ( On Wednesday, October 19th or Thursday October 20th please go to the AICHE Annual Meeting registration desk to register and pay a nominal meeting participation fee of $100. While you will not need to register for the AIChE Annual meeting (October 16th – 21st), you have the opportunity to do so, because a number of relevant topics will be addressed through the week.  For more information about the AIChE Annual Meeting, including venue and hotel options, please visit



Implementing 21st Century Smart Manufacturing Report Released


President Obama’s Advanced Manufacturing Partnership Supported By New Report Today

Smart Manufacturing Coalition Sets Ten Priorities For A New Public-Private Partnership Program 

Washington DC, June 24, 2011 — President Obama’s Advanced Manufacturing Partnership plan announced today is supported by a new report also released today called “Implementing 21st Century Smart Manufacturing.”  The Smart Manufacturing Leadership Coalition (SMLC) developed the report to establish a roadmap and set the top ten priorities for modernizing 20th century factories with 21st century digital information and automation technology to change the way manufacturing is done and capture the economic, efficiency and competitiveness benefits.

“Advanced manufacturing technology is rapidly transforming the global competitive landscape,” said two of the SMLC leaders Jim Davis, vice provost IT, chief technology officer for the University of California – Los Angeles and Sujeet Chand, chief technology officer for Rockwell Automation.

“The companies — and nations — that act now to seize its promise will thrive in the 21st century. Those who fail to fully engage in smart manufacturing will rapidly fall behind,” they emphasized.

While U.S. industry is making incremental progress in using smart manufacturing, the infrastructure needed to deliver the full potential of this knowledge-based manufacturing environment has yet to be developed, according to the report. This infrastructure will enable customers to tell flexible factories of the future what products they want made, reduce time-to-market, drive greater exports due to lower production costs, minimize energy use and materials while maximizing environmental sustainability, and create opportunities for increasingly skilled workers.  

The SMLC and the National Center for Manufacturing Sciences (NCMS) have formed a working partnership and to build a National Smart Manufacturing Ecosystem, It is an iPhone-like “App Store” for industrial modeling and simulation applications and their rapid application. NCMS is also providing their Predictive Innovation Center (PIC) strategy to link nationally to other centers that involve modeling and simulation applications in manufacturing and their national capacity for outreach to small and medium enterprises. 

”There are nearly 300,000 small and medium sized manufacturers in the U.S. who could be using advanced manufacturing but have found barriers to adoption,” said Rick Jarman, NCMS President & CEO. “Our national PIC strategy and our collaboration with SMLC will make these tools accessible and affordable to manufacturers of all sizes.”

Along with representatives from 50 leading manufacturers, technology suppliers, universities, and other organizations, Rockwell Automation, UCLA and the University of Texas – Austin organized a workshop last September that defined the roadmap and action plan for implementation of smart manufacturing.  The report prioritizes four areas that need to be developed:

Industrial community modeling and simulation platforms for smart manufacturing

Affordable industrial data collection and management systems 

Enterprise-wide integration: business systems, manufacturing plants, and suppliers 

Education and job training skills needed for smart manufacturing design, operation and maintenance

“We want to clearly emphasize that no single company or industry segment can achieve this transformation alone and time is of the essence,” said SMLC co-founder Tom Edgar, a chemical engineering professor with UT-Austin.

A very similar “Factories of the Future” public-private partnership program funded with 1.2 billion euros in the European Union 2009 economic stimulus package further validates the importance and urgency of establishing this program. Also, government support for new factories with the latest “smart manufacturing” technologies is accelerating in emerging economies.

Smart manufacturing will provide new ways to extend the essential productivity gains that have kept many U.S. manufacturers globally competitive during the past decade.  In addition to cost and time savings, it can optimize energy use, improve carbon footprints, and promote environmental sustainability. Further benefits include reduced plant maintenance costs and improved product, personnel and plant safety. Potential improvements in supply chain interaction will also dramatically reduce inventories, increase product customization, and enhance product availability.

Smart Process Manufacturing:

A Technology Roadmap by a National Virtual Organization 

The world is experiencing trends and events that are having profound implications for the process manufacturing industry in a global economy. The understanding of uncertainty and risk has become fundamental to managing processes and ensuring optimum economic and environmental operation within a safe and responsible operating envelope. Uncertainties in the availability and cost of oil and natural gas, the exponential growth in data storage, communications and information technology, and the relentless pressure of global competition have led to an unprecedented shift toward the business of change, just-in-time processing, high performance cross-disciplinary teams, and the economics of rapid product, operation and management transitions. Sustainability, environment, health and safety have become major areas of performance emphasis.

These are forces that push toward economic and performance metrics of rapid product innovation, proactive situational response, tightly managed product transitions, performance with zero environmental impact and predictive management of production, supply chain, environmental and energy dynamics. The solution to these challenges and opportunities is found in a quantum change in the application and intrinsic assimilation of a model-based, knowledge-enabled environment that addresses a full spectrum of enterprise product, operational and management life cycles. ³Smart Process Manufacturing² (SPM) describes the technology and applied capability in which computationally enabled models are the integrating points for data, expertise, decision and discovery. It is the means of casting data and knowledge into useful forms that can be broadly applied. The knowledge and expertise embodied in SPM need to become key next-generation operating assets and investments so industry can achieve a globally competitive capability.  Read more...