These new Smart Manufacturing Centers will help FMs at U.S. plants optimize use of energy and materials

by Brianna Crandall — September 6, 2021 — The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE), in partnership with the Clean Energy Smart Manufacturing Institute (CESMII), recently announced selections for four new Smart Manufacturing Innovation Centers (SMICs), bringing the total to eight SMICs. Through specialized training and direct industry engagement, the centers will help U.S. manufacturers implement smart manufacturing technologies to optimize their use of energy and materials.


Graphic courtesy DOE

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Assistant Secretary for Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE) Kelly Speakes-Backman stated:

Smart manufacturing makes the American manufacturing sector more productive, energy efficient, and competitive on a global scale. DOE’s investments in smart manufacturing will accelerate the adoption of these technologies and processes, while developing a highly skilled manufacturing workforce for the future.

With the SMIC network of industry, government and academia, selected projects will allow manufacturers of varying sizes to tap into CESMII’s vast smart manufacturing resources and cultivate the manufacturing workforce of the future. These SMICs help CESMII expand institute-developed technologies, training, and hands-on demonstrations that will increase the widespread adoption of smart manufacturing technologies.

Selected centers include:

  • Case Western Reserve University SMIC: Support small and medium-sized manufacturers with smart manufacturing awareness and implementation
  • Feyen Zylstra, LLC SMIC: Provide smart manufacturing training and awareness to small and medium-sized manufacturers’ “citizen technologists” (a citizen who participates in technical projects), and smart manufacturing system integrators; the focus will be on key industry verticals including automotive, food and consumer packaged goods
  • Purdue University SMIC: Distribute a portfolio of artificial intelligence (AI)/machine learning solutions for smart manufacturing to help a variety of industries and small-and-medium-sized manufacturers achieve new levels of efficiency, productivity, quality and performance, while building resiliency in their supply-chain networks
  • Penn State University, New Kensington SMIC: Provide segmented workforce smart manufacturing training to prepare manufacturers for digital transformation and leverage their new digital manufacturing center. The focus will be on small and medium-sized manufacturers in key industry verticals including machining and fabrication

Founded in 2016, CESMII accelerates smart manufacturing adoption through the integration of advanced sensors, data analytics, platforms and controls. It is the third institute funded by DOE’s Advanced Manufacturing Office.