The National Center for Manufacturing Sciences’ strategy to help revitalize American small and mid-sized manufacturers through high performance computerized digital manufacturing moved forward this week as the Ann Arbor-based NCMS joined the leadership of a new consortium dedicated to those goals.

The National Digital Engineering and Manufacturing Consortium announced its formation last week in a White House press conference. NDEMC’s focus is to use HPC technology to energize the U.S. manufacturing sector.

The consortium includes NCMS, the Council on Competitiveness, the National Center for Supercomputing Applications, the Ohio Supercomputing Center and Purdue University, as well as industrial partners Deere & Co., General Electric, Procter & Gamble, and Lockheed Martin.

The consortium was funded with a $2 million grant from the U.S. Department of Commerce and an additional $2.5 million investment from industrial partners.

The NDEMC will be tasked to spread adoption of advanced modeling and simulation capability using High Performance Computing, or HPC, throughout the supply chains of some of the nation’s leading manufacturers. While large manufacturing companies successfully use these tools to improve their products, smaller companies lack the resources and technical knowledge to do so. NDEMC will attempt to fill that gap by relying on consortium members to reach this “missing middle” of late adopters before it is too late.

“As the leader in practical innovation for U.S. manufacturing, NCMS is excited to partner with those who recognize the potential of HPC,” said Rick Jarman, NCMS president and CEO. “We will work to ensure that the NDEMC fulfills its promise of speeding new technology and adding jobs to U.S. Manufacturing and related sectors in technology and service.”

This collaboration will bolster and enhance the NCMS national strategy announced last September. The strategy proposed the creation of a network of Predictive Innovation Centers, which would focus on the small and mid-sized manufacturer and would offer them the tools, training and expertise to leverage the power of advanced computational technologies. These centers will help to revitalize manufacturing by creating jobs and giving American manufacturers a technological edge in global competitiveness.

NCMS will use its track record of successful manufacturing R&D development to help ensure that the NDEMC service offerings are of immediate practical use to small manufacturers.

“We have been working with small manufacturers on a practical HPC strategy for several years now,” said Jon Riley, Executive Director of Design & Engineering Programs at NCMS. “We are ready to hit the ground running and create a valuable resource that will allow American companies to compete and succeed in the global marketplace.”


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