U.S. announces new Additive Manufacturing Innovation Institute in Ohio FeaturedWritten by MP&P Staff August, 16 2012
Latrobe, PA – The U.S. Federal Government today announced the creation of a National Additive Manufacturing Innovation Institute (NAMII) in Youngstown, Ohio.
Frank Kendall III (Under Secretary of Defense for Acquisition, Technology, and Acquisition) along with Dr. Rebecca Blank (Acting Secretary of Commerce and Deputy Secretary of Commerce) and Gene Sperling (Director of the National Economic Council and Assistant to the President for Economic Policy) today announced the National Center for Defense Manufacturing & Machining (NCDMM) was selected to manage NAMII, the pilot institute for the National Network for Manufacturing Innovation (NNMI).
In March 2012, U.S. President Obama announced the National Network for Manufacturing Innovation (NNMI), with up to 15 Institutes for Manufacturing Innovation located around the country. These institutes will bring together industry, universities and community colleges, federal agencies, and the states to accelerate innovation by investing in industrially relevant manufacturing technologies with broad applications. Each Institute will bridge the gap between basic research and product development, provide shared assets to help companies – particularly small manufacturers – access cutting-edge capabilities and equipment, and create an unparalleled environment to educate and train students and workers in advanced manufacturing skills. These Institutes will serve as regional hubs of manufacturing innovation, and will be known as world-class centers for applied research, technology incubation, and commercialization.
In addition, President Obama announced that immediate steps be taken to launch a pilot institute which will serve as a proof-of concept for the NNMI Institutes. To answer this call to action as part of the Administration’s We Can’t Wait efforts, an inter-agency team of technical experts was convened. The collaborative inter-agency team determined that the topic of Additive Manufacturing would garnish the most benefit for the defense, energy, space and commercial sectors of the nation and should be the area of concentration of the pilot institute. Additive Manufacturing, also commonly known as 3D printing, is an emerging and evolving manufacturing process that builds parts made of metal, plastic, ceramic and electronic parts using a layer-by-layer technique, precisely placing material as directed by a 3D digital file.
A competition for the pilot institute was launched through a Broad Agency Announcement (BAA) in May. Organizations on the NCDMM-led Team include: Carnegie Mellon University, University of Pittsburgh, Robert Morris University, Robert C. Bird Institute at Marshall University, Penn State Applied Research Laboratory, Lehigh University, Case Western Reserve University, Youngstown State University, University of Akron, Kent State, Westmoreland County Community College, Lorain County Community College, ExOne, Optomec, Stratasys, Sciaky, 3D Systems, nScript, Paramount Technologies, Morris Technologies, Thogus/RM&P, M7 Technologies, Autodesk, IBM, Timken, Kennametal, ATI, RTI, Boeing, Lockheed Martin, Northrup Grumman, General Dynamics, Honeywell, Osram Sylvania, FMW Composite Systems, Touchstone, Parker Hannifin, Ohio Aerospace Institute, Association for Manufacturing Technology, Society of Manufacturing Engineers, NorTech, Youngstown Business Incubator, Fourth Economy, Wohlers Associates, Ben Franklin Technology Partners, JumpStart, numerous TechBelt small manufacturers and the Manufacturing Extension Partnerships of Ohio and PA.
“We are honored to be chosen to lead this significant effort and we look forward to addressing the challenge set forth by President Obama to help revitalize our nation’s manufacturing industry,” said Ralph Resnick, NCDMM President and Executive Director and Acting Director for NAMII in a statement. “NCDMM feels privileged to be part of such a high quality and comprehensive collaborative team. There was keen competition for the Institute from other high quality teams and we will be reaching out to these other national assets to assist our core team in meeting the mission of NAMII.” Mr. Resnick went on to say, “For nearly a decade NCDMM has been delivering manufacturing innovation to the U.S. Defense Industry and we are enthusiastic about applying our successful, self sustaining model to the NAMII.”
SME noted in a statement that it will be heavily involved in technology transition and dissemination, and the education and training of practitioners through the institute. The Society has promoted the advancement of additive manufacturing technology since the mid-1980s, with its Rapid Technologies & Additive Manufacturing Community and as the organizer of its RAPID – Additive Manufacturing Solutions event.
Additive manufacturing was identified by the Advanced Manufacturing Partnership as the technology with the most potential to enhance American manufacturing abilities. Additive manufacturing, sometimes called “3-D printing” and previously known as “rapid prototyping,” is a group of technologies that build up objects by adding materials, usually by laying down many thin layers as opposed to traditional machining that creates objects by cutting material away.
“Through the technical expertise and passion of its members, SME has helped to move this technology forward,” said Debbie Holton, SME director of industry strategy and events. “SME’s core purpose is to share manufacturing knowledge, and we look forward to supporting the NAMII by communicating the discoveries and capabilities of the institute and attracting industry support and participation. SME will also be supporting the institute’s workforce development initiatives.”