Two key manufacturing nonprofits lead the drive to digital transformation and innovation
Industry leaders SME, a non-profit professional association dedicated to advancing manufacturing, and CESMII - The Smart Manufacturing Institute, are partnering to drive smart manufacturing further and faster by aligning their resources and educating the industry, helping companies boost productivity, build a strong talent pipeline, and reduce manufacturers' carbon footprint.
"The past decade has revealed an unprecedented flattening and even decline in our manufacturing productivity by worker," said Robert Willig, CEO, SME. "Together, CESMII and SME will optimize our strengths and resources to accelerate the transformation and democratization of the smart manufacturing ecosystem and jumpstart productivity."
Willig said the collaboration will help bring clarity amongst often-conflicting voices offering guidance about the way forward.
Without recreating the wheel, CESMII and SME will strategically combine their rich networks and resources to advance smart manufacturing adoption and address the "digital divide" by connecting manufacturers to technical knowledge. These efforts will especially help small and medium-size companies—a large part of the supply network—to overcome the cost and complexity of automation and digitization that has constrained productivity and growth initiatives.
"The prospect of the Fourth Industrial Revolution catalyzing the revitalization of our manufacturing productivity in the U.S. is real, but still aspirational, and demands a unified effort to accelerate the evolution of this entire ecosystem," said John Dyck, CEO, CESMII. "We couldn't be happier to join with SME on this important mission to combine and align efforts with the best interest of the employers and educators in mind."
Urgent Need for Smart Manufacturing Executive Council
The first joint initiative—which builds on the strength of what already exists in the market yet creates something different—is the formation of a new national Smart Manufacturing Executive Council.
This new council will engage business and technology executives, thought leaders and visionaries as a "think tank" advocating for the transformation of the ecosystem. It will build on each organization's history of working with industry giants who volunteer their time and impart their knowledge to benefit the industry.
Members of the council will act as ambassadors to drive the national conversation and vision for smart manufacturing in America. Working with policy makers and others, the council will unify the ecosystem around a common set of interoperability, transparency, sustainability and resiliency goals and principles for the smart manufacturing ecosystem.
Focus on Manufacturing Workforce
For the industry to move forward and innovate, the workforce must be prepared and motivated. The need for richer, scalable education and workforce development is more important than ever.
SME's training organization, Tooling U-SME, is the industry's leading learning and development solutions provider, working with thousands of companies, including more than half of all Fortune 500® manufacturers as well as 800 educational institutions across the country. CESMII has in-depth training content on smart manufacturing technology, business practices, and workforce development. Leveraging Tooling U-SME's extensive reach into industry and academia, the synergistically combined CESMII and Tooling U-SME training portfolios and new content collaborations will expedite smart manufacturing adoption, driving progress through transformational workforce development.
Through this national collaboration, Tooling U-SME will become a key partner for CESMII for advancing education and workforce development around smart manufacturing.
"Our vision, as two nonprofit organizations focused on creating a more productive and competitive manufacturing environment, is completely aligned around accelerating the transformation of the U.S. manufacturing workforce," said Jeannine Kunz, Vice President, Tooling U-SME.
Together, CESMII and Tooling U-SME will set a new benchmark for developing educational resources that remain current with rapidly changing technology and focus on democratizing access to training on smart manufacturing skills.
"Manufacturers are looking for a more effective, future-proof approach to upskill their workforce, and we believe that the best way to accomplish that is for CESMII and Tooling U-SME to work together," said Conrad Leiva, Vice President of Ecosystem and Workforce Education at CESMII. "This partnership brings together the deep domain expertise and necessary skills with the know-how to package education, work with employers and schools and effectively deliver it at scale nationally."
Generating Awareness is Critical
Building awareness is a big part of this initiative. Combining CESMII's network of subject matter experts and SME's reach and expertise in producing industry-leading events including Smart Manufacturing Experience and media publications, will help communicate the value of smart manufacturing as well as demonstrate technology solutions.
Together, CESMII and SME will create the vision for smart manufacturing in America and work to accelerate and amplify efforts across the ecosystem.