The Society of Manufacturing Engineers (SME) and CESMII – The Smart Manufacturing Institute are partnering to advance smart manufacturing by aligning their respective resources and educating 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,” stated Robert Willig, CEO, SME. “Together, CESMII and SME will optimise our strengths and resources to accelerate the transformation and democratisation of the smart manufacturing ecosystem and jumpstart productivity.”
CESMII and SME aim to address the ‘digital divide’ by connecting manufacturers to technical knowledge. These efforts are expected to be especially useful to small and medium-size companies – a large part of the supply network – in overcoming the cost and complexity of automation and digitisation that has constrained productivity and growth initiatives.
“The prospect of the fourth industrial revolution catalysing the revitalisation of our manufacturing productivity in the US 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 is the formation of a new national Smart Manufacturing Executive Council. This 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 organisation’s history of working with those in the industry who are able to volunteer time to impart knowledge to benefit the industry.
Members of the council are expected to act as ambassadors to drive the national conversation and vision for smart manufacturing in America. Working with policymakers and others, the council intends to 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
SME’s training organisation Tooling U-SME will become a key partner for CESMII for advancing education and workforce development around smart manufacturing. Tooling U-SME is a leading learning & 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.
“Our vision, as two nonprofit organisations focused on creating a more productive and competitive manufacturing environment, is completely aligned around accelerating the transformation of the U.S. manufacturing workforce,” stated Jeannine Kunz, vice president, Tooling U–SME.
Conrad Leiva, VP of Ecosystem and Workforce Education at CESMII, added, “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. 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 knowledge in producing events – including Smart Manufacturing Experience and media publications – are expected to help communicate the value of smart manufacturing, as well as demonstrate practical technology solutions.