U.S. Rep. Bill Shuster and other officials on Thursday ceremonially opened the new headquarters of a national organization designed to provide technical manufacturing expertise to the U.S. military and the companies that supply it.
Called the National Center for Defense Manufacturing and Machining, the nonprofit organization, which is located at the Corporate Campus business park in Burrell Township, brings together businesses, universities and the government in an effort to improve the manufacturing process for parts and equipment used by the military.
A partnership between four regional groups landed $1.9 million in federal funding as part of the Advanced Manufacturing Jobs and Innovation Accelerator Challenge.
Called the Agile Electro-Mechanical Product Accelerator, the multi-year project was submitted by the nonprofits Innovation Works, Catalyst Connection, the National Center for Defense Manufacturing and Machining (NCDMM) and the Westmoreland/Fayette Workforce Investment Board.
September 19, 2012 – IMTS Insider - The federal government has shown an increased interest in what it can do to support the U.S. manufacturing sector because of the positive role manufacturing plays in economic growth, job creation and national security. IMTS has always provided an unparalleled opportunity for government officials and their staffs to learn about advances in manufacturing technology, and IMTS 2012 was no exception. A number of Obama administration officials charged with revitalizing American manufacturing visited the show.
August 20, 2012 – Brookings Institute - Hubs and clusters, institutes and ecosystems: In recent years, we and others have talked a lot about the morphology of innovation systems, which are frequently anchored by major centers of research and comprised of related regional clouds of entrepreneurs, orbiting firms, industry actors, and educational institutions.
Strengthening that optimal structure was the idea behind our companion proposals for the creation of a network of regional energy discovery-innovation institutes and the establishment of a program to aid and abet nascent clusters with competitive grants. And it is also the point of the Department of Energy’s Energy Innovation Hubs program as well as the several regional innovation cluster programs now running, including at the Department of Commerce’s Economic Development Administration, that have moved along these lines.
If a person wanted to buy a car, making a decision based on fuel efficiency is straightforward thanks to a well-accepted and uniform method of determining energy consumed under standard operating conditions – miles per gallon or mpg. But, if one were to buy a machine tool, which not only costs more but also consumes significantly more energy, one would be hard pressed to make that decision based on energy efficiency. This is because of the complexity of machine tools and their wide variety of applications. In order to have a simple metric to compare machine tool energy usage, akin to mpg, standardized measurement methodologies are needed. Such a methodology could also help assess machine process energy requirements and environmental impacts. This article discusses a first-of-its-kind effort in developing a simple, usable and practical methodology for evaluating machine tool energy consumption.
Although many civilians may not understand what sustainable machining cells are, the concept is at the core of new efforts within the Department of Defense (DoD) to manufacture sustainable products, which are less expensive and better for the environment. Recently the United States Air Force, GKN Aerospace and the National Center for Defense Manufacturing and Machining (NCDMM) collaborated to test and to collect data proving that machine cell improvements enabled quantifiable costs savings, reductions in water use and recycling of thousands of gallons of materials. And if that were not enough, the new technology increased tool life by more than 33 percent and reduced energy consumption.
For many manufacturing companies, improving sustainability of manufacturing processes is a daunting task – strategically, tactically and economically. All too often manufacturers quickly find themselves mired in the processes of assessing environmental performances, analyzing assessment data, identifying improvement areas and implementing manufacturing changes. However, opportunities now exist for companies to deliver optimized manufacturing solutions to the Department of Defense (DoD) that include consideration of sustainability. Thanks to global environmental security considerations and green technologies, sustainable manufacturing is a key driver of improved manufacturing solutions for private and public stakeholders, such as the National Center for Defense Manufacturing and Machining (NCDMM). First published in livebetter magazine, January 16, 2012.