Program links small manufacturers with supercomputers

The new pilot program funded by a U.S. agency and private money targets small manufacturers in the U.S. Midwest

About US$4.5 million in grants from the U.S. Department of Commerce and private companies will create a program to link small manufacturers in the U.S. Midwest with supercomputing resources, U.S. officials said Wednesday.

The goal of the new National Digital Engineering and Manufacturing Consortium is to shorten the development cycle for new products at small and medium-size manufacturers, said Gary Locke, U.S. secretary of commerce. The consortium will use the funding to develop software, purchase time for small manufacturers on supercomputers and train employees there on the technology, Locke and other U.S. officials said.

The pilot program will target small and medium-size manufacturers in Ohio, Illinois, Indiana and Michigan, officials said during a press conference. About $2 million of the money will come from the DOC's Economic Development Administration, and $2.5 million from private companies and other sources, including Purdue University, General Electric, John Deere, Lockheed Martin, Procter & Gamble and the state of Ohio.

It's important to support small U.S. manufacturers, instead of sending manufacturing work overseas, said Ron Bloom, assistant to President Barack Obama for manufacturing policy. Obama's focus on building U.S. innovation depends on manufacturing, Bloom said.

"For too long, we've relied on an invent-it-here, manufacture-it-there approach," he added.

The grants went to the Council on Competitiveness, a group of U.S. CEOs, university presidents and labor leaders, and the council will form the new consortium. The consortium will help large U.S. OEMs (original equipment manufacturers) share their high-performance computing expertise with the small manufacturers that supply the larger companies, officials said.

The average time to market for a new product at a small manufacturer in the U.S. is now about 14 months, Locke said. Using the high-performance computing resources for modeling and simulation could cut that time to eight months, he said. The supercomputing resources will make the U.S. companies "more efficient and more competitive in the global marketplace," he said.

The project has the potential for a huge impact on U.S. manufacturing, added Council on Competitiveness President and CEO Deborah Wince-Smith. "This is going to change the game in how third-millennium manufacturing is done," she said.

Grant Gross covers technology and telecom policy in the U.S. government for The IDG News Service. Follow Grant on Twitter at GrantGross. Grant's e-mail address is grant_gross@idg.com.

Join the newsletter!

Or

Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags governmenthardware systemsgeneral electriclockheed martinGovernment use of ITHigh performanceGary LockeProcter & GamblePurdue UniversityU.S. Department of CommerceJohn DeereRon BloomCouncil on CompetitivenessDeborah Wince-Smith

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Grant Gross

IDG News Service
Show Comments

Cool Tech

Toys for Boys

Family Friendly

Stocking Stuffer

SmartLens - Clip on Phone Camera Lens Set of 3

Learn more >

Christmas Gift Guide

Click for more ›

Brand Post

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Michael Hargreaves

Microsoft Office 365/Dell XPS 15 2-in-1

I’d recommend a Dell XPS 15 2-in-1 and the new Windows 10 to anyone who needs to get serious work done (before you kick back on your couch with your favourite Netflix show.)

Maryellen Rose George

Brother PT-P750W

It’s useful for office tasks as well as pragmatic labelling of equipment and storage – just don’t get too excited and label everything in sight!

Cathy Giles

Brother MFC-L8900CDW

The Brother MFC-L8900CDW is an absolute stand out. I struggle to fault it.

Luke Hill

MSI GT75 TITAN

I need power and lots of it. As a Front End Web developer anything less just won’t cut it which is why the MSI GT75 is an outstanding laptop for me. It’s a sleek and futuristic looking, high quality, beast that has a touch of sci-fi flare about it.

Emily Tyson

MSI GE63 Raider

If you’re looking to invest in your next work horse laptop for work or home use, you can’t go wrong with the MSI GE63.

Laura Johnston

MSI GS65 Stealth Thin

If you can afford the price tag, it is well worth the money. It out performs any other laptop I have tried for gaming, and the transportable design and incredible display also make it ideal for work.

Featured Content

Product Launch Showcase

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?