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
Error: Please check your email address.
Rocket to Success - Your 10 Tips for Smarter ERP System Selection

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

Brand Post

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Andrew Teoh

Brother MFC-L9570CDW Multifunction Printer

Touch screen visibility and operation was great and easy to navigate. Each menu and sub-menu was in an understandable order and category

Louise Coady

Brother MFC-L9570CDW Multifunction Printer

The printer was convenient, produced clear and vibrant images and was very easy to use

Edwina Hargreaves

WD My Cloud Home

I would recommend this device for families and small businesses who want one safe place to store all their important digital content and a way to easily share it with friends, family, business partners, or customers.

Walid Mikhael

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

It’s easy to set up, it’s compact and quiet when printing and to top if off, the print quality is excellent. This is hands down the best printer I’ve used for printing labels.

Ben Ramsden

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

Brainstorming, innovation, problem solving, and negotiation have all become much more productive and valuable if people can easily collaborate in real time with minimal friction.

Sarah Ieroianni

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

The print quality also does not disappoint, it’s clear, bold, doesn’t smudge and the text is perfectly sized.

Featured Content

Product Launch Showcase

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?