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!

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

Tags Procter & GambleGovernment use of ITJohn DeereCouncil on CompetitivenessU.S. Department of CommerceGary Lockehardware systemsgovernmentlockheed martinDeborah Wince-SmithHigh performancegeneral electricPurdue UniversityRon Bloom

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

Father’s Day Gift Guide

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

David Coyle

Brother PocketJet PJ-773 A4 Portable Thermal Printer

I rate the printer as a 5 out of 5 stars as it has been able to fit seamlessly into my busy and mobile lifestyle.

Kurt Hegetschweiler

Brother PocketJet PJ-773 A4 Portable Thermal Printer

It’s perfect for mobile workers. Just take it out — it’s small enough to sit anywhere — turn it on, load a sheet of paper, and start printing.

Matthew Stivala

HP OfficeJet 250 Mobile Printer

The HP OfficeJet 250 Mobile Printer is a great device that fits perfectly into my fast paced and mobile lifestyle. My first impression of the printer itself was how incredibly compact and sleek the device was.

Armand Abogado

HP OfficeJet 250 Mobile Printer

Wireless printing from my iPhone was also a handy feature, the whole experience was quick and seamless with no setup requirements - accessed through the default iOS printing menu options.

Azadeh Williams

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

A smarter way to print for busy small business owners, combining speedy printing with scanning and copying, making it easier to produce high quality documents and images at a touch of a button.

Andrew Grant

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

I've had a multifunction printer in the office going on 10 years now. It was a neat bit of kit back in the day -- print, copy, scan, fax -- when printing over WiFi felt a bit like magic. It’s seen better days though and an upgrade’s well overdue. This HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 looks like it ticks all the same boxes: print, copy, scan, and fax. (Really? Does anyone fax anything any more? I guess it's good to know the facility’s there, just in case.) Printing over WiFi is more-or- less standard these days.

Featured Content

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?