For years, the US has seen jobs in manufacturing go overseas. In order to reverse the trend, a network of hubs in advanced manufacturing is opening throughout the country. Last week, quoting Germany as an example of manufacturing innovation, President Obama took another step forward toward fulfilling his vision for a full national network of up to 45 manufacturing innovation institutes, and announced the opening of two new hubs, one in which DNV GL became a proud member.
The American Lightweight and Modern Materials Innovation Institute (ALMMII) is the newest center in President Obamas National Network of Manufacturing Innovation. It is set to open in spring 2014 in the Detroit area, and brings together a consortium of 60 members consisting of the world’s leading aluminum, titanium, and high strength steel manufacturers together with pioneering universities and laboratories. The goal of the Institute is to expand the market for products and systems that utilize new, lightweight, high‑performing metals and alloys by removing technological barriers to their manufacture.
DNV GL is a proud member of the consortium, and will participate in the Technical Working Group to help guide the research activities of ALMMII. DNV GL is currently funding significant research in this area, both through our Strategic Research & Innovation activities and through our funding of research at The Ohio State University.
“DNV GL is excited to be part of this manufacturing initiative because light-weight materials and novel manufacturing technologies will improve the sustainability of systems in the maritime, energy, and transportation industries. Our experience in developing standards in these industries and assessing reliability of systems through advanced modeling tools will be critical to reduce the barriers for introducing innovative materials and designs”, says Dr. Narasi Sridhar, Director of the Materials Program at DNV GL Strategic Research & Innovation, Ohio.
Lightweight materials in use
Lightweight and modern metals are utilized in a vast array of commercial products, from automobiles, to machinery and equipment, to marine and aircraft. These ultra-light and ultra-strong materials improve the performance, enhance the safety, and boost the energy level and fuel efficiency of vehicles and machines. As resources get more and more scarce, and competition more fierce, the demand for these new materials is expected to increase, from defense, aerospace, automotive, energy, and consumer products industries alike.
Winning future manufacturing jobs
In today’s market, the country that gets new products to market faster, and at less cost, wins the manufacturing jobs of tomorrow. In a quest to out-innovate competition in manufacturing, the manufacturing innovation hubs opening up in the US bring research and development to where the manufacturing is happening. This is important in order to test cutting edge technology, train workers to use it and transform it to industry. In bridging the gap between applied research and product development, the hubs represent a unique opportunity to implement the whole value chain from development, qualification, testing, and optimization through to commercial use. By turning communities into world leading manufacturing hubs, the American manufacturing sector is adding jobs for the first time since the 1990s.
The ALMMII will receive USD 70 million in federal funding matched by another USD78 million from the consortium partners.