If you are an engineer or a manager with one of the large manufacturing or production companies, you wind up getting a lot of love from suppliers and academics and others who seek to help you. But, do you feel like James Lawrence who is Plant Manager, ECM Performance Materials Group? “We are a small tier 3 and 4 supplier of synthetic and natural rubber raw materials. We have a small team wearing many hats.”

Well, CESMII – The Smart Manufacturing Institute seeks to help those of you—a majority of firms in the US–with the first Small to Medium Manufacturers (SMM) Affinity Group meeting to assist manufacturers in accelerating their Smart Manufacturing technology adoption and Workforce Development.

Affinity Groups are an opportunity for manufacturers of all types to share their challenges, and work – with CESMII guidance, as a collective, to overcome them. CESMII provides the management and guidance and will follow-up to address group needs. The SMM Affinity Group is open to CESMII members and will meet in an online forum with the goal of identifying challenges the participants share (such as energy optimization, resource efficiency, quality improvement) and working through solutions. 

The first meeting included speakers from ECM Performance Materials Group, a small manufacturing company, California Manufacturing Technology Consulting (CMTC) – The California Manufacturing Extension Partnership Center (MEP) focused on Technology and Efficiency improvements, the North Carolina Manufacturing Extension Partnership (NCMEP) and Arkansas Manufacturing Extension Partnership (ARMEP) – Three (3) of Fifty one (51) Centers in the MEP National Network funded by the U.S. Department of Commerce’s National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST).

Lawrence, cited above, continued, “Our engagement with CESMII is delivering value on many fronts, exposing us to the right technologies and techniques, but most importantly, letting us engage with a community of forward-looking manufacturers and technology providers that we would never have found otherwise. We needed digital transformation expertise for our business, and CESMII put us in touch with Flexware Innovation, an excellent system integrator with whom we were able to engage. We never would have found them without CESMII.”

James Watson, President and CEO of CMTC – “CESMII is a very special organization, delivering game changing guidance and technology for manufacturers, to support them in the transfer and adoption of new Smart Manufacturing technologies. CESMII provides CMTC the necessary resources to successfully engage California manufacturers in the deployment of smart solutions.”

KeAnne Hoeg – NCMEP – “We have struggled with bringing new technology to SMMs due to a wide variety of readiness levels. The initiatives at CESMII are right in line with the needs of our manufacturing ecosystem in North Carolina and together, we can be the lighthouse in North Carolina for those ready for Smart Manufacturing adoption. Large manufacturers have their own initiatives and resources, and it’s the 99.6% of manufacturers in the SMM category that need our help.”

Dan Curtis, Director ARMEP – “We are relying on CESMII for their expertise in Smart Manufacturing and Workforce Development tools. Our task is to engage with our local manufacturers and guide them to new levels of performance and profitability, now with the assistance of CESMII.”

CESMII is the United States’ national institute on Smart Manufacturing, driving cultural and technological transformation and secure industrial technologies as national imperatives. By enabling frictionless movement of information – raw and contextualized data – between real-time Operations and the people and systems that create value in and across Manufacturing organizations, CESMII is ensuring the power of information and innovation is at the fingertips of everyone who touches manufacturing.  

Founded in 2016, in partnership with DOE’s Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE), CESMII is the third institute funded by EERE’s Advanced Manufacturing Office. The Institute is accelerating Smart Manufacturing (SM) adoption through the integration of advanced sensors, data (ingestion – contextualization – modeling – analytics), platforms and controls to radically impact manufacturing performance, through measurable improvements in areas such as: quality, throughput, costs/profitability, safety, asset reliability and energy productivity. CESMII’s program and administrative home is with the University of California Los Angeles (UCLA).

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