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Advancing development of thermal manufacturing technologies
September 24, 2015
Source: ASM International
A new roadmap outlines a near-term strategy for the accelerated development and implementation of advanced technologies across the many industries that rely on thermal manufacturing, which collectively employ more than 5.4 million people and generate almost $3 trillion in economic activity. By providing specific actions for a more coordinated cross-sector approach to advanced thermal manufacturing in the next five years, this roadmap aims to enable the more than 100,000 businesses involved in and impacted by thermal manufacturing—97% of which are small and medium-sized companies—to improve the efficiency of their operations as well as the performance of the U.S. manufacturing sector as a whole.
Developed by the Thermal Manufacturing Industries Advanced Technology Consortium (TMI ATC) initiative under the leadership of ASM International, Materials Park, Ohio, and through funding from the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), Gaithersburg, Md., Advanced Manufacturing Technology Consortia (AMTech) program, Advancing Thermal Manufacturing: A Technology Roadmap to 2020 identifies common barriers that currently constrain the use of advanced technologies in thermal manufacturing—including limitations of current technologies and processes as well as widespread non-technical issues related to workforce development and training.
"We were very pleased to be able to bring together different constituencies to develop this first roadmap in the thermal manufacturing area", says Terry Mosier, Managing Director of ASM International.
To address these common barriers, the roadmap offers a two-fold strategy that combines focused technology development with activities designed to stimulate and support technology implementation. The roadmap identifies 50 activities and seven detailed action plans to accelerate the development, adaptation, and implementation of advanced technologies throughout the thermal manufacturing community in the next five years.
- The technology development activities identified in the roadmap aim to enhance the development and adaptation of heating methods and materials for thermal manufacturing equipment and products as well as improve the understanding, prediction, monitoring, and control of thermal manufacturing processes.
- The technology implementation activities identified in the roadmap focus on stimulating the widespread acceptance and adoption of advanced technologies throughout the thermal manufacturing community to ensure that even small and medium-sized companies with limited resources can effectively implement these technologies in their operations.
Implementation of this roadmap's critical actions and priority action plans will be led by the Metal Processing Institute (MPI) at Worcester Polytechnic Institute, Mass., in conjunction with ASM International. Together, these organizations will engage their diverse membership bases—including members from academia, national laboratories, and industry—to catalyze action in this nationally critical area.
"The increased development and implementation of advanced technologies can ultimately better position the U.S. thermal manufacturing in the global economy," says Diran Apelian, MPI Director. "This roadmap provides a compelling path forward that should be of interest to all stakeholders."
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