Enabling Digital Manufacturing: A Strategy to Develop a National Innovation Network

By Jon Riley

January 3, 2011

Just as the electric power infrastructure was the key to a strong manufacturing base a century ago, a digital manufacturing infrastructure is critical to the future of American industry. Economic uncertainty and leaden growth have slowed innovation, but access to cutting edge tools such as high performance modeling and simulation provide a bold path forward, essentially transforming the way America builds.

Of the approximately 300,000 manufacturers in the United States, over 95% are characterized as small and medium sized (SMMs). While millions of Americans are employed by much larger manufacturers such as Boeing or General Electric, SMMs provide more than twice as many jobs. National economic recovery and development is dependent on the revitalization of U.S. manufacturing, and the most efficient way to spur rapid growth is to intensely leverage what already exists.

One of America’s greatest competitive assets is our high performance computing (HPC) modeling and simulation capabilities. This toolset has been steadily developed and utilized by government laboratories, universities, and large companies for years – contributing to the successful manufacture of countless innovations. If shared throughout the entire manufacturing base, America’s global competitiveness will be greatly enhanced, particularly in desirable areas such as high-tech R&D manufacturing and modeling/simulation tools development.

Recent economic challenges have delayed job creation and R&D investment for many manufacturers. Large companies that once led the world in R&D investment are looking to SMMs for serial innovation within the supply chain. HPC is a transformative technology that must be elevated across the entire manufacturing ecosystem to empower simulation-based R&D, design, and manufacturing. Effectively leveraging these tools will transform U.S. manufacturers and their processes resulting in: accelerated development, mass customization, radical new products, lower-cost manufacturing and reduced off shoring.

The Strategy

NCMS proposes the development of a knowledge infrastructure which leverages the wealth of talent, ideas and facilities within our universities, national labs and industrial research centers to bring SMMs access to this desperately needed technology.

Focusing on product design, development and advanced manufacturing, this network will consist of numerous public-private sector collaborations called Predictive Innovation Centers (PIC). Access through a secure web-based portal will allow manufacturers of all sizes to experiment with HPC tools and optimize their own innovation processes – eliminating the heretofore insurmountable cost-up-front barrier that has kept so many SMMs from adopting HPC.

Four Levels of Engagement

The NCMS PIC strategy addresses the entire spectrum of needs within the manufacturing supply chain – from the small engineering shop stuck on 2D CAD software to the global supplier lacking the hardware to fully leverage its simulation tools. The NCMS PIC will be the bridge that links existing education efforts with higher end services, through a progressive set of tools and services that can benefit users at any level of need. The strategy will facilitate upward progression, so users can elevate to a self-sustaining M&S capability. This unique approach is accomplished by engaging customers at four distinct levels.

Educate: Create a low-risk environment for end users to learn about M&S through free/low cost access to interactive demos, and education.

Entice: Clarify the value of advanced modeling and simulation to end-users by providing entry-level evaluative solutions.

Engage: Provide end users more robust modeling and simulation capabilities for specific engineering problems via more sophisticated tools and collaborative engineering projects.

Elevate: Enable full integration and adoption of advanced modeling and simulation at the end user level by providing necessary services and resources.

SMM Engagement and Scalability

The key criteria for successful implementation of a national network will be scalability, affordability, accessibility, and marketability.  The primary means to accomplish these four criteria is to build up a base of virtual tools and services offered to the SMMs.  Reaching small and medium sized manufacturers with new technologies requires a common set of simple M&S tools accessible through the web.  Many of these companies have small engineering shops of 1-2 employees, many of whom wear multiple hats.  Because of the high cost of bringing resources in-house, the lack of available expertise, and the high learning curve, many of these companies have chosen to outsource M&S tasks that are required to meet customer demands.  The PIC infrastructure will give entry-level customers access to simple tools that can provide the same service more effectively, at lower cost, and in a faster turn-around time.  Using an interface that requires simple inputs, inexperienced users will be able to generate their own results because the more complex M&S tasks are running behind the scenes on pre-configured software and hardware.

Though the website, customers will access different M&S resources according to their specific needs.  In line with the PIC’s educational mission, the site will contain information on educational courses and access to various E-learning materials (e.g. games, webinars, and podcasts) as well as links that enable users to run applications and simulations remotely. In addition to the web interface, customers will be able to access resources through a PIC.  Each location will be a full-service center tied into the PIC “cloud” where customers will receive additional training and consulting services, or participate on engineering projects.

The Benefits

Economic Impacts

The scope of this challenge calls for a government wide approach, integrating the strategy and leveraging it with existing investments for sustained economic growth and job creation. While PICs will result in the creation of new jobs at the centers themselves, the true benefits extend much further. Every region, every state, every community is touched by manufacturing. As almost 300,000 SMMs begin to engage HPC, they will grow their existing customer base and expand into new sectors, creating direct, indirect and induced jobs across the nation. The stage is also set for impact beyond manufacturing. New technology companies and service vendors for the growing HPC infrastructure will provide even greater sustained job creation, further supporting and enhancing community, state and regional services and facilities.

Global Competitiveness

U.S. suppliers must be able to affordably leverage predictive simulation-based design and manufacturing tools to solve their problems and explore the wealth of innovative possibilities this technology has to offer. Many foreign governments, including China, Korea and the European Union, have already established public-private partnerships to deliver HPC to their manufacturers. Meanwhile the U.S., the world leader in HPC technologies, is lagging behind.

Broad Collaborative Support

This strategy has evolved out of NCMS’s conversations with senior Administration staff, Congressional officials and Industry leaders, and specifically addresses issues communicated. The successful launch and implementation of this national innovation network requires the participation of the U.S. Government as well as the conceptual concurrence, financial commitment and direct involvement of a broad set of key industry collaborators.

More than 25 industry users and providers have already committed to the strategy, from large OEMs to smaller manufacturers, key HPC industry providers, and academia – this growing alliance has recognized the need for adoption and have committed themselves to the NCMS PIC strategy.

A Proven Collaboration Model

Since 1986, the non-profit National Center for Manufacturing Sciences has been the leader in working with manufacturers and technology providers to drive innovation and support global competitiveness. Every NCMS collaborative effort drives relentlessly toward successful commercialization of innovations. Managing collaboration is both art and science – our role is that of a catalyst. Our network allows us to bring together organizations with similar needs and our collaborative model ensures smooth project operation, intellectual property protection, risk/cost management, and successful commercialization.

Manufacturing is the most fundamental industry in any successful modern economy. A country that cannot make things cannot compete globally. Nor does it end with manufacturing. Nations must also constantly innovate: develop new products, new processes for designing them, and tools for building them. Just as the advent of steam power marked the beginning of the Industrial Revolution, and the appearance of the assembly line sparked the engine that drove the dawn of the modern age, a new game changer has appeared, and the United States must commit to it with the same energy and passion that drives the national interest.
 

Subscribe to HPCwire's Weekly Update!

Be the most informed person in the room! Stay ahead of the tech trends with industy updates delivered to you every week!

Nvidia Touts Strong Results on Financial Services Inference Benchmark

February 3, 2023

The next-gen Hopper family may be on its way, but that isn’t stopping Nvidia’s popular A100 GPU from leading another benchmark on its way out. This time, it’s the STAC-ML inference benchmark, produced by the Securi Read more…

Quantum Computing Firm Rigetti Faces Delisting

February 3, 2023

Quantum computing companies are seeing their market caps crumble as investors patiently await out the winner-take-all approach to technology development. Quantum computing firms such as Rigetti Computing, IonQ and D-Wave went public through mergers with blank-check companies in the last two years, with valuations at the time of well over $1 billion. Now the market capitalization of these companies are less than half... Read more…

US and India Strengthen HPC, Quantum Ties Amid Tech Tension with China

February 2, 2023

Last May, the United States and India announced the “Initiative on Critical and Emerging Technology” (iCET), aimed at expanding the countries’ partnerships in strategic technologies and defense industries across th Read more…

Pittsburgh Supercomputing Enables Transparent Medicare Outcome AI

February 2, 2023

Medical applications of AI are replete with promise, but stymied by opacity: with lives on the line, concerns over AI models’ often-inscrutable reasoning – and as a result, possible biases embedded in those models Read more…

Europe’s LUMI Supercomputer Has Officially Been Accepted

February 1, 2023

“LUMI is officially here!” proclaimed the headline of a blog post written by Pekka Manninen, director of science and technology for CSC, Finland’s state-owned IT center. The EuroHPC-organized supercomputer’s most Read more…

AWS Solution Channel

Shutterstock 2069893598

Cost-effective and accurate genomics analysis with Sentieon on AWS

This blog post was contributed by Don Freed, Senior Bioinformatics Scientist, and Brendan Gallagher, Head of Business Development at Sentieon; and Olivia Choudhury, PhD, Senior Partner Solutions Architect, Sujaya Srinivasan, Genomics Solutions Architect, and Aniket Deshpande, Senior Specialist, HPC HCLS at AWS. Read more…

Microsoft/NVIDIA Solution Channel

Shutterstock 1453953692

Microsoft and NVIDIA Experts Talk AI Infrastructure

As AI emerges as a crucial tool in so many sectors, it’s clear that the need for optimized AI infrastructure is growing. Going beyond just GPU-based clusters, cloud infrastructure that provides low-latency, high-bandwidth interconnects and high-performance storage can help organizations handle AI workloads more efficiently and produce faster results. Read more…

Intel’s Gaudi3 AI Chip Survives Axe, Successor May Combine with GPUs

February 1, 2023

Intel's paring projects and products amid financial struggles, but AI products are taking on a major role as the company tweaks its chip roadmap to account for more computing specifically targeted at artificial intellige Read more…

Quantum Computing Firm Rigetti Faces Delisting

February 3, 2023

Quantum computing companies are seeing their market caps crumble as investors patiently await out the winner-take-all approach to technology development. Quantum computing firms such as Rigetti Computing, IonQ and D-Wave went public through mergers with blank-check companies in the last two years, with valuations at the time of well over $1 billion. Now the market capitalization of these companies are less than half... Read more…

US and India Strengthen HPC, Quantum Ties Amid Tech Tension with China

February 2, 2023

Last May, the United States and India announced the “Initiative on Critical and Emerging Technology” (iCET), aimed at expanding the countries’ partnership Read more…

Intel’s Gaudi3 AI Chip Survives Axe, Successor May Combine with GPUs

February 1, 2023

Intel's paring projects and products amid financial struggles, but AI products are taking on a major role as the company tweaks its chip roadmap to account for Read more…

Roadmap for Building a US National AI Research Resource Released

January 31, 2023

Last week the National AI Research Resource (NAIRR) Task Force released its final report and roadmap for building a national AI infrastructure to include comput Read more…

PFAS Regulations, 3M Exit to Impact Two-Phase Cooling in HPC

January 27, 2023

Per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS), known as “forever chemicals,” pose a number of health risks to humans, with more suspected but not yet confirmed Read more…

Multiverse, Pasqal, and Crédit Agricole Tout Progress Using Quantum Computing in FS

January 26, 2023

Europe-based quantum computing pioneers Multiverse Computing and Pasqal, and global bank Crédit Agricole CIB today announced successful conclusion of a 1.5-yea Read more…

Critics Don’t Want Politicians Deciding the Future of Semiconductors

January 26, 2023

The future of the semiconductor industry was partially being decided last week by a mix of politicians, policy hawks and chip industry executives jockeying for Read more…

Riken Plans ‘Virtual Fugaku’ on AWS

January 26, 2023

The development of a national flagship supercomputer aimed at exascale computing continues to be a heated competition, especially in the United States, the Euro Read more…

Leading Solution Providers

Contributors

SC22 Booth Videos

AMD @ SC22
Altair @ SC22
AWS @ SC22
Ayar Labs @ SC22
CoolIT @ SC22
Cornelis Networks @ SC22
DDN @ SC22
Dell Technologies @ SC22
HPE @ SC22
Intel @ SC22
Intelligent Light @ SC22
Lancium @ SC22
Lenovo @ SC22
Microsoft and NVIDIA @ SC22
One Stop Systems @ SC22
Penguin Solutions @ SC22
QCT @ SC22
Supermicro @ SC22
Tuxera @ SC22
Tyan Computer @ SC22
  • arrow
  • Click Here for More Headlines
  • arrow
HPCwire