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!

Google Launches New Machine Learning Journal

March 22, 2017

On Monday, Google announced plans to launch a new peer review journal and “ecosystem” Read more…

By John Russell

Swiss Researchers Peer Inside Chips with Improved X-Ray Imaging

March 22, 2017

Peering inside semiconductor chips using x-ray imaging isn’t new, but the technique hasn’t been especially good or easy to accomplish. Read more…

By John Russell

LANL Simulation Shows Massive Black Holes Break “Speed Limit”

March 21, 2017

A new computer simulation based on codes developed at Los Alamos National Laboratory is shedding light on how supermassive black holes could have formed in the early universe contrary to most prior models which impose a limit on how fast these massive ‘objects’ can form. Read more…

Quantum Bits: D-Wave and VW; Google Quantum Lab; IBM Expands Access

March 21, 2017

For a technology that’s usually characterized as far off and in a distant galaxy, quantum computing has been steadily picking up steam. Read more…

By John Russell

HPE Extreme Performance Solutions

HFT Firms Turn to Co-Location to Gain Competitive Advantage

High-frequency trading (HFT) is a high-speed, high-stakes world where every millisecond matters. Finding ways to execute trades faster than the competition translates directly to greater revenue for firms, brokerages, and exchanges. Read more…

Intel Ships Drives Based on 3-D XPoint Non-volatile Memory

March 20, 2017

Intel Corp. has begun shipping new storage drives based on its 3-D XPoint non-volatile memory technology as it targets data-driven workloads. Read more…

By George Leopold

Researchers Recreate ‘El Reno’ Tornado on Blue Waters Supercomputer

March 16, 2017

The United States experiences more tornadoes than any other country. About 1,200 tornadoes touch down each each year in the U.S. Read more…

By Tiffany Trader

Trump Budget Targets NIH, DOE, and EPA; No Mention of NSF

March 16, 2017

President Trump’s proposed U.S. fiscal 2018 budget issued today sharply cuts science spending while bolstering military spending as he promised during the campaign. Read more…

By John Russell

CPU-based Visualization Positions for Exascale Supercomputing

March 16, 2017

In this contributed perspective piece, Intel’s Jim Jeffers makes the case that CPU-based visualization is now widely adopted and as such is no longer a contrarian view, but is rather an exascale requirement. Read more…

By Jim Jeffers, Principal Engineer and Engineering Leader, Intel

Quantum Bits: D-Wave and VW; Google Quantum Lab; IBM Expands Access

March 21, 2017

For a technology that’s usually characterized as far off and in a distant galaxy, quantum computing has been steadily picking up steam. Read more…

By John Russell

Trump Budget Targets NIH, DOE, and EPA; No Mention of NSF

March 16, 2017

President Trump’s proposed U.S. fiscal 2018 budget issued today sharply cuts science spending while bolstering military spending as he promised during the campaign. Read more…

By John Russell

CPU-based Visualization Positions for Exascale Supercomputing

March 16, 2017

In this contributed perspective piece, Intel’s Jim Jeffers makes the case that CPU-based visualization is now widely adopted and as such is no longer a contrarian view, but is rather an exascale requirement. Read more…

By Jim Jeffers, Principal Engineer and Engineering Leader, Intel

US Supercomputing Leaders Tackle the China Question

March 15, 2017

Joint DOE-NSA report responds to the increased global pressures impacting the competitiveness of U.S. supercomputing. Read more…

By Tiffany Trader

New Japanese Supercomputing Project Targets Exascale

March 14, 2017

Another Japanese supercomputing project was revealed this week, this one from emerging supercomputer maker, ExaScaler Inc., and Keio University. The partners are working on an original supercomputer design with exascale aspirations. Read more…

By Tiffany Trader

Nvidia Debuts HGX-1 for Cloud; Announces Fujitsu AI Deal

March 9, 2017

On Monday Nvidia announced a major deal with Fujitsu to help build an AI supercomputer for RIKEN using 24 DGX-1 servers. Read more…

By John Russell

HPC4Mfg Advances State-of-the-Art for American Manufacturing

March 9, 2017

Last Friday (March 3, 2017), the High Performance Computing for Manufacturing (HPC4Mfg) program held an industry engagement day workshop in San Diego, bringing together members of the US manufacturing community, national laboratories and universities to discuss the role of high-performance computing as an innovation engine for American manufacturing. Read more…

By Tiffany Trader

AMD Expands Exascale Vision at IEEE HPC Symposium

March 7, 2017

With the race towards exascale heating up – for example, the Exascale Computing Program PathForward awards are expected soon – AMD delivered more details of its exascale vision at last month’s 23rd IEEE Symposium on High Performance Computer Architecture. The chipmaker presented an “Exascale Node Architecture (ENA) as the primary building block for exascale machine” including descriptions of component, interconnect, and packaging strategy along with simulation benchmarks to bolster its case. Read more…

By John Russell

For IBM/OpenPOWER: Success in 2017 = (Volume) Sales

January 11, 2017

To a large degree IBM and the OpenPOWER Foundation have done what they said they would – assembling a substantial and growing ecosystem and bringing Power-based products to market, all in about three years. Read more…

By John Russell

TSUBAME3.0 Points to Future HPE Pascal-NVLink-OPA Server

February 17, 2017

Since our initial coverage of the TSUBAME3.0 supercomputer yesterday, more details have come to light on this innovative project. Of particular interest is a new board design for NVLink-equipped Pascal P100 GPUs that will create another entrant to the space currently occupied by Nvidia's DGX-1 system, IBM's "Minsky" platform and the Supermicro SuperServer (1028GQ-TXR). Read more…

By Tiffany Trader

Tokyo Tech’s TSUBAME3.0 Will Be First HPE-SGI Super

February 16, 2017

In a press event Friday afternoon local time in Japan, Tokyo Institute of Technology (Tokyo Tech) announced its plans for the TSUBAME3.0 supercomputer, which will be Japan’s “fastest AI supercomputer,” Read more…

By Tiffany Trader

IBM Wants to be “Red Hat” of Deep Learning

January 26, 2017

IBM today announced the addition of TensorFlow and Chainer deep learning frameworks to its PowerAI suite of deep learning tools, which already includes popular offerings such as Caffe, Theano, and Torch. Read more…

By John Russell

Lighting up Aurora: Behind the Scenes at the Creation of the DOE’s Upcoming 200 Petaflops Supercomputer

December 1, 2016

In April 2015, U.S. Department of Energy Undersecretary Franklin Orr announced that Intel would be the prime contractor for Aurora: Read more…

By Jan Rowell

Is Liquid Cooling Ready to Go Mainstream?

February 13, 2017

Lost in the frenzy of SC16 was a substantial rise in the number of vendors showing server oriented liquid cooling technologies. Three decades ago liquid cooling was pretty much the exclusive realm of the Cray-2 and IBM mainframe class products. That’s changing. We are now seeing an emergence of x86 class server products with exotic plumbing technology ranging from Direct-to-Chip to servers and storage completely immersed in a dielectric fluid. Read more…

By Steve Campbell

Enlisting Deep Learning in the War on Cancer

December 7, 2016

Sometime in Q2 2017 the first ‘results’ of the Joint Design of Advanced Computing Solutions for Cancer (JDACS4C) will become publicly available according to Rick Stevens. He leads one of three JDACS4C pilot projects pressing deep learning (DL) into service in the War on Cancer. Read more…

By John Russell

BioTeam’s Berman Charts 2017 HPC Trends in Life Sciences

January 4, 2017

Twenty years ago high performance computing was nearly absent from life sciences. Today it’s used throughout life sciences and biomedical research. Genomics and the data deluge from modern lab instruments are the main drivers, but so is the longer-term desire to perform predictive simulation in support of Precision Medicine (PM). There’s even a specialized life sciences supercomputer, ‘Anton’ from D.E. Shaw Research, and the Pittsburgh Supercomputing Center is standing up its second Anton 2 and actively soliciting project proposals. There’s a lot going on. Read more…

By John Russell

Leading Solution Providers

HPC Startup Advances Auto-Parallelization’s Promise

January 23, 2017

The shift from single core to multicore hardware has made finding parallelism in codes more important than ever, but that hasn’t made the task of parallel programming any easier. Read more…

By Tiffany Trader

HPC Technique Propels Deep Learning at Scale

February 21, 2017

Researchers from Baidu’s Silicon Valley AI Lab (SVAIL) have adapted a well-known HPC communication technique to boost the speed and scale of their neural network training and now they are sharing their implementation with the larger deep learning community. Read more…

By Tiffany Trader

CPU Benchmarking: Haswell Versus POWER8

June 2, 2015

With OpenPOWER activity ramping up and IBM’s prominent role in the upcoming DOE machines Summit and Sierra, it’s a good time to look at how the IBM POWER CPU stacks up against the x86 Xeon Haswell CPU from Intel. Read more…

By Tiffany Trader

Nvidia Sees Bright Future for AI Supercomputing

November 23, 2016

Graphics chipmaker Nvidia made a strong showing at SC16 in Salt Lake City last week. Read more…

By Tiffany Trader

IDG to Be Bought by Chinese Investors; IDC to Spin Out HPC Group

January 19, 2017

US-based publishing and investment firm International Data Group, Inc. (IDG) will be acquired by a pair of Chinese investors, China Oceanwide Holdings Group Co., Ltd. Read more…

By Tiffany Trader

US Supercomputing Leaders Tackle the China Question

March 15, 2017

Joint DOE-NSA report responds to the increased global pressures impacting the competitiveness of U.S. supercomputing. Read more…

By Tiffany Trader

Trump Budget Targets NIH, DOE, and EPA; No Mention of NSF

March 16, 2017

President Trump’s proposed U.S. fiscal 2018 budget issued today sharply cuts science spending while bolstering military spending as he promised during the campaign. Read more…

By John Russell

Intel and Trump Announce $7B for Fab 42 Targeting 7nm

February 8, 2017

In what may be an attempt by President Trump to reset his turbulent relationship with the high tech industry, he and Intel CEO Brian Krzanich today announced plans to invest more than $7 billion to complete Fab 42. Read more…

By John Russell

  • arrow
  • Click Here for More Headlines
  • arrow
Share This