Innovations That Could Change the Way We Manufacture

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Society of Manufacturing Engineers unveils its annual Innovations List which showcases new and emerging technologies that are making a difference in manufacturing. It is not the usual list of emerging technologies — these are innovations that can be used today and have already shown successful implementation.

Innovation keeps U.S. manufacturing strong. By constantly re-inventing itself, developing new materials, technologies and processes, manufacturing increases its productivity while creating products that enhance our lives.

Recognizing that advancement in the way things are made is critical to the success of manufacturing, the Society of Manufacturing Engineers (SME) announces its 2012 list of Innovations That Could Change the Way You Manufacture.

Selected by SME’s Innovation Watch Committee, the new and emerging technologies on this list are already being used in manufacturing settings and have shown successful implementation. It is expected that many other manufacturers will see the value and will begin adopting these materials and processes into their products in the near future.
“Innovation keeps U.S. manufacturing strong. By constantly re-inventing itself, developing new materials, technologies and processes, manufacturing increases its productivity while creating products that enhance our lives,” said LaRoux Gillespie, 2012 president of the Society. “That is why SME is seeking out, acknowledging and sharing these innovations with the larger manufacturing community.”

The Innovations That Could Change the Way You Manufacture will be a featured session track at the SME Annual Conference scheduled June 3-5, 2012, in Cleveland. The conference brings together manufacturing professionals and leaders from throughout North America and beyond who are interested in innovations and exchanging ideas in one place.
2012 Innovations That Could Change the Way You Manufacture

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  •     Biomimicry: Manufacturing Inspiration from Nature
  •     Transistors Go 3-D for more Performance and Energy Efficiency
  •     Economic Machining of Hardened Steels and Super Alloys with Hyper-Carbide Cutting Tools
  •     Artificial Replaced with Synthetic, Grown Body Parts
  •     Tighter Tolerances on Leading and Trailing Edges with Automated System
  •     Green Steel Technology Using Recycled Rubber Tires
  •     More Good Batches at Lower Cost Using the Model Predictive Control
  •     Technology that “Sees” into the Future for Lower Energy Production Costs

In reviewing submissions for the Innovations That Could Change the Way You Manufacture, the committee also highlights an Innovation Watch List. These technologies are showing great promise but, as yet, are unproven in the manufacturing setting. This year’s list includes:

  •     Fiber optics replacing metal wiring between computer components
  •     Quantum locking
  •     New methods of color mixing for LED production
  •     Semi-solid flow cells for electric cars
  •     Artificial photosynthesis to turn sunlight into liquid fuel
  •     Aerovoltaic wind technology with no moving parts

About SME:
The Society of Manufacturing Engineers (SME) is the premier source for manufacturing knowledge, education and networking. Through its many programs, events, magazines, publications and online training division, Tooling U, SME connects manufacturing practitioners to each other, to the latest technologies and to the most up-to-date manufacturing processes. SME has members around the world and is supported by a network of chapters and technical communities. A 501(c)3 organization, SME is a leader in manufacturing workforce development issues, working with industry, academic and government partners to support the current and future skilled workforce.

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