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UTARI’s Advanced Manufacturing Division research efforts are focused on the areas of flexible manufacturing, low-cost automation for custom assembly and packaging solutions, and rapid prototyping of novel and advanced products.
Advanced manufacturing refers to the approach of using innovative technology to improve products or processes. A survey of advanced manufacturing definitions by the White House states: “A concise definition of advanced manufacturing offered by some is manufacturing that entails rapid transfer of science and technology into manufacturing products and processes.” (President's Council of Advisors on Science and Technology, April 2010.)
Essentially, advanced manufacturing technologies offer a faster, better, more affordable solution to transform fundamental research into commercial products for the betterment of mankind. Advanced manufacturing allows rapid transition of technologies through a series of technology readiness levels (TRLs). For advanced manufacturing, the process begins at TRL3 or below (the basic research and analysis state) and rises to level 7 or higher—the packaged and field tested product state, ready to hit the market.
The unique set of challenges faced in miniaturization research has driven UTARI to develop novel technologies in numerous fields: advanced robotics, automated assembly, reliable packaging, heterogeneous system integration, and human-machine interaction. These technologies are also suited for other fields of manufacturing. Primarily, they extend their scope to general manufacturing goals, such as reduced manufacturing time, lower cost-per-unit, greater labor productivity, greater machine efficiency, reduced parts inventories, adaptability to multiple operations, and shorter lead times.
In order to boost the U.S. economy and create a large number of jobs for Americans, manufacturing must be brought back to the nation. In the process, work standards and product quality need to be maintained at the highest level, without compromising the competitive edge over industries beyond America’s borders. This ambitious plan will be feasible and sustainable only if manufacturing is high-tech, intelligent, and flexible. Then it is possible to efficiently adapt to minor variations or major changes in the product line, reducing need for retooling or re-planning the entire manufacturing process.
FMS research deals with developing ways to use reconfigurable robotic hardware and software to manufacture a diverse collection of products.
These systems offer rapid prototyping and pilot production solutions for new and existing products.
This area is centered on providing solutions for low cost, high throughput technology transition.
Industry pioneers, community leaders, and influential academics will come together to discuss technology and research in the field of digital manufacturing.
The different agencies, industry leaders, and academic institutions we’re working with.
Meet the advanced manufacturing research team.
Read what our staff has published on the topic.