Given the initial energy application focus for the Smart Manufacturing platform, the Principal Investigator is Professor Thomas Edgar, Director of the University of Texas at Austin Energy Institute and Professor of Chemical Engineering. According to Tom Edgar, “By combining high fidelity modeling and novel sensors, we can perform real-time control and optimization of process equipment to achieve significant reductions in energy consumption.”
With direction from the full membership of the SMLC, this project is a significant collaborative effort among Emerson Process Management, Honeywell Automation and Control Solutions, Invensys and Rockwell Automation to ensure the Smart Manufacturing Platform is compatible with multiple process control software systems and energy applications “Apps.” The American Institute of Chemical Engineers and the National Center for Manufacturing Sciences will develop standard metrics for energy productivity “Apps” and promote platform use to small, medium and large manufacturers. The industry-driven, open platform architecture, orchestrated workflows and operating design will be developed by UCLA’s Institute for Digital Research and Education (IDRE) and Nimbis Services, a new U.S.-based business to business cloud hosting services company for manufacturing.
"21st Century Smart Manufacturing is manufacturing in which all needed information is available when it is needed, where it is needed and in the form it is most useful," said Jim Davis, UCLA Vice Provost IT / CTO. "The SMLC encompasses the essential collaboration for bringing the massive potential of today’s digital information to America’s plants and factories as the speed of business is accelerating. There is an unprecedented convergence in the ability to work with big data, to simulate, model and predict with game changing fidelity and to access previously unimaginable information and markets.”
"Ideally, progressive business leaders will soon view their plants and factories as innovation hubs and profit centers to be invested in rather than just cost centers to be cut with such little strategic value that they sometimes have been outsourced overseas,” said Denise Swink, CEO of SMLC, Inc. “We expect the Smart Manufacturing Platform will unleash American ingenuity and engineering prowess in ways that are as unexpected as how the IT revolution has changed every other aspect of our lives.”