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ASME Hosts Congressional Briefing and Technology Expo on Capitol Hill

ASME Hosts Congressional Briefing and Technology Expo on Capitol Hill

ASME recently hosted a Congressional Briefing and Technology Expo in partnership with the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) to mark the release of the latest Manufacturing USA Annual Report.

The briefing, titled “Manufacturing USA: Securing U.S. Global Leadership in Advanced Manufacturing” was comprised of two panels focusing on how involvement in the Manufacturing USA institutes is enhancing industrial competitiveness while promoting economic growth and strengthening national security in the United States. Following the briefing, which was held Oct. 10 at the Rayburn House Office Building on Capitol Hill, directors and deputy directors from all 14 Manufacturing USA institutes exhibited technologies being developed at their individual institutes, giving the audience a chance to see first-hand what kind of projects and innovations are coming out of the partnerships catalyzed by the Manufacturing USA program. 

ASME President Said Jahanmir provided opening remarks for the briefing, which was hosted by the House Manufacturing Caucus and sponsored by ASME. Jahanmir was followed by Michigan’s Lieutenant Governor Brian Calley, who provided a compelling account of how the Manufacturing USA program has positively impacted his state.

In efforts to inform Congressional staff and invited guests on the achievements of the Manufacturing USA program, institute members participated in two panels during the briefing. The first panel included John Palmour, the chief technology officer and founder of Cree Inc.; Gary Neidig, the president and CEO of Indiana Technology and Manufacturing Companies; and David Davenport, the technical operations leader for GE Global Research. Michael Molnar, the founding director of the Office of Advanced Manufacturing at NIST, moderated the discussion, which focused on industry advances in technology enabled by Manufacturing USA Institutes.

The second panel was moderated by Emily DeRocco, vice president of education and workforce at Lightweight Innovations for Tomorrow Institute. Speakers on the second panel included Linda Cadwell-Stancin, the director of emerging technologies at Lockheed Martin Corp.; Eric Burkland, the CEO of the Ohio Manufacturers Association; and Michael Moncada, the co-founder of 3D Veterans. The panel discussion centered on how the institutes are engaged in developing an advanced manufacturing workforce and how partnering with the institutes has benefited all stakeholders involved: industry, government, non-profits and academia.

Once the briefing concluded, the audience was invited to join the 14 Manufacturing USA institutes at a technology expo showcasing latest technologies their institutes have developed. ASME Executive Director Tom Costabile delivered remarks to the more than 200 attendees, in which he further extolled the benefits of the Manufacturing USA program. He observed that “the Manufacturing USA program serves as a catalyst to convene industry, academia and government through a network of innovation Institutes, each with a unique technological concentration in the national interest.”

Each of these unique advanced manufacturing research areas were represented at the expo. Technology exhibited included the YuMi collaborative robot, a dual-arm robot developed by ABB in partnership with the Advanced Robotics for Manufacturing Institute, as well as virtual reality (VR) software developed by VisionThree, a member company of Digital Manufacturing and Design Innovation Institute (DMDII). Event participants donned the VR headset and were instructed to take apart a virtual helicopter engine. While participating in this live demonstration event, attendees learned how technology like this could be used to train the future manufacturing workforce.

Other unique products displayed by the institutes as the ASME Manufacturing USA Technology Expo included LED-fiber woven fabric developed by Advanced Functional Fabrics of America and advanced manufacturing processes developed by General Mills in conjunction with Clean Energy Smart Manufacturing Innovation Institute (CESMII) that ensure gluten free Cheerios are truly gluten free.

Samantha Fijacko and Anne Nadler, ASME Government Relations

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