On the horizon is a new technology for manufacturers called industry 4.0 or smart manufacturing(I-4.0). It has been hyped up to be the next hit thing but what is not being highlighted is that small to medium sized businesses (SMMs) make up the vast majority of the US industry. Unlike the large companies that can afford to do so, these SMMs cannot do so. The Interdisciplinary Center for Advanced Manufacturing Systems (ICAMS) at Auburn University, is a team of researchers, students and faculty who are mimicking the equipment SMMs have to help them digitalize and meet the future. They offer many different avenues to local businesses to educate and experiment with new ideas. They also wish to educate their students with real experience as they become engineers, to research the effectiveness of their programs and products and finally to promote this to SMMs to help them meet the new digital future.
- Small and medium-sized manufacturers have not made much progress in smart manufacturing.
- The public-private partnership ICAMS is a factory dedicated to increasing advance technology adoption by SMMs.
- ICAMS mission includes educating engineers and promoting manufacturing as a potential career.
“A cost/benefits focused business case that SMMs can relate to is a key factor in driving adoption.”