The National Institute of Standards and Technology has found that the U.S. industry should address needs for measurement science and technology demonstrations to boost growth in advanced manufacturing and save at least $100 billion per year.
NIST said Thursday it funded separate economic studies on additive manufacturing; advanced robotics and automation; roll-to-roll manufacturing; and smart manufacturing.
“Gaps in the technology infrastructure — including the lack of reliable measurement and test methods, scientifically based standards, and other formal knowledge and tools — limit advanced manufacturing’s further development and adoption,” said NIST Economist Gary Anderson.
“Our studies emphasize that full economic impact will only be realized if all technical needs are met, and all stakeholders regardless of size, not just large manufacturers, can share in the rewards,” Anderson added.
The four studies identified 5 to 10 technical barriers to the adoption of each manufacturing technology; assessed the impacts of addressing the challenges; and determined needs that should be met to eliminate the obstacles.
NIST’s studies estimate annual cost savings of up to $4.1 billion; $40.1 billion for advanced robotics and automation; $400 million for roll-to-roll manufacturing; and $57.4 billion for smart manufacturing.
Researchers said small- and medium-sized manufacturers should have access to similar methods, tools and knowledge as larger manufacturers to achieve cost savings.