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Barry Lawson Associates
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"Challenges to Innovation in Advanced Manufacturing:
Industry Drivers and R&D Needs"

Workshop Sponsored by the National Institute of Standards and Technology Manufacturing Engineering Laboratory
Gaithersburg, Maryland, November 3-4, 2009

Barry Lawson Associates recently undertook a major assignment for the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) and its the Manufacturing Engineering Laboratory (MEL).  
BLA assisted in workshop planning, provided a team of eleven facilitators and note takers, and prepared proceedings of the findings and conclusions in five areas related to manufacturing innovations: sustainability and energy; simulation and modeling; new manufacturing processes; manufacturing information technology; and robotics and automation.

Participants in the workshop included representatives from major manufacturing companies in the nation as well as government, academic and a variety of related associations.  Not only were a number of critical challenges identified to keep U.S. manufacturing competitive in the world economy, but other steps were identified to help encourage and support innovations related to minimizing raw material use, utilizing energy more efficiently, using more sophisticated modeling to make products faster, cheaper and better, and identify ways to strengthen the manufacturing workforce in the future.  It is anticipated that several of the ideas generated at the session may help federal agencies such as NIST and others initiate new programs and strengthen existing ones to help manufacturers be successful with their innovations. 




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