Gamechanging Ideas for Cost-Effective Low-Volume Manufacturing is a workshop that will be held at ASME MSEC (June 4-8, 2017). The ASME MSEC Gamechangers Workshop offers an opportunity for researchers and innovators to present manufacturing process innovations that enable cost-effective low-volume manufacturing in the U.S. We are seeking innovations in hardware and software to enable entrepreneurs to transition from makers to low-volume manufacturers.

The submission form is now closed. If you’d like to attend the workshop, please visit the workshop page.

Advances in 3D printing enabled individual inventors and entrepreneurs to make high value personalized products in the quantities of one or tens. On the other hand, in traditional high-volume manufacturing of commodity products, the unit cost is very low since the initial investment in high cost dies/molds is amortized over hundreds of thousands or even millions of units. Between these two extremes, there are opportunities and challenges to manufacture products in low volumes, say between 1,000 and 10,000 units. Such volumes may be too high to “print” or “machine” one at a time and such quantities are too low to justify investment in expensive tooling.

Low-volume manufacturing, in the quantities of 1,000-10,000 of innovative and specialized products at economical pricing is needed in nearly every industry, from medical devices to defense to consumer products. One of the goals is to broaden capabilities and access to small volume manufacturing as widely as possible. Cost-competitive manufacturing at small-lot sizes (1,000-10,000 units) is essential to increase the variety and value of what an individual or small team can create. The challenge for low-volume manufacturing remains in creating technologies that have a low enough initial investment and additional per unit cost that the overall cost/unit is competitive with mass production. Examples of potential technologies include but are not limited to:

  • Technology for reconfigurable dies and molds (zero tooling cost)
  • Technology for massively parallel additive manufacturing methods, where entire layers or large regions are formed at once, rather than point by point
  • Technology to substantially lower die and mold production cost
  • Automation tools for die and mold design
  • Technology to enable fully automated setup of manufacturing equipment or production lines
  • Reconfigurable manufacturing equipment (e.g., LEGO-like building blocks)
  • Novel molding, casting, or forming technologies that excel at small-lot quantities
  • Manufacturing tools and equipment that are substantially lower cost than traditional tools and equipment or substantially improve the quality of current desktop manufacturing tools.
  • Novel low-cost approaches to computer vision and machine learning for manufacturing (especially integration of open source approaches)
  • Low cost and scalable manufacturing technology for emerging areas (e.g. nano-manufacturing, flexible electronics or sensors, etc.)

Proposals

Submit two-page abstracts for the Gamechangers Workshop by February 24, 2017. Abstracts should contain at least one effective graphic and address the following questions:

  • What is the technology? How is it a gamechanger relative to existing technologies?
  • If the technology were fully matured with 3-5 years of funded support, what would be the potential economic impact to the U.S.?
  • Once matured, what industry sectors (aero, auto, semiconductor etc.) does this technology impact positively?
The submission form is now closed. If you’d like to attend the workshop, please visit the workshop page

All abstracts submitted will be reviewed by a MSEC-NAMRC joint committee along with members of the MForesight Leadership Council. Researchers will be informed if their idea was selected for presentation by March 8, 2017 (see note below). Questions can be directed to info@mforesight.org.

Note: Since the submission deadline was extended, researchers will be notified as soon as possible regarding their submission.

MSEC Workshop

The structure of the half-day workshop will be highly interactive, with approximately eight researchers invited to each speak for 10 min. and then answer questions for 5 min. Additionally, some of those not chosen to speak will be invited to present their ideas through a poster located in the workshop space. Workshop attendees will be given the opportunity to review, comment on, and select the top candidate technologies, based on potential economic impact across multiple industry sectors, in separate breakout sessions followed by a general session. Presentations will be recorded and videos from the highest scoring innovations will be posted on the MForesight website. Workshop results will be published as a white paper available on the MForesight website.

The highest scoring innovations may participate in follow-on activities with MForesight such as:

  • Further dissemination of the idea to industry partners and funding agencies.
  • Publish the idea as an extended blog post or op-ed.
  • Investigate the impact of the idea on U.S. manufacturing competitiveness.
  • Potentially co-lead a dedicated workshop with subject matter experts.

Organizers

Prof. Sridhar Kota, Executive Director, MForesight
Ph: 734-647-2997, kota@mforesight.org
Prof. Daniel Walczyk, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute
Ph: 518-276-2397, walczd@rpi.edu

Questions can be directed to info@mforesight.org.