Third Wave Systems is working to develop a new manufacturing-informed design paradigm as part of the United States Department of Energy’s $54 million Innovative Manufacturing Initiative (IMI). IMI is a national program unveiled in response to the Obama Administration’s blueprint for building lasting economic foundations. It invests in projects that aim to advance technologies and materials that can help U.S. manufacturers increase energy efficiency and reduce costs. Projects are selected for Department of Energy (DOE) funding through a competitive bidding process.
DOE and private sector support totals approximately $5.1 million for Third Wave Systems’ project, “Sustainable Manfuacturing via Multi-scale Physics-based Process Modeling and Manufacturing-informed design.” The three-year initiative is focused empowering U.S. manufacturers to evaluate the effects of design changes and various materials, anticipate part quality and manufacturing costs prior to implementation, and produce lower-waste, lower-cost manufacturing programs. The goal is to bridge the existing knowledge gap between upstream design and downstream manufacturing processes by providing a set of computational tools to accurately model machining process and by making those tools available at every stage of the product lifecycle.
“The importance of a manufacturing-informed design paradigm such as what will result from this project is critical to the ongoing success of the U.S. manufacturing sector,” says Kerry Marusich, Third Wave Systems President. “Simply put, we cannot afford to continue making machining decisions based on trial-and-error methods that require extensive time and resources.”
According to the company, the program promises a manufacturing-informed design framework generic to all manufacturing processes, while focusing on achieving tangible economic, productivity, and environmental benefits due to the ubiquitous need for machining. Collaborating with Third Wave for the project will be leading experts from Georgia Institute of Technology, The Pennsylvania State University, Purdue University, and University of California Santa Barbara. It is expected that work will be commence in late 2012; management at Third Wave Systems is excited to get started.