Two prominent industry associations have put together a “toolkit” of ideas to help manufacturers innovate, compete and succeed in the midst of the economic downturn. Dubbed the Competitive Manufacturing Toolkit, the initiative was unveiled by The Society of Manufacturing Engineers (SME) and the National Institute of Standards & Technology’s Manufacturing Extension Partnership (NIST/MEP) at the Westec show in Los Angeles earlier this year.
“Manufacturing has been the backbone of our nation’s economy for more than a century, and we’re not going to get out of this economic crisis without a strong, innovative manufacturing sector,” says Mark C. Tomlinson, SME’s executive director and general manager.
According to the organizations, the situation facing manufacturers today is not simple and won’t be solved by just one idea. Thus, the toolkit offers a variety of solutions tailored to help manufacturers boost innovation, address skilled worker shortages, implement sustainable processes and more. The newest piece of the toolkit is the National Innovation Marketplace, an online service that companies can use to post and review ideas about new products and innovations and to collaborate on new projects. Another toolkit component, the Green Workforce Development Program, features a collection of training content and assessment tools to bring employees up to speed on sustainable manufacturing initiatives.
For more information from the National Institute of Standards & Technology's Manufacturing Extention Partnership (NIST/MEP), visit www.mep.nist.gov.