(Washington, DC) – This week, U.S. Senator Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH) introduced the Smart Manufacturing Leadership Act, legislation that would assist small- and medium-sized American manufacturers in adopting what’s known as “smart manufacturing technologies.”
Smart manufacturing combines information, technology and innovation, allowing companies to make real-time management decisions regarding productivity, energy and costs. These advanced technologies are transforming the manufacturing sector, but due to a lack of staff resources, expertise and capital constraints, they have only been implemented mostly by large manufacturing facilities.
Shaheen’s Smart Manufacturing Leadership Act will help manufactures improve energy efficiency, create jobs and secure a more competitive position in the market place, and by 2040 is estimated to save consumers $5 billion in energy costs and reduce carbon emissions equivalent to taking 116 million cars off the road.
“High-tech manufacturing and innovation is the most dynamic sector of New Hampshire’s economy, and smart technology programs represent the latest innovations needed for manufacturers to streamline and improve work-flow,” said Shaheen. “It is especially critical that small- and medium- sized manufacturers are given the tools they need to compete because they help drive our country’s growth and keep America at the forefront of innovation. The Smart Manufacturing Leadership Act will ensure these manufacturers have the opportunity to adopt smart manufacturing technologies so that they can continue to grow and create jobs.”
“We commend Senator Shaheen for recognizing the importance of digital technologies for improving manufacturing productivity and energy efficiency,” said David Crane, Vice President of Government Affairs for Autodesk. “Importantly, this bill would help small and medium-sized manufacturers prepare for the future of making things and adopt technologies that make them more competitive.”
Manufacturing represents a significant segment of the U.S. economy, employing more than 12 million Americans. Improvements in automation and control through smart manufacturing are projected to add as much as $15 trillion to global GDP over the next 20 years, with up to $25 billion in energy savings annually for electricity alone.
The Smart Manufacturing Leadership Act would develop a national plan through the Department of Energy that will identify areas where smart manufacturing technologies can be developed, deployed and adopted more quickly. It would also provide technical assistance and create state grant programs that would help small- and medium- sized manufacturers adopt smart manufacturing technologies.